Gameweeks 7 – 5 Talking Points

Real Title Charge Over? – Real Madrid lost further momentum on Saturday evening going down 1-0 in the Madrid derby. The final scoreline flatters los blancos as they were outfought and outthought in a game controlled by Atleti from first to last whistle. Indeed los rojiblancos had a number of clear chances to increase their advantage but could
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Valencia v Sevilla – Dukic v Emery

Gamesweek 5 saw the battle between the 2 under-pressure La Liga managers, Unai Emery and Miroslav Dukic. The latter in particular was on his final life after the heavy defeat to Swansea in the Europa League in midweek and a poor start to La Liga. Both sides were sitting in the relegation zone coming into this game.
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Barcelona V Athletico Madrid in Numbers

5 – Number of Fouls on Messi in First half: Messi was noticeably frustrated approaching half time with the treatment being dished out to him. He alone was fouled 5 times in the first half. The only place he could find space was on the right wing but once he took possession he was immediately hounded down by a bloodthirsty Atletico Madrid. Obviously the treatment got to Messi. He was even less effective in the second half missing a
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Gamesweek 1 – 5 Talking Points

1) Poor on defensive set pieces, high defensive line, an obsessive focus on playing out from the back and an array of attacking talent. No not Barcelona but Carlo Ancellotti’s Real Madrid. Los blancos started the season with a new look approach to match their new look team in a barely deserved victory over a brave Real Betis. Only a brilliant header late on from Isco from a Marcelo cross, prevented a disastrous start to the new season. There will be much for Ancelotti to ponder after this victory and it will be a difficult job to form a cohesive unit
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Season Preview (Part 2) – La Liga Title

Real Madrid and Barcelona have dominated proceedings in La Liga over the last decade and it is unlikely that the hegemony will be broken in the 13/14 season. Only Villareal in 07/08 and the title winning Valencia side in 03/04 have broken the duopoly with intermittent challenges from Sevilla under the guidance of Juande Ramos and Diego Simeones’s Atletico Madrid last season. The latter admirably maintained a challenge to Real Madrid for a large part of the season but couldn’t sustain the relentless winning form of the big 2. The subsequent loss of Radamel Falcao to Monaco will make that effort difficult to repeat in the new campaign.

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Season Preview (Part 1) – European Places/Relegation

The Spanish league has been pilfered for talent this summer and virtually all of the teams challenging for the European places have lost players to the top teams in Spain and around Europe. Atletico Madrid were impressive in La Liga and their cup forays last season. They maintained a challenge for to Real Madrid for the second place in the league for a large part of the season and won the Copa del Rey against their arch city rivals in May. The transfer of Radamel Falcao to Monaco is a huge loss yet they remain the favourites to secure the third automatic Champions League qualifying spot. Los Rojiblancos will be hopeful that the signings of the experienced David Villa, in a cutprice €5m deal, and the young Brazilian Leo Baptistao can fill the void left by the departure of the prolific Colombian.

 

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