Arsenal 0-2 Bayern: Bayern dominant down the right, especially after Arsenal reduced to ten

February 20, 2014
Arsenal 0-2 Bayern: Bayern dominant down the right, especially after Arsenal reduced to ten

Arsenal started excellently but Bayern increasingly demonstrated their superiority.

Arsene Wenger made the surprise decision to continue with Yaya Sanogo upfront – the Frenchman had only made his full debut in the weekend win over Liverpool.

Pep Guardiola also named a surprise XI, with Javi Martinez in the side and Philipp Lahm back in his old right-back role. Thomas Muller was only on the bench.

Arsenal were excellent for the first 10 minutes, but after Mesut Ozil’s missed penalty Bayern grew into the game, and were completely dominant after Wojciech Szczesny’s red card. Read more »

Manchester City 0-2 Barcelona: City weather the storm before Demichelis tackle changes the tie

February 19, 2014
Manchester City 0-2 Barcelona: City weather the storm before Demichelis tackle changes the tie

Goals from Lionel Messi and Daniel Alves gave Barcelona a significant lead going into the second leg.

Manuel Pellegrini unsurprisingly switched to a 4-2-3-1 / 4-4-1-1 formation, but surprisingly named two left-backs in tandem, Gael Clichy and Aleksandar Kolarov. Fernandinho was fit to return in midfield, while Martin Demichelis played at the back.

Tata Martino was cautious with his team selection, playing Andres Iniesta on the left of a front three, with Cesc Fabregas in midfield.

Barcelona enjoyed unprecedented spells of possession for an away side at the Etihad, but failed to convert their dominance into clear-cut chances in the first half – before Demichelis’ rash tackle at the start of the second half changed the tie. Read more »

Arsenal 2-1 Liverpool: Arsenal more disciplined despite a rotated side

February 18, 2014
Arsenal 2-1 Liverpool: Arsenal more disciplined despite a rotated side

Arsenal narrowly won an extremely open cup tie.

Arsene Wenger rested various players ahead of the meeting with Bayern on Wednesday. The most interesting inclusion was striker Yaya Sanogo, making his first start.

Brendan Rodgers brought back Daniel Agger in place of Kolo Toure, selected Joe Allen rather than  Jordan Henderson, and also gave a runout to reserve goalkeeper Brad Jones.

Arsenal were much improved compared to last weekend, particularly in terms of positioning and organisation. Read more »