Connect with us


Liverpool Run Riots at Barcelona to Enter Champions League Final



Liverpool Barcelona

Last updated on May 9th, 2019

Liverpool did the impossible, probably breaking the word and reading it as ‘I-am-possible’. Trailing by 3-0 after the Lionel Messi show at the Camp Nou, the Reds turned around the game at Anfield against Barcelona, scoring 4 without a reply to book place in the second successive Champions League final.

Barcelona looked fragile right from the kick-off in the second-leg, and Divock Origi started the unlikely revival after he tapped home from close range only in the seventh minute. However, it was not until Georginio Wijnaldum, who came in as super-sub to score 2 goals within the space of 122 seconds.

Lagging the likes of Roberto Firmino and Mohammed Salah in their ranks, not many gave Liverpool the chance to come out on top. But Barcelona were rattled, and even Messi could not do anything.

During match, while visitors were still absorbing the shock of two goals – that put things on level terms (3-3) –they were once again caught by Trent Alexander-Arnold who saw the opposition’s defence napping from the corner. Arnold delivered ball right at Origis feet, who scored his 2nd and Liverpool’s 4th goal on the night, just 11 minutes from the full-time whistle.

The victory meant that the Reds managed another famous European fightback, notably after they won Champions League for the fifth time in Istanbul, 2005.

Besides, for Messi and his team, history repeated itself as they famously gave away a gripping advantage. Only last year, Barcelona were undone by Roma in the quarter-finals, losing 3-0 to give away 4-1 advantage, held post the first-leg.

While it was a night to forget for the visitors, the Reds would love to keep the memory of this clash, as they now look forward to lifting the coveted trophy on June 1. The team currently awaits the winner of Spurs vs Ajax to know who will they face in Madrid.


Can Women’s Inaugural FIFA Football Conference End Inequality Chants?



FIFA Football Conference

Recently concluded, the FIFA Women’s World Cup in France was the one that will be remembered for the heroics of the US national team. However, this is not it and the tournament will once again take the centre stage in Milan on 22 September, as FIFA moves ahead to host the first ever women’s FIFA Football Conference. The meetup is aimed at analyzing the women’s’ performance at the world’s grandest stage.

Technical directors and women’s national team coaches of FIFA’s member associations (MAs) will be amongst those invited, alongside all six confederations’ technical directors and heads of women’s football.

Such a presentation will not only help make things better, but would also give women’s game the status they rightly deserve. In recently concluded final, there were chants for equal pay, and it was surely no co-incidence that the crowd got involved to once again highlight the issue at world stage.

Before beginning of the competition, Ada Hegerberg of Norway also sidelined the bid to play in the Women’s World Cup, citing gender inequality in the game.

Nonetheless, FIFA Football Conference would also include an analysis from technical, tactical and physical point of view. Discussions on the main footballing trends in comparison to previous editions of the tournament will also be covered.

“This historic conference will give us a unique opportunity to better understand how women’s football has been developing on the pitch and the main lessons learnt from France. It’s also an ideal platform to share experiences between well-established women’s football powerhouses and those member associations that are starting to invest more and more in the female game,” said Branimir Ujević, FIFA’s Head of Coaching & Player Development and the Project Lead for the Technical Study Group in France.

The FIFA Football conference will be held on the eve of the Best FIFA Football Awards 2019, and will crown, The Best FIFA Women’s Player, The Best FIFA Women’s Goalkeeper and The Best FIFA Women’s Coach.

Though the step marks significant improvement in the status given to women, but it still doesn’t assure if demands for equality would stop, unless both genders are recognized equally by FIFA.

A similar conference was also performed after the conclusion of the men’s FIFA World Cup in Russia last year.

Continue Reading


America’s 4th World Cup Triumph Extends Beyond Just Another Victory



Fifa Women World Cup 2019

Performance that had hard work and sheer class written all over it – the United States Women’s soccer team won their record fourth World Cup title on Sunday. Defeating Netherlands, 2-0, in Lyon, France, the team successfully defended their title.

After a closely fought first half that saw no goals produced, besides Netherlands who held the prominent US attack, Megan Rapinoe broke the deadlock via her conversion from the spot in the 61st minute.

Rushing to take back control of the match, Netherlands conceded another in the 69th minute, this time via Rose Lavelle; who made a driving run to convert her chance. Netherlands completely lost flair following the second goal and were unable to do anything, with the possession they had. Holland managed 5 shots on goal during the match, of which only 1 was on target, while American players made 17 attempts, of which 10 were on target.

“It’s surreal,” said Rapinoe, who was named the tournament’s outstanding player. “I don’t know how to feel. It’s ridiculous.” Winning the title for second straight time, a lot of players who celebrated the triumph in Canada were also present in France. America’s Alex Morgan and Kelley O’Hara, who was forced off the ground at halftime after a head-to-head collision, were seen in tears of joy after the full-time whistle.

“They put their heart and soul into this journey, and I can’t thank them enough,” United States Coach Jill Ellis said after the victory. America won the first world cup in 1991, before winning another at their home soil in 1999.

Out of eight editions played so far, the women’s team has never finished lower than a third place in the tournament. However, despite all the glory they have brought home, the current team had to sue its own federation for gender discrimination, earlier this year. Ironically, the long-running protests did not stop women from doing their bit, as they lifted the coveted trophy in France last night.

The campaign for equal pay draws sense in every possible way, and when the pro-American crowd inside the Stade de Lyon on Sunday once again chanted “Equal Pay!”, it surely was no coincidence.

Continue Reading


Lionel Messi Red Card Could Turn into a Two-Year Ban



Lionel Messi Red Card Could Turn into a Two-Year Ban

People who are not even aware about Football, know who Lionel Messi is.
At the Saturday Copa America bronze medal match, the Argentina captain was sent off the field. Leo Messi received a red card, which he believes was unfair. Blaming the South American football governing body CONMEBOL, he stated that it prevented his team taking away the title they wanted for 26 years.

However, the outburst, where he also publicly denounced the officials could lead to Messi receiving a two-year ban. In that case, the world’s favorite could also miss qualification at the much-awaited 2022 FIFA World Cup, as well as the 2020 Copa America, hosted by his homeland.

Although Messi got a red card, his team still won against Chile at 2-1. Following the victory, the FC Barcelona star refused to take part in the medal ceremony and berated CONMEBOL. The Argentinian star said that he “did not want to be part of this corruption” and claimed his squad “shouldn’t have to be part of this disrespect we suffered during the Copa America”.

“We could have gone further but we weren’t allowed into the final. Corruption, referees and all the rest stopped people from enjoying the football,” Messi explained.

The organization, on the other hand, accused him of disrespecting “hundreds of professionals of CONMEBOL, an institution that since 2016 has been working tirelessly to make South American football more transparent, professional, and well-developed”.

In the first-half, Number 10 was sent off after an altercation with Chilean midfielder Gary Medel. Leo Messi nudged Medel as he chased the ball into the box, and the latter reacted by chest-bumping the Argentinian twice. While Medel appeared to lose his temper, the referee chose to give a straight red card to both the players.

A two-year ban for Leo Messi is being expected because of the rules of CONMEBOL, which completely prohibits insulting the organization in any manner.

In a statement on Twitter, Comunicado Oficial wrote, “In football, sometimes you lose and sometimes you win. One of the fundamental pillars of fair play is to accept the results and the refereeing decisions with respect.”

Lionel Messi is Argentina’s all-time top-scorer with a score of 68 goals in 136 matches. The Atomic Flea is known for laying a legacy on the pitch every time he plays. While his nation couldn’t break its 26-year title drought at the Copa America, the current scenario is worse than one could have imagined for the team.

Continue Reading


Milan’s Europa League Ban Should Serve as a Reminder to Manchester City



europa league

AC Milan has been handed a one-year ban from European football over breaches of Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations. The Serie A club will not play in the 2019-2020 Europa League.

UEFA, European football’s governing body, had accused the Italian club of flouting FFP rules over the past three seasons and the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), on Friday, ruled in its favour.

Milan’s ban comes as a blessing for AS Roma, which will capitalize on Milan’s adversity. Roma, which finished 6th in the standings, now move up to the group stage of Europa League. Their position in the qualifying rounds will be grabbed by seventh-placed Torino.

Milan, once a European powerhouse, with seven European titles, is merely a shadow of its former self today. San Siro was once the home of football and some of the greatest players the game has ever known played there; Paolo Maldini, Franco Baresi, Kaka, Ruud Gullit, Marco van Basten and Andrea Pirlo, to name a few. It all seems such a long time ago.

Like in most cases of downfalls, financial difficulties played a huge role in the reversal of fortunes for the Rossoneri. Silvio Berlusconi, a constant at AC Milan for 31 years, had put the rival Italian clubs to shame with his lavish spending. But the former Italian prime minister couldn’t cut off the debts that had tormented the club for almost a decade. This was just one of the factors, though.

Milan’s consistent refusal to adopt a more offensive style of play, something that most top-flight European clubs have built their successes on, has hurt them badly. An unshakeable belief in a more defensive approach has let them down over and over again.

But this, perhaps, is not the moment to discuss the rise and fall of one of the mightiest clubs to have ever played the beautiful game.

It is about the message that has emerged out of the decision to ban the club.

The ban imposed on Milan by the governing body has sent a strong signal to those who circumvent rules of the game. Be prepared to face the music if you are found breaching the codes of conduct.

The most significant aspect of fair play is based on the idea of equal opportunities. But it’s an ambitious goal. In the rat race for sporting success, the access for clubs to external financial resources is not evenly allocated and some financially robust clubs don’t seem to care for the rules. As the German saying goes, “money scores goal”. This is the principle on which they apparently operate.

With the ban on Milan, UEFA has conveyed its zero-tolerance approach to financial misconduct. But, the Italian club is not a financial powerhouse and does not have the clout that some others, like Manchester City, enjoy. It can be argued that UEFA did not face much resistance from Milan.

Even before the verdict was read out, a frantic Manchester City lodged an appeal against UEFA’s investigation into breaches of fair play regulations, with the Court of Arbitration for Sport. But that was an exercise in futility. CAS receives appeals only after a decision has been made. City jumped the gun in utter desperation.

They are staring at a one-year ban from the Champions League by UEFA’s Club Financial Control Body if allegations that they circumvented FFP regulations on spending are found to be true.

This case could prove to be a ‘real’ litmus test of UEFA’s ability to prove to the world that it can hold its own against financial giants of the game. If City is found to have infringed, it will have been for the second time. In 2014, the Abu Dhabi-owned club settled for a $60 million fine, alongwith transfer restrictions, after it broke the same FFP rules.

Club owner, Sheikh Mansour Zayed Al Nahyan of the Abu Dhabi royal family, would be hoping money once again scores a goal. In which case, a terrible precedent will be set, making a mockery of the governing body’s authority.

Although UEFA’s banning of Milan does not, in any way, add muscle to the governing body, it’s a step in the right direction, nevertheless.

Continue Reading


Frank Lampard Returns to Chelsea as Club Manager



Frank Lampard Returns to Chelsea as Club Manager

Chelsea have finally signed their ex-midfielder, Frank Lampard, as the new manager on a three-year deal. Lampard, 41, left the Championship side Derby county to take over at his former club.

He succeeds Maurizio Sarri, who left Stamford Bridge in June to take charge of the Italian Champions Juventus. Sarri also had a good outing in his only season at the club, leaving with a Europa League silverware around his neck.

Lampard, on the other hand, led Derby County to the play-off final, but his side lost to Aston Villa, it was also his only season at the club. In a career for the Blues that spanned over 13 years, Lampard made 648 appearances, scored 211 goals and lifted 11 major trophies for his Stamford outfit.

“I am immensely proud to be returning to Chelsea as head coach”. “Everyone knows my love for this club and the history we have shared. However, my sole focus is on the job in hand and preparing for the season ahead,” Frank Lampard said on his appointment. “I am here to work hard, bring further success to the club and I cannot wait to get started,” he added showcasing hos excitement for what lies ahead.

His appointment comes just nine days after his former club allowed him to talk to Chelsea. With selection, the Englishman has become club’s 10th full-time manager to be named by Roman Abramovich, who took over in 2003.

Chelsea director stating the reason of his selection said Lampard’s Championship play-off final appearance with Derby showed the potential he has. “Frank possesses fantastic knowledge and understanding of the club,” she added.

Apart from the midfielder, Petr Cech also returned to the club as a technical advisor last month. Surely, a lot will ride on Lampard’s shoulders for the 19/20 season, especially when Eden Hazard has already parted ways to join Real Madrid.

Continue Reading