Ibrahimovic impact shows Barca his worth

November 30, 2009

“Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s superb second-half volley was enough to give Barcelona victory over fierce rivals Real Madrid in the Primera Division’s first ‘El Clasico’ of the season at the Nou Camp and move the Catalans back to the top of the table. Ibrahimovic replaced Thierry Henry early in the second half and fired Barca in front less than five minutes later as he volleyed home Dani Alves’ cross.” (ESPN)

Cristiano Ronaldo fluffs lines as Zlatan Ibrahimovic scripts perfect ending
“This time, Iker Casillas wasn’t wearing his Iker Casillas face, the one that says ‘you call that a defence?!’ This time, his defence was a defence. He was, though, wearing the face of an idiot. Up the tunnel and through the plywood door, chapel to the left, dressing room to the right, Dani Alves was wearing the face of a grinning simpleton, all glazed expression and cheeky smiles. Xabi Alonso was wearing the face of the disappointed, doe-eyed and sad, Pepe was wearing the face of Stanley Ipkiss, and Cristiano Ronaldo was wearing the shiny but not particularly happy face of someone who applies too much lotion. It was hard to see what kind of face Carles Puyol was wearing but he was probably smiling behind all that hair.” (Guardian)

FC Barcelona vs Real Madrid Highlights on 29/11/09
(All About FC Barcelona)

Video Of The Week: Match Of The 70s – 1971/72

November 30, 2009

“This week’s Video Of The Week is the second in the series of “Match Of The Seventies” videos, as hosted by Dennis Waterman. The 1971/72 football season was significant for several different reasons. Brian Clough’s Derby County pipped Leeds United to the Football League championship, evening matches were banned by the government as the energy crisis kicked in and Hereford United knocked Newcastle United out of the FA Cup thanks to Ronnie Radford’s right foot suddenly taking on the properties of a traction engine.” (twohundredpercent)

Book Review: Watford FC on This Day

November 30, 2009

“Memories are often conjured up by sensations. As Proust’s nameless hero bites into the madeleine, the physical rush of the tea soaked cake brings childhood reminiscences flooding back. Hence for Watford fans, a wander down a Mediterranean sidewalk in blazing sunshine might remind them of the time they took a cheeky peek at a day old English newspaper in a Greek newsagent’s to discover that Tony Coton had joined Man City for a cool million pounds in 1990; a chocolate egg devoured might remind them of an Easter Monday thumping of hated rivals Luton in 1983, with those twin heroes Barnes and Blissett instrumental; a Boxing Day hangover might evoke a subsequent win over the Hatters three years later, with Kevin Richardson and Gary Porter on the scoresheet.” (thetwounfortunates)

Inter look set for yet another Scudetto success

November 30, 2009

“On the morning after Internazionale had beaten Livorno 2-0 on the first weekend of November, there were those who speculated that, were the scudetto a boxing match, the referee would simply stop the fight and declare Inter the winners, fully six months ahead of time.” (WorldSoccer)

Disorganisation at the Scottish Football Association

November 30, 2009

“You don’t need a particularly long memory to remember Scottish football’s (last) Darkest Hour. In an attempt to appear contemporary and relevant and just like their more illustrious English counterparts, the SFA appointed Bertie Vogts to take charge of the nation’s football hopes between 2002 and 2004, and then crush them. Does the end of George Burley’s reign hold a candle to that shambles? It is certainly a dark time, with the general attitude of most being that things are only bound to get better under a new manager, be it Calderwood, Collins or Levein, because they really can’t get any worse.” (WSC)

Reds complete smash and grab raid

November 29, 2009

Ludolf Backhuysen – The Warship Hollandia in Full Sail
“Liverpool produced a smash and grab Merseyside derby victory to claim fifth place in the Premier League on a day of raw tension at Goodison Park. But they will have sighed with relief after being pounded for almost all of this very local showdown, but somehow emerged with the points. An own goal from Joseph Yobo, deflecting a Javier Mascherano effort past Tim Howard saw Liverpool ahead at the break despite being almost permanently on the back foot as Everton poured forward.” (ESPN)

Everton 0 – 2 Liverpool
“Liverpool took the honours in the Merseyside derby as Javier Mascherano’s deflected first-half shot and Dirk Kuyt’s late strike gave them victory at Everton. The home side dominated for long periods but paid the price for failing to turn possession into goals as Liverpool took full advantage of their rare moments of attacking threat.” (BBC)

Fortune favours laboured Liverpool as Everton lament lack of finishing touch
“It is premature to suggest Liverpool have emerged from their trough, and some might label that a ludicrous assertion on this performance, but the breaks are no longer going against Rafael Benítez. Outplayed for much of the 212th Merseyside derby, they nevertheless emerged with a monumental triumph at Goodison Park. Campaigns have turned on much less.” (Guardian)

Liverpool take smash and grab derby victory
“Liverpool produced a smash and grab Merseyside derby victory to claim fifth place in the Barclays Premier League on a day of raw tension at Goodison Park. But they will have sighed with relief after being pounded for almost all of this very local showdown, but somehow emerged with the points.” (Independent)

Everton 0 Liverpool 2: match report
“Sunderland’s beach ball, Lyon’s offside, Cameron Jerome’s thunderbolt. If Liverpool have had their share of bad luck as their season has disintegrated, they more than made up for it with a priceless derby win against Everton despite being comprehensively outplayed.” (Telegraph)

Dirk Kuyt secures Liverpool victory in Merseyside derby
“Liverpool bounced back from their premature Champions League exit to beat neighbours Everton 2-0 on Sunday, a result which relieved some of the pressure that has been building on manager Rafa Benitez. Javier Mascherano’s long range 12th minute effort, which took a heavy deflection off defender Joseph Yobo, set Liverpool on their way before Dirk Kuyt sealed victory eleven minutes from time.” (TimesOnline)

Liverpool Everton – Recap and Video Highlights – Sunday, November 29, 2009
“One of the top rivalries in the English Premier League resumed as Everton hosted Liverpool. The two clubs are located in Liverpool and have played some great derby matches in recent years. Here’s a recap of the match from Sunday, November 29, 2009 along with video highlights.” (The 90th Minute)

The World Cup is no economic boon for South Africa

November 28, 2009

“It remains the most stirring South African sporting moment. The country’s Springbok rugby team had just won the World Cup of 1995, uniting South Africans of all colours. Nelson Mandela walked on to the pitch wearing a Springbok jersey, shook hands with South Africa’s captain Francois Pienaar and said, ‘Francois, thank you very much for what you have done for our country.’ Pienaar famously replied: ‘No, Mr President, thank you for what you have done for our country.'” (FT – Simon Kuper)