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Sunday, 22 March 2015

Steven Gerrard sent off for Liverpool 40 seconds into Manchester United match, Twitter trolls him

Gerrard sent off 40 secs into Man United match, Twitter tears him apart
Steven Gerrard gets his marching orders (Picture: PA)
With Steven Gerrard in his final season with Liverpool, every minute on the pitch is extra important to saviour.
But after coming on as a half-time substitute against Manchester United, Gerrard was sent off after just 40 seconds – for a stamp on Ander Herrera.
The pair were involved in a 50:50 tackle when Gerrard stamped down on Herrera’s leg, leading to him being immediately sent off. Doh.
And naturally Twitter was rather sympathetic to Gerrard’s dismissal…

Chelsea ‘begin transfer talks to sign Arsenal target Charles Aranguiz’

Arsenal show interest in midfield star, Chelsea open talks to sign him
Chelsea have made a move for Charles Aranguiz (Picture: Getty)
Chelsea have made an approach to sign brilliant midfielder Charles Aranguiz from Brazilian club Internacional.
Aranguiz, who sparkled for Chile at the World Cup last year, has been tracked by a number of top European clubs.
Arsenal have been strongly linked with his services, but reports in Brazil say Chelsea have made an approach to bring him to Stamford Bridge.
The Blues are keen on doing business for the versatile ace, and would offer about £4.3million to bring him in.
Aranguiz is described as a ‘tigerish’ midfielder who can play defensive, central, right or left midfield.

Steven Gerrard: Liverpool captain sent off in 48 seconds at Anfield

Steven Gerrard
Gerrard gets a red card
Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard was sent off in the 2-1 defeat against Manchester United just 48 seconds after coming on as a half-time substitute.

The 34-year-old, who is due to join LA Galaxy at the end of the season, appeared to stamp on Ander Herrera after the Spaniard tackled him.

Gerrard has just returned from injury and is now set to miss three games.

That includes the FA Cup quarter-final replay against Blackburn, and two of eight remaining Premier League games.

Liverpool were already trailing 1-0 when Gerrard was dismissed by referee Martin Atkinson.

After appearing for the second half, the captain put in a robust challenge on goalscorer Juan Mata, with Herrera responding with a firm tackle on Gerrard, for which the Manchester United midfielder was booked.

TV replays showed that Gerrard reacted by appearing to stamp on Herrera as he lay on the ground and he was shown the sixth red card of his Premier League career.

The former England captain announced in January that he was leaving Anfield after joining the Reds aged nine, and was lauded by many as the club's greatest ever player.

But with only a handful of games left to play for Liverpool, he could hardly have anticipated such a disappointing end to his final season.

After announcing his departure and subsequent move to Los Angeles, he said: "From now until the last kick of the last game of the season, I will be as fully committed to the team as I ever have been and giving everything I have to help Liverpool win games."

Gerrard, who made his Liverpool debut in 1998, led the club to the Champions League title in 2005, and has won a further nine trophies in his career.
Gerrard's first notable act was to make a robust challenge on Mata
Gerrard then appeared to stamp on Herrera after being fouled by the Spaniard
Referee Martin Atkinson sent Gerrard off after just 48 seconds on the pitch
The Liverpool captain is now likely to miss three matches
BBC Sports

Friday, 20 March 2015

Be afraid, be very afraid: Messi shows Madrid he's more complete than ever

Be afraid, be very afraid: Messi shows Madrid he's more complete than ever
Messi against Manchester City
The Argentine warmed up for the Clasico with a football masterclass against Manchester City that will leave Carlo Ancelotti concerned ahead of Sunday's crucial clash.
Even Pep Guardiola could not hide his delight. The Catalan coach was back at Camp Nou for the first time since he quit as the Barcelona boss in 2012 and even though he was there in a professional capacity to scout possible rivals for Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarterfinals, his admiration for Lionel Messi was crystal clear.
Guardiola gasped in amazement as Messi nutmegged James Milner late in the first half, covering his face in disbelief at the sheer brilliance shown by his former player. And when Messi's majestic run and perfect pass set up Ivan Rakitic for Barca to take the lead, the Bayern boss stood up in appreciation, this time pulling his sweater up over his mouth - no doubt to cover up a celebratory cry or a poetic platitude to the world's finest footballer.

And who could blame him? After Guardiola's great Barca side thrashed Real Madrid 5-0 in November 2010, Pep was asked if the Argentine, despite not scoring, had given his most complete performance yet for the Catalan club.

"Messi is always complete," he said. But four and a half years on, he has now surely witnessed the Argentine in his most complete version. Against City, Barca's fantastic forward was omnipresent in the Blaugrana's best play. Fired up by his penalty miss in the first leg last month, the 27-year-old tore City apart with mesmerizing dribbles, pinpoint passes and wonderful vision.

One remarkable run in the first half was wasted as Neymar misplaced a routine pass, but Rakitic made sure the Argentine's vision was rewarded later on as he lobbed Joe Hart to give Barca the lead. Meanwhile, the 27-year-old also whipped two fantastic free kicks onto the roof of the City net. 
Lionel Messi
In the second half, he almost added another wonder goal to his growing collection of spectacular strikes as he cut inside with a dazzling dribble and was denied virtually on the line by Hart.

There was talk at one point that an impressive performance by City in this tie could convince the Argentine to sign for the current Premier League champion. But on this form, he will never ever want to leave the Catalan club and the fans who chanted his name again on Wednesday would stand a sit-in protest to stop such a scenario in any case.

Not that it will happen any time soon. City is no better than last season's side beaten 4-1 on aggregate by Barca in the last 16 of the Champions League, while Luis Enrique's men have now won 27 of their last 30 games in all competitions and, as Guardiola used to say, there are now no adjectives left to describe Messi.

Next up is the Clasico against an inconsistent Real Madrid side at Camp Nou on Sunday and on this evidence, the world and European champions will be up against it in the Catalan capital. Los Blancos not only have to beat Barcelona to regain the lead in La Liga, but they must also somehow stop Messi in his most majestic form. It's a huge ask.