PSG 2-0 Marseille: PSG attack at speed, but fortunate to keep a clean sheet

Beckham-Marseille
“A closer game than the scoreline suggests. With injury problems in defence, Carlo Ancelotti named Sylvain Armand as his left-sided centre-back. David Beckham was on the bench. Élie Baup named an unchanged side from the XI that triumphed over Valenciennes last week. PSG’s four outright attackers combined effectively at times, but Marseille will feel they had enough chances to get something from the game.” Zonal Marking

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Inter 1-1 Milan: Milan should have been out of sight by half-time

“Inter upped their performance after a terrible first-half display. Andrea Stramaccioni gave a rare start to Ricky Alvarez on the left, after his impressive performance against Cluj in midweek. Diego Milito is out for the season, so Antonio Cassano and Rodrigo Palacio started upfront together. Max Allegri made changes from the victory over Barcelona – Mario Balotelli, cup-tied in Europe, returned in place of Giampaolo Pazzini, while Riccardo Montolivo played in Massimo Ambrosini’s deep-lying role to allow Antonio Nocerino to play. Stramaccioni managed to alter things to get his side back into the game, but only Milan profligacy and another fine Samir Handanovic performance prevented the ‘away’ side from victory.” Zonal Markind

Gareth Bale the sensation who owes it all to Tottenham’s compact style

“Gareth Bale is playing brilliantly. He is quick and powerful, technically gifted and can strike the ball ferociously with his left foot. He self-consciously models himself on Cristiano Ronaldo and in terms of his drive for self-improvement and even his style of play, cutting in from the left flank, there is validity to comparisons between them.” Guardian – Jonathan Wilson

How Do We Solve A Problem Like Reina?

“Since the recent Symposium #7 (Should We Keep Pepe), there have been musings regarding Reina’s future at the club. Some say that he is a world class ‘keeper (on his day) and replacing him will be no guarantee of an upgrade. On the other hand, others have mentioned that his form has been dipping for three to four years now and it is more than a ‘blip’. Class is permanent, form is temporary, but for how long does that apply?” Tomkins Times

Manchester City 2-0 Chelsea: Chelsea stay deep, narrow and compact but City find a way through

“Chelsea played negatively, and afforded City too many goalscoring opportunities. Roberto Mancini surprisingly played Yaya Toure behind Sergio Aguero, a combination he’s rarely used this season. Jack Rodwell started alongside Javi Garcia, while Vincent Kompany wasn’t fit, so Kolo Toure started at the back. Rafael Benitez used Demba Ba instead of Fernando Torres. John Terry was on the bench, as were Cesar Azpilicueta and Oscar, with Branislav Ivanovic used at right-back and Ramires on the right of midfield. City dominated the first half but broke through in the second, after Mancini turned to his bench.” Zonal Marking

Case for the defence: Is Liverpool’s passing game a necessity?

“Since the beginning of the World Cup competitions in 1930 up until WC 2010, four football nations made it consistently to the finals; Brazil, Argentina, Italy and Germany. Any world cup final had at least one team of that quartet. Brazilian football fans lazily labelled their football rivals. The Germans, as a ruthless tasteless well-oiled machine, the anti-football counter-attacking Italians, the heirs of the “catenaccio,” which translates literally to “door-bolt.” The Argentinians were not kindly branded after Maradona’s televised admission of sedating Brazilian players in WC 90 and an open court admission of a political deal between Peru and Argentina in WC 78 to knock out Brazil from the semi-finals. On both occasions Argentina knocked out Brazil out of the competition.” Think Football