I went to watch the Chelsea vs Bolton game at Stamford Bridge at the weekend for two reasons, the first because I scored two free tickets to the game and the second, to work out whether Liverpool would be able to defy the odds and overcome Chelsea in the second leg of their CL tie. Prior to the weekend fixture, I wouldn’t have bet a single pound on Liverpool making it thru to the semi’s. Chelsea had what was probably their best game all season at Anfield and with Essien back in the side, they looked solid throughout the game. But, after Chelski’s performance at the weekend I think
Liverpool are in the with half a chance at least, I still wouldn’t bet anything on them making it to the semi-finals but definitely won’t rule them out altogether.Chelsea were looking very ordinary for the better part of the first half on Saturday and as soon as they went 4-0 up, they took their feet of the gas, as you would expect most other teams to do. Hiddink pretty much called it a day when he sub’d Lampard and Drogba for Anelka and Deco, a move which almost cost him 2 points. Bolton, refused to roll over and I’m pretty certain if that game went on for another 5 minutes, Bolton would have left Stamford Bridge with point. I’m sure Rafa and his team must have analysed Chelsea’s weekend fixture looking for holes in their defence of which there many in the second half especially in the last quarter of the game.Liverpool’s own weekend performance was pretty impressive with Torres coming in with a brace and dedicating his goals to victims of the Hillsborough disaster, Hillsborough being one of the biggest talking points in the UK this week. United, however, managed to get the 3 points they needed to stay top of the table thanks to a Kiko Macheda winner (again) and talk at OT is that Kiko is being primed for a 5 year deal with the club when he turns 18. United’s performances have been rocky over the last few weeks but the important thing is that we’re still getting the results and this is what counts in the run-in.
Obviously, the biggest question for United this week is Porto. The strange thing is that many pundits are predicting United to overcome Porto, even the “special one”, former Porto Gaffer Jose Mourinho reckons United are going to leave the Estadio do Dragao victorious. As a United fan, I’d like to believe all the hype but the reality of the situation is that we need to go to Porto and do what no English team has ever done before. I have every belief and confidence that we do have the quality to pull this off, but I wonder if we have the hunger. It’s matches like this that I wish we still had the calibre of player like the great Keano or Eric the King still in the squad, because that is exactly what we need in this fixture ... a player who has both the hunger for victory and the ability to lift and inspire the team.
I know a lot of fans are looking to Ronaldo to provide the magic to drive this one home and even though he is a brilliant player and has risen to the occasion many times (which is a fact, despite what has been said about him on this blog and many other football forums), I personally don’t believe Ronaldo possesses the ability to lift the team with his performances. I believe if anyone in the United squad is up to the task at hand it would either be Giggsy or Rooney. Either way, let’s hope we can re-write the history books in Portugal on Wednesday night. On the Ronaldo note, Fergie has gone public with a warning to Ronaldo to harden up and stop all the whining – when that happens, you know it’s a serious problem.Other than the impending CL fixtures, not much hype is happening in the UK media on the football side. A mention has to be made to “El Pato” (The Duck) - Ángel Miguel Cabrera, the 2009 Masters Champion.
He took the green jacket after a 3 way play-off against Chad Campbell and Kenny Perry at Augusta National. I felt really bad for Kenny Perry who saw off late charges by Tiger and Mickelson only to f**k up the last two holes and lose it all in a play-off. Tiger tried to rally on the last day, but saw his charge fall apart on the 18th after smacking his ball into a tree from the rough. Still, the man’s swing is looking as good as it’s ever been and once he gets his “feel” back, the tour better beware !!! By his own admission, he had a really lousy Masters and still managed to finish 6th ... only one other golfer’s “slump” was as “good” and that was Jack Nicklaus ... look how he turned out !!!
Jeez,Easter Weekends over already. Istima,chilling and its gone. In terms of footie it was exciting as usual.All the top dogs won and the MANCS well,without sounding bias were lucky again.At least we won the cricket
WEEKEND SOCCER ROUND UP
Liverpool got over the mid week champions league woes and thumped Blackburn 4-0 with a wonder goal from Fernando Torres. Liverpool thumped Blackburn and a worthy mention was Aggers strike also. Chelsea were 4-0 up and eventually won 4-3.Now many toppies over the weekend were saying that if Chelsea can concede 3 against Bolton they can let in three against liverpool at the Bridge. Sounds a bit like the THEORY of the Italia 90 commentator that said Brazil beat Argentina 3-1.Brazil beat Bafana 2-1.That MEANS BAFANA ARE BETTER THAN ARGENTINA. Its gonna be tough at the Bridge tomorow but lets wait and see and HOPE IS ALL WE HAVE.
THE MANCS well now is that luck.A cruel deflection that got them the winner against Sunderland. Again Macheda was brought on and a wicked deflection got teh MANCS three points Many MANCS though are worried about Wednesday night against Porto.They have conceded that they are playing sh#4te.
But f#4ken deflection and narrow escape last week, maybe the fortunes will favour the MANCS
In Serie A,Juve lost 3-2 to genoa and now Milan are breathing down our backs.Inter drew and Ranieri is putting us in the Perishaans towards teh death
In LA LIGA Barca and Madrid both won. We in for an interesting climax
Exclusive video of Football pranks played on Italian Footballers.A real laugh,especially seeing Gatusso going mad
Captain: Sachin Tendulkar
Colours: Blue and Red
Home Ground: Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai & Dr. D.Y. Patil Sports Academy, Nerul, Navi Mumbai
Capacity: 45,000 & 60,000
Owner: Reliance Industries Limited
Adviser: Harsha Bhogle
Official Website: Mumbai Indians
Mumbai Indians is a cricket team in the Indian Premier League. The team is led by Sachin Tendulkar, who is also the Icon Player for the team. The team is coached by Pravin Amre, the former manager of the Indian Cricket Team and is owned by India's biggest conglomerate, Reliance Industries, through its 100% subsidiary Ratipriya Trading.
Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) purchased the rights for the Mumbai franchise of Indian Premier league for a total of $111.9 million during the auction on January 24, 2008. The RIL bid has made the Mumbai Indians the most expensive franchise in IPL, and hence won the right to hold the semi-finals and the final in Mumbai. The team was unveiled on the 17th of April, 2008 in Mumbai.
2008 IPL season
The season got off to a nightmarish start for the Indians, having lost their captain Sachin Tendulkar to a hamstring injury. With Harbhajan Singh taking over as captain, the team proceeded to lose their first 4 matches of the tournament. After Singh’s suspension for hitting Sreesanth, Shaun Pollock assumed the leadership duties until Tendulkar’s return on 14 May. It was during this time that the team turned their fortunes around, putting together a 6 game winning streak and an opportunity to make the semi-finals. They were unable to take advantage of this opportunity as they lost 3 of their next 4 games, with the 3 losses occurring in very close affairs. The Indians finished with a record of 7 wins and 7 losses. Sanath Jayasuriya played a vital role in securing two important wins for the team.
2009 IPL season
During the IPL's first transfer window, The Indians acquired Zaheer Khan in exhange for Robin Uthappa. Jaydev Shah and Shikhar Dhawan were also added to the roster and Dwayne Smith, Dominic Thornely and Ashwell Prince were released from their contracts. Shaun Pollock decided not to return for the second season of IPL, however he kept an association with the franchise (most likely taking on a coaching or consultant role). At the player auction on February 6, 2009, the Mumbai Indians purchased J P Duminy for $950,000, Kyle Mills for $150,000 and Mohammad Ashraful for $75,000.
Logo and brand ambassador
The team logo has the Sudarshana Chakra with the team's name engraved in it. The team's colour is blue. The team's jersey is a two-tone blue with three stripes in orange.
In 2008, Bollywood superstar Hrithik Roshan was the brand ambassador of the team.
During the player auction in 2008, the Mumbai Indians successfully bid for 7 players, including two members of the Indian Twenty-20 World cup winning side in Harbhajan Singh and Robin Uthappa. Sanath Jayasuriya, Lasith Malinga, Luke Ronchi,Dilhara Fernando and Shaun Pollock were other cricketers who were successfully bid for by the franchise.
Outside of the player auction, the franchise also signed up Ajinkya Rahane and Abhishek Nayar (from Mumbai), Yogesh Takawale (WK-Batsman from Maharashtra) and Pinal Shah (WK-Batsman from Baroda). Saurabh Tiwary and Manish Pandey, the members of the U-19 world-cup winning team were the random picks drafted in during the BCCI held second auction. Dominic Thornely was also signed by the Mumbai Indians for a sum of 25000 USD. Andre Nel the South African fast bowler was signed on in the place of Dwayne Bravo who left the tournament early.
In the 2009 player auction,the Mumbai Indians signed up South African sensation, Jean Paul Duminy for $950,000.He was the third most expensive pick after Kevin Pietersen and Andrew Flintoff (both signed up for $1.55m by Bangalore Royal Challengers and Chennai Super Kings respectively). In addition they also bought New Zealander,Kyle Mills.
In the 2008-2009 transfer window, Mumbai Indians conducted two straight swap deals, with no money exchanged. Ashish Nehra was swapped with Shikhar Dhawan of Delhi Daredevils and on the last day of the transfer window, Robin Uthappa was swapped with Zaheer Khan of Royal Challengers Bangalore, who plays for Mumbai in the Ranji Trophy. In a three-way trade, Jaydev Shah of the Rajasthan Royals - captain of the Saurashtra Ranji squad that made it to the semi-finals and son of former cricket board secretary Niranjan Shah - will move to the Mumbai Indians. Batsman Gaurav Dhiman of the Mumbai Indians will turn out for the Bangalore Royal Challengers and lanky Rajasthan Ranji Trophy team pacer Pankaj Singh, of the Rajasthan Royals, will don the colours of the Bangalore Royal Challengers in the coming IPL season.
Mumbai Indians Roster
21 Jean-Paul Duminy
09 Mohammed Ashraful
-- Jude Singh
16 Pinal Shah
23 Yogesh Takawale
-- Luke Ronchi
17 Lasith Malinga
26 Dilhara Fernando
03 Harbhajan Singh
30 Dhawal Kulkarni
33 Rohan Raje
34 Zaheer Khan
-- Chetanya Nanda
-- Rahil Sheikh
Head Coach: Pravin Amre
Asst Coach: Sameer Dighe
Bowling Coach: Shaun Pollock
Fielding Coach: Jonty Rhodes
Physiotherapist: Dr. Nitin Patel 
→ More Rosters
The Mumbai Indians have two home grounds, the Wankhede Stadium and the Dr. D.Y. Patil Sports Academy
In other Sporting shorts Cabrera the Argentinian won the Masters and the SHARKS were butchered against bottom of the Log,Free State Cheetas in the Super 14