Tag Archives: Features & Opinions

ISL 2020-21: One final hurdle for a spirited Northeast United following a hard-fought win against East Bengal | Instant News

NorthEast United need a point against Kerala Blasters …

Khalid Jamil is a very talkative person. But his actions have had the necessary impact after taking over control of Gerard Nus at NorthEast United.

The Highlanders, who were winless in six matches when they brought in the India coach after parting ways with Nus, have turned their season around. The Guwahati-based club are now unbeaten in eight matches, which include five wins and three draws.

The playoff race has also seen twists and turns and with NorthEast recording a 2-1 win against East Bengal on Tuesday, they are now just one point away from booking a playoff place for only the second time in its history. The win brings their tally to 30 points and they now need a point against Kerala Blasters to secure their place in the semifinals.

The East Bengal attack, led by striker Jeje Lalpekhlua starting his fourth match of the season, did not threaten the Northeast defense enough to get them into trouble. The Highlanders managed to create chances to score but it was the second half that turned out to be full of action.

VP Suhair, who was stationed on the right wing all season. once again proved effective in the final third. The former Gokulam Kerala striker came on from the wing, took Imran Khan’s pass and scored the opener. The three-man Red and Gold defense featuring Scott Neville, Raju Gaikwad and Sarthak Golui stretched quite often and they paid the price.

There was end-to-end football on display but a bit of poor defense from Sarthak rewarded the Highlanders minutes later. Nim Dorjee’s cross into the box was sliced ​​into the net by the Indian defender after his first attempt to clear the ball failed.

Sarthak then went on to do what every defender who scores an own goal usually does. He headed in Surchandra Singh’s free kick from the left flank three minutes before the end of the 90 minutes but NorthEast United, strong in the race for the playoffs, were alert enough to prevent a late comeback.

East Bengal Northeast United ISL

East Bengal deserves credit for their counter-attack, especially after Gaikwad received a second yellow card and the team was reduced to 10 men. The Highlanders survived the surprise attack but Robbie Fowler’s team lacked enough quality to bounce back. They have struggled even with the likes of Anthony Pilkington and Bright Enobakhare starting the match and on Tuesday, without the key player, their overall quality dropped even further.

Assistant coach Tony Grant expressed his thoughts on the game after the full-time whistle and said, “We tried young players, we had Jeje (Lalpekhlua) up front and nobody had enough (quality), they were never enough. So recruitment was always key and these are the players we have all season and this is the best they have seen. We were not ready at the start of the season, now they have opportunities and they have to show us but they can’t show us (what they got). “

East Bengal’s lack of quality on that day helped NorthEast United and they will accept it. They put on a passionate performance to keep their unbeaten streak and their play-off hopes well and truly alive.


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‘When attack is fired, defense gives up’ – Chennaiyin scores but Northeast United saves an important point | Instant News

Both teams have a chance to take the three points home but will have to share the spoils in the end …

NorthEast United squandered a chance to register a win and sent out a statement of intent in the race for the top four following a heated encounter against Chennaiyin FC on Thursday.

The match, which Chennaiyin nearly won, ended in a 3-3 draw with Luis Machado scoring an injury-time penalty to save the Highlanders face, but if you think about it, it could be a pivotal point in the team’s campaign.

It was an energetic start to the game and even though Chennaiyin was out of the playoffs, they really did fight and play for their pride. Lallianzuala Chhangte, who ended the match on two goals, was their star on the night and her finish and run were excellent and will leave head coach Csaba Laszlo wondering how Chennaiyin continues to miss chances throughout the season.

NorthEast United, with their eyes on a place in the playoffs with more than a few teams waiting to pounce on any mistakes, have no plans to sit back and absorb the pressure once Chhangte opens the scoring. Their response was typical of the fight they had shown under Khalid Jamil and they turned things around in no time. First, Imran Khan scored from close range from Luis Machado’s cross to level the score.

Khalid Jamil missed Federico Gallego and his creative spark in the final third because of the niggles but the midfield remained tidy due to the level of work of Khassa Camara who was always the first to react to loose balls and launch attacks when there was such an opportunity.

Such an attack following a period of pressure from Chennaiyin ended with Khassa Camara finding Deshorn Brown with a long ball over the defense. The move reached end to end in record time and Brown, who easily brushed off Enes Sipovic with his upper body strength, beat the keeper with a ferocious strike to give the Highlanders a 2-1 lead at the break.

But as we have always seen, Chennaiyin is a team that is always a threat in attack. It was the Machans’ stage to make a comeback. Right-back Ashutosh Mehta put in a blistering and overlooked play on the flanks against Chhangte’s speed and skill and saw the winger concede a penalty minute into the second half. He was also guilty of letting Chhante free in the box to score the opener.

After Lanzarote converted from the penalty spot, Chhangte himself became the scorer for his second goal of the night when he beat the goalkeeper with a deflected shot after receiving an Edwin pass from midfield.

A point is always better than no show after full-time. Vishal Kaith, who had a brilliant game between the sticks, fouled Idrissa Sylla and conceded a penalty which Machado stepped up and converted. One point also means there are three teams with 27 points which means if they all have the same tally at the end of the league stage, Hyderabad and FC Goa will qualify for the knockout stage because of their superiority in the mini group to be considered. A draw is a draw, but the Highlanders may have tricky issues for themselves.

For Chennaiyin, it was another night of disappointment as Csaba Laszlo’s side conceded once again in stoppage time and dropped points. This is the club’s 10th draw this season from the 19 games they have played so far.

Chennaiyin’s biggest problem this season has been scoring goals as they only scored 13 goals before the game against NorthEast United. However, scoring goals was not a problem for them against the Highlanders but a bad mistake at the back allowed the Highlanders to take a point.

It is one of those seasons when nothing has gone well for a team despite all their hard work on the pitch. Until Thursday’s match, it was Chennaiyin’s attack that let them down. But on the day that the attack occurred, the defenders gave up.


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‘I was sold on the Selangor FC project in five minutes’ – Inside Red Giants capture of World Cup winner Oliver Buff (exclusive) | Instant News

Selangor recently signed a Swiss midfielder who was team-mates with Arsenal’s Granit Xhaka and Thailand international Charyl Chappuis.

Selangor FC new signing, Oliver Buff, arrives at an unfortunate moment.

After undergoing a 14-day COVID-19 quarantine after reaching Malaysia, he was then forced to wait even longer before he could join his new club’s pre-season training.

Just one day before the quarantine is scheduled to end in early January, the Malaysian government announced another lockdown for most of the country, meaning the Malaysian league clubs’ pre-season training for the 2021 season must stop.

Four weeks after landing at Kuala Lumpur International Airport, the Swiss midfielder has yet to have the opportunity to train alongside his new teammates.

“I came out of quarantine one day after the lockdown started again, so I haven’t met everyone in person. So far there is not much I can experience in this country because of the lockdown, but I love it and enjoy being at the club,” Buff said. Destination.

“Finishing my business like a new apartment and handing over the bank paperwork is also a challenge. Thankfully, I’ve spent four weeks working on it and can now focus on training when it can be done again.”

Despite the difficulties he has faced playing professional football during the worldwide pandemic, the 28-year-old remains excited about the next chapter in his career.

“When I received the offer from Selangor, I knew they were a big club with big ambitions,” the former Real Zaragoza player recalled.

“They want to win the championship in the coming years. It is clear to me that I have to take a step. I spoke with the head coach (Karsten Neitzel) about the project and targets for the next two or three years, and he sold it to me in five minutes.

“Of course that can only happen if everything is done 100 percent professionally at the club, by winning games on the pitch.”

Buff also revealed that his decision to continue his professional career in Southeast Asia was also helped by the encouragement of a longtime friend who has been successful in the region.

The midfielder is a regular international for Switzerland at junior level, and even won the Under-17 World Cup in 2009 alongside now Arsenal player FC Granit Xhaka and Thailand international Charyl Chappuis.

“I had a lot of fun playing with them. We were together in the national team, from the U-15s to the U-19s. We are a very, very good team with lots of amazing players. If you win the World Cup with a team like Switzerland , that’s something very special, “he explained.

“It was a brilliant time and they (Xhaka and Chappuis) ​​are very nice people. They are very relaxed, humble and don’t think they are special or anything.

“Charyl congratulated me when I got here. He even gave me tips about the sport and the people in the region. I am very grateful to have someone who can get Asian football advice from me!”

Fortunately, the lights have appeared at the end of the tunnel and Buff’s wait is over as it has been announced that the Malaysian league team will be able to resume team training from February 15th.

“I am very happy to hear the news because I have been training alone every day. Besides, I will also see the team. I can’t wait to get started in a few days.” time.”


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Twenty-three goals in 24 games: Ronaldo can literally play until he is 40 years old | Instant News

The Portuguese forward turned 36 on Friday, but his goal in Saturday’s Serie A clash with Roma proved he still has many years left at the highest level.

Juventus 2-0 Roma: Match statistics

Few people in football know Cristiano Ronaldo’s body better than Giovanni Mauri and The former Real Madrid fitness coach has insisted the Portuguese coach “can play until he turns 40”.

Who dares to disagree?

Just a day after turning 36, Cristiano Ronaldo opened the scoring in Juventus’ 2-0 win over Roma to 23 goals in 24 appearances in all competitions this season.

No one was in the least bit surprised, of course. As said former Juve and Italy striker Christian Vieri Statistics Doing News earlier this week, “When you have Cristiano Ronaldo, you always start with 1-0.”

That’s not true, of course. But Ronaldo needed just 13 minutes to break the deadlock in Turin, with the five-time Ballon d’Or winner controlling the ball on the edge of the area with a post at his right before beating Pau Lopez with his left.

It’s a picture of simplicity but Ronaldo’s ease of scoring should not make up for the level of difficulty involved in what he does.

He posted a number that would keep a forward in physical form very happy, but here he made 36 strong bid for the fifth European Golden Shoe – six years after his last.

This is not normal. This is wonderful. She is extraordinary.

Juve will not push themselves back into the Scudetto race without the No. Their 7th, whose 16th goal in 17 Serie A matches helped put the Bianconeri above Roma and into third place in the standings.

Ronaldo is also the reason the Old Lady has one leg in the Coppa Italia final, thanks to her brace in Tuesday’s 2-1 win over Inter at San Siro.

Of course, Juve need more than just a Portugal international to conquer Europe for the first time since 1996.

Ronaldo may be the ‘Lord of the Champions League’ but he hasn’t made it past the quarter-finals since arriving in Turin. Remember, no other player has scored a knockout goal for Juve in the last two seasons.

That has to change if the Bianconeri are to compete in the Champions League this season.

Even so, Juve’s reliance on Ronaldo is clear, there are signs he may now have a supporting player worthy of his extraordinary talent.

His relationship with Alvaro Morata is certainly a cause for optimism. It was the Spaniard who picked Ronaldo for the opener, which means four of his seven assists this season have been for his attacking mate.

The return of Giorgio Chiellini, as expected, strengthened the defense significantly. It’s no coincidence that four of Juve’s six clean sheets in Serie A this season have occurred with the captain on the pitch.

Elsewhere, Weston McKennie remains a very raw talent but the American has added much-needed dynamism to the Bianconeri midfield, while Federico Chiesa and Dejan Kulusevski have brought pace and penetration wide.

Doubts remain over the quality of the engine room, but Adrien Rabiot is clearly improving, and there is no denying that Juventus won their swap deal with Barcelona involving Miralem Pjanic and Arthur, who became more influential with each passing game.

Ronaldo clearly remains key to Juve’s hopes for a successful first season under Andrea Pirlo, and the coach knows that too. He may be a rookie but he’s not a fool.

Despite his insatiable thirst for goals, Pirlo did his best to time Ronaldo’s game carefully.

The No.7 wasn’t too happy about being pulled off after 77 minutes against Inter, but it was the right decision.

“There is no contract clause that says he cannot be replaced,” Pirlo informed Rai 1. “He knows he is a fundamental player for us but to get his breath back, he has to always be at the top.

“I say [to him] that he has to rest, we have an important game on Saturday. He has played many games in a row, the occasional little break is good for him. “

His goal against Roma was proof of that. Indeed, it is clear that if Juve look after Ronaldo, he will take care of the rest.

After turning 36 on Friday, Ronaldo wrote Instagram, “I’m sorry I can’t promise you another 20 years of this.”

However, four more years seemed to be in his grasp.


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‘Big Six’ boredom: Why the matches between the Premier League’s elite are so boring | Instant News

Manchester United and Liverpool meet again at Old Trafford on Sunday but are expecting another sad match, following last weekend’s 0-0 draw at Anfield.

Liverpooldrew 0-0 with Manchester United confirm what we already feel but don’t want to admit: the Premier League is back in a tedious, risk-averse cycle of play and low scores between its elite clubs.

There have been 15 ‘Big Six’ matches so far in 2020-21 and four of them are 0-0. Nine of these matches ended with only one team on the score sheet. Take TottenhamThe 6-1 win at Old Trafford in October (a result so bizarre that it is statistically insignificant) and the ‘Big Six’ only averaged 1.36 goals per game.

Not since the 2000s, when Rafa Benitez and Jose Mourinho set the tone, has English football’s greatest game felt this structured or ingenious. But it’s not that bad: the variables at play this time around are not purely tactical, they are reactions to Covid-19, empty stadiums and the title race is wide open.

The extremely short preseason, coupled with the hectic timetable that limits time on the training pitch, has forced every manager to reassess how they operate tactically.

Most seem to have decided that the best course of action is to focus on defensive solidity rather than attack dynamism, taking safer options to avoid the carnage that briefly descended on the division during the first few months of 2020-21.

Uproar on the night of 4 October haunted the Premier League, and it was not long after Tottenham’s 6-1 win at Manchester United and Aston VillaThe 7-2 crash over Liverpool saw the managers find a way to close the door.

Despite the high scoring start for the 2020-21 campaign, the recent downturn has seen the division averaging 2.72 goals per game – exactly the same as in 2019-20.

Lack of training time, plus fatigue, has caused pressing intensity to drop significantly across the division. This has caused the team to fall deeper, which has increased their defensive record, and has deprived them of their ability to win high balls and attack space, thereby lowering their attack output.

Initially, the drop in pressure led to carnage, but the club has now adapted to a careful rhythm. Inevitably, it leads to some hesitant chess matches when the big clubs meet. That these players are now physically and mentally exhausted only increases the focus on defense.

Footballers have been playing in empty stadiums for so long that it’s easy to forget how dramatic they could have been on the action.

After a chaotic spell at the start of the season – which we can attribute to the oddity of adjusting to effect with an empty league table, plus a preseason cut into a tactical wilderness – the Premier League has returned to rock bottom – the energy football of Project Restart.

Supporters are essential for creating the right atmosphere, especially in high-stakes games like those between the ‘Big Six’ teams. Whether creating a toxic atmosphere for the visitors, making the home team nervous, or reacting anxiously to tension and drama, fans essentially penetrated the harsh, cold and rigid dynamics of the match.

The nerves will always limit creativity, strengthen limbs and prevent the risk-taking necessary to attack, and therefore two well-trained sets of players need to feed the crowd’s chaotic energy to lose their discipline.

It’s much easier to watch out, draw and slip into a rhythm that puts safety first when there’s no judgment from the stands.

An exhausted ‘Big Six’ team unmatched by the crowd, instructed to be more risk-averse, and unable to spend time on the training ground working on ‘automatism’ attacks have often pulled out or lost against weaker teams this season.

Liverpool’s recent goalless run exemplifies what happens when all these Covid-related variables come together; The attacking tactical structure is not what it used to be without heavy pressure, set movements, fresh legs and a roaring Anfield crowd.

Inevitably, all those points dropped lead to a wide open league table where, if we adjust to the game at hand, about five points separate the first from the six. Unfortunately, this only adds to the problem of a safe ‘Big Six’ clash and low scores.

While in recent years the high points tally required to lift the title gave elite clubs an incentive to chase the three points, the natural tendency in 2020-21 is to stay in the conversation, take points, deny your three rivals, and move on. in.

GFX Premier League table

Liverpool’s 0-0 draw with Man Utd on Sunday is a perfect example of all these variables. The first 30 minutes were full of potential as both clubs came close to creating one-on-one chances.

Over the next 30 minutes the game slows down as the players get tired, and then during the last 30 minutes the two managers close the shop and settle on a point.

Finally, there’s the simple fact that the Premier League’s ‘Big Six’ happen to have several managers on the counter-attack at the moment.

Mourinho is well known for his conservative approach against elite teams, while Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Frank Lampard have both shown a tendency to sit deep in big games and go on the counter-attack.

In both cases, this occurred as a reaction to being overwhelmed at the start of their respective terms at Man Utd and Chelsea. Neither manager is particularly adept at constructing complex defensive or attack structures, and as a result both are forced to adopt an increasingly cautious approach to prevent porosity between the lines.

What’s more, Solskjaer, Lampard and Mourinho have partly reacted to Liverpool and Man City’s brilliance lately, bolstering their defenses to stay competitive.

ArmoryThe drawbacks run a little deeper, though it’s no surprise that Pep Guardiola’s protégé has joined the Man City manager in a focus on low-risk, low-tempo football for the Covid-era ‘Big Six’.

‘Stay safe’ is a cultural mantra for these times. It is not surprising that the pandemic’s impact on football has slowed it down, created distance and promoted vigilance.

Until the pandemic is over, low-scoring ‘Big Six’ matches are the Premier League’s new normal.


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