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Blog - Marcotti's Musings

Questioning FIFA's TV rights decision

World Cup
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Real Madrid's big win; Terry's message; credit to Allegri; Bayern concerns

ESPN FC's Alejandro Moreno believes the pressure is back on Barcelona following Cristiano Ronaldo's thrilling hat trick against a Sevilla side who had not lost at home in 34 matches.

You step on the pitch with the table saying you're five points back. Sure, you have a game in hand, but it happens to be at Sevilla's Sanchez Pizjuan, where you haven't won since 2011 and, in fact, where no visiting team has won in 35 games.

You need to conjure up a result but, at the same time, you're playing your biggest game of the season thus far on Tuesday night in the Champions League, where you're 180 minutes away from the final and the chance to make it two in a row, something nobody has...

Jose Mourinho's Chelsea changes and choices make title win satisfying

Eden Hazard's header following a saved penalty was enough to secure Chelsea's fourth Premier League title.
ESPN FC's Craig Burley believes Chelsea were far better than the likes of Arsenal, Manchester United and Manchester City after being crowned 2015 Premier League champions.
ESPN FC's Craig Burley believes Chelsea were far better than the likes of Arsenal, Manchester United and Manchester City after being crowned 2015 Premier League champions.
ESPN FC's Craig Burley discusses Chelsea's title-clinching win over Crystal Palace and breaks down the keys along Chelsea's road to the title.
ESPN FC's Craig Burley joins SportsCenter to discuss Chelsea's dominating title win.
ESPN FC's Craig Burley discusses Chelsea's title-clinching win over Crystal Palace and breaks down the keys along Chelsea's road to the title.

It was around this time two years ago that Chelsea and Jose Mourinho began plotting his return to Stamford Bridge.

It was a telegraphed return. His Real Madrid experience was coming to an end amid acrimony and accusations, and the fact that he had three years left on his deal at the Bernabeu wasn't worth, for either side, the paper it was written on. Meanwhile, Chelsea's own manager, Rafa Benitez, was due to leave Stamford Bridge in a few weeks.

From the earliest meetings between Chelsea and Mourinho,...

Europa League suffers in Champions League's shadow but it can be fixed

ESPN FC's Janusz Michallik and Steve Nicol discuss the Europa League and while Steve doesn't like watching it, he does fancy Sevilla to make the final.

The Europa League is a bit like a relationship with a significant other who adores you but whom you take for granted and would secretly love to dump for someone better-looking. And so you call them a nag and point out the ways they annoy you. Yet at the end of the night, if you can't do any better, you settle.

That's the struggle the Europa League faces. Clubs in it would rather be somewhere else and when they perform poorly in their day job (their domestic league), it's the Europa League's fault....

Oscar hit raises concussion issue,
Bayern clinch title, fan unrest in Turin

The ESPN FC crew review Everton's comfortable 3-0 win over Manchester United, as Paul Mariner explains Manchester United's leaders did not perform to the best of their abilities.
Referee Michael Oliver had a busy day at the Emirates on Sunday, but the bigger issue involved Oscar's treatment.

Chelsea captain John Terry celebrated at the final whistle Sunday as if the Premier League title had been secured right then and there with that scoreless draw vs. Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium. Arithmetic says otherwise, but maybe it had been. There's a moment when you know you've won even when, theoretically, your rivals could come back.

Ultimately though, it was a game that will be remembered more for some controversial refereeing decisions than for the football itself, which was OK in the...

Chelsea go substance over style in win, Barca avoid trap, Tuchel's task at BVB

ESPN FC's Steve Nicol says Manchester United were not fantastic, and Jose Mourinho did what was necessary to get the points.

The title race in England (assuming we ever did have one) is over following Chelsea's 1-0 win over Manchester United on Saturday. No, mathematically they won't win the title for a couple of weeks. But if somebody else wins the Premier League this season, it won't be a race, it will be a total and vertical collapse.

Jose Mourinho didn't just park the bus against United; he positioned the Millennium Falcon, Titanic and Orient Express in front of Thibaut Courtois' goal.

Kurt Zouma (tasked with neutralizing...

Chelsea's UEFA Youth League triumph brings development debate into focus

Chelsea won this season's UEFA Youth League but how many of their players will make the first team?

On Monday, Chelsea won the UEFA Youth League, beating Shakhtar Donetsk in the final 3-2. The competition is sort of like a junior varsity Champions League: the 32 clubs who participate in the group stage of big boys' competition send out essentially an under-19 team composed, this season, of players who were born on or after Jan. 1, 1996.

Chelsea do extremely well in youth competitions. The UEFA Youth League has been running for two years and before that, for two seasons you had the NextGen series,...