Argentina 4-1 Spain: good audition for Batista

“Argentina beat Spain at their own game – passing them off the pitch, and finishing chances ruthlessly. Sergio Batista has replaced Diego Maradona as manager, but is not yet certain of the position on a full-time basis. He chose a 4-3-3 system, bringing back Javier Zanetti and Esteban Cambiasso, who had both been omitted from the World Cup squad. Ever Banega played in a tight midfield three, whilst the Messi-Tevez-Higuain trio was retained, in a different format.” (Zonal Marking)

Spain put to the sword
“Argentina handed Spain only their third defeat since 2006 after putting the reigning world and European champions to the sword early on in their friendly at the Monumental stadium in Buenos Aires. Lionel Messi and Gonzalo Higuain, two players who ply their trade in Spain, put Argentina two up inside the opening 14 minutes and Carlos Tevez made it 3-0 in the 34th minute following a costly slip by Jose Reina.” (ESPN)

Spain lose ‘the final that never was’
“See. Even when La Liga Loca is completely wrong, it’s right. While the blog was suggesting that the Argentina v Spain friendly was the flounciest of flimflams, something to tune into if there was nothing better to do of a Tuesday night, a channel-filler during the normal 35 minute blocks of adverts on TV and a chance to swoon at Santi Cazorla’s little hamster face, the Spanish press was happily hyping the game into something that resembled a meaningful game of football.” (FourFourTwo)

Argentina 4-1 Spain – Video Highlights, Recap, and Match Stats – Friendly
(The 90th Minute)


Interview: Michael Cox, Zonal Marking

“The graphs, diagrams and match reports on Zonal Marking are pored over by thousands of football fans the world over and have helped push tactical analysis towards the centre of mainstream football debate in the United Kingdom. Set up in January this year, the phenomenally successful website received an average of 210,000 visitors per week during the World Cup and counts tactical mastermind Jonathan Wilson among its many admirers.” (Football Further)

Switzerland 1-3 England: more positives for Capello

“England dominated the majority of the game and fully deserved their victory. Switzerland were very underwhelming.
The hosts went for a 4-4-1-1 shape with (initially) inverted wingers – David Degen started on the left, Xavier Margairaz on the right. Alexander Frei played very deep off Eren Derdiyok, who was isolated upfront.” (Zonal Marking)

Switzerland 1 – 3 England
“Wayne Rooney put his personal problems to one side just as he promised and fired England on their way to a Euro 2012 qualifying win over 10-man Switzerland. Substitutes Adam Johnson and Darren Bent also found the net after Stephan Lichtsteiner had been sent off, to ensure Xherdan Shaqiri’s thunderbolt was of no real value.” (ESPN)

Match Of The Midweek: Switzerland 1-3 England
“Two games, six points and seven goals. On the pitch, at least, it is starting to feel worryingly as if this summer’s meltdown in South Africa never happened for England. Off it, meanwhile, it has been a busy week in very different ways for England’s players and their PR people, and the suspicion remains that the team are hanging on by their fingernails with their opening two results from the qualifying campaign for Euro 2012.” (twohundredpercent)

Switzerland 1-3 England – UEFA Euro 2012 Qualifying – Tuesday, September 7, 2010
(The 90th Minute)

Scotland 2 – 1 Liechtenstein

“A dramatic injury-time winner from Stephen McManus saved boss Craig Levein from a disastrous competitive home debut and prevented Scotland’s Euro 2012 qualifying campaign taking a severe blow against Liechtenstein at Hampden. Levein had warned not to expect a goal-fest against a team ranked 100 places below the Scots, but the home side only just managed to scrape the three points they desperately needed after claiming a point from their Group I opener in Lithuania on Friday.” (ESPN)

The Horror of Scotland 2 Liechtenstein 1
“I don’t know. I really don’t. It can’t go on. But it will. It bloody will. There are times when watching Scotland play international football produces the sensation that one’s actually trapped inside a Beckett play. It might seem a tragicomedy to you but it’s no fun in here. A game of two halves, as a friend puts it, in which bugger all that’s good happens. Twice.” <a href="”>(Spectator)

Scotland 2-1 Liechtenstein – UEFA Euro 2012 Qualifying
(The 90th Minute)