The football season, especially the Barclays Premier League is starting another campaign and its time for the madness to return…busy nights on weekends and early dawn drama on weekdays. But there were already plenty of football matches on the cards this week. I caught the Audi Cup friendly between Manchester United with Boca Juniors and Bayern Munich two weeks ago and as most friendlies go, they were pretty tame affairs. Man U beat Boca 2-1 with Anderson and Valencia scoring and drew 0-0 with Bayern. They eventually lost on pens. Players were playing to regain match fitness and avoid injury. That’s understandable. Here’s the few I managed to catch this week…
Sunday and the Community Shield between Chelsea and Manchester United.
Good entertainment this…Man U dominated the first half and Chelsea did look like they lack match practice at first. Nani scored early. In the second half, Chelsea started playing and United were back-peddling. Eventually, the blues led 2-1. Wayne Rooney then scored a last minute equaliser after a fantastic thru pass by Giggs. Chelski then won on pens. Some thoughts about this match…
1) Ben Foster’s kicking is atrocious. He better improve on this if he is to play a part this season in United’s backline.
2) Nani looked impressive in the first half then faded. Think we need him to step up for the entire game if he is to be an impact player this season.
3) United’s defence looked shaky and panicky when attacked by Chelski in the second half. Fergie would need to look into this.
4) First game of the season and the ref is already under the spotlight with the Evra and Ballack nonsense. Is this the sign of things to come this season?
Wednesday and Singapore played China in a friendly at the National Stadium.
Singapore were missing a whole bunch of players thru injuries and China played a young team as they are rebuilding. Singapore drew first blood when Noh Alam Shah scored from a corner early on. China equalised in the first half. The match ended 1-1 with China winning the National Day Challenge match on pens. China played like Arsenal with short, quick passes all over the field. They dominated the match with their crisp passing except for brief periods early in the first half and second half. Either side could have won the match as they had glorious chances close to goal but shot over. This is where both teams need to be more clinical if they want to be a force to be reckoned with. Frankly, China were the better team and created more but they relied too heavily on the right wing and once that side of the field broke down, we were able to counter attack. I was impressed with Singapore’s Itimi Dickson, once he came on in the second half, Singapore was able to play a good counter attacking game.
Thursday dawn and Norway hosted Scotland in a European world cup qualifyer.
One incident changed the course of this match…the red card of Scots defender Caldwell. Scotland looked impressive before the sending off and collapsed once it happened, with Jon Arne Riise scoring on the ensuing free kick. The Scots could not deal with John Carew’s physical presence and eventually Norge won 4-0. A thrashing!
Thursday dawn and Mexico hosted USA at the Estadio Azteca in a CONCACAF world cup qualifyer.
What a match this was…Mexico needed to win at home as they had already lost 3 games but the USA took the lead thru a good counter attack. Mexico dominated the proceedings, keeping possession of the ball and putting pressure on the american defence. The US could not get out of their half most of the game. Mexico scored thru a first half rocket that cannoned off the bar, then scored a winner late in the second half after a good penetrating run. I’m not familiar with the players’ names except the guy who scored the winner was called Sabah. It was a really good match and I was glad I stayed up to watch it!
Looking forward to watching the BPL tomorrow night.
Good match between Mexico & USA.
The 10-month madness is about to begin…