Atletico Madrid 1-2 Barcelona: Busquets takes ‘modern centre-half’ role a little further

September 20, 2010


“Barcelona claim a narrow victory in a fixture they’ve found difficult in recent years – but Lionel Messi was injured late on. Quique Sanchez Flores chose a 4-4-2ish system with few surprises, similar to the team which reached the Europa League final last season. Sergio Aguero passed a late fitness test, but didn’t look 100% and had little influence on the game. Simao Sabrosa and Jose Antonio Reyes were deployed as inverted wingers.” (Zonal Marking)

A Mauling For Messi In The Calderon…
“There are a handful of players in la Liga who are genuinely scary people – the kind that have the opening minutes of Saving Private Ryan playing endless loops in their frequently-addled brains. Two of them, Walter Pandiani and Carlos Aranda, play up front for Osasuna. Both sport shaven heads, boast long histories of off-the-field ‘incidents’ and most probably have kennels stuffed with slobbering, testosterone-chomping pit bulls back at their evil lairs.” (Football365)

Atlético Madrid 1 – 2 Barcelona
“Barcelona put their poor recent record at the Vicente Calderon behind them to end Atletico Madrid’s 100% start to the Primera Division season – but there was an injury scare for Lionel Messi. Barca had lost their three previous league visits to Atletico’s home 2-1, 4-3 and 4-2 but they deservedly earned all three points on this occasion thanks to first-half goals from Messi and Gerard Pique.” (ESPN)

Lionel Messi Injury – Atletico Madrid 1-2 FC Barcelona – La Liga
(The 90th Mniute)


Why the Argentine rollercoaster fails to thrill

September 20, 2010

“Chelsea’s start to the season shows it is not easy for a competition to retain both quality and competitive balance. The Premier League has a collective TV deal, with a more equitable distribution of television money than some other major leagues. Even so, those clubs with a wealthy benefactor or a huge fan base can put themselves streets ahead of weaker rivals, while only a handful of clubs go into the season with any realistic chance of winning. A dose of predictability is the price paid for the quality on show.” (BBC – Tim Vickery)


Debt, Lies, and Cowboys

September 20, 2010

“For the past two years, the home crowd at Anfield, the larger and more reliably histrionic of Liverpool’s two major soccer stadiums, has increasingly come to resemble a Tea Party rally from another dimension. Populist chants echo from the stands; angry signs bristle like javelins. But where the American resentment machine is fueled by anger at what’s seen as European-style socialism, the Merseyside protesters are incensed by what’s seen as American-style capitalism. ‘Yankee Liar$ Out,’ the placards blare. ‘Thanks But No Yanks.’ Liverpool Football Club, one of the most successful teams in English soccer history, is owned by a pair of American billionaires, and the fans absolutely hate their guts.” (Slate – Brian Phillips)


Scottish League Restructuring: More Plans That Miss The Point

September 20, 2010


East Stirling
“Plans to restructure the Scottish League are coming so thick and fast at the moment that it’s not necessary to have an article to discuss or to dissect each one separately, but the latest plan to be floated by the SPL contains some elements that are worse than most.” (twohundredpercent)


Premier League chalkboards analysis

September 20, 2010

“This week we look at Cheick Tioté’s debut performance, Liverpool’s shooting, Ahmed Elmohamady’s tackling and Manchester City’s passing strategy” (Guardian)


Sampdoria 1-2 Napoli: late turnaround as Hamsik and Cavani snatch the win

September 20, 2010

“Napoli dominated the game and yet fell behind, before rallying in the final ten minutes to record their first win of the season. Sampdoria lined up with their diamondish formation, with Stefano Guberti as an attacking midfielder, Antonio Cassano off to the left (but narrower than usual) and Franco Semioli on the right.” (Zonal Marking)