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Posts Tagged ‘robin van persie’

At the hands of the one and only Special One, Sir Alex Ferguson and his Red Army were defeated on their home soil. The first half was edgy and United looked the better side for most of the half with Mourinho’s men on their heels. As the first half came to a close, Madrid suffered a set back when Angel Di Maria went down injured and was unable to continue. Kaka was forced to come on for him and did not really provide much of anything for Madrid throughout the entire game. The loss of Angel’s ability to take advantage of the United defenders on the wings and his ability to cut into the middle would be sorely missed. Just ask Carles Puyol what he thinks about man marking Di Maria in the box. Di Maria made Puyol look like a complete fool with a nasty step over that resulted in a Madrid goal in El Classico.

The second half is where all the magic happened. It started with a Sergio Ramos own goal in the 48th minute. Just like the first leg, Madrid would see themselves working from behind (insert sexual joke here). Just like the first leg, Madrid would come roaring back. This time they received a little help from an unlikely source. Nani decided it would be a good idea to conduct a flying high kick (best watched to the tune of “everybody was kung fu fighting”) to Arbeloa’s ribs. To his surprise, Nani was not declared the undisputed lightweight champion of the world, instead he was shown a shiny red card and was instructed to kindly get the fuck off the pitch you stupid, stupid, boy. Just like that, the match was turned on its head and Madrid looked to capitalize on this wonderful opportunity. The Special One smelled the game was there for the taking and he subbed off Arbeloa and brought on Luka Modric. A change that turned out to be simply magnificent.

It did not take long at all for Luka Modric to reintroduce himself to the United faithful when he brilliantly struck a swerving ball off the side of the post and into the back of the net. It really was a magnificent strike that had me in awe. Madrid knew their job was not done just yet, they needed another goal to wrap up the victory and three minutes after Luka’s wunderstrike, a moment of brilliance from the Madrid players resulted in Cristiano Ronaldo sliding in to slot home the winner. The build up to the goal was what was truly remarkable. A lovely backheel from Ozil to set Higuain loose inside the box on the wing and Higuain drilled in a low cross across the face of goal for Ronaldo to cooly slide in and punch it home. Classy Ronaldo refused to celebrate his goal and simply basked in the glory of knowing he’s not only devilishly good looking, but his team just knocked off his former employer to advance to the next round of the Champions League.

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Newcastle, having just sold their best player and leading goal scorer – Andy Carroll – saw themselves trailing to Arsenal 4-0 at halftime. Fans were leaving the stadium 10 minutes into the match. I’m not sure if anyone can blame them for that, it only took Arsenal 2 minutes into the match to score 2 goals. Within 47 seconds of kick-off Walcott made it 1-0, and about 1 minute later Djourou headed in the 2nd. Just 7 minutes later Robin Van Persie put home the 3rd.

The 2nd half was a completely different story. Five minutes in Abou Diaby gets himself sent off for reacting to a Joey Barton tackle by grabbing Barton by the neck and shoving his head towards the ground. As soon as Diaby got sent off, the crowd got back into the game and the Newcastle players looked reenergized. Joey Barton converted a penalty kick in the 69th minute, and the crowd went berserk and the Newcastle players had belief. Six minutes later Leon Best put home Newcastle’s 2nd and now the crowd was really roaring and everyone watching started to believe something special was unfolding before their very eyes. Newcastle continued to create chance after chance leaving fans and spectators alike on the edge of their seat.

In the 83rd minute Newcastle won their second penalty of the half and Joey Barton stepped up to the plate once again and bravely brought his club within 1 goal of completing one of the most epic comebacks in sports history. Merely five minutes later, in the 88th minute, Cheikh Tiote struck a one-time volley from just outside the penalty box, and the sweetest goal you will ever see completed the sweetest comeback you will ever see. Words could not explain the scene after that strike hit the back of the net.

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June 19, 7:30am

Netherlands vs Japan

This should be a walk in the park for the Dutch. Their electrifying pace will be far too much to handle for the Japanese. I could sit here and make Japan look silly and continue singing the praises of the Dutch but I’ll spare you some time and just end this preview here.

Final Score: 4-0

Key players to watch:

Netherlands- Arjen Robben (midfielder, Bayern Munich), Robin Van Persie (forward, Arsenal), Dirk Kuyt (forward, Liverpool), Wesley Sneijder (midfielder, Inter Milan), Rafael Van der Vaart (midfielder, Real Madrid)
Japan- Shunsuke Nakamura (midfielder Yokohoma), Keisuke Honda (midfielder, CSKA Moscow), Yasuhito Endo (midfielder, Gamba Osaka), Keiji Tamada (forward, Nagoya Grampus), Shinji Okazaki (forward, Shimizu S-Pulse)

Ghana vs Australia 10:00am

Ghana will be without their star player Michael Essien during this world cup. The versatile midfielder injured his knee during the African Cup of Nations and has never recovered since. This is a massive blow for Ghana as Essien is a vital addition to this squad. It’s tough to say that the loss of one player could decide whether or not a team advances to the next stage, however, in this case it is true. Without Essien, I cannot envision the Ghanaians to get out of their group. They will battle Serbia for the 2nd spot behind Germany, and I believe without Essien, the door is open for the strong Serbians to advance to the next round. Anyway, that won’t matter here as with or without Essien I think Ghana still beats Australia. Sorry, mates.

Final score: 2-0

Key players to watch:

Ghana- Stephen Appiah (midfielder, Bologna), Sulley Muntari (midfielder, Inter Milan), Asamoah Gyan (forward, Rennes), Kevin-Prince Boateng (midfielder, Portsmouth), John Paintsil (defender, Fulham)
Australia- Tim Cahill (midfielder, Everton), Mark Bresciano (midfielder, Palermo), Harry Kewell (forward, Galatassary), Brett Emerton (midfielder, Blackburn), Brett Holman (midfielder, AZ Alkamaar)

Cameroon vs Denmark 2:30pm

This should be the most competitive match of the day. One of these two teams will join the Netherlands into the next round. I believe it will probably be Cameroon; they are the more talented squad and have home-field advantage so to speak. Cameroon will definitely need their star striker Samuel Eto’o to step up and carry the load in the scoring department. Coming off a recent treble victory with his club Inter Milan, Eto’o’s confidence should be soaring sky high leaving him with no excuse for not showing up. I expect Denmark to fight hard but fall short, not just in this match, but also in the tournament in general.

Final score: 2-1

Key players to watch:

Cameroon- Samuel Eto’o (forward, Inter Milan), Alex Song (midfielder, Arsenal), Jean Makoun (midfielder, Lyon), Sebastien Bassong (defender, Tottenham), Geremi Njitap (defender, Ankaragucu)
Denmark- Nicklas Bendtner (forward, Arsenal), Christian Poulsen (midfielder, Juventus), Thomas Enevoldsen (midfielder, Groningen), Jon Dahl Tomasson (forward, Feyenoord), Thomas Sorensen (goalkeeper, Stoke City)

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Arsenal vs Tottenham

Robin Van Persie should see his first glimpse of action in over 5 months. He will likely come off the bench to help his team stay in contention for the league title. Arsenal are 6 points behind 1st place Chelsea, a victory at White Hart Lane will cut that deficit to 3 and will catapult Arsenal over Man Utd into 2nd place.

Tottenham will be looking for the full 3 points here as they try to climb up to the all important Champions League qualifying 4th place. They are currently 4 points behind Man City for that spot, a victory here will cut that deficit to just 1 with 5 games left to play.

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