Match Analysis

Matches

Roma 2-1 Inter: A narrow victory that could turn out to be crucial

March 27, 2010
Roma 2-1 Inter: A narrow victory that could turn out to be crucial

There’s a case for saying that was the first huge game of the season. Title favourites Inter against the side who look most likely to topple them, and Jose Mourinho up against Claudio Ranieri – the man he replaced at Chelsea almost six years ago.
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Posted in Italy | 18 Comments »

Manchester United 2-1 Liverpool: a contest about the small details

March 21, 2010
Manchester United 2-1 Liverpool: a contest about the small details

No major tactical surprises here, and no surprise outcome either. Ferguson’s default line-up for these ‘big’ games is a flexible 4-5-1 shape (which means no Dimitar Berbatov) whilst Benitez was always going to go with Lucas ahead of Alberto Aquilani for a more solid midfield away at Old Trafford.
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Posted in England | 34 Comments »

Arsenal 2-0 West Ham: Zola brave for going with a 4-4-2, but foolish for sticking to it

March 20, 2010
Arsenal 2-0 West Ham: Zola brave for going with a 4-4-2, but foolish for sticking to it

You have to admire Gianfranco Zola for going to the Emirates and playing a 4-4-2. Without his two best players, Scott Parker and Carlton Cole, it would have been tempting to do what most sides do when they play Arsenal away – go 4-5-1 and try and hit Arsenal on the counter.
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Posted in England | 6 Comments »

Barcelona 4-0 Stuttgart: Guardiola’s alternative shape proves successful for the second time in four days

March 17, 2010
Barcelona 4-0 Stuttgart: Guardiola’s alternative shape proves successful for the second time in four days

Fascinating that Pep Guardiola continued to use Barcelona’s ‘alternative’ system – the 4-2-4ish formation they played in the second half against Valencia at the weekend – to great effect. Zlatan Ibramimovic (banned for the weekend game) was available again, but Guardiola opted for Thierry Henry instead.
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Posted in Champions League | 51 Comments »

Chelsea 0-1 Inter – a classic Mourinho victory, but no blame attached to Ancelotti

March 16, 2010
Chelsea 0-1 Inter – a classic Mourinho victory, but no blame attached to Ancelotti

This is what Jose Mourinho does. Not the prettiest victory you’ll see in this season’s Champions League, but incredibly effective. Inter reduced the game to a scrappy, stop-start battle, defended brilliantly from the front, and then pounced when Chelsea started to push forward.
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Posted in Champions League | 62 Comments »