European football: 7-1 scorelines, fluke goals and more

September 1, 2015

“It was a busy weekend across Europe, with Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich winning, Roma shocking Juventus and transfers galore. But what are the stories you might have missed? Several former Premier League strikers on the scoresheet, freak goals and stadium problems and more – BBC Sport takes a look.” BBC


Champions League draw analysis: Picks to make it out of each group

August 29, 2015

UEFA General Secretary Gianni Infantino, left, and UEFA Competitions Director Giorgio Marchetti, right, remove the balls containing the names of the soccer clubs, during the draw for the Champions League 2015/16 play-offs, at the UEFA Headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland, Friday, Aug. 7, 2015. (Salvatore Di Nolfi/Keystone via AP)
“There was a twist to the Champions League group stage draw in Monaco Thursday. UEFA’s new seeding regulations meant that only reigning champions would be picked from Pot 1, leaving some dangerous contenders in the lower pots. And so it proved, as Manchester City was drawn with Juventus and Sevilla while Real Madrid drew Paris Saint-Germain and Shakhtar Donetsk. The draw resulted in some intriguing individual storylines, powerhouses going up against one another and the first steps on the road to the San Siro.” SI (Video)


José Mourinho thrives on tension but after two years it becomes a problem

August 21, 2015

“José Mourinho is a manager who thrives on conflict, someone who is never happy unless there is something to be unhappy about. Or at least to pretend to be unhappy about. ‘Mourinho,’ as Manchester City’s chief executive, Ferran Soriano, said when explaining why Barcelona opted for Pep Guardiola in 2008, ‘is a winner, but in order to win he guarantees a level of tension that becomes a problem.’ Tension is simply how he operates. If it isn’t there, he has to create it and he isn’t too bothered whom he hurts in doing so.” Guardian – Jonathan Wilson


Chelsea doesn’t have the depth to win the Premier League

August 21, 2015

“Chelsea cake-walked its way to the Premier League title last year. All the usual challengers were either in a state of transition (Manchester United and Liverpool), apparently lacking motivation (Manchester City), or being Arsenal (Arsenal). Having kept all the important pieces of the same squad together, and with questions still hovering over its rivals, Chelsea is (was?) heavily favored to repeat as champions. But judging by the evidence on display in preseason and in the Blues’ first two performances in the league, we should probably pump the brakes on those predictions.” Fusion


A History of Volatility: Jose Mourinho Says He Wants to Stay at Chelsea, But He Says a Lot of Things

August 19, 2015

“The last two weeks at Chelsea have already pushed the club’s title-winning 2014-15 season way out of view. First, they opened the campaign with a home draw against Swansea City. Then, Jose Mourinho relieved the team doctor, Eva Carneiro, of her sideline duties under dubious circumstances. And in the first game without Carneiro nearby, the defending champs got smoked by Manchester City, 3-0, and now sit five points back of the top of the table. During the loss, for the first time in either of his stints at the club, Mourinho subbed out his captain, John Terry, at halftime.” Grantland


Tactical Analysis | Manchester City 3-0 Chelsea: Alternating attacking methods from the home side

August 19, 2015

“The build up story was that the champions were visiting the runners up, and the two managers, Mourinho and Pellegrini were resuming an intense rivalry. The post mortems however, were very different, as Chelsea fans lamented the lack of spirit and the utter fragility of their seemingly powerful squad. Manchester City dominated the game from start to finish, making a lasting impression in the minds of many, not least the current champions.” Outside of the Boot


Three Lingering Questions After Manchester City’s Win Over Chelsea

August 17, 2015

“There was plenty of good football played this weekend, from Stoke’s thrilling comeback against Spurs, Arsenal’s righting of the ship against Crystal Palace, and another impressive performance from Swansea. But the main event happened Sunday, when Chelsea traveled north to face Manchester City. The home team registered an emphatic 3-0 victory, but there are still some lingering questions that need answering …” Grantland (Video)


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