Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Totti hits 200 goal marks and be among the all time Italian goal scorer.

Roma legend Francesco Totti this week make another headline when he hits 200 goal marks in Italian football and become among the all time goal scorer.

The moment came when he helps his one and only club, AS Roma holds Fiorentina 2-2 in Florence. It's been almost 2 decades for him since he made a debut for Roma on March 28, 1993 at the age of 18. It was his 37th career brace which saw him break the boundaries and took him beyond the 200-plus goal barrier, four behind the legendary Roberto Baggio on 205.

His record breaking achievement will soothe the pain of a turbulent season, but, more importantly, it bears testament to Totti's leadership, determination and capacity to overthrow adversity in the toughest of circumstances, and perhaps in one of the Lupi's hardest seasons.

Totti has taken it all in his stride; labelled as finished with the constant threat of injury, caught up in the middle of the Claudio Ranieri - Vincenzo Montella battle for the bench, blamed for his side's Champions League exit... it's been tough at Trigoria.


Goals Club Nationality
Silvio Piola  274 Lazio, Torino, Juventus, Novara  Italy
Gunnar Nordahl  225 Milan, Roma  Sweden
Giuseppe Meazza  216 Inter, Milan, Juventus, Varese, Atalanta  Italy
Jose Altafini  216 Milan, Napoli, Juventus  Italy/Brazil
Roberto Baggio  205 Vicenza, Fiorentina, Juventus, Milan, Bologna, Inter, Brescia  Italy
Francesco Totti  201 Roma  Italy
Kurt Hamrin  190 Juventus, Padova, Fiorentina, Milan, Napoli  Sweden
Giuseppe Signori  188 Foggia, Lazio, Sampdoria, Bologna  Italy
Gabriel Batistuta  184 Fiorentina, Roma, Inter  Argentina
Alessandro Del Piero  180 Juventus  Italy

But tough times call for tough measures, and there's no one better - has there ever been? - to take a leading role at Roma than 'Er Pupone'. And he responded in the way he knows best against the Viola, a typical Totti penalty first, and classic strike second to rescue his side, the result.

A fine man, and a player who has always been in love with the ball - his best friend, just like Baggio before him. The former Juventus ace took 19 years to score his 205, but he did it with different clubs. Not Totti. A one club man, or one man club if you like - a claim he is entitled to

Saturday, March 12, 2011

UCL 2010/11: Messi Magic Stun Arsenal and Fairy Tale Redknapp.

Lionel Messi did it again! That surely top of the headlines around Europe. His magic touch silence Wenger side and meanwhile Redkapp defensive tactical deny AC Milan progress in UCL this season.

In Nou Camp, Barcelona denied Arsene Wenger day dream to qualify next round after Messi another magic with 2 goals stopped Arsenal after 3-1 win (4-3 aggregate) last Tuesday. In that match, after death of half time brilliant Messi cheers the Catalan fans. Iniesta superb through ball beyond Arsenal players and found Messi in one on one situation. Messi briliiant soft chip past subsitute GK, Manuel Almunia and slotted home a tremendous goal. In 2nd half, Arsenal fought back and found the equalizer after Sergio Busquest headed the ball into his net after a corner taken by Nasri. The match became more interesting when Robin van Persie shown a 2nd yellow in that match after kicked the ball while the referee blown an offside fault.

After the incident, Barcelona as usual dominates the ball more with 80% procession. Only that in 70th mins, good runs by Iniesta in the middle of the field and found Villa unmarked.He touched the ball to Xavi to clinch the goal past unrushing Almunia to make it 2-1. 5 mins later, Barca awarded a penalty after Pedro was brought down by Kocielny in penalty box. Messi with his calm shot and scored to make it Barca 3-1 up.  Barca progressed after another Messi magic.

In White Hard Lane, Spurs hold mighty AC Milan to advance into QF. Milan conquered the match more and created many chances. Ibra, Robinho and Pato struggle to find the ball into the back of the net. Spurs defensive tactical by Harry Redknapp successfully hold Milan from finding a little space. This is another dissapointing for the Italian football after Roma been shown an exit path by minnow Shakthar with 6-2 aggregate.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Carling Cup Final: Wenger silverware drought continues in Blues.....

A last minute strike from Obafemi Martins secured a League Cup win for Birmingham as they beat Arsenal 2-1 at Wembley to secure their first trophy since 1963 and ensure the Gunners' six year trophy drought continues.

Birmingham had taken the lead through Nikola Zigic in the first half but an acrobatic strike from Robin van Persie levelled the game before a mistake from Laurent Koscielny and goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny gifted the ball to Martins who won the game for Alex McLeish’s men.

Arsenal were rocked by injuries to key men Cesc Fabregas and Theo Walcott who were both unavailable for Arsene Wenger as the Gunners went in search of their first piece of silverware in six years. Tomas Rosicky and Andrey Arshavin were called into the starting line-up in place of the injured duo, and Laurent Koscielny was preferred in central defence ahead of Sebastien Squillaci. That meant three changes to the Gunners line-up from their semi-final win over Ipswich Town with Alex Song, Samir Nasri and Rosicky in for Fabregas, Denilson and Bendtner.

Alex McLeish made two changes from the semi-final second leg win over West Ham with Keith Fahey and Nikola Zigic named in the starting line-up in place of Matt Derbyshire and Cameron Jerome. Birmingham recalled Sebastian Larsson, Craig Gardner, Ben Foster and Zigic to the starting line-up after they were rested for last weekend’s FA Cup victory over Sheffield Wednesday.

The game had its first moment of controversy after just the three minutes when Zigic controlled a pass on his chest before playing in Lee Bowyer behind the Arsenal defence. He took the ball past Wojciech Szczesny and was brought down by the young goalkeeper but rather than a penalty being awarded Arsenal were saved by the assistant referee who flagged for offside. However, replays showed the midfielder was actually being played onside by Gael Clichy and Szczesny breathed a sigh of relief as he could had given away a penalty and would probably have been sent off.

Eight minutes into the game Arsenal had their first chance and it fell to Arshavin who was denied by a good save from Foster. Nasri began the move drifting inside from the right wing before disguising a pass into the Russian, he spun away from Martin Jiranek but his shot was saved by the legs of the Birmingham keeper.

Arsenal were beginning to exert some pressure on the Birmingham defence and a minute later they twice went close through Johan Djourou. Both chances came from corners and the defender was able to lose his marker but was unable to direct either chance on target.

Both sides began to trade possession and clear-cut chances were at a premium but that all changed in the 28th minute when Birmingham opened the scoring through Zigic. The opportunity came from a Sebastian Larsson corner, it was headed towards goal by Roger Johnson and flicked into the net by the unmarked Serbian striker in front of Szczesny.

Understandably this shocked Arsenal in to life and straight from restart they came close to getting themselves back into the match. A good run by Bacary Sagna down the right ended with a dangerous cross finding the head of Van Persie but his header just curled away from goal.

Arsenal began the second half in confident mood and eager to get ahead in the game, and they came very close three minutes into the half through Rosicky. A neat flowing move from the Gunners saw Van Persie release Sagna on the overlap down the right wing, his first time cross was to the edge of the penalty area where it was met by Rosicky at full pace but his right foot shot fizzed wide of Foster’s goal.

Birmingham however had not given up hopes of winning the game and Keith Fahey came within inches of giving his side the lead again in the 58th minute. Jean Beausejour, on as a replacement for Gardner, won the ball from Djourou and his pass found Fahey on the edge of the penalty area, the Irishman’s first shot was blocked but the rebound fell back to him and his second strike beat Szczesny but struck the inside of the post and bounced clear.

The second half was struggling to live up to the excitement of the first half but the introduction of Bendtner seemed to spark Arsenal into life. They came close to taking the lead twice in the 75th minute first through Nasri and then through Bendtner. The first chance fell to Nasri but his shot from inside the area was well saved by Foster from close range, and seconds later Bendtner drifted past Larsson on the left edge of the penalty area but Foster was able to hold onto his right foot shot despite a deflection.

Wenger also decided to introduce Marouane Chamakh and in the 78th minute he beat Martin Jiranek on the left wing before playing the ball into Bendtner, however the Dane could not control the pass but the loose ball ran to Rosicky who tried to flick the ball into the net but Foster made a great save

The Arsenal pressure continued as Foster was again tested by Nasri, the Frenchman picking the ball up on the left side of the penalty area but his long range effort was palmed away by the Birmingham keeper.

After so much pressure from Arsenal a last minute mistake from Koscielny and Szczesny gifted the game and the trophy to Birmingham. The two players collided after a flick on from Zigic and the loose ball fell to substitute Obafemi Martins who rolled the ball in from six yards.