Champions League

Champions League

Fiorentina 3-2 Bayern – Viola deal well with the wide threat, but leave themselves exposed in the centre

March 10, 2010
Fiorentina 3-2 Bayern – Viola deal well with the wide threat, but leave themselves exposed in the centre

Fiorentina are out of the competition despite Cesare Prandelli getting his tactics spot on both home and away. Bayern progress thanks to some highly questionable refereeing decisions in the first leg, and two excellent strikes in the second leg – their first defeat in 18 games.
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Arsenal 5-0 Porto – an open game favours the better side

March 9, 2010
Arsenal 5-0 Porto – an open game favours the better side

It’s difficult to summarise a match tactically when one side wins by five goals. On one hand, assessing every aspect of the game points to Arsenal getting it tactically spot on, on the other you’re left to conclude that a five-goal win comes from a superiority in pure footballing terms, not the nitty-gritty of...
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Champions League pass completion statistics – Barcelona unsurprisingly come out on top

February 25, 2010
Champions League pass completion statistics – Barcelona unsurprisingly come out on top

These are the pass completion statistics from the Champions League second round, first leg, as detailed by UEFA. They show a large variation between the 16 sides, from Barcelona’s 84% completion rate, to Fiorentina’s 57%.
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Inter 2-1 Chelsea – a narrow victory for Mourinho by containing opposition full-backs

February 24, 2010
Inter 2-1 Chelsea – a narrow victory for Mourinho by containing opposition full-backs

It depends how you want to read this one. On one hand, with the advantage in the tie, Inter are content going to Stamford Bridge knowing Chelsea have to beat them to progress. On the other, Chelsea’s away goal could turn out to be vital, and a 1-0 win in the second leg will...
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Stuttgart 1-1 Barcelona – Stuttgart get things right, but don’t make it count when they were on top

February 23, 2010
Stuttgart 1-1 Barcelona – Stuttgart get things right, but don’t make it count when they were on top

It was an intriguingĀ game tonight, Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona’s usual 4-3-3 system taking on Christian Gross’ Stuttgart side playing a 4-4-2 counter-attacking system with split strikers. Although the 4-3-3 was basically intended to work best against a 4-4-2, Stuttgart were on top in the first half here, and probably should have been more than 1-0...
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