Juan Mata's 'ghost goal' reignites goal line technology debate
Chelsea's remarkable turnaround under Roberto Di Matteo came to the fore on Sunday night, with a 5-1 demolition of Tottenham earning the Blues a place in the FA Cup final. However, the game is likely to be remembered more for Juan Mata's controversial second goal, than the result itself.
Shortly into the second half, the young Spaniard hammered a shot against Benoit Assou-Ekotto which referee Martin Atkinson adjudged to have crossed the line. Replays on the other hand, suggested the ball was comfortably kept out.
Whether or not the goal proved decisive for Di Matteo's side will never be known, but what is clear is that the speed of the modern game puts huge demands on referees and without help they are bound to make the occasional error. FIFA are set for final tests on two goal-line technology systems this month before a meeting to decide the future of the systems in July. Here's hoping for a speedy implementation which switches to focus back to the football, rather than the controversy caused by simple human error.
Thee Manchester City players named in shortlist for PFA Player of the Year
In the world of football, money can buy you success. Real Madrid, Chelsea, and even Blackburn Rovers have all shown that big signings and big wages can win you trophies. What is often overlooked however, is that in order to reach the heights promised by major investment you still need to get your top players playing at their best, and this is where Manchester City have truly excelled this season.
David Silva, Sergio Aguero, and Joe Hart have all lit up the Premier League this season and become part of team that on their day plays some of the best football in the country. Their nomination for PFA Player of the Year will mean little should Manchester City fail in the race for the title, but should provide at least some consolation to the players and coaching staff alike.
Whether you are a fan of Manchester City or not, it can only be good for the Premier League to see players of such quality performing to the best of their abilities. Especially when they are joined on the list by players of equal caliber, Wayne Rooney, Scott Parker, and Robin van Persie
Reading win promotion back to the Premier League
Four years after suffering the crushing blow of Premier League relegation and almost a year on from their play-off final defeat against Swansea, Reading have earned their back into England's top flight.
The achievement is made all the more remarkable considering the poor start to their Championship season, where they one on once in their first seven games, slipping to 23rd in the league table. However, manager Brian McDermott's determination and shrewd transfer dealings turned things around. The club collected an astonishing 46 points from a possible 51 in the lead up to their 1-0 win over Nottingham Forrest which sealed their spot in the Premier League.
As with any side making the move from the Championship to the Premier League, the focus now switches to survival but if they can bring in a few more signings and continue their good form, they should have every chance of staying up.
Chelsea stun reigning champions Barcelona in semi-final first leg
Reigning Champions League champions and widely-proclaimed 'best team in the world', Barcelona, were the side everyone wanted to avoid during the draws for the quarter-final and semi-final stages. Especially for a side like struggling Chelsea who had just booted out their young manager Andre Villas-Boas after a particularly short 'three-year-plan'.
The fact that the London club have recovered enough to reach the semi-finals is miraculous in itself, but to beat and keep a clean sheet against the free-scoring Catalan club was almost completely unexpected. Admittedly, a single-goal is a slim advantage to take to the Camp Nou, especially as there were signs that Chelsea may not even get a touch, but just being still in the tie will give Roberto Di Matteo's side a wealth of confidence.
Will that confidence be enough to hold off Messi and Co? It will certainly be a tough ask, but what a turnaround it would be for Chelsea to reach the Champions League after such a tumultuous season.
Force India flee from fire bomb as Bahrain security comes under question
It's often said that sports and politics should never mix, but in reality it is very hard to keep the two separate. Therefore, F1's arrival in the unsettled Gulf nation of Bahrain has come under both heavy criticism as well as praise from those who believe an event of this nature should not be affected by issues other than sporting ones.
Perhaps the biggest concern has been the safety of the thousands of staff from the Formula One teams, and this issue was raised in harrowing fashion as staff from the Force India team were caught up in a demonstration near the Sakhir Circuit where Molotov cocktails were thrown. A number of team members have since asked to return home.
If the race does go ahead, the questions will all be about the Mercedes AMG team and especially Nico Rosberg after his maiden win last weekend in Shanghai. Does the Mercedes have the consistent pace needed to challenge for the title? The result in Bahrain could help give a much stronger indication of their chances.
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