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||Danny Welbeck thought about it. He had felt the slightest touch from the Milan left-back, Ricardo Rodríguez, inside the area and he went down. The official behind the goal thought about it some more. The seconds ticked by. Milan were http://www.officialhornetsproshop.c...thentic-0-spencer-hawes-jersey.html unconcerned. But then, a crackle across the airwaves and there was the Swedish referee, Jonas Eriksson, pointing to the spot. Milan erupted with rage. Arsenal could sense their place in the Europa League quarter-finals.
Welbeck scored and, at long last, Arsène Wenger could feel his luck was in. The Arsenal manager’s team had trailed to Hakan Calhanoglu’s long-range blast and, at that point, things could have turned angsty. Instead, Welbeck had them back in charge.
The impression it was Arsenal’s night was reinforced when Granit Xhaka made the tie safe on 71 minutes. Again, there had been little hint of danger. The midfielder’s shot from outside the area looked routine for Gianluigi Donnarumma. Yet the young Cam Neely Authentic Jersey hope of Italian goalkeeping fumbled dreadfully and that was that. There was even time for Welbeck to add a late third, after Donnarumma had parried Aaron Ramsey’s header.
There were fears beforehand of another low Emirates Stadium turnout; more refuseniks angry at the club’s direction under Wenger. It did not materialise and there was something fortifying about the sight of a virtual full house roaring the team on. The official attendance of 58,973 looked right, for a change.
Milan came to play and they were understandably aggrieved about the penalty, even if the manager, Rino Gattuso, refused to use it as http://www.authenticslightningstore.../-48-brett-howden-jersey_c-461.html an “alibi” for the defeat. Arsenal wobbled at the start and they were relieved when the Milan striker André Silva – in yards of space – found only the side-netting http://www.authenticcelticstore.com...uthentic-2-red-auerbach-jersey.html after 46 seconds. But Wenger’s team tried to get on to the front foot and they created chances.
This competition has long since come to resemble a shot at salvation for the club and, possibly, Wenger too. The dream of crashing into the Champions League via the back door continues to burn.
Calhanoglu fashioned his goal out of nothing. He cut Andre Smith Jersey across his right-footed shot from 25 yards and got the ball to dip and fade into the far corner. David Ospina was powerless. The fear from the Arsenal point of view was it would prompt a collective panic; a reawakening of the demons that have gripped them all too regularly this season. But as the crowd stayed with them, they responded – with a helping hand from the officials.
When Welbeck went down, Wenger’s words from last month resonated. “I remember there were tremendous cases here when foreign players did it,” he said, with regard to diving. “But English players have learned very quickly and they might be the masters now.” The Italian media put questions to Gattuso about how England had once been considered as the land of fair play. Not here.
Welbeck’s conversion was clinical and Milan would be further incensed moments later when Calum Chambers, who had replaced Laurent Koscielny – the victim of a back injury – felt the ball hit his hand inside the area. No penalty.
Arsenal were Dallas Stars Authentic Jersey not convincing at the back but they could point to a clutch of chances in the first half. Welbeck put a move on Leonardo Bonucci in the 25th minute before seeing Donnarumma block at the near post; Ramsey worked the goalkeeper immediately after Calhanoglu’s goal and, in first half stoppage time, Welbeck touched back for Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who nodded wide, and Jack Wilshere extended Donnarumma with a decent hit. cheap jerseys from china wholesale nfl jerseys from china cheap nfl jerseys cheap nfl jerseys wholesale nfl jerseys cheap jerseys
||Five men slammed on the brakes simultaneously. Together they had been running towards Lionel Messi and together they turned and ran away from him again, as if he had flicked a switch, as if he had some kind of control over them. Which, in a way, he did. The moment that led to the second goal on a night which ended with the Camp Nou roaring their team into the quarter-finals, was an encapsulation of the power that ultimately took them there.
Messi twice sent shots through the legs of Thibaut Courtois and into the net, in the third minute and the 64th, but it was the assist for the second that effectively ended this and there was something in that image, in the way it came in the 19th minute, that may even have said as much as him scoring.
Messi saw Cesc Fàbregas lose control. Seizing upon the Chris Clark Authentic Jersey ball, suddenly he was away. Andreas Christensen hurtled towards him, but too late. Next came César Azpilicueta, but Messi escaped to his left. And then came the switch. As he scuttled forward, five Chelsea players ran towards him, in unison. His pass turned them in unison, collectively removed them from Jaromir Jagr Youth jersey the game. They had not made it to him and they did not make it to Ousmane Dembélé either, who controlled and thumped into the top corner, away from Courtois. At 2-0 it was http://www.steelersnflofficialonline.com/Authentic-Joe-Greene-Jersey good as over.
It was Dembélé’s first goal for Barcelona and it was hugely significant. http://www.raidersfootballofficialo...e.com/Nike-Tyrell-Adams-Jersey.html Injured attempting a backheel on his first start, he had been out for four months; when he returned, more than 100 days later, another injury added four more weeks to the wait. Dembélé is Barcelona’s second-most expensive player, and the pressure duly built, along with concerns about his ability to adapt and even his diet, but he had played with the reserves in the Super Copa de Catalunya, impressed in Málaga and now, at last, he was ready.
Selected, too. Ernesto Valverde had talked about his “unique qualities” while Sergio Busquets insisted “he looks better with every day and we believe in him”, yet his inclusion was a surprise. Dembélé had played 71 minutes against Juventus in September but not since; 19 minutes in here he had been involved in the first and scored the second. Messi embraced him.
There was support then; even more significant, perhaps, was the support for André Gomes, the midfielder who had referred to a kind of “hell” and admitted that the pressure weighs upon him, and the murmuring from this stadium had affected him. When he appeared in the second half there was a huge roar and the supporters chanted his name.
Ultimately, though, it always seems to come down to that guy, and within two minutes they were chanting Messi’s name again, when he dashed into the area and hit the ball under Courtois for a second time to make it 3-0. That was the 602nd goal of his career, his 100th in this competition. None of them had arrived as fast as his first here, the strike that started it all.
Messi had missed out at the weekend because of the birth of his third son, Ciro. “He looks well to me; he’s ready,” Valverde had said, rightly. They had barely packed away the pre-match banner declaring, in English, “God save the king”, when Luis Suárez’s neat flick found him and he steered the ball between Courtois’s legs at the near post. He had been back for 127 seconds and the goal was dedicated to Womens Stephone Anthony Jersey Ciro.
Chelsea had not yet touched the ball. They grew into it, of course, and this was not always easy for Barcelona. Yet Messi was, well, Messi. Much was made of the fact that he had not scored against Chelsea before the first leg; now he has three. cheap nfl jerseys wholesale jerseys cheap jerseys china wholesale jerseys wholesale jerseys
||Ernesto Valverde is considering including André Gomes against Chelsea despite the midfielder publicly admitting he is not enjoying playing football and is struggling with the pressure at the club.
The Barcelona manager described Gomes, 24, as “brave” for speaking out and the midfielder Sergio Busquets said the squad would help their team-mate after the former Valencia player gave an interview to Panenka magazine in which he described his “hell” at Barcelona. “Andre has lots of qualities; let’s see if tomorrow is the day that he shows that,” Valverde said.
I don’t feel good on the pitch,” the Portuguese said in the interview, which was conducted at the end of February and published on Monday. “I am not enjoying what I am doing. The first six months were pretty good but then things changed. Maybe it’s not the right word to use but it has turnedinto a kind of hell because I have started to feel more pressure. With [some] pressure I feel fine but withthe pressure [I put] on myself I don’t. The feeling that I have during games is bad.
“On more than one occasion I didn’t want to leave my house Adam Jones Jersey because [of the way] people look at you,” he added. “You have a fear of going on the street out of embarrassment. I close myself off. I don’t talk to anybody. Thinking too much has hurt me. I think about the bad things and what I have to do. My team-mates help me a lot but things don’t work out the way they want them to work out. In training, I am generally relaxed although there can be days when I feel a little low on confidence and it’s noticeable.”
During http://www.officialmlbgiantshop.com...hentic-43-dave-dravecky-jersey.html the recent visit of Atlético Madrid Valverde could be seen swearing about the murmuring that went around the stadium when Gomes had the ball. The player’s revelations put that footage into context and occupied much of the buildup to the second leg against Chelsea. Asked if Gomes was ready to play, Valverde replied: “If the coach believes so, yes.” Gomes’s inclusion may depend on a straight choice between him and Paulinho and could also be dependent on the Francisco Liriano Womens Jersey fitness of Andrés Iniesta, who was able to train after a week out with a hamstring strain.
“Players and coaches are [generally] http://www.footballdolphinsofficial...MENS_YOUTH_CAMERON_WAKE_JERSEY.html careful not to show any insecurity or weakness and André has done so, which is brave, but it is not new and he is not the only one – it has happened to us all in one way or another and we have to find ways of confronting that and carrying on,” Valverde added. “This is not something I have not come across Josh Donaldson Womens Jersey before in my career, as a player or a coach.”
Busquets said: “We knew something of André’s situation but it’s a very personal thing. We have tried to help him, advise him, be at his side but he is the one that takes it home. The background noise at the Camp Nou should be positive now. I think http://www.footballsteelersonline.com/Ben-Roethlisberger-Jersey he’s ready. It’s an extra pressure he puts on himself but I am sure he’s prepared and we will help him from the inside, and the fans will help him from the outside. What we all want Womens Jack Crawford Jersey is what’s best for the club.” cheap nfl jerseys cheap nfl jerseys wholesale nfl jerseys wholesale nfl jerseys wholesale jerseys cheap jerseys from china wholesale jerseys
||Sometimes you get what you deserve in sport. With an hour gone on an angsty night at Old Trafford, with Manchester United fumbling vaguely in front of the Sevilla defence like a man struggling in the wee hours for his door key, José Mourinho decided, what the hell, and brought on Paul Pogba for Marouane Fellaini.
Old Trafford roared itself out of its slumbers as Mourinho’s most http://www.officialdiamondbackshop....hentic-26-shelby-miller-jersey.html compelling midfield presence made a belated entrance. And yet half an hour later Manchester United http://www.officialbaseballgiants.com/Joe_Panik_Jersey had exited the Champions League without having at any stage made any obvious attempts to stay in it.
They did so in limp fashion, outmanoeuvred by a wonderful midfield stylist in Éver Banega, who played United off their own pitch while barely seeming to break a sweat.
There will be blame-shifting, even the pretence that United were simply unlucky, with nothing in their gameplan that requires any major revision. But this was a depressingly craven defeat for the three-time champions of Europe, a team that have had £300m spent on them in the last two seasons, and who lined up in a must-win game with an invention-free flat midfield pegged out around the spoiling qualities of Fellaini and Nemanja Matic.
All tactical preferences aside, it is hard not to conclude that this United team are better than that; they have more invention, more drive, more joy in their football than they were allowed to show over 180 guileless minutes. It should be a source of embarrassment that they looked so laboured, cocooned within the manager’s enduring defensive rage against the fifth best team in Spain.
It is hard to determine these days exactly what drives Mourinho’s manic caution, that strangely compelling desire to pre-throttle his own team, insisting only on victories that involve stifling defence. There is a theory Mourinho has backed himself into a tactical corner, so profound is his enduring dislike of the Barcelona-centred school that he insists the game be played the other way.
For Mourinho nothing has ever quite matched his defining victory in this competition eight years ago, a game at Camp Nou in which his Internazionale team overcame Pep Guardiola’s peak Barcelona playing the opposite of-possession football, kicking the ball away, defending in a deep double-bolt, bending the basic notion of what football can be to Mourinho’s annihilating will.
This, though, was Sevilla at home, the kind of occasion this grand old club likes Kelly Hrudey Jersey to suck the sweetness from. No matter what stage of the season there is a simple formal beauty to the sight of United’s red shirts lining up under the harsh flat white lights of that craning corrugated roof.
And yet for most of the opening hour it was the visitors who played with guile and drive and who possessed in Banega the most impressive midfield presence on the pitch. Time and again, as United fought and leapt, Banega could be seen tiptoeing through the trees, a genuinely high-calibre ball-player, capped 59 times by Womens Sonny Gray Jersey Argentina and startlingly calm in the middle of that midfield forest.
There is a point to this. Banega is also exactly what United do not have, an element beyond the strangulating Mourinho blueprint, trusted to purr about the pitch seeking the right place to deploy his velvet-pawed touch. Banega might not sprint or leap well at set pieces. But here he ran the game by stealth, an ambling brain in bright orange boots, funnelling possession into difficult areas and digging his fingernails into the back of United’s midfield.
||They’re all talking about that long run in the dressing room,” Gabriel Paulista said. It had been 14 years, after all. On Saturday afternoon, Valencia beat Sevilla 2-0 at the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán, the first time they had won there since May 2004, back when Pep Guardiola was a midfielder, not a manager, Lionel Messi had not played a senior game and Sergio Ramos was just Authentic Michael Jordan Jersey starting out, a 19-year-old dreaming of Claudio Caniggia. Of the 30 footballers who took to the field that day, he and Dani Alves are the only ones still going and now have 52 titles between them. Then, they had one. Sevilla, the record-holding, five-times Uefa Cup/Europa League winners, had never even won the trophy once. And as for Valencia: well, they were the best team in Spain.
Things have changed, all right. One thing that didn’t was the result. Back then, goals from Vicente Rodríguez and Rubén Baraja gave Valencia victory; better still, victory carried them to the league title, for the second time in three years under Rafa Benítez. Ten days later, they won the Uefa Cup, too. This time, 14 years and no Valencia victories later, two goals from Rodrigo Moreno secured a win that also carried Valencia back to the Champions League, all but guaranteeing Womens P. A. Parenteau Jersey them at least fourth place as it lifted them 11 points, plus head-to-head http://www.authenticbaltimoreoriolesshop.com/Mark-Trumbo-Jersey goal difference clear of their opponents in fifth.
“Until we’re mathematically there, we can’t say so but this is a big victory, and it puts us in a position we would have all signed up for, so we’re tremendously happy,” said Marcelino García Toral, the Valencia manager. When it was suggested to Rodrigo that it would take a “disaster” for them not to make it, he replied: “Football is made up of disasters.” But it’s virtually done. Valencia have to lose at least four times to miss out Womens Tony Romo Jersey when they have only lost six in La Liga all season. A few weeks ago, Marcelino insisted: “We’re not doing all this work to finish fifth or sixth.” No, they were doing all this work to finish in the top four. Now, they almost certainly will.
“We have to celebrate this,” Gabriel said.
It is only a little more than two years since Valencia were in the Champions League, so a return may not seem like a watershed but that’s how it felt and there was something in the celebrations at full time that spoke to that sensation. Their last night in the competition was Gary Neville’s first at the club, a limp exit against Lyon, and they finished that season closer to relegation than Europe; for much of last season, they threat was the same. Two consecutive 12th-placed Jeremy Lane Youth jersey finishes represented their worst campaigns for 27 years and since that defeat they have changed presidents, brought in more than a dozen players, shipped out more than 30 of them and had five managers.
But then this summer everything changed. Anil Murthy took over as president, Mateu Alemany became the director general and Marcelino was hired as coach. During pre-season in the US this summer, he was unhappy about how dry the pitch was; 10 minutes later, the local fire department was hosing it down. For staff, who have kept photos, it was symbolic of the seriousness and the attention to detail, as well as the determination. http://www.officialastroshop.com/Jr_Richard_Jersey It was also just the start. The diet was changed, the style, too. Captain Dani Parejo admitted the players were going “hungry”. He meant it literally but it was also felt metaphorically: the talent was there and Marcelino recovered footballers whose level had dropped and brought in others with something to prove. He even got a goal out of winter arrival Francis Coquelin. Marcelino also got rid of those likely to get in the way; the clean up began.
Now, they’re virtually back in the Champions League.
In the end, when it came down to it, when it came to fourth against fifth for a Champions League place, Valencia at Sevilla 10 weeks from the end, three touches were pretty much all it took to get them there. In http://www.teamusahockeyjerseys.com/Adidas-Patrick-Kane-Jersey a game in which Sevilla hit the bar, had a penalty shout turned down and drew a superb save from Neto, when they had more of the ball, more shots and more chances, Geoffrey Kondogbia’s wonderful 40-yard pass came out of the blue. Long, diagonal and over the defence, it found Rodrigo, who controlled superbly and slotted in the first. They were all set. Kondogbia, described by one paper as “brutal, unstoppable, immense, a total footballer”, then burst through two challenges to provide the second in the second half, again finished off by Rodrigo.