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Thursday, September 21, 2023


Shakhtar unable to stop Barcelona’s talent

With all the talk surrounding the arrival of the American football season, people are forgetting about the exciting updates from the ‘other’ version of football.

At last Friday’s UEFA Super Cup, super club Barcelona was pitted against Ukrainian club Shakhtar Donetsk. Barcelona entered the match as a clear favorite after winning the EUFA Champions League and Spanish Cup earlier this year.’

Shakhtar lacked faces and names familiar to even the staunchest fans, but the same could not be said about Barcelona. Already boasting a roster of stars that includes Lionel Messi and Thierry Henry, Barcelona further bolstered its attack by trading for Swedish forward Zlatan Ibrahimovi?, who is known for his commanding size and deadly accuracy up top.’

During the first half, Barcelona gained more than 65 percent of the ball possession and most of the attack, but could neither team cracked the net.

In the 73rd minute, Messi found space in the box and delivered a mercurial shot near the post that was barely pushed out by Shakhtar goalkeeper Andriy Pyatov.

The match remained scoreless through regulation, but with five minutes left in extra time, Messi found an open lane for running substitute Pedro Rodriguez, who guided the ball past Pyatov for the victory.

Premiere matchup in English Premiere League

The showcase match last weekend featured Manchester and United Arsenal, two teams vying for dominance in England.

United keeper Edwin Van Der Saar missed the match with a broken finger, giving Arsenal a solid advantaged heading into the match.

United held its own, however, thanks to tough defense from Patrice Evra and Nemanja Vidic.’ The first goal came from Russian recruit Andrei Arshavin of Arsenal, who was fouled without penalty seconds earlier in the box. United’s Wayne Rooney used his own penalty kick in the 56th minute to even the score.

There was hardly a dull moment in the game, as Robin van Persie hit the cross bar in the 62nd minute and Abou Diaby’s goal came in the 63rd to give United a 2-1 advantage. No one was defending when the cross came to Diaby, who grossly mistimed the header that flew past a stunned Manuel Almunia.’

In the closing minutes Van Persie lost another opportunity when he was summoned offside, sending Arsenal Manager Arsene Wenger on a temper tantrum that resulted in his ejection. Wenger walked into the stands and stood with the rest of the crowd, hands crossed, as United fans applauded his refusal to leave.’

Arsenal faces Manchester City next week, while United takes on a resurgent Tottenham who has had an amazing season thus far.’

In other EPL news, Chelsea FC easily defeated newly regulated Burnley.

DC shuts out Chicago ‘hellip; again

In Major League Soccer action, Chicago hosted DC United in a captivating game.
Chicago entered the game one point behind the Columbus Crew, while DC is approaching an invite to the postseason.

Ten minutes in, the game proved exciting. Bryan Namoff timed his run perfectly and skidded his header from a Christian Gomez cross to the far post in the 11th minute.’ This was the only goal of the match, but there were many surprises to come.’

Julias James proved he was up to the challenge in his first game for United by bringing down John Thorrington on his way to a one-on-one with the keeper. United’s defense was near perfect except for fouls, giving free-kick expert Cuauht’eacute;moc Blanco several chances from yards out.

But Blanco was unable to find the net, and for the fourth consecutive occasion, United defeated Chicago 1-0. Chicago remains behind Columbus by one point, while United stays in playoff contention above Toronto FC.’

In the Western standings, Houston remains on top, two points ahead of Los Angeles and six above Seattle.

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