carling cup manu Vs Tottenham

March 1, 2009 at 2:08 pm (sports) (, , )

As Tottenham look to defend their Carling Cup trophy against Manchester United, Kelvin Leong focuses on the key areas.

Watch SC’s Carling Cup Preview – Man United

Watch SC’s Carling Cup Preview – Tottenham

The first English domestic silverware is up for grabs this weekend when the Red Devils take on the Lilywhites.

A tight affair can be expected and it will take a little bit of brilliance to unlock the game.

Didier Zokora vs Ryan Giggs

Sir Alex Ferguson will throw in the experienced Giggs to give his youngsters a little stability and direction. It will be up to Zokora to ensure that the Welsh wizard does not have as much time on the ball as he would like. If Giggs is allowed to dictate the pace of the game from the middle, Spurs will be in for a long night.

Jonathan Woodgate vs Carlos Tevez

The hardworking Argentine forward will be a tough customer for Woodgate who must stay vigilant throughout the game. Any lapse in concentration will see Tevez through on goal with only the far from impressive Huerelho Gomes to beat.

The England defender needs to have Tevez infront of him at all times while not staying too close to him.

One quick twist of his body and Tevez’s trickery on the ball will have Woodgate trailing in his wake..

Luka Modric vs Anderson

Anderon has signaled his intention to make the final and if he does so, Modric will be within his patrol.

The Croatian playmaker is starting to get used to the English style of play and his swift passes down the middle will be Tottenham’s most potent attacking option.

The Brazilian midfielder will probably have to man-mark Modric and alter his attacking-minded style of play.

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Liverpool wins Real Madrid 1-0

February 26, 2009 at 2:54 am (sports) (, , , , )

Liverpool took a significant step towards the Champions League quarter-finals with a 1-0 win over Real Madrid.

The Spanish side headed into the last-16 clash as La Liga’s form team but a typically efficient Liverpool performance saw Rafael Benitez’s side return home with a lead – and a vital away goal – to take into the second leg at Anfield.

Yossi Benayoun headed home Fabio Aurelio’s 82nd-minute free-kick to earn a clinical Liverpool victory.

Liverpool also went close through Fernando Torres and Xabi Alonso, who were both denied by fine saves from Iker Casillas, while Madrid’s best effort was an Arjen Robben piledriver that Jose Reina tipped over.

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Manu Vs Inter Milan

February 24, 2009 at 7:48 am (sports) (, , , , , , )

Internazionale host reigning European champions Manchester United in the last 16 of the Champions League.espnstar.com looks at the two great rivals in charge of the clubs.
Sir Alex Ferguson made his mark as a manager at Aberdeen, where he won three league titles and four Scottish Cups as well as the European Cup Winners’ Cup and Super Cup in an eight-year spell.A move to Old Trafford followed where the Scot initially struggled, but he has gone on to win 10 league titles, five FA Cups and two League Cups with another Carling Cup final on Sunday.The Scot has also led the Red Devils to two Champions League titles.In January 2002 Mourinho joined Porto who overcame their poor start to finish third. In Mourinho’s first full season in charge, Porto won the treble of domestic league and cup, and UEFA Cup.Having defended their Portuguese league title, Porto won the 2004 Champions League.Mourinho moved to Chelsea and in his first season guided the Blues to the Premier League and Carling Cup.
Chelsea successfully defended their title in 2006 and in the following season they claimed the FA Cup and Carling Cup but in September he left Stamford Bridge. He never guided the Blues further than the Champions League semi-finals.United are seven points clear at the top of the Premier League and seemingly on the brink of another league title.The Red Devils have not been beaten since they went down to Arsenal in the league on November 8, a run which takes in 27 games in all competitions.
United topped their qualification group and were unbeaten but they never hit the heights, winning two and drawing four of their games.However, since then the Old Trafford side have been relentless, as proficient in grinding out 1-0 wins as entertaining in style.

Inter are at the top of Serie A, nine points ahead of Juventus in second and are unbeaten at home.
They only just qualified for the knockout stage, finishing second one point ahead of Werder Bremen and two behind Panathinaikos.The less-than-flamboyant style Mourinho employs may be bringing results but he has not been universally welcomed by Inter’s fans.
Ferguson has a less than successful record against Mourinho with the Portuguese having lost only once in 10 previous meetings while in charge of Chelsea.Mourinho really came to prominence in England when he raced down the touchline under the steely glare of his United counterpart when Porto knocked the Red Devils out of the Champions League at Old Trafford in 2004.Mourinho found himself in trouble numerous times while in England both with UEFA and the Premier League and the pair are both outpoken.They enjoyed a number of off-field spats. Mourinho was convinced no penalties were given against United at Old Trafford and none for his side, something Ferguson described as a “personal crusade”, and he also believed United were given favourable fixtures after European games.Ferguson reacted furiously when Mourinho described Cristiano Ronaldo as having had a “difficult childhood…no education”.

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Ronaldo urges his teammates to kill

February 24, 2009 at 7:45 am (sports) (, , , , , )

ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo has urged his Manchester United team-mates to play to their instincts and “kill” the opposition.The Red Devils’ wing wizard has also declared that his side will cripple Internazionale at the San Siro, and ensure that Jose Mourinho’s men will exit from the competition in a fortnight.”We have a more experienced team and are the reigning champions,” said Ronaldo. “It’s time to kill or be killed. Whoever loses will exit thecompetition – and we don’t want to lose.””It will be a difficult game but I think Manchester United have a better team,” continued the Portuguese superstar. “They’re a team with very experienced players but we also have our aces and great players.””It will be a good game, a well-contested game, and the better team will triumph,” concluded Ron. “I have won the Champions League and want to repeat that very soon.”The winger also expects to be heavily marked by the reigning Serie A champions in their Champions League second-round, first-leg clash.Sir Alex Ferguson believes that his player have the mettle to stand up to the physical test.”When we came here two years ago and played AC Milan in the semi-final, we saw the immaturity of the boy. But he is a different player now,” said Ferguson. “I want to see maturity from Ronaldo and everyone else because of the atmosphere and the competition.”Sir Alex is hopeful Jonny Evans and John O’Shea can recover from their injuries to start.

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Liverpool drew with Manchester city

February 23, 2009 at 5:26 am (sports) (, , , , )

Liverpool’s title dreams appear all but over after they were held at home by Mark Hughes’ Manchester City at Anfield.

Hughes finally saw his expensive side produce a display of substance after an erratic season, and it did a big favour for his former employers Manchester United.

United will have relished this performance by their neighbours, which could have given the crown to the Old Trafford club.

Liverpool started the game eight points behind the champions, and this one point leaves them a seemingly impossible mountain to climb with just 12 games left.

City took the lead early in the second half through former Liverpool forward Craig Bellamy, which left Liverpool with an increasingly desperate fight on their hands.

Eventually Dirk Kuyt scored his ninth goal of the season to save the club’s 14-month unbeaten home league record, but as Anfield emptied at the end, the muted response of their fans said it all.

Liverpool made four changes from the side that won at Portsmouth last time out.

There was still no Steven Gerrard with his hamstring injury, while Lucas, back from suspension, Fernando Torres, Dirk Kuyt and Albert Riera returned to the starting line-up in place of Ryan Babel, David Ngog, Fabio Aurelio and Daniel Agger.

City made one enforced change from the side that drew 2-2 at FC Copenhagen in the UEFA Cup on Thursday, Nigel de Jong replacing the suspended Shaun Wright-Phillips.

City’s defensive frailties shown in Denmark were far from evident in this Barclays Premier League clash.

Despite being under plenty of early pressure, Shay Given was rarely called into action.

Riera headed wide from an Alvaro Arbeloa cross, under intense pressure from Micah Richards. Then Jamie Carragher’s long ball down the right was touched on by Yossi Benayoun for Torres to fire wide first time.

Kuyt was next away on the right, with Richard Dunne clearing the near post cross from Riera’s toes, while both Lucas and Yossi Benayoun failed to connect with crosses.

The pressure mounted and Kuyt drove wide after being set up by Torres before Richards then chested away a Riera hook in the six-yard box.

City had weathered Liverpool’s early fire and eased their way into the game. They should have scored after 30 minutes when Andrea Dossena lost possession and the ball was switched immediately to Robinho.

The little Brazilian had been very quiet in the early stages, but he jinked inside to lay a pass invitingly into Stephen Ireland’s stride.

The Irishman had a free run at Jose Reina, but the Spanish keeper blocked the first shot, with Ireland firing the rebound into the side netting.

Torres set up Riera and Benayoun, both chances flying wide before Kuyt missed with a far-post header to end a frustrating half for Liverpool.

Four minutes into the second period, City were ahead. Robinho fed the ball into the box for Vincent Kompany to turn it into the path of Craig Bellamy.

And the former Liverpool forward struck a 49th-minute shot from the corner of the penalty area that flicked off Arbeloa, but the effort was clearly on target and flew past Reina into the far corner.

This was the fourth time this season that Bellamy has scored against a former club, having netted for West Ham against Newcastle and Blackburn, and for City also against Newcastle.

Ireland had an effort disallowed for offside, Liverpool leaving gaps now as they went forward looking for an equaliser.

Kompany was booked for a high challenge on Martin Skrtel, with Liverpool having brought on young winger Nabil El Zhar for Riera, with the Moroccan soon booked for a foul on Pablo Zabaleta.

City, who had gradually grown into this game, started to look like a team which has had #120million spent on it in under a year.

They flowed forward, looked fierce and committed, while Liverpool lacked the leadership of Gerrard.

But the Reds responded with fight of their own. After 78 minutes Benayoun got away on the left and drove in a cross that Torres missed in the six-yard box, allowing Kuyt to force home the equaliser.

Kuyt them forced his way past countryman De Jong, and cracked in a fierce 25-yarder that Given beat away. Given’s next save, a close range block from Benayoun, was even better.

But when Benayoun hurled himself at the rebound, the ball looked to hit Dunne’s arm as it deflected away.

Liverpool had Aurelio and Babel on for Dossena and Mascherano by now, a point just not good enough. Kuyt spun to fire across goal and a foot wide.

City then took off Robinho and sent on Felipe Caicedo up front for the final minutes as Liverpool searched in vain for a leveller.

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