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Barcelona 3-1 Atletico: Suarez’s running brings out the best of Messi and Neymar on the flanks

January 14, 2015
Barcelona 3-1 Atletico: Suarez’s running brings out the best of Messi and Neymar on the flanks

Barcelona completely outplayed reigning champions Atletico Madrid, with Neymar, Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez’s excellent combinations particularly impressive. Luis Enrique fielded Ivan Rakitic rather than Xavi Hernandez in midfield, and played both his attacking full-backs in tandem. The most interesting part of Diego Simeone’s team selection was the decision to play Jesus Gamez, usually a right-back,...
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Posted in Spain | 10 Comments »

Valencia 2-1 Real Madrid: Valencia risk 3 v 3 at the back and push the wing-backs forward

January 7, 2015
Valencia 2-1 Real Madrid: Valencia risk 3 v 3 at the back and push the wing-backs forward

Valencia ended Real Madrid’s incredible 22-match winning run with a brave tactical performance at the Mestalla. Valencia coach Nuno Espirito Santo continued with the 3-5-2 system he’d deployed for the first time in the 1-0 win at Eibar just before the winter break. There was a significant change, however, with new signing Enzo Perez coming...
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Posted in Spain | 25 Comments »

Barcelona 1-1 Atletico: Simeone’s side seal historic title victory at the Camp Nou

May 19, 2014
Barcelona 1-1 Atletico: Simeone’s side seal historic title victory at the Camp Nou

Atletico fought back from 1-0 down to record the most amazing title victory in years. Gerardo Martino surprisingly left out Xavi Hernandez from his starting XI, with Neymar also only on the bench. Cesc Fabregas and Pedro Rodriguez were preferred. Diego Simeone named two strikers in an attack-minded line-up, although he lost both Diego Costa and...
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Posted in Spain | 27 Comments »

Liverpool 0-2 Chelsea: Chelsea play ultra-defensively but win the game

April 28, 2014
Liverpool 0-2 Chelsea: Chelsea play ultra-defensively but win the game

Chelsea scored breakaway goals in stoppage time at the end of both halves. Brendan Rodgers named an unchanged side from the nervous win at Norwich last week. Jordan Henderson was still suspended, Daniel Sturridge fit only for the bench. Jose Mourinho named a heavily changed side, preserving his best players for the return match against Atletico...
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Posted in England | 67 Comments »

Real Madrid 2-1 Barcelona: Bale shines in Ancelotti’s counter-attacking 4-4-2

April 17, 2014
Real Madrid 2-1 Barcelona: Bale shines in Ancelotti’s counter-attacking 4-4-2

Gareth Bale scored a sublime late winner to win the Copa del Rey. Carlo Ancelotti was without Cristiano Ronaldo, which meant Isco coming into the side. He also used Iker Casillas, his cup goalkeeper. Tata Martino returned to the system he favoured in the Champions League matches against Atletico, with Andres Iniesta on the left and Cesc...
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Posted in Spain | 49 Comments »