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Europa League Round Of 16

Friday, 8 March 2019 16:24:18 Europe/London

The Europa League Round of 16 kicked off last night, delivering drama of the highest quality for the two remaining British teams.

Both Chelsea and Arsenal have made it to this point of the competition at a relative canter, but with the competition kicking up a notch, surprise results can often be the flavour of the day.

Arsenal compounded that theory with a shock defeat to French side Rennes,
who 
currently lie 10th in Ligue 1. Despite taking the lead through Alex Iwobi early in the first half, Sokratis Papastathopoulos’ dismissal following a second yellow card invited a wave a attack from the French side, culminating in an equalising goal for Benjamin Bourigeaud just three minutes before half time.

The Gunners arrived in France having never lost an away game against French opposition, and with Petr Cech making a succession of important saves, they looked as though they may be able to keep their record intact.

Cech’s resistance lasted until the 65th minute when a Nacho Monreal own goal from a cross gave Rennes the lead before a mistake late in the game allowed James Lea Siliki to break free and provide a perfect cross for Ismaila Sarr to head home and secure the win.

Arsenal will now need to overcome a two-goal deficit to reach the Quarter Finals when they host Rennes on Thursday 14 March.

Chelsea, meanwhile, found the going far easier as they breezed past Dynamo Kiev to give themselves a commanding three-goal advantage for the second leg of their last 16 tie.

Maurizio Sarri’s side looked lively from the beginning, creating a multitude of chances that could have seen them take a three goal advantage into the half time. As it happened, they were only able to manage one goal through Pedro, thanks to a sumptuous backheel from Olivier Giroud.

Chelsea took control of the game through Willian’s superbly curled free-kick from 25 yards out to double their lead in the 65th minute, with a strike that rendered the goalkeeper to a mere spectator, only moving to collect the ball from the back of the net.

The Blues extended their advantage to three through Callum Hudson-Odoi in the 90th minute to head into the second leg with a commanding lead. Chelsea’s dominance was typified by goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga’s workload as he was not needed to make a single save in the entire game.

Comments | Posted in Football Molten By Jack Dinning

Europa League Round-Up

Friday, 14 December 2018 12:18:54 Europe/London

Despite the frosty weather, things are beginning to heat up in the Europa League for three British teams.

Last night signalled the end of the group stages, with only Arsenal coming away with a victory having already secured progression through to the knock-out stages.

Perhaps the most fortunate team to make their way to the last-32 was Celtic, who qualified despite a loss to FC Red Bull Salzburg thanks to a shock result that saw Norwegian side Rosenborg draw with RB Leipzig in Germany.

Arsenal

The Scottish Champions fell behind after two goals in 10 minutes in the second half which had most of Celtic’s supporters resigned to the realisation that their European journey was over. A late goal from Oliver Ntcham restored a touch of pride but in truth Celtic will be indebted to Rosenborg should they progress any further.

Meanwhile, the Gunners hosted FK Qarabag, who had only managed three points in the competition. Alexandre Lacazette gave the home side an early lead which proved to be the only goal of the game, despite registering 11 shots and retaining almost 70% possession.

Victory extends Arsenal's unbeaten run into a 22nd match. It is their longest run without defeat in all competitions since a 28-game stretch that ended in November 2007. As group winners, Arsenal will avoid the four best-placed teams dropping down from the Champions League in the draw for the last 32.

As do Chelsea, who fielded a weakened side against MOL Vidi, safe in the knowledge that their qualification was already guaranteed. The Blues took the lead from a free-kick by Willian before the Hungarian side equalized less than two minutes later thanks to an own goal from teenager Ethan Ampadu. Vidi then took the lead just before the hour mark but their plans of taking all three points were scuppered by another free-kick, this time from Olivier Giroud to maintain their unbeaten run in the competition.Chelsea

Rangers were the unfortunate team to miss out on qualification due to a 1-0 loss away to Rapid Vienna. Steven Gerrard’s side went into the game knowing that a win would secure progression to the knock-out stages, but an 84th minute goal saw them relinquish second place in the group to their opponents, bringing an end to their European adventure.

The draw for the last-32 will be on Monday December 17 in Nyon, Switzerland at 12pm GMT. Chelsea and Arsenal have qualified as seeded teams after their unbeaten campaigns, whereas Celtic go into the knock-out stages unseeded meaning that they will likely face a sterner test in the next round.

Seeded teams are drawn against unseeded sides with the first leg at the home of the unseeded teams, before a second leg at the home stadium of the seeded side a week later. Teams from the same group or same country cannot be drawn together for the round of 32, meaning Arsenal and Chelsea will not be playing each other. However, Celtic could be drawn against the Premier League clubs. The first legs will be played on February 14 before the second leg a week later on 21 February.

Comments | Posted in Football Molten By Jack Dinning

Europa League Round-Up

Friday, 30 November 2018 12:44:47 Europe/London

It was another fantastic night for British teams in the Europa League with all four teams still in the running to make it to the knockout stages of the competition.

Chelsea romped home with a resounding 4-0 win to extend their lead at the top of Group L to nine points with one game to go in the group stages of the competition.

ChelseaOlivier Giroud set the tone with two first-half goals for the Blues after PAOK Salonika were reduced to 10 men when Yeven Khacheridi was shown a straight red card in the seventh minute for denying Giroud a clear goal-scoring opportunity.

Callum Hudson-Odoi compounded PAOK’s problems with his first senior goal for the club on the hour mark to extend Chelea’s lead to 3 before Alvaro Morata finished the Greek side off with his first touch of the ball off the bench.

Arsenal have joined their London rivals in securing top spot in their group following a clinical display in Kiev against Vorskla Poltava.

Three first-half goals proved the difference between the sides as the Gunners took an early lead and never looked back. Emile Smith Rowe scored his second European goal for the club, slotting home after 10 minutes after the ball fell kindly at his feet.

Aaron Ramsey was then brought down in the box and awarded a penalty which he duly netted himself to score his first spot-kick for Arsenal in his final season for the London side to double the lead just before the half-hour mark.

Nineteen-year-old Joe Willock claimed his first senior goal, slotting home from just outside the area to extend Arsenal’s lead to three, extending their unbeaten run to 18 matches in all competitions.

In Glasgow, Rangers gave themselves a chance of qualification after clinging on for a 0-0 draw at home against Villarreal.

Arsenal

The Gers were reduced to 10 men when Daniel Candeias was shown a second yellow card just before half time, but a superb performance from goalkeeper Allan McGregor prevented Villarreal from taking what would have been a deserved goal. As it stands, Rangers now must win their final match to reach the last 32 of the competition.

Meanwhile, Celtic took the honours in Norway against Rosenborg to leave the Scottish champion’s just one point away from reaching the knockout stages.

Scott Sinclair headed home just before half-time which, despite taking 16 shots, proved to be the only goal of the game in a match dominated by the Scottish side. Thanks to RB Salzburg beating RB Leipzig to qualify as group winners, Celtic go into their final game knowing a point against the Austrians on 13 December will guarantee qualification.

0 Comments | Posted in Football Molten By Jack Dinning

Europa League Round-Up

Friday, 9 November 2018 11:50:05 Europe/London

It was a successful night in Europe for British teams as Chelsea and Arsenal both secured a place in the knockout stage of the Europa League and Celtic and Rangers remain in the hunt to follow suit.

Europa League Ball

Chelsea ventured to Belarus to face FC BATE, having beaten the same side 3-1 at Stamford Bridge a couple of weeks ago.  This time, Chelsea faced a sterner test to maintain their perfect record in the competition.

After taking the lead through Olivier Giroud before the hour-mark, the Blues were on the receiving end of a barrage of chances as the home side rattled both the crossbar and the post as they searched for an unlikely victory to keep their qualification hopes alive. However, some stoic defending and heroic goalkeeping held Chelsea’s lead until the final whistle, meaning that the tournament favourites progress without dropping a single point and barely a bead of sweat.

Arsenal progressed despite not being able to find a way through the Sporting Lisbon defence thanks to the other result in Group E, meaning that a point was enough to see them reach the last-32 of the competition.

Chelsea

The Gunners were unable to find the back of the net despite Sporting finishing the game with 10 men and hitting the bar, though the draw did extend their unbeaten run to 15 straight games. It was just the second game under new manager Unai Emery that Arsenal have failed to score a goal.

Rangers suffered a frustrating night in a quite incredible match in Moscow which saw Steven Gerrard’s side lose 4-3. Despite being ahead three times in the match, two goals in two minutes was enough to end Rangers’ 11 game unbeaten streak in the competition and saw them slip to third in Group G with just one group-stage match left to play.

Celtic, meanwhile, secured a hard-fought win over RB Leipzig to remain third in Group B, level on points with Leipzig, but behind on head-to-head results. Celtic took the lead in the 11th minute through Kieran Tierney, somewhat against the run of play, but they conceded a crucial blow when Jean-Kevin Augustin was left unmarked in the box to level the match. Celtic, however, gave themselves a fighting chance to progress in the competition thanks Odsonne Edouard’s winner just thirty seconds after the German side drew level.

Comments | Posted in Football Molten By Jack Dinning

Europa League Round-Up

Friday, 26 October 2018 10:36:29 Europe/London

The Europa League this week revealed a mixed bag of results for British teams as the competition moves into full swing, halfway through the group stage.

RLCChelsea continued to show why they are heavy tournament favourites with a commanding display over BATE, emerging 3-1 victors thanks to a superb hat-trick from fan-favourite Reuben Loftus-Cheek who took the stunning Molten Match Ball home.

Loftus-Cheek’s efforts meant that he was the first English player since Harry Kane to score a hat-trick in the Europa League since 2014, and the first for The Blues in Europe since 1971.

The win sees Chelsea sit comfortably at the top of Group L with three wins from three games, leaving them six points ahead of all the other teams in their group. BATE meanwhile find themselves at the bottom of the table thanks to a goal difference of -3.

Arsenal continued their incredible run of victories, extending now to eleven straight games thanks to a Danny Welbeck goal which saw them squeeze passed Sporting Lisbon. Welbeck inflicted a rare home defeat for Sporting, who have not lost a game at the Estádio José Alvalade since Barcelona rolled into town just over a year ago.

The win sees Arsenal extend their lead at the top of Group E to three points and remain unbeaten in the tournament.

Rangers’ hopes of making the knockout stages of the competition remain on track despite being held to a draw by Spartak Moscow at Ibrox.

Ball

Rangers dominated possession and had the majority of the chances in the game but were unable to get passed the Russian side to extend their lead at the top of Group G. As it stands, they remain level on points with Villarreal and have extended their unbeaten run in Europe to 11 games, despite not scoring at home for the first time in 11 matches.

Celtic, on the other hand, suffered defeat at the hands of RP Leipzig, conceding two goals in three minutes before half-time which was enough to see off Brendan Rodgers’ side.

Prior to the match, Celtic had previously not won away from home in 13 Europa League group games and never in Germany which suggested it was always going to be tough for the Scottish Champions. The defeat now means that Celtic face an uphill battle to progress in the tournament  

Comments | Posted in Football Molten By Jack Dinning

Europa League Preview!

Thursday, 20 September 2018 12:00:56 Europe/London

The wait is finally over. Thursday 20 September 2018 marks the start of the UEFA Europa League, Europe’s largest league of professional football clubs in the world.

Every season, over 180 professional football teams from 55 countries across Europe take part in the league games, including the preliminary round. With the group stages now upon us, we are already down to 48 teams who will battle it out for the Europa League Trophy.

MoltenEuropa

There are four British teams to have made it to this point; 2012/13 UEFA Europa League winners Chelsea, Arsenal, Celtic and Steven Gerrard’s Rangers side. This year, the tournament promises to be bigger and better than ever with 24 games every matchnight, featuring blockbuster teams from across the continent such as AC Milan, Sevilla, Lazio, Sporting Lisbon and Marseille. The Europa League covers 59,000 hours of television coverage delivering a cumulative audience of nearly 1 billion people, averaging approximately 42 million live audience per match day.

Tonight’s matches see tournament favourites Chelsea face PAOK, both sides with intriguing records as PAOK have never lost to an English club, whereas Chelsea have never defeated a team from Greece. With Chelsea’s perfect domestic record so far this campaign, It seems likely these records will change.

Last year's semi-finalists Arsenal host Ukrainian side Vorska Poltava who secured a place in the competition by equalling their highest ever finish in the Ukrainian Premier League by finishing third. The Gunners meanwhile will be bolstered by their performance in the competition last year, having only been knocked out by eventual winners Atletico Madrid. Unai Emery will also provide a confidence boost having overseen Sevilla's historic hat-trick of successes in the UEFA Europa League from 2013/14 to 2015/16.

Rangers have returned to European football after an eight-year absence with a tricky start to the group stage as they face a strong Villarreal side away from home. Though the Spanish side are firm favourites for the match, Rangers will be buoyed by their impressive qualifying campaign, remaining undefeated to become just one of four teams to have reached this group stage having begun their journey in the first qualifying round.

MoltenOfficialMatchBall

Celtic, meanwhile, play host to a familiar foe in the form of Rosenborg. The Norwegian side will travel to Glasgow for the third time in two seasons, the previous trips having ended in a draw and defeat. In total, Celtic have inflicted five wins and two draws in their previous meetings, whilst Rosenberg have not won in six visits to Scotland.

But tonight also marks the debut for Molten’s Official Match Ball  which is now available on our website and in most football retailers around the UK. The ball features technology unique to Molten, such as the unique cross fusion bonding technology produces a smooth, seamless cover that cannot be accomplished by hand sewing. The result is a uniform surface and reduced water absorption, ensuring exceptional performance that is not affected by weather conditions. With Storm Ali still in our midst, it’s likely that Celtic and Arsenal will put that to the test this evening!

Comments | Posted in Football Molten By Jack Dinning

Molten Partners with Totally Netball!

Thursday, 23 August 2018 15:36:04 Europe/London

Molten are delighted to announce our formal partnership with Totally Netball, the leading Netball organisation in the Midlands who will now be using Molten Netballs across all of their leagues.

Fast5Netball

Totally Netball is all about giving Netball back to ladies who loved playing when they were younger but allowed life to take over. Having only started in 2017, Totally Netball have gone from strength to strength having already expanded to 10 leagues in 11 locations.

Molten are the proud leaders in the design and manufacture of sports equipment including the acclaimed Molten netball, the official ball of the Fast5 All Stars Netball - the renowned world and British shortened version of the game - of whom Molten are one of the official sponsors. The Molten balls were recently used at their Inter League Tournament, held at the Northampton Girls High School.

Brett Daynes, Director of Totally Netball, said; “I recently met with Gary Cartwright, the National Sales Manager of Unicorn Products Limited and we are both really looking forward to our future relationship. We used some of the Molten balls at our recent tournament and had very positive feedback from the players and umpires.”

Anybody looking to join a Totally Netball team should visit https://www.totallynetball.co.uk/ for more information on how to get involved.

Alternatively head to https://www.playwiththebest.com/netball/netballs.html to see our full range of netballs.

Official Europa League Match Day Ball!

Thursday, 12 July 2018 11:14:57 Europe/London

The World Cup may have come and gone for England, but Molten have something created something worth cheering about for the upcoming domestic season.

OfficialMatchBall

Last October, it was announced that Molten had become the new supplier of the Official Europa League Match Ball, and earlier this year UEFA announced that the Europa League would be undergoing a new brand identity. Now, the fruits of that labour have come to fruition.

The new ball was adapted from Molten’s flagship football model, the Vantaggio 5000. Molten’s unique thermal bonding technology produces a smooth, seamless cover and enhances shape retention whilst at the same time minimizing water absorption, resulting in an exceptional performance regardless of conditions. The dimples on the surface reduce turbulence around the ball while it is in flight, optimizing ball control when passing and shooting.

Giving special consideration to UEFA’s brand, Molten created an exclusive design for the competition’s official match ball. The UEFA Europa League’s new “energy wave” brand identity represents the journey of the clubs throughout Europe, expressing the highs and lows of the thrilling adventure. The wave has been integrated into Molten’s signature style to create a unique and exclusive design and laid out to increase visual recognition, inspired by the Europa League Trophy itself.

ReplicaBall

The trophy is the embodiment of the UEFA Europa Leagues 45 year history & the wave is directly derived from the cup taking history, fans and players on a new season’s journey. It is a physical symbol travelling around, under & above objects but not through them.

Molten have been making and marketing basketballs, handballs, soccer balls, and volleyballs, of uncompromising quality since 1958 and continues to raise global standards. Supplying the official UEFA Europa League game balls is another indication of the outstanding reputation of Molten, showcasing the superior quality and performance that Molten balls provide.

Commenting on the announcement, Guy-Laurent Epstein, marketing director of UEFA Events SA, said: "We are very excited to work with Molten as a new official match ball supplier for the UEFA Europa League. With Molten, we introduce one of the world's leading ball manufacturers to the UEFA Europa League. Their professionalism is outstanding and we are eager to see how the partnership will grow the passion and energy of the competition across the world."

Replica

Kiyo Tamiaki, president and CEO of Molten Corporation, added: "It is our great pleasure to announce our partnership with UEFA, allowing Molten's ball to be used as the official match ball in the UEFA Europa League. Molten strives to be at the cutting edge of technological innovation and is committed to helping further the growth and success of the UEFA Europa League by developing and supplying the absolute highest quality and value products for the greater football community."

The UEFA Europa League is the largest league of professional football clubs in the world and every season, over 180 professional football teams from 55 countries across Europe take part in the league games, including the preliminary round. The Europa League covers 59,000 hours of television coverage delivering a cumulative audience of nearly 1 billion people, averaging approximately 42 million live audience per match day.

The balls are now in stock with a full range of 6 models of the Europa League Match Ball, available in 3 colours, starting at just £9.95. Click HERE to see the full range.

Comments | Posted in Football Handball Futsal Indoor Football Molten By Jack Dinning

Sevenoaks Suns Steal The Show

Monday, 21 May 2018 14:58:42 Europe/London

Sevenoaks Suns have won back-to-back play-off finals after defeating Leicester Riders 69-44 at the O2 Arena.

WBBL Final

The Suns were led by League and Play-Off final MVP Cat Carr who scored 19 points in addition to her 8 assists and 8 rebounds. Carr was helped along the way by Chantelle Pressley adding 12 points and Judit Fritz 10.

Sevenoaks hit the ground running, racing to a 7 point lead at the end of the first quarter before shutting the Riders out to take an 18 point lead into halftime, up 38-20, with Carr scoring 15.

Leicester attempted to mount a comeback in the third quarter, at one point reducing the deficit to 15 points, before the Suns rallied to extend their lead to 20.

Unfortunately, that rather put the nail in the coffin for the Riders and despite a spirited effort in the final quarter, they were unable to match Sevenoaks once again and finished the period trailing by an additional 5 points, meaning the Suns finished the match 25 points ahead.WBBL Final

Holly Winterburn who was the only member of the Riders to make double digits, scoring 12 points, with Sevenoaks’ defence proving too strong, holding Leicester to just 25% shooting from the field and only 16% from three. Leicester’s issues were compounded by the dominating way the Suns out-rebounded them at both ends of the floor.

The Suns collected their fourth title in two years, the club’s consecutive double, having already secured Championship honours at the end of April.

Leicester Riders Roar Past London Lions

Monday, 21 May 2018 12:02:12 Europe/London

The Leicester Riders secured their third trophy of the season and their second treble in as many years as they defeated London Lions in front of a crowd of over 10,000 people at the O2 on Sunday.

Led by Trayvonn Wright, who was awarded MVP honours, the Riders ran out 81-60 winners over the Lions in the BBL Play-Off Final.

BBL Final

Wright scored 11 points, adding 13 rebounds and 2 blocks to help the Riders produce a dominant display over the crowd-favourites.

The Lions held a slender lead after the first quarter, but were soon after shut out by a terrific defensive display by the Riders, who regained the lead in the second quarter thanks to a 10-2 run, allowing Leicester to go into halftime 39-28 up, scoring almost twice as many points as their opponents in the quarter.

As the Riders began to heat up, the Lions shooting began to freeze over, as they were unable to recapture the lead in the second half.

Leicester edged a scrappy third quarter 19-15, which also saw London’s veteran centre Flo Larkai ejected from the game after a scuffle with Leicester’s Shane Walker, although in truth it had little bearing on the result.

15 points down and just a quarter left in the match proved too much for the Lions to overcome, despite posting their highest points tally in any quarter, as they were once again outscored by the Riders as they cruised to a comfortable victory.

BBL Final

The Riders continued their terrific defensive form throughout the second half, forcing London to shoot just 34% and only 10% from beyond the arc in the match.

Meanwhile, JR Holder (20), Pierre Hampton (19) and Leicester’s retiring captain Tyler Bernardini (17) did the majority of the damage for the Riders, who at one point had a lead of 25 points.

Brandon Peel (22) and GB international Paul Guede (10) were London's main men with Guede's second-quarter threes proved to be the only ones the Lions hit in the entire game.

The result for the Riders meant that they have now won 8 of the last 12 available trophies whereas the Lions have now reached the final twice in 3 years, being defeated both times.

 

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