Monday, April 28, 2008

Starting Eleven Football Blog Roundup

This week's Starting Eleven Football Blog Roundup gets down to crunch time with some commentary, analysis and gloating over the weekend action in Europe. Chelsea fans rejoice, this blog's for you today--for the most part.

Top of the 18 reports some spoilers on the FA player of the year and young player of the year awards. No surprises really. Also, there’s some catching up on the Man. U. scuffle with the Stamford Bridge staff over the weekend.

Blue Champions, a Chelsea fan blog, chimes in with chagrin over the lack of blue among the player of the year nominees.

One more nod to the Blues. Living True Blue says he’s never been prouder to be a Chelsea hack.

101 Great Goals has a complete roundup of European highlights from the weekend. Relive Chelsea’s last-gasp win over the Manchester United, check in on the tight race for second in Portugal between Sporting and Guimaraes (tied with two games to go), or the formality that is the title race in La Liga. Oh by the way, Celtic and Rangers hooked up again; that’s starting to take on a Red Sox-Yankees feel in that these two seem to play every other weekend, no?

Footballing World points out that United had conceded but one penalty this season prior to Saturday’s game-winner from Michael Ballack. Surprisingly, Sir Alex Ferguson wasn’t happy with the call against Michael Carrick for handball. Hmmm, that noose is getting a little tight in Manchester. Could we be seeing an Arsenal repeat where everything gets away: the Premiership, the Champions League, the domestic trophies? Could Avram Grant have the last laugh on all of them and scoop up a treble of his own: Premiership, Champions League, Carling Cup?

Good friends at Oh You Beauty report on Liverpool’s 2-2 draw at Birmingham. No shocker really with the fourth essentially wrapped up in England, and a massive Champions League semifinal return leg on Wednesday. Good to see Liverpool rally from 0-2 down to earn the point; limping into Stamford Bridge is no way to prepare.

Lots of good stuff at our other friend’s spot at Talking to the Doll. The Benfica site recaps a 2-0 win for the club over Belenenses, and points out that Benfica’s fate is out of its hands. It trails Sporting and Guimaraes by a point for the second automatic Champions League berth; third gets into the qualifying round and fourth plays in the UEFA Cup. Benfica has had a dreadful April, losing the domestic cup semifinal and shameful fashion to Sporting and now falling tantalizingly behind in league.

MLS Rumors reports Volkswagen is close to wrapping up a deal to become a shirt sponsor for D.C. United. How long before we get that in America’s “other” major sports?

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