Sone Aluko inspires Rangers to victory over nine-man Celtic

March 25, 2012

“There will surely never be another Old Firm occasion as curious as this. Five goals and three sendings-off almost seemed like minor details. Celtic crossed Glasgow looking to take the victory which would confirm their status as the champions of Scotland. By full-time, the Rangers support celebrated as if they had secured the league flag and the visiting contingent bounced around while pointing out the wider reality. In this city, one-upmanship takes on an altogether new meaning. Supporters of the two city rivals simply love any opportunity to hurl abuse at each other, and most certainly to gloat.” Guardian

The Joy of Six: the Old Firm
“Six classic Glasgow derbies, including a title decider, two cup finals, 31 goals, a riot – and four players being charged by the police” Guardian

Green shoots of recovery for Scotland?
“Spanish-born Jack Harper, a midfield star in Real Madrid’s illustrious academy, and Chelsea Under-18 forward Islam Feruz, are two players at the forefront of a new wave of gifted Scottish youngsters that also includes West Bromwich Albion’s Scott Allan, Falkirk’s Craig Sibbald and Celtic’s James Keatings.” World Soccer

Rafa Benitez in no rush as he waits for the right opportunity to return

March 25, 2012

“Seated in a restaurant on a quiet afternoon, Rafa Benitez laughs as he tells the story of how he first stumbled into coaching. No, not the injury problems that forced him into early retirement as a player at the age of 26 and subsequent entry into Real Madrid’s coaching staff — but how he got involved with coaching one of the boys’ teams at his daughter’s school in Liverpool.” SI

Roma from the beginning

March 25, 2012

“As any Roma fan should know, three clubs were merged together in the summer of 1927 to form the club now known as AS Roma. What may be less well known is that the merger was initiated by a member of the Fascist party, who had taken power five years previously, and that Lazio were the only side to oppose the move and remain an independent club.” World Soccer

The hate-filled Derby of Italy

March 25, 2012

“Recent weeks and months have seen a real deterioration in the previously cordial relationship between this season’s leading protagonists in Serie A: Milan and Juventus. The two most successful clubs on the peninsula have descended into a petty back-and-forth squabble that leaves neither looking particularly dignified and both in danger of turning what should be a truly engaging title race into an Italian version of the Spanish clasico, the histrionics of which spoil what is undoubtedly one of the world football’s most prestigious encounters.” ESPN

Chopping and Changing at Blackpool

March 25, 2012

“Ian Holloway’s introduction of three substitutes in the 64th minute of yesterday’s 3-1 defeat at Reading seemed like a strange tribute to Barry Fry, master of the ‘threeplacement’ in his heyday at Birmingham City. That said, it’s also a sign of one of Blackpool’s major problems this season; a campaign that has, nonetheless, been punctuated with lots of good things.” thetwounfortunates

Lionel Messi scores his 55th goal of season as Barcelona beat Mallorca

March 25, 2012

“Lionel Messi scored his 55th goal of the season as 10-man Barcelona beat Mallorca 2-0 for their seventh consecutive league win. Messi, who broke Barcelona’s all-time scoring record on Wednesday, netted from a poorly defended free-kick to become the first player in a top-level European league to score 55 goals in a season since Sporting Lisbon’s Mário Jardel in 2002.” Guardian