Goodbye Roberto. Thanks for bringing your sultry Italian looks and your beautiful football to the normally dull Chelsea side.
I am afraid 4 league games without a win and probably (but not definitely) being knocked out of Europe was too much for Roman Abramovich and his many Rubles.
So, what can we make of Di Matteo’s dismissal after last night’s 3-0 trouncing by the Old Lady Juventus? Well, harsh would be an understatement, despite their quite rocky recent form, Chelsea probably were playing the best football of any club in England this season. In fact, had it not been for some decidedly iffy calls against Manchester United a few weeks ago, they might still be sitting pretty at the top of the league.
What this does show us is the lack of faith the owner had in the former West Brom manager. Despite the fact that he won them their first European crown last season, one always got the feeling that the re-signing of Di Matteo was more due to the lack of other options as opposed to true faith in the manager. It is no secret that the Blues have been sniffing around former Barca boss Pep Gaurdiola for months and perhaps Roberto was always working on borrowed time.
So the question is, why fire him now? After all, Gaurdiola has stated on numerous occasions that he wants to take a year off to “find himself” in New York City – the reason they weren’t able to nab him in the summer. If you plan on waiting for him (which seems to be the general consensus), is it really wise to bring an interim manager in now? What is this person – likely to be Rafa “facts” Benitez – going to be able to do in less than a season? Who would want this job knowing that Senor Pep is waiting to take your place next year? And is there really anyone better out there? (Sorry Rafa)
Since Chelsea were victorious over Bayern Munich at the UEFA Champions League final over the weekend, there has been a lot of speculation over the future of Didier Drogba who scored an equaliser goal in normal time during the match and the winning penalty for the cup.
First, reports in France on Monday suggested that the 34-year-old was leaving the club, only to have his representatives deny the news. Now, both Chelsea and Drogba himself have announced that he will indeed be leaving when his contract comes to an end next month.
“I wanted to put an end to all the speculation and confirm that I am leaving Chelsea,” Drogba told the club’s official website.
Drogba also wrote that…
“It has been a very difficult decision for me to make and I am very proud of what we have achieved but the time is right for a new challenge for me.
Watch Barcelona’s Lionel Messi in action as he scored five goals against Bayer Leverkusen on Wednesday. Messi made history by becoming the first player to score five goals in a Champion’s League game.
Watch the highlights and goals in the video below:
Robin Van Persie insists that he has no regrets as Arsenal exit the Champions League after a defeat by AC Milan on Tuesday.
The Arsenal captain was presented with a brilliant opportunity in the second half of the match with his side leading 3-0, however the Dutchman chose to try and lift the ball over Milan keeper Christian Abbiati seeing his weak shot saved.
The save proved to be vital as Arsene Wenger’s side failed to find the net throughout the second half, bowing out of the competition with the Italian side winning 4-3 on aggregate.
Van Persie said, “The way I saw it is that he [Abbiati] came quite close to me so there wasn’t the option to pass it left or right of him. I had to go for the chip. I still have to look back, but that is how I felt and that is why I chipped it.”
Although understandably disappointed, the striker remained optimistic after his side’s courageous performance. He said, “I think everyone was proud tonight – the fans, the players and everyone who watched this game was thrilled to watch it. Everyone enjoyed it.”
Every week, football fans pass each other in the office hallways, gather on the factory floor and around the water coolers at gym. We discuss the games to come, the potential outcomes and how those results will determine the fates and fortunes of our favourite clubs and players. That’s what makes the UEFA Champions League Final the immensely magnetic event that it is.
There are NO more league games left. No more bouts of football that offer log position changing results or reputation creating moments for the hungriest of players. All but one is done. One final battle that all fans will be focused on, and if the club you support isn’t involved in this massive spectacle, then you’re inevitably picking a side.
Saturday, 28th May 2011. Not only is it the biggest annual club match in the world, but this years final also sported two of the biggest clubs in the world. Both sides last featured in a Champions League Final in 2009, when Barcelona claimed a comfortable 2-0 victory over Manchester United at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome.
In the red corner: Manchester United have sported a less convincing side this past season than what we’ve become accustomed to seeing, yet Fergie‘s men showed a top-shelf level of discipline and consistency that overshadowed teams that seemed bigger challengers on paper. This proved to be key in their haul of a record 19th Premier League title and their climb to the Champions League final.
In the blue corner: FC Barcelona have had a tremendous 2010-2011 La Liga campaign, not only winning the Spanish league for the 3rd consecutive season, but beating Jose Mourinho’s superstar-studded Real Madrid side in what was a two horse race for the title.
Manchester United will face Barcelona in the finals of the Champions League competition at Wembley after they ravaged Schalke 4 – 1 (aggregate 6 – 1) last night in the second leg semi-final at Old Trafford.
First-half goals from Antonio Valencia and Darron Gibson ensured there was no way back for Schalke, who were already two goals down from the first leg, and a late double from Anderson completed a handsome victory.
For Gibson in particular it represented a fitting riposte to the critics who forced him off Twitter last week after spending barely two hours exposed to a demanding public.
And Ferguson got exactly what he wanted too, namely the chance of revenge over Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola, who was watching from the stands, for that one-sided encounter in Rome.
Real Madrid were dumped out of the Champions League by their bitter rivals Barcelona last night after an aggregate score of 3 – 1, but both games were overshadowed by the behaviour of fans, players and club officials.
Boss Mourinho was sent off in the first leg for disputing a red card and is also in trouble for later comments.
“To talk like that has been harmful for Real Madrid,” Calderon told BBC Sport.
A bad-tempered first-leg match erupted at half-time when there was a fracas on the touchline as the players were leaving the field, which resulted in Real reserve-keeper Pinto being shown a red card.