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Chelsea 2-2 Tottenham: Villas-Boas uses subs well, Benitez doesn’t react decisively

May 9, 2013
Chelsea 2-2 Tottenham: Villas-Boas uses subs well, Benitez doesn’t react decisively

Tottenham twice came back from behind in an exciting, open game at Stamford Bridge. Rafael Benitez selected Fernando Torres upfront, and David Luiz as a deep-lying midfielder, so Branislav Ivanovic partnered Gary Cahill in the centre. Andre Villas-Boas was without Mousa Dembele, so Scott Parker played alongside Tom Huddlestone. Upfront, Emmanuel Adebayor got the nod over...
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Posted in England | 16 Comments »

Real Sociedad 4-2 Valencia: superb counter-attacking seals the win

April 30, 2013
Real Sociedad 4-2 Valencia: superb counter-attacking seals the win

Real Sociedad opened up a five-point gap in the race for fourth place. Philippe Montanier brought in Alberto de la Bella for the injured Liassine Cadamuro at left-back, Asier Illarramendi returned after suspension, but Antoine Griezmann was banned so Gonzalo Castro played on the left. From the side that thrashed Malaga 5-1, Ernesto Valverde brought Ricardo...
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Posted in Spain | 12 Comments »

Arsenal 1-1 Manchester United: Arsenal start strongly but are unable to maintain early tempo

April 29, 2013
Arsenal 1-1 Manchester United: Arsenal start strongly but are unable to maintain early tempo

Despite having little to play for, Manchester United collected a point at the Emirates. Without Olivier Giroud, Arsene Wenger used Lukas Podolski as his main forward. Jack Wilshere was only on the bench. Sir Alex Ferguson named a strong starting line-up, with Rio Ferdinand returning to the defence alongside Jonny Evans. This was all about Arsenal’s strategy...
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Posted in England | 19 Comments »

Liverpool 2-2 Chelsea: Rodgers cautious from start, but Sturridge provides second half impact

April 22, 2013
Liverpool 2-2 Chelsea: Rodgers cautious from start, but Sturridge provides second half impact

Liverpool trailed for long periods, but Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez combined very effectively in the second half. Brendan Rodgers left out Sturridge, favouring Stewart Downing in the only change from last week’s 0-0 draw at Reading. Rafael Benitez’s side was fairly predictable, although he selected Fernando Torres upfront against his former club, despite the fact...
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Posted in England | 22 Comments »

Juventus 1-0 Milan: Milan press Pirlo at goal-kicks, but not in midfield

April 22, 2013
Juventus 1-0 Milan: Milan press Pirlo at goal-kicks, but not in midfield

A reverse of the previous meeting between the sides – the only goal came from the penalty spot in another disappointing contest. Antonio Conte continued with the 3-5-1-1 that worked excellently away at Lazio, with Giorgio Chiellini returningin place of Federico Peluso. Max Allegri was still without Mario Balotelli, and Mathieu Flamini was also banned. Massimo...
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Posted in Italy | 33 Comments »