Remember Me?

Cheap AC Milan Soccer Shirts

May 5th, 04:55


Joined: Jan 21st, 09:15
Total Topics: 113
Total Posts: 113
BARCELONA , Spain (AP) — Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez came to Barcelona’s rescue Tuesday, scoring late goals to salvage a 4-4 draw at 10-man Villarreal in a thrilling seesaw match that saw both teams give up a two-goal lead.Messi rifled in a free kick off the upright to make it 4-3 in the 90th minute, and Suarez then shot through the legs of a defender to snatch a point with the last kick of the match.The draw narrowed Barcelona’s lead of the Spanish league to eight points ahead of Atletico Madrid, which beat Girona 2-0 also on Tuesday and visits Camp Nou this weekend.“Luis is a player who is always in the right place at the right time, and he appeared at the last second to pull out a match that was not going our way,” Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde said. “And Messi, he is a specialist (at free kicks.)”Messi was on the bench for the first hour but Barcelona still took a quick 2-0 lead.However, relegation-threatened Villarreal roared back with 19-year-old Samuel Chukwueze leading the way and produced four unanswered goals to come agonizingly close to pulling off the upset. Barcelona’s comeback then came after Alvaro Gonzalez was sent off for a second booking in the 86th.“This was a crazy game,” Valverde said. “There were stretches when it looked like we would win easily, then there was a stretch when it looked like they would. Then we managed to turn it around.”Messi’s goal was his league-leading 32nd of the season and his sixth from a free kick. He has now scored from free kicks in three consecutive matches after converting set pieces against Real Betis and Espanyol.SHOOTOUT AT THE CERAMICAValverde gave Messi some rest before Saturday’s match against Atletico and next week’s trip to Manchester United for the first leg of their Champions League quarterfinals.And at first it seemed Barcelona would stroll to another win at the Estadio de la Ceramica, as the little-used Malcom set up Philippe Coutinho for his first league goal since October. Malcom then headed in a pass from Arturo Vidal to double the lead before Coutinho went close to getting another goal when he hit the post.But Barcelona ended up missing center back Gerard Pique — who was rested to avoid any risk of picking up a fifth yellow card that would suspend him for the Atletico visit — more than Messi.Chukwueze and Toko Ekambi used their speed to torment center backs Samuel Umtiti and Clement Lenglet throughout the game.Chukwueze pulled one back in the 23rd and his long pass led to Ekambi leveling in the 50th.Messi came on in the 61st Zack Steffen Jersey , but a minute later Vicente Iborra put the hosts ahead after Umtiti had left the back line.Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen made several excellent saves, but none was better than when he got his fingers on Chukwueze’s powerful strike and pushed it onto the bar.Ter Stegen could do nothing to stop substitute Carlos Bacca from scoring the hosts’ fourth with 10 minutes left when Santi Cazorla spotted him running clear behind a struggling Umtiti.Gonzalez left Villarreal a man down when he got his second yellow card for a senseless foul on Suarez. That cost Villarreal dearly when the team was without a defender in the final moments and failed to stop the double blow dealt by Messi and Suarez, keeping Barcelona unbeaten in 18 straight league games.Villarreal, which had conceded a 2-0 lead to lose 3-2 at Celta Vigo last round, was left two points clear of the drop zone.“I don’t think we are going down,” said Villarreal coach Javier Calleja. “We are going to stay in the top flight playing like we did against Barcelona.”ATLETICO WINSDiego Godin and Antoine Griezmann finally put Atletico past a pesky Girona.Godin’s headed goal in the 76th was initially ruled offside by the referee, but a video review overruled that decision.Griezmann added a second goal deep in stoppage time with Girona throwing everyone forward in search of an equalizer. The goal ended his seven-match scoring drought.Also, fourth-place Getafe drew 1-1 at Espanyol. GENEVA (AP) — One of soccer’s most infamous match-fixing cases was settled Thursday when a referee notorious for corrupt calls was banned for life.The corrupt games in Ibrahim Chaibou’s career were key to revealing how easily international friendlies could be manipulated for betting scams, forced FIFA to change the rules for appointing referees, and helped expose the influence of convicted fixer Wilson Perumal.“Chaibou was probably the most corrupt referee the game of football has seen,” former FIFA investigator Chris Eaton told The Associated Press on Thursday.Still Cheap Soccer Jerseys , it took more than eight years to confirm his life ban from any involvement in soccer. FIFA ethics committee judges found the referee from Niger guilty of taking bribes to corrupt international friendly games in 2010 and 2011, soccer’s world governing body said.Chaibou was fined 200,000 Swiss francs ($201,000), though it is unclear what power FIFA has to make the long-retired referee pay. He can appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.The Niger official was paid bribes to influence the outcome of national-team games played in Africa, the Middle East and South America.His favored tactic was awarding questionable penalty kicks — often for real and imagined handball offenses — to help increase the number of goals scored.FIFA did not specify which games its ethics committee took into account when judging Chaibou.However, his most suspect games are well established.In May 2010, a warmup game for World Cup host South Africa in Polokwane ended in a 5-0 win over Guatemala. Chaibou awarded three penalties for handball and South Africa scored two of them. Betting monitoring agencies noted a spike in wagers on at least three goals being scored in the game.In September 2010, Bahrain won 3-0 against a team making itself out to be Togo’s national team but which was actually a group of impostor players. Chaibou’s job that time was to limit the number of goals scored, according to evidence from Perumal after his arrest.Both games in 2010 were organized by Perumal from Singapore, whose agency could be hired by national soccer federations to organize a game and provide the referee.FIFA leadership was then not alert to the spreading risk of match-fixing. Its official line immediately after the Bahrain-Togo fiasco was not to investigate because neither member federation had complained.Chaibou was then appointed for national team games in Bolivia and Ecuador Cheap AC Milan Soccer Shirts , and oversaw another notorious incident when Nigeria hosted Argentina in June 2011.With Nigeria leading 4-0 late on, Chaibou allowed the game to continue beyond the allotted stoppage time and then awarded Argentina a penalty for a non-existent handball against defender Efe Ambrose. A 4-1 result paid out bets of five goals to be scored.“I judged it to be a penalty, so I gave a penalty … to make everyone happy. That’s it,” Chaibou told the AP in a telephone interview for an article published in February 2013. Eaton, who opened FIFA’s investigation of Chaibou before leaving in 2012, said Perumal described his favored referee as courageous for awarding suspect penalties late in games.“It wasn’t courage, it was pure unadulterated corrupt greed,” said Eaton, a former detective and Interpol official. He praised FIFA for pursuing the referee long after Chaibou’s mandatory retirement from the international list of approved referees after turning 45 in 2011.“It’s a well-deserved shaming of the man who disgraced African football more than any other,” Eaton said.