Liverpool’s Daniel Sturridge strikes again to sink Manchester United

September 1, 2013

Liverpool vs Manchester United
“Bill Shankly’s name reverberated around Anfield before and after a fitting occasion to fall on the eve of what would have been his 100th birthday. The Liverpool performance in between was too backs-to-the-wall to represent a tribute in his image. It did not matter. “If you are first, you are first. If you are second, you are nothing,” Shankly once said, and first always tastes sweeter in these parts at the expense of Manchester United. An early goal from Daniel Sturridge on his 24th birthday maintained Liverpool’s 100% start to the Premier League season, their best since 1994, and preserved David Moyes’s winless record at Anfield in the process.” Guardian

“Liverpool secured their best start to a Premier League season since 1994-95 with victory over champions Manchester United at Anfield. Daniel Sturridge celebrated his 24th birthday with his third successive winner of the season by steering in a close-range header in the third minute. Liverpool deserved their latest single-goal victory, a result that also maintained new United manager David Moyes’ miserable record at Anfield. Moyes hoped for better luck with United after 12 games without victory as Everton manager – but his team came up short despite enjoying plenty of possession in the second half after being outplayed before the break.”

Moyes suffers Anfield agony again
” The great managers whose finest achievement became apparent after their departure are a rare breed. Perhaps, as in much else, Bill Shankly is unique. As Liverpool celebrated Monday’s 100th anniversary of his birth with typical enthusiasm, it was in part because Shankly was the founder of a great winning dynasty. Another iconoclastic Scot had the same designs. Three games after Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement, Manchester United are discovering it is not that simple. His handpicked successor, David Moyes, was condemned to a first defeat at the ground where, infamously, he has never won and to the club that, famously, Ferguson knocked off their perch.” ESPN

Manchester United fail to emerge from the wings
“In Liverpool’s 1-0 win over Manchester United, the Premier League champions were out-passed and out-thought in midfield, with Steven Gerrard outstanding for the home side in a deep role, and Philippe Coutinho making a series of dangerous incursions in the inside-left position. As they toiled to excellent effect, one fact became increasingly clear: In the frustrating summer rush to acquire at least one central midfielder, the worrying state of Manchester United’s wingers has not been addressed.” ESPN

Tactics: a bumpy ride for Bayern

September 1, 2013

“As coach of Barcelona, Pep Guardiola demonstrated a healthily idiosyncratic streak within the parameters of the club’s prevailing philosophy. And, as the new season begins in western Europe, the most pressing tactical question this term is what will he do at Bayern Munich? How will he react to a club that is not so steeped in those principles – and one that won almost everything there was to win last season, much of it in record-breaking style?” World Soccer – Jonathan Wilson

The pratfalls of moving abroad

September 1, 2013

“In a couple of weeks, when Australia travels to meet Brazil, Mile Jedinak may well be locked in midfield battle with Paulinho – just as the two were last Sunday at Selhurst Park. I was in the crowd for the opening weekend of the season clash between newly promoted Crystal Palace and a Tottenham team rebuilt in a bid to make into next year’s Champions League. On his competitive debut Paulinho had a solid enough game as Tottenham won by the only goal. But in an outgunned side, Jedinak was a candidate for man of the match. The Socceroos’ central midfielder had an excellent game shielding the Palace centre backs. He was so quick to spot any danger to his side, allowing him to snuff out any number of Tottenham attacks. In possession he did his best to knit the side together with safe, crisp distribution.” The World Game – Tim Vickery

Qatari Foundations

September 1, 2013

“A spectre is haunting European football – the spectre of Qatar. No holy alliance has emerged to respond to this rising power; indeed, it has been embraced by both established luminaries (Barcelona, Zidane) and by (hopeful) rising stars, such as the Paris Saint-Germain football club and now, in Belgium, Eupen. Qatar is already acknowledged by European football powers to be itself a power in their midst.” Soccer Politics

Juventus 4-1 Lazio: Tactical Analysis

September 1, 2013

“It was Juventus’ first home game of the season in the Serie A, with Lazio as their opponents. The home side had emerged victorious a few weeks earlier when the two sides met in the Italian Super Cup. While the scoreline does suggest a sense of domination, the game itself was a well-fought affair; it was a perfect example of how much Italian football has developed since it’s ‘boring football’ tag. The game was anything but a drab affair, quick movement, slick passing, excellent vision, were all witnessed at this fixture. A true modern-day Serie A battle. The final score of Juventus 4-1 Lazio was not necessarily a true representation of the way the match went on.” Outside of the Boot

Transfer deadline day: The anatomy of a modern-day deal

September 1, 2013

“The world of football transfers is mysterious and murky, rotten and ruthless. Millionaire players, demanding managers, extravagant owners and wily agents all make up the cast of the game’s summer soap opera. Fans find it fascinating and frustrating but are often left angered and confused by the veil of mistruths and rumour that drive the world of transfers. This summer has been a case in point. It has been the summer of the saga, the summer of Luis Suarez, Wayne Rooney, Gareth Bale and Cesc Fabregas.” BBC