It’s been less than two weeks since Chelsea beat Manchester City 1-0 at the Etihad, shattering the hosts’ perfect home record in the Premier League. But despite that defeat, which prevented City from moving top in the league, manager Manuel Pellegrini insists he will not change his approach when the Blues visit for the FA Cup tie on Saturday.
“I am absolutely sure that in the previous game it was not a problem with tactics,” said Pellegrini. “The squad had a lot of changes and we had three or four clear chances before they scored. If we’d scored we could have scored again. I will continue to think exactly in the same way – it’s important to score and defend well.”
Those words might cause fear in some Manchester City fans, at least, those hoping the side will remain in the running for a quadruple this season. After all, it was the tactics of José Mourinho that won out in the end, with his counter-attacking squad exposing the space left by the hosts. And then there was Pellegrini’s use of defender Martín Demichelis as a central midfielder, an experiment that anyone with eyes can agree should never be repeated.
Yet Pellegrini insists that his use of Demichelis in midfield did not weaken his side. The Chilean is also not concerned by his side, who have 115 goals in all competitions, failing to score in their last two matches. He made sure to note that if they’d scored one against Norwich City, they’d have won the match, and had they scored against Chelsea, it would’ve been a draw. Which is an interesting way of viewing a game, considering it fails to take into account what happens after City scores those hypothetical goals.
Does anything rattle Manuel Pellegrini, or is he just playing it cool, ensuring that José Mourinho has no ammunition – either tactically or verbally?
In some ways absence makes the heart grow fonder, but it seems Sir Alex Ferguson‘s life after Manchester United has been filled with second guessing.
Whether the sales of Paul Pogba and Gerard Pique or the appointment of David Moyes, “Fergie” apparently can’t rest on his title-winning laurels.
[ MORE: Tax evasion charges dropped against Messi, but not his father ]
One thing that seems to bug him more than anything, though, is the idea that he hand-picked David Moyes to be his successor, and should be responsible for his failings.
In a new documentary, Ferguson both defends the appointment of Moyes and explains the process behind his choice.
From the BBC:
“I don’t think we made a mistake at all. I think we chose a good football man,” Ferguson says. “Unfortunately it didn’t work for David.
“Jose Mourinho was going back to Chelsea, Carlo Ancelotti was going to Real Madrid, Jurgen Klopp had signed a contract with Dortmund, Louis Van Gaal was staying with Holland for the World Cup.”
The article also makes another key point, according to Ferguson: the manager claims he only gave United a few months notice that he’d be stepping down. That certainly didn’t provide a lot of lead time to secure a big boss.
What do you make it of it? If your answer is, “When can we stop talking about Moyes and United?” I tend to be with you, but it’s a talking point.
Lionel Messi will not face charges that he and his father defrauded the government in millions of unpaid taxes, though his father is not so lucky.
Messi’s father, Jorge, could face 18 months in jail and an approximate $2.25 million fine despite a voluntary payment of $5.5 million in 2013 to “correct” the missed taxes.
[ WATCH: Hilarious spoof pegs Messi, Ronaldo as “Friends” ]
The Barcleona star had plead ignorance to the charges, something that failed to impress prosecutors. But, it apparently worked out in his favor on Tuesday.
From the BBC:
Prosecutors allege that Jorge avoiding paying tax on his son’s earnings by using offshore companies in Belize and Uruguay between 2007 and 2009.
Messi’s lawyers argued that the player had “never devoted a minute of his life to reading, studying or analysing” the contracts, El Pais newspaper reported.