Sunday, 24 February 2013

City still in the title race, Newcastle thump Southampton 4-2:

Manchester City closed the gap at the top of the EPL table down to 12 points on local rivals Manchester United with a comfortable 2-0 home win against 3rd placed Chelsea.

Manchester City 2 Chelsea 0

Defensive midfielder Yaya Toure and Argentinan striker Carlos Tevez scored the goals for City as they won a vital match at home to ensure that they do not lose more ground on the EPL title. 

Placed into the corner: Yaya Toure broke the deadlock for City in the 63rd minute.

Back with a bang: Manchester City defensive midfielder Yaya Toure celebrates his goal against Chelsea.
Bullet: Carlos Tevez scores to double City's lead in the 85th minute.

Vital 3 points: Tevez celebrates his goal with team-mate James Milner.

Frank Lampard had a penalty well saved by England's no.1 goalkeeper Joe Hart before both goals in the 52nd minute, and Chelsea did not get the job done.

Rare: Lampard stepped up to take a penalty for Chelsea, but his shot was well saved by Joe Hart.

Denied: Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart did well to keep the score at 0-0.

Newcastle United 4 Southampton 2

Today's EPL 6-Match Coverage:

 
Hello again everyone, and welcome to my latest installment of my EPL Blog!
The EPL is back in force again after the International and FA Cup break... with 6 matches that were played today. 

Manchester United had the chance to move 15 points clear at the top of the table with a win against under-fire QPR, while Arsenal looked to end their 2-match losing streak with a home win against Aston Villa. Everton, Fulham, Wigan and West Brom were among the rest of the teams that were also in action today.


QPR 0 Manchester United 2

The Red Devils moved 15 points clear at the top of the EPL table with a comfortable 2-0 away win against relegation-fighters QPR. Right-back Rafael broke the deadlock for the away side with a powerful bullet in the 23rd minute.

Unstoppable: Rafael broke the deadlock for United with a bullet strike into the top corner of the net.
Have that: Rafael celebrates his goal with his United team-mates.

Ryan Giggs wrapped up the 3 points in the 80th minute and Sir Alex Ferguson's side moved closer to a record 20th EPL title.  

Doubling the lead: Giggs made it 2-0 in the 80th minute to give United a comfortable lead.

One hand on the trophy: Giggs celebrates his goal with team-mate Rooney.

A negative which came out of the match was the fact that Robin van Persie had to be substituted due to a collision with a TV camera man near the billboard - which caused an injury.  

That's got to hurt: RVP loses his footing and drops into a mini pot-hole, injuring himself.

Ouch: Robin van Persie receives treatment for a collision with a TV cameraman during the attacking move that resulted in the 1st goal for United.
 
Arsenal 2 Aston Villa 1

This match was played at The Emirates Stadium, as an under-fire Arsenal side looked to beat relegation fighters Aston Villa, or else they would have lost their last 3 home matches in a row. 

The hosts dominated the first half quickly and with purpose. Cazorla broke the deadlock within the first 10 minutes after his first shot was blocked by an Aston Villa defender and his follow-up drive flew low past Brad Guzan into the bottom corner of the net to make it 1-0.  

2nd time is the charm: Cazorla scores from a follow-up shot to make it 1-0 to The Gunners.

Ahead: Cazorla celebrates his 10th EPL goal of the season with team-mate Walcott.
Arsenal continued to dominate throughout the rest of the half, with French striker Olivier Giroud coming close on a NUMBER of occasions but was denied by Brad Guzan many times, or the hosts would have been in-front by a larger margin.  

Walcott had a chance just outside the box with a placed effort thanks to Abou Diaby's nice through ball to him, but the ball curled over the bar and ensured that Arsenal were only 1-0 up at half-time. 

In the second half, Arsenal started lively again with right-back Carl Jenkinson running down the wing with pace before releasing a nice through ball across the box for Giroud, but he could not connect with the pass.

Against the run of play, Villa equalised in the 68th minute after some poor Arsenal defending from THEIR corner saw a 4 on 3 attack from the visitors. 
Andreas Weimann ran from the centre circle to the edge of the area WITHOUT even being tackled, and unleashed a powerful drive to the left of goalkeeper Szczesny into the net.    

The Gunners were desperate to make sure that they did not drop points, and pressed Aston Villa inside their own half for the rest of the match before Cazorla completed his double to give Arsenal the lead again in the 85th minute after full-back Nacho Monreal's darting run down the wing gave him space to find a pass for his fellow country man who was running inside the box to tap the ball into the net. 

Late-winner: Cazorla runs inside the box before slotting the ball past Guzan into the net to give Arsenal the lead.

Much-needed: Midfielder Santi Cazorla celebrates his 2nd of the day to put Arsenal 2-1 up at home.
 
Fulham 1 Stoke City 0

Norwich City 2 Everton 1

Reading 0 Wigan Athletic 3

This match was played at The Madejski Stadium, as 19th placed Reading hosted 18th placed Wigan in a relegation scrap match. 
The hosts did not start the match off well at all, and could have well been 1-0 down with Franco Di Santo having a great shot saved by Adam Federici.

The visitors broke the deadlock in the 44th minute after a scrappy corner was failed to be cleared away by the Reading defence and Figueroa headed the ball (despite a deflection from Kone) into the net. The goal went down as a Kone goal, because he was the last Wigan player to take a touch before it went into the net

Scrappy goal: Maynor Figueroa's header deflects off Kone before going past Federici into the net.

Reading conceded another goal on the stroke of half-time after some poor defending saw the ball intercepted from the defenders (who were trying to while away the time, playing some intricate passing) before winger Jean Beausejour played a low fast ball to Kone who latched onto it easily before chipping the goalkeeper with ease and doubling the lead.

Wigan started the second half quickly, and eventually ended the match in the 48th minute after a slick pass-and move was finished off by Wigan full-back Maynor Figueroa who ran inside the box and slotted the ball through Federici's legs into the back of the net  

West Bromwich Albion 2 Sunderland 1


(MORE TO FOLLOW SOON)

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Blog post on the way soon!

Hello again everyone! Do not worry about the post today, because it will start to be published from 10:30pm (GMT).

Thank you for your patience! :)

Thursday, 21 February 2013

UEFA Europa League LIVE Coverage:

Judgement Day: Tonight will see 16 teams progress to the next round of the Europa League. 

Hello everyone and welcome to my latest blog post, where I have LIVE coverage of today's 4 Europa League Last 32 2nd Leg's which all include EPL teams. 

Chelsea host Sparta Prague at Stamford Bridge at 8.05pm and Liverpool look to overturn a 2-0 deficit against Russian side Zenit at Anfield at the same time.
Before that, Tottenham travel to France to play against Lyon in their tie at 6pm while Newcastle go head-to-head with Metalist Kharkiv again after their match ended 0-0 in the 1st leg. 

Team Line-ups for the 6pm kick-offs:




Metalist Kharkiv vs Newcastle United:

Metalist Kharkiv: Goryainov, Villagra, Gueye, Torsiglieri, Fininho, Torres, Edmar, Marlos, Cleiton Xavier, Sosa, Cristaldo. 
Subs: Disljenkovic, Berezovchuk, Shelayev, Blanco, Krasnopyorov, Jakson, Willian.

Newcastle: Krul, Simpson, Yanga-Mbiwa, Coloccini, Haidara, Sissoko, Anita, Cabaye, Marveaux, Shola Ameobi, Cisse. 
Subs: Elliot, Perch, Gosling, Gutierrez, Bigirimana, Obertan, Steven Taylor.
Lyon vs Tottenham Hotspur: 

Lyon vs Tottenham Hotspur:

Lyon: Vercoutre, Reveillere, Bisevac, Lovren, Umtiti, Fofana, Grenier, Gonalons, Lacazette, Gomis, Lopez. 
Subs: Lopes, Kone, Ferri, Dabo, Malbranque, Briand, Ghezzal.

Tottenham: Friedel, Walker, Gallas, Vertonghen, Assou-Ekotto, Dembele, Parker, Lennon, Holtby, Bale, Adebayor. Subs: Lloris, Dempsey, Naughton, Dawson, Sigurdsson, Livermore, Caulker.

17:45: 15 minutes left until kick-off in 6 of the 16 matches being played tonight, including Cluj vs Inter Milan. 

18:00: A one minute silence will be observed before the first half starts off.

0: The referee has blown his whistle, and the match is kicked off in France. 2-1 is the aggregate score to Tottenham..

5: Tottenham are trying to dominate possession now, looking for in-form winger Gareth Bale to pass the ball to. 

12: The match is getting a bit physical with Lyon winger Lacazette trying to win the ball from Spurs left-back Assou-Ekotto. He shoulder-barges into him, and is penalized.  

14: Tottenham go on the counter attack with Aaron Lennon being fed a nice through ball inside the box. 
He uses his blistering pace to win the ball but has to divert his run to avoid the goalkeeper before crossing the ball into the box again, however the ball falls to a Lyon defender who clears. 

18: GOAL! The hosts are in-front! A dangerous free-kick is failed to be cleared by Spurs, and Maxime Gonalons heads the ball into the bottom corner of the net past Brad Friedel!

If it stays like this, Spurs are OUT of the Europa League.
Aggregate score - Lyon 2 Tottenham 2

23: Lyon and Spurs both trying to be dangerous on the counter attack.
First, Tottenham midfielder Moussa Dembele went on the run before trying to thread through a pass. Bale was on the run, but he failed to pass the ball to him (much to the discontent of Bale). Then, Lyon went on a break of their own. The through ball pass was too strong however, and Friedel picked the ball up easily.

29: Sloppy defending from Tottenham. Lyon are allowed so much space, and should have scored. Too much pace on the through ball pass though, and striker Bafetimbi Gomis is not allowed time to shoot before Assou-Ekotto clears.

31: Tottenham trying to hold the ball up, play like "Barca".
They have had possession for the last 2 minutes, but they have not tested goalkeeper Remy Vercoutre as of yet.

40: Gareth Bale shows why he is being compared to the "new Ronaldo" with some lovely footwork on the wing. He runs down the wing before getting past a defender with skill. The ball goes out for a corner. 

45: The fourth official signals for 0 minutes of stoppage time... and the referee has blown his whistle to end the first half. 

Tottenham need to press this goalkeeper if they are to progress into the Last 16... 

19:35:

75 minutes played, and the score is still 1-0 to Lyon. If it stays like this, they will go through to the Last 16 despite Tottenham's late surge with Bale and Lennon both combining on the wings to give Lyon's defence problems.

American midfielder Clint Dempsey has replaced Lennon with 15 minutes to go, and it looks as though Lyon will go through. 

78: Lyon have a corner in a dangerous time frame.... but it is cleared away by Bale with a header.

83: Tottenham SUB:
Scott Parker OFF
Jake Livermore ON

90: GOAL! Moussa Dembele has given Spurs the lead in the dying minutes of the match! Wonderful strike from the Belgian who did a fake shot before getting past the defender to strike into the bottom corner of the net.


Belgian midfielder Moussa Dembele gives Spurs the lead on aggregate with 3 minutes to play.
Aggregate score - Lyon 2 Tottenham 3

90: The fourth official has signalled for 3 minutes of stoppage time to be added on at the end of the match in France. Lyon have 3 minutes to salvage the prospect of extra-time!

90+2: Spurs are doing the traditional "time waste" to run down the clock.

90+4: The referee Wolfgang Stark blows his whistle to end the match in France! 

Tottenham progress into the Last 16, and will play against Inter Milan in the next round after a 3-2 aggregate victory tonight.


Look what it means: Tottenham celebrate Dembele's winner after full-time in Paris. 

Newcastle also progress after a 1-0 win tonight thanks to a Shola Ameobi penalty in the first half against Metalist Kharkiv. They will play against Anzhi or Hannover (whichever team wins their match tonight)


Ahead: Ameobi scores a penalty to give Newcastle a 1-0  lead against Metalist Kharkiv.

Deserved: After 2 disallowed goals in the first leg, Newcastle progress to the Last 16 with a 1-0 win

Team Line-ups for the 8.05pm kick-offs:


Chelsea vs Sparta Prague:

Chelsea: Cech, Azpilicueta, Terry, Cahill, Bertrand, Ramires, Mikel, Moses, Mata, Torres, Oscar.
Subs: Turnbull, Cole, Luiz, Ferreira, Hazard, Marin, Benayoun. 

Sparta Prague: Vaclik, Zapotocny, Holek, Svejdik, Hybs, Prikryl, Vacha, Krejci, Matejovsky, Lafata, Kadlec.
Subs: Cech, Pamic, Kweuke, Vidlicka, Polom, Bednar, Janos.

Liverpool vs Zenit St. Petersburg: 

Liverpool vs Zenit St Petersburg:

Liverpool: Reina, Johnson, Carragher, Agger, Jose Enrique, Lucas, Allen, Downing, Gerrard, Henderson, Suarez.
Subs: Gulacsi, Assaidi, Coates, Suso, Sterling, Shelvey, Wisdom.

Zenit St Petersburg: Malafeev, Aniukov, Luis Neto, Lombaerts, Hubocan, Witsel, Denisov, Shirokov, Danny, Hulk, Semak. Subs: Zhevnov, Bruno Alves, Criscito, Bukharov, Kerzhakov, Faitzulin, Rodic.

20:35:

30 minutes on the clock at Anfield. 3-1 is the aggregate score, with Luis Suarez just equalising with a lovely free-kick to make it 1-1 on the night. 


Suarez makes it 3-1 on aggregate to give Liverpool faint hope of getting back into the match.
Back in it: Suarez spurs his team-mates on with a goal at Anfield. 

Brazilian forward Hulk broke the deadlock in the 19th minute with a placed effort past Pepe Reina to give the Russian side a huge 3 goal advantage with 70 minutes to play. 


Ahead and comfortable: Hulk breaks the deadlock in the 19th minute with a placed effort.

Not time to dance just yet: Hulk celebrates his opener.

Zenit have the advantage on aggregate despite Liverpool getting fired up after the Suarez goal, dominating possession and pressurising the Zenit defence.

LATEST:
Chelsea 0 Sparta Prague 1 (Aggregate: 1-1)

The match has just got interesting... David Lafata breaks the deadlock in the 17th minute after hitting the ball into the top corner of the net thanks to a good through ball.


Interesting: Lafata scores for Sparta Prague at Stamford Bridge to make it 1-1 on aggregate.
Shock: Lafata celebrates his opener for Sparta Prague in the 17th minute.
21:38:
Liverpool 3 Zenit St. Petersburg 1 (Aggregate 3-3)

75 minutes gone, and The Reds are pressing for the 4th goal to end the tie on the night! Suarez scored a lovely curling free-kick from 25 yards out in the 58th minute, and his second of the night (Bale vs Lyon, 1st leg anyone?).


Deja vu: Suarez scores a wonderful free-kick against Zenit, to score his 2nd free-kick of the night. 

Suddenly: Suarez celebrates passionately for his 2nd free-kick of the night to make it 3-1 on the night.

Before that, Welsh midfielder Joe Allen scored for The Reds before half-time with a scrappy shot from a corner which was failed to be cleared by Zenit. 


Scrappy: Allen scored his 2nd goal of the season to give The Reds a 2-1 lead before half-time. 

It has been all Liverpool ever since, with Gerrard, Shelvey, Suarez and Enrique all having chances at the Russian side's goal. 

Elsewhere: 
Chelsea 0 Sparta Prague 1 - 75 minutes gone (Aggregate 1-1)
Metalist Kharkiv 0 Newcastle 1 - FT(Aggregate 0-1)
Lyon 1 Tottenham 1 - FT(Aggregate 2-3) 

80: Raheem Sterling is being given instructions from manager Brendan Rodgers, with Hulk having a speculative free-kick effort from 30 yards out fly over the bar.
83: The hosts pressing again, with a probing pass having to be cleared away by a Zenit defender.
85: Liverpool SUB:
Stewart Downing OFF
Raheem Sterling ON

89: Late charge for Liverpool... Suarez and Sterling are pressing the Zenit defence.
90: The fourth official puts up the electronic board, and it is 3 minutes of stoppage time to be added on.
90+1: Liverpool corner, with desperate times call for desperate measures for The Reds. Goalkeeper Pepe Reina runs up to the Zenit box.... 

The corner is taken.... cleared away by the Zenit defence! Reina has to run back to his goal quickly if he does not want to concede... 
The ball falls to Hulk who takes two strides with pace.... CLEARED AWAY! by Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher. 

90+2: Liverpool trying to move back inside Zenit's half, but the visitors are happy to hold onto the lead and defend for the last few seconds of the match.

90+3: THAT'S IT! The referee blows his whistle for full-time, and Liverpool are the first English club to be knocked out of the Europa League this season! 

They played very well tonight, and were unlucky not to progress, but at the end of the day, Zenit's 2-0 home advantage from the first leg plus Hulk's opener were too much for The Reds to take.


Disappointing: Luis Suarez puts his head in his hands after the full-time whistle is blown at Anfield.
Gerrard consoles his talismanic team-mate Suarez after the match, as Liverpool are knocked out
Summary of Tonight's Matches:

Metalist Kharkiv 0 Newcastle 1 (Aggregate 0-1)
BATE Borisov 1 Fenerbache 0 (Aggregate 1-0)
Inter Milan 3 Cluj 0 (Aggregate 5-0)
Levante 1 Olympiacos (Aggregate 4-0)
Dynamo Kiev 0 Bordeaux 1 (Aggregate 1-2)
Bayer Leverkusen 1 Benfica 2 (Aggregate 1-3)
Stuttgart 2 Genk 0 (Aggregate 3-1)
Atletico Madrid 1 Rubin Kazan 0 (Aggregate 1-2)
Basel 1 Dnipro 1 (Aggregate 3-1)
Anzhi Makhachkala 0 Hannover 96 1 (Aggregate 3-2)
Chelsea 1 Sparta Prague 1 (Aggregate 2-1)

Belgian winger Eden Hazard scored a great strike into the top corner of the net in the 90th minute to equalise on the night and give The Blues a 2-1 aggregate lead. 


Bullet: Hazard beats the goalkeeper with a high strike into the top corner to make it 1-1 on the night. 

Into the Last 16: Hazard wheels away to celebrate his goal to put Chelsea ahead on aggregate.
Borussia Monchengladbach 0 Lazio 2 (Aggregate 3-5)
Lyon 1 Tottenham Hotspur 1 (Aggregate 2-3)
Napoli 0 Viktoria Plzen 2 (Aggregate 0-5)


Last 16 Ties:

Steaua vs Chelsea 
Benfica vs Bordeaux
Anzhi Makhachkala vs Newcastle United
Tottenham Hotspur vs Inter Milan
Levante vs Rubin Kazan
Basel vs Zenit St. Petersburg
Stuttgart vs Lazio 
Viktoria Plzen vs Fenerbache

The Last 16 ties are all very interesting, including Tottenham vs Inter Milan where the Italian side will be revisiting the tapes from the Champions League tie against Spurs in 2010, where Bale ripped them apart... 
These ties are not easy at all, but Chelsea, Lazio and Zenit are all favourites. 

Blog post on the way soon!

Hello everyone! My next blog post will be a LIVE Coverage of the UEFA Europa League Last 32 2nd Leg Matches!
It will be published at 5.45pm (UK TIME)

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

My Thoughts #3 - Ronaldo vs Messi

Best in the world: Barcelona striker Lionel Messi or Real Madrid winger Cristiano Ronaldo?

Hello everyone, and welcome to another edition of "My Thoughts". Today, I will be analysising who I believe is the best player in the world out of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.
It has been the burning question over the past 4-5 years and the question has been raised again after Ronaldo's impressive showing against Manchester United in the Champions League on Wednesday night. 

So, who is better?

Well, after many comments on an online newspaper that I read, I felt that I had a moral obligation to defend my favourite Messi. This is not biased in any way, but look at these stats and decide:

Ronaldo - 12 club honours, 81 individual honours, 20 records
Messi - 21 club honours, 90 individual honours, 21 records

Everyone argues the fact that Ronaldo is a complete player, compared to Messi because Lionel cannot score goals using his head due to his small height.

Hang there: Ronaldo jumps high in the air to head the ball into the net against United. 

However, this is not true because he has scored many goals from headers and IS more consistent that Ronaldo's traditional much-awaited free-kick long shots because he scores more frequently.


Skip to 5:55 to see his superb free-kick.

People say that Messi cannot be regarded as the best ever player in the world because he has not won the World Cup with Argentina, and the only reason why he scores a lot of goals is because he has Sanchez, Xavi and Iniesta feeding him passes to score with. 

The reason why he has not won the World Cup is not just because most of his team-mates are not at the "Barca" level, it is because Spain are the best in the world and you cannot just expect Messi to carry Argentina as a "1-man team."

1-man team: Messi is not regarded as the best in the world ever because he has not won the World Cup yet.

Ronaldo has proved himself in two of the best and biggest leagues in the world, but unfortunately it is not feasible for Messi to come to the EPL because of the massive transfer fee (over £210million pounds) that will have to be paid plus the fact that Barcelona will NOT want to sell him.

One of the best: Ronaldo has 101 caps for Portugal, and has scored 38 goals. 

All in all, Ronaldo is one of the best players in the world and even one of the best to grace the world but even though he has proved himself in two leagues, Messi is superior to him and is the best in the world. 

Record-breaker: Barcelona forward Lionel Messi has won the Ballon D'Or 4 times in a ROW. 

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Arsenal vs Bayern Munich - Champions League Last 16 LIVE Commentary:



Interesting: Arsenal know that they will have to be on the top of their game to win.

Hello everyone, and welcome to my latest LIVE Commentary coming from this season's UEFA Champions League. 
Today is the first leg of the crunch match between Arsenal and Bayern Munich at The Emirates.
Bayern are unbeaten in 2013, and have not conceded a goal in over 400 minutes of play. 

Arsenal on the other hand were knocked out by Blackburn Rovers on Saturday afternoon in the FA Cup and this competition is the last chance for The Gunners to win some silverware or else their trophy drought will continue.

20:05:
20 minutes played at The Emirates, and Bayern Munich are leading by 1 goal to nil thanks to a wonder strike from 20 yards out thanks to German young midfielder Toni Kroos.

21: GOAL! 
Midfielder Thomas Muller has doubled Bayern's lead now! He was failed to be marked at the corner and Szczesny's first parry away was converted into the net by Van Buyten.

35: Arsenal are struggling to break down this tough Bayern defence, just have to pass the ball around to stem the flow of the match, and stop the German domination.

36: Something for the home fans to shout about, with Thomas Muller being brandished a yellow card after a deliberate handball near the halfway line despite his protests that it was accidental.
Tense first-half for the hosts.

44: Bayern probing for the finishing goal with a lovely cross into the box by right-back Phillip Lahm to striker Mario Mandzukic... he heads the ball towards goal.... JUST WIDE!!

Arsenal are let off there, and the defenders are not sticking tight to the Croatian...

45: The fourth official signals for 2 minutes of stoppage time to be added on at the end of the first-half.

45+1: Bayern are comfortable in possession now, passing the ball around the pitch with ease.

45+1: Good interception by Mikel Arteta, when it was needed. 

45+2: Wilshere does some rare defensive work to kill the threat of Ribery and Kroos before clearing the ball out. The referee blows his whistle, and the first-half is over.

20:38: Arsenal need to step up in the second half, and test Manuel Neuer. Their defence needs to be sharpened also after two poor goals that they conceded in the first-half.
If they are not careful, this could be a rout so Walcott, Cazorla and Wilshere ALL need to GET on the ball, play well and score soon or else they will have no chance for the return leg in Munich.

20:40: Bayern are comfortable at half-time, dominating the possession and passing without going past gear 3 at times. 
They will need to keep the pressure on the hosts to make sure that they do not get back into the match and Lahm should continue delivering crosses into the box because one time or another they will score.

One thing is for sure - Arsenal are not down and out of this tie yet.

Other:


FC Porto 0 Malaga 0 - HT

20:42: Second half to come NEXT.


20:48: The Arsenal players are already out of the dressing room, and are ready for the second half. 
The referee blows his whistle, and the second half from The Emirates has BEGUN.

45: Bayern starting the second half with purpose, as Manzukic has a run down the wing trying to deliver a ball into the box, but defender Laurent Koscielny covers him and makes a sliding tackle. The ball goes out for a corner.

46: The corner is cleared away, and Arsenal get the ball away to safety.

50: Podolski is applauded by the home fans after showing his physical side with a great sliding tackle to win possession for the hosts.

55: GOAL! Controversy leading up to the goal, but Arsenal will not mind one bit! Former Bayern Munich striker Lukas Podolski scores a scrappy header after Bayern fail to clear the corner, but the corner should not have even been given by the referee as Cazorla's shot deflected off Podolski before going behind the goal.

Either way, (like I said) Arsenal are suddenly back in the tie despite the controversy surrounding the goal. 

57: GOAL UPDATE:
FC Porto 1 Malaga 0

Midfielder Joao Moutinho has broken the deadlock for the hosts after 57 minutes of play in Portugal. Porto lead the Spanish side 1-0.

62: Bayern Munich SUB:
Franck Ribery OFF
Arjen Robben ON 

Fresh legs for the visitors, with former Chelsea winger Arjen Robben desperate to prove a point back in England again. He has not been starting regularly for Bayern over the past few weeks and a good 30 minute performance would impress his manager... Ribery has struggled to get into the match today, and is replaced as a result.

67: Bayern have a free-kick in a dangerous position now, thanks to Welsh midfielder Aaron Ramsey tangling with Thomas Muller near the 18-yard box.

He receives a yellow card, which is Arsenal's 5th of the night...
Midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger steps up to take the free-kick.... it swerves over the wall.. OVER THE BAR!!

68: Cameras show Tomas Rosicky and Olivier Giroud both warming up to come on.

69: Arsenal pressing the Bayern defence now, with both Wilshere and Podolski trying to weave some magic.... still 2-1 though with just over 20 minutes plus stoppages to play.

70: Here are the subs:
Arsenal SUBS:
Lukas Podolski OFF
Aaron Ramsey OFF
Tomas Rosicky ON
Olivier Giroud ON

Wise move by Arsene Wenger, because both Podolski and Ramsey have yellow cards.

73: CHANCE! Theo Walcott uses his sprint speed to get down the wing with pace and purpose before whipping a cross into the box for Giroud who hits the ball powerfully towards goal, but goalkeeper Manuel Neuer parries it out.

74: Bayern Munich SUB:
Toni Kroos OFF
Luiz Gustavo ON

78: GOAL! Bayern have killed off this tie! Whether the goal is lucky or not, the visitors will take it nonetheless.

Robben plays a nice overlap play with Lahm, who crosses the ball low across the box. Croatian striker Mandzukic connects with the ball despite pressure from right-back Sagna, and deflects the looping ball over Szczesny's head into the back of the net. 

It looked as though it was going over the bar, but creeped underneath at the last second... 3-1 to Bayern. 

82: Bayern Munich SUB:
Mario Mandzukic OFF
Mario Gomez ON

Fresh legs for Bayern, less than 10 to go.

90: The fourth official has signalled for 3 minutes of stoppage time to be added on at the end of the second half at The Emirates. The hosts realise that they are not going to win this match now...

90+3: The referee has blown his whistle to end the match at The Emirates.

Bayern have a comfortable 3-1 lead over Arsenal, even though their goals were questionable and should not have gone in for a club like Arsenal.
Then again, Bayern showed their quality tonight without going into 4th gear and have a great chance of progressing into the Last 8. 
Arsenal meanwhile played much better in the first half, and were unlucky to concede the 3rd goal.

Thank you for reading my blog tonight. I appreciate your support from daily views and my followers and I will be back tomorrow with another edition of "My Thoughts" which features Ronaldo and Messi.


(MORE TO FOLLOW - AS THE NIGHT CONTINUES)

Monday, 18 February 2013

Manchester United vs Reading: FA Cup 5th Round Tie - LIVE Coverage

Hello and welcome to my latest blog installment everyone! Due to the fact that this week is half-term for me, expect a LOT of blog posts this week including Issue 3 of "My Thoughts" which features two of the best players in the world (Messi and Ronaldo).

Tomorrow will also be covered with UEFA Champions League action as Arsenal host German giants Bayern Munich, but my main focus tonight involves the last match in Round 5 of this season's FA Cup.

Manchester United host Reading at Old Trafford at 8pm, and Sir Alex Ferguson will take note from Arsene Wenger's woes on the weekend and make sure that he does not field an under-strength team despite Reading being 18th in the EPL at the moment...

Quarter-Final Draw:

Oldham Athletic/Everton vs Wigan Athletic 
Manchester City vs Barnsley
Manchester United/Reading vs Middlesborough/Chelsea
Millwall vs Blackburn Rovers

Ties to be played the weekend of March 9th and 10th.

Interesting draw there, with Everton and Manchester City both the favourites to move into the semi-finals with a comfortable win. Manchester United and Chelsea are both expected to win their respective 5th Round ties and will conjure up a mouthwatering all EPL-tie in the quarters. 

19:45: 15 minutes until kick-off at Old Trafford, with the team line-ups being officially confirmed for this 5th Round tie. 

Manchester United: De Gea, Smalling, Jones, Vidic, Buttner, Valencia, Anderson, Cleverley, Young, Welbeck, Hernandez. 

Subs: Lindegaard, Ferdinand, Giggs, Nani, Carrick, van Persie, Kagawa. 

Strong United squad, with Jones and Vidic both defensive rocks. Smalling returns to the squad, along with left-back Buttner and Mexican "super sub" Javier Hernandez. 
van Persie and Kagawa are among the subs on the United bench just in-case... 

Reading: Federici, Kelly, Shorey, Mariappa, Morrison, Karacan, Leigtertwood, McAnuff, McCleary, Hunt, Le Fondre.

Subs: Andersen, Gunter, Pearce, Carrico, Robson-Kanu, Pogrebnyak.

Pogrebnyak has to start the match from the bench as life-long United fan and "super sub" Adam Le Fondre starts up top along with Noel Hunt for The Royals in a 4-4-2 formation. They need to get comfortable and make sure that they defend well if they are to get a result away from home at "The Theatre of Dreams" tonight. 

Referee: Andre Marriner

20:23: 23 minutes played at Old Trafford, and even though it feels like it is an EPL match, United should be 2-0 up. 
Valencia should have scored in the first 3 minutes but his finishing ability failed him after Welbeck's shot was parried away by Adam Federici.

Manchester United pressed Reading for the opener, with England midfielder Tom Cleverley having a 25-yard drive parried away by Federici before the ball fell straight into the path of Ashley Young from 7 yards out who failed to break the deadlock after having his effort tipped past the post.

26: Reading striker Noel Hunt is jogging off the pitch in frustration, because he has to receive some more treatment after his 50/50 collision with Manchester United defender Nemanja Vidic ended with him having a head cut.

30: Reading trying to pressurise the hosts, but every time Jobi McAnuff goes down the wing with pace and purpose, his probing cross into the box finds no-one, because all of the Reading players are stuck in their own half.

37: Young rising English defender Phil Jones is down on the floor in agony after a 50/50 challenge with Jobi McAnuff near the touchline. It seems as though he has twisted his knee and he is limping off the pitch.

40: Nani is taking off his big Manchester United coat, and is receiving instructions from the assistant coach. 

42: Phil Jones limps down into the tunnel in anger at the fact that his match is prematurely ending.
Manchester United substitution:
Phil Jones (injury) OFF
Nani ON

Sir Alex Ferguson is shifting Antonio Valencia to right-back now and Nani moves into right-midfield.

45: The fourth official has signalled for 4 minutes of stoppage time to be added on at the end of the first-half at Old Trafford. 

45+4: The referee Andre Marriner blows his whistle to end the first-half action at Old Trafford tonight. It has been an interesting first-half for both sides, with Reading the happier of the two sides because they are lucky not to be 2 or 3-0 down. 

United are desperate to progress into the Quarter-Finals, and the team-talk will be essential to how they perform in the second half, and I doubt that there will not be any goals in this match. 

90: FULL-TIME SCORE:

Manchester United 2 Reading 1 

What did I say? I said that there would be goals in the second half didn't I?!?! And guess what?
United eventually prevailed 2-1 thanks to goals from Nani in the 69th minute and Javier Hernandez in the 72nd minute (header from Nani's cross).

Reading pressed the hosts for a goal and eventually got it in the 80th minute thanks to winger Jobi McAnuff, but their late challenge was too late for the visitors as United held strong and progress to the Quarter-Finals against either Chelsea or Middlesborough.