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All Things Footie | Thursday, November 22 | Jordan

Less Said...

... the better for the English in Europe this week, and—with Ipswich awaiting Inter Milan tonight coupled with Leeds leaving three subs places empty away to Grasshopper Zurich—things may not get better.

Liverpool looked pretty inept against Barcelona on Tuesday, the Spaniards totally out-classing, out-passing and out-thinking their opponents. The defensive counter-attacking tactic favoured by Liverpool right now does not work against teams like Barcelona, players like Rivaldo, Kluivert, Saviola the list goes on, can unpick any defensive lock on their night.

I only saw the highlights of the United game but from what I witnessed it was nothing surprising. Two teams playing for safety—I thought United may have snuck the victory but a draw in Munich is no disgrace to say the least.

Arsenal were poor, and that is being very kind. You have to feel sorry for Richard Wright, goalkeeping is not the easiest profession and when you make a couple of mistakes your team get much more harshly punished that if any other player fouls up. I thought the first Deportivo goal took a bit of a deflection and he didn't see it until very late but the second was clearly an error by the young stopper. Lauren really should have been further across to block the shot but Wright went down in installments, maybe it was the injury. Why Arsené Wenger insists on playing Sylvain Wiltord I don't know he was completely ineffectual last night and Kanu would surely have been a better option. At least Edu looked promising—in the ten minutes he was on he did more to break down Deportivo than Gio Van Bronkhorst managed over eighty. Young 'keeper Stuart Taylor made his second Champions League appearance, though he has yet to appear in the Premiership, and didn't put a foot wrong.

The award for best build up to goal this week is a joint award between Spanish giants Barcelona and Real Madrid—Barca must have strung together 30 one touch passes before Marc Overmars rounded Dudek but anyone fortunate enough to see the highlights of Real Madrid vs. Sparta Prague last night witnessed some of the finest football I've seen for a long time. Their second goal against the Czechs was a joy to behold, after about 15 sublime exchanges—Zidane to Figo, Raul, Morientes, back to Zidane (they've got to be taking the ...)—the last three were wonderful one touch passes finishing with Fernando Morientes slipping the ball into the net. Fantastic.

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