Tottenham advanced to the Champions League Group Stages after an emphatic 4-0 victory at home to Young Boys. Peter Crouch scored a hat trick as the Young Boys defence failed to cope with his arial threat, while Jermaine Defoe scored the other in his last game before having a groin operation.
Elsewhere Auxerre, FC Copenhagen and Ajax both progressed while Slovenia Champions MSK Zilina will participate in the world’s elite competition for the first time.
Fulham, Newcastle and Everton all progressed to the next round of the Carling Cup. Newcastle had a completely different starting 11 to the team which beat Villa 6-0 and won the game against Accrington Stanley 3-2. Krul came into goal while Kadar and Tavernier played central with wing backs Ryan Taylor and Shane Ferguson making up the back line. Senior boys Lovenkrands and Ameobi got valuable time on the pitch up front while Lua Lua, Donaldson, Ranger and Vukic made up the midfield. The old boys got the goals with Taylor scoring a 30-yarder before Accrington levelled before half-time. Lovenkrands and Ameobi took the scoreline to 3-1, yet Accrington provided a nervy finish after scoring in the 90th minute to finish the match 3-2. A good result and more importantly a good turn out of youngsters for the Toon.
Staying on the Toon, the club have transfer listed Steven Taylor whose contract runs out at the end of the season. Contract negotiations which have been ongoing for a couple of months now seem to have stalled, yet both parties are still willing to come to an agreement. Let’s hope so, he’s a talent and with only a year left he would be sold for only a fraction of his real value. Combined with the fact we only have two other proven Premier League standard central defenders, it’s important this gets sorted.
Ibrahimovich looks likely to sign for AC Milan with every passing day, however Man City are also reported to be interested. The player’s agent has expressed Ibra’s disenchantment with Pep Guardiola’s man-management skills. On Man City it seems both Robinho and Santa Cruz will be leaving on loan, with Lazio in for the Paraguay striker, while Robinho has expressed his desire to go to a team in either Spain or Italy. Elsewhere Liverpool are rumoured to be offering around 15 mill for West Ham striker Carlton Cole, using the money from a mooted 20 mill sale of Javier Mascherano to Barcelona. Mascherano is overrated in my opinion and Liverpool would be best to get rid of him, however they’ll be regretting not signing Gareth Barry two years ago and have little time to find a replacement. Their replacement for Xabi Alonso, Aquilani, has meanwhile completed his loan deal to Juventus, with an option of an 18 mill transfer at the end of the season. Liverpool play Trabzonspor from Turkey in the Europa League play-off tonight, they have a 1-0 advantage from the home leg and should easily progress despite missing Gerrard and Torres.
Also, just quickly Yoann Gourcuff has completed his move from Bordeaux to Lyon in a great piece of transfer business for the French club. 22 mill euros is the price and it is a massive shock in French football. Gourcuff is an amazing talent who had a fairly poor year last season and a very poor World Cup. It will be interesting to see how he fairs at Lyon.