Much of the coverage of Barcelona’s 2-1 defeat to Sevilla in La Liga on Saturday afternoon focused on the disruption caused by injuries to stars Lionel Messi and Andres Iniesta. But blaugrana fans and pundits should really be asking why last season’s treble-winning squad looks so threadbare just a few months later.
Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone insists Thibaut Courtois has the same single-minded focus as his team-mates as the Belgium goalkeeper prepares to face his parent club Chelsea in tonight’s Champions League semi-final first leg at the Vicente Calderon Stadium.
MICHAEL CARRICK looked to the line. Then he did so again. And again. There were 20 minutes gone in the 2009 Champions League and the Manchester United midfielder must have glanced at his manager’s bench at least 30 times. What he sought was instruction. But all he saw was Alex Ferguson sitting motionless and stony-faced.
MANUEL ALMUNIA insists Arsenal will not be concerned about the hot reception which awaits them at White Hart Lane next week when they look to stay in the Premier League title race after being handed a footballing lesson by a Lionel Messi-inspired Barcelona in the Nou Camp.
I DON’T want charity, if I play in any final, I want it to be on merit, not sentiment” — Paul Scholes, earlier this month, responding to Alex Ferguson’s insistence that, should Manchester United reach Moscow for the Champions League final on May 21, the ageing midfielder would be the first name on his team-sheet.