Suarez still centre of attention

October 28, 2012


“If the 217th Merseyside meeting was the Gerrard derby, the 219th was the Suarez derby. As ever where he is concerned, it is both compliment and criticism. Unlike the March game when the Liverpool captain’s hat-trick earned him the superlatives, October spawned a more fractious affair. But that is in keeping with Luis Suarez’s persona. He divides opinion as he can split defences on those piercing, pacey solo runs.” ESPN

Everton v Liverpool: David Moyes frustrated by his poor record in 10 years of Merseyside derbies
” The discolouring flows from the Merseyside derby, a fixture bringing frequent frustration for Everton’s esteemed manager. In his 20 league meetings with Liverpool, Moyes has won three, drawn five and lost 12, taking a modest 14 points from a possible 60. The Scot, who will join the legendary Harry Catterick in managing Everton against Liverpool in 11 successive seasons on Sunday afternoon, has currently assembled one of his finest sides, a team of mobility, balance, experience and creative options, but no complacency. The lessons of history, let alone the beseeching of Gwladys Street, ensure that Everton cannot afford a slip in concentration in this 187th league derby, one of the classic dates of the domestic calendar, always an assault on the ears for those in attendance.” Telegraph – Henry Winter


Barcelona routs Rayo Vallecano

October 28, 2012

“Lionel Messi was once again the inspiration as Barcelona underlined its La Liga title credentials with a thumping 5-0 win over Rayo Vallecano. Messi scored twice to take his tally for the calendar year to a hardly believable 73 as Barca, who struggled to see off Celtic in the Champions League in midweek, ran riot at the Campo de Futbol de Vallecas. It was not as comfortable for the visitors as the comprehensive scoreline suggested, however, and it was Rayo who looked more likely to score before David Villa broke the deadlock in the 20th minute.” ESPN

La Liga: Rayo Vallecano 0-5 FC Barcelona: Match Review
“Barcelona started slowly, but progressively improved en route to a Manita victory over Rayo Vallecano who put up a spirited performance against their league leading opponents. David Villa grabbed the opener on 20 minutes in an otherwise uneventful first half, but Barcelona pulled away after the break as Lionel Messi’s 48th minute strike was followed up by late goals from Xavi Hernández and Cesc Fàbregas, before the Argentine completed the Manita with his second of the evening. The win puts Barcelona three points clear at the top of La Liga, although Atletico Madrid can reduce that deficit tomorrow evening when they entertain Osasuna at the Estadio Vicente Calderon.” Barca Blaugranes


Old school at Villa Park as opponents embrace 4-4-2

October 28, 2012

“It was the unexpected against the expected. Not in the scoreline – as these two teams have one win apiece, a draw was not unsurprising – but in the shape of the sides. Norwich manager Chris Hughton followed the old maxim to never change a winning team. His Villa counterpart Paul Lambert often ignored that footballing truism in his time at Carrow Road and has used unpredictability as an asset in the past.” ESPN: Tactics and Analysis