Aubameyang, Xavi and Barcelona: Is this going to work?

February 3, 2022


“Xavi used to be an idealist. Two years ago, from the comfortable remove of Doha, he pontificated on what sort of forward suited Barcelona and who, in particular, did not: Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. ‘Aubameyang will kill you in open space,’ Xavi told the press. ‘But Barcelona need players who know how to move in small spaces. It’s not easy to think of players who have adapted well to Barca. Samuel Eto’o was perfect, as is Luis Suarez right now.’ Ah, well, nevertheless. …”
The Athletic


Reo Hatate hits double to help rampant Celtic replace Rangers at top of table

February 3, 2022


“Nine months on from the conclusion of a season which saw Celtic finish an embarrassing 25 points behind Rangers, the sense of a pendulum swing is impossible to ignore. The finest 90 minutes of Ange Postecoglou’s reign saw Celtic maul Rangers, with the added benefit of moving past their city rivals at the summit of the Scottish Premiership. Incredibly, given the earlier gulf between the teams, Celtic now have to be the favourites to win the league. …”
Guardian


Lokomotive Leipzig, the 1987 Cup Winners’ Cup final and a rebirth from the ashes

February 3, 2022


“Picture the scene. A communist-era colossus of a stadium, the vast expanse of concrete stretching as far as the eye can see, enclosing a seething mass of humanity, congregating in their blue and yellow scarfs. They will need them tonight, for this open bowl is completely at the mercy of the elements. The fans do not care, however. This is the Zentralstadion in Leipzig and it is about to witness its finest hour. They have seen bigger crowds than this here, of course. The Turn-un Sportfest, the socialist government’s regular celebration of athletic achievement, can draw attendances of 100,000 or more. This is the largest crowd it will ever see for a football match, though – and that matters. …”
These Football Times
W – 1987 European Cup Winners’ Cup Final