Daily Archives: March 13, 2023

Schalke’s fighting spirit, Bellingham’s troubles and Bayern boost their treble chances

“The 100th Revierderby ended in a draw, but just like the famous 4-4 in 2017 (Schalke came back from 4-0 down) and the 3-3 in 2008 (Dortmund came back from 3-0 down in Jurgen Klopp’s first derby at Signal Iduna Park), Saturday’s meeting produced one clear winner. Veltins-Arena was an explosion of noise and gratitude at the final whistle: Schalke had fought back twice to keep their unbeaten run of seven league games going. And with each week, the prospect of staying up, a possibility that appeared frankly ludicrous at the start of the winter break, is becoming stronger. …”
The Athletic
Guardian: Leipzig present a tough Champions League proposition to Guardiola


Ligue 1 relegation battle shows it pays to be decisive if sacking a manager

“Football clubs are often indecisive when the stakes are high. Too often they dither over transfers, dropping players who have lost form, or dismissing managers. The dangers of this approach has been on show in Ligue 1 this season, where the relegation of four clubs rather than the usual three has made the need for success even more acute than usual. Ligue 2 is a particularly difficult division to bounce back from, as St-Étienne are discovering. Having been relegated from the top flight last season, they are now 13th in the second tier. …”

Will the Champions League stay in Europe?

“In April last year, the Paris Saint-Germain chairman Nasser Al-Khelaifi provided a window into the backroom discussions of European football. Al-Khelaifi is best known as the Qatari face of PSG but his footprint is all over the sport. He is on the executive committee of UEFA (the European football governing body and organiser of the Champions League) and he is the chair of the European Club Association (which represents the interests of clubs who compete in European club competitions). Not only that, but he is also running the Qatari broadcaster beIN Sports (which holds the largest portfolio of broadcast rights in the sporting world, screening major sporting events across the Middle East, France, New Zealand, Turkey and the United States). …”
The Athletic

La Liga analysed: A record-breaking weekend but Rodrygo’s wait goes on

“You’ll never guess what score the Barcelona game finished on… For the eighth time in all competitions in 2023 — and the 11th this season — Xavi’s side ground out a 1-0 win as their seemingly inevitable march to the Spanish league title continues. From late, late goals to finishing woes, The Athletic’s Thom Harris takes you through some of the standout stats from another weekend of La Liga action. …”
The Athletic

Juventus beat Sampdoria amid tangled subplots worthy of Oscars

“The final scene was back-to-front, each actor playing the wrong part. Dejan Stankovic’s Sampdoria had just lost 4-2 to Juventus, a result that left them joint-bottom of Serie A amid ongoing concern that the club could face bankruptcy at the end of the season. Yet there he was at full time, pulling Dusan Vlahovic into an embrace and offering consolation to the striker whose team had just beaten his own. …”