English League 1

Aneke stunner blunts Blades

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Tue, 23 Apr 2013 22:41:00

Barcelona assistant manager Jordi Roura insisted they will not give up on the UEFA Champions League despite a humiliating 4-0 defeat by Bayern Munich in their semi-final first leg.

The German champions romped to victory at the Allianz Arena with Thomas Muller's brace plus goals from Arjen Robben and Mario Gomez inflicting the Catalan club's joint-heaviest defeat in European football.

Barcelona were some distance below their best and now need a miracle in the second leg at Camp Nou next week if they are to reach the Champions League final at Wembley in May.

Roura told reporters: "We have to compete in the second leg and try to win. We will give it our all.

"We lacked the freshness to compete with them which is something we have to look at.

"We didn't play that badly in the first half but then they scored early in the second and from there it was difficult.

"We didn't see situations where we could have changed things after the break. We know the situation is difficult.

"Bayern Munich have to be congratulated. They played a great game, they were very strong and they are a very physical team.

"Bayern were the better team and we congratulate them. We had possession in the first half but didn't do much with it."

Humbled at already-relegated Portsmouth on Saturday, Chris Morgan's men were undone by a 49th-minute goal from Chuks Aneke.

The Blades had already booked their play-off place but Aneke's winner means they have won just one of their last seven games.

Aneke stunned the visitors four minutes after the break with a superb 25-yard finish.

An early goal from midfielder Mike Jones gave Crawley a deserved 1-0 victory and condemned Preston to their first defeat in five games.

Jones drove Crawley ahead after only six minutes with a bouncing right-foot shot from 25 yards into the bottom corner.

Joe Jacobson's classy free-kick wrapped up a deserved 1-0 win for Shrewsbury against former club Oldham.

Jacobson, the stand-in captain, chose a perfect time to grab his first goal of the season when he whipped a 20-yard effort over the Oldham wall and high into the net four minutes into the second half.

Both of these sides guaranteed League One survival last weekend.

The Blades had already booked their play-off place but Aneke's winner means they have won just one of their last seven games.

Harry Maguire almost gave the visitors an early lead but his header was saved by Steve Phillips and Kelvin Mellor did well to deflect Neil Collins' follow-up over the bar.

Jonathan Forte sent a couple of efforts from the edge of the box high and wide before Phillips was in action again.

The keeper dived low to parry Callum McFadzean's drive and then recovered quickly to smother Chris Porter's rebound.

Crewe's Oliver Turton and Harry Davis sent efforts off target while Aneke's daisy-cutter was tipped around the post by George Long as the home side struggled to create any clear-cut first-half chances.

But Aneke stunned the visitors four minutes after the break when he beat Long with a superb 25-yard finish to put the Alex in the driving seat.

A fierce Barry Robson free-kick which Phillips did well to palm away almost got the Blades back in it while the keeper got a fingertip to a late shot from Joe Ironside.

At the other end, Aneke looked to double his account with a volley which dipped over the bar and a low effort which he dragged wide after a surging run.

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