Chelsea 1-0 Manchester United: Mata’s ball to Ba bypasses the zone United kept secure

April 2, 2013

Demba Ba
“Juan Mata and Demba Ba combined for a brilliant goal in an otherwise quiet match. Rafael Benitez made various changes from the side that lost at Southampton on Saturday – he fielded his three exciting creators together behind Demba Ba. Sir Alex Ferguson left out Robin van Persie and Shinji Kagawa, while Wayne Rooney was injured, so Javier Hernandez and Danny Welbeck were upfront. A terrible first half was followed by a much more open second.” Zonal Marking

Chelsea beat Manchester United thanks to Demba Ba’s touch of brilliance
“It will probably register as the most satisfying result of Rafael Benítez’s short and difficult time in office and not just because it was possibly the first time he was spared the condemnation of Chelsea’s supporters. His team can look forward to an FA Cup semi-final against Manchester City and, after all the personal indignities Benítez has suffered, he will probably not care too much that it was such a scruffy game to get them to Wembley.” Guardian


Deconstructing the Plovdiv Pistolero

April 2, 2013

“In the middle of the 4th century B.C., the all-conquering army of Philip II of Macedon swept southwards through the Balkans, thus setting into motion an enduring legacy that would be continued and expanded upon by Philip’s more renowned son; the famous, infamous, and glorious Colin Farrell. In the course of that marauding charge – in 342 B.C., to be precise – Philip passed through the now-Bulgarian city of Plovdiv, renaming it after himself as he did so (Philippopolis). The arrival of Philip preceded centuries – millennia, even – of invading forces pitching their tents at the walls of Plovdiv, attempting to make the city their own. 72 B.C. saw the Romans give it a shot, under the leadership of Marcus Lucullus. More than a hundred years later, in 46 A.D., Plovdiv finally ceded to the Romans and their Emperor Claudius.” In Bed With Maradona


Atlético Madrid 1-1 Valencia

April 2, 2013

“A wet evening at the Vicente Calderón stadium, Atlético Madrid failed to capitalize on the opportunity to go 2nd following Real Madrid’s draw with Real Zaragoza on Saturday. Valencia had the chance to leapfrog Málaga and go level on points with La Real, but both teams had to settle for a point each – a game full of overloads provided a stalemate.” Outside of the Boot


Statistical Analysis: Would Christian Benteke fit in at Spurs?

April 2, 2013

“Christian Benteke has been one of the standout signings this year. His league form has been essential for Villa who are desperately trying to survive the drop. Benteke’s contribution to Villa’s survival campaign cannot be overstated with him scoring 14 league goals (44% of his sides total goals) and getting a further 4 assists. Having done so well in his debut season and being aged just 22, he has been linked with potential moves away from the side, most notably to Spurs, who themselves need a new striker.” Think Football


Liverpool Under Brendan Rodgers Are Playing Best Attacking Soccer Since 1980s, Says John Aldridge

April 2, 2013

“Liverpool legend striker John Aldridge says that the current Liverpool side under Brendan Rodgers are playing the club’s best attacking soccer since the 1980′s. ‘That’s not to say the team is as good, of course, but their commitment to passing football, the variety in their play and the way in which they attack teams is a joy to watch at times,’ said Aldridge, in his Liverpool Echo column. ‘They go forward as well as any team in the league.’” EPL Talk (Video)


Where Borussia Dortmund’s Trio of Star Polish Players Could Be Heading in the Premier League

April 2, 2013

“Robert Lewandowski, Jakub Blaszczykowski, and Lukasz Piszczek are three of Borussia Dortmund’s deadliest players. “Polonia Dortmund,” as they are called in Germany, were major parts in Dortmund’s league and cup double last term, and seem to be replicating that scintillating form for the second year running. It comes as no surprise then, that Lewandowski, Blaszczykowski, and Piszczeck are linked with moves to numerous of England’s top clubs, and in the case of Piszczek, even Real Madrid.” EPL Talk