Archive for November 2008

Draws dominate as Phoenix rises

Sunday, 30th November 2008 9:50pm
Wellington Phoenix won their third successive match when they beat ladder topping Melbourne Victory in the first match of round 13.

The Phoenix went into fourth place after the match but finished the round in fifth on goal difference after the Central Coast Mariners somehow managed to retrieve a point in their match against Perth Glory.

Round 13 was dominated by draws with the Phoenix being the only team to get maximum points and Victory managed to hold on the top position after Adelaide could only get a draw against Newcastle Jets.

This is the third round this season when there has been three draws in a round. The other rounds were 1 and 7.

Queensland Roar's draw against Sydney means that the Roar has once again failed to win away to Sydney FC in the A-League in seven matches. Below is the full list of the matches between the Roar away to Sydney FC:

2005/6 12Sydney FC1Queensland Roar0
2006/7 7Sydney FC1Queensland Roar1
2006/7 14Sydney FC3Queensland Roar0
2007/8 14Sydney FC0Queensland Roar0
2007/8 22Sydney FC0Queensland Roar0
2008/9 7Sydney FC1Queensland Roar1
2008/9 13Sydney FC1Queensland Roar1

Interestingly the last four matches have been drawn and so maybe the Roar is not far from a win.

In the 13 matches between the two teams, the Roar has only managed to beat Sydney FC twice.

Next week is round 14 and by the end of it the teams will have played each other twice and lets see if the Phoenix will rise to the top four.

The Phoenix next play Adelaide and a win will mean they will be equal on points with the World Club Championships bound club.

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Category: A-League | Comments : 0

Panathinaikos stun Inter at San Siro

Thursday, 27th November 2008 1:39pm
Panathinaikos stunned Inter Milan at the San Siro after scoring a second half goal and take all three points in a tight Group B.

In the other match in the same group Anorthosis Famagusta had a second successive draw and this time against Werder Bremen and they stay in third place.

Anorthosis Famagusta has led in its last two draws and if the team had held on to its lead it could have qualified for the next round by now.

Inter should still go through to the round of 16 even if they lose their last match against Werder Bremen although it could be in second place.

In Group A, Chelsea's draw against Bordeaux means that they will need at least a point to go through to the next stage.

If Cluj-Napoca wins against Chelsea and Bordeaux wins against Roma then Chelsea will be out. Roma has put aside its recent poor form and now top the group and a win in their last match will mean they will win the group.

The biggest win of the day was in Group C when Shakhtar Donetsk beat Basle 5-nil. Shakhtar Donetsk can only finish third and Barcelona's win means they have won the group.

Barcelona is the only team so far to have won its group because in Group D the top two teams won which means that the group winner will be decided on match day 6.

From today's matches only Basle is out of Europe altogether and joins Celtic and Borisov and the remaining five teams will be decided on the last day.

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Category: Champions League | Comments : 0

Celtic, Borisov out of Europe

Wednesday, 26th November 2008 1:25pm
Celtic and BATE Borisov were knocked out of European competition this year after losing their match day 5 fixtures.

Celtic took the lead against AaB Aalborg but lost the tie as the home team scored two late goals in a match they had to win to get the third Uefa place.

Manchester United and Villareal progress in Group A despite playing the second goalless draw between the two teams this season.

In Group H, Borisov lost to Real Madrid and will stay fourth even if they win their last match against Juventus because they have a poor head to head record against Zenit St Petersburg who will get the Uefa place.

In Group G its down to the last day between Dynamo Kiev and Fenerbahce. Fenerbahce has to beat Dynamo Kiev to get third place after the two teams drew earlier on.

Arsenal and Porto have qualified for the next stage and the match between the two will decide the group leader. Porto has to win that match to win the group.

In Group F, a draw will be good enough for Fiorentina with Steaua Bucharest needing to win in order to get third place.

The match between Bayern Munich and Lyon will just decide the group leaders as the teams are tied on 11 points.

Going into match day 6 no team has won its group and so there is still a lot to play for 14 teams but for now its bye bye to Celtic and Borisov.

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Category: Champions League | Comments : 0

Stalemate at the top in the Premiership

Tuesday, 25th November 2008 10:53pm
Round 14 of English Premiership produced some unusual results for the top five teams with all failing to score.

Liverpool and Chelsea were both held to goalless draws at home by Fulham and Newcastle respectively and both lost a chance to claim top spot outright.

After beating Arsenal in the last round, Aston Villa held Manchester United to a goalless draw at home but that was enough for them to climb into fourth position after Arsenal suffered a second consecutive defeat in their match against Manchester City.

So all the top five teams failed to score a single goal but for Arsenal it was worse because their opponents at Eastlands scored three goals and thus a rare consecutive loss in the premiership.

Round 14 was the fourth round this season when there has been four draws and so far four is the highest number of draws in a round. However, this round was different from the others in that three of them were goalless draws.

At the bottom, West Bromwich Albion loss to Stoke means they still the anchor the ladder and just above them is Blackburn and then Newcastle.

Sunderland and Tottenham are just a point above the relegation zone and so still in dangerous territory.

Last week we looked at the first half table compared with the real table and so this week we will look at the second half table compared with the real ladder.

So here is the second half table considering only the second half scoreline:

TeamPlayedGoal DiffPoints
Chelsea 14 1430
Liverpool 14 728
Newcastle 14 423
Hull City 14 123
Arsenal 14 421
Stoke City 14 -121
Everton 14 -221
Aston Villa 14 520
Manchester City 14 420
West Bromwich Albion 14 -519
Portsmouth 14 -118
Middlesbrough 14 -518
Manchester United 13 617
Wigan 14 -217
Tottenham 14 016
Sunderland 14 -316
Bolton 14 -413
Fulham 13 -312
Blackburn 14 -910
West Ham 14 -108

And now for the current league ladder:

TeamPlayedGoal DiffPoints
Chelsea 14 2833
Liverpool 14 1333
Manchester United 13 1525
Aston Villa 14 624
Arsenal 14 723
Hull City 14 -222
Everton 14 -319
Portsmouth 14 -519
Fulham 13 118
Middlesbrough 14 -618
Manchester City 14 717
Bolton 14 -217
West Ham 14 -517
Stoke City 14 -1017
Wigan 14 -216
Tottenham 14 -315
Sunderland 14 -815
Newcastle 14 -514
Blackburn 14 -1113
West Bromwich Albion 14 -1511

No change for the top two teams but thats where the similarities end with Newcastle surprising third which should suggest that their first half performance is not that great.

Looking ahead to round 15, the match of the round could easily be the match between Chelsea and Arsenal and a loss for the Gunners will mean the third consecutive premiership loss.

Liverpool face West Ham on Monday and if Chelsea should slip up then they will have a chance to take spot.

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Category: English Premiership | Comments : 0

Roar nets first home win

Sunday, 23rd November 2008 9:21pm
The Queensland Roar got their first home after beating Perth Glory at Suncorp Stadium in round 12 of the A-League.

Until this round the Roar had failed to win at home and in their last three home matches they had even failed to score a goal.

But in round 12 the Roar scored its first half goals at home and with that 1-4 loss the Glory stay bottom of the ladder.

All the home teams won in this round with Melbourne Victory beating Central Coast Mariners 2-1 and then Adelaide beating Sydney Fc 2-0 and Wellington Phoenix having a similar scoreline against nine men Newcastle Jets.

This is the first time this season that all the home teams have won. Previously the maximum was three home teams winning in rounds 3 and 6.

This is also the fifth round when there hasn't been a draw in a round this season. It will be interesting to see at the end of the season how many draws there will be compared to the previous three seasons.

Following on from last week this week we focus on goals scored in the second half.

The table below just shows the second half goals for each team after round 12.

Team Home Away
Adelaide United FC 9 1
Central Coast Mariners 4 10
Melbourne Victory 7 7
Newcastle Jets 4 3
Perth Glory 6 4
Queensland Roar 5 4
Sydney FC 5 2
Wellington Phoenix 5 4

So Victory and the Mariners have so far scored the highest number of goals in the second half with 14 apiece.

Adelaide seem to be having problems scoring goals in the second half away from home with just one scored after 12 rounds. They compensate that with the highest number of second half goals scored at home

The Jets and Sydney FC have the lowest number with just 7.

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Category: A-League | Comments : 0

Hull, Man City share spoils

Tuesday, 18th November 2008 1:28pm
Hull and Manchester City drew in round 13 to give each team a point after both teams had lost their last three matches.

Over the last six matches Hull has picked up seven points whilst Man City has picked up five out of a possible 18.

This was the fourth draw of the round following draws in the matches involving West Ham/Portsmouth, Everton/Middlesbrough and Newcastle/Wigan.

I think the biggest result of the round was Aston Villa's away win over Arsenal. The Gunners came into the match after a win over Manchester United and the loss means they now move to fourth place and Manchester United move to third and they have a game in hand against Fulham.

Another interesting result was Tottenham's first loss since Harry Rednapp took over. Spurs lost 2-1 away to Fulham and they play Blackburn next.

After looking at the first half and second half goals over the last two rounds, this time we will look at the table considering just the first half results.

After round 14 we will look at the table that just considers the results in the second half.

So the first table is only for the first half and the table below that is the actual table for the full 90 minutes of play:

First half ladder:

TeamPlayedGoal DiffPoints
Chelsea 13 1429
Manchester United 12 925
Liverpool 13 622
West Ham 13 421
Fulham 12 421
Arsenal 13 420
Manchester City 13 219
Aston Villa 13 119
Wigan 13 018
Middlesbrough 13 117
Blackburn 13 -115
Everton 13 -115
Hull City 13 -215
Bolton 13 013
Sunderland 13 -413
Portsmouth 13 -513
Tottenham 13 -410
Stoke City 13 -910
Newcastle 13 -98
West Bromwich Albion 13 -107

This is the current table:

TeamPlayedGoal DiffPoints
Chelsea 13 2832
Liverpool 13 1332
Manchester United 12 1524
Arsenal 13 1023
Aston Villa 13 623
Hull City 13 -221
Everton 13 -219
Middlesbrough 13 -418
Portsmouth 13 -518
Fulham 12 117
Sunderland 13 -715
Manchester City 13 414
Bolton 13 -414
West Ham 13 -614
Stoke City 13 -1114
Wigan 13 -313
Newcastle 13 -513
Blackburn 13 -1013
Tottenham 13 -412
West Bromwich Albion 13 -1411

I think there is no real outstanding match in round 14 but maybe it will be interesting to see who comes top between Stoke and West Brom and also it will be interesting to see if Villa can beat Man U and go third at best and fourth at worst.

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Category: English Premiership | Comments : 0

Mariners rise to second

Monday, 17th November 2008 10:03pm
The Central Coast Mariners are now in second position at the end of round 11 after beating Adelaide United 3 nil.

The 3 nil defeat means the AFC Champions League runners up have now gone three matches without scoring a single goal but conceding eight.

This is not the kind of form that will get them into AFC Champions League in 2010 as they dropped to third on the ladder from second.

The Mariners have now jumped into second position and a win in their next match against table topping Melbourne Victory by a margin of three goals or more will see them take top position on goal difference.

In this round a total of 11 goals were scored and six of them in the first half. In the drawn match between Perth Glory and Newcastle Jets three goals were scored in the first half.

In the win over Adelaide the Mariners scored two goals in the first half and so this week we will look at how many goals each team has scored so far in the first half.

After round 12 we will look at how many goals each team has scored in the second half by then.

The table below just shows the first half goals for each team after round 12.

Team Home Away
Adelaide United FC 5 1
Central Coast Mariners 8 1
Melbourne Victory 4 3
Newcastle Jets 1 3
Perth Glory 4 1
Queensland Roar 0 6
Sydney FC 8 5
Wellington Phoenix 2 1

Its not surprising to see that Queensland Roar have scored the highest number of first half goals away from home.

At home in the first the leading lights are the Mariners and Sydney FC with eight goals apiece. Its a blank for the Roar at home.

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Category: A-League | Comments : 0

Baggies anchor the ladder as Spurs climb up

Monday, 10th November 2008 11:56pm
After the 3 nil loss away to Liverpool and a win for Tottenham Hotspurs, West Bromwich Albion now anchor the Premier League ladder after round 12.

They are joined by Sunderland and Newcastle United in the relegation zone who have a point advantage but the good news is that the team in tenth position Fulham only has 14 points.

With Fulham in tenth position and on 14 points, the bottom 10 teams are separated by just three points. This means that a few wins can easily catapult a team up the ladder like as happened to Spurs but the Baggies next opponents are Chelsea.

Chelsea have a very good record away from home this season and are still to lose or draw away from Stamford Bridge.

They have scored more goals away from home, 16, compared to 13 at home and have conceded just one goal away compared to three at the Bridge.

So chances are high that the Baggies will still be anchoring the ladder after round 13 but with a bigger goal difference. Incidentally the Baggies have the biggest goal difference in the league at the moment.

After looking at the first half goals last week, this week we will look at the second half goals.

In round 12, Everton scored three second half goals but thats not the end of the story, the goals were scored in the last ten minutes of the match.

The table below just shows the second half goals for each team after round 12.

Team Home Away
Arsenal 9 7
Aston Villa 6 6
Blackburn 2 4
Bolton 2 3
Chelsea 4 10
Everton 3 9
Fulham 3 1
Hull City 3 7
Liverpool 7 4
Manchester City 11 5
Manchester United 7 2
Middlesbrough 6 4
Newcastle 6 3
Portsmouth 6 3
Stoke City 7 3
Sunderland 4 2
Tottenham 5 5
West Bromwich Albion 5 2
West Ham 5 0
Wigan 1 5

Interestingly West Ham are still to score a second half goal away from home after 12 rounds.

Manchester City has scored the highest number of goals so far in the second half at home with 11 whilst not surprising Chelsea have scored the highest number away in the second half.

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Category: English Premiership | Comments : 0

Home win eludes Roar

Monday, 10th November 2008 10:11pm
Queensland Roar lost by an odd goal to Melbourne Victory in round 11 and hence its still in search for its first win at home.

The Roar last won a home match way back in February when they beat Sydney FC 2-0 but so far this season the home fans are still to celebrate at Suncorp.

Infact the Roar has failed to score at home in its last three matches and so far the total goals scored at home is 3.

These three goals were all scored in the first two matches of which one was drawn.

Below is a list of home results for the Roar this season:

Team Name Score
Adelaide United FC 1 - 1
Central Coast Mariners 2 - 4
Newcastle Jets 0 - 1
Adelaide United FC 0 - 1
Melbourne Victory 0 - 1

Round 11 has effectively become a split round with Adelaide still to play Central Coast Mariners after the match was postponed to help Adelaide prepare for the AFC Champions League final second leg.

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Category: A-League | Comments : 0

Celtic score first goal

Thursday, 6th November 2008 1:47pm
Celtic scored their first goal this year's champions league campaign when they drew Manchester United at home.

Despite scoring 29 goals so far in the Scottish Premier league after 11 matches, the Glasgow team has found goals hard to come by in Europe's premier club competition.

The draw leaves Celtic with a hope for third place and a UEFA Cup place but they still have to play AaB Aalborg away.

AaB Aalborg drew Villareal and are now bottom on goal difference and one of their two remaining matches will be against Manchester United at Old Trafford.

Juventus completed back to back victories over Real Madrid and have now booked their place in the knockout stages.

Zenit St Petersburg's win over BATE Borisov means they still can overhaul Real Madrid for second place.

In Group G Arsenal could not repeat their startling performance of two weeks ago against Fenerbahce at home as they were held to a goalless draw.

FC Porto's win in Kiev brings them back in the mix and after a good start Dynamo Kiev have made their lives a little bit harder with their loss to Porto at home.

Finally in Group F, at this stage Lyon and Bayern Munich are the most likely teams to reach the knockout stages and Fiorentina is in a good position for third place.

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Category: Champions League | Comments : 0

Panathinaikos stun Werder Bremen

Wednesday, 5th November 2008 11:31pm
Panathinaikos scored three second half goals to stun Werder Bremen in one of the shock results of day 1 of Match Day 4 of the UEFA Champions League.

Also in the same group Anorthosis Famagusta could easily have got three points but a late goal from Jose Mourinho's Inter Milan meant that they shared the spoils in a 3 all high scoring draw.

This is the first time this season to have a 3-all draw and only the second time in three years. The most popular draw result this year has been one all and this has occurred seven times followed by 6 goalless draws.

In Group B all the three teams can still qualify for the next stage although Inter are in the driving seat. However, if they lose their remaining two matches they may fail to go through.

Another group where all teams have a chance to qualify is Group A where Roma shocked Chelsea with an emphatic 3-1 victory and Bordeaux overcame CFR Cluj-Napoca with two first half goals.

Barcelona lost their 100% record as they were held to a one all draw by Basle at home. It was Basle's first point of the campaign and could be a lifeline in getting the UEFA Cup place.

The leading teams of Group D Liverpool and Atletico Madrid drew at Anfield as they edged closer to qualifying for the knockout phase.

So Barcelona is the first team to qualify for the knockout phase but the next round should see more teams qualify too especially in Group D where both Liverpool and Atletico need just one point.

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Category: Champions League | Comments : 0

Liverpool suffer first loss

Tuesday, 4th November 2008 9:35am
The biggest result to come from round 11 was Liverpool first loss of the season to Tottenham at White Hart Lane.

Liverpool entered the match as league and win would have extended their stay at the top but it was Spurs who bottom of the ladder who came from behind to claim all three points and move temporarily from the foot of the ladder.

Spurs have now accumulated seven points since Harry Redknapp was appointed manager and next face stuttering Manchester City.

Bolton and Newcastle wins meant that by the end of the round Spurs were back at the foot of the ladder.

Liverpool's loss means that every team in the premiership has now lost at least one match.

Another interesting result came from Old Trafford where Manchester United overcame high flying Hull City 4-3. Hull had a good run of results until they lost to Chelsea in round 10 but scoring three goals at Old Trafford goes on to show that they are easy pushovers.

Stoke City claimed their biggest win of the campaign so far when they bundled out Arsenal 2-1 and the Gunners needed a last minute goal to come with a respectable result.

Elsewhere free scoring Chelsea continued banging in the goals and like Middlesborough in round 8, Sunderland conceded five goals as Chelsea moved back to the top on goal difference.

Talking of goal difference, only six teams have a positive goal difference with West Bromwich Albion having the worst with -8. That could increase further as they next play at Anfield in round 12.

Looking ahead the biggest match of round 12 is arguably the match at Emirates Stadium as the Gunners host Manchester United. A loss for the Gunners here will see them drift further behind from the top 3 teams and could be overtaken by Aston Villa and Hull City.

So in this round Liverpool scored one goal in the first half and Chelsea scored three and the table below shows the number of goals scored by each time home and away in the first half only. In another post we will look at the second half goals only.

Team Home Away
Arsenal 4 4
Aston Villa 3 4
Blackburn 1 6
Bolton 4 2
Chelsea 9 5
Everton 3 3
Fulham 4 1
Hull City 2 5
Liverpool 2 4
Manchester City 4 3
Manchester United 6 5
Middlesbrough 1 1
Newcastle 3 3
Portsmouth 2 2
Stoke City 3 0
Sunderland 1 2
Tottenham 1 3
West Bromwich Albion 3 0
West Ham 6 5
Wigan 2 5

So Stoke City and West Bromwich Albion are still to score a first half goal away from home.

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Category: English Premiership | Comments : 0

Mariners stage another comeback

Sunday, 2nd November 2008 10:33pm
The Central Coast Mariners staged another dramatic comeback when they came from three nil down to clinch a draw against Sydney FC.

In round 7, the Mariners staged a comeback against Adelaide United and they got the same result and in both matches they could have won the matched because of the momentum drawn from the comeback.

I think its fortunate that both Adelaide and Sydney did not lose all three points after having been 3 up in the matches against the Mariners.

So far 40 matches have been played in the A-League of which 12 matches have been drawn and therefore the rest of the matches (28) have had a result.

At this point lets see the scenario at half time in those matches where we have had a result. It could interesting to see how many teams have won a match having been trailing at half time.

ScenarioNumber of Matches
Home team winning after trailing at half time 0
Away team winning after trailing at half time 1
Home team winning after leading at half time 9
Away team winning after leading at half time 7
Home team wins, draw at half time 7
Away teams wins, draw at half time 4

Interestingly so far only one team has won a match after trailing at half time and that was Melbourne Victory against Adelaide in round 10.

Meanwhile Melbourne Victory now top the ladder after beating Adelaide 3-2 and on the other end of the table the Wellington Phoenix now prop the ladder after losing 2 nil to Perth Glory.

There will be just three matches next weekend with Adelaide United involved in the AFC Champions League final .

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Category: A-League | Comments : 0



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