Brilliant transformation of Wes Morgan embodies the miracle of Leicester

December 17, 2015

xxxx
“There was a moment early in the second half on Monday when Wes Morgan jinked inside Pedro then found himself faced with Diego Costa. Through some sleight of the upper body, Morgan persuaded Costa to go clattering into space to his left and strolled away. This was Wes Morgan, the same Wes Morgan who last year became a byword for haplessness, a series of errors and moments of misfortune culminating in the moment when he slid helplessly across the turf against Liverpool and saw a penalty awarded as a cross hit his face.” Guardian – Jonathan Wilson


Euro 2016 lacks a clear favourite as France, Germany, Spain all flawed

December 17, 2015

“Euro 2016 will be the first-ever European Championships comprised of 24 teams, a format that opens up the tournament to the continent’s minnows. Yet assessing the runners and riders ahead of Saturday’s draw, it feels like one of the most closed European championships in a long time. There are three clear favourites who each have something obvious to shout about: France are the hosts, Spain the holders and Germany the world champions. Other than this trio, it’s incredibly difficult to make a case for anyone else triumphing.” ESPN – Michael Cox


Inter stay top of Serie A as Roma’s home struggles continue

December 17, 2015

“Inter solidified their position at the summit of the Serie A table, Bologna continue to fly under Roberto Donadoni while Juventus registered their sixth victory on the spin. It was, as always, a frenetic weekend in Serie A. And below are this week’s talking points.” backpagefootball


Maurizio Sarri – A tale for hipsters and dreamers alike

December 17, 2015

Maurizio-Sarri-Napoli
“The latest instalment in one of the most extraordinary football stories of recent years is currently playing itself out in Serie A – the wonderful tale of Maurizio Sarri, manager of Napoli. I’ve always been a sucker for those managers who without stellar football careers behind them have risen by dint of their coaching and inspirational qualities, their intelligence and their sheer perseverance to some of the top jobs in the game.” backpagefootball


Gerard Pique takes on Real Madrid: Will it ever end?

December 17, 2015

“Even when he’s halfway around the world, Gerard Pique just cannot let it lie. The Barcelona defender’s running verbal battle with most of the Real Madrid squad continued in Japan on Wednesday as he refused to back down after igniting yet another row, this time with Bernabeu duo Alvaro Arbeloa and Sergio Ramos. We all know there’s little love lost between Barca and Madrid, but no figure on the pitch seems to embody the rivalry more closely than Pique.” BBC


Bundesliga MatchDay 16 Team of the Week

December 17, 2015

“MatchDay 16 gave Bundesliga fans another exciting weekend, full of thrilling matches and outstanding performances. The leaders, Bayern Munich took care of business against the scrappy boys from Ingolstadt, turning it on in the second half for a 2-0 victory. Dortmund players flexed their collective muscles with an impressive 4 goal performance on 24 shots, despite the excellent Henrik Mkhitaryan with perhaps two of the misses of the season, as well as goal scoring machine Pierre Emerick Aubameyang missing a penalty.” Bundesliga Fanatic


The Boys in Green vs. McGregor

December 17, 2015

“Last Saturday was a busy day for Irish sports fans. Aside from the usual Premier League games to keep an eye on, the draw for the group stages of Euro 2016 cast a long shadow over the day. If it felt as though we were waiting a long time for that draw to start in the early evening, it was a longer wait still for those brave (or foolhardy?) souls who stayed the course a further 12 hours to watch one of the most talked about Irish sporting events of the year – Conor McGregor vs Jose Aldo in UFC 194.” backpagefootball