More World Cup Moments: Serbia And Mexico Win, There’s A Draw For Brazil And We Take A Brief Trip Back To The Premier League For Some Transfer News

Posted: June 19, 2018 in Arsenal, Chelsea, Football, International Football, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Opinion, The World Cup, Tottenham Hotspur
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Nothing very surprising about that headline you may think. Three good teams not losing their opening World Cup games, so what? What’s so unusual about that?

Well, in the case of Serbia, who managed to scrape past Costa Rica 1-0 courtesy of an excellent Aleksandr Kolarov free-kick nothing really, other than they would have been expected to win by a greater margin.

In the case of Brazil there was also nothing spectacular about the fact that they managed to draw with Switzerland. It was, in fact, not such an unexpected result.

A trademark Coutinho cracker set them on their way and the only surprise was that the half-time score was only 1-0.

In the second half though, the Swiss worked out, more or less, how to play against this Brazilian team and, once they had equalised, a draw always looked on the cards and it ended honours even at 1-1.

Which brings us to Mexico. Not literally you understand, as we are still, in mind at least, in Russia for the tournament even if we are, in body, sitting in an office in Spain.

The Mexico result was quite unexpected. They have a new coach who is, apparently, very positive and has wiped from the players minds all thoughts of just making it to the fifth game. He wants them to think in terms of winning the whole dang tournament!

That may be just a little too positive and is possibly, and inadvertently, a way to promote pessimism as a preferable alternative. Remember, pessimists are never disappointed!

Anyway, Mexico beat the German machine 1-0 with a mixture of stout defending, excellent counter-attacking and a little luck.

Germany started the game showing little, if any respect for the Mexicans, by playing four forward facing midfield players in their team. This left big spaces between the back of the midfield and the defence and it was into these spaces that the Mexican forwards continually drove.

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Hirving Lozano celebrates his goal against Germany

After 35 minutes it all paid off when Hirving Lozano scored, on another quick counter, from a Chicharito pass.

In the second half, as the Mexicans began to tire, Germany started to look a little like their old selves but, by then, it was too little too late and the match ended with Manuel Neuer playing as an emergency striker alongside Der Targetman Mario Gomez, who had been sent on for the last 11 minutes.

This was the first time the Germans had lost an opening World Cup match since 1982 when, as West Germany, they reached the final only to lose to Italy. On today’s evidence, they won’t be reaching the final this time but, as usual, don’t bet on it.

Over in England…..

Back in Blighty and Nabil Fekir, according to The Express, has been offered to clubs “like Manchester United and Chelsea”. Now who could that possibly be because the only clubs we know who are like Manchester United and Chelsea are…..er….. Manchester United and Chelsea!

Obviously The Express knows something we don’t and there are obviously unknown clubs around masquerading as better known ones without anyone’s knowledge, (except The Express, of course).

The bottom line here appears to be that Lyon now wish to hold out until after the World Cup in the hope that his value increases. They have already increased it to £66 million having turned down £53 million from Liverpool.

In other Liverpool news, Blaise Matuidi has welcomed Emre Can to Juventus. This may be a little premature as nothing has yet been confirmed but it looks as though it soon will be.

Also, according to The Express, Liverpool are prepared to let Mo Salah go to Real Madrid as long as they get Keylor Navas and €150 million in return. Actually, that is according to Diario Gol, a Spanish publication, but it is reported in The Express.

And finally…..

According to Patrice Evra, playing for Manchester United is all about character and personality and has nothing to do with ability.

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Patrice Evra – Bringing his own kind of punditry to the World Cup!

We have to agree as he was definitely one of the most overrated players to ever pull on the red shirt but he did have character and personality.

Unfortunately, the current team has too many players who have neither character nor personality and the bigger problem is that they don’t have ability either. Hopefully some of them will be shown the door this summer.

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