The Rout of Rome. Manchester United, for sure, will want to forget this one. The 2-0 scoreline doesn't soundall that bad -- but it was, it was. Apart from a hectic first 10 minutes or so, when ManU charged energetically forward, trying frantically to be the first to score, this was all Barcelona.
Diagnosing the Champions League final
Posted by Paul Gardner on May. 26, 1:03 a.m.
The UEFA Champions League final has come to stand for a good deal more than just a climactic game. It represents a yearly check on the health of the soccer body, a temperature reading, a diagnosis. How goes our sport? Healthy? Feverish? Sick? Strong? Weak?
Witch Hunt Puts in Question Yellow Suspensions
Posted by Paul Gardner on May. 21, 12:50 a.m.
Inevitably, Werder Bremen lost yesterday's UEFA Cup final to Shakhtar Donetsk. I'm not belittling the Ukrainian club, which deserved its win. It was better than Bremen. That is to say, Shakhtar was better than Bremen without Diego.
The Delights - and the Dangers - of Sporting Delusions
Posted by Paul Gardner on May. 18, 1:11 a.m.
The way that so many people involved in sports manage to live happily with the most extraordinary delusions continues to bewilder me.
Seattle plays the ref-bashing game
Posted by Paul Gardner on May. 13, 10:28 p.m.
Referee Tim Weyland was kept busy by the Sounders and the Galaxy on Sunday -- to the tune of eight yellow cards and one red. He also called 27 fouls -- which is high, but not outrageously so.
Chatty refs and wasted corners defy common sense
Posted by Paul Gardner on May. 11, 12:26 a.m.
During the first half of Sunday's game between Arsenal and Chelsea, there were two aspects of the modern game that sprang to my attention. Two highly irritating aspects.
Who's Manly Now, Guus?
Posted by Paul Gardner on May. 7, 12:57 a.m.
Chelsea lost big-time yesterday. With almost the last action of the game, it lost a 1-0 lead over Barcelona, and so it lost the chance to be in the UEFA Champions league final. But it lost a lot more than that.
Revs Revert to a Reverie from the 1950s
Posted by Paul Gardner on May. 4, 12:35 a.m.
In gentler, less clever days, there really wasn't too much to know about soccer tactics. In England, anyway. Team formations were cast in concrete, immutable, a 3-4-3 with three fullbacks, four midfielders and three forwards. We never called it a 3-4-3 though. It was always a W-M formation.