Spain

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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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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Barcelona 2-3 Valencia: Valencia rewarded for bravery on the counter-attack

February 3, 2014
Barcelona 2-3 Valencia: Valencia rewarded for bravery on the counter-attack

Barcelona suffered their first home defeat of the season, to a Valencia side who had the third-worst away record in La Liga. Tata Martino rested Andres Iniesta, and is still without Neymar. Valencia had a busy few days in the transfer window – mainly with players departing. Helder Postiga, Ever Banega and Andres Guardado have all...
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Atletico Madrid 0-0 Barcelona: different styles but similar lack of invention upfront

January 12, 2014
Atletico Madrid 0-0 Barcelona: different styles but similar lack of invention upfront

La Liga’s top of the table clash was intense and intriguing, but ultimately goalless. Diego Simeone named his expected side, with right-back Juanfran available after his suspension was overturned. Despite Lionel Messi’s return in midweek against Getafe, he wasn’t risked from the start – he joined Neymar on the bench, and Cesc Fabregas played as the...
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Posted in Spain | 24 Comments »