My Blogging Enclave

Blogging = Writing – Thinking

Formula 1

This weekend provided some insight into the forms of the teams in Formula 1. Ferrari and McLaren seem to be leading the other constructors by a far distance. And Kimi Raikonnen proved that he has the fire to go the distance this time too.

Let me recount the race for you. Felipe Massa started on pole and lead through the first corner. I was afraid that he might ram into Raikonnen in that process, but thankfully, it didn’t happen. Lewis Hamilton, who started from ninth because of a penalty being imposed on him, made a very good start by leapfrogging into fifth. Nick Heidfield was the front runner who lost a lot of ground. So too did Jarno Trulli.

After the first set of pit stops, Massa exchanged his lead with Raikonnen. But a faulty wheel mechanism in the right front tyre of Hamilton’s car saw him slip all the way down to eleventh position after a 18 sec pitstop.

Things were starting to look good for Ferrari, but Massa’s penchant for speed brought about his ruin as he drove his Ferrari onto the gravel. Meanwhile Heikki Kovalainen was slowly starting to catch up with Kubica. Unfortunately, Hamilton got caught behind Mark Webber during the entire period from first pit stop to second pit stop and could not progress any closer to the race leaders.

The second set of pit stops saw no change in the top three with Raikonen leading Kubica by 17 secs, who in turn lead Kovalainen by another 17 secs. Hamilton was able to move two places above by going past Nick Heidfeld and Mark Webber, into fifth position.

Towards the end, no untoward incidents occurred. Lewis Hamilton was able to narrow down a 14 sec difference from Tulli to within a second at the end of the last lap, but eventually had to settle for 4 points.

So Hamilton is first in the driver’s standings with 14 points and holds a 3 point advantage over Kimi Raikonen. Nick Heidfeld is joint second owing to a reliable BMW engine.

Felipe Massa is yet to gather any points after the end of 2 races. Lets hope he can get back his luck faster, so as to enable Ferrari to compete with the McLarens on an even scale.

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March 26, 2008 Posted by | Sports | | Leave a comment

Grand Slam Sunday

Hey guys,

Told you i will meet you this Super Sunday. I am writing this blog exactly 5 mins after Man Utd have given Liverpool a 3-0 defeat. As you would recall, I had predicted a similar result earlier. Goals from Wes Brown, Christiano Ronaldo and Nani sealed the victory for the Red devils. Unbelievable right. Let me unfold this wonderful story for you.

I started the evening playing football at Thiruvanmiyur Beach. As a result i was late for the match by 17 mins. Later, I came to know during half time that, I had missed a great deal. This included a yellow card for Javier Mascherano in the 11th minute, two wonderful saves from Jose Reina to thwart Wayne rooney and also an exchange of words between Mascherano and Anderson. So i joined the game in the 17th mintue and it took me 5 mins to realize that indeed my predictions would be true. Man Utd enjoyed a great deal of possession and finally Liverpool became frustrated and Giggs was brought down. Giggs’ free kick saw the ball sail to Ronaldo, who somehow managed to get the ball to hit the post. However he was flagged offside. Liverpool continued to play a pitiable level of football and in the 23rd minute, Steven Gerrard blasted a free kick from 30 yards which was deflected by Vidic. Man Utd saw the corner off and the football was passed from one end of the pitch to the other for the next ten minutes. Finally, in the 35th minute, a sublime pass from Rooney from the left side found, the most unlikely of players, Brown who raised himself high in the air to get the ball past Reina’s outstretched hands into the back of the net. After the goal, Liverpool continued to play anything but attacking football, and it was not long before Mascherano found himself in the referee’s book for the second time in the night. It started with Torres getting a booking in the 43 min. Torres left Steve Bennett alone, as many would say as the better thing to do, but Mascherano saw the judgment as a grave error and he started arguing with the referee. To argue with Steve Bennett is to pour water on yourself while you are on fire. Hence, this stupidity lead Mascherano to his own downfall as he was handed another yellow card, which lead to automatic disqualification. But even after he was shown the card, he continued his demonstration without any remorse and it finally took the intervention of Steven Gerrard and Rafa Benitez to send him inside to the locker room. Meanwhile, play resumed and 2 additional minutes were added to the half before it finally ended.

The second half saw a few more incidents. In the 52nd minute, Giggs made a wonderful pass to Anderson, who was sent down by Arbeloa right at the edge of the Penalty box. But Ronaldo could not take advantage and his free kick only sailed wide. In the 55th minute, Van Der Sar kicked long to Rooney, who controlled the ball brilliantly only to see his shot blocked by Reina. The ball flew to Anderson who lunged at this opportunity only to set the ball sailing way over the bar. In the 59th minute Rio Ferdinand sent Torres down and immediately Steve Bennett opened his referee book to hand out a yellow. Rafa Benitez looked on as his one man down side continued to lose possession. He eventually made his mind in the 65th minute when he substituted Babel for Yossi Benayoun. In the 70th minute, a superb Gerrard free kick found Torres who somehow failed to control the ball to what would have been a certain goal. In the 72nd miunte, Rooney fed a pass to Anderson, who on failing to see an unmarked Ronaldo inside the penalty box, shot the ball well over the post. This was immediately followed by a double substitution with Tevez and Nani coming in for Giggs and Anderson respectively. These 2 fresh pair of legs created an enthusiasm within the Man U camp. In the 74th mintue Ronaldo passed the ball to Rooney, who in turn passed it to Tevez, whose shot was wonderfully saved by a flying Reina. Again in the 78th minute, Ronaldo was fed a ball from Tevez, but he let the ball go thinking himself to be offside. Reina blocked the ball and it hit the post and went out. Ronaldo turned to see the line referee not signaling offside and he was aghast. But great men will not let such things stand in their path, ad in the resulting corner kick from Nani, Ronaldo headed the ball home and Man U was on course for another victory. And if this was not enough, to add insult to injury, Scholes passed to Nani, who passed it to Rooney. Rooney set up a wonderful opportunity for Nani, who didn’t miss the opportunity from 20 yards out. Down 3-0, and one man down, a disheartened Liverpool played the rest of the ten minutes without making an effort for goal. Torres, the goal machine was replaced in the 81st minute by Riise and that put an end to the hope in the hearts of all the Anfield faithful.

It was the 5th straight victory for Man U in the league, which was brought about by Wes Brown’s third goal for Man U and also Ronaldo’s first against Liverpool. But it was interesting to note the role of Wayne Rooney who set up 2 goals and played a brilliant match from mid field. Great players, when not in form still will be invaluable in some form or the other. Rooney who right now is not in a goal scoring spree, is such a great player that he has contributed to many of the latest victories from the mid field.

K. See you guys soon from the corner of BPL after Man U’s next game. Till then

Ciao.

March 23, 2008 Posted by | Sports | | 1 Comment

Football

Hey guys,

This Sunday is going to be a humdinger for the Barclay’s Premier League. The title race is hotting up with defending champions Man Utd leading Arsenal by just 3 points. Chelsea are not far behind, trailing Arsenal by 2 points. Man Utd are going to face red hot Liverpool who have currently 7 consecutive league victories under the irresistible combination of Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres. But Man Utd themselves have the combo of Ronaldo and Rooney. I personally think this match is going to be evenly contested because of the current form of the players. But in the end, a Man Utd goal from either Ronaldo or Tevez might seal the victory for the Red Devils. Rafa Benitez has always been unlucky at Old Trafford and I expect him to continue to do so. Meanwhile the other match at Stamford Bridge between Chelsea and Arsenal is going to be a dull draw. I personally don’t think that Arsenal has the patriotism to win anymore. Ever since Thierry Henry’s departure from Emirates Stadium, they have been on the downfall, and it is time to look beyond Arsene Wenger. They can look upto Chelsea for that regard. Avram Grant has been successful in filling the huge boots of the self proclaimed ‘Great One’ Jose Mourinho. He has not only been winning matches at a constant regularity, he has also been able to make this large unit of Internationals bond together, something which has been missing for quite sometime in Arsenal. Yet as things stand, I personally feel that Arsenal will be more than a handful for Chelsea at Stamford Bridge and the game is all set for a draw. So see you about BPL after this Sunday, which promises to be a thriller, with hopefully Man Utd leading Arsenal by 5 points.

Ciao

March 21, 2008 Posted by | Sports | | Leave a comment