Tag Archives: sport

Formula 1 2013 Belgian Grand Prix – Sebastian Vettel Springs Spa Surprise

22 Jun

Vet2

Red Bull Run Rampant in the Forest

Sebastian Vettel converted Red Bull’s clear pace into a dominant display at the mighty Spa-Francorchamps circuit to further extend his lead at the head of the drivers championship.

After the challenge of Mercedes in qualifying, Vettel swept Hamilton aside on the first lap and pulled away as the rain held off to cruise to a second victory in Belgium, out of reach of the pole sitter or Alonso as he carved through the field in pursuit. The victory extended the lead at the head of both championships to maintain a stranglehold on the competition in an uncharacteristically dry, uneventful Belgian Grand Prix.

Into the Weekend

Following a summer break of four weeks, Formula 1 arrived at quite possibly everyone’s favourite circuit, Spa-Francorchamps. Following the tight and twisty Hungarian Grand Prix, the contrast couldn’t be much starker when presented with the long, high-speed, flowing nature of Belgium. An iconic circuit, it never fails to deliver an exciting race.

Following an excellent maiden win at the previous round, Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes were seeking to build on their rapidly improving form to take their momentum into the second half of the season, whilst eliminating their reliability issues that saw Rosberg fail to finish shortly before the end of the race. Lotus wanted to stay back in the hunt after another podium for Raikkonen in Hungary, amid swirling rumours of him joining Red Bull or Ferrari again for the 2014 season, while Grosjean sought to match his teammate and put his overtaking-related penalties behind him. Red Bull were out-performed in the former Soviet state, but kept a healthy grasp on the constructors with a third and fourth, and intended to keep their nose in front at Spa.

Ferrari were again lagging in Hungary, and hoping that work in the weeks between races will yield results at the classic Spa circuit. After a strong Hungarian race, that saw McLaren put both cars in the points on a day when rivals Force India fell away with reliability issues, the British team were hoping to show well at Spa, where Jenson dominated last year. Force India were seeking to use their clean car and strong engine to get back into solid points to stretch their gap to McLaren after it was slashed to just two points. Torro Rosso showed some good pace in Hungary but were unable to get into the points on race day, so were seeking a return to the top ten at a track that should suit their car.

Maldonado gave Williams some good news as they turned over Sauber to take tenth place and a crucial point, showing some progress for the famous team. Bottas retired however, and this weekend Williams were aiming to be in touch for the points again. Sauber meanwhile were looking to be more competitive at a circuit that should demand less of the technical aspects their car lacks. After putting Marussia to the sword in Hungary, Caterham were intending to stay ahead of their back-row rivals and get in touch with the midfield ahead, while Marussia aimed to get back into the tough battles with Caterham they enjoyed at the start of the season.

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Man Utd 0-0 Chelsea: 5 Things We Learnt

20 Jun

copyright Andrew Orchard

copyright Andrew Orchard

Matches between title contenders fall into two categories, it seems – matches that have a profound, some say devastating effect on the title race, even two games in, or ones where not much happens, not much changes, and everyone lives to fight another day. The first match between title rivals this season fell very much into the latter category.

Still, there plenty of interest for football enthusiasts, starting right from the team selections (more on that later) to the substitutions and then into ‘Moyes time’, which rather appropriately enough considering the differing personalities of the incumbent and his predecessor, there was no real last gasp excitement.

Here are five things we learnt…

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Man Utd Transfer News: Red Devils Want Samuel Eto’o?

9 Jun

Samuel Eto'o

Chelsea target Samuel Eto’o is also on Manchester United’s radar this summer, according to sources close to the striker and a report in the Mirror.

The 32-year-old had been lined up by Blues manager Jose Mourinho as a possible alternative for Wayne Rooney, following United’s insistence that the England star, who played in last night’s friendly win over Scotland, is not for sale.

Eto’o wants out of Russian outfit Anzhi Makhachakla after the club’s billionaire owner Suleyman Kerimov stopped ploughing money into the club.

And the Cameroonian’s representatives have claimed that along with Chelsea, Napoli and Inter Milan, a fourth club are also interested in signing the forward.

And sources close to Eto’o claim the last bidder is United.

Eto’o’s agent, Claudio Vigorelli, had previously insisted that talks with Chelsea over a move in recent days had been positive but that the striker was willing to speak to any potential employer.

And that could leave the door open for United who may be in the market for a new goalscorer this summer.

Along with the ongoing Rooney issue, the Premier League champions also have concerns over Danny Welbeck, who, despite scoring in last night’s 3-2 win over Scotland, has not netted for United since last October.

Eto’o, despite his age, managed to score 21 times in 44 appearances for Anzhi last season.

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Arsenal Transfer News: Gunners Miss Out On Luiz Gustavo To Wolfsburg

9 Jun

Luis Gustavo

Arsenal have missed out on Luiz Gustavo after Wolfsburg agreed a 17 million deal with Bayern Munich for the defensive midfielder, according to the Guardian.

Gunner’s manager Arsene Wenger said last weekend that he was interested in the Brazil international and has been looking for an able, defence-minded midfielder ever since last summer’s departure of Alexander Song to Barcelona.

Arsenal valued the 26-year-old at 14 million but appear to have been unwilling to budge on that figure, allowing Bundesliga outfit Wolfsburg to usurp them for the player.

The German club have been long-term admirers of Gustavo.

And this latest set-back in the summer transfer market is one that only serves to pile the pressure on Wenger to make an eye-catching signing before the window closes on September 2.

The French boss tried to sign Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Lars Bender earlier this summer but had an 18.5 million inquiry rejected.

He was also interested in bringing in Toulouse midfielder Etienne Capoue, who is instead set to join North London rivals Tottenham.

Meanwhile, Wenger has also been foiled so far in his efforts to sign a new striker.

Real Madrid’s Gonzalo Higuain was at one point poised for a move to Emirates Stadium but opted for Napoli.

And landing Liverpool forward Luis Suarez is also proving to be difficult, with the Gunner’s having had two bids for the Uruguayan rejected – including one bid of 1 over 40 million.

Arsenal’s chief executive, Ivan Gazidis, claimed at the start of the summer that funds would be available for Wenger to spend on new recruits ahead of the start of the new Premier League season.

But so far, France youth international striker Yaya Sanogo on a free transfer from Auxerre remains the only piece of business the London club have completed thus far.

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Swansea vs Man Utd – 5 Areas Where The Game Will Be Won & Lost

6 Jun

libertystadium

The start of the 2013/2014 Premier League football season is almost upon us. In Saturday’s most mouth-watering fixture, Manchester United will begin the defence of their title at the Liberty Stadium against Swansea in the early evening kick-off.

After dominating the Premier League last season, United will go into the new campaign full of confidence anticipating further good performances. However, a poor pre season campaign for David Moyes’ team and the growing stature of rival clubs poses the opportunity for a hotly contested title campaign. It is therefore paramount that United get off to the best possible start on Saturday to instantly put pressure on their rivals.

They go into the game against Swansea as clear favourites, however the match will not be a walkover! There are numerous areas where the game will be won and lost and I’ve picked out what I think will be the 5 key battles taking place.

Click ‘Next’ to start!

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Spurs Transfer News: Clint Dempsey Joins Seattle Sounders For £6 Million

26 May

clint dempsey

BBC Sport have confirmed that Clint Dempsey is on his way out of White Hart Lane and is moving back to his native United States.

The 30-year old has reportedly put pen to paper on a deal with Major League Soccer side Seattle Sounders, believed to be a four-year contract.

His new employers once had former Arsenal midfielder Fredrik Ljungberg among their ranks, and they currently have two familiar faces who Dempsey has played alongside before, in former USA goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann and ex Fulham striker Eddie Johnson.

Dempsey arrived at Spurs last summer from Fulham and scored 7 league goals in 28 games, but his performances were particularly notable in the UEFA Europa League where he netted two important goals against FC Basel in his side’s Quarter-final second leg.

However manager Andre Villas-Boas has signalled his intention to strengthen the Tottenham squad with the arrival of Valencia forward Roberto Soldado this week for 26 million on a four-year contract, leaving many to question whether the American international had a future with the club.

The fee for Dempsey is believed to be in the region of 6 million which would be an MLS transfer record, but club officials have yet to confirm the move for a player who may have also found opportunities limited with the Premier League club due to the arrivals of Paulinho and Nacer Chadli this summer.

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The move would represent a significant coup for the Sounders who currently sit in 7th place in the Western Conference table, although the move may not be that much of a surprise after it emerged the Seattle coach spoke with Dempsey whilst he was on international duty for the USA, according to the Daily Mirror.

Their coach Sigi Schmid said: “I know Clint. I talked to him when he was here when he was playing against Panama.”

Prior to his switch across the capital, Dempsey spent five successful years with Fulham finding the back of the net 50 times in 184 league appearances after signing from New England Revolution in January 2007.

The forward who has been capped 99 times by his country is considered to have been one of the most successful US exports to have played in the Barclays Premier League since its inception in 1992.

Tottenham Hotspur released a brief statement which said: “We wish Clint every success for the future.”

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Spurs Transfers: 5 Things Roberto Soldado Will Bring To The Club

24 May

Roberto Soldado

Having agreed a reported 26 million fee for the Spanish international striker, Tottenham Hotspur have all but completed the signing of Roberto Soldado from Valencia (subject to a medical and agent fees being agreed etc).

He’s the striker Spurs fans have been begging for since Dimitar Berbatov departed for Old Trafford in 2008 and will be the club’s record signing – a record they will have broken twice this summer, following the prior arrival of Brazilian international midfielder Paulinho to White Hart Lane for 17 million.

The signing represents something of a breaking of the mould for Spurs, who are renowned for buying players young and developing them in to stars – see Aaron Lennon, Luka Modric and Michael Carrick for details – whereas Soldado is the finished article. At 28, he should be in his prime.

On that note, here are five things Roberto Soldado will bring to Tottenham Hotspur Football Club…

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