The end of the Champions League is almost upon us and there are four teams battling for the title. Reigning champions Bayern Munich traveled to Madrid to face Real Madrid. Immediately after the whistle blew there was non-stop action. Karim Benzema scored the opening goal for Real in the 19th minute. Surprisingly, that was the only goal of the game and Real Madrid won 1-0. Meanwhile, Chelsea played Atletico Madrid. The game was pretty exciting, but when the full time whistle blew the game was tied at 0-0. The first legs are over, but who can predict what will happen in the second legs.
Here is a brief recap of match day 32’s Premier League action. Title contenders Chelsea were looking for a win over Sunderland to put them 2 points behind Liverpool in first. It looked that way when Sameul Eto’o opened the scoring in the twelfth minute, but Sunderland equalized in the 18th minute. Surprisingly, there wasn’t another goal until Fabio Borini scored a penalty to snatch the three points and break Jose Mourinho’s record winning streak at Stamford Bridge. Over at Villa Park Southampton faced relegation threatened Aston Villa. Well, there really isn’t whole lot say other than they tied 0-0. Tottenham Hotspurs dominated against Fulham and put them in grave danger of being relegated. The Hotspurs opened the scoring in the 35th minute, but Steve Sidwell equalized two minutes later. Then in the second half Tottenham netted two more. In the 77th minute Steve Sidwell missed a penalty and Tottenham secured the win. Cardiff who were looking to escape the relegation zone played 10th place Stoke City. In the 45th minute Marko Arnautovic scored a penalty. Then in the 51st minute Cardiff won a penalty which Peter Whittingham scored to tie the game up and snatch a point for Cardiff. Swansea, who are were only three points clear of the relegation zone, were looking for three points away from home against Newcastle United. It was going very well for the Swans when Shola Ameobi opened the scoring for Newcastle in the 23rd minute. Then just before halftime Wilfried Bony netted to tie the game at 1-1. Swansea had the momentum going into the second half and Wilfried Bony scored a penalty in stoppage time of the 90 minutes to secure a vital three points. Two middle of the table teams battled it out at Upton Park when West Ham United faced Tony Pulis’ Crystal Palace. The only goal of the game came when Mile Jedinak scored fromed the penalty spot. Arsenal destroyed Hull City away from home 3-0 with Lukas Podolski netting a brace and Aaron Ramsey scoring his first goal of 2014. Title contenders Liverpool traveled to Carrow Road to play relegation threatened Norwich City. The game looked like it would be an easy win for Liverpool when they were winning 2-0 at halftime, but Gary Hooper pulled Norwich back into the game when he scored in the 54th minute. Then Raheem Sterling scored his second of the match to make it 3-1 in the 62nd minute. Robert Snodgrass then pulled his team back in the game with a goal in the 77th minute, but Liverpool managed to hold on to the lead and the win put them 5 points clear of second place Chelsea with only three games remaining in the season. David Moyes who was struggling with Manchester United faced Everton who were fighting for a Champions League spot. The game was a disaster for Man U and they loss 2-0. That was the last straw and David Moyes was fired shortly after. On Monday Manchester City desperately needed three points against West Brom to stay in the title race. Lucky for them West Brom are near the relegation zone and were fairly easy opponents. They won 3-1 putting them 6 points behind Liverpool in first. That’s all for today, but make sure you look next weekend for more Premier League action.
Barcelona played Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey on Wednesday. The game was off to a great start for Real Madrid when Di Maria scored in the eleventh minute off one of their classic counter attacks. From then on Real seemed to dominate the game, but everything changed when Marc Bartra scored a header from a corner in the 68th minute. Then in the 85th minute Gareth Bale stormed down the left wing. Bartra tried to foul him, but Bale just kept on running. He ran and ran and ran. Finally, he poked the ball in between the Barca goalie’s legs to give Real the first trophy of the 2014 season.
Manchester City’s chances of winning the Premier League are getting smaller and smaller with the form they’ve had over the past two games. On Sunday they lost 2-3 in a thrilling match against Liverpool. Liverpool were winning 2-0 at halftime, but Man City tied it up in the second half. Then with twelve minutes on the clock Philippe Coutinho scored to make it 3-2. They also went hosted a game against last place Sunderland on Wednesday. Easy win, right? Nope. Sunderland had gone down in the first two minutes, but scored in the 73rd and 83rd minutes to put them ahead. Luckily, in the 88th minute Samir Nasri scored to tie it up and salvage a point for City. As the table stands Manchester City are 3rd in the table nine points behind first with a game in hand.
Tuesday and Wednesday was possibly the most exciting Champions League game days I have ever seen. PSG traveled to play Chelsea at Stamford Bridge for the second leg with a three to one lead on aggregate. Chelsea opened the scoring with an Andre Schürrle goal in the 32nd minute. PSG seemed like they would hold on, but in the 87th minute Demba Ba managed to score on the floor in a scramble for the ball. That goal put Chelsea ahead on aggregate because Chelsea had then scored more away goals. Now Chelsea will face Atletico Madrid in the semi-finals. Real Madrid (without Ronaldo) headed to Germany to face Dortmund with a 3-0 lead on aggregate. In the 17th minute Di Maria missed a penalty. Then shortly after Marco Reus scored to put Dortmund in the lead. To make matters worse Real let i another Marco Reus goal in the 37th minute. Strangely, Dortmund never did score another goal in the second half and Real won 3-2 on aggregate. Bayern Munich hosted Manchester United at the Allianz Arena for the second leg of the quarter finals. Man United who had tied Bayern in the first leg 1-1 were confident that they could pull off a huge win. There hopes looked possible when Patrice Evra scored in the 57th minute, but two minutes later Mario Mandzucich drew the game level. Then Man U’s hopes were dashed when Thomas Müller and Arjen Robben made it 3-1 (4-2 on aggregate) earning Bayern a spot in the semi finals. Over in Spain Barcelona played Atletico Madrid in a vital game. Atletico had tied Barca 1-1 in the first leg and were looking to move on to the semis. They rattled the post many times, but the only goal in the game came from a Koke volley in the 5th minute (game ended 2-1 on aggregate). Atletico Madrid are headed to the first semi finals in forty years. The semi finals will be played next week on Tuesday and Wednesday and make sure you watch for my post.
p.s. Sorry my post is a bit late. I’ve been playing in my own soccer games over the weekend and had practice on weekdays.
Yesterday Tottenham played against Sunderland. Tottenham thrashed the struggling side 5-1. Although Sunderland scored first they couldn’t play defence. Emmanuel Adebayor scored a brace and three other people scored to make it 5-1. The win put Tottenham in sixth two points ahead of Man U in seventh. Sunderland now only have two games in hand and their still in last. What made this game so controversial is not what happen in the game, but what happened after. Tim Shirwood resigned! The Tottenham coach was only there for five months. At the time Tottenham is looking for a new manager. Well that’s all for today’s Premier League action.
Right now in the EPL Liverpool sit first two points ahead of Chelsea in second. Man City sit in third with 70 points, but have two games in hand. The last Champions League spot is occupied by Arsenal, but with their recent loss to Everton who are in fifth,are now only one point ahead of them and they have played one more game. In sixth, Manchester United has 57 points. Tottenham who play today (if they win they will be in sixth), are only one point behind them and have a game in hand. At the bottom of the table Sunderland (25 points), Cardiff City (26 points) and Fulham (27 points) all are in the relegation zone. Although Sunderland are last they have played three less games than everyone else. So, as of today that is how the standings look for the EPL.