Bayern clinch title with win over stubborn Berlin (and a little help elsewhere)

April 27, 2015

“One expected a comedown after the midweek Champions’ League quarter-final heroics against FC Porton, and this was clear as FC Bayern took on strugglers Hertha BSC at a packed Allianz Arena. The tight 1-0 win was enough to send Bayern fifteen points clear of second-placed VfL Wolfsburg with four matches remaining, and the Wolves’ defeat by the same score in Mönchengladbach was enough to ensure a record-extending twenty-fifth Bundesliga crown (and twenty-sixth German championship in all) for Die Roten.Bundesliga Fanatic

José Mourinho, the anti-Barcelona, stands alone in modern football

April 24, 2015

“Todern football was invented in Barcelona in the mid-90s. Of this season’s Champions League quarter-finalists, four sides are managed by players who turned out for Barça in 1996: Pep Guardiola, Luis Enrique, Julen Lopetegui and Laurent Blanc. Within a couple of years, they had been joined by Frank de Boer and Phillip Cocu as well as the coach, Louis van Gaal, and his assistant, Ronald Koeman. In slightly differing ways, the eight are apostles for the Barcelona way – or, more accurately, given the influence of Ajax on that style, the Barçajax way. However, there was another presence there, initially as a translator and then as a coach. In the Barçocracy of modern football, there is a fallen angel.” Guardian – Jonathan Wilson

Returns, rematches, powerhouses mark Champions League semifinals

April 24, 2015

“The Champions League semifinal draw was conducted Friday and while the names may be familiar, the opportunity for new storylines to arise is bountiful. There will be reunions for coaches and a chance to avenge previous defeats, and, with three teams still dreaming of clinching a European, league title and domestic cup treble, plenty at stake.” SI

Defending Is Hard: Porto Learn a Lesson Against Bayern Munich

April 24, 2015

“It’s one of the most pernicious myths in soccer: Defending is easy. Any manager can order his players to stay behind the halfway line, kick some shins, clear a few corners, and voilà: He’ll have a clean sheet. Fans lob this accusation against opposing teams all the time, but tune in to enough postgame interviews and you’ll see managers are often no different. After the infamous Steven Gerrard slip game last year, Brendan Rodgers said it about José Mourinho, and a week later, Mourinho himself dropped a similar bomb in response to Norwich’s tactics. Seemingly anybody who’s ever played against Tony Pulis or Sam Allardyce has lodged a comparable complaint: What’s so special about you? All you do is defend.Grantland

Borussia Dortmund, Bayern Munich and a wild week in the Bundesliga

April 20, 2015

“It was: The Week That Shook German Football (RealD 3D). First, late on Tuesday night, Bruno Labbadia was appointed manager of the bottom team, Hamburger SV. The former Kaiserslautern striker and inventor of the fist-pump goal celebration had already graced (?) the AOL/Nordbank/Imtech/Kühne-Palace/Whatever-Arena bench five years ago and the sporting director, Dietmar Beiersdorfer, had no choice but to go back to a familiar face in the club’s hour of need: HSV had run out of the German-speaking coaches that had not yet been hired at some point over the last two decades. Within a few hours, however, the new/old messiah’s wings – messiahs do have wings, don’t they? – were already clipped when Beiersdorfer involuntarily dispensed with the charade that the hot contender Thomas Tuchel had been turned down by the club the night before.” Guardian

Meet the Man City-tracked Italy international Bayern wished they hadn’t let go

April 20, 2015

“Roberto Soriano was born to Italian parents in the German city of Darmstadt in 1991. Having started out with local amateur teams in the region, his performances quickly attracted attention from scouts representing professional clubs. As is so often the case in Germany, Bayern Munich came out on top and Soriano joined the Bavarians’ youth setup aged 15 in 2006.” FourFourTwo (Video)

Berlin-Bound: Which Team Has the Best Chance of Winning the Champions League?

April 16, 2015

“As we told you a few weeks ago, the drama’s all but gone from the major domestic leagues across Europe. Thankfully, the Champions League is here to save us. The quarterfinals of soccer’s greatest annual competition kick off today with Atlético Madrid hosting Real Madrid in a rematch of last year’s final and Monaco traveling to Juventus. Tomorrow, FC Porto welcomes Bayern Munich and Barcelona visits Paris Saint-Germain.” Grantland


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