Three main problems for Inter in 2-1 home loss to Juventus

October 31, 2011

Gian Piero Gasperini
“This was another amazingly open match – all the goals came in the first half. Juventus move top of the table. The away side weren’t completely dominant. Their first goal came against the run of play as Inter started strongly, but Juve had plenty of opportunities and for a brief spell midway through the first half, they were able to open up the Inter defence at will. Claudio Ranieri’s side lacked compactness and their defence still seems to be recovering from the early season experiment with a back three under Gian Piero Gasperini – their positioning is frequently poor despite the return to their favoured four-man defence. Lucio seems uncomfortable on the turn and Cristian Chivu isn’t a great partner for him, whilst he full-backs are both stronger going forward than they are defensively.” Zonal Marking

Internazionale 1 – 2 Juventus
“Juventus retained their two-point advantage at the top of Serie A and piled even more misery on Claudio Ranieri’s Inter Milan with a win at the San Siro tonight. Mirko Vucinic put the Bianconeri in front in the 12th minute, but Maicon levelled for the hosts in the 28th minute. Claudio Marchisio restored Juve’s advantage in the 33rd minute and he was unlucky not to earn a penalty just before half-time.” ESPN

Colombia’s rising stars and lost potential

October 31, 2011

“Like watching a sneak preview of future blockbuster films, the best thing about South American football is the chance to catch remarkable talent on the way up. Barcelona’s Argentine Lionel Messi tops the list but I have lost count of the extraordinary players whose early professional steps I have been lucky enough to witness. Inevitably, plenty fall short of fulfilling their potential.” BBC – Tim Vickery

West Bromwich Albion 0 – 2 Liverpool

October 31, 2011

“Andy Carroll and Luis Suarez showed more signs of forging a potent strike partnership as Liverpool strolled to victory over West Brom – and former Reds manager Roy Hodgson – at the Hawthorns. A Charlie Adam penalty and Carroll’s third goal of the campaign confirmed Liverpool’s superiority as they climbed into fifth spot in the Barclays Premier League. But it was the way that Carroll and Suarez gelled which would have given the most satisfaction to Reds boss Kenny Dalglish.” ESPN

Liverpool wait on Gerrard results
“Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard will have to wait until at least Wednesday to discover how long his latest injury will keep him on the sidelines. Gerrard, who had only recently returned from a groin problem that kept him out of action for six months, missed Liverpool’s 2-0 win at West Brom on Saturday and was pictured leaving hospital with his right leg in a protective cast.” ESPN

Gritty Stoke subdue sizzling Reds but Suarez’s brilliance secures the win
“A wonder-goal from Suarez and a wonder-assist from Henderson (for Suarez’s second) ensured Liverpool left the Britannia Stadium bound for the next round of the League Cup. The Reds were good value for the win and we saw some fantastic early play from them before the game petered out into a somewhat scrappy contest.” Micro LFC

Questions being asked of Villas-Boas’ tactical approach at Chelsea

October 31, 2011

“There was one doubt about Andre Villas-Boas when he arrived at Chelsea in the summer. Astonishing as Porto was last season — it won a treble of Europa League, Portuguese Cup and Portuguese League (in which it dropped only four points) — it never really faced a test. Sporting is at a low ebb and Benfica looks much stronger this season, while in Europe it faced no side from England, Germany, Italy or France. Of teams from the top five leagues in Europe, Porto met only Sevilla and Villarreal.” SI – Jonathan Wilson

Barcelona 5 – 0 Mallorca

October 31, 2011

“Lionel Messi’s hat-trick led Barcelona to a resounding 5-0 victory over Real Mallorca at the Nou Camp. The Argentina forward netted three times in 18 first half minutes as his side quickly took control of the game. The second half brought a first senior goal for Isaac Cuenca and a superb late goal from Dani Alves to round off the scoring. Barca hit their stride immediately and Seydou Keita’s header from Thiago Alcantara’s corner was saved by Dudu Aouate and Dani Alves’ long-range effort was blocked by Ivan Ramis.” ESPN