Barcelona’s Speed and Quality Too Much For Brave Las Palmas

No one could argue that Las Palmas weren’t brave against Barcelona. They didn’t sit back and move into absorb-and-counter mode, and they didn’t play reactive football. Instead, they were proactive. They pressed the Barcelona back four, held a high line and even tried to play out from defence. Essentially, they were offering their home fans […]

Ganso Shows Why He’s So Fun To Watch With Vintage Display Against Granada

Paulo Henrique Ganso started on Friday night for Sevilla, in their La Liga match against Granada, and while that might seem like an unremarkable piece of information, the fact that this was the Brazilian’s first appearance in the league this year makes it less so. Ganso actually hadn’t played in La Liga since last November, so […]

Barcelona Brilliant yet Slightly Unhinged in 4-2 Win over Valencia

Barcelona’s 4-2 win over Valencia was an exciting one. 6 goals, a red card for Valencia centre-back Eliaquim Mangala and yet another lovely display from Lionel Messi, who not only scored twice but also offered five key passes. The scoreline, however, hints at the fact that Barca weren’t overly assured throughout the course of the […]

Andre Gomes Shows His All-Round Quality in Barca’s Win Over Las Palmas

Andre Gomes hasn’t exactly set the world alight since his summer transfer to FC Barcelona, but things are getting better for him. The former Valencia star was superb in last weekend’s win against Las Palmas, and by way of a brilliant assist for Luis Suarez early in the first half, he finally recorded his first […]

How Villarreal’s Mix of Hard Running and Killer Balls Could Set Them Up This Season

In their last match before the international break, Villarreal travelled to the RCDE Stadium to play Espanyol. The match itself wasn’t anything to write home about, with the Yellow Submarines dominant in possession but unable to break through against a deep-sitting opposition. That led to a fairly standard 0-0 draw, a result that Villarreal’s manager, […]

Despite the Positives, Sampaoli has to Consider Sevilla’s Defensive Shortcomings

Jorge Sampaoli has developed a reputation for high-octane football. He likes his sides to attack with speed, press with aggression and, in a more general sense, take the game up to the opposition. As the newly installed manager of Sevilla, he now has the chance to take that philosophy to Europe, and based upon his […]

Tactical Analysis: Barca Claim the Title with a Solid 3-0 Win over Gritty Granada

For Barcelona, the final day equation was simple. Win away at Granada and the league title would be theirs, slip up and it would be Real Madrid’s. In the end, Barca did it pretty easily. They took a 2-0 lead in the first half against a defensively minded Granada before having to endure a tougher […]

Villarreal: Bakambu’s Europa League Brace Could Be The Catalyst for Return to Early-Season Form

After a fast start to the season, the goals have dried up for Villarreal striker Cedric Bakambu in recent weeks. In fact, as he and his teammates prepared to face Bayer Leverkusen in the UEFA Europa League Round of 16, the France-born forward had failed to score in his last 11 appearances. To extend that […]

Why Zinedine Zidane Is The Perfect Manager To Get The Best Out Of Isco

It’s safe to say that Isco’s time working with the now departed Rafa Benitez was rather unsatisfactory. Benitez never seemed to ever trust the Spanish international midfielder and was subsequently rarely willing to accommodate him into his first eleven. Obviously, Rafa’s desire to often deploy Gareth Bale in the number 10 role didn’t help things […]

Arda Turan’s Encouraging Transition To Barcelona Suitably Illustrates His Genius

It took six months, but Arda Turan finally made his debut for Barcelona in last week’s 4-1 demolition of Espanyol in the Copa del Rey. For the man who’d been forced to watch Barca’s 30 previous fixtures from afar, and who’d only played a mere two internationals for Turkey in that time, it came as […]