Tag Archives: Cesc Fabregas

A fool's guide to an unpredictable weekend across Europe (except for Spain)

By Jonathan Gold

Manchester United’s completely unpredictable 1-0 win over Liverpool – sorry Kevin – and Spurs’ similarly shocking triumph over mighty Charlton were FA Cup fixtures reminding us of how dire the competition can be, but there were a couple of real surprises this weekend in the oldest cup tournament in the world.

Arsenal 1 – 1 Leeds United

While it’s not, you know, outside the realm of possibility for Arsenal to be stumped by lower-level opposition who outwork it and close down aggressively, the Gunners have been on a roll of late, after an important win over Chelsea and a disappointing draw with Manchester City that they nonetheless dominated utterly. However, Leeds led for much of the second half and were denied the win only by a very late penalty from Fabregas.

Manchester City 2 – 2 Leicester City

Anytime the lower-league club pulls it out over a top-flight competitor – particularly one whose team cost approximately 963 times more than the opposition – it’s fun to watch. And, somewhat surprisingly for a game involving Manchester City, it actually was a good one to watch, as Leicester leapt on City’s pallid defense, scoring in the first minute and pulling level again midway through the second half. For a team full of wildly expensive defenders and defensive midfielders, City really was shocking at the back and could easily have lost.

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Black Cats Claw Points From Gunners

By Ryan Fleming

Sunderland striker Darren Bent scored the equalizer in the 95th minute against Arsenal on Saturday.

When Darren Bent rifled the game-tying goal past Arsenal goalkeeper, Manuel Almunia, on Saturday, Sunderland sent a statement to the league – we’re here to fight, so be prepared.

The Black Cats, which have only lost twice at the Stadium of Light in the last nine months, pulled off another upset in this new season, frustrating the Gunners and manager, Arsene Wenger, out of two all-important points. Following the second-half sendoff of Alex Song, 10 minutes after the break, the Gunners were totally outplayed and outworked.

Despite their 1-0 lead, the North London side scored on a fluke, once-in-a-lifetime sort of play. Sunderland defender Anton Ferdinand’s clearance was blocked by Cesc Fabregas, which drifted over goalkeeper Simon Mignolet and into the net.
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La Liga Preview: Mourinho leading Real

Jose Mourinho took over as manager of Real Madrid days after leading Inter Milan to victor in the Champions League final. The questions of whether or not anyone can be Barcelona and whether or not Mourinho can win anywhere will be answered about nine months from now. (Photo Courtesy: APasciuto)

By Joe Meloni

Visions of Spain captain Iker Casillas proudly brandishing the nation’s first-ever World Cup trophy two months ago are still fresh in the mind of soccer fans around the globe. Surrounding him on the podium were his teammates, including the likes of Barcelona stars David Villa, Gerard Pique, Carles Puyol, Xavi and Andres Iniesta. While the group celebrated the championship together, it all ends once La Liga begins its season.

The stars of los Galacticos and the leaders of l’equip blaugrana don’t have much to celebrate together in most season. Last year, Barca edged out Real Madrid by three points and hopes to win the league for the third consecutive time.

There are, of course, other clubs in the league. But it always comes down Madrid and Barca when the season’s approaches its conclusion.

Unlike last season, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thierry Henry won’t be able to help Barca to the title. And Jose Mourinho will be calling the shots in the Spanish capital.
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What the Home Grown Player Rule Means for the Future of the English Premier League

By Cameron Dickinson

Since England’s disastrous World Cup campaign everyone has been coming out of the woodwork to bemoan the complete lack of young English talent coming through the ranks in the Premier League, particularly at the top clubs.

The second round would be all the nation could hope for such is the dearth of players available to Fabio Capello; indeed that would be a great achievement in 10 years time when the so-called ‘Golden Generation’ retires.

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Champions League Quarterfinals Draw In Perspective

By Kevin Koczwara

The next stage in Champions League play has been set today. Teams have been told who will face in the next round, and who their potential opponents could be.

This year’s quarter-finals and semi-finals have potential to be great match-ups. These next rounds could also become major coming out parties to the smaller clubs involved. With the likes of CSKA Moscow, Bordeaux and Lyon all making it further than expected.

So let’s break down each pairing and each route to the finals in Madrid.

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World Cup Preview Pt. 6: Group H

By Kevin Koczwara

This will be the final entry into what was suppose to be a four part series on the group stage of the World Cup, but it has turned into a drawn out 6 part series. After this post I will write up a quick post with all of my predictions for winners of the group stages and let anyone disagree with me.

For this final entry I will talk about Group H — the last group. This may be the easiest group to predict. Continue reading

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