Posts Tagged ‘Chelsea’

Chelsea Suffers Defeat – Ends Hope of Top Four Premier League Finish

May 9, 2012

Chelsea suffered a 4-1 defeat by Liverpool thereby ending their hopes of a top four Premier League finish. They will have to win the Champions League final if they are to compete in next season’s edition.

Chelsea were 3-0 behind inside half an hour at Anfield following an own-goal from Michael Essien and goals from Jordan Henderson and Daniel Agger, just three days after beating Liverpool 2-1 in the FA Cup final at Wembley.

Jonjo Shelvey ended any hope of a comeback with his first Premier League goal after Ramires scored for Chelsea early in the second half. Unless Chelsea beat Bayern Munich at the German club’s ground in the final on May 19, England’s top four clubs will enter next term’s Champions League. A win for Chelsea will deprive the team in fourth of a place in the preliminary round.

Chelsea will now finish in sixth spot and this defeat meant the top four was beyond the reach of them. With just three on offer for beating already relegated Blackburn in their final league match of the season, they are left five points behind fourth-placed Tottenham.

A win in the Champions League will save the job for interim Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo, and to make sure that the Blues stay in Europe next season as a 4-1 crush against Liverpool at the Anfield on Tuesday killed their even outside chance of a top four finish. Against the Red, Di Matteo played an under strength team, keeping their Champions League final against Bayern Munich on May 19 in his mind.

Since Roman Abramovich took control, it is the worst final position Chelsea have ever had. After a selection gamble failed to pay off, even the much-mocked Europa League now beckons. Despite Di Matteo’s team beginning the night still in contention for a top-four berth, he said he had no regrets about making eight changes from his Cup final side for the game at Anfield.

Di Matteo had rested the likes of Didier Drogba, Juan Mata, Ashley Cole and Frank Lampard and said he has no regrets. He added that the effort was there but they came up against an inspired Liverpool side. He further said that his side had some very intense games, the last one three days ago and it is hard to keep getting yourself going every three days. He said that since he has been in charge, his team has played every three days and it has been a big ask and a big demand. He thought with fresh legs and new energy they could have had a better chance.

UEFA Champions League heats up in knockout stages

March 3, 2008

There are seven games in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday and Wednesday, and there is still everything to play for in the two-legged ties that make up the knockout stages of Europe’s top club tournament. All of these games are available for action at sportsbook.

Arsenal at AC Milan (0-0 draw)
Milan are -105 favorites to go through after holding Arsenal to a goalless draw in London. Milan will also have World Player of the Year Kaka in the lineup, while Arsenal have been struggling with a host of injuries, especially to their strikers. Milan should go through due to their homefield advantage at the San Siro.

Celtic at Barcelona (Barca leads 3-2)
Barca claimed three precious away goals at Celtic, but their defense has left much to be desired this season. Barca are big -395 favorites at home, and their wealth of talent up front with Ronaldinho, Lionel Messi and Theirry Henry should be enough to get to the next round.

Fenerbache at Sevilla (Fenerbache leads 3-2)
The first leg in Turkey between these two was one of the more entertaining of all the ties, with Sevilla nicking a pair of away goals. Sevilla are favored at -235 to eliminate Fenerbache, and they will rely on the goal-scoring exploits of African Player of the Year Fredi Kanoute and Luis Fabiano, who have four goals each in the competition.

Lyon at Manchester United (1-1 draw)
United are -260 favorites to go through at Old Trafford after snatching an away goal at Lyon, and they looked like the better team for most of the game. Cristiano Ronaldo is one of four players with five goals to lead the way in the Champions League, and he will be at the forefront to carry United to the next round.

Olympiakos at Chelsea
(0-0 draw)
Chelsea should have an edge after dominating Olympiakos in Greece, and they are favored at -345 to come away with the win at Stamford Bridge. The Blues have the injured John Terry and Frank Lampard back in the lineup, and because of their inspired play at the Bridge, Chelsea should move to the next round.

Schalke at Porto (Schalke leads 1-0)
Porto will still feel like they have a good chance after giving up only one goal in Germany, and they are favored at -140 because they have yet to lose at home this season in the Portuguese league. Look for Porto to call upon their experience in 2004, when they won the Champions League.

Roma at Real Madrid (Roma leads 2-1)
Madrid are -215 favorites to book their passage at the Bernabeu, but they will need to contain Roma’s inspirational captain Francesco Totti, who carved up the Spanish giants in Italy. Madrid’s famous supporters should be enough to push them through in what will be a close match.