Spain

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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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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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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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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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 »