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Pachuca
U.A.N.L
2:00 AM UTC Apr 27, 2017
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How Messi tormented Madrid in El Clasico

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Mou halts Chelsea, Herrera stifles Hazard

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Liverpool's new formation fails to fire

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Hazard exploits City's weak spots

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Arsenal, Man City shortcomings are clear

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Guardiola tweaks get City draw vs. Liverpool

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Burnley frustrate Liverpool with pressing

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Arsene Wenger's Sanchez snub backfires

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 By Michael Cox

Is Arsenal's three-man back line proof Wenger can embrace modern tactics?

Arsene Wenger gave one word answers when he was asked again about his Arsenal future.
Arsene Wenger praised the form of Alexis Sanchez and admits he is sometimes a slow starter in games.
The FC panel credit Arsenal for a convincing win over Manchester City and raise questions over Pep Guardiola.
Arsene Wenger was proud of how Arsenal stepped up to the occasion and silenced critics to reach the FA Cup final.

There are various ways of summarising Arsene Wenger's astonishing longevity at Arsenal, but here's a particularly prescient one.

There have been two entirely different eras when using a three-man defence has been in fashion: the first in the mid-1990s, the second in the mid-2010s. They came 20 years apart, meaning that no player has genuinely played a significant part in both eras. But Wenger has been around so long he has witnessed a tactical development that's effectively come full circle.

This...

Lionel Messi torments Madrid as Barcelona breathe life in La Liga race

Lionel Messi settled El Clasico in incredible style with a late, late winner against Real Madrid.
Lionel Messi settled El Clasico in incredible style with a late, late winner against Real Madrid.

Lionel Messi delivered a sensational display to hand Barcelona a 3-2 win against Real Madrid on Sunday, in one of the most entertaining Clasicos in years.

Real Madrid were three points ahead of their rivals atop La Liga with one game in hand, but Zinedine Zidane still wheeled out his big guns in an attacking 4-3-3, and was rewarded when Casemiro hit the opener.

But Barca had Messi who, in Neymar's absence, was handed a free role behind the strikers in a 4-3-1-2. The Argentine terrorised Madrid,...

 By Michael Cox

Champions League tactical battles: What each team needs to advance

The FC crew preview the second-legs of the UCL quarterfinals, including Juve's stout defence stifling Barcelona.
Massimiliano Allegri reiterated that he won't be playing for a draw in the second leg of his side's quarter final Champions League tie with Barcelona.

Michael Cox looks at the key tactical questions facing the Champions League quarterfinalists ahead of the second legs.

Barcelona vs. Juventus: Which system does Luis Enrique use?

Barcelona's formation has been a constant source of debate in recent weeks. With no specialist right-back to call upon -- their former regular Dani Alves now plays for the opposition here -- Luis Enrique has been forced to devise complex systems to get around the problem. This has often involved Barcelona playing...

Jose Mourinho masterclass haunts Chelsea as Herrera stifles Hazard

The ESPN FC crew have all the reaction from Manchester United's win over Chelsea.
The ESPN FC crew have all the reaction from Manchester United's win over Chelsea.
The ESPN FC crew have all the reaction from Manchester United's win over Chelsea.

Jose Mourinho produced a vintage defensive masterclass to guide Manchester United to a 2-0 win over Chelsea at Old Trafford on Sunday.

Shelving his new-found stylistic principles, Mourinho returned to his pragmatic old self against his former club, devising a reactive gameplan designed to nullify Chelsea's 3-4-3, and above all key player Eden Hazard.

The result was a 4-4-2 in which diligent wingers tracked Chelsea's wing-backs, while Ander Herrera man-marked Hazard. Up front, Marcus Rashford worked...

 By Michael Cox

Jose Mourinho must stop Eden Hazard if he is to get his revenge vs. Chelsea

The Exploding Heads preview the Chelsea-Man United clash, as Jose Mourinho again prepares to face his former club.

Jose Mourinho's career is defined by him seeking revenge over adversaries and settling old scores. And while Mourinho surely looks back upon his two periods at Chelsea with some degree of fondness, he'll recall his bitter departure much more strongly. This weekend, he has his third chance to inflict defeat upon his former players -- broadly the same group who won him a third Premier League title, but also those who downed tools last season.

His previous two reunions with Chelsea have ended in defeats...

Liverpool's new formation fails vs. Stoke before half-time tweaks

Steve Nicol says Jurgen Klopp has a "slim to zero" chance of getting the reinforcements Liverpool need this summer.

Liverpool recovered from a stagnant first half to win 2-1 at Stoke on Saturday, in a display affected by numerous absentees and a formation they had reportedly not even used in training.

Beset by injuries, Jurgen Klopp wheeled out a 3-5-1-1 system featuring two teenagers and players fielded out of position. With Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino benched, the visitors lacked flair and cohesion, and created next to nothing before half-time.

The same was not true of Stoke, who opened the scoring...