10th place: Chelsea 4 – 1 Napoli
That evening at Stamford bridge a 3-1 deficit looked irreversible. Even though the new manager Roberto Di Matteo had just come into the job with high expectations, Chelsea fans were pessimistic about their chances. The rest of the season had left the fans accustomed to loosing and Chelsea’s premier league position was not acceptable. On the day, Chelsea had to win 4 – 1 to get through – and that was exactly what they did. However they started shakily and Cavani or Hamsik could easily have given Napoli an early lead. Chelsea knew how important the Champions League football was to the fans and after half an hour they broke the deadlock. A cross from Ramirez found the head of Didier Drogba who acrobatically found the back of the net. Chelsea soon followed up with a second goal thanks to their ‘captain fantastic’, John Terry. Then with 20 minutes remaining Napoli themselves scored a wonder goal, changing the whole complexion of the match. Suddenly Chelsea were heading out of the Champions League and the stadium grew silent. But Chelsea pushed and pushed for a goal and eventually they got their reward. A hand ball by a Napoli defender gave Chelsea a crucial penalty. Inevitably Lampard, always reliable from the spot, smashed the ball hard into the top corner. Extra time. The game was completely even and every Chelsea fan was biting their finger nails to the quick. At the half way point of extra time Chelsea scored the winner. Didier Drogba, recently turned 34, showed amazing pace to burst pass the defender before pulling back a great cross. Out of nowhere the Serbian full-back Branoslav Ivanovic raced into the box and smashed a glorious shot into the roof of the net. At full-time everyone celebrated: the old guard had just showed there was life yet in the old dog.
9th place: Manchester United 8 – 2 Arsenal
This was probably the most humiliating day in the history of Arsenal football club. They started the game so well and it could have been so different if Robin Van Persie had converted a penalty when the game was only 1 – 0. However from there it all went wrong. Man United quickly went 3-0 up. Although Theo Walcott scored a goal before half-time to give arsenal some hope the red devils came out for the second half with the same amount of dominance. In the game Rooney scored a hat-trick including two stunning free-kicks while Ashley Young beat the Arsenal keeper twice from long-range. Towards the end of the game Arsenal fans could not watch and wished that they hadn’t made the long journey to Manchester. When the full time whistle went confirming Arsenal’s 8 – 2 defeat Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger could only hang his head in shame.
8th Place: 5-Star Messi
When Leonel Messi became the first person to score five goals in a Champions League knock-out game the world was reminded of his brilliance. Messi has recently won the Ballon D’ Or for the third time in succession and is head and shoulders above his fellow professionals. He proved all that when he scored a remarkable five goals against the Germain side Bayer Leverkusen. The goals he scored were also quality and showed off his variety and talent. Messi scored a cheeky chip with each foot leaving the poor keeper embarrassed on both occasions. His other goals consisted of some delightful curlers which showed pure finesse. Barcelona won the game 7 – 1 and Messi collected the match-ball.
7th Place: Manchester United 4-4 Everton
Everton shocked the world of football when they drew 4 – 4 with Manchester United. At the time United were 5 points clear at the top meaning if they won the game they were almost certain to go on and win the League. Everton were the side to take the lead after 20 minutes thanks to a skillfull header from their top striker Nikita Yelavic. However Everton’s lead did not last long and by 70 minutes goals from Rooney, Welbeck, and Nani put the red devils 3 – 1 ahead. The toffees didn’t stop fighting and brought the game back to 3 – 2. The goal was scored magnificently by Fellini. Yet once again Rooney scored to settle the nerves and surly kill the game off. Some how Everton kept going and as the game went on the team in blue were getting stronger. They got the goal that they deserved on the 80th minute when Yelavic popped up and volleyed in a great strike. Manchester United’s nerves were Jangling and Everton capsized when Stephen peinar pounced on a loose ball before converting the chance neatly past the Manchester United goalkeeper. The game ended 4 – 4 and it proved to be one of the most crucial games in the title race.
6th place: Joey Barton goes mad!
In a crucial game for Queens Park Rangers their captain lost his head. Joey Barton who has been involved in hundreds of tussles on the pitch was shown a straight red card for what looked like him elbowing the Man city striker Carlos Tevez. Barton is a pantomime villain in the world of football and the referee had no choice but to show him a straight card. The QPR captain should have just left the pitch then but he had other ideas. In his furious mood the English-man walked straight up to Sergio Aguero and kicked him forcefully sending the City player tumbling to the ground. In the state he was in Barton may have injured many more but thankfully Stuarts dragged him off the pitch.
5th Place: Blackburn Fans protest!
This season has been terrible for Blackburn Rovers and the fans have not been shy to express their opinions. The appointment of Steve Keane puzzled the Blackburn fans and when results started to turn bad the pressure began piling up on Steve Keane. With two games to go Blackburn’s fate was decided and their relegation was confirmed. A 1-0 defeat to Wigan was just too much for the fans to take and when the final whistle went the emotions overflowed. All the banners came out and the stuarts failed to stop a pitch invasion. Steve Keane was quickly escorted of the pitch while the atmosphere at Eward Park was the worst it had ever been.
4th Place: The Carlos Tevez Saga
Manchester City were losing 1-0 in a pivotal Champions League game when Roberto Mancini decided a substitution was needed. He called upon the talented striker Carlos Tevez to warm up. However Tevez simply refused and acted like a defiant school kid. Man City lost the game and Mancini was absolutely livid, insisting that Tevez will never play again for the club. However after weeks of sunbathing on a holiday in Argentina and the speculation of his next club the striker somehow made a return. Mancini totally went against his word and lost the respect of certain managers such as Sir Alex Ferguson who described the act as “desperate”.
3rd Place:Manchester United 1 – 6 Manchester City