Valencia Shock Barcelona to win 8th Copa del Rey

Valencia Shock Barcelona to Win the Copa del Rey

Valencia are the new Copa del Rey champions after beating Barcelona and denying the Blaugrana a fifth consecutive cup success.

After their woeful Champions League capitulation against Liverpool, Barcelona sought to placate their frustrated fans with a domestic double having wrapped up the league title with three games to spare in April.

But goals from Kevin Gameiro and Rodrigo handed the champions a shock defeat at the Benito Villamarín Stadium that piles more pressure on Ernesto Valverde – with Lionel Messi’s effort with 18 minutes left nothing more than a consolation.

The Catalans could have won their fourth domestic double in five years on Saturday but it was not to be.

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Liverpool produce Europe’s greatest comeback

Liverpool produced the greatest comeback in the club’s European history by beating FC Barcelona 4-0 at Anfield to reach the 2018-19 Champions League final.

Trailing 3-0 from the opening encounter in Spain six days ago, the Reds’ hopes of overcoming the Spanish giants on aggregate were alive, yet slim, at kick-off.

But Jürgen Klopp’s remarkable team achieved what many considered impossible courtesy of two goals apiece from Divock Origi and Georginio Wijnaldum on a scarcely believable night in L4.

And so Liverpool will contest a second successive Champions League final, facing the winners of the other semi-final between Ajax and Tottenham Hotspur in Madrid on June 1.

Barcelona, meanwhile, crashed out of the Champions League by blowing an enormous lead for the second consecutive season in unbelievable fashion. 

After Origi’s first goal in the opening minutes, Liverpool’s dominance continued. The team was stronger on the ball, looked more confident and never gave up, and in the second half everything went right.

Minutes after coming on, Wijnaldum finished this ball inside the box to make it 2-0, leaving Liverpool a goal away from potentially forcing extra time:

Then just three minutes later, Wijnaldum did it again with a header goal:

As the match seemed destined for extra time, Liverpool caught Barcelona napping with a corner kick incoming. Trent Alexander-Arnold walked away from the ball as if he was giving up the set piece, but then he quickly saw Origi all alone and took it, setting up an absolutely jaw-dropping fourth goal:

With that, the comeback was complete and Barca fell short of its goal, as it has done each of the last four UCL seasons. 

Messi scores 600 Club goal

Lionel Messi has reached another milestone in his legendary career, hitting his 600th goal for Barcelona with a wonderful free-kick against Liverpool in their Champions League semi-final first leg on Wednesday.

Messi scored number 599 earlier in the match, pouncing on a rebound from a Luis Suarez shot and walking the ball in, before curling home a lovely strike for his 600th moments later. 

The Argentine becomes just the seventh player in history to reach the 600-goal mark at the club level, though he was beaten to the milestone by eternal rival Cristiano Ronaldo. 

Ronaldo and Messi, who have dominated world football for the last decade, are joined on the exclusive list by Brazilian legends Pele and Romario, Germany’s Gerd Muller, Slavia Prague hero Josef Bican and Hungarian Ferenc Puskas. 

Messi’s first goal for Barcelona came exactly 14 years ago, on May 1, 2005, against Albacete . He has since grown into arguably the biggest star in the game, having won the Ballon d’Or on five occasions, 10 La Liga titles and the Champions League on four occasions. 

At 31, Messi is also a five-time winner of the European Golden Shoe and claimed the World Cup Golden Ball at the 2014 tournament in Brazil. 

His performance on Wednesday leaves Barcelona in prime position to add to that remarkable haul. 

The club have already won La Liga this season and reached the Copa del Rey final, while a 3-0 result against Liverpool leaves them on the verge of reaching the Champions League final, though a trip to Anfield for the second leg remains. 

It also continues a trend for Messi of dominance over English teams in European play. 

The Barcelona star has netted 26 times in just 33 matches against Premier League clubs in the Champions League, the best haul for any one player against any country in the competition, though he does share that record with Ronaldo, who has netted 26 times against German clubs. 

Barcelona will travel to Liverpool next Tuesday for the return leg, and should they progress they will face either Ajax or Tottenham in the Champions League final in Madrid on June 1.

Tiger Woods completes sports greatest Comeback

Tiger Woods completed a comeback from personal and professional adversity on Sunday, capturing his fifth Masters title and his 15th major tournament with a victory that snapped a decade-long championship drought and instantly returned him to the top of the sports world.

It was a monumental triumph for Woods, a come-from-behind victory for a player who had had so much go wrong on the course and off after his personal life began to come apart on Thanksgiving night in 2009.

As such, it was only fitting that after he walked off the 18th hole on Sunday, his one-stroke victory secure, his path to the official scoring office was gridlocked with well-wishers, including many of the golfers he vanquished over four grueling days at Augusta National Golf Club.

Woods triumphed in almost stoic fashion, playing with shrewdness and determination over the final stretch of holes while the other players who were grouped with him on the leaderboard took turns succumbing to the pressure of trying to win the Masters.

And although Woods did bogey the final hole, he did so with a two-stroke lead, victory in sight and the knowledge that he could give one of those strokes back and still win the tournament.

Only when he tapped in his final putt did Woods let loose with a joyous shout that revealed how much the victory meant to him.

Tiger Woods after winning the Masters

At 43, Woods became the second-oldest winner of the Masters, behind Jack Nicklaus, who won here in 1986 at age 46 and who holds the record for victories in major tournaments, 18. And Woods’s victory immediately reverberated beyond golf and, for that matter, sports.

The win even led to a rare moment of agreement between President Trump and former President Barack Obama. “What a fantastic life comeback for a really great guy!’’ the President said on Twitter. “To come back and win the Masters after all the highs and lows is a testament to excellence, grit and determination,’’ Obama posted.

Manchester United back to winning ways

Manchester United edge over West Ham with two Penalties from Paul Pogba.

Manchester United were victorious against West Ham United in their latest league bout .

Pogba had given the Reds a 19th-minute lead from the penalty spot but former City boss Manuel Pellegrini’s side wouldn’t lie down and came back to level in the second half through Felipe Anderson.

The Hammers almost went ahead, when substitute Mihail Antonio hit the crossbar and was then denied by a world-class save from David De Gea, but fortunately another spot-kick award got United out of jail. After his compatriot Anthony Martial was brought down, Pogba scored again with ten minutes to go to secure three points and keep the Reds on the coat-tails of Chelsea and Spurs.

West Ham had started the game as the more composed of the two sides and the more dangerous.

The Londoners thought they’d taken a 10th-minute lead through Felipe Anderson as he smashed in a Chicharito knockdown from close range. But the goal was quickly cancelled out as the referee’s assistant flagged for offside.

There was naturally disappointment for the visitors but seemingly few complaints at the decision.

The Reds had been getting a few crosses into the box but it always seemed to be the diminutive Juan Mata who was in the prime position, with little chance of connecting. But the service was more to the Spaniard’s liking when Anthony Martial passed to his feet inside the area after 17 minutes. Just as Mata went to strike the ball, he was taken out by a strong challenge from Snodgrass.

Referee Graham Scott had no doubts it was a spot-kick, despite the derision from the Hammers’ travelling support, and Pogba put all his power behind his hit as he beat goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski with a piledriver virtually down the middle of the goal.

It was just the settler United needed after some difficult early moments. West Ham, though, were not downbeat and still caused the Reds some heart flutters at the back.

It was something of a disappointment that Pogba’s opener did not fire the Reds as expected and there was a fruitless struggle to get a second goal before the break, with only a wild effort from Diogo Dalot and a header from Chris Smalling giving some encouragement for the crowd.

West Ham, fortunately, didn’t produce much themselves with just an off-target swipe from Anderson and then a superb run down the right from the Brazilian that saw his low shot-cum-cross kept out by David De Gea’s outstretched leg.

The Reds were culpable when the West Ham equaliser finally came early in the second half.

Like the first 45 minutes, the visitors began the more confident of the two teams. But when De Gea gathered the ball in the 49th minute, it should have been the start of the Reds launching an attack.

However, the Spaniard bowled out a ball that was too heavy and caught Pogba by surprise. West Ham seized possession and their counter attack ended when Manuel Lanzini floated a cross to the far post and an unmarked Anderson steered home.

Solskjaer’s reaction to the leveller was to bring on Marcus Rashford for Mata in the 55th minute.

The sub’s introduction almost paid immediate dividends and credit to Chris Smalling as he burst forward out of defence to put the striker in with his pass. Rashford thrashed in a low shot that keeper Fabianski couldn’t hold and the ball squirmed away almost across his goalline with the loose ball crying out for a tap-in.

Rashford’s arrival was proving a potential match changer with the Mancunian then heading just over into the Stretford End after 63 minutes as the Reds began to look far more threatening.

The initial spark began to fade and Solskjaer made a double substitution in the 75th minute in a bid to lift his labouring side once again; Mason Greenwood and Andreas came on for Romelu Lukaku and Marcos Rojo.

West Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini made his own changes with Antonio coming on for Chicharito before Solskjaer’s swaps, and then Zabaleta made way for Fredericks.

But it was Antonio who made the biggest impact and rattled the Reds when his scorching shot had the cross bar shuddering and then a header needed a brilliant flip over the bar from De Gea to stop the Hammers going in front.

The double threat woke the hosts up and when Martial was clumsily brought down by Fredericks, the Reds were awarded another penalty.

Pogba versus Fabianski take two ended with the same result as the French midfielder crashed in from 12 yards to seal a much-needed win.

Manchester United are traveling to the camp Nou during the week and this win might as well be a big boost them.

Champions League quarter Finals review

The first leg of the quarter finals have come to an end and it certainly was eventful. I’m going to give y’all a summary of all that happened.

Tottenham vs Manchester City

In a game that was looking like a mismatch on paper was certainly a surprise to everyone as Tottenham came out on top.

The game was Tottenham’s first European game in their new stadium and fans hoped it’ll be a good a game I guess they weren’t disappointed. Manchester City had the opportunity to get ahead when Sergio Aguero had a penalty but Hugo Lloris was up to the task and saved it keeping his team in the game. Both team fired blanks and the game looked like it was headed towards a draw but Hueng min Son scored a goal just before the final whistle to hand Tottenham a 1-0 lead.

Liverpool vs Porto

Porto who qualified by away goals came up against a Dominant Liverpool side and the score went how everyone expected.

With one first half goals from Naby keita and Roberto Firmino respectively. Keita who hasn’t been a regular in the Liverpool squad is beginning to find his stride and making his mark

Ajax Vs Juventus

Ajax who have the youngest side in the competition came up against an experienced Juventus side.

Cristiano Ronaldo came back from the injury he sustained during the euros qualifiers and scored a fantastic header to hand Juve a first half lead over Ajax.

By second Ajax showed their determination and dominated for a better part of the second half and as expected Neres was the one who stepped up and put them level. The Ajax side kept asking questions but the Juventus keeper was up to the task and the game ended draw but Juventus have the advantage due to away goals rule

Manchester United vs Barcelona

This is probably the biggest game of this round due to the history between both teams Since Manchester United Second best to Barcelona in their last encounter.

Barcelona controlled the first half and Manchester United was all over the place it was only a matter of time before a goal would be scored. A header by Luis Suarez made Luke Shaw score a Own Goal and that was the only goal.

We all remember the Tweet from Smalling saying he knows a secret to stop Messi and I guess he showed us what it was.

Will there be shocks in this Round of the Champions League?! We just have to find out

Champions League second leg Preview

The second leg of the Champions League is just around a corner and we’re going to Preview of the Champions League and those who might get Knocked out and those who will qualify.

Paris-Saint-Germain VS Manchester United

The Second leg will be played in Parc des Prince. The first leg ended in a 2-0 win for Psg who were undoubtedly the stronger side and we’re very much in control.
The second leg will see the return of Edison Cavani which will be a great boost to them.

Manchester United have been hit with 9 injuries to important members of the squad but if Manchester United is known for anything it’s their resilience.

Predictions:

PSG will qualify onto the next round

Lyon VS Barcelona

In what was a shock to most fans the game ended in a stalemate. Lyon played a wonderful Defensive game and neutralised the threat of Lionel Messi.

Barcelona are coming into the game after a wonderful victory over Real Madrid in the Copa Del Rey and Lyon are not doing bad in their league.
Lyon will look to cause an upset here like Roma did last year.

Prediction:

Lyon to qualify on away goals

Atletico Madrid VS Juventus

Juventus lost 2-0 in the first leg with goals from Jose Maria Gimenez and Diego Godin. Juventus have been having defensive issues all season and Atletico took advantage of it scoring two late goals.

Juventus will look up to Ronaldo to pull them out of the ditch they’ve found themselves and hope he can become a hat-trick hero like he did against Wolfsburg while he was in Real Madrid.

Prediction:

Juventus to qualify on away goal

Bayern VS Liverpool

This game ended in a stale mate but not without both teams putting their goalies to the test. The game had it all wonderful attacking football a great show of defence but lacked goals.
Both teams are on comfortable positions on the table and they could win it.
Predictions:

Liverpool to qualify

Tottenham VS Borussia Dortmund

This was undoubtedly a shocker to all as Tottenham thrashed the German league leaders 3-0 but they’ve lost momentum since then losing 2-0 to Chelsea while Dortmund seem unstoppable in the League.

Prediction:

Tottenham to qualify

Ajax vs Real Madrid

The defending champions continue their journey to European immortality with hopes to win their fourth Champions League in a row.

Real Madrid will be without Sergio Ramos who got suspended in the last game.

Prediction:

Real Madrid to qualify

Schalke VS Manchester City

The Champions of England look to advance to the next round.

After what seemed an unconvincing performance from Manchester city in the first leg Schalke was unable to take advantage of that and will pay for it

Prediction:

Manchester city to qualify

Porto VS Roma

Roma was undoubtedly in control of the first leg with a wonderful 2-1 win over Porto.

Porto are known for being a stubborn team and hopefully they’ll cause an upset.

Prediction:

Roma to qualify.

What are your thoughts on who will qualify.