Brazilian Serie A season previewed

May 2, 2010

“Last season Flamengo came from nowhere to win their sixth title – and first since 1992 – with perennial stand-in Andrade establishing himself as first-team coach in the process. However, quite apart from the distraction of the Libertadores Cup, a repeat performance will be difficult. The contracts of glamorous strike pair Vagner Love and Adriano run out in mid-campaign – and even if the latter stays his tendency to miss training is always liable to set off mini crises in the club’s ever-turbulent environment.” (World Soccer – Tim Vickery), (World Soccer – Tim Vickery)

Milan 1-0 Fiorentina: Prandelli’s formation frustrates again

May 2, 2010

“A game which had a distinctly end-of-season feel to it – Milan’s victory assured Champions League football for next season, whilst Fiorentina’s defeat continued their miserable end to the season. Milan welcomed back Marco Borello after his suspension last weekend, and fielded the 4-2-1-3 shape that Leonardo has persisted with for the second half of the season. Klaas-Jan Huntelaar played a narrow right-sided role, whilst Clarence Seedorf was the link between midfield and attack.” (Zonal Marking)

Van Gaal Works Magic at Bayern

May 2, 2010

“Bayern Munich capped the perfect week by beating Bochum 3-1 on Saturday, four days after triumphing at Lyon 3-0 to advance to the Champions League final. Coupled with a 2-0 home loss by Schalke—which had gone into the game tied with Bayern at the top of the Bundesliga—it effectively means the Munich club has won the German league for a record 22nd time.” (WSJ)

Liverpool 0 – 2 Chelsea

May 2, 2010

Adoration of the Magi, Sandro Botticelli
“Chelsea edged closer to the Premier League title with a crucial victory over Liverpool at Anfield. An error by Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard handed Didier Drogba a simple opening goal in the first half and Frank Lampard added a second after the break. The result ensured Chelsea remained in pole position to win their first championship for four years but also finally put paid to the Merseysiders’ hopes of securing Champions League football next season.” (ESPN)

Liverpool 0-2 Chelsea: goals change games
“In the end, Chelsea were comfortable, and effectively won the title today against a poor, tired Liverpool side that didn’t get a shot on target until the 91st minute of the match – but Liverpool had started the stronger. The home side were without their regular full-backs, and chose to deploy Javier Mascherano at right-back, and Daniel Agger at left-back. Alberto Aquilani started as the most advanced of the three midfield players.” (Zonal Marking)

Didier Drogba says Steven Gerrard’s mistake gave Chelsea confidence
“Didier Drogba, the Chelsea centre-forward, said that Steven Gerrard’s mistake had given the Premier League leaders the momentum they needed to go four points clear of title rivals Manchester United. Drogba nipped in to intercept Gerrard’s back pass to put Chelsea ahead and Frank Lampard added a second after the break.” (Guardian)

Barca back, relegation battle hots up

May 2, 2010

“Barcelona bounced back from their disappointing exit in the Champions League at the hands of ten-man Inter Milan with a commanding 4-1 away win over Villarreal. The Catalans, who currently lead La Liga, went ahead in the 19th minute through a classy finish from Lionel Messi who bagged his 27th goal in the league. Their lead was doubled soon after as Xavi curled a free-kick over the wall and past the despairing dive of Diego Lopez.” (ESPN)