Pep Guardiola hails brilliant Barcelona

April 1, 2010

Miracle of the Cross at the Bridge of San Lorenzo, Gentile Bellini
“Pep Guardiola described Barcelona’s supremely dominant first-half performance against Arsenal as “the best 45 minutes” the Catalans have produced during his reign. A thrilling encounter ended 2-2 at Emirates Stadium in the first leg of the Champions League quarter-final, but Manuel Almunia had to be at his best in the first half to deny, amongst others, Xavi and Zlatan Ibrahimovic as Barcelona enjoyed 71% possession and produced a succession of excellent chances.” (ESPN)

Arsenal 2-2 Barcelona: Wenger’s side utterly outclassed, but somehow rescue a draw
“A crazy game of football to watch, a difficult one to analyse. Two open, attacking sides produced a wonderful game for the neutral, but one that will probably leave both managers absolutely fuming – Wenger because his side were awful and conceded poor goals, Guardiola because his side threw away a 0-2 lead.” (Zonal Marking)

Theo Walcott’s dazzling introduction gives Arsenal hope to take to Barcelona
“Theo Walcott’s introduction to the fray switched Arsenal’s flow to the dynamic and the direct to give the Gunners hope in the second leg at the Nou Camp. Barely twenty minutes had registered on the clock but those watching the game were in unified agreement that already, they were witnessing something spectacular. Arsenal had just survived the most relentless onslaught you are likely to see in world football this season but yet, somehow, came out of the early exchange with no goals conceded.” (Arsenal Column)

Fantasy Football Comes Alive
“Tonight, the game gets beautiful again. As Arsenal and Barcelona prepare to meet at London’s Emirates Stadium in the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals, this is fantasy football come to life: a showdown between arguably the two most attractive teams in Europe today. Here are two sides linked by a philosophy of flair, a shared vision that prizes creativity and fast, free-flowing, one-touch football above all else. It’s what the Spanish call tiki-taka, what the Arsenal manager, Arsène Wenger, describes as ‘football that is like art’.” (WSJ)

School’s Out – 8 things I noticed from Arsenal vs Barca
“Before we start, I should probably preface this article by saying I’m going to be writing it in the style of the game itself. Which is to say, it will be overwhelmingly a Barca love in for the first 2/3rds before finally rallying to the Arsenal cause in the final stretch. So any over sensitive Gooners should probably skip to the end. You have been warned.” (FootballFanCast)

Arsenal 2-2 FC Barcelona – Recap and Video Highlights – UEFA Champions League – Wednesday, March 31, 2010
“Arsenal hosted FC Barcelona in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals on Wednesday, March 31, 2010. The two teams are known for playing very attacking and open styles that could provide a very entertaining match. Barcelona remain one of the favorites to win the tournament while Arsenal need a good result with the second leg at the Camp Nou.” (The 90th Minute)

Inter Milan (Internazionale) 1-0 CSKA Moscow – Recap and Video Highlights – UEFA Champions League – Wednesday, March 31, 2010

April 1, 2010

“Inter Milan continued their UEFA Champions League run with a first leg match against CSKA Moscow. After defeating Chelsea in the round of 16, Inter will be full of confidence and face one of the surprise teams in CSKA Moscow. Both sides weren’t really expected to reach the semifinals of the competition but now one of them will. The match took place at the San Siro.” (The 90th Minute)

World Cup 2006 & Smilers Sheet – 6 June 2006

April 1, 2010

“The Football World Cup of 2006 will take place in Germany from 9 June to 9 July. 2006 marks the 40th anniversary of England beating Germany in the 1966 World Cup Final, and each of the 6 stamps issued by Royal Mail features one of the six national teams that have won the Cup since 1966.” (Football World Cup)

World Cup 2010 National Anthems: England, USA, Algeria, Slovenia

April 1, 2010

“Before every international football match, the national anthems of the two competing teams are played. It’s all about tradition and patriotism, and it’s one of my favourite ceremonial things about the World Cup. We’re writing about the national anthems of the 32 team at World Cup 2010 four at a time, group by group. Last week we did Group B. So this week it’s Group C: England, USA, Algeria and Slovenia.” (World Cup Blog)

UEFA & “Financial Fair Play” – The Book Of The Film

April 1, 2010

“The UEFA Financial Fair Play proposals were scrutinised by the British press this week. Mark Murphy thumbs through it, takes a look at the press reaction to it and concludes that, unless there is a fundamental shift in the attitudes of football clubs or the loopholes are great enough for them to be able to squirm through, the game’s civil war – a war against regulation – may be just around the corner.” (twohundredpercent)

World’s Focus Is on Old Trafford

April 1, 2010

“Hobbled by an ankle injury, Wayne Rooney looks certain to be cast in the role of spectator as Manchester United and Chelsea collide in a potential Premier League title decider on Saturday. He won’t be the only one watching. With a single point separating English football’s top two sides and only six games remaining, the eyes of the world will be on Old Trafford, with an expected global audience of about half a billion people—one in every 12 people on the planet.” (WSJ)