The Other Side of The Pond

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The Weekend Recap: April 15-18

ENGLAND

Most of the attention was on the FA Cup Semi-Finals this past weekend. In a special edition of the Manchester derby City put in a great second half performance to win 1-0 over Manchester United. Yaya Toure scored with a wonderful solo effort and Paul Scholes saw red for a vicious tackle on City’s defender Zabaleta. In the other semi-final Stoke City put on a scintillating display at Wembley running out 5-0 victors over Bolton Wanderers. In the Premier League Chelsea, Everton, and Aston Villa all won on Saturday, while Liverpool and Arsenal played out a wild finish that saw them share the spoils with a 1-1 draw.

FRANCE

Leaders Lille only managed a draw with struggling Bordeaux setting up a wild finish to this season’s Le Championnat. Rennes also continued to slide as they fell to Lorient 2-1. Rennes and Marseille were lucky however as Lyon suffered a loss to PSG in the weekend’s marquee matchup. Marseille continued to put pressure on Lille winning 2-1 at Montpellier. Rennes’ loss moved them out of the top four to fifth as PSG and Lyon leapfrogged them. Lille are still in first place but now only have a one-point advantage over Marseille.

GERMANY

Borussia Dortmund took a huge step towards the Bundesliga with an easy 3-0 win over Freiburg at home. They now hold an eight-point lead over Bayer Leverkusen who were thumped by an impressive Bayern Munich side 5-1; Mario Gomez provided three of Bayern’s five goals. Schalke were only able to draw with strugglers Werder Bremen, while Wolfsburg tied St. Pauli 2-2 in a match that had relegation implications. Relegation candidates, Vfb Stuggart, took a big step towards keeping themselves in the top flight with a 3-1 win over Cologne.

ITALY

Inter continued their disastrous run-in to the league season with a 2-0 loss to Parma. With AC Milan winning 3-0 Inter are now eight points behind their city rivals and seem to be out of the title race. Second place Napoli also tasted defeat losing 2-1 to Udinese. Their loss sees them maintain their two-point lead over Inter for second place. Roma also lost this weekend to Palermo, while Lazio cruised to a 4-1 win over Catania. While AC seem to be on course for the title the race for the remaining Champions League spots is looking set to go down to the last weekend.

SPAIN

All eyes were on the Real Madrid-Barcelona match this weekend with the result being a bit of letdown. Both teams seemed to be relatively happy with a 1-1 draw that saw both marquee names, Messi and Ronaldo, convert penalty kicks. In other action Valencia beat Almeria 3-0 and Villarreal won a tough match against Real Zaragoza 1-0 with Giuseppe Rossi scoring from the penalty spot. The top four teams in Spain are already set and it seems that they all will be remaining in their current place as the season draws to a close.

MLS

The Portland Timbers opened their new stadium in style with wins over Chicago (4-2) and Dallas (3-2) capping off a wonderful weekend for MLS in the Northwest. Seattle and Philadelphia tied 1-1 thanks to a stoppage time goal from the Sounders’ Alvaro Fernandez. LA won at Chicago on Sunday without Landon Donovan or David Beckham and the New York Red Bulls finally showed some of their potential with a 3-0 rout of San Jose at Red Bull Arena. Englishman Luke Rodgers scored twice and set up Thierry Henry for the final goal, as the two players seemed to develop a good partnership as the match went on.

AROUND EUROPE

PSV and Ajax won while Twente tied in Holland. PSV and Twente are now tied for first with Ajax just one point behind….Benfica won while Porto continued their excellent run beating Sporting Lisbon 3-2….Zenit St. Petersburg, CSKA and Lokomotiv Moscow all won in Russia….Rangers won this weekend in Scotland to go top of the table, but they are just one point ahead of Celtic with the Hoops having a game in hand.

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