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The Football Blog

A weekly football blog from Michael 84.
Wednesday, 20th June, 2018

Iran 0 – 1 Spain – A Hard Fought Win For Spain

Spain beat Iran 1-0 In The World Cup 20th June 2018

Everyone seems to know the score, we’ve seen it all before…If you’re a Spain fan then you’ll be used to seeing teams not trying to play and only defending, and that’s what happened tonight, but Spain managed to grab a 1-0 win against Iran thanks to a Diego Costa goal in their second World Cup match.

Iran did not play in the first half, had 10 men behind the ball and could rarely even muster a counter attack. They added in some time wasting, really slow play and diving around like they’d been shot to waste as much time as possible, and made the beautiful game as ugly as can be.

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Friday, 15th June, 2018

Portugal 3 – 3 Spain – World Cup Lives Up To It’s Billing

Portugal 3 - 3 Spain - 15th June 2018

The first big match of the World Cup has lived up to it’s billing, with an epic game! It finished Portugal 3 – 3 Spain, and was a game which had everything.

Portugal started off the better team in the first 5 minutes, with Cristiano Ronaldo winning a penalty against his Real Madrid teammate, Nacho. He scored, and made it 1-1. Busquets played a long ball to Diego Costa who had a lot of work to do up on his own, and managed to bully the Portuguese defence and make it 1-1.

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Tuesday, 5th June, 2018

Every Home & Away Football Shirts For The World Cup In 2018

Every World Cup 2018 Football Shirt Home And Away

The World Cup is right around the corner! Here is every single home and away shirt you will be seeing in the World Cup, that’s 64 different kits! Virtually every team will be wearing a new kit in the competition, some with different designs, and some slight updates on their kit. It’s always good to see the fresh new kits in the World Cup, from the heavyweights such as Nike, Adidas and Puma, to the smaller brands such as Hummel, Errea and Uhlsport.

There’s a couple of first timers in the World Cup, including Iceland and Panama, so a few new kits to look out for. Do you have any favourites?

Check out every kit below

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Sunday, 27th May, 2018

Real Madrid 3 – 1 Liverpool – Champions League Final 2018

Real Madrid beat Liverpool in Champions League Final 2018

What a game it was last night! Real Madrid are the champions of Europe once again, winning the Champions League 3 times in a row and have an ever growing record of titles, now sitting at 13. It’s a game which will be remembered for a couple of things, depending on your personal affiliation, but for me and many, it was all about that Gareth Bale goal.

Here’s how I saw the game.

Liverpool were pretty decent for the first 20-30 minutes, then bad news for Liverpool, Salah got injured from a tussle with Sergio Ramos, and had to go off injured. A short time later Dani Carvajal also got injured for Real Madrid, stretching for the ball. Both players were in tears as they left the pitch.

Real Madrid started to play better, and in the 2nd half, Benzema opened the scoring with a bizarre goal. The Liverpool ‘keeper Karius went to throw the ball out to a defender, Benzema stuck out a leg, the ball hit it and trickled into the net. Benzema had earlier scored a goal in the 1st half, but it was correctly ruled out for offside.

Just 4 minutes later, Liverpool got an equaliser. Liverpool won a corner and the ball was played in, it was headed on and Saido Mane was quick and managed to get in and stabbed the ball into the net.

Then the moment of magic. Bale came on, and scored a wonder goal. Marcelo crossed the ball in, and Bale hit the sweetest overhead kick of all time, and scored an unbelievable goal from about 15 yards out. It was a goal which was worthy of winning any game.

With just under 10 minutes to play, Bale scored again. Bale had the space opened up for him, and from about 25-30 yards shot more of less straight at Karius, who couldn’t deal with the ball, and it went in.

Real Madrid went on to win 3-1, and fully deserved the victory.

A lot of the focus will be on Karius, who’s 2 huge mistakes cost Liverpool. But in the end, Real Madrid were the better team, and did deserve to win.

The two big talking points for anyone who was supporting Liverpool for the night were the huge errors of Karius, and Mo Salah going off injured, with most blaming Sergio Ramos for a cynical foul. The foul itself was not bad, it was 2 players fighting to get to the ball, with Salah grappling with Ramos, Ramos getting his arm and not letting go, the two fall to the ground, and sadly for Salah, for Liverpool and for the game, he got injured and had to go off.

Then there’s Karius. The two errors he made were so huge, they were errors they no goalkeeper should make at the top level, or some would say, at any professional level. It was the final of the Champions League, and those two errors will be remembered in Liverpool and England forever. It will be tough for him to come back from those mistakes, as they were so high profile. It was a major loss of focus in 2 incidents.

It’s interesting to see the perspective from the two countries; The media/fans from England focus on the Salah injury, Sergio Ramos and Karius, while the Spanish fans and media are talking about the wonder goal and the beautiful game, Real Madrid’s 13th win and 3 in a row, with many called it a Dynasty.

Real Madrid were simply the better team, with the better players doing more in the game. The difference was that Real Madrid had a Gareth Bale to come on and win the game, and without Salah, Liverpool looked out of ideas. None of their attacking players really made any kind of impact, with Trent Alexander-Arnold one of their better players.

After the game Gareth Bale was talking like he was almost resigned to leaving Real Madrid, talking about his future and how he needs to start more games, a strange conversation to have after scoring one of the best goals of all time in a final, and winning a Champions League.

He was not alone talking about the future, with Cristiano Ronaldo saying “It been very nice playing for Real Madrid”.

Real Madrid Champions 2018

Real Madrid 3 – 1 Liverpool

Benzema (51′), Bale (64′, 83′) | Mane (55′)


Monday, 21st May, 2018

Spain 2018 World Cup Squad Announced

Spain 2018 World Cup Squad Announcement

Today was the day, later than most of the other teams, Spain announced the squad which will be going to Russia in the World Cup this Summer. The squad is the following:

Goalkeepers: David de Gea (Manchester United), Pepe Reina (Napoli), Kepa Arrizabalaga (Athletic Bilbao).

Defenders: Jordi Alba (Barcelona), Nacho Monreal (Arsenal), Alvaro Odriozola (Real Sociedad), Nacho Fernandez (Real Madrid), Dani Carvajal (Real Madrid), Gerard Pique (Barcelona), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea).

Midfielders: Sergio Busquets (Barcelona), Isco (Real Madrid), Thiago Alcantara (Bayern Munich), David Silva (Manchester City), Andres Iniesta (Barcelona), Saul Niguez (Atletico Madrid), Koke (Atletico Madrid).

Forwards: Marco Asensio (Real Madrid), Iago Aspas (Celta Vigo), Diego Costa (Atletico Madrid), Rodrigo Moreno (Valencia), Lucas Vazquez (Real Madrid).

Asensio and Vazquez are named as forwards by most, but are seen more as midfielders, which means there’s only 3 real strikers. Not a big surprise.

What do you think of the squad?

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Friday, 1st December, 2017

World Cup 2018 Draw: Spain Get Portugal!

World Cup 2018 Draw In Russia

It’s a day I’ve been looking forward to for a while, today was the draw for the World Cup 2018!

The seedings and pots were decided a few weeks ago, and were worked out by using only the World Rankings for the first time ever. This meant that Poland managed to get itself as a top seed, as did Russia since they were the host. That left England and Spain in pot 2, which could have meant some really juicy groups. Here’s the groups in full.

Group A: Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Uruguay

Group B: Portugal, Spain, Morocco, Iran

Group C: France, Australia, Peru, Denmark

Group D: Argentina, Iceland, Nigeria, Croatia

Group E: Brazil, Switzerland, Costa Rica, Serbia

Group F: Germany, Mexico, Sweden, South Korea

Group G: Belgium, Panama, Tunisia, England

Group H: Poland, Senegal, Colombia, Japan

The biggest match of the group stage? It has to be Spain vs Portugal which will be the opening game for group B, and will be on the 2nd day of the competition; Friday 15th June in the evening.

My Thoughts

Group A – The weakest group, a good thing for Russia and they should be able to get through this one. Egypt could be a dark horse, but with the Russians having home advantage, I think it will be them and Uruguay which go through.

Group B – It could have been a lot worse for Spain, getting Portugal as a top seed meant that they couldn’t get a tricky European team from the 3rd or 4th pot. Spain and Portugal should both go through

Group C – An easy group for France. Australia almost didn’t qualify, Peru only got through as the 5th place team in South America and winning a playoff. Denmark should join France going through.

Group D – Argentina and Croatia should be the favourites, but there could be some surprises with Nigeria playing well, and Iceland’s team spirit coming off the back of good qualifying and a good Euro 2016. I think Croatia will top the group, and Argentina should also qualify.

Group E – Brazil are obvious favourites, but will have to contend with two European teams, Switzerland and Serbia, as well as Costa Rica, who overcame a group with Uruguay, England and Italy in the last World Cup. Another group which could have a shock or two, but I think Brazil will top it and Switzerland has bundles of World Cup experience, so will also go through.

Group F – A tough group, World Champions Germany should go through without too many problems. Sweden are back at a World Cup, South Korea had a woeful one last time out. Mexico are not bad. It will be Germany along with another, the 2nd team is tough to pick, but I will go for Sweden.

Group G – Belgium are the top seeds, and should not have any problems in this group, along with England who are joined by debutants Panama along with Tunisia. Belgium and England meet each other in the final game, both teams should be through by then.

Group H – A fairly weak group along with Group A, Poland have a really bad World Cup record, but should be able to make it through this group. I think Colombia will join them, sending Senegal and Japan home.

What do you think of the groups?

It all kicks off on 14th June and I can’t wait!

UPDATE

World Cup Blog

Hottest Wags Of The World Cup 2018

All World Cup Shirts


Friday, 11th August, 2017

Most Stylish Football Managers In The Premier League 2017

The best dressed English Premier League Managers

From tracksuit managers to the suited and booted, there’s a lot of style and fashion in the dugout and on the touchline these days. The Premier League 2016-17 season is here, and there’s been some stylish management movements, with José Mourinho going to Man United, Pep Guardiola going to Man City and Antonio Conte heading up things at Chelsea, it seems like almost every stylish manager is in the Premier League (with a few exceptions).

So in no particular order, here’s the best dressed managers in the Premier League, and what I love about their style.

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