Manchester United – Champions again!

I spent a great morning watching Manchester United beat Wigan 2-0 to become English Premier League champions.



After a nail-biting 90 minutes, Chelsea eventually only tied with Bolton 1-1. united were far and away the best team all season. Next up….. United v Chelsea in the European Champions League final – May 21st. Can’t wait.

2006 FIFA World Cup

Yahoo has launched the official 2006 FIFA World Cup site at It’s an awesome news site. Although I suspect ESPN’s Soccernet Site runs it close here

Meanwhile, Archimedes Ventures (disclosure – that’s me) has launched The Soccer Channel. Over time we plan to evolve it into a soccer super site, covering all of the primary leagues in the world. It’s core is Drupal, which means it has blogs, stories, forums, and collaborative book writing. Think of it as the Fans site. Not mainly for news but for views. You can post text, pictures, video objects from Youtube, and file attachments too. Enjoy!

As of today it is fairly empty (just launched) but by June 9th expect coverage of every team, every game and lots of discussion from Fans. Feel free to join and help kick it off.

Oh, it’s free and there are no ads.


Techmeme Discussion

Cape Town

I take the family to Cape Town each year around Thanksgiving. We have a home here – in St James, overlooking the Indian Ocean. My Wife, Gené is South African and the children’s grandparents and an Aunt live here.

This year is no exception and we set off on Saturday morning at 5.30am. We arrived in Cape Town (via New York; Dakar; Johanesburg) on Sunday evening at 10.15pm local time (12.15pm Pacific).

I have set up call forwarding of all my home phones to Skype (Skype in works great here; my number is +1-650-557-2086). I have also brought a Vonage router and my +1-650-331-1433 Vonage number works here. Calls back to the Bay Area are free. Awesome.

I’ll be working most of the time. We are 10 hours ahead of Pacific Time so you can usually find me in the office between 10pm Pacific through Midnight; and again at 8am Pacific through Noon.

Moving On!

We’re moving house over the next two weeks. We sold our Aptos house and moved out on Friday.

We are going to a new home in Hamilton Avenue [close to University Avenue] in Palo Alto, but can only move in on 18 September. Meanwhile we are renting a beach house in Rio Del Mar.

Life is quite good I think grin

BUT … this server will be down a lot until 22 September when my new DSL activates. I run it from home and the transition will not be smooth. Sorry!

Scarborough 0-1 Chelsea

Scarborough didn’t beat Chelsea, but wow! they came close. Great show!

John Terry’s 10th-minute header edged Chelsea past heroic non-league side Scarborough 1-0 at the McCain Stadium.

Terry scores for Chelsea at Scarborough (JohnWalton/Empics)

Scarborough 0-1 Chelsea


John Terry’s 10th-minute header edged Chelsea past heroic non-league side Scarborough 1-0 at the McCain Stadium.

Terry scores for Chelsea at Scarborough (JohnWalton/Empics)


Terry salutes battling Boro

Terry nodded home after Frank Lampard had rattled the post in the second minute – with a torrid day looking on the cards for the Nationwide Conference side at that stage.

But Boro held on and almost equalised in the last 10 minutes when Colin Cryan saw a header saved, before William Gallas got away with a clear handball in the Chelsea box.

The Barclaycard Premiership big-spenders took just over a minute to warn the home defence that they were in for a torrid afternoon.

Lampard let fly with a swerving shot from nearly 40 yards which clattered against the post and rebounded to Eidur Gudjohnsen, who shot wide from just inside the box.

The home side tried their best to get forward with Clint Marcelle crossing from the right only for Terry to clear.

Mark Hotte produced a superb tackle to deny Gudjohnsen a clear run on goal in the sixth minute and three minutes later Cryan booted Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink’s corner off the line.

Terry gave Chelsea the lead in the 10th minute when Mario Melchiot headed Hasselbaink’s cross back across the box and the England defender nodded home from virtually on the goal line.

Mark Quayle had a half chance blocked in the box for Boro but Chelsea were looking most likely to increase their lead.

Scarborough refused to be downhearted after the early blow and grew in confidence with Marcelle and Jimmy Kelly both having shots blocked by goalscorer Terry in the box.

Gudjohnsen slipped a shot inches wide and Jesper Gronkjaer hit a weak left-foot effort straight at Boro goalkeeper Leigh Walker.

But the home side were relishing the space afforded them and Marcelle took advantage with a fine run before finding Quayle, whose attempted shot in the box was blocked by Melchiot.

William Gallas shot inches wide from a Hasselbaink corner and Terry’s long shot was inches wide in injury time – but Boro deserved to hang on with just a one goal deficit to the break.

Chelsea boss Claudio Ranieri made one change at half time introducing Emmanuel Petit in place of the ineffective Gronkjaer.

The visitors began the second half strongly with Hasselbaink’s right-foot shot from 30 yards whizzing just wide of Walker’s left-hand post.

Then Gudjohnsen laid off a fine ball to Lampard in the box but the former West Ham midfielder was denied a shooting chance by another impressive challenge from Cryan.

Walker performed heroics to prevent the visitors increasing their lead.

Gallas looked certain to score Chelsea’s second when he leapt higher to meet Hasselbaink’s right wing corner – but the Scarborough goalkeeper dived to make a stunning save.

And in the 65th minute Walker twice got down to deny Lampard who had two close range shots in the box.

One minute later even Walker could do nothing about Lampard’s chance from eight yards out, but amazingly the England midfielder skied his shot high over the bar.

Cole shot well over the bar for Chelsea in the 73rd minute but Scarborough’s never-say-die spirit set up a grandstand finish.

Cryan was agonisingly close to an equaliser in the 80th minute when he dived to reach substitute Chris Senior’s cross from the right – but headed into Carlo Cudicini’s arms.

And one minute later the Conference side saw loud penalty appeals waved away after Gallas handled the ball in the box under pressure from substitute Chris Senior.

Chelsea survived with Melchiot having a header parried by Walker before the final whistle brought a standing ovation for the brave Seadogs.

# Terry salutes battling Boro

Paying tribute to Scarborough Chelsea’s goalscorer John Terry said: ‘We had our chances but at the end of the day they had lot of pressure and made it difficult for us,’ said Terry.

‘They did well but we came here to do a job.’

Boro midfielder Scott Kerr claimed: ‘I thought it was handball but some you get, some you don’t.

‘In the first 15 minutes it took a bit to get into the game and these lads are world class players.

‘But we got into their faces and did ourselves proud.

‘It (the FA Cup run) has been amazing and to get a club like Chelsea just capped it all.’

Scarborough manager Russell Slade was convinced his team should have had a penalty when Gallas handled inside the area.

Slade said: ‘There is a lot of emotion in the dressing room but that is because all the lads played their hearts out.

‘The fact that we are disputing a late penalty against a Premiership side says it all.

‘It did look like a cast-iron penalty and they are usually given for things like that.

‘For me it was an obvious penalty. I’m slightly biased but it was clear to me. He [Gallas] looked like he handled but it wasn’t to be.

‘Still, we’ve done ourselves no harm today.

‘It’s an emotional dressing room. Everyone is patting each other on the back. They are all proud.’

Slade conceded Chelsea should have won the game, adding: ‘They had an enormous number of chances but we stuck in there and possibly had our chances. We gave our fans something to shout about.

‘I think Colin was disappointed with his header but we had a wonderful day and have done the town proud.’

‘The match has put Scarborough on the football map and financially it has been very good for us.

‘Things will settle down. We’re a small club and maybe things do need to settle down. We’ve enjoyed the journey – it has been exciting. Now we can’t wait for next year.’

Scarborough’s chairman Malcolm Reynolds, who saved the club from closure with hours to spare two years ago, said: ‘I feel absolutely proud of what we have done today. We will hopefully keep some of the friends we have made.

‘It has been tiring, fantastic, but very memorable.’

What a lovely sight!

I wonder if Saul is happy to see the English Premier League Table this morning? Like all Arsenal fans my guess is not grin

P W D L F A W D L F A W D L F A Pts GD
Man Utd 36 23 8 5 68 32 15 2 1 38 11 8 6 4 30 21 77 36
Arsenal 35 21 9 5 73 38 14 2 1 39 16 7 7 4 34 22 72 35
Newcastle 36 20 5 11 60 46 14 2 2 35 17 6 3 9 25 29 65 14
Chelsea 36 18 10 8 66 36 11 5 2 39 14 7 5 6 27 22 64 30
Liverpool 36 18 10 8 59 37 9 8 1 29 14 9 2 7 30 23 64 22
Everton 36 17 8 11 47 45 11 5 2 27 17 6 3 9 20 28 59 2
Blackburn 36 15 11 10 47 42 9 6 3 23 14 6 5 7 24 28 56 5
Tottenham 36 14 8 14 50 53 9 4 5 30 25 5 4 9 20 28 50 -3
Charlton 36 14 7 15 44 51 8 3 7 26 29 6 4 8 18 22 49 -7
Southampton 35 12 12 11 41 40 9 7 2 25 16 3 5 9 16 24 48 1
Man City 36 14 6 16 45 52 9 2 7 28 25 5 4 9 17 27 48 -7
Birmingham 36 13 8 15 39 46 8 4 6 23 21 5 4 9 16 25 47 -7
Middlesbrough 36 12 10 14 42 41 9 7 2 31 20 3 3 12 11 21 46 1
Aston Villa 36 11 9 16 40 44 10 2 6 24 14 1 7 10 16 30 42 -4
Fulham 36 11 9 16 38 50 10 3 5 24 18 1 6 11 14 32 42 -12
Leeds 36 12 5 19 52 54 6 3 9 22 25 6 2 10 30 29 41 -2
Bolton 36 9 13 14 39 50 6 8 4 25 23 3 5 10 14 27 40 -11
West Ham 36 9 11 16 39 57 4 7 7 20 24 5 4 9 19 33 38 -18
West Brom 36 6 6 24 26 62 3 4 11 15 32 3 2 13 11 30 24 -36
Sunderland 36 4 7 25 21 60 3 2 13 11 27 1 5 12 10 33 19 -39

What a Beautiful Game – but I hate the aggregate result!


Wednesday, April 23, 2003

Man Utd 4-3 Real Madrid


Manchester United were taught a Champions League lesson by Real Madrid and the irrepressible Ronaldo, winning 4-3 on the night but going out 6-5 on aggregate.

Ronaldo celebrates the opener (NealSimpson/Empics)

The Brazilian striker, who lit up the World Cup final with his finishing prowess, may have lived in the shadow of team-mate Raul for much of this season since his arrival from Inter Milan.

But with his fellow striker injured, Ronaldo rose to the occasion in the manner of a true champion as he struck a hat-trick of the highest quality to earn a rousing ovation from the Old Trafford crowd.

To their credit, United never once gave up and emerged with their pride intact, even if they fell two goals short of actually going through to the semi-finals.

David Beckham even emerged from the bench – clearly with a point to prove – to strike twice amid a spirited attacking display by his side in a mesmerising game of seven goals and countless chances.

However, Champions League glory is achieved as much by defensive resilience and European nous as sustained attacking pressure.

Real may have their weaknesses but United, trailing 3-1 from the first leg, were made to pay for their deficiencies at the back as this proved a revival beyond even the supposed comeback kings.

Ruud van Nistelrooy pulled United back into the tie in Madrid and struck again at Old Trafford to equalise Ronaldo’s first strike after just 12 minutes.

However, that opening goal by the Brazilian always left United with a mountain to climb and when Ronaldo struck again shortly after the break, there was no way back.

Just as in Madrid a fortnight ago and just as against Real at Old Trafford in 2000, they had been made to pay for naively piling forward and leaving themselves exposed at the back.

Ivan Helguera’s own goal revived faint hopes but Ronaldo completed his hat-trick before Beckham came off the bench to convert a free-kick and then force his side’s fourth goal over the line.

Becks blast: United’s sub makes a point (LaurenceGriffiths/GettyImages)

Real were nevertheless home and dry, with the team taunted by United as “performing seals” having proved they have the steel and class to match their tricks.

United’s task had been to prove they had learned to modify the gung-ho mentality which cost them dearly three years ago in going out to Real on an eerily similar occasion.

It was not to be. Van Nistelrooy forced Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas into an early reaction save but, predictably enough, it was just when United were threatening that Real hit them on the break.

With Wes Brown lured upfield, Steve McManaman – preferred to Flavio Conceicao in midfield – started the move that led to Guti setting Ronaldo through the centre.

Ronaldo looked to be closely watched by Rio Ferdinand but appearances were deceptive as the striker brushed past his marker with embarrassing ease before burying his shot.

United were badly ruffled but, with Real continuing to threaten through Luis Figo, Ivan Helguera and Roberto Carlos, they at least bided their time.

Such patience finally paid off as the Spanish side were lulled into a false sense of security and allowed their tempo to drop 10 minutes before the break.

That was the cue for United to come alive as Ryan Giggs shaved the post and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had a smart shot blocked by Casillas before the two players combined to set up van Nistelrooy from close range.

Finally there was renewed hope. With Helguera limping badly, Real looked distinctly vulnerable and van Nistelrooy almost pounced again.

The Spanish side nevertheless held out until half-time and, rather than remaining patient after the restart, United were naive enough to pile into attack and were duly punished.

After one warning had been ignored, with Figo curling a shot against the post, Real pounced as Roberto Carlos set up Ronaldo – in acres of space – to beat the exposed figure of Fabien Barthez.

That was the killer blow, but a mis-hit shot by Juan Sebastian Veron still somehow forced Helguera into striking his clearance into his own net.

To their credit, United refused to give up, with Solskjaer and Veron both being denied by Casillas’ reactions.

However, their finishing was simply not in the same league as that of Ronaldo, who responded by giving Barthez no chance at all as he picked his spot from 20 yards out.

The result may have been beyond doubt but Beckham clearly had a point to prove and took delight in converting a curling free-kick with customary aplomb.

The final stages represented something of an exhibition game, with substitute Javier Portillo striking the side-netting from point-blank range and Beckham then forcing the ball home.

For all of the glorious excitement, United eventually ended the night as they began it, within two goals of victory.

The simple truth remains that they were beaten by a better side – and one surely destined to return to Old Trafford in the Champions League final in just over a month’s time.