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Saturday, April 21, 2012

Cartoon of the Day: Real Madrid's goal record the icing on the cake after Clasico triumph

April 21, 2012 could become one of the most important dates in Real Madrid's recent history. A 2-1 victory against arch-rivals Barcelona in the Clasico on Saturday could prove to be the defining moment of the Spanish season, as goals from Sami Khedira and Cristiano Ronaldo put Pep Guardiola's side to the sword for the first time in La Liga since 2008.

And to cap a memorable evening, Los Blancos have now scored the most goals in a single Primera Division campaign, surpassing the previous record of 107 set under former boss John Toshack in 1989-90, and achieving the feat with four matches remaining.

So not only have Madrid taken a significant step towards ending Barcelona's domestic dominance, but their astonishing scoring feat provides an extra sweetener for Jose Mourinho and his players.

Barcelona 1-2 Real Madrid: Ronaldo the match-winner as Jose Mourinho's side take significant step towards La Liga title

Barcelona's hopes of a fourth sucessive Primera Division title were dealt a potentially fatal blow after a 2-1 defeat at Camp Nou against Real Madrid in the Classico on Saturday.

A poor piece of handling from Victor Valdes allowed Sami Khedira to score the only goal of the first-half just after a quarter of an hour. Jose Mourinho's men defended dilligently thereafter, but Alexis Sanchez restored parity by scoring a scrappy effort in the 70th minute within moments of coming on as a substitute.

However, Cristiano Ronaldo put Los Blancos' back in front three minutes later with a record-breaking 109th team goal in the league, and Madrid held on for a priceless victory, which opens up a seven point lead over their great rivals at the top of the table with only four games remaining.
With Sanchez benched after battling against an injury picked up against Chelsea midweek, youngster Cristian Tello was preferred to Pedro in attack. Xavi started his 32nd career Classico game, breaking the all-time record, but there was no place in the home XI for Cesc Fabragas or Gerard Pique.

The major surprise in Mourinho’s team selection was the inclusion of Fabio Coentrao ahead of Marcelo at left-back, despite the former’s suspect showing in the Champions League loss to Bayern Munich.

Madrid made a positive start to the match amidst the raucous Camp Nou atmosphere, and fashioned the first opportunity after only five minutes, with a powerful header from Ronaldo forcing Victor Valdes to tip over.

Barca were quickly back down the pitch, and Dani Alves appeared to be through after pouncing on a sloppy Pepe pass, but Iker Casillas was quick off his line to block the Brazilian at his feet.

With 13 minutes gone, Tello showed lightning quick feet to evade a pair of challenges out wide, before letting fly with an effort that Casillas did well to save, as the home side grew into the game. But their endeavour was halted, as three minutes later, Madrid were ahead.

The Catalans had their struggles defending set pieces against Chelsea, and so it proved again. Pepe rose highest to get his head to a corner, which was spilled by Valdes, allowing Khedira just enough time to evade the attentions of Carles Puyol and poke the rebound home.

However, Barca should have been level after 26 minutes. An exceptional through pass from Lionel Messi released Xavi on goal, but the midfielder dragged his finish wide with only Casillas to beat.

Both sides continued to provide an entertaining spectacle, despite heavy rainfall in the latter stages of the half. A moment of magic on the right from Ozil nearly carved Barca apart, but Javier Mascherano put in a superb challenge to halt the German from point blank range just before the break.

Barca continued their quest for an equaliser after the restart, but were guilty of another glaring miss. A defence-splitting pass from Thiago Alcantara put Tello clean through, but his first-time finish was woeful, and sent into orbit.

Pep Guardiola’s men continued to keep Madrid penned back in their own half, but for the second time in a week, a determined rear-guard effort made chances hard to come by. With 68 minutes gone, Xavi flashed a long range effort just wide with his last contribution of the game, as he was taken off for Sanchez.

The substitution proved to be a masterstroke, as within two minutes, Sanchez put the hosts back on terms. Tello’s shot was stopped initially by Casillas, cueing a penalty-box scramble that ended when the Chilean squeezed the ball home near the goalline after another save by Casillas.

Madrid’s response was instant. A breathtaking pass from Ozil caught the Barca defence out and released Ronaldo, who accelerated away from the onrushing Valdes and fired home from a tricky angle.

Mourinho’s game plan was simple thereafter, and the visitors were able to hold on to their advantage, defending in numbers and holding onto possession with purpose as they frustrated Barca, and claimed a devastating three points in the title race.

Both sides will look to regain their focus, with deficits to overcome in their Champions League semi-final second-leg matchups midweek. Barca welcome Chelsea on Tuesday, while Madrid entertain Bayern the following day.

Monday, April 16, 2012



Arsenal vs Wig
Assalamualaikum dan salam 1Dunia, memang kesian bila tengok Wolves ditewaskan Arsenal 0 – 3 hasil jaringan Van Persie, Walcott dan Benayoun tapi apa nak buat setiap mata sangat penting untuk Arsenal kekal di tangga ke tiga dan layak secara automatik ke Champions League 2012/13. Saingan yang paling dekat dengan prestasi yang baik adalah Newcastle. Chelsea pun ok tapi game yang banyak mungkin boleh menyebabkan tumpuan agak berkurangan.
EPL week #34 Arsenal vs Wigan pasti perlawanan yang sengit terutama semangat Wigan yang tinggi setelah menewaskan Manchester United. Semuga semua pemain Arsenal dapat bermain pada prestasi tertinggi dan menewaskan Wigan dengan jaringan yang banyak. EPL 2011/12 hanya tingga 5 perlawanan jadi setiap perlawanan adalah penting.
Keputusan Arsenal vs Wigan : 1 – 2