A strange game. Atletico dominated it from the outset and yet still went behind, to a classic rapid Valencia counter-attack. They equalised through a Forlan penalty, an incident in which Marchena was dismissed, and then Atletico had an hour of football with an extra man, and yet only went ahead within the last 15 minutes. After that, Miguel was also sent-off for Valencia, and Atletico added two more.
Stoke against Arsenal offers the most blatant difference in playing styles you will encounter in any major European league game. Stoke are the scrappy long-ball team who rely on set-pieces, Arsenal play a short, quick, neat passing game. Read more »
Ultimately, this Bayer Leverkusen side won nothing; the pressure of challenging on three fronts with a small squad had disastrous results at the end of the season, where they completed the most unwanted ‘treble’ in footballing history – losing the league on the final day of the season, losing in the German Cup final to Schalke, and finally, being defeated by Real Madrid in the Champions League final. Read more »
These are the pass completion statistics from the Champions League second round, first leg, as detailed by UEFA. They show a large variation between the 16 sides, from Barcelona’s 84% completion rate, to Fiorentina’s 57%. Read more »
It depends how you want to read this one. On one hand, with the advantage in the tie, Inter are content going to Stamford Bridge knowing Chelsea have to beat them to progress. On the other, Chelsea’s away goal could turn out to be vital, and a 1-0 win in the second leg will see them go through. Read more »
It was an intriguing game tonight, Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona’s usual 4-3-3 system taking on Christian Gross’ Stuttgart side playing a 4-4-2 counter-attacking system with split strikers. Although the 4-3-3 was basically intended to work best against a 4-4-2, Stuttgart were on top in the first half here, and probably should have been more than 1-0 up at the interval. Read more »
When Didier Drogba is on fire, the rest of the Chelsea side barely have to worry about getting shots in on goal. His two strikes against Wolves took him to 19 goals in 22 games this Premiership season, and 25 goals in 29 games in all competitions. Read more »
It’s hard to place this Spain team on a list which attempts to focus upon tactical innovations as much as success and pretty football – on one hand, the side was so wonderfully fluid and dynamic it was difficult to categorise them into a set formation, on the other it became increasingly clear that their first-choice system, with two strikers, wasn’t working for them.
It may have been brief, but it was beautiful. The Czech Republic side of Euro 2004 was brilliant, because they had everything in an attacking sense. They had an aerial threat from 6′7 Jan Koller. They had pace upfront from Milan Baros. They had the finest footballer in Europe at the time in Pavel Nedved, and Poborsky and Rosicky who could play either centrally or wide. They had a deep playmaker in Tomas Galasek, and two rampaging full-backs who got up and down the line all day. Read more »