Juventus 0-2 Bayern Munich: Bayern initially struggle with the tempo, then close out the tie

April 13, 2013

Juventus v FC Bayern Muenchen - UEFA Champions League Quarter Final
“This was expected to be the closest tie of the Champions League quarter-final stage, but was actually won by the biggest margin. Antonio Conte was without the suspended duo of Arturo Vidal and Stephane Lichtsteiner, so he played Paul Pogba and Federico Peluso. Mirko Vucinic returned to the side upfront. Jupp Heynckes welcomed back Javi Martinez from suspension, but otherwise continued with the side that played the majority of the first leg, after Toni Kroos’ injury. Juventus started the game brightly, but Bayern eventually took command and calmed the tempo of the game.” Zonal Marking

Juventus 0-2 Bayern Munich- Tactical Analysis
“Juventus welcomed Bayern Munich to the Juventus arena on a night where they needed a minor miracle to turn around a 2-0 deficit from the first leg. The feat had only been replicated once before, by Barcelona in the previous round against AC Milan. The home side made two mandatory changes, Lichtsteiner and Vidal, sitting out through suspension, were replaced by Padoin and Pogba respectively. The rest of the team was familiar, as they started in their 3-5-2 formation, with Kwadwo Asamoah returning on the left wing. Up front, Vucinic started along side Fabio Quagliarella. The back 3 remained the same, along with Pirlo and Marchisio, who along with Pogba completed the midfield.” Outside of the Boot

Scramble Tactics – How Borussia Dortmund came back against Malaga
“You see this scenario all too often in football. A team trails or needs goals in the dying minutes of a game. Coaches throw on the additional striker or instruct their center-backs to play in the opponent’s box and wait for long balls or crosses to come in, hoping for the right bounce or opportunity to strike. What Jürgen Klopp and Borussia Dortmund did in the Champions League quarterfinal second leg against Malaga was similar of course with a very interesting variation worth deconstructing.” Bundesliga Fanatic


Barcelona, Real Madrid could meet in Champions League final

April 13, 2013

“Teams from the same country were kept apart in the Champions League semifinal draw Friday, with the intriguing prospect of a Wembley final featuring the two best teams in Spain or their equivalent from Germany. Here is the draw breakdown …” SI


Lavezzi’s energy picks its spots on the pitch

April 13, 2013

“Barcelona’s narrow away-goals victory over PSG was a fantastic tie, the type of contest European Cup football is all about. There were a variety of subplots: Zlatan Ibrahimovic against his former side, David Beckham’s surprise start in Paris, Lionel Messi’s fitness in the second leg. Barca emerged victorious, but the French league leaders enhanced their reputation and strengthened Carlo Ancelotti’s chances of remaining in his job next season.” ESPN


Optimism For the Benna Boyz

April 13, 2013

“As a previous visitor to the small group of islands known as Antigua & Barbuda I was pleasantly surprised to see the media coverage their national side received in the UK in the summer of 2012 and for the few months afterwards. This coverage came in light of the appointment of Englishman and former Chesterfield midfielder Tom Curtis. His first venture into management Curtis’ appointment certainly helped raised the profile of the national side within England and there was a good degree of optimism going into their World Cup Qualifying clashes with Guatemala.” In Bed With Maradona


Extreme violence in Millwall end has football fading into irrelevance

April 13, 2013

“What a strange, and indeed disturbing, occasion this was. Wigan are in the FA Cup final for the first time in their history after beating Millwall 2-0, but this Wembley semi-final will be remembered instead for the extreme, concentrated outbreak of violence among spectators at the end behind Millwall’s goal – the Millwall end – during the final 10 minutes of the match, apparently a continuation of two smaller second-half flare-ups in the same area.” Guardian


Tactical Analysis: What went wrong for Spurs against Basel?

April 13, 2013

“Tottenham Hotspurs’ European dreams were shattered on Thursday night as Swiss club FC Basel got the better of the North Londoners in an enthralling penalty shoot-out after 120 minutes of torrid football were unable to separate the two teams on aggregate. Frankly, Spurs were far from their best and it was surprising to see Andres Villas-Boas’ troops even hang on to a 2-2 stalemate.” Think Football