"Football, bloody hell!"
Not the best video, but you can see how polemic is the beginning of the play. Then, Reyes with a beautiful long ball to Agüero, who dribbles well and assists Forlán, who score the equalizer.
Thin, tall, blonde, world class goalkeeper. You are probably thinking on Van der Sar, but Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson isn’t. The future of Old Trafford goal is in the hands of a 20 year old: David De Gea. This is more than a rumour, more than a beautiful coincidence used to fill newspaper’s lines column inches. It is said that the agreement between Manchester United and the player is very close.
The career of David De Gea at Atlético de Madrid has been meteoric. He was promoted to the first team after great performances with the reserves and with Spain national youth teams. He was going to be the third goalkeeper of the squad, but Sergio Asenjo and Roberto’s injuries allowed him to make his debut in Primera División. He took the opportuny and became indispensable for Quique Sanchez Flores.
De Gea keeps on showing all his quality in his second season at the highest level of Spanish football: His reflexes, agility and huge self-confidence shine. He could be the next Spain’s goalkeeper when Iker Casillas retires and Sir Alex Ferguson knows it.
It is said that Atlético and ManU have already reached an agreement and I believe it. Atlético de Madrid’s board is well-known for his disastrous way of running the club – e.g last week they offered Forlán to nearby rival Real Madrid! The obstacle is that De Gea doesn’t want to leave the colchoneros. Maybe he fears his Premier League career won’t be as brilliant as he had thought, like Fernando Torres’ in Liverpool.
He should be as calm about this move as he is when he is on the field. Manchester United would provide him the opportunity to become a world-class player and he should take advantage of it.
Real Madrid is not missing him, but Hércules is enjoying him.
First minute of the game and Javi Márquez scores the winner. Talented but irresponsible player.
Auxerre vs Real Madrid
– Real Madrid started with a 4-3-3 system, but the only midfielder that could move the ball cleverly was Xabi Alonso. Lass is too defensive-minded and Khedira is a box-to-box player. So, there were problemas with the well organized Auxerre. Anyway, the three strikers were very static, so they didn’t create any spaces in the french team defense and almost didn’t create any opportunities.
– Cristiano Ronaldo and Higuaín are anxious. Every time they get the ball they try to do an individual move. Moreover, the portuguese is not dribbling anybody. Mourinho have to change that.
– Real Madrid always tried to attack throught the centre when they should have opened the field. When Di Maria came in, late in the second half, the game changed a bit, and that was the way to score the first and last goal.
– The positive part: The Special One is The Lucky One too. Three points and no goals conceded, and top of the group.
Rubin Kazan vs Barcelona
– Maxwell is not good enought for Barcelona. He’s a good full back, but not a world class player as Dani Alves. Barcelona is lacking of depth and speed when their attack through left side.
– Select Mascherano and Busquets together is not a good idea when you play against such a defensive team. They are two of the best defensive midfielders in the world, but they play better behind the ball, and against Rubin Kazan, Barcelona should have been put players between Kazan’s defense and midfield.
– Villa is not at his best. I don’t know if he needs more minutes with their new teammates or if he’s going throught a bad patch, but he’s not the goalscorer he used to be.
– I don’t like Rubin’s tactic, but it’s valid, and it worked. Their match was almost perfect.
Valencia vs Manchester United
– It’s difficult to create something with Albelda and Tino Costa as midfielders. With Manuel Fernandes it would have been better, obviously with Ever Banega, that was injured.
– Valencia is playing better with two strikers. The progression of Aduriz is beeing impressive, and he starts being a very complete forward.
– Manchester United is smaller without Rooney and Scholes. And I can’t think in many players who had wasted his talent as Dimitar Berbatov.
– Small things always help big teams. Manchester United was lucky, and they won a match that deserved a draw.
Internazionale 4 – 0 Werder Bremen
Tottenham 4 – 1 Twente
Shalke 2 – 0 Benfica
H. Tel-Aviv 1 – 3 Lyon
Rangers 1 – 0 Bursaspor
Valencia 0 – 1 Manchester United: 85′ Chicharito Hernández
Panathinaikos 0 – 2 Kobenhavn
Rubin Kazan 1 – 1 Barcelona: 30′ Noboa (pen) [1-0], 60′ Villa (pen) [1-1]
Basel 1 – 2 Bayern
Roma 2 – 1 Cluj
Spartak Moscow 3 – 0 Zilina
Chelsea 2 – 0 Marseille
Ajax 1 – 1 Milán
Auxerre 0 – 1 Real Madrid: 83′, Di Maria
Partizan 1 – 3 Arsenal
Braga 0 – 3 Shaktar Donetsk
Brilliant shot, great goal, but in the end it was useless.
1: Valencia – 13 pts (4-1-0)
2: Villarreal – 12 pts (4-0-1)
3: Barcelona – 12 pts (4-0-1)
4: Real Madrid – 11 pts (3-2-0)
5: Atlético – 10 pts (3-1-1)
6: Espanyol – 9 pts (3-0-2)
The most decisive match of the year, much more than 3 points are at stake, the whole world watching 22 men fighting on the ground, and so on…Many clichés and trivialities surround this beautiful football game which involves a long-time rivalry prompted by social, politic and of course sporting subjects.
Yet, we should point out one of those phrases we hear over and over during the previous week – “no matter whether they are in or off form, when the times comes no one knows what will happen”. Or paraphrasing Cristiano Ronaldo’s words, “it doesn’t really matter who will play the match”.
THE SURPRISE FACTOR
December 13th, 2008.
Barcelona beat Real Madrid (2-0, goals by Eto’o and Messi) five days after Bernd Schuster got the sack from his job at the Bernabéu stadium. The German manager told the media that it was “impossible to win the derby against Barcelona”, in the press conference after losing to Sevilla 3-4 at home. He was immediately fired, as Juande Ramos took the charge and ended up losing in the most important game of the year, as his predecessor had foretold.
We could say that was the first time in many years where we could see a final result which met the previous expectations. Mostly, the surprise factor plays an important role in these kind of matches – it did in the famous 3-3 tie, when Messi began to be recognized as one of the best players of the world thanks to his three goals, or in the last chorreo* (2-6), when Barça took the first step to achieve their famous treble.