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Domestic

Arsenal 2-0 Sunderland – an ambitious approach from Steve Bruce that almost came off

February 21, 2010
Arsenal 2-0 Sunderland – an ambitious approach from Steve Bruce that almost came off

An interesting match-up today at the Emirates. Arsenal continue to deploy Cesc Fabregas in a very advanced role behind the frontman, with the wingers slightly deeper than they played in the clear 4-3-3 shape at the start of the campaign. Sunderland came with an extremely adventurous 4-3-3 shape, with three genuine strikers, and with...
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Posted in England | 3 Comments »

Arsenal 1-0 Liverpool – Wenger’s slight midfield shift wins him the game

February 10, 2010
Arsenal 1-0 Liverpool – Wenger’s slight midfield shift wins him the game

The problem in the first half here was to do with mentality. Both sides were happy with keeping it tight, and in their respective situations it’s not hard to see why. Arsenal, having been thrashed by both Chelsea and Manchester United in their past two games, were content to prevent a whitewash. Liverpool, on...
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Posted in England | 3 Comments »

Liverpool’s “two banks of four” works well against ten men

February 10, 2010
Liverpool’s “two banks of four” works well against ten men

A couple of weeks ago we detailed how Jose Mourinho’s Inter side played brilliantly after going down to ten men against Milan’s 4-3-3 system, keeping two players upfront but asking them to work the channels, thereby occupying the whole of a four-man defence, matching a three-man midfield, and having a spare man at the...
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Posted in Chalkboards, England | Comments Off

Fiorentina 0-1 Roma – the classic smash and grab away win

February 8, 2010
Fiorentina 0-1 Roma – the classic smash and grab away win

How do Roma do it? This was their third consecutive victory, and all three have featured late, late goals that grabbed points the Giallorossi probably didn’t deserve on the balance of play. After a Riise goal won the game at Juventus and an Okaka goal grabbed them three points against Siena, Mirko Vucinic popped...
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Posted in Italy | 4 Comments »

Arsenal 1-3 Manchester United: Wayne Rooney brilliantly demonstrates the value of a ‘false nine’

January 31, 2010
Arsenal 1-3 Manchester United: Wayne Rooney brilliantly demonstrates the value of a ‘false nine’

It’s one thing to go out, play to your manager’s orders and get results. It’s an entirely separate thing to go out and score great goals. And when those two come together, you have perfect football. This doesn’t happen too often – playing to your manager’s orders is often associated with defensive, negative football –...
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Posted in England | 14 Comments »