Luis Suarez appears to bite opponent

April 21, 2013

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“The spotlight was supposed to have been reserved for former Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez on his first appearance back at Anfield but Reds striker Luis Suarez upstaged him with an apparent bizarre biting incident and the latest of late equalizers. Benitez was denied a victorious return to the scene of many of his former glories by player of the year candidate Suarez, who ensured the focus was all on him — again.” ESPN


Things looking up for Peru

April 21, 2013

“Some have cruised through, some had to sweat to the end, but one way or another the big guns of South American football have made it to the knock out stage of the Copa Libertadores, the continent’s equivalent of the UEFA Champions League. Of the 16 remaining teams, half of them are former champions, sharing 20 titles between them. The highlight of the second round is a replay of last year’s final, Corinthians of Brazil against Argentina’s Boca Juniors. There is a fascinating all-Brazilian tie between in-form Atletico Mineiro and Sao Paulo, which may have a psychological advantage after managing to save itself in its last group game. Velez Sarsfield against Newell’s Old Boys is an intriguing all-Argentine clash. Another great Libertadores name is Nacional of Uruguay; three times winner, 39 times competitor, the Montevideo giant has taken part in every version of the tournament since 1997.” The World Game – Tim Vickery (Video)


Malaga faces troubling reality after dream run in Champions League

April 21, 2013

“Joaquín Sánchez said that he and his teammates had never experienced anything like it. It was four days after Málaga had been cruelly denied a Champions League semifinal with two late goals by Borussia Dortmund, the second of them offside, and as the team bus arrived at La Rosaleda it was greeted by thousands of fans singing and chanting, letting off fireworks and applauding the players. Inside, the stadium was packed, the atmosphere better than ever before, a real sense of communion between pitch and stands.” SI


Fürth-est from the Top: Relegation looms for Die Kleeblätter

April 21, 2013

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“Greuther Fürth’s inaugural season in Germany’s top flight has definitely been one to remember, albeit for all the wrong reasons. The Franconian side sits firmly rooted at the bottom of the Bundesliga table, a spot they’ve had all to themselves since the 15th match day and will likely continue to occupy for the remainder of the season, barring some form of divine intervention. With 5 matches to go the goal now must be to both save a little face and avoid setting a record for Bundesliga futility. While not yet mathematically relegated, Fürth are currently 15 points back of 15th place Fortuna Düsseldorf with a vastly inferior goals for and against record, -33 to Fortuna’s -10. Suffice to say automatic safety is pretty much out of the question.” Bundesliga Fanatic


Cesc fires Barcelona closer to Liga title

April 21, 2013

“Barcelona achieved a valuable 1-0 win against Levante at the Camp Nou in Matchday 32 of La Liga. Cesc Fabregas scored the goal for the Blaugrana, who enjoyed 78 percent of possession, created 18 goalscoring chances and attempted 13 shots, nine of them on target. This result helps the Catalan side maintain their 13 point lead at the top of the table over Real Madrid.” ESPN


The Afterlife of Brian

April 21, 2013

“Barry Plapp is someone you’ve probably never heard of, but if you’re a football fan you will likely be familiar with his work. In 2008 he was hired by Brian Clough’s widow Barbara to write fresh anecdotes about the formerly-witty, now-dead football management personality. Plapp has played a key role in rejuvenating interest in Clough by creating fresh stories about the forthright blowhard’s life, sustaining the image of Old Big ‘Ead and preserving the posthumous cottage industry which makes a tidy profit from Clough-centric paraphernalia such as books, mouse mats and green jumpers. He got the job after an appropriately brazen interview.” Fisted Away