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Monday, December 12, 2011

5 things we learnt from El Clasico

It was the 7th of 2011 but we can still learn a lot from 90 breath-taking minutes.

1. Messi is better than Cristiano

Once again Messi proved he is on course for a hat-trick of Ballon d’Or’s this January. Real gave him an inch and he took a mile slid a perfect pass to Alexis (who still had a lot to do) to score a stunning equaliser. Messi didn’t have his most spectacular game, Iniesta was probably the best player on the pitch, but, Messi’s influence in big games is unwavering. Cristiano on the other-hand had a bit of a disaster, no matter how hard he puffed his chest out he couldn’t make a positive impact on the game. He missed two crucial chances one, a skewed shot when a simple pass to Di Maria was a much better option when it was 1-0. The second was even more uncharacteristic; a free header that went harmlessly wide from an inch perfect ball from Alonso when Madrid were trailing 2-1. Catalan dialy Sport declared that “We’ll have to expand the dictionary to find new adjectives for him, because majestic, lethal, magic, incomparable and divine have all been used up”. Messi was far from his best against Real but he was far better than Cristiano.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Are Real and Barca over reliant on foreign superstars?

Note: football is not played on paper.

The cold dark days of early December bare witness to some of Europe’s key dates. Friday the 2nd December saw the draw for the European Championships, 6/7th see the final group games of this year’s Champions League and the 10th is ‘El Classico’. Spain have been drawn into a challenging group alongside Italy, Croatia and Republic of Ireland. Del Bosque had lots of nice things to say about his opponents:

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Weekend round-up and The changing roles of Malaga and Villareal

With the big three all playing on Saturday evening, Sunday was a day for the Spanish ‘second tier’ to showcase their talents. Levente this season’s surprise package got back to winning ways with a fantastic 4-0 home victory over Sporting Gijon. Athletic Club a side with so many talented players who have been so excellent this season were unusually stuck for ideas at home against Granada. It was a cautious affair but Granada despite spending the majority of the match defending went back south with 3 points away from home. Granada who have the worst shots to conversion in Europe’s top 5 leagues, 31 shots to every goal, just needed the one effort on Sunday an Inigo Lopez header.