Monday, September 20, 2010

Chelsea 4-0 Blackpool


helsea raced into a 4-0 lead by half-time with goals from Salomon Kalou, Didier Drogba and two from Florent Malouda, but for once the juggernaut slowed after the break.
The Blues back-line was made to work in a second period as Blackpool enjoyed their share of the chances and Chelsea's ruthlessness in front of goal deserted them. The momentum from a first-half in which the pace and counter-attack passing of home side had left the Premier League new boys trailing in our wake was lost while he teams in the dressing rooms for the break.
However a 4-0 win against any top-flight side is still a commendable one and it was a sure sign of Chelsea's strength of squad that such a win was achieved without Terry or Lampard, one watching from the stands with his twins on his knees, the other accompanied by his father. Terry's rib bruising, suffered a week ago at West Ham, was the reason for his absence.
Ivanovic and Alex were therefore the centre-back partnership with Drogba the stand-in skipper. Ramires was asked to take Lampard's place while it was Anelka's turn to be rested up front with Kalou coming in.
The element of surprise in Drogba taking a corner in only the second minute of the game may have gone following his success in the West Ham game last weekend, but that didn't prevent the delivery again proving unstoppable as Ivanovic flicked it on. It fell nicely for Kalou who with perfect technique, volleyed in at the far post for his fifth goal of the season. The Blues were beginning take off once again.
Drogba was denied by the offside flag when clean through without many more minutes played and then Essien rifled a shot just over the bar after Malouda had worked the ball out of a tight spot. It was already clear space among the visitors 4-1-4-1 formation was easy to find.
It was all Chelsea possession. Essien almost bundled the ball in from a scrum inside the six-yard area at the Shed End, but we only needed to wait until 11 minutes were on the clock for goal number two.
It came from a Chelsea break of breathtakingly swift efficiency. Kalou played the ball down the right-hand channel for Drogba to power into the area, and the square ball picked out Malouda for a straightforward finish.
Cech, with his best save of the season so far, prevented the Tangerines pulling one back when he dived low to tip Baptiste's 16th minute shot past the post.
Malouda skied a good chance as Chelsea threatened to make Blackpool pay for not marking Drogba at a throw-in, and on 24 minutes referee Clattenburg was unmoved when Cole collided in the Blackpool area with Eardley as he chased down a back pass.
Kalou was wrongly flagged offside after Drogba clipped a ball over the defence but the shot was saved anyway. There was no way this was remaining 2-0 for half-time.
It was Drogba who made it 3-0 on the half-hour, taking Cole's pass, spinning and shooting inside the area with the balance of a ballerina. It beat the keeper via a deflection off a covering defender.Cole had destroyed full-back Eardley to make the chance after Essien had pinged a ball 50 yards out to the left.
Within seconds Cole almost created a fourth as he rolled a ball right across the face of goal.
Drogba was booked for a frankly pointless pull of Grandin's shirt in the Blackpool half on 37 minutes before Eardley followed him into the book a minute later for shooting long after the whistle had gone.
Malouda made it 4-0 on 40 minutes with a sweet, low strike that gave Gilks no chance. Kalou had squared from the right after Drogba played the midfield general, winning possession in the centre circle and spraying the ball forward.
After four right-foot goals, Malouda now had two with his favoured left.
Drogba and then Essien weren't far away from adding a fifth before the break.
Ian Holloway put his right-back Eardley out of his misery at the break, replacing him with Taylor-Fletcher.
Chelsea were given a wake-up call three minutes after the restart when Campbell was played onside by Ferreira and managed to drill the ball through the legs of Cech but Ivanovic cleared off the line. Varney drilled the message home by volleying over the bar from a pass in behind Ferreira.
Vaughan was booked for Blackpool on 53 minutes for pulling back Ramires who was speeding past him as Chelsea flew forward on the break.
However the Blackpool chances kept coming and Cech needed to back-peddle fast and tip over a Taylor-Fletcher looping shot on 59 minutes.
There was little excuse for Kalou not scoring his second goal four minutes later after Essien won the ball and he and Drogba moved it forward fast, but Kalou's touch was too strong and the keeper saved, as he did from a bouncing Malouda shot soon after.
Kalou mirrored the team's overall display, excellent in the first half but tailing off in his effectiveness.
Malouda then hooked a shot wide on the turn but Blackpool continued to test the Blues at the back. Harewood looked certain to score on 71 minutes but smashed a close-range effort into the sidenetting.
Chelsea's first change was a return for Bruma after groin surgery. He came on for Alex. Ramires, who had shown plenty of running in a first Stamford Bridge start, was then replaced by Zhirkov.
A Chelsea fifth goal continued to prove elusive when Cole's shot was cleared from in front of a target it might have just been missing. Essien beat two tackles but his curler was blocked.
Benayoun was next to be added to the mix, coming on for Mikel, but the second half was summed up in the dying moments when Drogba skied a shot over the goal from eight yards, followed by some tongue-in-cheek mocking chants from the fans at that end.
Chelsea end the day four points clear at the top with Manchester City away and Arsenal home next to come in the league.
Chelsea (4-3-3): Cech; Ferreira, Alex (Bruma 71), Ivanovic, Cole; Essien, Mikel (Benayoun 77), Ramires (Zhirkov 74); Kalou, Drogba (c), Malouda.
Unused subs Turnbull, Kakuta, Sturridge, Anelka.
Scorers Kalou 1, Malouda 11, 40, Drogba 30.
Booked Drogba 36.
Blackpool (4-1-4-1): Gilks; Eardley (Taylor-Fletcher h-t), Keinan, Evatt, Crainey; Bapiste; Grandin (Ormerod 60), Vaughan, Adam (c), Varney (Harewood 60); Campbell.
Unused subs Halstead, Southern, Cathcart, Carney.
Booked Eardley 37, Vaughan 53.

Referee Mark Clattenburg.
Attendance 41,761.

Chelsea 4-0 Blackpool


MSK Zilina 1-4 Chelsea


Chelsea went within one goal of the 150 mark in the Champions League with a comfortable win over Zilina to start our European campaign tonight.
A Nicolas Anelka brace added to Michael Essien's opener before Daniel Sturridge made it four in the second half on a night when Josh McEachran made his debut.
It wasn't the best of performances in defence, as Zilina were gifted a goal in the second half, but plenty of early strikes meant they couldn't come back from a three-goal deficit.
Carlo Ancelotti had John Terry at his disposal, despite a premature ending to his weekend game against West Ham. He was the only player in tonight's line-up who took part in the last meeting between these two sides.
Frank Lampard, who played in the previous encounter, was still recovering from hernia surgery and like Ashley Cole didn't travel. The left-back was rested.
Yury Zhirkov replaced Cole at left-back and was one of three maiden starts in this campaign alongside Yossi Benayoun in midfield and Daniel Sturridge on right wing.
Having won the last eight opening clashes in the Champions League, Chelsea began this one with the usual zeal, although it was Zilina who threatened first when Zhirkov gifted Emil Rilke possession inside the box.
Chelsea retaliated with three chances inside the first 10 minutes. Benayoun's searching cross from the left was cleared before finding Florent Malouda, then Sturridge worked hard to release a pass in front of goal for the same man, again only for it to be cleared.
Benayoun forced the first save of the game when his corner was returned and the subsequent shot dipped towards the far right. Martin Dubravka was on hand to deny the Israeli.
Then, with 13 minutes gone, Chelsea took the lead when Nicolas Anelka made a ground-breaking run towards the box and pulled the ball back for Michael Essien at full sprint to smash home.
Cech was then forced into action, preventing a Robert Jez freekick from finding the bottom right while at full stretch.
An organised Zilina continued to push forward and Cech was called to make another save, preventing a Babatounde Bello header finding the net. It was end-to-end football.
Soon it would be 2-0. This time Anelka took his chance and drilled a left-footed, low shot into the net after Malouda fed his fellow Frenchman with a clever pass over the Zilina defence.
That was with 24 minutes played; four later it was 3-0. This time a Malouda corner found Terry, whose subsequent header ricocheted off the bar and into Anelka's path for our number 39 to easily tap home for his second.
Despite the scoreline, the Zilina crowd kept cheering, while the Chelsea representatives did the club proud in the corner, and with them spurring the side on, soon it was nearly four when Terry sent a brilliant pass to Zhirkov who in turn laid the ball off for Malouda, only for the shot to be deflected away from danger.
Cech's lightning quick reactions stopped an Admir Vladavic long-range effort from finding its target before a follow-up Bello header strayed wide just before half time.
There were no changes as the second half got under way and within minutes of the restart Sturridge, playing as central striker, broke through onto a superb Benayoun through ball to calmly slot past Dubravka.
We were well on the way to equalling our highest win in the Champions League, when we beat Galatasaray 5-0 back in 1999.
But then errors in the box gifted Zilina a goal. When Cech tipped a shot away and onto Ivanovic's head, the subsequent rebound fell goal-ward, and Oravec found the net. It was 4-1 after 55 minutes.
The goal spurred Zilina into further action and soon a Vladavic shot flew inches wide of a fully-stretched Cech.
With the four-goal lead established, Sturridge made way for Gael Kakuta on the hour mark while Zilina replaced Momodou Ceesay for Tomas Majtan.
The youngster got straight into the game and nearly set up Anelka with a brilliant run which cut straight through the Zilina back line. Unfortunately Anelka was deemed offside but Kakuta's intent had been shown.
Meanwhile, the Chelsea back line were struggling to deal with Zilina's attack. It was not the greatest performance from Chelsea's back line, although they were doing enough to keep the host's score at one.
With 78 minutes gone, Ancelotti brought 17-year-old Josh McEachran into the game for his debut. He replaced Benayoun in midfield while Zilina took Lubomir Guldan off for Stanislav Angelovic.
Dubravka failed to hold onto a screaming 30-yard shot from Essien, which resulted in a Chelsea throw-in. That in turn led to Malouda breaking into the box only to be cut down and appeal for a penalty, which wasn't given.
It was the last chance for Malouda because with two minutes left he made way for Patrick van Aanholt.
Zilina would have one more chance on goal with a freekick from 20 yards out before the final whistle, but the game ended as a comfortable start to our Champions League campaign.
By Christian Collison
Chelsea (4-3-3): Cech; Ivanovic, Alex, Terry (c), Zhirkov; Essien, Mikel, Benayoun (McEachran 78); Sturridge (Kakuta 61), Anelka, Malouda (van Aanholt 87).
Unused subs Turnbull, Ramires, Ferreira, Kalou.
Goals Essien 13, Anelka 24, 28, Sturridge 48
Zilina (4-2-3-1): Dubravka; Guldan (Angelovic 78), Piacek, Pecalka, Mraz; Jez (c), Bello; Rilke (Poliacek 57), Ceesay (Majtan 61), Vladavic; Oravec.
Unused subs Krnac, Leitner, Sourek, Vittor.
Goal Oravec 55
Referee: Bjorn Kuipers (Holland)
Attendance: 10,829
Shots on target Zilina 4 Chelsea 6
Fouls Zilina 6 Chelsea 7
Corners Zilina 3 Chelsea 4
Offsides Zilina 4 Chelsea 4

West Ham Utd 1-3 Chelsea


Two headers from Michael Essien and a Salomon Kalou goal, gifted by a Rob Green mistake, maintained the only 100 per cent record in English League football.
West Ham did become the first team to score past the Blues defence since mid-April when Scott Parker chipped the rearguard but by then it was already 3-0 to the visitors in this top v bottom encounter.

Chelsea have played better this season and had it not been for a bad miss by the home side there could have been trouble towards the end, but Carlo Ancelotti was able to make changes to his side on the back of the international matches without losing momentum, and give a full debut to Ramires who showed good running and promising touches as Frank Lampard's stand-in.
Ivanovic replaced Alex in central defence and Malouda was rested with Kalou given a start in the front three.
Despite their recent plight, the West Ham fans did their best to create a mood of optimism at kick-off with a rendition of 'Bubbles' but their dreams began to fade and die before two minutes of the game had even passed.
Chelsea won a corner from the first attack of the game and with Lampard watching from the stands, it fell to Drogba to take it. Any thoughts that it was strange to move the aerial colossus out of the area at that moment were soon forgotten as the ball was powered in to where Essien rose above them all, heading home with Rob Green grasping at air as Carlton Cole failed to head off the line. It the Ghanaian's first of the sesaon. It was a huge psychological blow struck.

There was no such problem for Cech soon after as he plucked an Obinna shot out of the air and Chelsea were able to consolidate.
On nine minutes, Ilunga, a problem for Chelsea in this fixture previously, cut inside and looked dangerous, but blazed horribly off target.
Upton Park was pretty quiet and it was soon plunged into despair after a howler from Robert Green of World Cup proportions.
Drogba was ambitious 35 yards out when he shot a free-kick towards goal and it looked straight forward for the former England keeper as he clasped it. He barely had to move, that was until he spilled the shot and as Upson tried to rescue it and hack clear, he smashed the ball into Kalou's ankle and the Chelsea man was an inadvertent scorer.
Chelsea fans in the stadium were enjoying themselves immensely, as strains of ' England's Number One' and 'Gianfranco Zola' filled the stadium.
Kalou could have made it three but shot wide having burst through a challenge.
It wasn't all plain sailing. A ball over the top of Ivanovic found the hefty Obinna in front of goal but with just Cech to beat, he shot wide to groans around the ground. The Nigerian went a lot closer on 30 minutes, powering into space and cracking a shot that swerved just past Cech' s post.
Two minutes later, Mikel, who had only just fired over in familiar fashion, came within inches of his first Premier League goal. A corner was played back his way and from the edge of the area he cracked a half-volley against the angle of bar and post. He wheeled away in frustration.
Ashley Cole was booked for a foul on Behrami as half-time approached. Parker soon followed him for a late challenge on Anelka.
A third goal before the break would surely have finished the game and Drogba was looking like powering his way through at any minute, but it was the home side who did put the ball in the net moments before the whistle when Carlton Cole was placed through by Boa Morte. The former Chelsea man was offside, and celebrations quickly ended.
Avram Grant made a half-time substitution. Dyer came on for Boa Morte.
Five minutes after the restart, Ramires showed shooting ability when he drifted into the middle and put plenty of oomph into an effort over the bar.
At the other end West Ham gave it a good go at getting back into the game for a 20 minute spell but Cech and Terry were exemplary in keeping them at bay, aided by West Ham's reluctance to send players up in support of Carlton Cole.

Kalou went close to his second goal with a curling shot after excellent Drogba play in the centre of the park had created a chance. Drogba then drew a save from Green with a powerful shot and Cech fielded a free-kick from Obinna, Ivanovic booked for the foul.
Drogba continued to cause problems with his set-piece delivery. On 70 minutes, Mikel challenged for a free kick and it fell to Ivanovic but Green snuffed out the danger.
There was a chance for Gael Kakuta with just over 15 minutes remaining. The young Frenchman replaced an older one with Anelka making way and the sub did slip one well-weighted pass forward that Drogba couldn't finish.
The game looked to be drifting to a 2-0 conclusion but then came a goal at each end in the space of two minutes.
First Essien headed his second of the game after Ferreira swung over an excellent first-time cross after Mikel had spread the play. That made it 3-0 on 82 minutes. Parker finally broke down the Chelsea barrier with a finish of quality - lobbing into the net after a decent Cech punch had cleared the penalty area.
It could have been pressure on Chelsea in closing minutes had substitute Piquionne not repeated his feat of missing an open goal in the Cup Final last May for Portsmouth. This time he hit the bar from a yard out after Chelsea had allowed a whipped-in ball to find a way through. Cole had come close to finishing it too.

Instead the two-goal margin was maintained. The Blues head into Europe with spirits sky high.

Chelsea (4-3-3): Cech; Ferreira, Ivanovic, Terry (c) (Alex 81), Cole; Essien, Mikel, Ramires; Kalou (Malouda 83), Drogba,
Anelka (Kakuta 75),
Unused subs Turnbull, Zhirkov, Benayoun, Sturridge.
Scorers Essien 2, 83, Kalou 18.
Booked Cole 40, Ivanovic 64.
West Ham (4-diamond-2): Green; Jacobsen, Ben-Haim, Upson (c), Ilunga; Parker; Behrami (Piquionne 72), Boa Morte (Dyer h-t); Noble; Cole, Obinna.
Unused subs Stech, Tomkins, Barrera, Kovac, Faubert.
Scorer Parker 85.
Booked Parker 44, Noble 90.
Referee Chris Foy.
Crowd 33,014.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Transfer Updates


The summer's transfer window has closed and, despite the ongoing economic turmoil around the globe, some high-profile players have been on the move. The English Premier League's stringent new legislation on squad size has seen some of the league's top performers switch clubs while Italian teams were the busiest of any nation's during the summer. The top two in Spain continued to flex their financial muscles while the German Bundesliga welcomed, and waved goodbye to, a fair few star names.

Russia's Premier League showed its ability to attract star names and pay top dollar despite some underwhelming displays from its clubs on the continent. Meanwhile, Portuguese teams did more buying than selling while some surprising domestic transitions kept France's Ligue 1 ticking over. Turkey's wounded heavyhitters did their fair share of strengthening too. The World Cup provided a shop window for some of Central and South America's top talents and African representatives were also on the move. Moreover, European leagues turned again to Asia for talent. 2010-11 is shaping up to be more eclectic than ever; we'll bring you details of how all the new faces are settling in...

Top 5 buyers summer 2010/11 by gross spend

1. €146m - Manchester City
2. €81m - Real Madrid
3. €72m - Barcelona
5. €50m - Juventus
4. €48m - Zenit St. Petersburg*
Source used: Transfermarkt

*note: Zenit play a summer season - includes winter transfersEngland: No prizes for guessing which clubs proved to be the prime mover in the English transfer market. No club in the world spent more money than Manchester City, who welcomed a galaxy of star names, including David Silva, Mario Balotelli, Yaya Toure, Alexander Kolarov, Jerome Boateng and James Milner. City rivals Manchester United dipped into their depleting savings to sign World Cup star Javier Hernandez, as well as Chris Smalling and Bebe. Chelsea added Ramires, Yossi Benayoun, Tomas Kalac and removed Joe Cole, Michael Ballack, Deco, Belletti, Ricardo Carvalho and Miroslav Stoch, among others from their hefty wage bill. Arsene Wenger tweaked his Arsenal squad from a familiar source, adding Marouane Chamakh and Laurent Koscielny from Ligue 1. Sebastien Squillaci was also recruited. Le Prof also offloaded Eduardo to Shakhtar Donetsk. Liverpool may have lost Javier Mascherano but bought Christian Poulsen, Raul Meireles and Paul Konchesky, Danny Wilson and Jonjo Shelvey.

Other notable spenders were Sunderland, who brought in Asamoah Gyan as a replacement for Stoke City's Kenwyne Jones, while Tottenham Hotspur are still awaiting the results of a late swoop for Rafael van der Vaart. Spurs did manage to supplement their squad with Stipe Pletikosa and William Gallas. Moussa Dembele (Fulham), Mauro Boselli (Wigan) and Stephen Fletcher (Wolves) were also notable additions. Birmingham moved late, but moved well, supplementing the signing of Nicola Zigic with Aliaksandr Hleb and Martin Jiranek. Bolton Wanderers raided Real Madrid's cantera for Marcos Alonso and signed for Blanco Rodrigo. Martin Petrov could also prove to be good business.

Italy: AC Milan grab the headlines in Serie A with the acquisitions of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Robinho, along with other key signings, like Kevin Prince Boateng. Juventus are seeking to spend their way back to Calcio's top table and have brought in Leonadro Bonucci, Fabio Quagliarella, Armand Traore, Simone Pepe, Milos Krasic, Jorge Martinez, Marco Storari, Alberto Aquilani and Marco Motta to help them. Inter were quiet, finalising Philippe Coutinho and bringing back Jonathan Biabany. Roma's tight purse strings contributed to a lean summer but Fabio Simplicio, Marco Borriello and Adriano were recruited and money was lavished on Nicolas Burdisso.

Genoa had a successful summer, adding Andrea Rannochia, Luca Toni, Rafinha, Franco Zuculini, Miguel Veloso, Anthony Van Den Borre and Kakha Kaladze. Napoli welcomed Hassan Yebda, Christian Lucarelli and Jose Sosa. Lazio pulled off a coup with the acquisition of Hernanes, as well as Javier Garrido and Mark Bresciano and others. New boys Cesena were busy too with a number of players coming in for the long haul in the top flight. Fiorentina scaled back their spending; only Gaetano D'Agostino and Artur Boruc were purchased.

Top 5 buyers summer 2010/11 by net spend

1. €122m - Manchester City
2. €81m - Real Madrid
3. €47m - Zenit St. Petersburg*
4. €31m - Rubin Kazan*
5. €28m - Barcelona
Source used: Transfermarkt

*note: Zenit play a summer season - includes winter transfersSpain: David Villa gives Barcelona what would seem to be an unfair advantage in an attacking sense after his signing from Valencia; Javier Mascherano can play a bit too. Adriano was recruited from Sevilla but there were more outs than ins at Camp Nou, including Dymtro Chygrynskiy returning home to Shakhtar. Real Madrid conducted their customary summer overhaul; Sami Khedira, Mesut Oezil, Pedro Leon, Sergio Canales, Angel Di Maria and Ricardo Carvalho all joined Jose Mourinho at Santiago Bernabeu. Raul and Guti head the departures. Neighbours Atletico strengthened with Filipe, Diego Godin, Thiago and Fran Merida. Out went Jurado and Roberto to foreign teams, but Kun Aguero stayed.

Valencia were the big earners during the window, selling Davids Villa and Silva for huge profit; they outlaid some of that booty on Sofiane Feghouli, Mehmet Topaz, Roberto Soldado, Tino Costa and Ricardo Costa. Hercules made some intriguing moves, landing David Trezeguet and Royston Drenthe, as well as Haedo Valdez.

Beyond Barca and Madrid by far the biggest spenders were Malaga, who used their new-found investment to pay fees for seven different players, the biggest being Salomon Rondon from Las Palmas and striker Sebastian Fernandez from Banfield. Getafe made the fifth biggest net profit anywhere in Europe thanks to their funnelling of talent to the likes of Valencia and Real Madrid.

Germany: Bayern stayed quiet and crucially, lost no players in the window while the challengers to their crown spent significantly to bridge the gap. Wolfsburg bought Simon Kjaer, Arne Friedrich, Cicero, Mario Mandzukic, Nassim Ben Khalifa and Diego at some expense. Last season's runners-up Schalke made space for Real Madrid legend Raul and former team-mate Christophe Metzelder. Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, Sergio Escudero, Kyriakos Papadopolous, Jurado, Hans Sarpei, Nicolas Plestan, Tim Hoogland, Atsuto Uchida, Ciprian Deac and Eric Jendrisek were also brought in. Michael Ballack adds experience to Bayer Leverkusen while Hanno Balitsch was purchased from Hannover; Shinji Kagawa and Robert Lewandowski head the arrivals at Dortmund.

Hamburg's defence was fortified by Heiko Westermann, who seemingly took the clean sheets with him from Schalke; Gojko Kacar looks an interesting signing for HSV as does Mohammadou Idrissou at Moenchengladbach. Werder Bremen offset the departure of playmaker Oezil with the signings of Wesley, Mark Arnautovic and Mickael Silvestre. Other clubs did decent business; Morten Rasmussen and Adam Szalai (Mainz), Gylfi Sigurdsson (Hoffenheim). Stuttgart left it late but snared Mauro Camoranesi to join Philipp Degen, Christian Molinaro and Christian Gentner, as well as Martin Harnik.

Top five summer transfers by price

1. €40m - David Villa ( Valencia - Barcelona)
2. €32m - David Silva ( Valencia - Man City)
3. €30m - James Milner ( Aston Villa - Man City)*
4. €28m - Mario Balotelli ( Inter - Man City)
5. €25m - Angel di Maria ( Benfica - Real Madrid)
Source: World Football Insider

note: €30m includes €9.7m valuation of part-exchanged Stephen Ireland
France: Champions Marseille lost Hatem Ben Arfa to Newcastle but managed to add to their ranks with Cesar Azpilicueta, Loic Remy and Andre-Pierre Gignac. Bordeaux were on the receiving end of another major domestic transfer with Yoann Gourcuff joining Lyon. Les Gones also grabbed Pape Diakhate and Jimmy Briand while Girondins spent on Fahid Ben Khalfallah, Maazou Moussa and Anthony Modeste. New boys Arles were hyper busy in the market while Auxerre brought in the classy Anthony Le Tallec. Dieumerci Mbokani and Pierre Aubameyang were among the new arrivals at Monaco. Nene and Mathieu Bodmer went to PSG while Rennes, now Gyan-less, and St Etienne were also busy.

Russia: The RPL welcomed its most expensive ever player in the shape of Bruno Alves, who transferred with Sergei Semak, Aleksandr Bukharov and Aleksander Lukovic to Zenit. Rubin Kazan were among Europe's biggest spending teams, adding Salvatore Bocchetti, Aleskei Medvedev, Obafemi Martins and Carlos Eduardo, amongst others. CSKA Moscow replaced Krasic with Zoran Tosic; Seydou Doumbia also arrived. Spartak Moscow prepare for life in the Champions League with the purchases of Aiden McGeady and Nicolas Pareja.

Top 5 sellers summer 2010/11 by gross spend

1. €84m - Valencia
2. €53m - Inter
3. €50m - Benfica
4. €45m - Barcelona
5. €38m - Liverpool
Source used: TransfermarktPortugal: Champions Benfica lost some of their stars but added Eduardo Salvio, Nicolas Gaitan, Roberto Gago and Franco Jara. Porto snapped up Sporting's Joao Moutinho; good thing as Meireles left for Anfield while James Rodriguez came from Banfield. Nicolas Otamendi arrived from Velez. Sporting got Alberto Zapater, Maniche, Diogo Salamao and others. Braga have Hugo Viana in their ranks ahead of a Champions League campaign.

Greece: Panathinaikos added Jean Alain Boumsong, Sidney Govou, Luis Garcia and Damian Plessis while Olympiacos brought in Kevin Mirallas, Ariel Ibagaza, Francois Modesto, Dennis Rommedahl and Albert Riera from overseas. Papa Bouba Diop (AEK) and Stephen Makinwa (Larissa) were the other high profile arrivals.

Turkey: Galatasaray were busy but were still knocked out of Europe. Nonetheless Zvjezdan Misimovic, Emiliano Insua and Lorik Cana were among their most high-profile overseas additions. Rivals Fenerbance added Mamadou Niang, Issiar Dia, Joseph Yobo and Miroslav Stoch. Besiktas welcome Ricardo Quaresma, Guti and Mehmet Aurelio, among others.

Asia: Bunyodkor said goodbye to their stars Stevica Ristic (Amkar Perm), Server Djeporov (FC Seoul), Rivaldo and Denilson (both released). In Australia, Robbie Fowler opted to trade North Queensland Fury for Perth Glory. Gamba Osaka sold star forward Leandro to Al-Sadd for a sum verging on the eight figures. Also, Abdul Kader Keita joined Al Sadd for a similar sum: he and Leandro will be team-mates of Nadir Belhadj.
Top 5 sellers summer 2010/11 by net spend

1. €51m - Valencia
2. €40m - Inter
3. €22m - Udinese
4. €24m - Nice
5. €20m - Getafe
Source used: Transfermarkt Gabri and Mario Melchiot moved to Umm Salal. Ivorian pair Aruna Dindane and Baky Kone now ply their trade for Lekhwiya. Al Sailiya brought Moumouni Dagano and Yazid Mansouri to the club. Marcelo Bordon swapped Schalke for Al Rayyan. Fabio Cannavaro headed the arrivals in the UAE League, joining Al Ahli of Dubai.

Africa: Geddo was the biggest mover, from Al Ittihad to Al Ahly, for a fee of around $500,000, while South Africa saw plenty of moves within its PSL.

MLS: Thierry Henry and Rafael Marquez (New York Red Bulls) were two of the major marquee signings in the United States. Also featuring in the MLS this season are Mista (Toronto FC), Nery Castillo (Chicago Fire) and Geovanni (San Jose Earthquakes). The biggest domestic trade saw Freddie Ljungberg swap Seattle Sounders for Chicago.

South America: And finally there was plenty of movement in South America, even though in many countries the season is long since underway. In Brazil, for example, Deco joined Fluminense, while Internacional sealed a move for Ilan. But key was who didn't move: Neymar and the now-injured Ganso are staying at Santos - for now - as two of the hottest prospects on the continent.

Chilean defender Waldo Ponce moved to Racing Santander from O'Higgins, while Jean Beausejour left Mexico's America for Birmingham City.

In Argentina, Estudiantes signed Hernan Lopez from Velez Sarsfield, Damian Escudero joined Boca Juniors from Villarreal, while River Plate made a number of key acquisitions, not least Betis' Mariano Pavone and former Boca man Jonathan Maidana of Metalist Kharkiv.