Barcelona: Our Defence Is A Shambles That Will Be Destroyed By Madrid

October 1, 2012


August 1936 – the Spanish Civil War has begun
“Sevilla FC 2:0 FC Barcelona – Up until the 72nd minute when Cesc Fabregas leveled the game with his second goal of the night, Culés worldwide had to reconcile with the idea of being dealt the first defeat in this ongoing 2012/2013 La Liga campaign. It’s not so much the idea of losing that is pestering, it happens to be best of sides. There’s no shame in losing to Sevilla FC at the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán. It’s about the manner in which an almost full-strength Barcelona side engaged with the match. FC Barcelona’s defense was quite simply horrible, whereas midfield and attack only fared marginally better. In the build-up to Sevilla’s first goal of the night Dani Alves decided to play spectator while Victor Valdes followed suit.” Sabotage Times

Sevilla FC 2, FC Barcelona 3, Or, Cesc Steals The Spotlight
“Just got off the phone to my insurance agent, who was telling me that being a Barça fan might from now on be considered as a pre-existing condition. I really couldn’t find anything to say to that, not when I still have palpitations from last night… Visits to the Sánchez Pizjuan are always difficult. Even if Sevilla’s anthem doesn’t impress you (and it should!), the constant noise and pressure of the crowd are like a twelfth player on the home side, and a particularly persistent and annoying one at that. For this match, Tito chose the following starting XI: VV, Alves, Song, Mascherano, Alba, Busquets, Xavi, Cesc, Pedro, Alexis and Messi.” The Offside (Video)


Manchester United 2-3 Tottenham: Spurs attack directly then defend deep

October 1, 2012

“An excellent first half performance put Tottenham in control, and they hung on with a fine defensive performance in the second half. Sir Alex Ferguson brought Paul Scholes back into the starting line-up and used Ryan Giggs on the left. Wayne Rooney was on the bench. Andre Villas-Boas chose Clint Dempsey ahead of Gylfi Sigurdsson, and played Jan Vertonghen at left-back with Steven Caulker coming into the centre of the pitch. Brad Fridel continued in goal. The halves were completely different – Tottenham were excellent going forward before half-time, before gradually sitting deeper and deeper in the second half.” Zonal Marking


Arsenal 1-2 Chelsea: both sides vulnerable down their left

October 1, 2012

“Chelsea stay at the top of the table after scoring two goals from free-kicks. Arsene Wenger went with the pace of Gervinho rather than the physicality of Olivier Giroud upfront, and continued with Aaron Ramsey on the right – although he had to shuffle into the middle after Abou Diaby’s injury. Roberto Di Matteo left out Frank Lampard and continued with the front four that failed to click against Stoke last weekend, with three versatile playmakers behind Fernando Torres. This wasn’t an inspiring game – none of the playmakers were on top form, and neither side played good football.” Zonal Marking


Can Colombian football launder its past?

October 1, 2012

“Veteran Colombian midfielder Gerardo Bedoya came up with something special for his record-breaking 41st sending off. Playing for Santa Fe in the big Bogota derby against Millonarios, first, in full view of the referee, he flattened Jhonny Ramirez with an elbow. The red card had been already brandished, but Bedoya was not finished. Before taking his leave, to his own subsequent mortification, he stuck a boot into the face of his prone opponent.” BBC – Tim Vickery


Lambert’s way to make diamond sparkle

October 1, 2012

“Diamonds are not forever, but they occur frequently in Paul Lambert’s management. The Scot is one of the most tactically flexible coaches around and played 4-2-3-1 in the Capital One Cup win at Manchester City, but he often reverts to the system he used for most of Norwich’s promotion season and at times last year: 4-4-2 with a midfield diamond.” ESPN


Matchday Two key for Manchester City to stay afloat in deep group

October 1, 2012

“No team is going to win the Champions League on Matchday Two, but it could go some way to losing it. At this stage last season, Manchester City was beaten 2-0 at Bayern Munich, a defeat that was overshadowed by the Carlos Tevez row, and the Argentine’s subsequent six months out of action.” SI