Guardiola, Drogba, Iniesta and more reaction from London

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Not only are the particulars talking in the wake of today’s result in London, but given the way the match played out, they have a lot to say.

Barcelona were handed a 1-0 loss by Chelsea, with the talking points centering around how the Blues went about their play. As you’ll see, nobody was too interested in moralizing about Roberto Di Matteo’s tactics. Instead, the focus has shifted to Tuesday’s second leg.

  • “It was a collective performance by the whole team. We knew we would get chances and Didier [Drogba] was in the right spot at the right time.” – Roberto di Matteo, via UEFA
  • It’s not simple to come here. People say Barca are much, much better … but this [CFC] team is experienced in the semi-finals.” – Pep Guardiola, via @SamWallaceIndy
  • “It wasn’t perfect because they had chances but we’ve done what we could. There’s amazing quality in their team but we gave 100% and we tried to stay organized. Mentally it’s very difficult to keep focus all the time but we’ve done it.” – Petr Cech, via UEFA
  • “Deserved more? Result is what it is, you’ve to congratulate Chelsea. Probably our semi with most chances, but we didn’t score.” – Guardiola, via @barcastuff
  • “If football is about counting possession we would win every game. The game is putting the ball in the net.” – Guardiola, via @JohnBrewinESPN
  • “Chelsea took advantage of the chance that they had while we were lacking that killer instinct in front of goal. They waited for us at the back and defended very well tonight.” – Andrés Iniesta, via UEFA
  • “It was more or less the game we expected, created more chances than we had thought, but couldn’t make that goal.” – Guardiola, via @barcastuff
  • “We’ve had to be patient tonight. We didn’t touch the ball for the first 15 minutes. Didier [Drogba] worked very hard and it was a tireless performance by everyone.” – John Terry, via UEFA
  • “Chelsea wasting a lot of time, especially Drogba? They play the way they think is best, we should know how to deal with that.” – Guardiola, via @barcastuff
  • “I think we’ve learnt and improved from three years ago. We are happy because the result is a good one. Now, we need to go there and score to qualify.” – Didier Drogba, via UEFA
  • “The winner is always right, so tonight Chelsea had the right tactics.” – Guardiola, via @barcastuff
  • “The challenge is to again have 24 shots on Tuesday like we had tonight, and then score from those.” – Guardiola, via @barcastuff
  • “They’re an exceptional side but we were brilliant. For the effort and the commitment we deserved what we’ve got. We’ll see how important [not conceding an away goal is]; last time we kept a clean sheet at the Camp Nou so it could be very important if we manage to score there.” – Cech, via UEFA
  • “We will play in front of our own fans next week and we have to look to be aggressive at home.” – Iniesta, via UEFA
  • “The away leg will be a very tough game. They will have lots of chances on their big pitch. We respect them but we’re not in awe of them.” – Terry, via UEFA
  • “It won’t be easy because it’s never easy when a team defends so deep.” – Guardiola, via @RobHarris
  • “Now the favorites are Chelsea. They have a great result. We have 90 minutes to challenge them.” – Guardiola, via @OliverKayTimes
  • “I think it’s still 50-50, we have a second leg away from home and know it’s going to be a difficult one.” – Di Matteo, via BBC
  • “Only winners are remembered.” – Guardiola, via @RobHarris

MLS Three Things: RBNY beats Atlanta, is a special club right now

Photo by Refugio Ruiz/Getty Images
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At this point, Jesse Marsch could take the USMNT job, Tyler Adams could bolt for the Bundesliga, and we’d still have to select the New York Red Bulls to finish with a home playoff game.

[ MORE: Willian’s shot at Conte ]

That’s how well run RBNY is these days, which is to take nothing away from their coach and 19-year-old star, but considering they navigated a solid CONCACAF Champions League run en route to this start… well…. wow.

On a night when Luis Robles’ ironman streak ended, Kaku recorded two assists, and Ezequiel Barco bagged his second goal in three matches, they don’t even meet the requirements of our three things.

Form giants deliver more goals

Marsch’s men have been shutout once this season, and most multiple goals in four-consecutive wins. Three of those four wins have come on the road, at LA, Colorado, and now Atlanta.

RBNY has the best points-per-game in Major League Soccer, has scored the joint-most goals despite playing in the second-fewest games, and is allowing barely more than a goal-a-game.

Bet against ’em. We dare ya.

BWP delivers the goods

RBNY’s 33-year-old English star scored twice and won a penalty that Daniel Royer converted as he continued his assault on all future Red Bulls’ hopes of becoming the club’s leading scorer.

Bradley Wright-Phillips has almost 50 more goals than his nearest competitor, Juan Pablo Angel, and he makes headers look like child’s play.

Victory comes with a price

Kemar Lawrence was lost with a scary-looking face-plant on a clearance, and needed to be stretchered off the pitch. Hopefully it’s not long-term for the Jamaican back.

Willian “edits” Conte out of FA Cup champions photo

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Willian is not a fan of Antonio Conte.

Come to another conclusion if you like, but it’s hard to argue the Brazilian wizard’s feelings following his Instagram post after Chelsea beat Manchester United in the FA Cup Final.

[ MORE: Matic wants squad changes at Man Utd ]

Willian covered his manager in trophies following the win, and it’d be a stretch to call that a tribute to the Italian’s tactical brilliance.

The player recorded seven goals and six assists despite playing less than all but 12 Chelsea players in league play (12th place Alvaro Morata had 11 and 6).

We’re accepting alternative explanations for the since-deleted Instagram photo below:

Elis scores twice as Dynamo beat Fire 3-2

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BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. (AP) Alberth Elis scored two second-half goals to help the Houston Dynamo beat the Chicago Fire 3-2 on Sunday for their first road win of the season.

Elis, on a one-on-one breakaway, cut back to evade defender Johan Kappelhof and ripped a right-footer from the center of the box into the back of the net to give Houston (4-3-3) a 3-2 lead in the 74th minute.

[ MORE: Man Utd youngster gets USMNT call-up ]

The Dynamo’s Romell Quioto opened the scoring in the fourth, running onto a long through ball from Tomas Martinez and rolling the finish past sliding goalkeeper Richard Sanchez. Nemanja Nikolic tied it in the 14th minute and then fed Diego Campos for a goal about two minutes later. Elis converted from the spot to make it 2-2 early in the second half after Mauro Manotas drew a foul in the area conceded by Sanchez.

Chicago (3-6-2) has lost three of its last four games.

 

Inter Milan back in the Champions League after late heroics (video)

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It’s been more than a half-decade since Inter Milan qualified for the UEFA Champions League, an infamous run that ended on Sunday.

Inter scored twice in the final 13 minutes to beat fifth-place Lazio and advance into the Top Four via head-to-head record.

[ MORE: Man Utd youngster gets USMNT call-up ]

Lazio held 1-0 and 2-1 leads, but could not get the job done at home, collecting red cards in the 79th minute and stoppage time.

Uruguayan midfielder Matias Vecino scored his third goal of the season, redirecting a corner kick home in the 81st minute, as Inter clinched fourth place in Serie A.