Mourinho still has his rascality
Manchester United probably provided the Blues their sweetest victory this season ; that 4 – 0 seismic drubbing at the bridge last year. Chelsea had built on that to stay at the summit of the log while Mou’s team; unbeaten in the league since then but have struggled to put teams to the sword. On Sunday, revenge was sweet, still a massive 15 points off the log but the Special one made it clear that he still has that gritty and b****y side to his coaching skill.
Evident was sticking Herrera on to Eden Hazard – a decision which got the former sent off in the FA Cup last month – Spaniard had other things up his sleeves this time, like spearing a nifty pass to Rashford for the opener and scoring one himself. Mourinho’s decision to start Darmian, Fellaini, Lingard and Skipper, Ashley Young – largely unfancied personnel in the United squad and went ahead to get the desired results shows how brave he was.
Lyon’s trouble with fans.
What primarily comes to mind when you think about Lyon is how they dominated the Ligue 1 in the recent past. It’s a very decent club which is unctuously ran with Players like Juninho Pernambuhano, Sidney Govou, Gregory Coupet, Sylvain Wiltord or maybe more recently Alexandre Lacazette.
Ironically, they have been in the news for the absurd / wrong reasons owing to crowd trouble. On Thursday in their Europa League game against Beşiktaş was delayed for 45 minutes because both set of fans clashed – a truly horrendous and horrific scene which had to take the Club president Michel Aulas to douse the tension among the crowd. They were subsequently charged for insufficient organization, pitch invasion, blocking stairways and setting off fireworks. Barely 96 hours later, Lyon players got attacked by Bastia fans during their pre match warm up only to be persuaded to play but Bastia fans never look like stopping. The Ligue de Football Professionnel (LFP), which governs France’s professional leagues, will meet on Thursday to decide what action to take.
It called on Bastia to issue stadium bans to the fans responsible, adding: “The LFP condemns with the greatest firmness the incidents which took place before the game and at half-time of the Bastia-Lyon game.” I hope Bastia get a heavy punishment. Football has no tolerance whatsoever for violence.
I do not think any offensive player had a better game than the diminutive Spaniard this weekend. In a game where Sergio Ramos was the only player considered an automatic first-choice for Zidane in his line-up. Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema, Toni Kroos, Luka Modric and Casemiro were all rested ahead of the midweek Champions League game against Bayern Munich and next week’s Clasico. Isco still managed to make his mark scoring a brace as they pipped Sporting Gijon 2 – 3 at the Molinon. Like James Rodriguez, I do not think Coach, Zinedine Zidane rates or trusts him for the big games but Isco unlike James has given the gaffer something to mull over.
Bayern needs Lewa
Ancelotti as expected made a barrage of changes to his line up when they faced Leverkusen away from home. They hugely dominated the game with Douglas Costa and Kingsley Coman deputizing for Ribery and Robben but couldn’t just get their final balls right, even when they eventually do, Müller just was too rusty to make it meaningful.
In a match that All of Bayern’s outfield players except Rafinha had at least one shot and couldn’t still find the back of the net. That’s appalling to say the least and there is no better time to get Lewandowski back to the team with all his fecund natural abilities especially as they play Madrid at the Bernabeu by mid week.
Mertens, an unsung goal merchant.
Barely one month away to the end of the season and it’s only normal that the big wigs will start to lure, entice and whisk players – Neymars, Griezmanns, Dybalas etc comes to fray but not many have had a look in to Dries Mertens. Belgian has been on fire with Napoli this term scoring his 21st Serie A goal in the 3 – 0 drubbing of Udinese – 27th in all competition – 18th goal in the last 16 games. That’s just great. He clearly doesn’t have the heights but he’s got pace to run in behind defenders to do the damage. My prediction is he might move to Atlético Madrid if Griezmann moves and ultimately Diego Simeone stays at the Calderon.