Daily Archives: February 27, 2011

Barcelona too strong for Mallorca

“Lionel Messi, David Villa and Pedro Rodriguez were all on the scoresheet as Barcelona saw off Real Mallorca 3-0 to power on at the top of the Primera Division standings. Messi gave Barca a first-half lead with his 26th league goal of the season before second-half strikes from Villa and Pedro helped Barca provisionally move eight points clear of second-placed Real Madrid, who play Deportivo La Coruna later this evening.” ESPN

Three great goals sink Mallorca (0-3)
“FC Barcelona may have been without Valdés, Alves, Puyol and Xavi in Mallorca, but they again demonstrated the depth in talent that Guardiola has at his disposal. Messi, Villa and Pedro were on target in the 3-0 win and Montoya made his debut.” FC Barcelona

Mallorca 0-3 FC Barcelona – Video Highlights, Recap, and Match Stats
The 90th Minute

West Ham United 3 – 1 Liverpool

“West Ham today produced arguably their best display of the season to haul themselves back off the bottom of the Premier League and all but kill off Liverpool’s faint Champions League hopes. Goals from Scott Parker, Demba Ba – rapidly developing into one of the signings of the January transfer window – and Carlton Cole secured all three points at Upton Park and kept the pressure on the Hammers’ relegation rivals.” ESPN

West Ham firepower undoes Liverpool
“West Ham United’s season continues to hint at revival. The Londoners hoisted themselves from the foot and up amidst the clutter of clubs on 28 points either side of the cut-off by bringing to a juddering halt Liverpool’s eight-match unbeaten run here. This was a notable success, achieved in the knowledge that Wolves’ thumping win the previous day had demanded a response. Avram Grant’s team provided just that.” Guardian

West Ham United 3-1 Liverpool – Video Highlights, Recap, and Match Stats
The 90th Minute

Wolfsburg 2-1 Borussia Mönchengladbach

“Wolfsburg defeated relegation rivals Borussia Mönchengladbach to move into 13th place, and more importantly, three points above the drop-zone. The stakes couldn’t have been higher before this one. Fifteenth-placed Wolfsburg, who knew a loss would set a new club record of five straight defeats, faced bottom-placed Gladbach, who won against Schalke last time out with a new coach in charge.” Defensive Midfielder

Cantona as Anti-Hero

“In classical literature the anti-hero is an evil misfit. In cinema he is a violent loose cannon. Yet we perpetually root for the bastard. From Milton’s Satan in Paradise Lost to Schwarzenegger as the profoundly conflicted Terminator, cheering on the bad guy has never felt so delightful. And in football the anti-hero is Eric Cantona. The controversial Frenchman has just landed the job of Director of Soccer at New York Cosmos, but as far as I can see, America is blissfully unaware of Cantona—the footballing assassin sent from the past to wreak havoc on the Land of the Free. Let me explain: I’m an Englishman marooned in Hollywood, so it’s now my raison d’être to think of football as a beautiful narrative rather than a beautiful game. And Monsieur Cantona is an anti-hero straight from Central Casting.” Run of Play

Schalke 1-1 Nürnberg

“Schalke again flattered to deceive as this mid-table tie between two middling sides ended in a draw. Nürnberg came into the game looking to make it five wins in a row, after an impressive run of 14 points from the last 18 available. The Bavarians are as good as safe from relegation, and travelled to the Arena AufSchalke in a buoyant mood, perhaps seeking revenge for their DFB-Pokal exit at the hands of Felix Magath’s men last month.” Defensive Midfielder

Off the Field, a Woman Tames Brazil’s Soccer Fans

“As the gregarious Ronaldinho, one of the world’s best soccer players, emerged this month from the locker room in his black-and-red Flamengo club jersey and pulling at his trademark ponytail, fans erupted in applause. But a group of shirtless men in the seats below had their sights on someone else, turning toward a private box above and chanting.” NYT

Bayern 1-3 Dortmund: Schweinsteiger tries to play deep, but Dortmund don’t let him play

“Dortmund ended Bayern’s faint hopes of winning the Bundesliga with an impressive victory. Louis van Gaal kept the same XI that started the midweek win over Inter. Luis Gustavo played at left-back, whilst Danijel Pranjic was in the centre of midfield. Jurgen Klopp made one outfield change, welcoming back Neven Subotic in place of Felipe Santana, and also gave a debut to Mitchell Langerak in goal.” Zonal Marking

PSV 0 – 0 Ajax: Goalless but not shy of excitement

“Just three days after overcoming a deliberately weakened Lille side, PSV faced the perfect opportunity to create a definite gap with title rivals Ajax in this home game. Ajax, playing a 4-3-3 system, just like Lille did in Eindhoven a few days ago, looked to reduce the gap with PSV to just two points, aiming to keep their title ambitions alive, as was reflected in Frank de Boer’s words, going into this game: ‘It’s D-day!’.” 11 tegen 11

1940s Month: Zamora, Franco and Atletíco Aviación

“The Second World War caused severe disruption to formalised footballing competition throughout Europe, but Spain was left relatively untouched as it recovered from Civil War and remained neutral and non-belligerent under the leadership of General Francisco Franco. While the majority of the continent’s leagues were suspended during the conflict, La Liga ploughed on during the 1940s and produced some fascinating narratives, not least of which was the success of Atletíco Aviación.” The Equaliser


“But of course you already knew that. The fireworks displays and speeches at Buckingham Palace would have been hard to miss, and even outside London and Birmingham the TV coverage was relentless. Here in America, the usually reserved and modest Colin Firth interrupted his six hundred and forty-seventh Oscars interview to cry a little and hum the first two verses of ‘The Roast Beef of Old England”.” Run of Play