April 24th, 2012

FB: Sergio Worth It

Probably no1curr bout the Olympics but ...

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So the Olympic Football draw was today - with the groups being decided for the Men's and Women's competition ...

Men's Draw
GROUP A
Great Britain
Senegal
UAE
Uruguay

GROUP B
Mexico
Korea Republic
Gabon
Switzerland

GROUP C
Brazil
Egypt
Belarus
New Zealand

GROUP D
Spain
Japan
Honduras
Morocco

The top two teams from each group go through to the quarter-finals.

2012 Olympic Men's Footbal wiki has all the fixtures, venues & dates

Women's Draw

GROUP E:
Great Britain
New Zealand
Cameroon
Brazil

GROUP F:
United States
Japan
Sweden
South Africa

Group G:
North Korea
France
Colombia
Canada

The top two teams from each group and the two best third-placed teams qualify for the quarter-finals.

2012 Olympic Women's wiki has all fixtures, venues and dates

Mods, any chance of an "Olympics 2012" tag?
king rad

I'll be honest - when I was reading this, I was thinking of ice cream

i do that a lot

Tactical Analysis of Chelsea versus Barca

some highlights:
Barcelona had two main issues in the second half. First, they had too many defensive players on the pitch – Javier Mascherano and Carles Puyol as centre-backs, and Sergio Busquets as a holding midfielder. Chelsea were breaking, but when Barcelona had the ball (which was the vast majority of the second half), they had 3 v 0 at the back. Mascherano could have been sacrificed, Busquets could have played his half-and-half role, and still could have played the first pass into the final third. (It’s also worth asking whether playing a back three at the start, comprised of pure defenders rather than Alves or Adriano as half-defenders, was a wise move against a side only playing one striker.)

The second issue was exactly the problem they faced against Inter two years ago – they had no plan B, in the shape of a static central target man to find, either in the air or for some hold-up play. In fact, they had even less of a plan B. Two years ago, Guardiola’s mistake was that he played his plan B as his plan A – Zlatan Ibrahimovic started the game when Inter were playing quite high up, then had been removed by the time Barcelona realised they needed a central striker. At least in that game Barcelona could push Gerard Pique upfront to be their number nine, and although they didn’t turn the tie around, Pique scored a brilliant consolation goal.

Ibrahimovic has been sold, and Pique had gone off injured. Barcelona didn’t have anyone they could look to here, which was probably why Seydou Keita was brought on for Cesc Fabregas, despite the fact Keita is naturally a more defensive player. Admittedly, Keita had little impact (and again, Guardiola could have sacrificed a more defensive player), but the move made some sense.

By this stage Barcelona’s positions had ceased to exist, but the roles were still fairly obvious – three defensive players, Xavi orchestrating from deep, Cristian Tello (on for Cuenca) and Alves on the flanks, then Keita, Iniesta, Messi and Sanchez in and around the box.