Match Report and Extended Highlights: FC Barcelona 5-0 Real Madrid

30 11 2010
Barcelona's Lionel Messi was voted as man of t...

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Barcelona put on a masterclass of attacking football in their 5-0 drubbing of fierce rivals Real Madrid.

Journalists around the world ran out of superlatives for Pep Guardiola’s men, with some going as far as suggesting that his side is the best ever. It is hard to dispute this claim and it is made even more impressive as eight players in the side rose through the club’s academy ranks.

Andres Iniesta’s brilliant pass unlocked the Real Madrid defence which left Xavi free to give the Catalan club the lead in the 11th minute.

Pedro doubled the lead in the 18th minute, tapping in David Villa’s cross. The provider went on to become the next goalscorer in the 55th minute. The ex-Valencia striker was put through on goal by Lionel Messi’s (left) exquisite through ball and the pair combined again just three minutes later for Villa’s second and Barcelona’s fourth.

Substitute Jeffren completed the scoring in the 91st minute after converting fellow substitute Bojan’s cross past a helpless Iker Casillas.

A delighted Jeffren said after the match, “This was a match I will never forget. I had no idea that I was going to score a goal. I think everything went very well.

“This team has entered history tonight.”

His sentiments were echoed by Sergio Busquets. “It is a day for our history, and the end result is because of the high level that we have played at,” the Spaniard told AS. “It was a very complete match for all my team-mates.

“It is impossible to highlight one player, as all 11 were great. We have formed a style of football that is compact, and this makes it harder for teams to beat us.

“It is also a dream to have so many team players on our side.”

In the final minutes of Jose Mourinho’s worst ever defeat, Sergio Ramos was sent off for scything down Lionel Messi before pushing fellow Spanish World Cup winner Carles Puyol to the ground. The referee was left with no option and had to dismiss him.

After the game, Xavi said of the incident, “Sergio did not apologise, but this is normal. The feelings of anger and helplessness are understandable. [Our] Superiority should bother them.”

Even the Madrid-based newspaper Marca declared that Barcelona is the ‘best team of the century’.

Mark Jepson

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Goal of the Season Contender: (Matty Burrows) Glentoran 1-0 Portadown

18 11 2010

We can only imagine how much coverage this goal would have received if it was scored by Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo. Nonetheless, great goals need to be celebrated and what’s more, this goal was scored in the 92nd minute! Better late than never.

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16/09/2010 – Thursday’s Paper Round-Up

16 09 2010

Manchester United are tracking Sporting Lisbon’s 20-year-old forward Wilson Eduardo, currently on loan at Portugal’s newly promoted side Beira-Mar.

United are also lining up a move for Tottenham’s Wilson Palacios, with Red Devils manager Sir Alex Ferguson seeking a defensive midfielder in the continued absence of the injured Owen Hargreaves.

Tottenham are monitoring the £5m-rated Hoffenheim striker Peniel Mlapa. The Togo-born 19-year-old has been dubbed the new Emmanuel Adebayor.

Chelsea could make a move for Malaga striker Juanmi, despite the 18-year-old having recently signed a new five-year deal at the Spanish club.

Arsenal are plotting a raid on German club Schalke for goalkeeper Manuel Neuer and defender Benedikt Howedes.

[picapp align=”left” wrap=”true” link=”term=marko+marin&iid=9551175″ src=”″ width=”234″ height=”338″ /] The Gunners have joined Manchester United in tracking Werder Bremen winger Marko Marin (left).

Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson is planning a January move for Romanian side Cluj’s 20-year-old Ivorian striker Lacina Traore.

The Anfield club are also preparing a new bid for Bayern Munich striker Mario Gomez after the German side blocked a loan deal in the summer.

Everton striker James Vaughan, on loan at Crystal Palace for three months, wants to continue at Selhurst Park after scoring a hat-trick against Portsmouth on Wednesday. “I definitely want to stay, it is a great club and I am enjoying it,” said the 22-year-old.

Manchester City assistant manager Brian Kidd has dismissed reports that Mario Balotelli will be out of action until the end of November following knee surgery.

Manchester United winger Antonio Valencia will be sidelined for six months following the horrific ankle injury he suffered against Rangers on Tuesday.

Former Manchester United forward Alan Smith has given his support to Valencia, having experienced a similar injury in 2006 that ruled him out of the sport for eight months. Smith, now at Newcastle, said: “There’s no getting away from the fact it is a hard road back from an injury like that but with determination, you can do it.”

Barcelona and Argentina superstar Lionel Messi arrived at London’s Hackney Marshes by helicopter yesterday to play against an amateur team as part of a publicity stunt but was unable to even put his boots on after being whisked away amid security fears.

Steve McClaren’s job as Wolfsburg boss is safe for the time being, despite his side losing the first three games. The ex-England manager received a vote of confidence and the German club’s managing director Dieter Hoeness said: “I won’t get the hammer out and start smashing things. The situation isn’t critical.”

Manchester United striker Michael Owen has stoked up the rivalry with Liverpool ahead of the Old Trafford showdown on Sunday. When asked which Premier League fixture most excites him, the former fans’ favourite at Anfield said: “Probably the Manchester derby.”

[picapp align=”right” wrap=”true” link=”term=tuncay&iid=4109750″ src=”″ width=”234″ height=”349″ /] Stoke striker Tuncay (right) insists he wants to stay and fight for his place and dismissed any talk of a rift with manager Tony Pulis. The Turkish international, who left the Britannia Stadium before Monday’s match against Aston Villa after failing to make the bench, said: “I am an emotional person but for the gaffer it is very hard with his choices because he has so many options. This is my team and my job is here. It is only the weather I do not like here.”

Manchester City striker Carlos Tevez has copied manager Robert Mancini by chopping off his flowing locks. The Argentine has decided to go for a short trim as he attempts to lead City to glory this season.

Former Arsenal goalkeeper Jens Lehmann has been lambasted for criticising Werder Bremen’s goalkeeper. The ex-Germany international turned television pundit questioned Tim Wiese’s positioning as Tottenham opened the scoring in Tuesday’s 2-2 Champions League draw. Wiese responded by saying: “He [Lehmann] belongs in the Muppet Show, on the couch or in a mental institution.”

For full stories, head over to the BBC website.

15/09/2010 – Wednesday’s Paper Round-Up

15 09 2010

[picapp align=”left” wrap=”true” link=”term=mikel+arteta&iid=3206514″ src=”″ width=”234″ height=”333″ /] Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has earmarked Everton midfielder Mikel Arteta (left) as the man he wants to replace Cesc Fabregas – if the Arsenal captain moves to Barcelona in the future.

Fulham are bracing themselves for Arsenal to reignite their interest in keeper Mark Schwarzer in January by lining up a cut-price move for Crystal Palace’s Julian Speroni.

New Aston Villa boss Gerard Houllier looks set to make fitness coach Robert Duverne – who was involved in a heated training ground altercation with Manchester United’s Patrice Evra during France’s disastrous World Cup campaign this summer – his first signing at Villa Park.

Former Manchester United forward Giuseppe Rossi has ruled out a return to the Premier League, saying he wants to remain in Spain with Villarreal. The Italian was a reported target of Tottenham this summer.

Leicester have pulled the plug on a proposed £750,000 deal for Hull City centre-half Kamil Zayatte after problems with the Guinea international’s medical.

Ex-West Brom midfielder Enzo Maresca is eager for a return to England now he is a free agent following his release by Greek side Olympiakos.

Blackpool are plotting a January transfer window move for Portsmouth striker David Nugent after narrowly missing out on the former England international this summer.

Kilmarnock are set to snap up Portuguese striker Rui Miguel on a one-year deal. The former CSKA Sofia player has been training with the Rugby Park outfit.

Former France and Chelsea defender Marcel Desailly is being lined up to become the new manager of his native Ghana after Milovan Rajevac stepped down from the post.

Manchester City new boy David Silva has urged fans to to be patient with him as he adapts to the physical rigours of English football. “Physically, I am feeling better day by day,” said the Spanish winger, a £26m summer signing from Valencia. “I need to get a few more minutes on the pitch to get to optimum fitness levels and I am sure that will happen with so many games coming up.”

Silva’s City team-mate James Milner says the team must learn to win ugly if they are to push for a top-four finish in the Premier League this season. “It might take time for us to play our best football but hopefully we can get results while we’re getting to that stage and keep moving forward step by step,” said the midfielder.

City are to reopen talks with Shaun Wright-Phillips over a new £70,000-a-week contract. The England winger has two years left on his contract but initial negotiations broke down over the length of a new one.

Aston Villa have opened contract negotiations with England winger Ashley Young but the 25-year-old, a target of Tottenham during the summer, first wants to see how the club performs under new manager Gerard Houllier before being rushed into a new long-term deal.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has once again called for officials to protect his players after a tackle from Bolton’s Paul Robinson resulted in an injury to midfielder Abou Diaby, ruling him out of the Gunners’ Champions League game with Braga on Wednesday.

Reading keeper Mikkel Andersen wants to extend his loan at Bristol Rovers until the end of the season.

Mexican midfielder Efrain Juarez has likened his Celtic boss Neil Lennon to former Rangers midfield enforcer Rino Gattuso. “He was the same type of player as Rino Gattuso – strong committed. And that is how he asks us to play,” said Juarez.

Turkish football is in shock after the manager of Mersin Idman Yurdu, Yuksel Yesilova, was stabbed six times by his elder brother during the team’s match with Samsunspor in Turkey’s second tier. In his statement to the police, Yesilova’s assailant said “personal issues” were behind his actions.

Barcelona’s world player of the year Lionel Messi will be taken by helicopter to a mystery London football pitch to take part in a kids’ match as part of a competition organised by a football boot manufacturer on Wednesday.

For full stories, head over to the BBC website.

27/08/2010 – Friday Transfer Talk

27 08 2010

Manchester City’s Emmanuel Adebayor is determined to leave Eastlands before the end of the transfer window if an offer comes in for him.

[picapp align=”left” wrap=”true” link=”term=Klaas+Jan+Huntelaar&iid=9206032″ src=”″ width=”234″ height=”348″ /] Tottenham are in talks with AC Milan over bringing Dutch striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (left) to White Hart Lane on a season-long loan deal. The move will include the option to buy at the end of the spell, with the sum of £12m thought to be the asking price.

Newcastle and West Ham are keen on signing Tottenham striker Robbie Keane on loan before the transfer window shuts on Tuesday.

Liverpool and Newcastle will find out soon who has won the race to sign Marseille winger Hatem Ben Arfa. The 23-year-old has gone on strike at his French club in an effort to force through a move. German side Werder Bremen are also interested.

Fulham boss Mark Hughes is set to raid his former club Manchester City to sign striker Roque Santa Cruz and goalkeeper Shay Given.

Ajax goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg is not interested in leaving the Dutch side for Arsenal following their Champions League qualification.

West Ham are poised to make a move for Hamburg’s 29-year-old right-back Guy Demel.

Stoke and Portsmouth are lining up a swap deal with winger Liam Lawrence and striker Dave Kitson set to head for the south coast and Marc Wilson moving to Staffordshire.

Arsenal have made an inquiry for Lille goalkeeper Mickael Landreau – but have not given up on signing Fulham’s Mark Schwarzer.

AC Milan and Barcelona have agreed a deal to take striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic to the San Siro, according to reports in the Spanish media.

Scott Parker will sign a new five-year contract at West Ham – if he is still at Upton Park when the transfer window shuts. Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp has had an £8m offer for the midfielder turned down recently.

Suspicions that Manchester City might be stockpiling players in order to prevent them signing for rivals could lead to the Premier League reviving attempts to outlaw player loans.

New Manchester United striker Bebe, who manager Alex Ferguson paid £7.4m for without seeing him play, was not included in the club’s recent 16-man reserve squad to face Manchester City – and was this week taken out of a training match because he was ‘off the pace’.

[picapp align=”right” wrap=”true” link=”term=lionel+messi&iid=9532443″ src=”″ width=”234″ height=”272″ /] Barcelona forward Lionel Messi (right) wants Liverpool to be humane and let fellow Argentine Javier Mascherano leave Anfield for the Nou Camp.

Former Hull manager Phil Brown, who is currently out of work, has reiterated his desire to become England manager.

England manager Fabio Capello can forget about recalling Paul Scholes to the national squad. The veteran Manchester United midfielder has no intention of going back on his 2004 decision to retire from international football.

Wigan manager Roberto Martinez called Birmingham boss Alex McLeish “disrespectful” over his pursuit of Latics winger Charles N’Zogbia.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has reopened his feud with Stoke, accusing them of turning football into ‘rugby’.

Along with reacting angrily to the taunts of former Inter Milan boss Jose Mourinho – who said that Rafael Benitez was lucky to inherit such a good side – the club’s new manager has slammed a decision to allow television cameras into changing rooms at Serie A games, insisting it breaches a “priestly sanctuary”.

With the help of the legendary Pierluigi Collina, Uefa president Michel Platini has launched a new initiative that he claims will produce referees who are just as fit as footballers – and who will be able to provide a “99 to 100 per cent” guarantee of no more mistakes.

Former Manchester United and Aston Villa striker Dion Dublin has appeared at the Cambridge Rock Festival to promote his new musical invention. The Dube is a cube percussion instrument – a drum with knobs on – which comes in four sizes and can be customised in colour schemes and tones.

For full stories, head over to the BBC website.

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