Manchester City 1-2 Everton: Everton attack well for 20 minutes, then defend resolutely for 70

December 21, 2010

“Everton went ahead early on, and held on despite going down to ten men for the final half hour. Roberto Mancini recalled James Milner to his starting line-up, playing him in a deep midfield role with Yaya Toure as the playmaker. Carlos Tevez started upfront. David Moyes made two changes. Steven Pienaar was out, so Leon Osman played on the left, whilst Victor Anichebe started upfront rather than Louis Saha.” Zonal Marking

Match of the Week: Manchester City 1-2 Everton
“Carlos Tevez, then, has withdrawn his transfer request after what are apparently called “clear the air” talks with the executives of Manchester City Football Club. It feels as if there is an incessant need on the part of the media to create a crisis at Manchester City at every turn this season. We all know that their financial arrangements err on the wrong side of ridiculous, but the suspicion is now starting to form that there is something of a witch hunt going on at The City of Manchester Stadium. City, the upstarts, the perennial failures, are at the point of achieving something and you don’t have to be a fan of the way that they are going about things to start to form the opinion that there are plenty of people out there that really don’t want to them to upset the status quo.” twohundredpercent

Manchester City 1-2 Everton – Video Highlights, Recap, and Match Stats – EPL
The 90th Minute

A Technical Update

December 21, 2010

“First, three non-technical updates. Yes, this is a house of contradiction. I realized this morning that I never linked to my Deadspin piece on Football Manager 2011 from a few days back. It’s about reality, and Uruguay, and things that happened in a hard rain that didn’t exist. Check it out. This Rentistas game would have made a tremendous Pro Vercelli-like series if we hadn’t already been through that maze already. …” Run of Play

Barcelona 5 Everyone else 0/1

December 21, 2010

“Another week another five-star performance from Barcelona, when you see such artistic brilliance every game it is easy to get complacent. It’s very difficult to take in and appreciate at times, you could question the level of the opposition which is what many do but that would be wrong as these are very good sides. The fact of the matter is if you put this Barcelona up against a Tottenham, Juventus or Bayern Munich next week the result would be very much the same. That’s not to say when they come up against Arsenal in February that they will do the same to them, a lot can change by then and as this team has been trained to reach two peaks in the season following the World cup.” Laligathemidlandsview’s Blog

La Liga Lowdown, Jornada 16: Barcelona hit five in emotional Catalan derby
El derbi Barceloní, as it’s referred to in Catalan – the meeting of FC Barcelona and Espanyol, one of Spain’s fiercest rivalries, took place at the Cornellà-El Prat stadium this weekend. However, this time round Espanyol were fighting for more than just their pride. They were fighting to stay in 4th place in the race for Champions League qualification.” Just Football

Rafael Benítez makes a tough job more difficult at Inter

December 21, 2010

“Following José Mourinho was always going to be a thankless task for Rafael Benítez. Not only did Mourinho win just about everything there is to win during his time in charge at Inter, he was also an exciting, passionate and absorbing public figure and front-man, a pantomime hero and a pantomime villain all at once. Benítez, on the other hand, could not be more different. He has neither the charm nor charisma of Mourinho. In short, he is a PR disaster.” WSC

The IBWM Portuguese Liga Winter Break Awards

December 21, 2010

“Christmas, as the saying goes, comes but once a year. Yet for fans of European football, the festive period is something of a double-edged sword. On the one hand, your friends and family can rejoice at the presence of a fully functioning, undistracted human being. On the other, well, there’s no football. This past Monday saw the curtain come down on what’s been a memorable 2010 for football in Portugal: Benfica rolling back the years, the end of the Queiroz era, and a new season that has been as polarising as ever.” In Bed With Maradona

Lower leagues across the globe #1: Portugal
“The geography, languages and footballing cultures might be different, but with the increasing globalisation of football, the problems afflicting lower-league clubs across the world are (depressingly) familiar. Portugal has not escaped this homogenisation. Whilst the três grandes of Benfica, Sporting Clube and FC Porto have exerted a vicelike grip over the silverware since the nationalisation of the Liga in 1938 (previous championships were regionalised, with Lisbon being the most prestigious); smaller clubs have laboured under the financially strafing conditions that a long-term lack of success brings – a state of affairs which has not improved as the level of financial investment in the game has grown.” The Seventy Two

The Fiver Christmas Awards 2010

December 21, 2010

“Welcome to the 11th Fiver Christmas Awards. Or is it the 12th? Oh, we don’t know, but if you squint hard enough you might see us being bundled out of the VVIP area of Boujis as Frank Lampard and Christine Bleakley avert their eyes.” The Fiver

PSV 3 – 1 Roda: Second half turnaround wins the game for PSV

December 21, 2010

“In their ultimate match before the winter break PSV faced Harm van Veldhoven’s Roda at home. On match day six both teams met each other before and the 0-0 draw proved that Roda’s 4-4-2 diamond was capable of posing PSV some difficulties. In this match, however, PSV manager Rutten managed to find the solution during the first half, as was illustrated by the day and night difference of both halves of the match.” 11 tegen 11

The Rise Of FC Copenhagen

December 21, 2010

“FC Copenhagen’s rise & domestic dominance has been down to a number of different factors & it could be argued, it’s benefiting Danish football as a whole. Stuart Fuller explains.” In Bed With Maradona