Old Futbol Buffet–Reds, Frogs, Tigers & Lions

It was a beautiful autumn weekend in Lansing–sunny and 60, with a slight breeze.  Friday I got home too late to enjoy, but after watching the Manchester United game against Sunderland on Saturday, I was able to get outside and take advantage.  Well, sort of. I helped a neighbor pick up an entertainment center and take it to her house and then I got started on my gutters, which will hopefully save me some time later this week.  Anyway, about the games . . .

Manchester United 1     Sunderland 0

United got off to a terrible start in this match, not sharp, players pretty static, and lots of side to side passes.  Bendtner shrugged off a defender early in the match and got a half hearted attempt off, which Lindegaard saved.  A poor half ended with a flicker of class between Nani and Jones, resulting in a corner kick.  Nani drove in a ball that Welbeck missed but former Red Wes Brown deflected it into his own goal, so the hosts went into the interval with a lead they didn’t really deserve.

There was a little more energy from United in the second half, with Ferguson moving more to a 4-4-2 with Welbeck joining Chicharito up top and Park moving from a more central role to left mid.  The Reds seemed to be moving through the gears for a second goal but after a series of fine saves from Westwood, it was Sunderland who looked more like scoring.  Bendtner had a chance as Evra was out to lunch giving the Black Cats attack free reign in their right hand channel. Ferguson went with Berba and Carrick for Welbeck and Park, which was puzzling, and the last five or six minutes fizzled out as United picked up three more points.  After the International Break, they have Swansea, then the big game against Newcastle.

My final tweet of the game was FT #MUFC 1 #SAFC 0. Just enough but the days of AUG & SEPT are gone. Now time to grind out results.

In case you have missed the hubbub, Sir Alex Ferguson celebrated 25 years in charge of the club over the weekend.  Thousands of words have been and will be written.  Here is one article I skimmed over encapsulated the Scot’s time at the helm.

After getting a good start on my gutters, I watched the Valencian Derby between Levante and Valencia.  This game stood out for me for several reasons: Levante just suffered their first league loss of the season and after their dream start, I wanted to see how they would respond; and Valencia got a big win midweek against Bayer Leverkusen and their season seems to be coming into form.  I plan to into more detail in this week’s Morbo Minute.  Plus I had to get out of the house.

Saturday night ended with this year’s College Football Game of the Century, which pitted LSU against Alabama.  Let’s just say both teams can play defense.  9-6 in overtime.  The top 2 teams in the country combined for 15 points.  Meanwhile, Oklahoma St. remained unbeaten against Kansas State, winning 52-45.  I think I picked the wrong game to watch.

Thanks to Daylight Savings Time, the Long family got an extra hour of sleep Saturday night.  I got up to do my usual house cleaning chores, and when I took a break to check my twitter feed, the first thing in my timeline was: Napoli/Juventus postponed.  Big Bummer.  This was a game that I was looking forward to as Juventus continue a strong start to their season.  There is some doubt about how far they will go, and this match would have been a stern test of their credentials.  (Here is a little something to tide you over: 5 Reasons For Juve to be Cheerful)  Turns out some conspiracy theories made the rounds, as Napoli cancelled the match without consulting the league or Juventus.  Paolo Bandini tried to put things in perspective.

So a little disappointed, I finished my gutters, and went to watch FCB v Bilbao, a game I was planning to watch later that night.  Again, comments to follow in Morbo Minute.

—————– 

Eric Wynalda was on Beyond the Pitch last week and had some strong statements about the MLS, both in terms of how they should schedule the league and how the league treats their players.  He proposed realigning the schedule to a more FIFA/European friendly timetable, starting in September and playing through early December, taking a break until February and restarting to finish sometime in June.  His suggestion makes a ton of sense to me, but that means it probably won’t happen.

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