Tag Archives: Zinadine Zidane

Monday Football Ramblings – 18 April 2016

The Race for the Barclays Premier League Title: Leicester City drop valuable points with Tottenham still to play.

LeicesterCityvWestHam

Leicester City dropped points against West Ham United on Sunday afternoon. This was a topsy-turvy match that saw some bad decisions from the referee, who sent Jamie Vardy off after a second bookable (by his standards) offense.

Should Tottenham win their match away to Stoke tonight they will only be five points behind Leicester with four games to play.

Scrap for the Top Four places: Manchester United relegates Aston Villa (good riddance), Manchester City show why they are in the semi-finals in Europe, and Arsenal keep looking over their shoulder

kunaguero

In another one of those Van Gaal type matches (i.e. boring as hell), Manchester United booted poor ol’Aston Villa out the Premier League with that 1 goal to nil result.

Manchester City made light work of a struggling Chelsea. A lot of graft is going to need to be done by Antonio Conte if he wants to do anything substantial with this Chelsea squad.

They are slow at the back, their midfield and attack don’t exist, and their keeper is awful.

Like Mike N The Mechanics, Arsenal keeps looking over their shoulder because Manchester United are right behind them.

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Champions league Semi-Final Draw: Manchester City v Real Madrid & Atlético Madrid v Bayern Munich

With only 2 games remaining for the prospective UEFA Champions League Finalists I guess this is the period football managers call ‘squeaky bum time’.

The Champions League’s official Twitter feed confirmed the schedule for the last four:

 

Manchester City v Real Madrid

CR7 returns to Manchester

Manchester City is in uncharted territory because this is their first time in a Champions League Semi-Final. The Spanish Media have also noticed that Real Madrid has been playing, what you could call, weaker teams in their knockout stages. Basically, having favourable draws, namely, Roma who is good but is playing in a very weak Italian Seria A, VFL Wolfsburg who are a bad team who had one good game in the first leg, and now Manchester City who are fourth in a league led by (1) Leicester City F.C., (2) Tottenham Hotspur F.C., and (3) Arsenal F.C (no offense to any of those teams) (except Arsenal)

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Preview of Manchester City v PSG and Real Madrid v Wolfsburg

Manchester. City (2) v (2) Paris Saint-Germain F.C

If Manchester City defended in any way as they did in the first match then Joe Hart is in for a long unromantic night.

Manchester City’s defence was shambolic on that evening.  Eliaquim Mangala and Nicolás Otamendi’s defending was more reminiscent of the duo of Sponge Bob and Patrick than it was of a Champions League defensive partnership.

If only Matuidi, Di Maria or the self-proclaimed King of Paris (or is it Sweden? I forget these things) Zlatan had punished them as they ought to have done, then we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

But they didn’t, so now we are sitting on a draw for the 2nd leg. Manchester City has the two crucial away goals.

After the 9-0 mauling of a team (which won’t be mentioned in this article because the team has since then died) PSG clinched the Ligue 1 title by a record 28 points! Okay, I’m not even sure if 28 points is a record but if it isn’t…

(In my deep Southern-American voice) “den I’ll be damned!”

So, because they have already wrapped up the league PSG have been giving game time to benchwarmers which means come Tuesday night Laurent Blanc’s squad will fresh.

City came from behind to beat West Brom over the weekend in a fairly tough match. Pellegrini made a few changes himself in his team’s come from behind win against an always tough West Bromwich team.

Manchester City is the team with the advantage. But I feel they need to get another goal or two. PSG will throw the kitchen sink at them because they’d want to make up for last weeks missed opportunities.

Unlike Pellegrini who may be seeing his team win the Champions League in the future, Laurent Blanc wants the trophy now.

“If we win tomorrow it will help create a new era of French football, it will change things and it would be a real breakthrough if we get to the semifinals for the first time.

“But that is not the ultimate objective. Expectations are high for us and will remain high until we finally become European champions,”

While Pellegrini, is more worried about the present,

“I think that the most important aspect of this team is always to score,”

“We are working here for around three years and for three years I always have the same answer. It is a team that is prepared to score goals, a team that is prepared to play.

“If we think that tomorrow (Tuesday) we need to try to draw 0-0, I think that we are going to lose the game. It’s not in the way we normally play.

“Tomorrow you will see the same team that you have seen the last two and a half seasons here.”

 

Manchester City’s Possible Starting XI

Hart, B. Sagna, G. Clichy, N. Otamendi, E. Mangala, Fernando, Fernandinho, David Silva, K. De Bruyne, Jesús Navas, S. Agüero

Paris Saint-Germain’s Possible Starting XI

Trapp, S. Aurier, Marquinhos, Thiago Silva, Maxwell, M. Verratti, Thiago Motta, A. Rabiot, Á. di María, E. Cavani, Z. Ibrahimovic

Manchester City Champions League Form

WWWLWWDD

Paris Saint-Germain F.C. Champions League Form

WDLWWWWD

Time: 8:45 PM

Venue: Etihad Stadium

 

Real Madrid (0) v (2) Wolfsburg

Real Madrid embarrassed themselves last Wednesday night.

It’s kind of like in the Amazing Race, on the German leg of the race, two cool Spanish dudes, who can’t speak a lick of German so they couldn’t complete their Detour thus they got to their Pit Stop 2nd last, where a fat German lady dressed like a Bavarian Maiden was like “Willkommen in Deutschland” and they were relieved they weren’t knocked out but knew they had to start the next leg of the race at number last.

It’s sort of the same in this situation, Real Madrid are starting this game with a deficit. But it isn’t all bad, it’s just two goals. Yes, one away-goal from Wolfsburg can mean Madrid would need four goals, but this is Wolfsburg we talking about, right?

I’m sure the BBC (Bale, Benzema, Cristiano) have at least one goal (each) in them, right?

I’m sure Wolfsburg having a decent defence (7th in goal conceded in the league) doesn’t mean anything to the Mighty Los Blancos, right?

If they can’t win this one (In my deep Southern-American voice, again) “den I’ll be damned!”

Zidane made it clear that his players are going to have to give it their all.

“We know that we have got a better chance if we keep a clean sheet,”

“But more than anything else, we have just got to play our game. It’s going to be an intense game, we’re going to fight, we’re going to run but most important is playing football.”

Dieter Hecking still thinks they’re underdogs in the tie but believes his team can pull through.

“We are playing well and we already had one magnificent day, now we need another one. We know our league form is not that well, but we hope to move forward in the Champions League.

“Are Madrid favourites? I think so. Why should we change our opinion? If we compare the history of both teams, we know who is favourite. We played well in one match, now we have to do it again. Our task is for the favourite to fail.”

Real Madrid’s Possible XI

Navas, Sergio Ramos, R. Varane, Marcelo, Daniel Carvajal,  T. Kroos,  L. Modrić,  Isco, G. Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo, K. Benzema

VfL Wolfsburg’s Possible XI

Benaglio, R. Rodriguez, C. Träsch,  Dante, Naldo,  J. Guilavogui,  M. Arnold,  Luiz Gustavo,  A. Schürrle,  Vieirinha,  J. Draxler, M. Kruse

Real Madrid Champions League Form

WWDWWWWWL

VfL Wolfsburg’s Champions League Form

WLWLWWWWW

Time: 8:45 PM

Venue: Santiago Bernabéu Stadium

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Monday Football Ramblings – 11 April 2016 – Leicester City Keep Rolling, Arsenal Draw in a Classic, Barcelona faulter, and Good ol’ Gary Wins!

vardy

The Race for the Barclays Premier League Title: The Leicester Citys freight train keeps moving while the Tottenham Hotspur steam locomotive stay right behind them.

This weekend saw the end of any title hopes for the Arsenal who drew against West Ham United (we’ll get to that later)

In a tricky match against a relegation threatened Sunderland it took Leicester City 66 minutes to open the scoring. In the 90th minute, Jamie Vardy capped off his brace when waltzed around the Sunderland keeper to net the ball home.

Sunderland 0-2. Leicester City

That win meant the chasing Tottenham Hotspur, who were playing later on that day, had to produce the goods against Manchester United, a team they have only beaten once in 14 years.

So you could say they odds were stacked against them.

But, this is Louis van Gaal Manchester United we are talking about.

It took some time for Spurs to open that stubborn United defense but once they did the floodgates of heaven opened. Not only did they beat – excuse my French- they crap out of a pathetic Manchester United but they did it with some dabbin’ too. (look up the word up in the urban dictionary, please)

Tottenham Hotspur 3 – 0. Manchester United

Like my favourite chunky RnB singer Adele once said in a song

This Barclays Premier League race “it isn’t over.”

Scrap for the Top 4 places: West Ham United and Arsenal drew in a 6 goal classic, Manchester United get a hiding,  and City comes from behind to beat West Brom

a carroll

Same old s**t, just a different day for the Gunners. I feel I have to say that again, It’s the same old SHIT, just a different day. They are out of the championship race and now are only looking to secure a champions league spot.

Let’s say (type) it all together now we want #wengerout

Arsenal and West Ham United gave us one of the games of the season.

It went a bit like this;

M. Ozil scores 1-0

A. Sanchez scores 2-0

West Ham United are worried now…

Before halftime, a cross comes in Andy Carroll (does what Andy Carrol does) scores with his head, 1-2

On the stroke of halftime Andy Carroll, this time, a bicycle kick scores again! 2-2

7 minutes after halftime Andy Carroll scores a hattrick!!! 3-2

Wenger is about to have a stroke or a cerebral hemorrhage…

Dimitri Payet does Dimitri Payet things, making other footballers look inferior 

70th minute L. Koscielny equalises 3-3!

This game is crazy!

Back and forth till the 90th minute.

phew! let me catch my breath…

Everytime Louis van Gaal seems like he is coming right, he goes and does something like this.

Manchester United do not lose to Tottenham Hotspur, but he did, 3-0.

Did I mention that LvG decided to play Jesse Lingard (a player I hate by the way) at number 10 and played Juan Mata,  a number 10, out on the wing.

Oh did I mention he took off Rashford (fair enough, he may have been struggling) for Ashley Young, a player who hasn’t played in months and DECIDED TO PLAY HIM (A WINGER) AT CENTRE FORWARD WITH ANTHONY MARTIAL ON THE PITCH!

And oh yeah before I forget did I mention how much I hate Louis van Gaal?

Manchester City did what they had to do against West Bromwich Albion and it seems more than likely that they will clinch that 4th spot.

Survivor: Relegation Edition:  Norwich City, Newcastle, Sunderland, and Aston Villa all lose

rafa

All four of the bottom four lost this weekend.

As things stand, there seems like there is only one spot up for grabs. Aston Villa is already relegated so Sam’s Sunderland, Rafa’s Newcastle, and the guy who isn’t popular enough for me to remember his name’s Norwich have it all to fight for.

The La Liga Wars – Episode 32: Barcelona fails to win against Real Sociedad at home, again. Sociedad aren’t a hoodoo they are more of a voodoo team, Real smash Eibar and Atlético Madrid take care of Espanyol

ronaldo

Just when you thought La Liga was all over.

Ronaldo and Madrid flatten an Eibar side who weren’t up for it and Atlético also show us how coming back from a deficit is done.

Barcelona, on the other hand,  lost their second game in a row at Sociedad which makes them only 3 points behind Atletico and only 4 points behind Madrid with 6 games to play.

Real Sociedad shut down the spaces through the middle and let them have it on the wings. Barcelona didn’t do much with the ball that they did have. Messi hardly had a kick of the ball.

Was this the tactical genius of another coach who isn’t popular enough for me to remember his name or is Barcelona just tired.

They look knackered. The number of competitive games that they are playing is taking a toll on their small squad.

The Adventures of Gary Neville in Spain: Hey everybody, great news! Gary Neville won a game of football in Spain!

With this last minutes goal

 

Article by: Thabang Kgeledi @Chiz_ZoBoSportz

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