Champions League: Man City makes history, Atletico wins in dramatic PKs

March 16, 2016

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“It was a night without goals in the two Champions League last-16 second legs, a pair of stalemates that saw Manchester City eliminate Dynamo Kyiv by virtue of its 3-1 victory in the first leg, while Atletico Madrid beat PSV in a dramatic penalty shootout to reach its third successive quarterfinal. For City, this is progression to the last eight for the first time in its history. The second leg was always likely to be a formality, but even so there was something strikingly dull about the most pedestrian of 0-0 draws in which the most notable incident was a first-half injury suffered by Vincent Kompany, a huge price to pay for a game in which both sides appeared to be doing nothing more than fulfilling a contractual obligation.” SI – Jonathan Wilson (Video)

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Olympique Marseille: Staring into the Abyss

March 16, 2016

“I wasn’t exactly bullish on Marseille coming into this season. Though I was pleased with the club’s more youthful approach, the sheer amount of prime aged talent let go combined with the potential ramifications of Marcelo Bielsa second year syndrome meant that a 4th-6th place finish was more in order. But I didn’t expect this much of a drop off. No one could’ve expected that Marcelo Bielsa would leave after the home opener because of various reasons involving the Marseille higher ups. Marseille are currently 10th in Ligue 1, seven points from 4th place and six points away from relegation. The quality of football has been turgid, at times depressing. They haven’t won at home since September, they haven’t led in a match in over a month and haven’t had a lead of two or more goals since beating Caen in mid January.” Stats Bomb


The Downfall of Genoa

March 16, 2016

“From 1096 to 1797 the Republic of Genoa was one of the most powerful city-states in Italy and Europe. Alongside Venice, Pisa and Amalfi, it was one of the Maritime Republics, independent entities provided with a fleet of ships both for their own protection and to support their rich and extensive trade networks all over the Mediterranean Sea. During the 16th century Genoa flourished under the government of the admiral Andrea Doria (one of the two teams which in 1946 merged to form Sampdoria was named after him) but after reaching its peak the Republic fell in 1797, when Napoleone Bonaparte established the Ligurian Republic. In the 2014/2015 football season the region flourished much like it had in the 16th century: Genoa finished sixth on the table, with three points more than city rivals Sampdoria, who placed 7th but still qualified for the Europa League play-offs at the expense of the Rossoblu, who were denied a UEFA licence by the FIGC. Both Genoese teams outdid AC Milan and Inter Milan in the league table.” Stats Bomb


Football Weekly: Watford end Arsenal’s hold on the FA Cup

March 16, 2016

“On today’s Football Weekly, AC Jimbo welcomes Jonathan Wilson, Nick Ames and Gregg Bakowski to near-earth orbit to look back on a weekend of thrills and spills in the FA Cup, Premier League and beyond. We start in the FA Cup. Watford piled on the misery for Arsenal by ending their chances of winning the trophy for the third year in a row. The Hornets will be joined in the semi-finals by Everton – who saw off Chelsea in a game full of Diego Costa naughtiness – as well as Crystal Palace and one of West Ham or Manchester United, if they can ever find a date for a replay. Romance.” Guardian – Jonathan Wilson (Video)


Vicenza Calcio – The Tumultuous Journey of one of Italy’s Oldest Clubs

March 16, 2016

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“Without question, the ‘Ballon D’Or’ is one of the most prestigious awards to be handed to an individual during his professional career. Awarded annually to the best individual footballer of that calendar year since 1956, past winners have included Zidane, Rivaldo, Platini and Cruyff, amongst countless others. Interestingly, only 5 Italians have ever won the award. Omar Sívori in 1961, Gianni Rivera in 1969, Paolo Rossi in 1982, Roberto Baggio in 1993, and Fabio Cannavaro in 2006, all legends of the game, in Italy and across the globe.” Outside of the Boot


Scout Report: Oussama Tannane | The exciting Dutch forward

March 16, 2016

“Oussama Tannane is a Moroccan-Dutch footballer who currently plays for Ligue 1 side Saint-Etienne. He’s an exciting player who can get people on the edge of their seats with his creativity and pace. Born in Tetouan, Morocco in March 1994, Oussama Tannane also has a dual nationality with the Netherlands, and has made two appearances for the Netherlands U21 national team. Having spent his youth career at Zeeburgia, Ajax, FC Utrecht, PSV and SC Heerenveen. Tannane made his professional debut with SC Heerenveen at the age of 19 in the Netherlands Eredivisie league during the 2012-2013 season.” Outside of the Boot (Video)


If Klopp is the Future, How Long Will It Last?

March 16, 2016

“This article follows on from last week’s free piece, written in the aftermath of the 2-0 victory over Man United, which in turn took its inspiration from Jonathan Wilson’s quote (and here I merely paraphrase) about Louis van Gaal representing the past, and Jürgen Klopp the future. Football has its fashions – not merely superficial changes, but in terms of what’s effective – and yet not everyone keeps up with progress. And success doesn’t always belong to the team with the most radical style.” Tomkins Times