Archive for May 2009
Barcelona scored a goal in each half to stop the English champions from claiming back to back titles.
The two goals Barca scored in the final made sure the Spanish giants finished the 2008/9 competition with a goal tally of 32.
Its interesting to see that the Catalan giants scored an equal number of goals in the first and second halves - 16 apiece.
Only three other teams scored at least 20 goals in this season's competition and these are Liverpool, Chelsea and Bayern Munich.
The win means that Barca has now won this cup three times and in the last final they played they beat another English side Arsenal.
Manchester United had gone 25 matches without losing a Champions League match.
Burnley only needed one goal to get into the Premiership for the first time whilst the Blades will have to wait another year.
Victory for Burnley is not that surprising after the Clarets beat the Blades in both games in the normal season.
Burnley's promotion completes the Premiership lineup for the 2009/10 season after Wolverhamptom Wanderers and Birmingham City got automatic promotion.
Whilst a draw would have been enough for Newcastle given that both Sunderland and Hull failed to win, a narrow loss to Aston Villa means the club now joins the Championship next season.
Boro had been in the relegation zone for most of the season and the relegation was no surprise to many followers of the premiership.
Both Hull and Sunderland who were in danger of relegation lost but they stay in the league because Newcastle in particular failed to either draw or win.
A draw for the Magpies would have sent Hull down instead.
There were no changes at the top with all the top six sides winning their matches.
Fulham took seventh place after a remarkable season which was mostly driven by their home form.
The final team for the 2009/10 premiership season will be confirmed tonight after the playoff final between Burnley and Sheffield United.
Man Utd needed a draw to secure their third consecutive title and they got the result in a goalless draw.
Liverpool can only finish on 86 points and look assured of second spot even if they were to lose the last match because they have a five goal advantage over Chelsea.
West Bromwich Albion became the first team to be relegated this season after losing to Liverpool at home.
Currently on 31 points, the Baggies needed a win to make sure they took the battle against relegation to the last day.
The teams to join the Black Country team in the Championship next season will come from two of Sunderland, Hull, Middlesbrough and Newcastle.
If the Black Cats beat Portsmouth then they will secure their premiership status for another year.
Wolverhampton Wanderers and Birmingham City got direct promotion and the third slot will be taken by the play-off winner.
In the Championship season, Burnley beat Sheffield both home and away. Away at Bramall Lane Burnley won 3-2 and then at home they got a narrow 1-nil win.
Sheffield will be hoping to turn the tables around in the final.
Burnley were last in the top division in the 1975/76 season and Sheffield in the 2006/07 season.
They were replaced by Hull City who continue their decline from the heights of fourth place at one time during the season.
Newcastle are getting out of the relegation zone at the right time with just two matches to play.
Looking at the matches the relegation threatened sides are going to play, Newcastle have Fulham at home and then Aston Villa away.
Sunderland have Portsmouth away and then finish off with Chelsea at home.
Middlesbrough have Aston Villa at home and then finish off the season at Upton Park against West Ham.
West Bromwich Albion face Liverpool next and then play Blackburn away on the last day.
Hull next play at the Reebok against Bolton before hosting Manchester United on the last day of the season.
Barca won on the away goals rule after the match at the Bridge finished 1-all with the first leg having finished goalless.
For the second final in a row Barca will meet English opposition and the last time they triumphed against Arsenal.
Manchester are the defending champions and will become the first team to defend their crown should they emerge winners in Rome.
United won the first leg 1-nil at Old Trafford and the win in the second leg gives them a 4-1 aggregate win.
United will now play the winner in the other semi-final between Chelsea and Barcelona.
If United wins the final they will become the first team to successfully defend their European title.
If Chelsea wins their semi, then the final will be a repeat of last year's final.
If Barcelona wins at Stamford Bridge, then they will meet English opposition for the second consecutive time after playing Arsenal in the 2006 final.
This has come about after two more teams from Queensland, Gold Coast United and North Queensland Fury were admitted into the A-League for the coming season.
Interestingly one of the new teams has the name Queensland in its name.
This was Hull's fourth consecutive loss and in the last six matches the best Hull has managed to do is get a single draw.
If that poor perform continues over the remaining three matches there is a real danger that the team could be relegated but that will depend on the teams below it performing badly too.
Hull plays Stoke, Bolton and Manchester United in its last three matches.
Therefore its survival could be dependent on the next two matches at home against Stoke and away to Bolton.
Here is the form for all the teams for the last six matches:
|West Bromwich Albion||DLDLWL|
Liverpool and Arsenal have the best form at the moment dropping just two points in the last six matches.
Looking ahead to the next match the biggest match is undoubtedly the match between Newcastle and Middlesbrough.
Its a match both teams need to win and whoever loses will be in real danger of relegation with just two matches to go.
Wolverhampton Wanderers had already won the Championship title a few rounds ago and Birmingham had to battle for the second automatic place with Sheffield United.
Premiership football will come back to St. Andrews Stadium after a two year absence and also next season will see the local derby between Birmingham and Aston Villa.
The final side to be promoted from the Championship will come through the playoffs.
The four teams involved in the playoffs are Sheffield United, Reading, Burnley and Preston.