A rationally explainable, but emotionally dissatisfying 2-1 win of Holland over Finland

September 13, 2010


Hubert Robert, The Bridge
“Another slightly delayed post on our recent national team’s performance. And yet again, for future reference and for the message conveyed in this particular match, it still is important to review Holland’s performance against a stubborn and, apart from the first 20 minutes, well organized Finland side. Oranje, as always, lined up in a 4-2-3-1 formation with man-in-the-hole Sneijder given a high degree of positional freedom, looking to see a lot of the ball and being involved in a very high proportion of the attacking plays.” (11 tegen 11)


Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson defends ‘diabolical’ Fernando Torres

September 13, 2010

“Roy Hodgson launched a robust defence of Fernando Torres last night after the Spanish striker’s ineffective display in Liverpool’s goalless draw at Birmingham City drew stinging criticism. Torres was once again a peripheral figure as Liverpool were fortunate to escape with a point – José Reina produced two outstanding first-half saves, to deny Cameron Jerome and Craig Gardner.” (Guardian)

José Reina asks Liverpool fans to be patient and realistic
“José Reina has given a brutally honest assessment of Liverpool’s prospects this season by admitting it could be “a while” before the club are capable of finishing in the top four, never mind challenging for the title. The Liverpool goalkeeper’s comments will do little to improve the mood at Anfield after an uninspiring start to the season but Reina has pleaded for patience and urged the club’s supporters to be ‘realistic’ about their expectations.” (Guardian)


Real Madrid 1-0 Osasuna: Özil stars in narrow victory on Mourinho’s home debut

September 13, 2010

“The Jose Mourinho effect: Real Madrid averaged exactly three goals per game at home last season – here, they began with just one, but it was enough to get the three points. Mourinho made four changes from the opening day draw at Mallorca, giving full debuts to Mesut Özil, Sami Khedira and a surprise start to Karim Benzema on the right. Sergio Ramos shifted across to right-back, so Pepe came in.” (Zonal Marking)


The boys from Brazil

September 13, 2010


“Symbol of exotic Brazil, Carmen Miranda was in fact born in Portugal. When she was young, her family decided to try their luck down South American way. These days, the flow is in the opposite direction. Bananas, said Carmen, were her business. The business of Braga, meanwhile, is importing Brazilians. The provincial club, who visit Arsenal on Wednesday, are attempting to disturb the peace of Portugal’s traditional big three – Benfica, Porto and Sporting – with a squad that includes 17 representatives of the country’s former colony.” (BBC – Tim Vickery)


Borghi breathes again, River move on up and Argentinos still can’t win

September 13, 2010

“Champions Argentinos Juniors are still without a win this season after throwing away a lead at home for the second time in this Torneo Apertura. This time the beneficiaries were Newell’s Old Boys, the rosarinos scoring twice in quick succession in the second half to win 2-1.” (Hasta El Gol Siempre)

Vaselina Goals
“With that cheeky scamp Lio Messi adding another gorgeous vaselina goal to his growing collection against Spain on Tuesday night, we’ve decided to dedicate ‘A Handful Of…’ this month to some the best vaselinas that Argentinian football has to offer. ‘Vaselina’ is a word in Spanish which can be used to describe a few different things.” (Argentina Football World)


German fans fighting Bundesliga price rises

September 13, 2010

“The derby between FC Schalke 04 and Borussia Dortmund is probably the biggest in Germany. It is the German “Old Firm” and has had its fair share of highlights over the past decades. Jens Lehmann once scored in the dying seconds to equalise for Schalke, Borussia ruined Schalke’s title hopes in 2007 with a 2-0 win – one of only three wins for the Black and Yellows in the last 26 matches. On the terraces a banner reading Ein Leben Lang Keine Schale In Der Hand (A lifetime without a championship) greeted the 49th anniversary of Schalke’s last title.” (WSC)


Juventus 3-3 Sampdoria: All-out-attack from both sides produces a superb match

September 13, 2010


“A brilliant, open, end-to-end classic as Miloš Krasić and Antonio Cassano dominated the game. Sampdoria continued with the interesting Roma/Brazil-esque shape they used against Werder Bremen, with Franco Semioli wide on the right, Daniele Dessena tucked in on the other side, and Antonio Cassano drifting in from the left. They were without Giampaolo Pazzini, so Nicola Pozzi came in, whilst Vladimir Koman played an attacking midfield role.” (Zonal Marking)