Tag Archives: FA Cup

Liverpool continues turnaround by beating Manchester United in derby

Dirk Kuyt works tirelessly for Liverpool and does whatever the club asks of him. His hard work paid off against Manchester United when he scored three goals, all from less than six-yards out, to secure Liverpool's win over its dreaded rivals. (Courtesy n.macca Flickr)

By Kevin Koczwara

Kenny Dalglish celebrated his 60th birthday on Friday, but the real party was put off until Sunday when ‘King Kenny’s’ men beat up on Sir Alex Ferguson’s team, 3-1. The win, a crowning achievement over Liverpool’s hated rivals, marked the high point thus far for the remarkable turn around under Dalglish.

Since his appointment, Dalglish has lead Liverpool to a 5-2-2 record in the league, wins over top-four teams Chelsea and Man United are the highlights of his time. The Scot brought faith back to the club, something that was sourly missing. His moves in the January transfer window reignited the team.

The purchase of Luis Suarez from Ajax could be the best buy of the year for any team. Suarez quickly adapted to the Premier League. His performances so far would put him in contention for EPL Player of the Year despite making so few appearances because of the January transfer. He’s a game changer, and he is just getting started.

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Upsets make Cup competitions worth it

By Ryan Fleming

It felt good. Really good. No, I’m not talking about an evening walk with someone far more attractive than I should be spending time with. Nor am I referring to getting a nonexistent raise or finding a real full-time job. What I’m gloating about is the FA Cup – all domestic cups for that matter.

Back in the good ol’ days Leeds United used to be the cream of the crop. Not just in England, but the world. Nowadays they are seemingly trapped in England’s Championship, continuing to fight, scratch and claw their way back up to supremacy, or at least a chance at it. This year could be the year that Leeds reach promotion to the EPL, currently fifth, good enough for the promotion playoff.

But now, unlike back in the 1970’s when things were simpler. Honestly, Leeds will never reach the glory or come close to the glory of their past. That goes for teams like Queen’s Park Rangers, Celtic, Rangers, Ajax, Benfica or even the basically unheard of Clubb Brugge (yes, they made it to a final). These are now the days of Barcelona, Real Madrid, Manchester United and Bayern Munich. This is not implying that these teams weren’t dominate before – they were – but now they stand above the rest even more.

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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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Treacy and LFC Boston Ask for Apology fom Alex Beam For His Remarks about Hillsborough and Liverpool

The Hillsborough Memorial remembers the 96 people who died on April 15, 1989 because of poor crowd control. (Courtesy Terry Robinson)

By Kevin Koczwara

The Hillsborough Disaster of 1989 is a touchy subject for Liverpool fans, as it should be, and just about anyone who watches or researches anything about the club should know this. The death of 96 people at a match is no laughing matter, and the Reds fans take any type of negative talk about the incident as a personal assault on them and the club.

So, when Alex Beam wrote his column for Tuesday’s edition of the Boston Globe, one would have thought he might have cracked into a few books and got a better understanding of what he was writing about. He may have misjudged how his words would be interrupted, and just how far the global reach of Liverpool fans is.

The backlash has been strong and towards Beam and the Boston Globe, and it started in the very city he is suppose to report on, Boston.

I was lucky enough to speak with Tim Treacy, Chairman of LFC Boston, a Liverpool fan club, about the comments in Beam’s Tuesday column.

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Hat Trick Helps Drogba Silence Critics

Chelsea forward Didier Drogba scored three goals against West Brom in the Blues' 6-0 win at Stamford Bridge on Saturday. (Photo Courtesy Lynchg)

By Joe Meloni

There were questions. Oh, were there questions about Didier Drogba’s health entering Saturday’s match with West Bromwich Albion. Following a summer of surgery to repair a broken arm before the World Cup and a second trip to the surgeon to mend a nagging hernia in late July, the fitness of the Ivorian striker changed every pundit’s opinion regarding Chelsea’s chances to defend its Premier League Crown.

Saturday afternoon, we got answers. Oh, did we get answers. Drogba netted three of Chelsea’s markers in its 6-0 laugher against West Brom. Demonstrating the skills responsible for his status as the best Premier League front runner since Thierry Henry, Drogba snuck a first-half free kick through the West Brom wall and past goalkeeper Scott Carson. In the second half, Drogba cleaned up a loose ball in front of the West Brom net with an emphatic left-footed strike before finishing his day with a right-sided blast from distance. Continue reading

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Chelsea Makes History But Wembley Makes the News

Courtesy John Dobbo Flickr

By Mark Duckworth of The National Game

Carlo Ancelotti may have made history on Saturday when his Chelsea side won their first ever league and cup double, but even as John Terry was lifting the coveted cup above his head, the famous pitch was taking criticism. And this time it was plain for all to see as ITV’s pitch camera showed a surface that was cut up and at best a bit bobbly, it’s just a good thing it didn’t spoil the game too much.

Never has there been so much pressure on two teams to deliver a final of decent quality, with the FA facing crisis on and off the field it was, left to the stars of Portsmouth and Chelsea to put on a show worthy of matching past finals. And as Frank Lampard tested the Wembley goal-frame and David James did his usual superman impression to deny Drogba, they looked like doing just that. But for the three times Chelsea cracked the bar and the countless saves and last ditch tackles Pompey made, the standard of the game was disappointing and as the second half mirrored into a boring blur of past finals, the attention turned to the Wembley surface that once again failed to deliver.

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Pompey Eye Cup Amid Relegation

By Mark Duckworth of The National Game

This Saturday will see the traditional end to the English League football season, when Chelsea take on Portsmouth in the FA Cup final. It will be the 129th final of the oldest domestic football cup which held its first final back in 1872 at the Kennington oval.

A lot has changed since 1872, but the excitement and tradition still haven’t gone away, and when Portsmouth and Chelsea walk out under the Wembley arch, the football world will be waiting with expectation.

Unfortunately for the FA Cup, it’s the unmet expectation that has damaged the famous competition over the years, especially with the last few finals, which have been of a poorer standard than some of its earlier rounds, and the increasingly popular Champions’ League.

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Football in England Overhauled?

By Kevin Koczwara

ESPN is reporting that this Thursday Premier League Chairmen and owners will meet to discuss an overhaul or reshaping of the Premier League. This meeting is being called to help cement the Premier League and English football as the best in the world. Some of the topics include:

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'09-10 Premier League Predictions

Kevin Koczwara is looking at the top competitors for the EPL trophy and picking a winner. His pick is sadly a team he hates. (Courtesy edwin.11 flickr)

Kevin Koczwara is looking at the top competitors for the EPL trophy and picking a winner. His pick is sadly a team he hates. (Courtesy edwin.11 flickr)

By Kevin Koczwara

Champions: Manchester United

I just can’t pick against two time defending champions. Manchester United just has too much depth. Their squad lost a world player of the year, but still have that champion’s swagger, Sir Alex Ferguson, and a bench full of players that could start at just about any club in the world.

The depth is what really seals this pick up for me. No matter how many stones I throw into wishing wells for Liverpool’s first league title in 19 years, I just can’t pick them to take over the top spot. United can play for the FA Cup, Carling Cup, the EPL and Champions League with strong squads for every match with a different starting 11, and not many clubs in the world (other exception being Barcelona) can boast about that.

Top Four: (1) Manchester United, (2) Liverpool, (3) Chelsea, (4) Arsenal

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