The FC Barcelona Doom Metric

April 28, 2014

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“Earlier this week, during a raid in the port city of Alicante, Spanish police confiscated a batch of hallucinogenic chocolates that had been molded into the shape of the FC Barcelona crest. The chocolates, which were allegedly laced with marijuana and mushrooms, had been disguised as soccer-themed candies by the only person arrested in the operation, a master confectioner nicknamed ‘Willy Wonka.’ The incident gave rise to a whole host of significant questions. For instance: Isn’t ‘Willy Wonka’ pretty much the only possible nickname for any master confectioner freelancing in black-market drug work? Was there even a fallback option for this guy? Is ‘master confectioner baking controlled substances into candy products’ the topic heading of basically the shallowest nickname pool known to humanity? Is the phrase ‘my candy guy, Willy Wonka’ inevitably followed by a bemused chorus of ‘which one?’ at drug-kingpin summits? How does the fraternal organization of master confectioners keep its narcotics mailers straight?” Grantland – Brian Phillips

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Three Things: Fulham vs. Hull

April 28, 2014

“Reaction to Fulham and Hull’s 2-2 draw in the Premier League. 1. Magath pays for his initial caution. On paper, Fulham appeared as if they were replicating Hull’s back three, with Felix Magath’s side featuring three natural centre-backs plus John Arne Riise and Sascha Riether, both buccaneering wing-backs.” ESPN – Michael Cox


Know Your Enemy: Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer

April 28, 2014

“Success came early to Manuel Neuer, so it’s perhaps no surprise to learn that he was only 2 when he was given his first ball. He was born and grew up in Gelsenkirchen, attending the Gesamtschule Berger Feld, a school that has become famous for the number of footballers it has produced. Neuer was a classmate of Mesut Ozil — which added a frisson when he saved a penalty from Ozil while playing for Bayern Munich against Arsenal in the Champions League this season.” SI – Jonathan Wilson


World Cup watch: Ezequiel Garay, Gonzalo Higuain, Tim Cahill

April 28, 2014

“The World Cup is only 45 days away, with the opening match between host nation Brazil and Croatia taking place in Sao Paulo on 12 June. BBC Sport, with the help of European football expert Andy Brassell, is taking a weekly look at happenings from across the world of football and what impact they could have on the tournament in the summer.” BBC


Liverpool 0-2 Chelsea: Chelsea play ultra-defensively but win the game

April 28, 2014

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“Chelsea scored breakaway goals in stoppage time at the end of both halves. Brendan Rodgers named an unchanged side from the nervous win at Norwich last week. Jordan Henderson was still suspended, Daniel Sturridge fit only for the bench. Jose Mourinho named a heavily changed side, preserving his best players for the return match against Atletico in midweek. Chelsea’s defensive performance was highly effective, and Demba Ba capitalising on Steven Gerrard’s error meant they were able to continue with this strategy into the second half.” Zonal Marking

Title Hopes Dented, Not Destroyed
“Expecting to win a 12th game in a row is perhaps the new definition of insanity. We had to wake up sooner or later, eh? Still, it’s quite nice to wake up and find ourselves still top of the table. Man City may now be favourites, but they have to win their game in hand, and that’s not a foregone conclusion in a season of twists and turns. It’s fair to say that Chelsea had every right to play the way they did; although Jose Mourinho presumably can’t accuse anyone else of playing like it’s the 19th century or parking the bus.” Tomkins Times


City Top The Winners, Thanks To Chelsea

April 28, 2014

“… Time for a slice of humble pie, Manuel? If the Manchester City manager is to win a first-ever league title in Europe this season, he will owe a large share of gratitude to Jose Mourinho. Unable to beat his rival on two occasions and unable to out-think Liverpool with a better team than Sunday’s patch-work Chelsea side, Pellegrini has relied on Mourinho to afford City another chance.” Football 365


Team Founded by Unhappy Fans May Buy the Club They Abandoned

April 28, 2014

“Breaking up the soccer club they loved was hard for fans of Hapoel Katamon Jerusalem. Putting it back together may prove even more difficult. But for many Katamon fans, a reunion with the club they left, Hapoel Jerusalem, has been the goal all along after they walked away from the more established Hapoel in 2007 to form Katamon, the first fan-owned club in Israel. The new team started over in the fifth division, and as it won promotion after promotion, and even as Katamon played its first emotional matches against Hapoel this season, a reunion was still the goal.” NY Times