A Season in the Shadow of the World Cup

“A strange midwinter settles across European soccer. The bigger the club, it seems, the more vulnerable the players to injury or early fatigue. In England on Saturday, Manchester United lost at home against Aston Villa for the first time in a quarter of a century, and Chelsea three times surrendered a lead and could only draw, 3-3, in London against Everton. In Germany, Bayern Munich plays on without its star names Franck Ribéry and Arjen Robben, but has just scored nine away goals in four days — four in the Champions League at Juventus and five in the Bundesliga at Bochum on Saturday. Munich is resurgent just as the leading teams Werder Bremen and Bayer Leverkusen are running out of steam in the Bundesliga.” (NYT)

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