Real Madrid rallies; Manchester City, Dortmund cruise in Champions League

September 15, 2016

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“Defending European champion Real Madrid scored twice in the final minutes to turn defeat into victory on a Champions League night that was far livelier and less predictable than the first half of Matchday 1. After a string of thumping wins for the elite clubs on Tuesday, Wednesday brought tension and drama. A Bruno Cesar goal had had Sporting Lisbon dreaming of an improbable victory, but Cristiano Ronaldo leveled with an 89th-minute free kick against his former club before Alvaro Morata’s injury-time header delivered the three points.” SI – JONATHAN WILSON


Gulf in class evident for Barcelona, Bayern Munich in Champions League openers

September 15, 2016

“The build-up to this season’s Champions League was dominated by talk of the disparity in resources between the haves and the have nots of European football and two of the superclubs playing on the first day of this season’s group stage did nothing to dispel that. Favorites Bayern Munich and Barcelona cruised to 5-0 and 7-0 victories over Rostov and Celtic, respectively, to kick off this season’s competition in style.” SI – JONATHAN WILSON


Arsenal Are Performing Like Football’s Version of the Jonah Complex

September 15, 2016

“A Paris Saint-Germain side struggling to come to terms with their new manager; Edinson Cavani struggling to recapture form and to come to terms with filling the enormous hole that Zlatan Ibrahimovic left. It was a perfect opportunity for Arsenal, in what was their hardest game of the group phase, on paper, to get their Champions League campaign off to a positive start. And within 44 seconds, Cavani had given PSG the lead.” Bleacher Report – Jonathan Wilson


Club Brugge 0 Leicester 3: Riyad Mahrez’s penalty and stunning freekick add to Foxes’ fairytale in Champions League premiere

September 15, 2016

“The Leicester City fairytale clearly has a few more chapters to come, after this stunning Champions League premiere in Bruges. Claudio Ranieri cannot have envisaged such a stress-free evening as last season’s miracle men produced an emphatic statement in their first ever game at this rarefied level. Leicester had the swagger of seasoned European veterans and from the moment Riyad Mahrez curled in an exquisite free kick, to extend their lead in the first half, the latest entry into Foxes history never looked in doubt.” Telegraph (Video)


NutMeg

September 15, 2016

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“It’s not a book, it’s not a magazine. It’s somewhere inbetween, and something completely new in Scotland: a quarterly subscription-only long-form publication filled with top-quality writers, great articles and fascinating stories. And it’s all about Scottish football.” NutMeg, Facebook, twitter


Belgium – The Farce FIFA Needs To Fix

September 15, 2016

“Belgium must have some kind of special glamor power with football’s governing body, or the country collectively holds an awful lot of photos of top FIFA bods at Christmas Karaoke parties going through an enthusiastic Abba medley.  The most under-achieving country in terms of talent vs results are still being rewarded for their purely theoretical footballing prowess by holding fast in the FIFA rankings in second place. Second!” BeinSports – Tim Stannard


‘Some of those Dundalk players wouldn’t look out of depth within the Irish squad’

September 15, 2016

“FORMER REPUBLIC OF IRELAND captain Kenny Cunningham believes some of the Dundalk players wouldn’t look out of place if called up to Martin O’Neill’s international setup for next month’s World Cup qualifiers. Despite their domestic dominance over recent seasons, it’s the club’s displays against higher-calibre European opposition in the last few months that has significantly raised the profiles of the likes of David McMillan and Daryl Horgan.” The 42