Sadio Mané and Liverpool put five goals past F.C. Porto last week.
“As he readied his players to face Manchester City in the last 16 of the Champions League last week, F.C. Basel Coach Raphaël Wicky realized he had a problem. Ordinarily, Wicky would dedicate one training session shortly before a game to a shadow match: On one side, his likely starting team, and on the other, 11 squad members slotted in to simulate Basel’s forthcoming opponent. They would line up in the same system, adopt the same style, play in the same patterns. The aim of the exercise is to familiarize the first team with the challenge that lies in wait. …” NY Times
“After the midweek DFB Pokal quarter-finals were decided, it was back to Bundesliga action this weekend with nine mouth-watering clashes to savour. Bayern overcame Schalke in the big game on Saturday, but there was disappointment for Leverkusen. The usual suspects at the bottom continued to struggle. We had a triple-Doppelpack, more goalkeeping chaos, the return of a legend, soaring eagles and goals aplenty. So just who were the winners and losers of matchday 22? …” Bundesliga Fanatic
“It was short, but oh so sweet. For 19 hours following their 2-0 win over Borussia Mönchengladbach on Friday, Eintracht Frankfurt were second in the Bundesliga, with just Bayern Munich ahead of them. It wouldn’t last, of course, with Bayer Leverkusen, Schalke and the other riders in a sub-champion field still to play, but Die Adler were determined to make the most of their ‘one-night stand’, as sporting director Fredi Bobic put it after. …” Guardian (Video)
“1) Neymar pledges PSG future. Time for a bit of a giant media reverse with beep-beeping and hazard lights in full effect. Neymar is going nowhere next summer except to Russia for the World Cup and no doubt a lengthy vacation in Brazil. His club boss says it, his manager says it, the footballer’s ‘people’ say it and heck, the football says it too. The player is ‘2000% percent’ going to be playing with PSG next season, whether the French club wins the Champions League or not. ‘I’m happy with my team-mates and I’m happy at PSG,’ was Neymar’s message after Saturday’s 4-0 win over Montpellier. So back off, Real Madrid and pack away any sneaky ideas in a bag marked, ‘not in a million years’. …” Bein-Sports (Video)
“Once upon a time not so long ago, a father took his son down to the Geissbockheim, literally translated as the Billy Goats’ home. It’s the training ground of 1. FC Köln, the Billy Goats who at this particular moment were in the German second division. The son wanted to watch them train but most importantly he was eagerly hunting the autographs of his heroes. …” The Set Pieces
“Bundestrainer Joachim Löw is spoilt for choice as he starts to think about his squad ahead of next summer’s World Cup finals in Russia. In many positions he is going to have a real headache choosing which players to leave out of the final 23-man squad. There are of course some dead-certs like Mats Hummels in the centre of defence, Toni Kroos as the metronome in midfield and then Joshua Kimmich at right-back. However, it is on the other fullback flank that the German national team coach is going to have a particular headache. …” Bundesliga Fanatic
“You know the drill by know, using heaps of video and stats I’ve selected the three best teams of the Hinrunde in the 2017\18 Bundesliga. Sven Ulreich was the goalkeeper of the third team, here are his three defenders, coz we’re going hipster 3-3-3-1. …” Bundesliga Fanatic (Video)