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30
Apr 2012
20:36
Lille threaten PSG, by Rafa Benitez

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Rafa Benítez

Yesterday, Sunday, we had the opportunity to attend a more than interesting clash which could be decisive in the French league title. Lille OSC, third in the table, hosted Paris Saint Germain CF, second in the table and 5 points off the top team Montpellier Herault SC who had won on Friday against Toulouse FC (0-1). A Lille win, managed by Rudi Garcia, would put them just one point behind PSG, giving them a chance to finish top if they had good results in the last 4 matches...
26
Apr 2012
11:19
Bayern are paired with Chelsea, by Rafa Benitez

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Rafa Benítez

If Chelsea had beaten all the odds the day before by getting to the final in Munich on May 19, last night we witnessed a similar feat by Bayern, although maybe forecasts weren’t quite as clear after the first leg. Barcelona and Real Madrid have crashed out and the Munich and London teams will contest the title. Once again football showed what it can do and brought us all back to reality instead of trying to bet on the outcome...
25
Apr 2012
10:40
That's Football, by Rafa Benitez

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Rafa Benítez

‘That’s football’ said Vujadin Boskov when he was asked about the game at a press conference. With his limited Spanish, the former coach of Real Madrid and the old Yugoslavia national team amongst others, couldn’t find a better, more graphic, way to explain why a team could win a game from a very difficult situation against all the odds. But Chelsea did exactly that last night in the UEFA Champions League Semi-Final. With ten men for a large part of the match, they were able to score two goals against the champions and thus prevent, for at least another year, a team from winning the Champions League title two years running...
19
Apr 2012
13:59
Another tie must wait for the 2nd leg, by Rafa Benítez

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Rafa Benítez

The second match in the first legs for the teams looking to get to the UEFA Champions League Final in Munich also did not disappoint. As happened 24 hours earlier, last night’s match in London was hard-fought, tremendously disputed, with one very dominant but with only one winner. And it at least showed there is truth in the maxim that a victory has to be worked for. Chelsea won because they converted one of the few chances they had. And Barca lost for precisely the opposite, because they couldn’t score from one of the many chances they created. That’s football. Let’s see what happened...
18
Apr 2012
12:29
The Bernabéu will decide the outcome, by Rafa Benítez

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Rafa Benítez

We have had the first installment of the series of the four matches which make up the semifinals of the UEFA Champions League and which will decide the two teams that will contest the final in May, and last night the first of them was held in the same stadium where the final of the most prestigious tournament will take place...
16
Apr 2012
17:52
Rafa Benitez analyses another MLS match

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Rafa Benítez

Week 6 of the MLS season and LA Galaxy stop their recent run of poor results.

This weekend was week 6 of the MLS season and LA Galaxy were welcoming Portland Timbers to the Home Depot Center with both teams ruefully looking at the Western Conference table as they occupied the bottom two places. Both teams needed the win to kick-start the season but once again Portland were unable to hold on to a lead as had happened too often recently. Galaxy left it late to get the winning goals but will be happy that the poor run has been halted. We were able to watch the game and analyse the key points which we can share with you to debate...
12
Apr 2012
21:47
Rafa Benitez analyses Dortmund and Bayern at last night’s crucial title match

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Rafa Benítez

There was a fantastic atmosphere in and around the stadium an hour and a half before the match I attended last night in Dortmund, where Bayern were the visitors for a crucial match in the race for the Bundesliga title...
05
Apr 2012
12:14
Real Madrid and Chelsea complete the picture, by Rafa Benitez

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Rafa Benítez

The second day of second legs of the quarterfinals of the Champions League Europe turned out similar to the first. You could say that yesterday also met the forecasts in that the two teams that had controlled their respective first legs eventually qualified. But as always there are nuances of difference. Because the outcome can be the same but the means can be very different, you have to analyse it objectively. Anyway, however much time and space is devoted to any analysis, what is clear is that it is now confirmed that Real Madrid will face Bayern Munich for a place in the final and Chelsea will be FC Barcelona’s opponent to get there. Now for the matches and the debate...
04
Apr 2012
15:02
Barcelona and Bayern through to the Semi-finals, by Rafa Benitez

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Rafa Benítez

Forecasts were met on the first day of the second leg of quarterfinals of the UEFA Champions League. The situations were different though, as it is not the same playing against a French team as it is against an Italian one, Bayern Munich did not disappoint against Olympique Marseille and neither did FC Barcelona against AC Milan. Both are waiting to see who their opponent is in the semifinals, but they will have to wait for the results of today's ties, though in the Real Madrid-Apoel match it seems clear that Real Madrid will go through and they will be the ones to play Munich and in the Chelsea-Benfica tie, it also seems clear that the Londoners are the favourites to meet Barça. However, what we can do now is assess what happened in another intense night of football yesterday evening. And, if you want, we can discuss it. So let's start...
02
Apr 2012
09:16
MLS analysis by Rafa Benítez

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Rafa Benítez

Week 4 of the MLS season is underway and only one team, Toronto, is still without a point on the board. LA Galaxy have had a slow start as Champions and featured in one of the matches we have analysed. In the Western Conference there are two teams on 9 points, Real Salt Lake and San Jose whilst Kansas have 9 points in the East and they play tomorrow. We have looked at two matches this week and some observations of both matches follow for your interest...
01
Apr 2012
19:15
Borussia Dortmund 4 - Stuttgart 4, by Rafa Benítez

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Rafa Benítez

We had the opportunity to witness a great game of football last Friday, the kind that makes us love this sport. An alternating game that took swung different ways, which could have been won by either team and finished with a share of the points and goals. Eight goals in total, four per side, and so many chances to win or lose a game full of events. So if you want, let\'s try to clear our heads and debate what happened...