kopthaticon

ESPN – Luis Suarez integration could well drive Barca to Liga, Champions League glory

FC Barcelona is one point ahead of Real Madrid in La Liga heading into the Clasico of clasicos. Barcelona head coach Luis Enrique says his side's clinical finishing was the key to Saturday's 2-0 win at Eibar. ESPN FC's Alejandro Moreno and Craig Burley examine Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini's troublesome situation ahead of the Champions League match against FC Barcelona. Three weeks ago, Barcelona beat Manchester City 2-1 at the Etihad in their first leg of the Champions League round of 16. It was a good result by every account, but the scoreline result undersells Barca's dominant performance. The Blaugrana created four big chances in open play and drew a penalty, but they scored only once from these five shots. On the balance of chances, Barcelona easily could have won 3-1 or 4-1. As a result, they should be confident heading into the return leg at the Camp Nou. What…

Details
kopthaticon

GUARDIAN – Liverpool must ignore hype around United clash, warns Simon Mignolet

• Liverpool unbeaten in the league since December’s defeat to United• Two sides meet on Sunday two points apart in race for fourth place• ‘We know there will be a huge build up … we can’t get carried away’• Match report: Swansea 0-1 LiverpoolSimon Mignolet has warned that in-form Liverpool must not get carried away by the hype around their match against Manchester United at Anfield on Sunday.Liverpool’s victory at Swansea on Monday was their fifth league win in a row, and they have not lost since December’s 3-0 defeat at Old Trafford. That run has taken them from tenth place to fifth – just two points behind United in the race for Champions League qualification. Continue reading…

Details
kopthaticon

ESPN – Wayne Rooney inspiring Man United teammates and leading by example

Our football gurus discuss which teams in Premier League are still in the running for a Champions League spot at season's end. To keep their Champions League hopes alive, Manchester United needs Wayne Rooney to do something he hasn't done often at Anfield: score goals. Twelve minutes were on the clock when Manchester United fans let out a joyous, fist-pumping howl of “United! United! United!” Marouane Fellaini's ninth-minute goal against Tottenham on Sunday had helped, but it was a rapid exchange of one-touch forward passes inside the visitors' half three minutes later that encouraged the primal screams all around the stadium. By the second half, with their team leading 3-0 since the 34th minute, Old Trafford relaxed. The 106-year-old ground, sold out for…

Details