PSG 3-1 Chelsea: Tactical Analysis

April 5, 2014

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“One of the most evenly balanced of all the quarter final games, PSG and Chelsea both came into the match trying to build each other up as favourites. The Parc Des Princes, the venue that hosted the first ever European Cup final, was decked up and full of noisy and expectant fans. The two teams come from very different leagues, and have had good seasons, but are in different positions. While PSG have been dominant and conquered all that has been put in front of them, Chelsea have stuttered at times, losing their advantage in the league. The clash between Laurent Blanc and Mourinho also promised to be a very interesting battle tactically, as some of the top players in Europe clashed.” Outside of the Boot


The Rebuilding of Liverpool

April 5, 2014

“The long wait to win a Premier League championship might finally soon be over for Liverpool. After standing as English soccer’s marquee club for generations — including winning a record 18 titles in the old First Division — Liverpool have failed to win a league championship since 1990. With an eight-game Premier League winning streak that has included comfortable wins over Arsenal (5-1), Manchester United (3-0), and most recently Tottenham Hotspur (4-0), the club now controls its own destiny. If it wins each of its six remaining fixtures, the league championship will again return to Merseyside.” Grantland


Roberto Martinez: Everton boss faces Arsenal date with destiny

April 5, 2014

“Everton chairman Bill Kenwright was given an instant insight into the confidence and positive mind-set of the man he chose to replace David Moyes on his first meeting with Roberto Martinez. After appointing the 40-year-old Catalan to succeed Manchester United-bound Moyes after 11 years at Goodison Park, Kenwright revealed: ‘Almost his first words to me were I’ll get you into the Champions League.’ Martinez’s words were regarded by many as a bold private promise that he would struggle to keep in reality. One look at the current Premier League table gives the lie to those doubts.” BBC


Real Madrid 3-0 Borussia Dortmund: Tactical Analysis

April 5, 2014

“Real Madrid came into this game as favorites even though things didn’t go their way in the same tie a year back. This was partly due to change of manager for Madrid and partly due to the injury problems Dortmund are facing. The most missed absentee here was Lewandowski who was out through suspension as he had put four past Madrid when they met in Germany last year. Madrid started with a very flexible 4-3-3 shape with full backs pushing on and B-B-C given license to roam and swap places. The most interesting thing was the positioning of Isco. He was expected to start in a much higher role, behind the striker but instead was a straight swap for Di Maria who missed due to injury. He flourished in the deep role and deservedly got goal.” Outside of the Boot


Domestic league turbulence won’t affect Uruguay at World Cup

April 5, 2014

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“The directors of Uruguay’s FA resigned earlier this week, and a scare story was doing the rounds suggesting that this would result in the country’s national team being kicked out of the World Cup. There was never the slightest chance of this happening. The false justification for the fear was FIFA’s hard line against government interference in football administration. But this is not what had transpired in this case. The Uruguayan government had taken measures on a subject 100 percent within its proper jurisdiction — policing policy.” ESPN – Tim Vickery (Video)


André Schürrle withdrawal allows PSG’s potent trio to dominate Chelsea

April 5, 2014

“The general consensus was that José Mourinho had erred on playing André Schürrle as a false nine on Wednesday night, yet it was after he had gone off to be replaced by Fernando Torres that Paris Saint-Germain scored twice. That’s a simplistic way of looking at things, and Torres had barely been on the field when David Luiz conceded a needless free-kick and then put through his own goal to give PSG the lead, but it does tally with Mourinho’s post-match claim that Chelsea had ‘controlled’ the game until Torres came on because of the way Schürrle kept ‘dropping deep’.” Guardian – Jonathan Wilson (Video)


Whither Marc-Andre ter Stegen?

April 5, 2014

“The shockwaves were felt far and wide. FIFA announced earlier this week that FC Barcelona had been found guilty of skirting the rules barring the international transfer of underage players. Of course, few football observers would be truly shocked at the idea of a major football power playing fast and loose with the rules. Perhaps the more-skeptical among the underwhelmed would say the real stunner was that FIFA was taking action of any sort. But the news item that pushed Barcelona’s Champions League semifinal to ‘in other news’ status was the punishment: no transfer action for the club over the coming two transfer periods. In other words, no player not currently under contract with FC Barcelona will be moving to the Catalan giants this summer, nor in the winter to follow.” Bundesliga Fanatic