Suarez Says he “had to nutmeg” David Luiz

There is something to be said about incredible footballers. Vision, pace, savviness, lethal instincts; all qualities necessary to be a successful forward. Suarez showed all of these in Wednesday’s Champions League tie with PSG. I quote,¬†“A striker is always looking for goals and the two moves came off for me.¬†I had to nutmeg Luiz twice because there was nothing else I could do.”¬†¬†Check exhibit A and B below:

Suarez’s absurd nutmegs makes me wonder if David Luiz was paid to stand there sulking like his lollipop was just stolen by the family dog.¬†Either way, Luis Suarez’s brace puts Barcelona in an ideal spot heading into the return leg at Camp Nou.

Steven Gerrard Will Be Greatly Missed- The End Of An Era

Steven Gerrard was one of the best footballers to grace the English Premier League. He was probably not the best, and some might argue he was overrated (those people are stupid), but he has been¬†the face of Liverpool for the past decade which has to mean something. Each fan will have his own unique way of remembering Stevie G; even fans of teams who lined up against him. Although he was the scourge of teams like Manchester United, it was hard to hate him. Most fans would admit that even if they didn’t like him there was a begrudging respect for him. He accomplished so much in a Liverpool shirt and without him the team probably would have had a lost less silverware. Unfortunately, there were a lot of things Steven Gerrard failed to accomplish that a player of his caliber will surely regret.

His lack of international success and his failure to win the English Premier League will lay heavy on him. Although he won’t continue to beat himself up for it, the infamous “slip” against Chelsea prevented the last chance he had to win the EPL. However, Gerrard does not deserve to be remembered that way or to be remembered as a bench player who’s presence on the starting 11¬†hurt¬†the team. This man was so much more than that for Liverpool and he deserves to go out long¬†before he becomes an aging icon kept on the team for sentimental reasons. One day hopefully he returns to Liverpool as a coach and finally gets that elusive English Premier League title. Until then we anxiously await which team he will sign with so we can continue to root for the man who gave football fans so many magical moments.

When we find ourselves in times of trouble, Stevie G runs past me,
Playing the game with wisdom, Stevie G,
And in my home, the Spion Kop, We watch him jog, right in front of me,
Spreading balls with wisdom, Stevie G,
Let it be, let it be, let it be,
Stevie G, The local lad turned hero, Stevie G
And when the jubilant Kopite people, All living in The Park agree,
That we all know the answer, Stevie G,
And although we may all be fooled, There is still a chance that we will see,
The footballing phenomenon, Stevie G,
Let it be, let it be, let it be,
Stevie G, Spreading balls with wisdom, Stevie G
And when the night is cloudy, There is still a man that we all see,
A young, committed Kopite, Stevie G,
Playing to the sound of music, Stevie G runs past me,
Playing the game with wisdom, Stevie G,
Let it be, let it be, let it be, Stevie G,
For we all know the answer, his name is Stevie G 

Totti and Xavi Each Obtain A Champions League Record On The Same Day

Totti Becomes Oldest Ever Champions League Goalscorer After Netting Against Manchester City

Xavi Hernandez Breaks Champions League Appearance Record Against PSG With 143 Appearances

Congrats to both of these legendary soccer players. They deserve all the accolades for these accomplishments. Even though they are in the swan song of their careers it is still a pleasure to watch them on the pitch.

Real Madrid Release New Champions League Jerseys Which Khaleesi Would Be Proud Of

These may look cool. They may not. To be honest I’m still trying to figure out why there are dragons on it. I guess Khaleesi has taken over Madrid with her dragons. Next stop Kings Landing?

Spending Summary for Premier League and Champions League Clubs

Below are two tables that show a great financial snapshot of each Premier League club as well as the 32 Champions League clubs for this summer’s transfer window. ¬†This only takes into account official completed transfers as of 8/30/2013. ¬†For example, Gareth Bale is not included yet as his transfer has not been finalized. ¬†Here is how the Premier League spending table looks:

As you can see, Tottenham would actually turn a slight profit if the rumored 86m pound transfer for Bale goes through.¬† They have been spending money as if they are planning on his departure, that’s for sure.¬† Arsenal, Liverpool, and Newcastle are currently operating at profits for the summer so far.¬† Only Arsenal and West Brom have not spent any money to bring in players (both of Arsenal’s transfers in thus far have been of the free variety).¬† It’s interesting to note how much Cardiff City and Southampton have spent this summer without even sending anyone out.¬† And as usual the oil rich Chelsea and Manchester City lead the way in net spending (if Bale is sold Tottenham will jump towards the top).

With regards to the 32 Champions League clubs, here is how they stack up with another another based on cash inlays and outlays so far:

Atletico Madrid, Porto, and Sociedad have turned huge profits so far and have cash to spend the next few days should they choose.  Real Madrid would most certainly lead the spending pack should they purchase Bale, but they are also rumored to sell a couple players to finance that purchase as well.

So, with 3 days left before deadline day on September 2nd, you can see what kind of business your favorite club has done thus far compared to the rest of the Premier League and Champions League clubs.¬† It’ll be very interesting to see how these tables will look on Tuesday when the dust settles.

Bayern Munich Buys Champions League Title

Yesterday, Bayern Munich was able to revenge last years disappointing finals loss and knock off their German rivals on the way to the Champions League title.  The match was definitely entertaining and like most big matches, was not without controversy.

If you missed it, check out the highlights here:

The first half, despite being a 0-0 draw, was very back and forth as both teams created opportunities and needed massive saves from arguably two of the top goal keepers in the world.

Bayern continued to handle the possession and create chances until finally the stalemate was broken when Arjen Robben dribbled far into the box and crossed a perfectly weighted ball to the head of Mandzukic to knock it into the open net.

In my opinion, the controversy occurred when Dante clumsily fouled Marco Reus in the box where the referee rewarded a penalty.  The penalty was clearly rightly given.

As you can see, Dante mistakenly tried to kick the ball with his dominant left foot and instead cleated the stomach of Reus. ¬†Is it a coincidence Dante isn’t even looking at the ball? ¬†The controversy is that Dante w as already on a yellow card, yet was given nothing from the referee for this horrible foul. ¬†Maybe the referee decided that the penalty was harsh enough, but when a player commits a foul as sloppy as that one, there’s no reason a second yellow shouldn’t have been given. ¬†The play is actually reminiscent of Nani’s straight red against Real Madrid earlier this year. ¬†Obviously, had Bayern been down to 10 men for the rest of the match, the outcome most likely would have been different.

As the highlights show and as you are more than likely aware, Robben redeemed his Champions League final blunder from last season and scored the winning goal in the 89th minute.

The title of this post is not suggesting Bayern paid off the referee to get favorable calls.  Teams get favorable calls all the time and whether its coincidence or referee bias, I highly doubt and money is being paid to referees to influence matches.

So how did Bayern “buy” the title? ¬†By buying and then announcing the purchase of Mario Gotze prior to the German clash. ¬†Dortmund’s most important player just happened to be in street clothes for the most important match for the club this century.

It’s being reported that Gotze suffered from a “hamstring injury” that kept him out of the biggest match of his career thus far. ¬†Could it be the hamstring or that he didn’t want to face the moral dilemma of playing against his new team on European soccer’s biggest stage? ¬†You would think that the squad’s star player would tough out a hamstring injury in such a situation.

Had Dortmund’s most creative player been on the pitch, would the outcome have been any different? ¬†We’ll never know but one can only speculate that he would’ve provided the creative punch that Dortmund seemed to be lacking for most of the match.

Unfortunately, let the dismantling of Borussia Dortmund begin.

Champion’s League Madness

Real Madrid almost did it. I will go out on a limb and say that the only people who thought they could were those die hard Real Madrid fans and anyone without any idea of the degree of difficulty their task really was. Real Madrid had to beat a Borussia Dortmund side that hadn’t lost a Champion’s League match. A side that could score goals at will in the first leg and a side that was beaming with confidence and bravado. But Real Madrid still came close.

klopp
I’d be smiling too if my under budget team was in its first Champion’s League final since 1996.

This game was an interesting one for me. On one hand you knew what to expect from both teams. Dortmund would sit in and take the brute force Real Madrid attack and hang on to the seemingly insurmountable lead they took in the first leg. But, if they planned to sit in and defend, how is it possible that Real Madrid had so many exceptional chances in the game, nevertheless the first twenty minutes of the match? Real Madrid’s pressure was relentless. Jose Mourinho had a game plan to thwart any defensive ideas. The self-proclaimed “special one” had waves and waves of Madrid’s guns swarming the Dortmund defense and pelting the goal with shot after shot. It was awful finishing and some damn good goalkeeping from Roman Weidenfeller that kept Madrid off the scoresheet until the 80th minute. I think we all knew that Madrid would score but no one believed it would take so long.

I was not in attendance at the Bernebeu but one would have to assume that the first goal ignited a crowd that could carry the lowly QPR out of the relegation zone. Once the crowd was behind them, Madrid brought the pressure again and it looked as if the toll of defending for 80 minutes had been too much for Dortmund and that they would fall to mighty Madrid. It was not to be. Madrid grabbed a second but could not break Dortmund again, even with an extra minute of stoppage time.

Bye bye ronaldo and bye bye mourinho

Chances are that Mourinho and Ronaldo are out of Madrid at the end of the season. Who knows where they will end up but that isn’t my topic here. Madrid exposed some incredible weaknesses in Borussia Dortmund. As good as they had been in the first leg, the second leg they resembled a team of middleschooler’s taking on the varsity squad in an attempt to prove their worth, only to get run ragged for the entire game. If it was not for Hummels massive performance centrally, their could have been more goals and Dortmund might not have gone through. From the looks of the match, Dortmund cannot solely defend. They are a team of defending by attacking and without the attack flowing they will struggle and pending an implosion by the machine of Bayern Munich, they will have a tall task against them in the final. ¬†Still, Dortmund missed a plethora of chances yesterday and given Lewandowski’s goalscoring record in the past month, I see them putting on a show at Wembley. No matter who they end up with, they will persevere. I see a 3-1 victory coming their way and another chance to live the glory of this team:¬†

Barcelona will win today’s game 2-0 but won’t come close to scaring Bayern. Bayern is a machine and Barcelona does not have the outrageous athletic ability of Bayern. Even the best player in the world can meet his demise.