18 May 2012

Stepping up into his Shoes

Ligue 1 champions have yet to be decided on Sunday, 20 May as Montpellier and PSG are still battling for the championship glory. The former is trying to make history by winning its first ever Ligue 1 trophy and they are on the brink of making it with only a draw in their final game this Sunday even if PSG will win in their own game as well. A loss by Montpellier will hand over the advantage to PSG by way of goal difference superiority.

While the domestic league has almost ended in most part of Europe, preparations for Euro 2012 are also in the fast track. And match results predictions has become a style in many sports and in football using live creatures or animals of all shapes rose to fame when Paul the Octopus correctly predicted seven of Germany’s World Cup matches in 2010. Then eventually became more famous when he made it 8-0 in a row when he chose Spain to win in the World Cup finals.

The Euro 2012, co-hosted by Ukraine and Poland, will start on 8 June and I have read in news that Kiev’s city government reveals its own psychic creature in the form of an oracle hog who reportedly knew the mysteries of football. There was no reported name yet for this psychic pig and has yet to prove his telepathic ability but authorities believe that the pig has a snout for football. This pig, who was born and raised in Ukraine, is bidding to step into the shoes of Paul in predicting results at the Euro 2012 tournament. And this porky tipster should deliver good results to avoid being chopped, as pork is a famous local cuisine staple.

NB: Image from wikimedia commons.

14 May 2012

City are the Champions

13 May is a big day for mothers around the world as many have celebrated the annual event to commemorate the work of the mothers. But in the football world, one football club celebrates Sunday by winning the 2012 Premier League title in probably the most dramatic and nerve breaking way. And you can even put and use all superlatives alike and it will fit as description of how the game ended. Manchester City won the EPL title in a stunning fashion and probably one of the greatest finishes in Premier League history.
Manchester City is champions of England beating city rivals United in a seemingly impossible and thrilling finale. And it did not come in an easy way in fact, at some point many (including myself) thought that it will become a historic collapse for Man City as they made a crucial mistake a few minutes after the second half has started. QPR leveled the game just three minutes into the second half and the once thought that City had one hand already on the championship trophy vanish into thin air putting them on the edge of darkness.

The incredible finish started when ManU scored their only goal after 20 minutes from kick-off, putting a bit pressure to Man City but Zabaleta responded just on time, six minutes before half time. Making the game practically over since ManU need to overhaul an 8 goal difference but when the second half started, a twist of event happened. City were stunned when QPR make it 1-1 at three minutes after the second half started then doubled it in the 66th minute. As if disaster struck the second time around for Man City and they now need two goals to claim their first title in 44 years.

After 90 minutes of playing time, Manchester City is still down 1-2 and as ManU and their fans started to celebrate then Man City delivered a big blow. The referee calls for five minutes of extra time, thanks to the sending off of Barton with his flagrant foul that causes another drama. And five minutes is just all they needed to turn things around in Man City’s favor. Man City tied the game in 92 minutes and hanging on a thin line of hope before the improbable became a reality. With just over a minute left, destiny happened and the championship race goes down to the very last minute of the season. Aguero fired the ball into the back of the net from a timely pass from Balotelli, sending the Etihad Stadium into raptures. And all that Manchester United can do is to watch in disbelief as Manchester City claimed as Champions in EPL.

NB: Image from Best Season in Premier League History.

13 May 2012

A Tribute to all Mothers

Nothing much to say today and I just wanna say Thank You to all mothers out there for all the time you have devoted in taking care of your husband and your children. The video below I found in Youtube is dedicated to all mother.

09 May 2012

The Title Race is not Over

The Qatari owned PSG stay afloat and move at the top for a day after a dramatic win at Valenciennes but Montpellier has reclaimed the lead a day later but the title race is not over yet since there are still two games left. A win by Montpellier and a loss by PSG on 13 May will automatically hand over the Ligue 1 title to the former.

PSG’s win last Wednesday at home to Saint-Etienne and a draw of Montpellier to Evian at home sparks a light of hope for PSG to possibly snatch the Ligue 1 title as the end of the season approaches. At the moment, both PSG and Montpellier are tied on points and goal difference but PSG has 7 more goal-scored than Montpellier. And if both finished with the same points and goal difference then PSG has more possibility of taking home the title.

Yet the title race is not contested by two teams only as third place Lille is knocking on its door with only 5 points adrift. Although it is just an outside chance of winning the title yet statistically they are still not out of the race as long as both PSG and Montpellier will lose their remaining two games or even a draw is enough to retain the championship title.

NB: Image from wikimedia commons.

08 May 2012

Within Sight of Title

Manchester United’s win at Swansea is not enough to deny city rivals Man City towards the path of capturing its first English championship since 1968. Yaya Toure has put Man City on course on the Premier League title with win at Newcastle even before Man United’s win. And the championship race goes down the wire to the last game of the season.

Leaders Man City is facing QPR at Etihad Stadium while Manchester United is visiting Sunderland at the same kick-off time on Sunday, 13 May. A win by both Manchester City and United will hand the championship title to Man City even they are level in points but the former has superior goal difference. All that ManU can do is to pray that Man City will lose if not then they have to score at least 8 goals and hope that their city rivals will have a draw with relegation threatened QPR. It is a tall order for United to overhaul an 8 goal difference going to the final match of the season. Compounded with the fact that Manchester City has yet to concede or taste defeat at home this season.

On the other hand, QPR needs at least a draw to stay in the Premier League even if Wigan and Bolton will win their last game and much more for Bolton. They are also facing a 9 goal difference if they want to stay at the top tier. I don’t want QPR to lose but they are facing the mighty Manchester City that never been defeated at Etihad Stadium this season.

NB: Image from wikimedia commons.

06 May 2012

Wasted Opportunity

I thought March and April were that only crucial month in European football but it just seems that the ball is round and you can’t expect the result of the match to go in favor of the strong team (at least to some).

The Manchester derby last 30 April was crucial to both sides because the win of Man City gave them back the top spot and if Man United won, it should stretched their lead to six points with two more games remaining. Although it is not the end of Man City’s hope to lift the Premier League championship trophy if they lose but it will give their city rivals a psychological advantage. Statistically Man United can still win but that is also very unlikely considering the recent form of play by Man City. But the catch is, Manchester City never been defeated at Etihad Stadium this season thus they prevail in the derby with a slim win. Yet it is enough to snatch the lead from Manchester United and takes the race into the final two games of the season before a champion can be decided.

Across in Italy, champions Milan wasted a golden opportunity to take control of Serie A as they succumb to the pressure when they met city rivals Inter. The loss was crucial for Milan as it became the deciding factor of who will win the Scudetto as Juve win in the other game. The win by Inter eventually handed Juve the title and keeping their hope for a Champions League spot next year.

It was another classic inter-city rivalry that decides who emerge at the top and wins the championship title. It all started with the famous El Clasico last 21 April when the Los Blancos stunned the Blaugrana’s right at their own turf at Camp Nou with another 2-1 slim win. And it was concluded two weeks later at San Mames, giving Real Madrid their 32nd La Liga title.

02 May 2012

Becoming a Sports Blog?

You might be wondering that this blog will turn into a sports blog or perhaps a football niche as I have been talking only football (majority of it) in the past two months. But NO, humble opinion by sirrob isn’t heading that way. It is just that March and April are crucial months in European football because it is where the champions are formed. It is the turning point whether you raise the trophy or go home empty handed and wait for another season to try once again.

There’s just so many things that happened in March and April that’s worthy of my attention and that I need to document them. Then comes May the crowning glory before the season ends.

We witnessed in March when the Great Wall collapsed, from Premier League, to La Liga, Serie A and Ligue 1. Although I am not following the French League but I was checking them form time to time only because of PSG. Other than that, I am already occupied in the first three leagues. Then the saga roll over the following month but only Real Madrid was able to hold on in the leaderboard while the rest, just crumble to the pressure.

The Los Blancos almost relinquish the La Liga top spot to arch rivals Barca but a gallant stand during the recent El Clasico, gave Mourinho his first win at Nou Camp. And it is like worth winning the La Liga. If Madrid wins tonight they are going to clinch their 32nd La Liga title. While AC Milan and PSG aren’t able to grab back the top spot and may have to finish the season as runners-up. But the Manchester derby last Monday has given Man City a glimpse of light and snatched the top spot from city rivals ManU but it's not over yet, there are still two more games to play.

NB: Image from wikimedia commons.

01 May 2012

Premier League Relegation takes center stage

The Premier League games last weekend were a battle of who will stay and who will be relegated at the end of the season. Though one thing is for sure, Wolverhampton was confirmed already of moving down to the second tier after their loss to Manchester City last week. And two more teams needed to complete the list but there are several teams who are fighting it out in order to avoid relegation. Five teams to be exact and anyone of them can go down the wire if they aren’t careful in their next games. And there are actually two more games left to play.

Aston Villa, Bolton and Wigan live for another day. While QPR and Blackburn are still not off the hook of being relegated as they lose again after a dramatic win last weekend against stronger teams. After a run of seven undefeated games, Newcastle finally succumbed to the might of Wigan who in their part beat the likes of Liverpool, Man U and Arsenal. Just over a month ago, they looked certain to be relegated but the inspired Wigan shreds Newcastle with a 4-0 win and positioned themselves three points clear of the three-team relegation zone.

Nonetheless, I am much concern of QPR’s result because they just had been promoted this season and was the number one in the Championship League. Although I am not a big fan of the Rangers but I have been following them time after time and I don’t want to see them going back in the second tier right after their promotion.