Man United wins Champions League Cup in a penalty shoot-out
FC Manchester United from England won the Champions League Cup for the third time in its history by beating FC Chelsea 6-5 on penalties after a dramatic 1-1 draw during yesterday’s match in Moscow. 65,000 fans attended the event at Luzhniki Stadium, 40,000 of them being British fans that came to Moscow to see the game.
22 May 2008
Olympic torch resumes its journey through China
The Olympic torch resumed its journey through China after a 3-day period of national mourning for the victims of the most devastating earthquake in Chinese history. The relay started in the city of Ningbo. Olympics organisers announced that the Sichuan province leg of the relay had been shifted from mid-June to early August because of the quake. The flame is due to arrive in Beijing on 6 August, 2 days before the start of the games.
22 May 2008
Leaders of the UEFA say that the organisation of the Champions League final in Moscow went well
According to Valeri Vinogradov, the deputy mayor of Moscow, the leaders of the UEFA, the European football governing body, said that the organisation of the Champions League final in Moscow on Wednesday went well. FC Manchester United Defeated FC Chelsea 6-5 in a penalty shoot-out after a 1-1 draw at Luzhniki stadium. In all, 65,000 fans, including 42,000 from Britain, attended the match.
22 May 2008
Russian-Chinese phrase book to help Russian athletes
A Russian-Chinese phrase book will surely help Russian athletes, fans, and sports officials in Beijing for the Olympic Games. The two authors of this small book, Dmitri Shakura and Tatiana Shchenkova of the Voice of Russia, said they used letters of the Russian alphabet to transcribe words of the Chinese language. The phrase book is divided into two parts. It contains useful information about China and a map of Beijing.
23 May 2008
China resumes the relay of Olympic torch
China resumed the relay of the Olympic torch to the Summer Olympic Games in Beijing. The send-off was from Shanghai, at the start of a stretch of 200 kilometres. Over 400 runners are expected to take part. The relay resumes after three days of national morning for an estimated 56,000 people who died in the Sichuan earthquake 11 days ago. It will raise funds for victims’ families on the way. The torch will be in Sichuan shortly before arriving in Beijing on 8 August.
23 May 2008
Voice of Russia World Service
Man United breaks Chelsea hearts in Moscow Champions League final
FC Manchester United defeated FC Chelsea on penalties in Moscow on Wednesday night in the first ever all-English Champions League final after 120 tense and incident packed minutes had failed to separate the two sides. The game exploded into life in the 26th minute, United’s Cristiano Ronaldo leaping high to power home a pinpoint header following a Wes Brown cross. United went close to increasing their lead after a breathtaking counterattack saw Petr Cech in the Chelsea goal make two rapid saves in succession from first Carlos Tevez and then Michael Carrick.
However, as half time approached, Chelsea hit back, Frank Lampard taking advantage of deflections off Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand to slot the ball into the United net. The second half saw Chelsea seize the initiative, a Didier Drogba shot bouncing back off the post in the 77th minute. However, the game ended 1-1 and went into extra time as the rain poured down at the Luzhniki stadium.
Chelsea were again denied by the woodwork in the opening minutes of extra time when a Lampard shot came back off the bar with Manchester United goalkeeper Edwin Van der Sar beaten. John Terry was on hand to rescue Chelsea in the 10th minute of extra time heading Ryan Giggs’ header off the line. Giggs had earlier come on as a substitute for Paul Scholes, making a record 759th appearance for the club, breaking the record of Sir Bobby Charlton, who was watching in the stands.
A mass brawl looked on the cards with minutes remaining on the clock as Chelsea’s players protested over what they felt was a lack of sporting manners on United’s half when Tevez failed to “properly” return the ball to Chelsea after Petr Czech had put it out to allow Terry to receive treatment for cramp. In the ensuing fracas, Drogba slapped Vidic and was shown red, much to the delight of the Manchester United fans. The game then went into a penalty shoot out. The match had begun at 22.45 local time, and it was already gone 01.00 in the Russian capital when Tevez stepped up to take the first spot kick, hammering his effort home.
With the score at 2-2 on penalties, Ronaldo cracked under pressure, Cech clawing away his penalty. Lampard, Owen Hargreaves, Ashley Cole and Nani then converted, leaving Chelsea captain Terry with the chance to earn his side their first ever Champions League trophy. It was not to be however, Terry’s shot skimming off the outside of the post, causing Chelsea owner’s Roman Abramovich to clutch his heart in despair. The game then went to a sudden death shoot out, and after Giggs had calmly slotted home, Nicholas Anelka, who had come on as a substitute in extra time, saw Van der Sar beat away his shot.
Manchester United were champions of Europe for the third time, and, fittingly, their triumph came exactly fifty years after the 1958 Munich air disaster in which 23 people, including eight members of the side, were killed in a plane crash as the team came home from a European Cup away game in Belgrade. “It is a fantastic achievement”, said Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson after the game. The victory means Ferguson joins an elite club of managers to have won Europe’s most prestigious club competition twice.
“It’s not the last time you will see Chelsea in the final”, Chelsea’s manager Avram Grant vowed. “You will see us back and we will win the final”. That may well be true, but nothing could hide the Israeli’s disappointment at a season which has seen the Londoners lose to Tottenham in the Carling Cup final, beaten into second place in the Premier League by United, and come so close to glory last night in Moscow. As for United and their players? “It is the happiest day of my life”, said a beaming Ronaldo, his penalty miss forgotten. FC Manchester United will now play FC Zenit St Petersburg in the Super Cup, the annual match between the Champions League winners and the UEFA Cup victors, in August.
22 May 2008
Chelsea fans in Abramovich’s Ice Kingdom taste early defeat
Chelsea fans in Chukotka in Russia’s Far East drowned their sorrows on Thursday morning after the London club, owned by the region’s governor Roman Abramovich, lost to Manchester United in the Champions League final. The match kicked off at 07.30 local time in the Chukotka Autonomous Area, located more than 5,500 km from Moscow (more than 3,400 miles). As a result, many people in Anadyr, the capital of the harsh northeastern region, took a day off work to watch the game, which took place in Luzhniki stadium in Moscow.
“Most fans watched the game at home. However, many preferred to watch it together in the biggest karaoke bar in Anadyr. At the end of the game, the majority of fans stayed in the café to discuss Chelsea’s missed chances and drown their sorrows”, a local fan told RIA-Novosti. Many of the fans belonged to the Chukotka Chelsea fan club, and one of its members said that, “In the event of a Chelsea victory, we were ready to hold a victory parade in the streets of Anadyr. We were forced to put it off until another time, however”, he added philosophically.
Roman Abramovich became governor of Chukotka in 2000. He purchased Chelsea three years later. The side has since won the English Premier League twice, but, have failed to lift Europe’s most prestigious club competition. Chukotka does not have its own soccer team. Spartak Chukotka, who used to play their “home” games in Moscow, was disbanded in 2000 by Abramovich’s predecessor. Manchester United defeated Chelsea 6-5 on penalties after the match finished 1-1.
22 May 2008