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Everton 3-3 Liverpool: amazingly open game, and goals from set-pieces

November 24, 2013
Everton 3-3 Liverpool: amazingly open game, and goals from set-pieces

Positive tactics and awful defending combined to create a goalfest at Goodison Park. This is Roberto Martinez’s first-choice XI at the moment, with Leon Osman only on the bench. Brendan Rodgers switched to a cautious 4-3-3 system, with doubts over Daniel Sturridge’s fitness meaning Luis Suarez played alone upfront. Joe Allen came into the midfield, with...
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Posted in England | 7 Comments »

Sweden 2-3 Portugal: Ibrahimovic 2-3 Ronaldo

November 22, 2013
Sweden 2-3 Portugal: Ibrahimovic 2-3 Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo produced an extraordinary performance to win this play-off almost single-handedly. Erik Hamren named an unchanged starting XI from the first leg, which finished in a 1-0 Portugal victory. Paolo Bento’s side had one change – Hugo Almeida had made the difference in the first leg as a substitute, so replaced Helder Postiga upfront It’s difficult...
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Posted in Internationals | 17 Comments »

Ukraine 2-0 France: France lack creativity with the ball, and lack structure without it

November 18, 2013
Ukraine 2-0 France: France lack creativity with the ball, and lack structure without it

Ukraine are halfway to the World Cup, after a surprise 2-0 victory over France. Mykhaylo¬†Fomenko’s XI was fairly typical of his recent line-ups, although Roman Zozulya hasn’t always played upfront, and Edmar was fielded in an advanced role. Didier Deschamps left out Mathieu Valbuena and played Samir Nasri instead, with Olivier Giroud favoured over Karim Benzema...
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Posted in Internationals | 32 Comments »

Manchester United 1-0 Arsenal: United start positively then defend extremely narrow

November 13, 2013
Manchester United 1-0 Arsenal: United start positively then defend extremely narrow

David Moyes recorded the first major victory of his tenure at Old Trafford. Moyes selected Phil Jones in the centre of midfield alongside Michael Carrick, and continued with Shinji Kagawa on the left. Arsene Wenger was without Per Mertesacker and Tomas Rosicky due to flu, so Thomas Vermaelen came into the side and Aaron Ramsey moved...
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Posted in England | 38 Comments »

Dortmund 0-1 Arsenal: Dortmund on top for an hour, but Arsenal excellent after scoring

November 7, 2013
Dortmund 0-1 Arsenal: Dortmund on top for an hour, but Arsenal excellent after scoring

Dortmund had significantly more shots, but Arsenal snatched a winner and saw out the game efficiently. Jurgen Klopp was without Mats Hummels and Ilkay Gundogan, so named an unchanged side. Arsene Wenger didn’t have anyone back from injury, so kept the same side that defeated Liverpool. This game was simultaneously high-tempo and slow-burning – an uneventful first...
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Posted in Champions League | 32 Comments »