Archive for the ‘European Football’ Category

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Liverpool played reasonably well despite losing the Champion’s League final 3-1 to Real Madrid. They were unlucky to lose Mo Salah to injury in the first half and also had a shot from Sadio Mané come back off a post when, had it gone in, they would have taken a 2-1 lead.

These are the finer details which can sometimes be the difference between winning and losing but, the general feeling is, that Madrid would have won the game even if Salah had not been injured and Mané’s shot had gone in.

Liverpool were undone by two goalkeeping howlers which would have looked out of place in a schoolboy game between under-13s. (more…)

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So the Champion’s League final was contested between two teams who, between them, had won almost a third of the total Champion’s Leagues ever held!

For Real Madrid it was another chance to make history. Last season they became the first team to successfully defend the title since the competition was rebranded from the old European Cup. This season they have become the first team to reach three consecutive finals on two occasions.

Between 1956 and 1960 they reached the final of the European Cup for five consecutive years, winning it every time, so it is no wonder that this trophy is considered to be their favourite! (more…)

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With Liverpool favourites to progress to the Champion’s League final how likely is it that they will win the trophy in May? One thing is for sure, they will have to defend better against Real Madrid than they did against Roma in the semi-final.

Two seasons ago Manchester City reached the same stage and were defeated by Real Madrid although only by a scoreline of 1-0 over the two legs. What must have been more annoying to Manuel Pellegrini at the time was that City should have won both legs of that tie.

Real Madrid got through to the final without ever having to do anything out of the ordinary and without even playing well. The fault all lay with City who just didn’t appear to turn up either in Madrid or in Manchester. (more…)

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In a hard-to-believe draw for the quarter finals of the Champion’s League the two remaining English teams have been drawn to play each other.

This despite there also being two Italian teams and THREE Spanish who have all miraculously managed to avoid having to play one of their compatriots!

Conspiracy theorists are already looking for fields in which to have a day!

Here’s the draw in full:

Liverpool v Manchester City
Juventus v Real Madrid
Sevilla v Bayern Münich
Roma v Barcelona (more…)

world-game

As is often the case when a team comes up against Lionel Messi, he wins. On Wednesday night it was a case of Lionel Messi, (with a little help from Ousmane Dembele who, in turn, received a little help from Lionel Messi), 3 Chelsea 0.

The scoreline was a little harsh on Conte’s team as they played quite well, just as they had at Stamford Bridge in the first leg. The problem is that, at this level, if chances are not taken by one side then they usually are by the other and, when Messi gets chances, he usually gets goals. (more…)

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At the time of writing England still has four representatives in the competition so the chances are reasonably good that one of them could win it. To an extent it depends on the draw for the quarter finals, particularly for Manchester City and Liverpool who are already through to that round.

Manchester United still have a potentially tricky second leg tie at home to Sevilla to overcome but should do so without major problems whilst Chelsea have the hardest task in that they need to either beat Barcelona in the Camp Nou or come away with a high scoring draw in order to progress. (more…)

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Why does UEFA have such strange ideas? Is it because FIFA, the world body, also has strange ideas and it feels the need to keep up with them? And how come the two never seem to agree on anything?

FIFA has already stated that VAR will be used in this year’s World Cup, supposedly the biggest tournament on the planet. UEFA have decided that it isn’t at an acceptable standard yet for the Champion’s League. So it’s fine for the world, just not for Europe!

We have mentioned, in a recent article, how FIFA’s “best player in the world” often isn’t considered to be the “best player in Europe”.

The World Cup itself isn’t called the “World Champion’s League” yet it has a similar format to the European club version. (more…)

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IG

Ilkay Gündoğan – Man-of-the-Match and two goals to boot.

After emphatic away wins for Manchester City and Liverpool they are both, barring disasters of seismic proportions, through to the quarter finals of the Champion’s League.

Having beaten Basel 4-0 in Switzerland City fans will be thinking that there will be tougher tests ahead and they would be right in so thinking.

The only question raised by the performance of the Swiss team is how they managed to beat Manchester United and Liverpool in the recent past!

On this form, which has been pretty consistent all season, City need fear nobody and are certainly a match for the likes of Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Münich. (more…)

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Our education is now complete. We have, very recently, learned that Sky Sports News is sponsored by The Sun newspaper. We should have been able to guess as much and the only real surprise here is that it came as a surprise at all!

So one peddler of amateurish and exaggerated hyperbole, (Ed – is it possible to exaggerate hyperbole?), sponsors another. A match made in heaven, if ever there was one!

But we digress because this has nothing to do with the subject on which we are about to impart our considered and valued opinions. (more…)

bACKGROUND

Now there’s a leading question and one which has already been the subject of many a debate around the local hostelries of England and, probably, elsewhere.

In order to reach an, (almost), satisfactory conclusion we have to look at the cost involved in bringing them to the club against the number of goals scored.

Obviously as four of these players are in the first season with their clubs we will use only goals scored this season as the yardstick.

So, in reverse order, here are the “best” strikers in the Premier League. (more…)