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Real Madrid 3-4 Barcelona: intelligent players find space in a crazily open match

March 24, 2014
Real Madrid 3-4 Barcelona: intelligent players find space in a crazily open match

Barcelona came out on top in a brilliantly topsy-turvy Clasico. Carlo Ancelotti named his expected starting XI. Gerardo Martino selected Neymar rather than Pedro Rodriguez or Alexis Sanchez as his second forward, and continued with Andres Iniesta tucking inside from the left, as he’s often done in big games. This was the most fast-paced game you’ll see...
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Posted in Spain | 29 Comments »

Manchester Utd 0-3 Liverpool: Rodgers plays a diamond midfield, Liverpool win easily

March 17, 2014
Manchester Utd 0-3 Liverpool: Rodgers plays a diamond midfield, Liverpool win easily

Liverpool were dominant throughout the match, and could have won by a few more goals. Chris Smalling was a late withdrawal so Nemanja Vidic returned at the back, but otherwise David Moyes named his expected XI. Brendan Rodgers replaced Coutinho with Raheem Sterling at the top of the diamond instead, and he switched his full-backs –...
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Posted in England | 41 Comments »

Tottenham 0-1 Arsenal: Arsenal grind out a win

March 17, 2014
Tottenham 0-1 Arsenal: Arsenal grind out a win

Arsenal went ahead within two minutes, then sat uncharacteristically deep for the remainder of the game. Tim Sherwood made four changes from the side that lost to Benfica, with Nacer Chadli in the number ten role and Nabil Bentaleb returning to the side. Arsene Wenger named his expecting starting XI, in a 4-3-3 shape with Mikel...
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Posted in England | 13 Comments »

Milan 0-2 Juventus: Milan play well, but Juventus show ruthlessness upfront

March 7, 2014
Milan 0-2 Juventus: Milan play well, but Juventus show ruthlessness upfront

Clarence Seedorf’s Milan played extremely well – but couldn’t translate their dominance into goals. Seedorf changed no fewer than six players, despite winning 2-0 at Sampdoria last time out. Mario Balotelli was still unavailable. Juventus were without Arturo Vidal through suspension and Giorgio Chiellini was only fit enough for the bench, but otherwise Antonio Conte’s line-ups...
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Posted in Italy | 5 Comments »

Atletico Madrid 2-2 Real Madrid: Atleti’s energy dominates midfield, but proves unsustainable

March 6, 2014
Atletico Madrid 2-2 Real Madrid: Atleti’s energy dominates midfield, but proves unsustainable

Despite Real’s early lead, Atletico dominated the first half – but tiredness caught up with them. Diego Simeone decided to leave David Villa on the bench, using Raul Garcia as a number ten. Carlo Ancelotti continued with the midfield and defence that had thrashed Schalke, but went for cautious options at full-back. This was a standard Madrid...
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Posted in Spain | 16 Comments »