Saturday, April 22, 2017

Champions League semi-finals

The most prestigious competition in club football Champions League has reached the semi-final stage. Four big European clubs remain in the race for the trophy, among them is one club who has surprised a lot of football fans this season. Climbing their way up to the French Ligue-1 just a few years back from now, AS Monaco FC has shown great talent and willpower by reaching the semi-finals this season, already eliminating two big clubs from the competition in the playoffs so far. Manchester City and Borussia Dortmund were no matches for the Monegasques who scored a combined amount of six goals in the first and second legs against both teams. Scoring as many goals as Barcelona this season, Europe`s top scorers Monaco has shown us some very entertaining football throughout the season, and they should be considered as a serious contender for the Champions League title.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Monaco thump City in an epic comeback

The Champions league round of 16 was held in Nyon the 12th December last year. Finishing second in group C, Manchester City was to face one of the group winners. Pep Guardiola was surely very happy about the draw result. The Citizens would face the French club AS Monaco FC avoiding bigger clubs such as Barcelona and Juventus. With his experience of the European competitions, the expectations from Pep leading Manchester City to the Champions league glory this season were quite high. 

Monaco, on the other hand, had lots of ups and downs in the last 15 years from their last appearance in Champions league finals in the 2003-04 season. They got relegated to Ligue 2 six years later. The club's fortune changed when Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev bought the majority of the club in 2011. Just two years later, Monaco earned their promotion back to Ligue 1 with Claudio Ranieri as their new manager. In 2013, Monaco spent roughly £140 million on the transfer market to strengthen their squad (including the transfer of Radamel Falcao from Atletico). However, there were not many high expectations from the team due to their inconsistency and considering the amount of money pumped into Manchester City squad after they were bought by Abu Dhabi United Group in 2008.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Chelsea advance to FA cup semi-finals

The last remaining quarterfinal of the FA cup was played yesterday evening as Jose Mourinho`s Manchester United traveled to London, to face Conte`s Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. Both teams had been in a good form lately, Manchester United had not lost a league game since their last visit to Stamford Bridge on the 23rd October last year when Chelsea won the Red Devils 4-0, and Chelsea had lost just three league games throughout the whole season. 
N`golo Kan scored the only goal of the match to set Chelsea to the semis ©Getty Images

Monday, March 13, 2017

Sports culture in the Caribbean – The myth buster

West Indies Cricket Team, with the plethora of talent and the great fervour with which they played the game left fans and rivals alike in awe for the best part of two decades in the 20th century. Right from the era when they were given the Test status produced some brilliant cricketers. Even in the first ever Test series against England in 1928, West Indies had the likes of George Challenor, Freddie Martin, Herman Griffith and above all Learie Constantine. The earlier unofficial matches which the team played against the county teams and other unofficial tests from the 1890s certainly helped the game develop in the Caribbean.
While athletics and other sports have its own fan following, cricket holds a special place in hearts of the people.©Sky Sports 

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Camp Nou miracle sees Braca in quarters

The first four teams advancing to the Champions League quarter-finals have been confirmed, and the remaining four round of 16-fixtures will be played next week on Tuesday and Wednesday. Arsenal`s Champions League campaign ended once again at this stage of the competition in a humiliating way, as they lost 10-2 on aggregate to their rivals from Germany Bayern Munchen. The second fixture between these clubs looked promising for The Gunners as Theo Walcott scored for the London club in the first half, raising hope for Wenger's squad towards the second half. Only ten minutes in the second half Arsenal`s captain, French center-back Laurent Koscielny tackles Robert Lewandowski in the penalty area and receives a red card. Lewandowski does not waste the opportunity and scores from the penalty shot, tying the game. With the one man advantage on the pitch, Bayern Munchen dominates the second half, scoring five goals behind Arsenals goalkeeper David Ospina. Winning both the first and second leg 5-1, Bayern Munchen proves that they are still one of the best clubs in Europe, and rightfully take the first spot in the top 8 of this year's Champions League.