Nine-man Barcelona edge past Getafe

February 7, 2010

“Barcelona maintained their impressive home record in the Primera Division with a 2-1 victory over Getafe – despite finishing the game with nine men following the dismissals of Gerard Pique and Rafael Marquez. Pique was sent off for a cynical lunge on Rafa Lopez after 24 minutes, although Barca were already a goal to the good by then, thanks to Lionel Messi’s brilliant early strike.” (ESPN)

Barca win despite two red cards, Real keep pace
“Leaders Barcelona survived red cards for Gerard Pique and Rafael Marquez to complete a 2-1 victory over Getafe in La Liga on Saturday while Real Madrid kept pace with a 3-0 win at home to Espanyol. Pique was sent off in the 25th minute for a wild challenge on Rafa Lopez. Marquez walked at the end after bundling over Kepa for a last-minute penalty scored by Roberto Soldado but the game was effectively over by then. Lionel Messi opened the scoring in the seventh minute and Xavi netted in the 67th as Barca continued to create the clearer chances despite their numerical disadvantage.” (Guardian)

Lionel Messi vs Getafe
(All About FC Barcelona), (1), (2)

The African Nations Cup never overcame its tragic start

February 7, 2010

“Egypt provided the fairy-tale finish to an African Nations Cup that had a nightmare start and will, ultimately, go down as a completely forgettable event. The death of two members of the Togo delegation, plus the bus driver, in an attack in the disputed Cabinda region threw the tournament into turmoil before it had even kicked off, and the vagaries of competing in a country blessed with oil riches but scant people-resources seemed to take a toll on the playing standards.” (World Soccer), (1)

The perils of judging a football club by its size

February 7, 2010

“Despite the disappointment for the player and Man City fans, loaning Robinho back to Santos seems a good fit for all the parties involved. The player has been given a chance to resurrect his season in time to make the Brazil World Cup squad, Santos have picked up one of the world’s most expensive players without paying a transfer fee and City have saved a reported £160,000 on their weekly wage bill. Robinho’s loan deal was also thought to be a way for City to secure the first refusal on two of Santos’ most promising players: Neymar and Paulo Henrique Ganso.” (WSC)

A Final Word On John Terry

February 7, 2010

“In some respects, the furore surround the John Terry affair (for the want of a better phrase) says as much about the British and their attitudes as it does about Terry himself. The Guardian reported this morning on the mild amusement that the issue has caused in Italy, a country in which attitudes towards such matters are somewhat different to those currently on display in this country. The hypocrisy of the press in salaciously reporting their outrage at what has been going on whilst making absolutely certain that their readers know as much as they possibly can without overstepping the self-imposed line – and wafer thin – that separates their “exposés” from, say, a reader’s letter in “Razzle” causes roughly equal amounts amusement on the continent, where such matters are usually treated as, well, private.” (twohundredpercent)

Kuyt goal wins feisty derby

February 7, 2010

“Dirk Kuyt’s 50th Liverpool goal gave his side a 1-0 victory in a fiery 213th Merseyside derby at Anfield which saw both teams reduced to ten men. Liverpool played the last 55 minutes at a numerical disadvantage after Sotirios Kyrgiakos was dismissed for a two-footed challenge on Marouane Fellaini, while Steven Pienaar was shown a second yellow in second-half injury time.” (ESPN)

Battling Benitez believes in fourth place
“You’ve got to hand it to Rafa Benitez and Liverpool. In such a season of misery and self assessment, their ten-men heroics in putting bitter rivals Everton to the sword was full of raw commitment to the cause. They may have lost their way in so many other ways, but Liverpool have certainly retained their passion, although even that aspect of their game has been questioned at times.” (ESPN)

Interactive Chalkboards: this week’s Premier League action
“Dirk Kuyt may not be the Premier League’s most prolific striker, but his goals-per-shots ratio against Liverpool’s Merseyside rivals Everton this season is impressive. The Dutchman has had five shots on goal in two matches against the Toffees and scored twice.” (Guardian)