Barcelona 1-1 Real Madrid: Barca progress

May 4, 2011

Pedro, David Villa
“Barcelona rarely looked under real pressure and completed a 3-1 aggregate victory. Pep Guardiola named the expected XI – Andres Iniesta returned from injury to replace Seydou Keita. Javier Mascherano continued at centre-back, with Carles Puyol at left-back. Jose Mourinho switched to his 4-2-3-1 system but made two surprise selections. Kaka was in ahead of Mesut Ozil, whilst Gonzalo Higuain started upfront. Mourinho was not in attendance at the stadium (as far as is known at time of publishing) so assistant Aitor Karanka was in charge for the night.” Zonal Marking

Barcelona 1 – 1 Real Madrid
“Barcelona comfortably advanced to the Champions League final following a 1-1 draw at home to fierce rivals Real Madrid at Camp Nou. Following a completely one-sided first half in which Madrid keeper Iker Casillas kept his side in the game, Pedro gave Pep Guardiola’s team the lead nine minutes into the second period.” ESPN

Barcelona 1 Real Madrid 1: match report
“For those who came to the Nou Camp expecting a fight, a football match broke out, a decent one. After all the play-acting and name-calling, this was an El Clasico more worthy of the name, ending with the best player on the planet, Lionel Messi, a zephyr with the ball, heading towards Wembley. There were still noises off, squalls of complaints, particularly about the embarrassing Javier Mascherano, who again auditioned for panto, but this was a far less heated affair than earlier episodes of the Antics Road Show.” Telegraph – Henry Winter

Barcelona hold off Real Madrid threat to reach Champions League final
“The last instalment of a four-match, 18-day scorpion dance that became nastier by the hour was a proper contest in which Real Madrid recovered their attacking urges but Barcelona advanced to a probable meeting with Manchester United in the Champions League final at Wembley. ‘This has been one of the most beautiful nights I have ever lived,’ said Pep Guardiola, the Barça coach.” Guardian

FC Barcelona 1-1 Real Madrid (El Clasico) – Video Highlights, Recap, and Match Stats – Champions League
The 90th Minute

Porto juggernaut could lose key components before next season

May 4, 2011

“Already the vultures are hovering. Porto will be back in the Champions League next season, but the problem is that it is unlikely to be this Porto, the side that has dropped just four points in the league all season, and swept all before it in Europe.” SI – Jonathan Wilson

Vasco da Gama legend Juninho returns to Brazil for nominal wages

May 4, 2011

“Supporters of Vasco da Gama filed away sadly — some of them angrily — on Sunday after their team suffered a defeat on penalties in a Rio championship final against great local rivals Flamengo. But along with the sorrow, the last few days also brought the fans a reason to be cheerful. One of their favorite players is returning to the club, and the story has an uplifting twist.” SI – Tim Vickery

Race-quota scandal rocks France and sparks nationality debate

May 4, 2011

“On walking through the streets of Paris this spring, it was hard not to be confronted by Nike’s landmark agreement to sponsor the French national team. The glossy posters showing Florent Malouda, Yann M’vila, Abou Diaby and Alou Diarra standing, arms crossed with steely determination, gave off the sense that a changing of the guard had taken place. Fifty-seven years with Adidas had been consigned to history, the coveted rights prised away with the promise of an annual cheque worth €42.6m until 2018.” FourFourTwo

1970s Month: The Most Beautiful Goal

May 4, 2011

“It started deep inside the Brazilian half, the Seleção playing at walking pace, the orb in their thrall. The sun beats down on Mexico City’ s Azteca Stadium; the grass cowers from the incandescent barrage but Brazil’s golden shirts seem gloriously imbued with sunlight. Time moves slowly. The seconds that tick by are incidental.” The Equaliser

Energie Cottbus 1-1 FC Augsburg

May 4, 2011

“Energie Cottbus’s hopes of promotion to the Bundesliga were ended for another season, but Augsburg now need just one win from their final two games to secure a place in the top flight. The final game of 2. Bundesliga’s Round 32 pitted 6th-placed Energie Cottbus against 2nd-placed FC Augsburg.” Defensive Midfielder