Sevilla Stun Liverpool, Win Third Successive Europa League Title

Sevilla, Europa League, LiverpoolSevilla have become the first team to win three successive Europa League title after beating Liverpool 3 – 1 on Wednesday night in Basel.

The Reds initially mounted a pressure on the Spanish after Daniel Sturridge scored a goal with a fantastic assist from Philippe Coutinho in the 35th minute.

Liverpool maintained the 1 – 0 lead till the end of the first half.

Sevilla came tough in the beginning of the second half just as Kevin Gameiro scored the equaliser, barely two minutes from the kick off.

Vitolo (Víctor Perez) also made an assist which was utilised by Sevilla’s defender Coke (Jorge Moreno) to set the Spanish on the lead before he (Coke) subsequently scored an unbelievable goal as the game ended 3 – 1.

Sevilla, Europa League 2

The defending champions have endured a disappointing domestic campaign, finishing seventh in La Liga and failing to win a single away game, the only team in Europe’s top five leagues to do so.

Sevilla, Liverpool Set For Europa League Final

Europa League, Sevilla, LiverpoolLiverpool Manager, Jurgen Klopp, has urged his team to become “Liverpool Legends” by winning the Europa League crown against Sevilla in Basel.

The Reds beat Premier League rivals Manchester United, Klopp’s former side Borussia Dortmund and Spanish club Villarreal on their way to the final.

And the Reds boss will be hoping to build on that run to end an 11-year wait for European success at St. Jakob-Park.

On the flipside, Sevilla Coach, Unai Emery, wants his team to stay focused on their game if they are to achieve history in this season’s Europa League final.

The defending champions, Sevilla, have won the last two editions of the tournament and hold a record four UEFA Cup/Europa League triumphs, all in the last decade.

If Sevilla beat Liverpool in Basel they will become the first team to win three successive Europa League titles.

Sevilla have endured a disappointing domestic campaign, finishing seventh in La Liga and failing to win a single away game, the only team in Europe’s top five leagues to do so.

Meanwhile, Liverpool midfielder, James Milner, says winning the Europa League final against Sevilla would mean more than playing “six years” in the Champions League.

Both sides meet in Wednesday night’s final in Basel and Milner championed the tournament as a way of winning an all-important trophy, rather than winning it because it awards a berth in the Champions League.

Premier League: Arsenal Finish Second As Tottenham Crash

Arsenal, Spurs, Premier LeagueA hat trick by Olivier Giroud ensured that Arsenal finished second, above London rivals Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League.

The Gunners defeated relegated Aston Villa 4-0 with three Giroud goals in the 5th, 79th and 80th minute capped by a Mark Bunn own goal in the 90th.

Tottenham went into the final match day of the 2015/16 season needing just a draw to finish second but Spurs who were title contenders a fortnight earlier collapsed 5-1 away to relegated Newcastle United.

The Gunners keep their bragging rights as they maintained the record of not finishing below Spurs in Premier League history.

Arsenal’s hat-trick hero Olivier Giroud said; “We were hoping to finish in top three but to finish second is very nice. We are really pleased to finish second and hopefully next year we can grab one more place.

“We wanted to start strongly, we knew it wouldn’t be easy and we thought Villa would fight, and they did well. But we were efficient up front and could have scored 3 or 4 more.”

Meanwhile, in other EPL final day matches, Champions Leicester City drew 1-1 at Chelsea as they win the title by 10 points.

Manchester City also finished in fourth place and secured Champions League football with a 1-1 draw away to Swansea.

Southampton defeated Crystal Palace 4-1 to move into fifth position but may be knocked out of it by Manchester United. Nevertheless, they have secured Europa League football for next season even if they end up in sixth.

West Ham have their ambition to play in Europe dented after losing away to Stoke City 2-1 courtesy a Mame Biram Diouf late strike.

Their fate is now solely dependent on the result of the FA Cup between Manchester United and Crystal Palace. If Man-U beat Crystal Palace in the FA Cup final a Europa League place filters down to seventh. If Palace win they are in the Europa League at the group stage.

Everton end the season on a high with 3-0 win against Norwich City, while West Brom and Liverpool played 1-1.

Man United’s final-day match against Bournemouth was called off on Sunday because of a suspect package found in the North West Quadrant of the ground.

Results

Chelsea 1-1 Leicester

Arsenal 4-0 Aston Villa

Watford 2-2 Sunderland

Swansea 1-1 Manchester City

Everton 3-0 Norwich

West Brom 1-1 Liverpool

Newcastle 5-1 Tottenham

Southampton 4 – 1 Crystal Palace

Stoke City 2 – 1 West Ham United

 

 

Suspect Package: Man United vs. Bournemouth Game Called Off

Man United, Suspect Package, BournemouthMan United’s final-day match against Bournemouth was called off on Sunday because of a suspect package found in the North West Quadrant of the ground.

Two stands – the Sir Alex Ferguson Stand and the Stretford End were evacuated before the home game against Bournemouth and sniffer dogs brought in to search the stands.

“The decision to abandon the Manchester United versus AFC Bournemouth match was taken after the police advised of the necessity to deal with a suspect package.

“When it comes to matters of security it is obviously right that Manchester United and the Premier League place the safety of supporters and employees foremost.

“The Premier League will seek to rearrange the fixture as soon as practically possible and will advise fans accordingly.

“It is always the last resort to abandon one of our fixtures and while we apologise for the inconvenience caused to fans we are sure, in the circumstances, they will appreciate the need to do so,” said the Premier League.

Man-U 0 Chelsea 0: Hiddink Satisfied, Van Gaal Rues Luck

ChelseaManchester United ended a run of four straight defeats with a goalless draw against Chelsea at Old Trafford on Monday while Chelsea continued what looked like a resurgence.

Under-fire manager Louis van Gaal insists he will not quit after Manchester United extended their run without a victory to eight games in all competitions.

Sixth-placed United produced an improved display at Old Trafford, with a goalless draw with champions Chelsea.

“I think it was a very good performance but you have to score a goal and we didn’t. We hit the post twice when the keeper was beaten, then had a big chance in the second half and two penalty cases – one handball, one foul on Mata – but didn’t receive a penalty. So we are forcing the luck but still don’t have the luck we need.

“We were the dominant team, we created chances, we shot on goal and only gave three chances away. Against a team like Chelsea, with such attackers, that’s not bad.”

Van Gaal said that he was aware poor form could force a club to sack its manager, but he had the backing of the players and would fight on.

“I cannot have any influence on that (his future). I can only work with my players and you have seen that my players are fighting for me and that they have given a good performance.

“Even after this result, the fans were applauding, so I cannot say that I am very much concerned but in this football world, you never know. But I have full confidence in the board and in my players. When the players can give such a performance under this pressure, then it is not any reason to resign for me.

“Maybe the media wants that but I shall not do that. It’s not a question of staying, it’s a question of fulfilling my contract.”

Hiddink Satisfied With Draw

On the flipside, Chelsea interim manager Guus Hiddink is satisfied with Chelsea’s draw at Manchester United.

Diego Costa was suspended for the clash while fellow attackers Loic Remy and Radamel Falcao were side-lined by injury, forcing winger Eden Hazard to occupy a centre forward role.

Hiddink, says the team is still building after months of poor results. “Tactically it was okay, defensively we were well organised,” said the manager.

“We didn’t have full power to hurt Man U – as everyone knows we have some problems in the striker position due to suspension and injuries so we had to think how to solve that problem.

“Hazard has done it before and he is capable of doing it because he’s a very versatile player. I’m pleased because we had some good opportunities in the second half. Man U pressed although they didn’t create a lot of chances.

“The two best chances were tremendous saves from the goalies, De Gea and Courtois. So no win but we have to consider the situation where Chelsea were and are.”

Man United’s Louis Van Gaal Furious After Leicester Humiliation

Man UnitedLouis van Gaal has accused his shell-shocked Manchester United players of “throwing the game away” after their second-half collapse against Leicester City on Sunday.

Van Gaal was left stunned by a shambolic defensive performance from his reconstructed team and admitted it brought back painful memories.

Man United were looking good to achieve back-to-back wins in the Premier League for the first time under Louis van Gaal when leading 3-1 thanks to goals from Robin van Persie, Angel Di Maria and Ander Herrera.

However, the newly-promoted side hit back with devastating effect in the second half of the match.

Goals from David Nugent, Esteban Cambiasso, Jamie Vardy and Leonardo Ulloa saw Nigel Pearson’s men fight back from 2-0 and 3-1 down to win 5-3 and pick up their first win at the King Power Stadium in the Premier League.

After two home draws against Everton and Arsenal, the Foxes were looking for a big result against a rejuvenated Man Utd side who started with Falcao, Van Persie and Wayne Rooney in attack.

Reports say Manchester United manager, Louis van Gaal, gave his squad the famous Sir Alex Ferguson hairdryer treatment following the humiliating 5-3 loss.

This is according to Sky News anchor, Eamonn Holmes, who said he walked past the United dressing room after full-time and revealed that Van Gaal handed a stern dressing down.

Debate: Is Ferguson’s Retirement Good For Manchester United

“The decision to retire is one that I have thought a great deal about and one that I have not taken lightly. It is the right time.

“It was important to me to leave an organisation in the strongest possible shape and I believe I have done so. The quality of this league winning squad, and the balance of ages within it, bodes well for continued success at the highest level whilst the structure of the youth set-up will ensure that the long-term future of the club remains a bright one.”

With these words, Manchester United Coach, Alex Ferguson announced his retirement from the English Premier League side he has managed for over 26 years.

Ferguson took over from Ron Atkinson on November 6, 1986 and won two Champions League crowns, the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup, 13 league titles, five FA Cups and four League Cups to make him the most successful manager in British football history.

In the video below, sport analysts on Channels Television’s Sport Palava debate if the retirement of Ferguson is good for Manchester United.

Carrick says Man. United must bounce back from last defeat

Michael Carrick has insisted that Alex Ferguson’s Red Devils must put behind last week’s shocking defeat at Carrow Road against Norwich City.

The 31-year-old argued that Manchester United has enjoyed a reasonably good start to the season and the Red Devils must continue in that line so as to clinch the EPL title.

The Red Devils got a shock of the season from Norwich last weekend when a second-half goal by Norwich City’s Anthony Pilkington delivered the game to the Canaries with a scoreline of 1-0 at Old Trafford and the loss to Norwich City forced Manchester United to relinquish the number one spot to Manchester City.

United host struggling QPR on Saturday and Carrick believes that, despite enjoying a good start to the season, the pressure is on to earn all three points at Old Trafford.

“We need to come back quickly and kick on. It’s been a reasonably good start so far, really. We’ve obviously had a couple of defeats but we’ve bounced back each time and now we’re in a good position, so we can be happy. But we’re not getting carried away. We have to be focused.”

The defeat to Norwich marked Carrick’s 400th league appearance but the England international had not even been aware of the milestone.