England

England

Chelsea 0-0 Manchester City: early caution from Benitez results in a dull game

November 26, 2012
Chelsea 0-0 Manchester City: early caution from Benitez results in a dull game

Rafael Benitez started his Chelsea reign with a goalless draw against the champions. Benitez kept Roberto Di Matteo’s front six intact, although played Branislav Ivanovic and David Luiz together at centre-back, a combination his predecessor never selected. Roberto Mancini played four at the back, and continued with Edin Dzeko upfront, rather than Carlos Tevez – maybe...
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Posted in England | 37 Comments »

West Brom 2-1 Chelsea: Morrison and Long drift wide, then stop Chelsea passing through middle

November 19, 2012
West Brom 2-1 Chelsea: Morrison and Long drift wide, then stop Chelsea passing through middle

West Brom’s mobile duo of Shane Long and James Morrison provided an assist apiece. Ben Foster is injured, so Steve Clarke used Boaz Myhill in goal. Gabriel Tamas replaced Gareth McAuley, and Zoltan Gera started on the left. Roberto Di Matteo shuffled his pack, leaving Oscar, Ramires, Juan Mata, Branislav Ivanovic and Ashley Cole on the...
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Posted in England | 16 Comments »

Arsenal 5-2 Tottenham: Villas-Boas goes for two strikers, but loses Adebayor early on

November 17, 2012
Arsenal 5-2 Tottenham: Villas-Boas goes for two strikers, but loses Adebayor early on

For the third consecutive season, this fixture saw plenty of goals and featured an impressive comeback. With Wojciech Szszesny back in goal, Arsene Wenger played his expected side – Theo Walcott was fielded on the right, while Thomas Vermaelen continued at left-back. Andre Villas-Boas was without Steven Caulker, so shifted Jan Vetonghen into the middle and...
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Posted in England | 66 Comments »

Chelsea 1-1 Liverpool: poor quality game with goals from corners

November 12, 2012
Chelsea 1-1 Liverpool: poor quality game with goals from corners

Brendan Rodgers started with three centre-backs, but switched to a back four during the second half. Roberto Di Matteo used his expected front four, but surprisingly used Cesar Azpilicueta at right-back, presumably because he wanted pace and/or attacking drive. Branislav Ivanovic shifted into the centre. Rodgers included Jamie Carragher, with Martin Skrtel unavailable. Suso was only...
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Posted in England | 27 Comments »

Manchester City 2-1 Tottenham: Mancini’s three-man defence shows first positive signs

November 12, 2012
Manchester City 2-1 Tottenham: Mancini’s three-man defence shows first positive signs

Manchester City turned the game around with a strong second half performance, helped by Roberto Mancini’s mid-game formation switch. Mancini named Aleksandar Kolarov on the left of midfield, with Samir Nasri ill. David Silva returned on the right, while Matija Nastasic was again at centre-back. Javi Garcia was on the bench, and Mario Balotelli left...
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Posted in England | 41 Comments »