Derby Copa Del Rey Final showdown

Athletico Madrid are through to the finals of the Copa del rey cup after a 2-2 tie with sevilla..Goals from Radamel Falcao and Diego Costa helped the team qualify after a first leg home victory..They book a place with city rivals Real Madrid on the 18th of May

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Gareth Bale strike moves Tottenham Hotspur to third place

Gareth Bale scored a sensational last-minute
winner as Tottenham beat rivals West Ham 3-2 to move up to third in the Premier League in a thrilling encounter at Upton Park. The Welshman took his tally
for the season to 15 league
goals as he slammed a 35-
yard rocket into the top
corner past West Ham goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen, who was fantastic
throughout the night. Bale had himself put Spurs ahead in the 13th
minute from the edge of the penalty area before
Andy Carroll equalised with a penalty 12 minutes
later. West Ham took the lead in the second half when
Joe Cole tucked the ball in to the far corner from a
tight angle, but Gylfi Sigurdsson equalised from
close range 14 minutes from time. The game seemed to be heading for a draw before
Bale struck at the death to move Spurs up to third
place in the race for the Champions League, two
points ahead of Chelsea and four points above
north London rivals Arsenal. West Ham manager Sam Allardyce made four
changes to the side that lost against Aston Villa,
with James Collins returning in central defence and
recalls for Guy Demel, Gary O’Neil and Matt Jarvis
with Mark Noble ruled out through injury. Hugo Lloris was restored as Tottenham’s goalkeeper
in place of Brad Friedel as Andre Villas-Boas went
for height in defence, playing Jan Vertonghen at
left-back with Michael Dawson and Steven Caulker
paired in central defence. Before kick-off, West Ham honoured Bobby Moore
on the 20th anniversary of his death, the World Cup-
winning captain’s name rang around Upton Park
during a minute’s applause with the former
defender’s family on the touchline. It led to a blood-and-thunder opening to the game
as tackles flew in and the rival fans goaded each
other on a crisp, floodnight evening in east London. Allardyce identified Bale as the man to stop before
the game, so he must have been furious with the
ease in which the Welshman put Spurs ahead in the
13th minute. Demel’s lazy pass gave possession straight to Bale 25 yards from goal and the Tottenham man worked
the ball on to his left foot before firing low across
goal into the bottom corner. Yet West Ham responded and drew level in the 25th
minute as Carroll scored just his third goal of the season. The on-loan Liverpool striker won the spot-kick
himself as he went down under a challenge from
former Hammer Scott Parker, whose challenge was
reckless despite him getting a touch on the ball.
Carroll made no mistake as he rammed the ball into
the top corner from 12 yards.West Ham had goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen to
thank for keeping them in the game as he made
two athletic saves either side of the break to keep
out almost identical headers from Caulker. The Finn then made a brilliant double save in the
56th minute, tipping substitute Sigurdsson’s curling
shot on to the post and reacting quickly to save
Emmanuel Adebayor’s header when the Spurs
striker should have scored the rebound. Two minutes later, the hosts took the lead. Joey
O’Brien played a long pass to Cole, who stayed onside before bringing the ball down and somehow
turning it into the far corner from a tight angle. Jaaskelainen then produced more heroics with his
best save of the night, touching Bale’s curling effort
on to the crossbar at full stretch. Not to be upstaged, Lloris made a superb stop of
his own to deny Taylor after the West Ham
substitute was put through on goal by Cole’s clever
pass. Fourteen minutes from time, Tottenham levelled
with the scrappiest of goals. West Ham completely
failed to deal with a free-kick delivered from the
right by Bale and after the ball pinballed around the
penalty area Sigurdsson was able to scuff home from two yards. Then as the clock ticked to 90 minutes, Bale demanded the ball in central midfielder, shifted it
on to his left foot and rammed a shot into the top
corner so powerful that even Jaaskelainen could do
nothing.

Arsene Declares Team Desire

Wenger has recently seen his side beaten by
Blackburn in the FA Cup and Bayern Munich in the
Champions League. But he believes they can secure the runners-up
spot in the league, despite being nine points
behind second-placed Manchester City with 11
games left. “Man City is not out of reach. It could be a tight
fight until the end,” said the Arsenal boss. Despite enduring a torrid time last week in cup competition, Arsenal’s 2-1 win over Aston Villa on Saturday was their third straight league success,
following victories against Sunderland and Stoke. Yet they remain fifth in the table, behind City,
Chelsea and Tottenham ahead of Sunday’s north
London derby at White Hart Lane. Manchester United, who Arsenal still have to play
at Emirates Stadium on 28 April, are 21 points
clear of the Gunners at the top of the table. Wenger insists his team can not only overtake
Tottenham and Chelsea, but also overhaul City
and qualify automatically for a place in next
season’s Champions League group stage. “I’m not sure it will only be a fight with
Tottenham,” he added when asked about the
battle for fourth. “I’m not sure the other places
are not reachable. “Chelsea are just ahead and even Manchester City
is not out of reach. It could be a tight fight until
the end.” Arsenal have not finished outside the Premier
League’s top four since Wenger took charge in
September 1996. The last time they ended the season in the top
two was in 2004-05 when they were runners-up
to Chelsea.

Swansea humiliate Bradford city to lift capital one cup

Swansea City got their hands on a first-ever major trophy courtesy of a romping 5-0 Capital One Cup final win over Bradford City at Wembley. The gulf in class between the two sides was evident
from the off and, having already put the Premier
League’s Wigan, Arsenal and Aston Villa to the
sword, the challenge of Michael Laudrup’s team
proved a step too far for the League Two outfit. Nathan Dyer’s close-range finish and Michu’s fine
strike gave the Swans a seemingly insurmountable
lead at the interval before Dyer stroked home and Jonathan De Guzman scored from first the spot and then the near post to ensure that
Laudrup laid claim to the first major silverware of the English season. After being rested against Liverpool, the Swans’ top scorer, Michu, and captain, Ashley
Williams, were welcomed back into the starting XI along with Dyer, Angel Rangel and Wayne
Routledge. In the absence of Chico Flores, Ki Sung-Yueng was called on as a makeshift
centre-back. Phil Parkinson made just one change to the side that started both legs of the semi-final
against Aston Villa, with Garry Thompson replacing Zavon Hines. The game quickly set into the pattern that was to define the entire 90 minutes, with Swansea
entirely dictating matters and after a period of sustained pressure, the Premier League club
found themselves a goal to the good on 17 minutes. Routledge drove with intent through the middle before sliding the ball to Michu. The
Spaniard’s effort was well saved by Matt Duke, though the Bantams goalkeeper could only
palm the ball into the path of the onrushing Dyer, who poked in from close range. A second goal always threatened and eventually came five minutes before the interval, off
the back of another period of patient build-up play. However, Bradford were made to pay for allowing Michu the same kind of space they had granted Swansea’s deeper-lying players, as the striker notched his 19th goal of the season by
collecting Hernandez’s measured pass and whipping an unchallenged left-footed strike just
inside the far post. Swansea effectively ended the tie just two minutes after the interval with Dyer adding a third after some intricate play around the edge of the area, finishing emphatically after cutting
back in on his left foot. Bradford’s misery was further compounded 10 minutes later when a flowing Swansea attack
was prematurely ended when Duke tripped De Guzman in the box. The Bantams keeper was duly sent off and after protracted squabbles between the fouled man and Dyer, the
Dutchman nonchalantly tucked home a penalty to make it four. Michu passed just wide of the post and Williams kneed straight at substitute keeper Jon
McLaughlin as a horribly one-sided affair reached its latter stages. Michu hit the post before De Guzman fired in at the near post to hand the Swans the biggest winning margin in League Cup final history. The result proved a resounding culmination of an impressive Capital One Cup campaign for
the Swans, adding to the fine body of work achieved by Laudrup in an eye-catching first term
at the Welsh club who have now ensured Europa League football for next season.

HOW FAR CAN ARSENAL FC GO?

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger admits that the losses to Blackburn and Bayern Munich in the last week have disrupted his
side’s Premier League
progress, after they left it
late to earn a 2-1 win over Aston Villa. The Frenchman says his side were on a good run in
the league before they crashed out of the FA Cup to
Rovers and surrendered three away goals to the
Bavarians in the Champions League in the last seven
days. Arsenal got back to winning ways courtesy of a
double from Santi Cazorla, but the victory was far
from straightforward as the Gunners only just
managed to claim the three points after a nervous
afternoon against Paul Lambert’s men. “We are on a good run in the [Premier League] and
we have been affected by the major
disappointments we have had, you can see that in
the nerves,” he told Sky Sports News. “We could have scored many many more goals
today, but we got the three points and that’s what
counts.” Cazorla’s two clinical finishes, the second of which
coming in the last 10 minutes, were enough to see
Arsenal to the three points. After the game Wenger
found positives in the team’s attitude and
performance. He added: “Yes, [Cazorla] got us two very important
goals and I’m very happy with the team attitude
and team performance.” The 63-year-old also urged Arsenal fans to get
behind the players during this testing period. “We need their support, no matter how
disappointed they are, ” he said.

Clinical Santi spares Arsenal’s blushes

Arsenal eased the pressure on Arsene Wenger as a Santi Cazorla double gave them their fourth win in
five Premier League games against Aston Villa on Saturday. The Spaniard had given the
Gunners an early lead after five minutes, before Andreas Weimann equalised
for the visitors mid-way through the second-half. But Cazorla was at the ready to slot home with just
minutes to go as the Gunners closed the gap on
fourth-placed Tottenham to one point, extending
Villa’s miserable run to just one win in 10 games. Wenger made four changes from his side’s 3-1
humbling at the hands of Bayern Munich on
Tuesday, with Nacho Monreal returning at left-back
and Carl Jenkinson replacing the injured Bacary
Sagna. Giroud was also re-installed to lead the line,
while Abou Diaby came in for Aaron Ramsey. The visitors, meanwhile, were still without skipper
Ron Vlaar but welcomed Gabriel Agbonlahor back
into the line-up as a left winger. From the off, it was all Arsenal. The hosts controlled
possession with palpable ease and created the first
chance of the game after just two minutes, with
Jack Wilshere forcing an early save from Brad Guzan. And the Gunners did not have to wait long to open
the scoring as Cazorla found possession minutes later, tucking away an easy finish at the second time
of asking. Nathan Baker had blocked the Spaniard’s
initial attempt at a cross but Cazorla showed no
hesitation in reacting first to convert. But Villa responded instantly, mustering their first
chance of the game after nine minutes as Charles
N’Zogbia fed Agbonlahor on the edge of the box,
only for the 26-year-old to fire his shot straight at
Wojciech Szczesny. After the Gunners’ emphatic start, a cricket score
had looked a possibility but Villa were the side
looking more and more likely to score. Close to the
half-hour mark, the visitors enjoyed their best
chance yet as N’Zogbia was first denied by Szczesny
before Andreas Weimann then had his shot cleared by Per Mertesacker. Theo Walcott curled a left-footed shot over the bar
minutes later, before Giroud was then denied by
Guzan once again as half-time approached. But while the Gunners were playing like a side
chasing Champions League qualification, the
visitors were counterattacking with the hunger
typical of a side fighting for vital points to keep
them in the Premier League.