It’s back! The 2023 Marcotti Musings are back, and there was plenty to discuss at the European soccer weekend. Arsenal, BarcelonaMan United wins memorable, morale-boosting victories over Tottenham Real MadridMan City and Man City to feel even more pain Liverpool.
– Stream on ESPN+: LaLiga, Bundesliga, MLS, more (U.S.)
Newcastle are also real. ChelseaYou can also sign up for points, which are very valuable. Mykhailo MudrykArsenal targets: Atletico MadridFast fading are the top four hopes of LaLiga.
Gab Marcotti reacts on Monday to some of the most important moments in football’s history.
Spurs take another step towards the title while Arsenal make another major leap.
Although Arsenal have been at the top of Premier League tables since day one of their existence, many people expected them to fall. Their pace is not sustainable. They’ll be collecting 99 points at this rate, which would make them the second-highest total of league history. You find yourself looking at their fixture list, trying to identify games where they might drop points.
Tottenham away on Sunday was one such game. It’s the North London Derby, Spurs had beaten them last season, Arsenal was held at home in their last league appearance, Eddie Nketiah still started up front… but it didn’t happen. Arsenal, on the other hand, put in a superb, comprehensive performance at both ends, winning 2-0.
True, the first goal was achieved by a howler. Hugo LlorisThe second was Martin Odegaard’s long-range, low xG shot (a shot that Lloris could have done better with). Spurs’ attacking performance in the first period left them fighting for their lives and, frankly, could have scored more.
Mikel Arteta’s setup — no matter if you call it a 4-3-2-3 or 4-2-3-1 – becomes a complex, asymmetrical unit. Oleksandr ZinchenkoSteps into the midfield, and combines with Granit Xhaka Gabriel MartinelliScroll down to the left, while Bukayo Sakatakes the right wing. It works because the players understand their jobs, have fully bought into Arteta’s instructions and are committed. They’ve also largely kept fit, even after losing weight. Gabriel JesusNketiah’s absence has been weathered well so far.
Antonio Conte could look out over the xG and individual errors while pointing to some great saves. Aaron RamsdaleOr the absence Rodrigo BentancurFor an alibi. He would lie to himself if he did. Tottenham was passive and completely lacking the intensity that we associate with Conte’s side during the first period. Arsenal took full advantage of their defensive strengths and went after them.
– Ogden: Predicting the PL title race, top four
– Reaction: Arsenal are finally title faves
Some have criticized him for his substitutions. Son Heung-Min(who was having a big off-day) at the pitch and giving RicharlisonIt took only 20 minutes for Son to make an impact. That is less of an issue for me. He would have no other options if he wanted to bring on another striker. Richarlison’s replacement as a defender would have required him to switch to the back four. Conte did eventually do that, but it is clear that he didn’t want to be 4-2-4 too soon.
Fourth place is only five points away. Tottenham need to keep believing they’ll catch someone. If they are going to be able to pray, they won’t put on the kind of show we saw before the break.
Arsenal is still on your mind. You’re still looking through the fixture list to see where they might be. The problem is that there are less of these games every week.
GaviBarcelona wins Spanish Supercup Clasico victory
After winning the Super Cup, has Barcelona been able to ‘free’ themselves from criticism?
Barcelona manager Xavi said that Barcelona was free and did their best following a win in the Spanish Super Cup final against Real Madrid.
Barcelona won the Spanish Supercup 3-1 over Real Madrid on Sunday. If you believe that trophies and wins are what boost confidence and belief, then this is the perfect moment.
It is the first piece in silverware for Joan Laporta & Xavi during their new Barca tenure. Although the Supercup by itself is not a measure of much it still marks the completion of a psychological hurdle. The fact that it came against Real Madrid (who last lost a final back when their manager was Jose Mourinho) makes it even more important. It’s an old rival and partly because it breaks the entire narrative of mental strength, fortitude, and invincibility surrounding Madrid, especially after last year’s Champions League run.
It’s the symbolic, intangible side. However, I find the performance to be more pertinent.
Xavi reengineered Barca with a 4-2-2-3-1 formation. Gavi was allowed free rein to the left and could operate not as a traditional winger or as a roving spoiler. Pedri Robert Lewandowski. Although the kid, who is still only 18 years old, was absolutely devastating, Barca’s entire XI outplayed Real Madrid in all areas of the pitch.
Barca is still a fragile structure, but Xavi is trying to make it stronger. Sunday night was the perfect building block.
Real Madrid’s “individual errors” cost them the final.
Carlo Ancelotti shares the reasons he believes cost Real Madrid’s 3-1 defeat to Barcelona in the Spanish Super Cup final.
Madrid’s argument is reversed. Losing the Supercup does not move the needle. Nobody will care if they perform in LaLiga or the Champions League. But the performance should be important. They were defensively abject (mistakes Ferland Mendy, Antonio Rudiger Dani CarvajalThey were very disappointed), but also at the attacking end of midfield.
– Reaction: Gavi, Barcelona humble Real Madrid
– Xavi: Gavi’s heart and soul ‘contagious’ at Barcelona
– Ancelotti denies defeat was humiliating vs. rivals
This is the place to sound the alarm. If your starting lineup includes both, you should be concerned. Toni Kroos Luka ModricIt’s probably better to keep more of the ball rather than chase Barca around. However, Barca failed to achieve that. Eduardo CamavingaA rough ride. Aurelien TchouameniWas sorely missed David AlabaYou can see the depth and variety of the options available in this squad from the back.
It’s not about numbers. It’s about options that work together and allow Carlo Ancelotti to play the game he wants. There are two titles to defend: a Champions League title and a LaLiga crown. It’s almost as if everything is in jeopardy for this to happen.
Never mind BrunoGoal: Man United’s win in the derby was complete
Burley: Man United have won vs. Man City and are now in title race
Craig Burley believes Man United are now in the Premier League title race, after their 2-1 victory over Man City.
Let’s move on to the main point. It was a great gesture of fraternity by the referees to insist that it should have stood. Marcus RashfordI did not touch the ball. I will just refer to you. Chapter 11.2The Laws of the Game state that players who are in an offside role (like Rashford), will be punished if they become involved in active play, “making an evident action which clearly impacts the ability of an opponent to use the ball.”
It seems like Rashford did exactly that. He ran after the through-ball, and he dressed up as if it was going to be a touch. Two of his opponents were directly affected by his body language and movements. Kyle WalkerRashford was not stopped by a man named Chris, who had angled his run to stop him. Bruno Fernandes, and, especially, EdersonRashford, who didn’t come out to get the ball. They didn’t know Rashford was offside at that time, and his actions led them believing he was on.
This is obvious and it seems silly to try and hide behind different Laws of the Game. By the way, I disagree with those who long for simpler times when referees had more freedom to use “common sense” and the laws were more detailed. I find the law quite clear: Walker and Ederson were impeded by Rashford’s obvious action.
– Varane: “Everything is possible” for Man United
United played well and deserves their three points. Erling HaalandIt was restricted to two shots and a few touches. The Casemiro–FredPartnership in Man United’s Midfield worked. So did Christian EriksenFurther up the pitch Luke ShawAt the middle-back
They played with discipline, organization, and purpose off the ball. Erik ten Hag, who may have realized that it would take him a while to play the type of football he played at Ajax again, is willing and able to be creative with how he approaches games.
Manchester derby: FC crew reacts to “ridiculous” offside decision
Craig Burley, Luis Miguel Echegaray and Luis Burley discuss Man United’s controversial equaliser against Man City.
City looked flat, and only managed one goal in the final half-hour. Pep Guardiola’s teams are not like this. In hindsight, it was likely a game for someone like Ilkay GundoganThis was especially true when it became clear how United were going play.
A margin of eight points at top of the table with only 20 games left is significant in the title race and Pep understands this. Pep also knows that Arsenal cannot be stopped and his team have the best chance of doing so.
PSG fails again… Is it just a World Cup hangover for them?
Paris Saint-GermainThey were almost comically poor on Sunday 1-0 defeatRennes. You wonder if Rennes has a post-QatarThis is the effect at work. Look at their performances since the World Cup. To beat them, they needed an injury penalty StrasbourgThey lost to LensThey were also unimpressive over long periods. AngersRennes now faces defeat
Yes, there was some rotation, but they still won the game. Kylian Mbappe, Lionel Messi NeymarThey also pitched the pitch simultaneously. Yes, the 16-year-old wonderkind was started. Warren Zaire-EmeryHowever, he was not the problem in the midfield. They were just listless and outplayed in midfield by Rennes’ team, which was not only high on youth and exuberance but also had tactical knowledge and a game plan.
Lens is only three points behind PSG at the top, but you can imagine they could push it up several gears. You can also imagine Christophe Galtier preferring a greater buffer when the Champions League starts in the spring.
Klopp is open about Liverpool’s worst-ever performance. But what’s next?
Is Liverpool’s defeat to Brighton Klopp’s worst performance?
Steve Nicol can’t recall a worse Liverpool performance since Jurgen Klipp’s 2015 takeover.
Jurgen Klopp can be brutally honest when he needs to, which is what he expressed following Liverpool’s defeat at Brighton by 3-0. saying: “I honestly cannot” [remember a worse game]All, I mean. [my career]I am responsible for all of them, not just Liverpool. It’s a very low point.
Although Liverpool was without a wide range of players, Klopp points out that it does not explain the performance. And no, it wasn’t because Brighton was better. Although they were, and all credit to Roberto De Zerbi’s team — Liverpool’s performance was so poor it is an entirely different matter. Particularly in midfield, where the trio Fabinho, Jordan HendersonThiago and Thiago alcantara are expected to be first choices. There are many issues with this team, but the midfield standout because their work was so important in both their attacking press and as a defense shield for their back four.
– Klopp: Liverpool’s slump is my concern, not transfers
New signing Cody GakpoHis Premier League debut was a disappointment. When everyone is healthy, you wonder if he can be considered long-term. Mohamed SalahGakpo is locked in until 2025 Jota, Darwin Nunez Luis DiazAll signed at least through 2027. It’s quite a bit of firepower for just three spots, and the midfield is still comparatively undermanned. All this is happening against the backdrop high-profile recruitment guys who have left (Michael Edwards) or going (Julian Ward, Ian Graham) and the club being up for sale.
Milan held at LecceAnd are now winless in three games… Who is the blame?
Milan slept through the first half against Lecce, which saw them down two goals (and there could have been more), before returning to draw 2-2. While they are still in second place in Serie A but Stefano Pioli pointed to the fact that their “approach was wrong”, They were a defensive mess, especially when he says they had an “approach.” Pierre Kalulu Theo HernandezHe’s right about, who are said to be two their most talented players).
Good news: They are still in second place, although nine points behind. Napoli. The bad news? They look like they’re on fumes.
It is easy to react to their form by blaming the summer signings for not taking enough strain off the regulars. Fair enough, some of the most notable examples are: Charles De Ketelaere, Divock Origi, Sergino Dest Aster VranckxThey contributed very little. Pioli could have rotated more if they came up big. The team could have kept the same intensity, both mental and physical, throughout the entire season. However, it is not uncommon for newcomers from Milan to struggle before becoming successful — just look at Rafael Leao. Sandro Tonali. It is reasonable to think that Vranckx and De Ketelaere (21 and 20 respectively) will be successful.
Chelsea ends their losing streak when Mudryk arrives
Nicol: Mudryk choosing Chelsea over Arsenal is a ‘complete gamble’
Steve Nicol believes Mykhailo Mudryk will join Chelsea rather than Arsenal.
Kai HavertzChelsea scored the only goal against which it had all three points. Crystal PalaceGraham Potter now has two wins in ten for their past 10 games. While it isn’t much to celebrate, it does indicate that they are avoiding further crises.
Chelsea signed the following: Shakhtar Donetsk winger Mykhailo Mudryk for €70m, a fee that will rise to €100m with bonuses. It’s a large sum for a 22-year old player with 33 career league start records and close to half of those on loan from Shakhtar. However, the contract he signed through 2031 (with an option for 2032) is a significant commitment likely made with Financial Fair Play in view.
– Shakhtar donate $25m of Mudryk fee to Ukraine war effort
Mudryk, one of the most intriguing talents on the global stage is still someone who is still quite raw. In that sense, it is similar to Sunday’s goal scorer Havertz when he arrived.
Focus on the talent and not what he can achieve later. Although it’s one approach, it doesn’t address Chelsea’s most pressing needs: midfield and centre-forward. Armando BrojaSidelined Pierre-Emerick AubameyangThe problem of Havertz, who is 33 years old and has not played for Chelsea since the World Cup, remains unresolved. (Chelsea’s center-forward de facto, Havertz, said that he “plays as a 9” instead of describing himself as a number 9. This is a very accurate description.
It would be fascinating to see how Potter, a creative and tactical strategist, puts together these seemingly unorthodox pieces and organizes them into a team. If he had the opportunity. However, he doesn’t have time. Chelsea are in midtable and have a full fixture list. This is a major concern for the season.
Atletico Madrid wasteful in pursuit of LaLiga’s top-four chase
This is something we’ve seen before. Atletico Madrid was dominant in the match against Almeria. However, they failed to convert their chances into points and lost two big ones on the road. Alvaro Morata will once again be the subject of criticism. To be fair, they played well and created opportunities, so it’s just the way things are.
You wouldn’t normally be so concerned by a performance such as this. However, Atletico are a fragile club upstairs. The dropped points mean that they are fourth with 28 points. There are five other clubs in contention: Villarreal, Betis (both 28, like Atleti), Osasuna(27), Athletic Bilbao, Raylo Vallecano (26)
Real SociedadWho beat him? Athletic ClubThis weekend, they are flying and are seven point clear of third. Atleti must win their mini-league of Champions League spot candidates, as they are unlikely to be caught. They must convert the work they create if they want to be caught.
Newcastle’s Premier League unbeaten streak continues FulhamThey are real
Alexander IsakNewcastle came up against Fulham to secure third place in the table. Manchester United. They are now 14 games unbeaten in league play and Isak has been out for the majority of the campaign. Eddie Howe is now a viable alternative. Callum WilsonUp front
Newcastle are far ahead of schedule when it comes to results and that’s thanks to the hard work of Howe. They’re currently one of the most difficult outs in Premier League. This is despite having a lot of players from pre-Saudi as well as new signings. It’s a testament to excellent coaching and good work on training pitch.
Lautaro MartinezIntermittents: The money to pay
Simone Inzaghi looks ahead to the midweek Italian Supercup in Riyadh against Milan. Saudi ArabiaInter’s maximum result/minimum effort result Saturday against Verona was a 1-0 home victory. It turned out exactly the way you expected it to. Lautaro Martinez scores early — he has thankfully put his World Cup mishaps behind him and has scored in each of the three previous games. He then controls the game.
Verona was poor and had a miserable xG score of 0.18. You might be able to criticize Inter for not getting another and giving themselves more room of error under normal circumstances. This season, however, is not “normal” for Inter.
[Denial of responsibility! smye-holland.com is an automatic aggregator of the all world’s media. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials, please contact us by email – at smye-holland.com The content will be deleted within 24 hours.]
Leave a Reply