Marseille 2-2 PSG: Gignac and Ibrahimovic

October 8, 2012
Marseille 2-2 PSG: Gignac and Ibrahimovic

Andre-Pierre Gignac and Zlatan Ibrahimovic both scored twice in Le Classique.

There were no surprises in Elie Baup’s line-up – this is his first-choice XI since the departures of Cesar Azpilicueta and Stephane Mbia.

Carlo Ancelotti brought Javier Pastore into the side, and there were also returns at the back for Christophe Jallet and Alex.

This was an entertaining game and all four goals were very fine finishes, but the tactical battle wasn’t particularly interesting. Read more »

Newcastle 0-3 Manchester United: Ferguson’s diamond forces Newcastle to change shape

October 8, 2012
Newcastle 0-3 Manchester United: Ferguson’s diamond forces Newcastle to change shape

Manchester United won the game primarily because of a dominant opening 15 minutes.

Alan Pardew selected a 4-4-2 from the start. James Perch was at centre-back, Davide Santon on the right, and Shane Ferguson at left-back.

Sir Alex Ferguson continued with the diamond he played against Cluj in midweek. Danny Welbeck replaced Javier Hernandez, while Tom Cleverley and Michael Carrick came in for Anderson and Darren Fletcher.

There were three phases here. First, Manchester United’s diamond dominated Newcastle’s 4-4-2. Second, Pardew switched to a 4-5-1 to compete in the centre of midfield. Third, Ferguson switched to a 4-5-1 to give protection to his full-backs. Read more »

Barcelona 2-2 Real Madrid: two goals each for Ronaldo and Messi

October 7, 2012
Barcelona 2-2 Real Madrid: two goals each for Ronaldo and Messi

Both sides appeared content with a point from an entertaining match.

Tito Vilanova surprisingly named Adriano at centre-back rather than Alex Song, in the absence of Gerard Pique and Carles Puyol. Andres Iniesta returned to the side in place of Alexis Sanchez.

Jose Mourinho went for a familiar side – with no Luka Modric or Michael Essien, it was essentially the Real of last season, with Mesut Ozil as the number ten.

It was the usual pattern – Barca dominating possession, Real a threat from quicker attacks and set-pieces. Read more »