Barcelona Captures Third Champions League Crown With Win Over Manchester United

first_imgBy Dialogo May 28, 2009 Barcelona stunned holders Manchester United to win their third Champions League crown with a 2-0 victory here. Goals from star forwards Samuel Eto’o and Lionel Messi gave the Catalans a deserved victory and denied United from becoming the first team to retain the title since the European Cup became the Champions League in 1993. It gave the Spaniards a unique treble having already won their domestic league and cup and meant they repeated a feat United achieved in 1999, which Red Devils boss Sir Alex Ferguson had then claimed would never be matched. It crowned a marvellous debut season for his Barcelona counterpart Pep Guardiola, who at 38 becomes the youngest coach to take European club football’s greatest prize. British newspapers said Manchester were ripped to shreds by a superior Barcelona in the Champions League final, taking Alex Ferguson’s hopes for a place in history down with them. “United leave Rome in ruins,” said The Times, after the 2-0 defeat in the Italian capital on Wednesday. “United fold without a fight,” said the Guardian. There was universal admiration for Barcelona’s performance — and scathing words for United, which had hoped to become the first team to retain the Champions League for a second year running. The Sun said Barca offered a “mesmerising” performance which made United look “as lifeless as the statues that lined the road to the Stadio Olimpico”. “It’s Messi-cre for Fergie flops” said the Sun, referring to Barcelona’s Lionel Messi who scored the second goal of the night 20 minutes from time. “Ferguson’s side, making elementary mistakes at the back, didn’t have an answer,” said one commentator in the tabloid. For Thierry Henry it ended years of frustration especially when his then team Arsenal lost to Barcelona in the 2006 final. “Finally I have won it! I have been waiting for so long for this moment,” said the France great, whose daughter celebrated her birthday as well on Wednesday. “The last five minutes were the longest of my life. Even if we were 2-0 up we were playing the best team in the world (referring to the world club championship title United won earlier this year).” Ferguson accepted defeat with good grace. “We started the game brightly but the goal was a killer,” said the 67-year-old Scot, who looked to have had a good omen when one of his horses Last Three Minutes won a race earlier on Wednesday. “However, they are a better team than us. We conceded two bad goals. Our defence has been good all season but those were two shoddy goals to lose.” Barca overcame early jitters to dominate large parts of the game as the English club never managed to get their usual high tempo game into gear. In a clash billed as the match of the century pitting the best two teams in the world – with each one boasting one of the best two players in the world – only one played to their full potential. And Ferguson may be questioning his team selection having left both Dimitar Berbatov and Carlos Tevez on the United bench as Ryan Giggs played off lone striker Cristiano Ronaldo with Wayne Rooney and Park Ji-Sung confined to disciplined roles on the flanks. Both sides made a nervy start with Barca goalkeeper Victor Valdes and United’s Park – the first ever Asian player to play in a Champions League final – playing passes straight into touch. But United settled quickest and Ronaldo had a purple patch in which he terrorised the Spaniards for 10 minutes. He hit a 25-yard free-kick that Valdes couldn’t hold and former United defender Gerard Pique had to dive in to deflect Park’s follow-up away for a corner. Ronaldo then lashed a fierce long range drive wide and later, after controlling the ball on his chest, he hit a left-foot volley that sailed agonisingly inches past the post. The reigning champions were enjoying all the ball and chances but out of the blue Barca took the lead. Andres Iniesta played in Eto’o who beat Nemanja Vidic inside the box and although Michael Carrick slid in to try to block his shot, he succeeded only in helping it past Edwin van der Sar. That goal settled Barca into their usual stride and they started to weave the pretty patterns that have been mesmerising opponents all season, carrying them to the remarkable feat of scoring more than 150 goals. As the half wore on United gradually lost their shape and rhythm with Ferguson responding late on by pushing Rooney up alongside Ronaldo and Giggs out to the left. Xavi tried his luck from a free-kick which, like Giggs’s earlier, was too high but by now Barca had wrested control of the game and were keeping the ball with alarming ease. Ferguson wasted no time in switching tactics, bringing on Tevez for Anderson at the break and reverting to a more regular 4-4-2, the Argentine playing alongside Ronaldo and Giggs dropping back into a deeper role. But Barca were first to strike on the counter as Henry cut in from the flank and left Ferdinand on the seat of his pants before shooting weakly at van der Sar on 48 minutes. The Spaniards were totally in the ascendancy and Xavi fired a free-kick off the post on 53 minutes with van der Sar beaten as Barca threatened to run riot. The reigning champions steadied the ship and Ferguson signalled his intent when he threw Berbatov on for Park with a quarter of the match remaining. But just as the tide seemed to be turning, Barca extended their lead from the most unlikely source as Xavi picked out Messi at the back post on the edge of the six yard box, the Argentine wizard’s looping header arcing into the top corner on 70 minutes.last_img read more

SportMods will go topless at Thunderhill’s July 4 Soukup Memorial

first_imgBy Edward AnschutzSTURGEON BAY, Wis. – The second annual John Soukup Memorial will pay $1,000 to win and a minimum of $150 to start the Friday, July 4 Karl Chevrolet Northern SportMod feature at Thunderhill Raceway.All Northern SportMods must remove their roof and sail panels to be eligible for the $1,000 top prize. If not, standard pay applies for the draw/redraw show. “The winner’s share of the purse could rise. Last year it doubled as local Bernie Reinhardt took home the win,” said promoter Woody Wodack. “John was a great friend and keeping his memory alive at the track he loved makes it a special night for everyone who comes in the gate. We’re looking for some solid competition from visitors and our locals.” Entry fee for the Soukup Memorial will be the same as for weekly events, $20 for members and $25 for non-members. IMCA Xtreme Motor Sports Modifieds and IMCA Sunoco Stock Cars are also on the card. IMCA Speedway Motors Weekly Racing National, regional and Allstar Performance State points, but no local track points will be awarded in those divisions. IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stocks race for all applicable points. Pit gates and the grandstand both open at 3:30 p.m. Hot laps are at 6 p.m. and with racing to follow.Grandstand admission is adults $10, seniors and students ages 13-17 $7, kids 6-12 $3 and five and under free.This race night will count towards the $20,000 contingency. Drivers will be allowed to miss three nights of racing and still remain in the drawing. Luxemburg Speedway races on Thursday, July 3 and is off for the Fourth.last_img read more

Ward wins again at Tri-City

first_imgAUBURN, Mich. (July 22) – A.J. Ward made another visit to victory lane following the Friday night Main Street Seed and Supply IMCA Modified main event at Tri-City Motor Speedway.The father and son duo of Rusty Zeigler and Ken Zeigler, each of who won their respective heat races earlier in the evening, started on the front row for the 20-lap feature.Rusty Zeigler led the first three laps until Matt Szecsodi made his way by.Szecsodi was well in front of the field when the caution flag waved on lap 12. This allowed Ward, who had fought his way from 10th starting to second, to line up on Szecsodi’s rear bumper on the restart.Ward made what proved to be the winning pass on lap 14 and cruised to the checkered flag.  Szecsodi finished second ahead of Todd Matheson, Heath Grizzle and Ken Zeigler.last_img read more

Second Victory of BH Women Basketball Players

first_imgOn Tuesday, in the fifth round, the National Team will play match against Norway. The tournament ends on July 13th, when the top three teams will win qualification to A-division. (Source: Fena/photo ekskluziva) After victory over Romania and the defeat by Lithuania and Hungary, young basketball players won the selection of Israel in the fourth round with the result of 73:51 (19:9, 21:16, 16:16, 17:10).center_img The most efficient in BH team was Marica Gajić with 24 points, while Nikolina Džebo achieved 12 points. The  Women’s basketball team of Bosnia and Herzegovina achieved another victory at the European Championship of B Division. The Championship matches will be played by players up to 20 years and will be held in Sofia.last_img read more