On Sunday a key game has been played between Liverpool and Tottenham for the title race, with Liverpool grabbing a late win on the game of contrary halves. This win put Liverpool back to the 1st position, leading the table by 2 points over Manchester City, although City can take their position back, if they beat Cardiff in the midweek round -to match the equal number of games played. Spurs meanwhile continued their not-so-impressive form, winning only 1 from their last 6 games in the league, and with Arsenal’s victory on Monday night Spurs dropped to 4th position.
Scoring 10 goals in the first 2 games, with convincing overall display, system flexibility, whilst using several newbies in the starting line-ups are all definite factors that makes these 2 wins even more impressive.
The main thesis addressed is that sometimes making small changes through simple (individual) rules can improve to a great extent the collective functioning without needing more sort of complex changes.
Eintracht Frankfurt against Inter Milan looked to be one of the most interesting ties of the Europa League round of 16. Adi Hutter’s men have had a good run of form domestically, and dispatched of Shakhtar Donetsk with relative ease in the previous round having gone through the group stages with 6 wins out of 6. Their good form continued here, but with the game ending 0-0, they face a difficult task in the second leg.
For the first time since 2003, Ajax have qualified for the Champions League quarterfinals. Typically, strong Ajax teams are synonymous with youth talents. Yet it was 30 year old Dusan Tadic that pieced together a performance for the ages in the bright lights of the Bernebeu.
Arsenal and Tottenham have entered the last few seasons with the same objective of claiming a top four position to ensure Champions League football. Along with the geographical rivalry, competing for similar positions has put increased importance on the direct clashes, and this piece will examine the details of both league clashes.
Borussia Dortmund hosted Hoffenheim in an exciting Bundesliga clash on Saturday afternoon. Favre’s men were the league leaders with a 7 point lead over title rivals Bayern, and victory in this game would be another crucial step towards a first Bundesliga title since 2012. For the visitors, one win in their last 9 league games had seen them fall behind in the race for Champions league qualification.
After a hot start in Eredivsie, Ajax’s blues after the turn of the new year continued, this time in the form of an emphatic victory for Feyenoord thanks to their sharp transition play and effective defensive matchplan.
SV.com author George Jones had the pleasure of interviewing FA Senior Youth Coach Developer Ben Bartlett (@BenBarts) regarding his views on coaching, developing a philosophy, a constraints based approach and coach development in general.
I explain the reason for Guardiola moving Messi into the center of the field and how he consistently used players to free up spaces in the center for Messi and Iniesta to receive the ball and create dangerous attacks from. I also explain a bit why he moved away from this approach at Bayern and at City.