World news: big games of the week-end (23/09)

Other than the big Roma-Juve clash, there were a number of interesting matches to watch across Europe this week-end. The most notable took place in the Spanish Liga and the English Premiership.

Barça-Sevilla 2-1

Spain LFPIn terms of match form, this was probably the most anticipated match of the week. Barcelona had set their boat back on track after a rocky start in the Liga, and while it is true that Sevilla had just come from an (undeserved in its severity) 3-0 loss to Arsenal earlier this week, they were nonetheless still one of the favorites for the Liga title this season. Saturday’s match did little to change that fact, except perhaps give a little boost to Barcelona: it will be a long season and both teams have undeniable quality in their rosters, even though the performance of the Sevillans Saturday was far from brilliant.

Such a shame that Brazilian star Ronaldinho was out injured for this match (or at least, that was the official reason released to the press), because Barça coach Frank Rijkaard could have fielded his star trio in attack once again (with the exception of Samuel Eto’o, still unavailable for a lengthy period of time). In the end, the lone striking pair for the Blaugrana would be composed by Thierry Henry (still trying to adapt to his new team) and Lionel Messi (who delighted the spectators once again tonight, with beautiful plays and decisive goals).

The first half was punctuated by a series of missed chances. First on the board: Barcelona, who were only a breath away from opening the score through Andrés Iniesta and then later Messi. On to the other front: an Ivica Dragutinovic cross for Renato (reconverted into a striker role for this match) rattled the crossbar as the Brazilian’s header beat Víctor Valdés, but not the woodwork. A few more tries by Barcelona from long distance (Yaya Touré notably) didn’t manage to break the tie, and the half ended on a score of 0-0.

Lionel Messi has delivered the goods yet again for Barcelona

After the restart Barcelona continued pushing forward, as the Camp Nou public awaited the entrance of kid phenomenons Giovani Dos Santos (age 18) and Bojan Krkić (age 17). Along with Leo Messi (now an established starter for the Blaugrana), the future of Barcelona is assured. Thierry Henry however is still struggling to adapt to his new club: an absolute shadow of his former Arsenal self today (not knowing what to do with the ball close to the box and often slowing Barça’s maneuvers down), the French striker even managed to blow an usually unmissable chance for a man of his talent. Exploiting a perfect long pass by Rafael Márquez, Henry controlled the aerial ball (with a great touch it must be said) and one-on-one with the keeper, sent a weak shot onto the post! Ah well no matter, if Henry can’t seem to remember how the shoot at least he remembers how to pass: in the 73rd, a perfect delivery by the Frenchman opened up Leo Messi in front of the net, and the finish (after a delightful first touch) was as beautiful as it was spectacular. 1-0 Barça.

A few minutes later, Barça made it 2-0 when Messi transformed a penalty conceded by Christian Poulsen for a hold on Dos Santos. Frederic Kanouté reduced the lead in the 90th, but it was all too little too late for the Andalusians. Barça-Sevilla 2-1 the final score.


Man Utd-Chelsea 2-0

England EPLFor the 7th matchday of the English Premiership, the Chelsea of Roman Abramovich travelled to Old Trafford to face arch-rivals Manchester United. Right, it’s “Roman Abramovich’s Chelsea” now after the departure of José Mourinho, since there’s no telling how long the new interim manager Avram Grant is going to remain. But needless to say that the Blues‘ environment was still in shock over the portuguese coach’s departure, which constituted a decisive psychological advantage for the Red Devils. It also didn’t help the Blues had to play the majority of the game one man down.

Indeed, Chelsea’s night took a turn for the worst when in the 33th minute Nigerian midfielder John Obi Mikel got sent off for a bad tackle on Patrice Evra. To be fair, it was a rather harsh decision by referee Mike Dean, because replays showed that despite Mikel’s challenge was dangerous it was more clumsy than mean. However, the referee judged it on its potential to cause broken bones and showed the Chelsea player the red card.

Carlos Tévez beats Cech’s vigilance to score his 1st ever goal for the Red Devils

Ensued a match pretty much dominated by Manchester through and through, who finally went on the scoreline shortly before the break: Argentine striker Carlos Tévez exploited a good cross by Ryan Giggs and anticipated Petr Cech with a diving header. 1-0 Man Utd and the first goal by Tévez with the Red Devils, who could also count on the return from injury of their star Wayne Rooney.

After the break, Chelsea produced little opposition to United’s domination: the absence of two key pieces such as Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba was all too obvious today, and eventually the Blues had to concede another goal when Louis Saha (also back from injury) obtained and transformed a penalty shot for the final 2-0 scoreline. While Saha was celebrating his 200th tally in the Premier league, I wonder what José Mourinho was thinking while watching his (old) team crumble yet again. It’s going to be a long season for Chelsea I’m afraid.

Posted in English Premiership, Spanish Liga, World News |

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  • 4 Responses to “World news: big games of the week-end (23/09)”

    1. Serja says:

      Awwww no comments on the amazing performance of Arsenal against Derby County? :mrgreen:

    2. Temi says:

      The words “amazing performance” should probably never be used when “Derby” are the opposition as its the norm rather than the exception… I for one would rather Marco not recap and applaud wins against League one caliber opposition….

    3. Agreed Temi. Only the good matches will make it to the mCalcio homepage. But you’ll have to excuse Serja, his team hasn’t been topping the league for 4 years so he’ll a lil’ bit excited :P :twisted:

    4. Serja says:

      Temi it’s not so much the fact that Arsenal beat Derby that’s amazing, but rather that they drilled 5 goals into the net (one of which an amazing piledriver by Cesc Fabregas). We’re topping the league at the moment and deserve every bit of attention! :roll: :P