ANALYSIS: Banega brilliance precedes more Sampaoli insanity

Alan O’Brien¬†

Jorge Sampaoli had lost his nerve. Before this World Cup, Argentina’s manager spoke extensively of the need to share Lionel Messi’s burden. A novel 2-3-3-2 system was mooted, in which Ever Banega would dictate from deep, freeing Messi to finish moves; rather than simply commence them.

But, when push came to shove, Sampaoli opted instead for the huevos of Lucas Biglia and Enzo Perez. Iceland and Croatia, therefore, had but one job: stop Messi. Not so Nigeria. Continue reading

Manchester United 1-0 CSKA Moscow: Van Gaal loosens the restraints to end United goal drought

“We are United, we want to attack!” The refrains of the Old Trafford faithful this evening, one minute after Anthony Martial had been removed in favour of Marouane Fellaini – a substitution that was greeted by loud booing from United fans. Continue reading

Manchester United 0-0 Manchester City: Van Gaal Conservatism Contributes To Dour Stalemate

Manchester City returned to the Premier League summit this afternoon, after a dour scoreless draw against rivals Manchester United – in which both sides’ only effort¬†on target arrived in the final ten minutes. Continue reading