Monthly Archives: May 2009

Barcelona – Champions of Europe

Barcelona beat Manchester United 2-0 in the finals of Champions League in Rome…Iniesta masterminded the midfiled with excellent support from Xavi and played rings around the United players. Messi played in the centre of attack flanked by Henry on the left and Eto on the right. 

Messi was tackled by two players everytime he got the ball and this strategy seemed to be working for sometime till Eto scored the goal. After that it was Barca all over the football field. In the end it was justice to Barca for a wonderful season, where they dominated Spain and Europe with their attacking brand of football. 

Final_Liga_Campeones_2009_Barcelona 1Messi boots out Utd with a rare header


The “peppy” Guardiola


The Champions of Europe


The grand welcome back in Barcelona



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Filed under 2008-09 season, Barcelona, Champions League, Iniesta, Manchester United, Messi, Pep Guardiola, Xavi Hernandez

Juninho leaves Lyon

A tearful Juninho called time on his Lyon career as the Lyon Chairman announced the decision of the player to move on as a free player. The skillful Brazilian mid-fielder was one of the reasons why Lyon was my second fav club in Champions League (the other being the influence of David of course).


Lyon had a record breaking seven consecutive Ligue1 titles since 2001 when he joined the club. All the best for him.

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Filed under Juninho, Lyon

And some more stats from season 2008-09

From Sky sports here

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Filed under 2008-09 season, Premier League, Sky Sports

More opta stats from the Guardian

courtesy Guardian/Opta
942 – The final goal tally was the second lowest in Premier League history.

14 – Manchester United set a new record of 14 consecutive clean sheets between November 2008 and February 2009.

167 – There have been 167 headed goals scored this season.

22 – Liverpool have recouped the most points from losing positions this season.

23 – Sunderland dropped the most points from winning positions this season.

31 – There were just 31 goals scored at White Hart lane – fewer than at any other stadium.

59 – The Hawthorns saw more goals than any other this season.

117 – Kevin Davies conceded the most fouls this season. He has topped this ranking in five of the last six seasons.

5 – Danny Murphy has scored five goals this season – all penalties.

37 – Cristiano Ronaldo has scored 37 goals in his last 33 league games at Old Trafford.

100 – Kanu made his 100th appearance as a substitute in the Premier League when he came off the bench away at Blackburn on May 9, becoming the first player to reach this landmark.

100 – Nicolas Anelka, Frank Lampard and Emile Heskey all scored their 100th Premier League goals this season to make it 16 players to reach this landmark.

11 – Chelsea set a new Premier League record of 11 consecutive away wins between April and December 2008.

248 – Chelsea fired in the most shots on target this season.

566 – Hull committed the most fouls in the division.

73 & 5 – Stoke City picked up the most cards – 73 yellow and five red.

24 – Manchester United kept the most clean sheets.

50 – United had the best home record picking up 50 points.

44 – Chelsea had the best away record winning 44 points.

57 – Frank Lampard had more shots on target than any other player.

10 – Lampard and Robin van Persie were joint-top of the assists ranking.

167 – Lee Cattermole made 167 tackles during the season – a league high.

14 – Marouane Fellaini picked up the most yellow cards in the top flight.

7 – Seven players were sent off twice in this season’s campaign.

80% – Mark Schwarzer of Fulham was the league’s best shot-stopper saving 80% of shots on target faced.

149 – Jussi Jaaskelainen made more saves than any other goalkeeper.

6-0 – Man City’s win over Portsmouth at home was the season’s biggest winning margin.

7 – Peter Crouch scored more headed goals than any other player.

18% – Headed goals accounted for 18% of all strikes this season.

1 – Middlesbrough scored fewer headed goals than any other team.

7 – Bolton conceded more headed goals than any other side.

19% – of the goals Arsenal conceded came from outside the box – the highest proportion in the top flight.

20 – Hull took 20 points from their opening nine games but just 15 from their last 29 matches.

22% – Bolton scored the highest percentage of goals in the opening 15 minutes of matches.

36% – Middlesbrough scored the highest percentage of goals in the final 15 minutes of games.

10 – Hull scored the most goals from corners.

9 – Newcastle gave away a league high nine penalties in 2008-09.

8 – The Magpies also had eight red cards shown to their players – a division high.

34 – Manchester City have used more players than any other team in the league this season.

21 – Aston Villa have called upon the least amount of players in the league this season.

7 – Blackburn won a joint-high seven penalties along with Man City.

3 – Blackburn missed three penalties – more than any other team.

10 – Bolton scored 10 goals from free-kicks – the most in the division.

51% – Hull scored the highest percentage of their goals from set plays.

20% – Spurs scored the lowest percentage of goals from set pieces.

12 – Hull conceded 12 goals from corners – a league high.

38% – Everton conceded the highest proportion of goals from set-plays.

21% – Fulham conceded the lowest percentage of goals from set-plays .

11.5% – Around one in every nine goals scored was netted by a substitute.

9 – Spurs, Manchester United and Liverpool all had nine goals scored by substitutes – a joint-league high.

61 – Aston Villa used the fewest substitutes.

109 – Hull, Stoke and Liverpool made the most substitutions.

6 – Cristiano Ronaldo scored six goals from outside the box – more than any other player.

26 – Manchester United have used the most number of players as substitutes.

4 – Bolton have had more players featuring in every game of the season than any other side.

3 – Liverpool have the most players who have accrued 10 or more goals this season.

5 – Newcastle used the most penalty takers this season.

5 – Sunderland only had five players who scored more than once this season.

7 –Liverpool had more opponents sent off than any other side in the top division.

29 – The opposition hit the woodwork more often against Hull than any other team.

345 – English players scored 345 goals in 2008-09, accounting for just 37% of goals.

15% – Aston Villa were the league’s most clinical teams scoring with 15% of their shots.

8% – Wigan had the worst conversion rate in the top division.

81% – Chelsea were the most accurate passers this term.

337 – Stoke took the most long throw ins.

267 – Rory Delap took 189 more long throws than any other player.

9 – Stoke scored the most goals from throw-in situations.

33% – One third of all goals scored this season came from set-plays.

8 – Eight different Liverpool players scored with shots from outside the box.

0 – Liverpool were the only team not to suffer a home defeat in the Premier League.

13 – Spurs picked up the most points in London derbies this season.

8 – West Ham picked up the fewest in capital clashes.

30 – Liverpool garnered 30 points against their north west rivals.

1 – Bolton won just one match against another team from the north west.

8 – Sunderland took the most points in north east derbies.

77 – Liverpool were the league’s top scorers with 77 goals.

83 – Shaun Wright-Phillips made more successful dribbles than anyone else.

4 – Anton Ferdinand and Hermann Hreidarsson both received four yellow cards for dissent, more than any other players in the year the FA’s ‘Respect’ campaign was launched.

10 – Stoke have collected only 10 of their 45 points on the road this season.

5 – Aston Villa have benefited from five own goals this season – more than any other team in the division.

6 – Jamie Carragher and Richard Dunne now hold the Premier League record for own goals with six apiece.

6 – Middlesbrough scored six own goals – more than any other team.

24 – Gareth Bale has played 24 league games for Spurs and never been on the winning side.

86 – Liverpool’s total of 86 points is their best ever haul in Premier League history.

2 – Liverpool became the first team in top-flight history to lose only two games and not win the title.

63 – Spurs have not won away at any of the big four since August 1993 – a run of 63 games.

86 – Liverpool’s tally of 86 points is the highest of any team not winning the league in a 38-game Premier League season.

10 – It is 10 seasons since the Premier League top-scorer ended the campaign with fewer than 20 goals.

82 – Stewart Downing had more shots (including blocked attempts) than any other player who did not score.

110 – Liverpool allowed their opponents fewer shots on target than any other team.

141 – Arsenal caught more opponents offside than any other team.

141 – Hull were flagged offside more than any other team.

61 – Djibril Cisse was caught offside more than any other player.

6 – Six players scored hat-tricks this season.

4 – Andrey Arshavin was the first player to score four goals in a Premier League and not end on the winning side.

13 – Mike Dean awarded more penalties than any other referee.

8 – Mike Dean sent off more players than any other official.

63 – There were 63 red cards shown this season.

13.5 – Mark Halsey was the league’s most lenient official, showing a card on average for every 13.5 fouls.

5.8 – Rob Styles was the strictest referee dishing out a card for every 5.8 fouls committed.

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Filed under 2008-09 season, Opta Stats, Premier League, Statistics, The Guardian

Stats on our attacking midfielders – Arshavin, Fabregas, Nasri and Walcott

This is an old stat(dated May 1st, 2009) but still worth a look… courtesy Setanta and Opta
Opta Stats Premier League 08/09 Arshavin Fabregas Nasri Walcott
Appearances 9 19 27 18
Starts 9 19 26 13
Minutes played 768 1,632 2,243 1,077
In front of goal
Goals 6 3 6 2
Minutes per goal 128 544 374 538
Goals in the box 4 3 4 2
Goals from outside the box 2 0 2 0
Shots 29 32 23 30
Shots per game 3.22 1.68 0.85 1.67
Shots on target 14 18 14 14
Shots off target 15 14 9 16
% of shots on target 48.3% 56.2% 60.9% 46.7%
Conversion rate % 20.7% 9.4% 26.1% 6.7%
Touches per game 62 102 73 40
Assists 4 8 2 2
Chances created/game 2.67 3.37 1.67 1.11
% of successful passes 77% 80% 88% 83%
Crosses per game 2.9 4.0 3.2 3.3
% of successful crosses 31% 14% 20% 17%
Dribbles per game 3.3 1.4 3.4 4.9
% of successful dribbles 50% 73% 57% 53%
Tackles per game 1.9 2.7 1.8 0.9
% of tackles won 88% 73% 71% 82%
Interceptions per game 1.7 2.3 1.7 0.7

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Filed under Arshavin, Fabianski, Nasri, Walcott

Manchester United vs Arsenal: Stats before the match

Some pre-match stats from Opta

Manchester United have won their last seven league games, scoring at least twice in each match.

The last 15 Premier League games between United and Arsenal have seen five wins each and five draws.

 Arsenal have never scored more than one goal in a Premier League game at Old Trafford.

The Gunners have scored a total of only seven goals in 16 Premier League matches at the Theatre of Dreams.

United have scored either no goals or two goals in their last seven Premier League home games against Arsenal.

Arsenal have conceded eight goals in their last two league games against Big Four sides.

Manchester United have won only one of their five games against Big Four rivals this season.

Nicklas Bendtner has scored three goals in Arsenal’s last two league games.

Andrey Arshavin has six goals and seven assists for Arsenal in 12 starts for the club (all comps).

Wayne Rooney has scored five goals against Arsenal, only against four clubs has he been more prolific.

Only in two previous Premier League seasons have Arsenal conceded more goals after 36 games than this campaign. (1994-95 & 2002-03).

The last stat tells us pretty much about why we are where we are…Hopefully a victory or a draw should be commendable.

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Filed under 2008-09 season, Arsenal, Manchester United, Opta Stats

Chelsea beat us fair and square and next years CL entry

I do not think we can complain about the 4-1 loss to Chelsea at home…our biggest loss this season and that too coming after 20 unbeaten games in the premier league. We had our chances and Walcott missed a number of them after creating them and Diaby made the wrong choice by going for a shot which he could have left for Fabregas(given our finishing and luck, maybe he would also have not finished it). Well we had our chances and we didn’t convert, Chelsea did that was the difference.

No point in complaining but I thought Silvestre was partially responsible in letting in the first two goals. Wenger could have probably got a younger, fitter and energetic player than him I am sure. He has a sweet tooth for the French players, it might not work all the time. Atleast not on Silvestre. The goal that he conceded in that ill-fated FA cup semi comes to mind. Agreed, that Fabianski came out too early but Silvestre gave up on the chase mich before that. Please sell him.

I would like to make a separate post on how we can improve the squad but I would definetely like to see a experienced goalie and centre-back in the team, next season. Somehow I have a feeling that our midfield and forward line look decent.

The Guardian has a good report on the implications of the fourth place finish. Here is an exercpt from the article

Uefa has introduced play-offs, which will run alongside the old qualification rounds and contain the teams from the higher-profile leagues.

The fourth-placed Premier League team will enter the final play-off round, together with the fourth-placed finishers from Italy and Spain and the third-placed finishers from Germany and France. These teams will be joined by the ­winners of ties between the ­runners-up from Portugal, Holland, ­Scotland, Turkey, Ukraine, Belgium, Greece, Czech Republic and Romania, plus the third-placed team from Russia.

The 10 teams will then be divided into five seeds and five non-seeds, based on their Uefa club co­efficient, and drawn seeds against non-seeds, with the winners of the two-legged ties advancing to the group stage.

Arsenal are certain to be seeded, given their consistent level of achievement in Europe, but the danger would lie in them drawing an emerging team who, because of a lack of a recent track record, are not afforded seeded status. Italy’s current fourth-placed team, Fiorentina, fit that profile, as do Germany’s third-placed team, Hertha Berlin. Even Valencia, ­currently fourth in Spain, would not be guaranteed to be seeded. Nor might ­Arsenal relish being drawn against Sporting ­Lisbon, Shakhtar Donetsk or Celtic, all second in their leagues at present.

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Filed under 2008-09 season, Arsenal, Champions League, Chelsea, Silvestre, UEFA