Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Confident Arsenal Beat Chelsea

Playing beautiful football, having talented young players, and staying in the top 4 of the English Premier League is not enough.

Last season Arsenal lost all four of their matches against Manchester United and Chelsea. And this season they had lost in Stamford Bridge and, recently, in Old Trafford. It seems that the only rival they surpass is Liverpool, which is now below their usual form.

However, on Monday (12/28), Arsenal proved that they could overcome with last season's title winner Chelsea. The Gunners beat the Blues 3-1 in an attractive London derby to go back to second spot in the English Premier League before Manchester City, which have played two matches more than Arsenal, overtook them on Tuesday.

In the first half Arsenal had a couple of chances by Robin van Persie and Samir Nasri but it was hard to penetrate Chelsea's defense. Didier Drogba fired a threatening shot but it was wide.

Then, one minute before half-time, Alex Song gave Arsenal a 1-0 lead at the same time Cesc Fabregas was felled by Paulo Ferreira.

In the 50th minute, Theo Walcott found a way through Chelsea's defense and skipped over Michael Essien and Petr Cech, passing to Fabregas who gave an accurate finish. 2-0 for Arsenal.

Three minutes later, Fabregas returned the favor and assisted Walcott to score a third goal for Arsenal.

Chelsea attacked back through Branislav Ivanovic's goal in the 57th minute.

However, the match ended 3-1 and Arsenal was satisfied.

pictures from

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Korea 1, China 4

World number seven Lee Yong-dae and Jung Jae-sung clinch China Open title with a 21-15 and 21-12 win over China's Chai Biao and Zhang Nan. Their victory erased China's hope for a clean sweep.

Lee Yong-dae and Jung Jae-sung crushed the Chinese pair with fiery powerplays and tricky net shots, never allowing them to pass their score. Chai Biao and Zhang Nan tried to put on a good fight in the first game, in which they came up short at 15-21 but could barely mount a challenge to the defending champions in the second and eventually succumbed 12-21.

The Koreans are the first non-Chinese players to win the China Open three times in a row. 22-year-old Lee Yong Dae matches Gao Ling’s record of 5 China Open titles, three in men’s doubles and two in mixed with Lee Hyo Jung.

Other China Open results:

Men's singles
5-Chen Long (CHN) def. 8-Bao Chunlai (CHN) 9-21, 21-14, 21-16

Women's singles
4-Jiang Yanjiao (CHN) def. 3-Wang Shixian (CHN) 21-16, 21-19

Women's doubles
2-Cheng Shu/Zhao Yunlei def. Ma Jin/Zhong Qianxin (CHN) walkover

Mixed doubles
Tao Jiaming/Tian Qing (CHN) def. 5-Zhang Nan/Zhao Yunlei (CHN) 21-18, 21-17


Defending Champions Reach China Open Final

Lee Yong-dae and Jung Jae-sung of South Korea set up a final clash in China Open Super Series with Chinese Zhang Nan/Chai Biao. Lee and Jung, who are 2008 and 2009 China Open winners, only needed 29 minutes to upset compatriots Ko Sung-hyun and Yoo Yeon-seong 21-10 and 21-15.

Meanwhile, fifth-seeded Chen Long will challenge his senior Bao Chunlai in the men's singles final after beating third seed Chen Jin in tough rubber sets, 22-20, 18-21, and 21-18 while Bao Chunlai overcame Du Pengyu 22-20 and 21-16.

China makes sure of other 3 titles. In the women's singles final, Wang Shixian who stunned top seed Wang Xin 21-18 and 21-16 will play fourth seed Jiang Yanjiao.

Zhang Nan and Zhao Yunlei will face Tao Jiaming and Tian Qing. Zhang/Zhao subdued Malaysia's Chan Peng Soon/Goh Liu Ying 21-17, 21-18 as Tao/Tian vanquished teammates He Hanbin and Ma Jin 21-17, 8-21, and 21-13.

In the women's doubles, world number eight pair Cheng Shu and Zhao Yunlei defeated Tian Qing and Pan Pan 21-14 and 21-13 to meet Ma Jin and Zhong Qianxin in the final. In the last four, Ma and Zhong conquered Korean Ha Jung-eun and Jung Kyung-eun 11-21, 21-8, and 21-18.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Maestro Reigns in London

London (11/28) - Roger Federer of Switzerland overmastered world number one Rafael Nadal 6-3, 3-6, and 6-1 to win Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in front of 17,500 fans at London's O2 Arena.

Federer created a record-equaling fifth title at the year-ending finale, matching the feat of Ivan Lendl and Pete Sampras.

Federer fired down 32 winners in the one hour 37 minute contest to Nadal's 11 as he beat the Spaniard for eight times.

"It's fantastic. I'm really thrilled the way I played all week. To win a fifth time is obviously amazing, for the third time in a different place," said Federer.

"I'm just really happy the way I was able to finish the season in style, playing some of my best tennis, really saving the best for last.

"Obviously beating Rafa in the final makes it extra special because of the year he had."

Nadal refused to say that he was defeated due to tiredness.

"I'm not going to say I lost the match because I was tired.

"What I'm going to say, and what I feel, is I lost the match because I played against a very good Roger Federer on one of his favourite surfaces. And when he's playing like this, it is very difficult to stop him.

"I had little chances, I was there, but it wasn't enough. He played unbelievable. I think in the beginning he was unplayable.

"I just can congratulate him for his victory and another great tournament for him," said Nadal who never won ATP World Tour Finals.

pictures from reuters