The Special Normal One is back!
It was a bit of a shock that Mourinho would go and pitch tent with Tottenham and Daniel Levy and his parsimony. That is what happened last week and this weekend, Tottenham won their first away game since January. Admittedly, it was a poor West Ham side but a win is a win no? Obviously, the score-line ultimately made it look like the game was a bit close but it was only one side in the game. Mourinho may still need to tweak his squad to enable finish games more professionally but his reign has started on a very positive note. Is this the beginning of a new romance for the Special One and the other North London Club? Watch this space.
PSG wins again..Neymar returns..
There is obviously no team to rival Paris St Germain in France – there has not been since Monaco. The positive over the weekend is that Neymar was able to get some playing time after being out for 40 days. He will be a big boost to the Paris Club especially during the Champions League games. Next up is Real Madrid, a game they cannot afford to slip up. Is this their year (for the umpteenth time)?
The Juventus juggernaut rolls on..
The main news about Juventus’ crunch game at Atalanta was that Ronaldo was left at home. There were fears that Juventus may not be able to pull off beating the Atalanta team especially away from home but they managed to still do that. Admittedly, the score was a bit flattering to them because they were second fiddle for most parts of the game. If there is anything Juventus has shown, it is the fact that their quality in all areas of the pitch will almost always shine through. The issue could ultimately be whether the team is able to up their game especially when facing tough European opposition. The results may have been great so far but the performances need to be better.
Manchester City maintain distance.
This was always going to be a fascinating game, and it did not disappoint. Chelsea took the game to City – especially in the first half- but the youthfulness and inexperience of the Chelsea side eventually shone through as they lost possession in key areas, leading Manchester City to making quick and decisive counter attacks – who would have thought. For Manchester City, the losses to key personnel in key areas are actually affecting their performance and the team would still need to keep winning to keep up with Liverpool. For Chelsea, the team has grown over the course of the season but has failed in all its test against the big teams. There is still room for further improvement.
Barcelona struggles again..
Barcelona is top of the La Liga. However, when you watch them play, they play nothing like leaders. Last weekend was no different. They went a goal behind and had to claw a win via two set-pieces – very ‘un-Barcelona’ goals. It just seems that the onus is on Lionel Messi to make magic happen without any proper set up on how they should play. One just gets the feeling that they would stand no chance against better European teams and the excessive reliance on Lionel Messi would be revealed once again especially when he has an off day. Barcelona needs to do better and start planning for life after the little Argentine.