Chelsea 1-2 Liverpool: Johnson wins it late

November 21, 2011

Antoine-Jean Gros, Napoleon Bonaparte Visiting the Plague-stricken at Jaffa
“An excellent tactical battle ended with Liverpool snatching the three points. Andre Villas-Boas went for Didier Drogba over Fernando Torres upfront. David Luiz played alongside John Terry, with Branslav Ivanovic at right-back. Kenny Dalglish surprisingly selected Maxi Rodriguez, excellent at Stamford Bridge last season, on the left. Craig Bellamy played just off Luis Suarez upfront. A few phases of the game here – Liverpool were better in the first half, Chelsea took command in the second, and then Liverpool clawed themselves back into the game late on.” Zonal Marking

Chelsea 1 – 2 Liverpool
“Glen Johnson scored a sensational late winner to earn Liverpool three vital Premier League points at his old club Chelsea. Former Blues full-back Johnson netted a brilliant solo effort to inflict his old club’s third defeat in four league matches and leave both teams 12 points behind Manchester City.” ESPN

Chelsea’s defeat by Liverpool piles pressure on André Villas-Boas
“André Villas-Boas has claimed he retains the support of the Chelsea owner, Roman Abramovich, after a third defeat in four Premier League matches cast his side further adrift in the title race. The loss to Liverpool, confirmed by the former Chelsea player Glen Johnson’s late goal, condemned the London side to successive home league defeats for the first time in the Abramovich era to leave them 12 points off Manchester City at the summit. The team still appear riddled by defensive frailties and are now one of four clubs on 22 points, suggesting even their long-term place in the top four should be considered in doubt.” Guardian

Villas-Boas rues ‘big blow’ to title hopes
“Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas was in sombre mood after his side’s 2-1 home loss to Liverpool, describing it as ‘one step closer to an even more difficult situation’. Villas-Boas became the first Blues manager since Claudio Ranieri to oversee two successive home defeats in the Premier League, after former Chelsea defender Glen Johnson scored a late winner for Kenny Dalglish’s visitors.” ESPN

Valencia 2-3 Real Madrid: Real press well early on, Valencia better after substitutions

November 21, 2011

“Real Madrid maintained their lead over Barcelona after an entertaining win over Valencia at the Mestalla. Unai Emery went back to 4-2-3-1 having played two upfront in the previous game against Levante. Sofiane Feghouli started rather than Pablo Hernandez, and Daniel Parejo got a rare start in the centre of the attacking trio. Jose Mourinho changed his system, moving Mesut Ozil out wide, bringing Lassana Diarra into the side and pushing Sami Khedira forward behind Karim Benzema. Angel Di Maria was injured.” Zonal Marking

Spain plays video games after Real Madrid win a thriller at Valencia
“It all happened so fast you weren’t sure if it had happened at all. Not then, not an hour later, not the morning after, not two days on and not that it stopped them. ‘You can see it clearly on the television,’ said Gonzalo Higuaín, but you couldn’t. For some time, you couldn’t see it on television at all, let alone clearly. The only thing you could be sure of was that you weren’t sure at all. And yet they’d never been so sure of anything in their lives. So it was that what started as a soldier against mercenaries inevitably ended in an ugly war. And the trenches were dug in familiar territory.” Guardian

Barcelona 4 – 0 Real Zaragoza

November 21, 2011

“Barcelona continued their prolific home form this season with a convincing four-goal victory over Real Zaragoza. Gerard Pique and Lionel Messi netted in the first half to put Barca on course for the win and second-half strikes from Carles Puyol and David Villa completed the scoring. The result means Barca have now netted 30 times in their seven Primera Division home games this season, while it is 11 matches ago since the European champions conceded a league goal at the Nou Camp.” ESPN

Hamburg 2-0 Hoffenheim

November 21, 2011

“Hamburg hauled themselves out of the relegation zone for the first time this season by winning their first home match in eight months. They beat former St Pauli hero Holger Stanislawski’s Hoffenheim side 2-0, although if the visitors had been a bit more clinical in front of goal, the outcome of this match – which saw two 4-4-2 systems cancel one another out for large spells – might have been quite different. However, Hamburg were good value for their win, and remain unbeaten under new coach Thorsten Fink.” Defensive Midfielder

Eintracht Frankfurt 4-3 Alemannia Aachen
“Friedhelm Funkel endured a miserable return to Eintracht Frankfurt as his Aachen side lost an incredible topsy-turvy game at the Commerzbank-Arena. The 57-year-old must take a big portion of the blame too, because, anachronistically, he decided to start the match in a 3-5-2 system: which, coupled with a Boy Waterman blunder, saw Aachen 2-0 down and totally outclassed in the first half. Despite changing to a 4-4-2 diamond shape after the break and netting three late goals (for which Funkel deserves some credit, even if his team were still too flat until the final 12 minutes), Aachen still managed to lose after Karim Matmour’s 89th minute header.” Defensive Midfielder