Posts Tagged Nicholas Anelka

Arsenal, Chelsea Ease to Champions League Wins


Lot’s of criticism has come in light of the quality of clubs that now find themselves getting swept aside in a stroll by their more established counterparts following Wednesday’s round of Match Day One fixtures in the UEFA Champions League.

In Group E, AS Roma held its own until a barrage of unrelenting pressure from Bayern Munich earned the Germans a well deserved 2-0 win thanks to goals in the closing ten minutes from youngster Thomas Müller – with an exquisite finish with the outside of his right – and veteran Miroslav Klose. The Bavarians now lead the group ahead of CFR Cluj that held on for a 2-1 win over visiting FC Basle in Romania.

In Group F, a first half brace from Nicholas Anelka helped Chelsea on its way to a 4-1 win at MSK Zilina with Ghana midfielder Michael Essien opening the scoring for the Blues early on while Daniel Sturridge got the visitors fourth three minutes into the second half. The group’s other match saw Spartak Moscow leave France with all three points in a lone goal win over Olympique Marseille thanks to an own goal nine minutes from time; those three points could prove quite crucial for Spartak at the climax of the group stage.

Group G saw 2-0 wins for favourites Real Madrid and AC Milan over Ajax and Auxerre respectively. At the Bernabeu, Argentine striker Gonzalo Higuain was in form for los Merengues as he sealed the win for Real 20 minutes from the end after his first half opener was credited as an own goal. At the San Siro meanwhile, Zlatan Ibrahimovic picked himself from a missed penalty over the weekend with a brace for the Rossoneri to down the French debutantes.

And finally from Group H, where Arsenal barely needed the second gear in the 6-0 thrashing of Sporting Braga with captain Cesc Fàbregas the star of the night with two goals and two assists. Andrei Arshavin got a goal and two assists, Marouane Chamakh scored his first with the foot and third for Arsenal in competitive football and substitute Carlos Vela got a brace, including a well executed chip over Braga ‘keeper Felipe. Arsenal lead ahead of Shakhtar Donetsk that pipped Partizan Belgrade by the lone goal.

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And there was Ovrebo


Now I thought it was just the English referees that made farceful decisions on the football field and like Polly, along came Tom Henning Ovrebo who wore the all black in the UEFA Champions League semi-final second leg between Chelsea and Barcelona.

Drogba falling under Abidal's challenge in the box

Drogba falling under Abidal's challenge in the box

First though, a few classic referee decisions. In the 2006 World Cup against who was it again, Croatia had a player sent off by a referee from Queensland but that was after the Croat got three yellow cards.

Then there was the other ref who turned a blind eye to Cristiano Ronaldo taking his shirt off in celebration against Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League very recently.

But none comes better in farce than Ovrebo’s display at Stamford Bridge; and before you all go “why’s this Gooner sulking” and so on, the ref even got a decision or two wrong on Barcelona’s part. First Florent Malouda being pulled by Dani Alves.

Maybe the referee felt a bit of Malouda’s toe was outside the box so the foul did not warrant a penalty. That’s the only excuse I can think of for Orvedo as the Norwegian cannot possibly claim he had no clear view of the foul…he was right in the action.

Then there were the two shouts for penalty by Drogba. I’ve actually seen both given but I’m tempted to say being Drobga, you kinda lose a good bit of credibility when you fall under challenge in the area and we all know how the Drog is along with Cristiano Ronaldo and maybe Fillippo Inzaghi.

Then came Abidal’s red card. It would be easy to say it was deserved but emotions aside, Abidal was not the last man as Yaya Toure was closing in on Nicholas Anelka when Abidal and Anelka tripped each other; though Abidal feels he was the one tripped. Eitherway, that was no red card, and as a matter of fact, no card at all!

Red Card or not?

Red Card or not?Orvedo took the farce to new heights when Anelka's flick to get past Gerard Pique was caught by the Spanish defender's outstretched arm, 10 out of 10 those have been given but welcome to the new generation of referees fathered by Orvedo. After that, you just got the feeling Barcelona would score somehow and like we all say, the rest is history.Andres Iniesta turns the night Blue at the Bridge

There however was time for one more controversial decision as Ballack’s stoppage time volley deflected off Seydou Keita. Now I wouldn’t say that was a definite penalty, let’s just leave that at that.

In all, I felt like I was watching the CAF Champions League (no offense) as clearly, something just was not right about the ref…or maybe UEFA and/or FIFA aren’t fans of watching a consecutive all-English final?

Whatever it is, the referee totally spoiled the spirit of the match and made the champions league semi-finals, in all, a total no-contest; yes Arsenal put up nothing like a broom let alone a challenge against United!

So now, I’ll just do with watching Kano Pillars and Heartland rep Naija in the CAF Champions League. I think at least one of them would make the final stages of the competition. you?

Drogba bearing his mind out to Ovrebo

Drogba bearing his mind out to Ovrebo

Last word, Drogba’s theatrics after the final whistle was totally immature and unwarranted but can you really blame him? Yes the world will say yes he was wrong (and somehow I found his show quite comical)  but then being Drogba; known for his theatrics in the box, no one would take him seriously. Anyhow, here’s hoping for a clean and true final…I’m backing United on this one, going by my earlier prediction and not by sentiments.

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