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Real Madrid 1-0 Bayern Munich: Real’s counter-attack proves too good for Bayern

April 25, 2014
Real Madrid 1-0 Bayern Munich: Real’s counter-attack proves too good for Bayern

Real take a one-goal lead to Germany for next week’s second leg after another fine counter-attacking display. Carlo Ancelotti stuck with the XI he used for last week’s Copa del Rey victory over Barcelona – with the exception of the returning Cristiano Ronaldo in for Gareth Bale, who was ill. Pep Guardiola surprisingly named Rafinha at...
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Atletico Madrid 0-0 Chelsea: Atletico unable to successfully adapt against defensive opposition

April 23, 2014
Atletico Madrid 0-0 Chelsea: Atletico unable to successfully adapt against defensive opposition

Atletico Madrid and Chelsea played out a very cautious first leg. Arda Turan was only fit enough for the bench, while Diego Simeone chose Diego rather than David Villa as Diego Costa’s partner. Jose Mourinho selected a defensive-minded 4-1-4-1 system. Branislav Ivanovic was suspended, so Cesar Azpilicueta switched flanks and Ashley Cole made a rare start...
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Posted in Champions League | 56 Comments »

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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Posted in Spain | 49 Comments »

Liverpool 3-2 Manchester City: Liverpool start superbly, City respond after the break

April 14, 2014
Liverpool 3-2 Manchester City: Liverpool start superbly, City respond after the break

Philippe Coutinho’s late goal handed Liverpool a crucial victory in a superb match. Brendan Rodgers named his expected XI, which meant Joe Allen – often an option in big games – only on the bench. Manuel Pellegrini played Gael Clichy ahead of Aleksandar Kolarov because of his his defensive discipline, and decided Sergio Aguero wasn’t fit...
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Posted in England | 24 Comments »

Atletico 1-0 Barcelona: Gabi v Busquets, and pressing the opposition keeper?

April 11, 2014
Atletico 1-0 Barcelona: Gabi v Busquets, and pressing the opposition keeper?

At the fifth time of asking this season, a contest between these two finally produced a winner – Atletico deservedly progressing to the semi-finals. Diego Simeone was without two key players. Diego Costa hadn’t recovered from limping off in the first leg, and Arda Turan was also out. This meant Adrian Lopez played upfront and...
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Posted in Champions League | 20 Comments »