Brazil’s inadequacies echoed by Neymar’s lack of patience against Colombia

June 18, 2015

aa460x276
“Disappointment would have been bad enough for Brazil, but after the final whistle it became disgrace. Defeat to Colombia, followed by Neymar’s red card, may not resonate like the 7-1 defeat to Germany in the World Cup semi-final last year did, but the shame is just as real. After all the talk of trying to find some sort of redemption in the Copa América, all the same old flaws were there, just without quite the same hysteria. This was a petulant, complacent, unimaginative Brazil and they now, almost unbelievably, must beat Venezuela in their final group game on Sunday to be sure of making it to the quarter-finals – and they will have to do it without the player on whom they have become so reliant.” Guardian – Jonathan Wilson

Breaking down last night’s Colombia-Brazil nonsense with the power of GIF
“Last night, Brazil and Colombia met in a Copa América group stage game, almost one year after Brazil eliminated the Colombians in Forteleza in the 2014 World Cup quarterfinals. But this time was different. Colombia, having already succumbed to Venezuela in its opening game, managed to pull itself together and frustrate Brazil for 90 minutes, eeking out a 1-0 victory. Typically, that would be the story. Colombia exacts revenge on the Samba Boys. Or something basic like that. But that would be a disservice to the real story: These two teams wanted to murder each other, and they came damn close after the final whistle.” Fusion

Neymar’s brilliance and immaturity have been on display at Copa America
“There was a time not long ago when Brazil boasted countless world-class attackers. It was a time when, for example, Marcio Amoroso could finish as top goal scorer in Brazil, Italy and Germany, but count himself fortunate simply to be named in the Brazil squad. Mario Jardel scored 130 goals in 125 league games for Porto and collected only 10 caps, usually as a substitute. Giovane Elber, meanwhile, spent a decade banging in the Bundesliga goals and managed just 15 caps.” ESPN – Michael Cox

Advertisements

Wolfsburg 3-1 Dortmund: Wolfsburg comfortable despite rarely dominating

June 7, 2015

“Jurgen Klopp waved farewell to Dortmund with a defeat in the German Cup final. There were few surprises in Dieter Hecking’s team selection. Andre Schurrle continues to be left on the bench ,with both wide players in good form. Timm Klose has displaced Robin Knoche at the heart of Wolfsburg’s backline, while Naldo – who had been an injury doubt – was fit to start alongside him.” Zonal Marking


Atletico 0-1 Barcelona: the Messi and Pedro combination wins Barcelona the title

May 22, 2015

“Barcelona wrapped up La Liga with a 1-0 victory at the home of Atletico Madrid, the previous champions. Diego Simeone played his usual formation, but made a few changes from the team which drew 2-2 at Levante last weekend. At the back, Diego Godin returned in place of Miranda. In midfield, Thiago dropped out and Mario Suarez came in. Upfront, Fernando Torres got the nod over Mario Mandzukic.” Zonal Marking


Real Madrid 1-1 Juventus: Real attack through the full-backs but Juve hold on

May 16, 2015

“Juventus qualified for the European Cup final with a 3-2 aggregate victory. Carlo Ancelotti surprisingly dropped Pepe and shifted Sergio Ramos back into his favoured centre-back position, after an unsuccessful stint in midfield during the first leg. Upfront, Karim Benzema was fit to return, and otherwise it was Real’s expected side, with Marcelo and Dani Carvajal returning having been rested for the weekend draw with Valencia.” Zonal Marking

Tactical Analysis: Real Madrid 2-2 Valencia | Valencia’s counter attacks and Real’s positional play
“The last clash between the teams ended in a 2-1 win for Valencia. This time in the Santiago Bernabeu, things didn’t quite turn out the way Ancelotti would have want them too either, as Real were down by 0-2 after just 30 minutes of the game. Thanks to a much better performance in the 2nd half, Real managed a draw courtesy a stunner from Isco, which was also the last goal to be scored ending the game at 2-2.” Outside of the Boot


Champions League semis showcase changing role of deep-lying midfielder

May 12, 2015

“This season’s Champions League semifinals don’t feature the four most outstanding goalkeepers, defenders, wingers or strikers in the world, but it’s difficult to argue with the selection of deep-lying midfielders. In Sergio Busquets, Andrea Pirlo, Xabi Alonso and Toni Kroos, we’re being treated to an exhibition of probably the world’s four most revered footballers in that role. Between them, the quartet have won the last three World Cups and seven of the last 12 Champions League titles. More crucially, in different ways, they’ve helped redefine the nature of their position.” ESPN – Michael Cox


Bayern 1-1 Dortmund: Klopp floods the centre to harm Bayern’s build-up

May 3, 2015

“Dortmund progressed to the DFB-Pokal final on penalties following a 1-1 draw. Pep Guardiola started with a three-man defence, and surprisingly named Rafinha, traditionally a right-back, as the left-sided centre-back. Further forward, Mitchell Weiser was handed the right-sided midfield role for the newly-crowned Bundesliga champions, with Arjen Robben fit enough only for the bench. Thiago Alcantara returned to the head of a midfield triangle, so Mario Gotze was on the bench.” Zonal Marking – Michael Cox


Chelsea’s style contrasts recent Premier League winners but is not new

May 1, 2015

“All things considered, Chelsea’s draw vs. Arsenal on Sunday was an archetypal Jose Mourinho way of effectively wrapping up the Premier League title: a goalless draw away at your title rivals, and a couple of digs at the opposition manager after the match, which prompted a debate about what constitutes ‘boring football.’ The consensus, it appears, is that Chelsea have regressed since the start of the campaign, in terms of playing style, at least. Before Christmas, Mourinho’s side played a fluid, attacking, energetic style of football that surprised many as it utilised the assists of Cesc Fabregas, the dribbling of Eden Hazard and the power of Diego Costa.” ESPN – Michael Cox