Dortmund 0-1 Arsenal: Dortmund on top for an hour, but Arsenal excellent after scoring

November 7, 2013

“Dortmund had significantly more shots, but Arsenal snatched a winner and saw out the game efficiently. Jurgen Klopp was without Mats Hummels and Ilkay Gundogan, so named an unchanged side. Arsene Wenger didn’t have anyone back from injury, so kept the same side that defeated Liverpool. This game was simultaneously high-tempo and slow-burning – an uneventful first half was followed by a very exciting second.” Zonal Marking

Borussia Dortmund 0-1 Arsenal: Tactical Analysis
“Group F was always going to provide us with a few exciting games. Many have lamented the fact that Europe’s elite competition has stopped being well, elite which leads to some of the smaller, less prestigious clubs featuring in the group stages. This means that we witness quite a few one sided games with the traditional heavyweights usually brushing aside the so called weaker teams. However, there was absolutely no danger of that happening in Group F which featured Borussia Dortmund, Arsenal, Napoli and Marseille.” Outside of the Boot

Dortmund fans visibly deflated as Arsenal score
“It was all going so well for these Borussia Dortmund fans, until Aaron Ramsey popped up to score for Arsenal against the run of play.” World Soccer (Video)

Despite lopsided Champions League score, Chelsea far from convincing

November 7, 2013

“Jose Mourinho stretched out his arms and turned to his bench with a shrug. For the second time in the opening six minutes, Chelsea’s back line had been punctured with weird ease, Adam Szalai following Julian Draxler in sliding a shot just wide of the left-hand post. His bafflement seemed to sum up Chelsea this season: it may sit second in the Premier League and is top of its Champions League group after Wednesday’s 3-0 victory over Schalke 04, a point from qualification, but it has been far from convincing.” SI – Jonathan Wilson

What three things did we learn from Real Madrid’s 2-2 draw at Juventus?

November 7, 2013

“If Real Madrid are to be genuine Champions League contenders, then they must eradicate the defensive frailties that currently run through the team. In La Liga, you can more or less get away with it. Not in Europe, though. There’s no hiding place and you will get punished for lapses in concentration at key points of the game. For Juventus’ first goal, young and emerging central defender Raphael Varane stupidly dived into the back of Paul Pogba, knowing very well he wasn’t going to reach the ball. It was an entirely needless tackle to make as Pogba was heading for a tight angle in which to shoot. Juventus scored, albeit with a stunning spot kick from Arturo Vidal, and Carlo Ancelotti’s men were on the back foot.” Think Football

Juventus 2-2 Real Madrid: Tactical Analysis
“As the fourth round of matches got underway this week, the first of the big ones to be played was at the Juventus Stadium. The Bianconeri hosted the Galacticos 2.0 in what was a must win encounter for the Old Lady. A win for real would see them secure their place in the next round very early, and spell doom for Juventus. Conte started his side in a 4-1-4-1 formation. The back four consisted of Caceres, Barzagli, Bonucci and Asamoah from right to left. Pirlo was the regista in front of them. The 4 ahead of him were expected to run up and down the pitch to provide defensive cover and attacking thrust. Llorente was the lone striker.” Outside of the Boot

The more things change, the more they stay the same

November 7, 2013

“Washington ‘Pulpo; Etchamendi never quite got the fame his quick wit and sharp tongue deserved. His top lip warmed by a pencil moustache, he was a portly figure, and no mean manager either. He spent much of his career in his native Uruguay with clubs like Defensor Sporting and Liverpool before taking charge of Nacional and leading the Montevideo side to three league titles and, in 1971, their first ever Copa Libertadores.” ESPN