Tottenham came to Wembley full of hope after their recent rejuvenation under Mauricio Pochettino. The men in white played some fantastic football, and Christian Eriksen went close to giving them the lead when he struck the bar from his free-kick in the first half, but ultimately they were out played by a team used to the big stage.
The England captain opened the scoring from the penalty spot in the 66th minute after Falcao had been pulled back by John O’Shea. But, instead of sending off the Irishman, referee Roger East showed a red card to his fellow former United defender Wes Brown.
Rooney added a second six minutes from time, and the 2-0 victory was enough to lift United above Arsenal and back into third in the English Premier League table ahead of the Gunners’ clash with Everton on Sunday.
Liverpool fans are extremely proud of the club’s wonderful European history. A history that has seen them lift the European Cup/Champions League five times and the UEFA Cup three times. So what do they think when there manager says that a European defeat is a blessing in disguise as they can now focus on the ‘bigger picture’ of the Premier League and FA Cup?
Yes, Rodgers vies winning the FA Cup as a bigger prize than a European Cup that offered passage into next season’s Champions League.
Everton have been drawn against Dynamo Kiev in the last 16 of the UEFA Europa League. The Toffees will play their first leg at Goodison Park on 12 March but will not relish the return trip to conflict-torn Ukraine seven days later.
Defending champions Sevilla were paired with Spanish La Liga rivals Villarreal while another highlight of the draw was an all-Italian clash between Fiorentina and Roma. Country protection does not apply at this stage of the competition but Russian and Ukrainian teams were kept apart due to the ongoing instability in the region.
Brendan Rodgers is fuming his side will make a grueling journey back from their Europa League clash with Besiktas on Thursday night in order to meet Manchester City at noon on Sunday. Barely 57 hours after the Europa League match.
Rodgers says that he’s had to compromise Liverpool’s Euro dream because of ridiculous Premier League scheduling. He left Philippe Coutinho and Jordan Henderson behind when they travelled to Istanbul to meet Bestikas in the Europa League, and their manager explained he was forced to do it, because he’s had “no help” over fixtures.
Former Manchester United striker Dimitar Berbatov rolled back the years to score as Monaco pulled off the biggest upset in the round of 16 play as they beat Arsenal 3-1 at the Emirates to all but lock up a place in the quarter finals.
The 34-year-old Berbatov scored the match winner and it mean that none of the three English sides left in the competition won their first leg games, Chelsea having been held 1-1 by defending French champions Paris Saint Germain last week.
“We are confident in our ability so honestly we deserved to win,” Berbatov, who is Monaco’s leading scorer this season with eight goals, told Sky Sports.
We are used to hearing about US networks bidding to buy the rights to the English Premier League games, but in a validation of the quality of Major League Soccer, Sky Sports in the UK have announced that they have won the exclusive rights to broadcast live Major League Soccer from the start of this season in a new four-year deal.
Sky Sports managing director Barney Francis said:
‘Football in the US and Canada has enormous potential for growth and we can’t wait to bring this competition to our viewers for the first time. Thierry Henry has joined us, he created fantastic memories in MLS, and we look forward to seeing more of those great stories from across the Atlantic.’
Despite being played off the pitch in a masterful first half Barça display, City have themselves at least a flicker of hope for the second leg as Sergio Aguero scored a brilliant goal. That being said, Barca should have wrapped up the game at the death, but Lionel Messi had a penalty saved by Joe Hart in injury time.
Inter are not yet a one-man team that relies on Mauro Icardi for goals and assist, but they are becoming one as Icardi is developing into one of the best young strikers in Europe. Since signing for Inter in 2013, Icardi he has made 54 appearances, scoring 28 goals over the past two seasons.
This season Inward has almost single handled dragged Inter back into the top six, as his 14 league goals are more than Kovacic, Guarin and Palacio combined.
David Moyes was sacked by United last season after it become mathematically impossible for his side to qualify for the Champions League, but Neville suggested his successor should not be judged by the same criteria.
“Louis van Gaal should not be sacked, even though it would be a terrible season for Man United and Louis van Gaal. He would probably say it was a big failure because he knows his job this season — he has to get in the Champions League.