After Terror, Berlin Finds Comfort and Joy in a Soccer Club’s Ritual

December 27, 2016

“BERLIN — They matched Santa hats with soccer scarves. They sang hymns in cherubic voice and screamed sports chants at the top of their lungs. They held ceremonial white candles and swigged mulled wine from plastic cups. On Friday night, for the 14th year in a row, the home stadium of F.C. Union Berlin, a second-division soccer club in the eastern corner of the German capital, became the site of the country’s most discussed Christmas celebration. What began more than a decade ago as an improvised gathering of 80 people has since morphed into an ostentatious event — part pep rally, part church service — attended by an arena-stuffing crowd of 28,500.” NY Times (Video)

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Tactical Analysis: Bayern Munich 3-0 RB Leipzig | Famed Leipzig press disappears

December 27, 2016

“Bayern and Leipzig met at the Allianz Arena in a first versus second contest as both sides looked to open up a lead at the top of the table before heading into the winter break. The result of the game would depend on how each team battled the other’s contrasting style of play. Bayern put in a formidable performance to run out comfortable winners as three first half goals gave them the three points. It was a top notch performance from the home side, while the promoted team were totally off colour on the night.” Outside of the Boot


Champions League last 16: Tie-by-tie analysis

December 12, 2016

“1) Manchester City v Monaco. Pep Guardiola will be content with this draw, but Monaco are among the most exciting sides in Europe and perhaps the most underrated team in the competition. Leonardo Jardim has created an exciting side who have scored an incredible 53 goals in 17 Ligue 1 matches. Although Monaco share the goals around impressively, it is notable that Radamel Falcao has found his shooting boots again, scoring five goals in Monaco’s past two games. They are also tactically flexible, able to play both 4-4-2 or 4-2-3-1 effectively, as they demonstrated with 2-1 victories home and away against Tottenham Hotspur in the group stage.” Guardian – Michael Cox


MD 14 Team of the Week – Ingolstadt take down RBL, only Bayern take advantage!

December 12, 2016

“We covered the weekend’s action in our extensive recap yesterday, so let’s not waste any more time and get to the performers from the Bundesliga’s Team of the Week for Matchday 14! Goalkeeper – Freiburg’s Alexander Schwolow must be reading these as motivation, because it’s back to back appearances for the guy who was ranked as the worst goalie in the league by Squawka just two weeks ago.” Bundesliga Fanatic


Bayern Munich – Elevation

December 8, 2016

“Bayern Munich won the double of the Bundesliga and the German Cup in 2015/16, obviously a fine feat, but not that surprising for Germany’s most successful club. In total, the Bavarians have won the league no fewer than 26 times and the cup on 18 occasions, though Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said that it was still a ‘historic achievement’ to top the Bundesliga four years in a row.” The Swiss Ramble


Tactical Analysis: Dortmund 4-1 Mönchengladbach | Dortmund’s patience and clinical finishing

December 8, 2016

“Thomas Tuchel was critical of his team’s showing after their 2-1 defeat at Eintracht Frankfurt, suggesting that the players were technically, mentally and tactically deficient on the day. After a win over Bayern Munich and the demolition of Legia Warsaw in the Champions League, Dortmund found themselves in 7th place before the start of their home fixture against Borussia Mönchengladbach. In contrast, Borussia Möchengladbach came in to this fixture having won just one game in sixteen away from home in the Bundesliga. They had managed to keep one clean sheet away from Borussia-Park since the start of the season, and their last victory at the Westfalenstadion came in 2014.” Outside of the Boot


RB Leipzig – How the most loathed German club has been silencing its haters

December 2, 2016

“All those who have a pre-conceived notion about the Bundesliga being a boring league, the ongoing season is forcing them to think again. It has panned out in a manner which would probably be quite different to how most would’ve predicted, going into the new season. The number of surprise packages have matched the number of teams who are underperforming. Sides like Hoffenheim, Koln and Eintracht Frankfurt have made flying starts to the new campaign, whereas the trio of Bayer Leverkusen, Borussia Monchengladbach and Wolfsburg have has left many disappointing.” backpagefootball