The second match day of completion’s group stage witnessed series of thrilling showcases mostly on Wednesday night actions after less exciting Tuesday edition, but is fair to say the traditional heritage of tournament’s incredible flash of quality and prestigious identity was excellent as usual. the most eye-catching headlines belongs to Arsenal, Atletico Madrid and Leicester city all on one side, while some of main favorites and serious title “dark horses” appeared shaky in facing tough bridges like Bayern, Real Madrid, City to drop a point all along.
Arsenal vs Basel
the Gunners are looking very sharp up to this point of season and carried their enthusiastic 3-0 weekend derby win against Chelsea to battle against Swiss side to seal a fine home victory at the end. the traditional chief label of “the sole puritans of most entertaining style in the modern era has sword to a long-lasting journey of unfaithful dream” might have attached on Arsen Wenger and his team in the last decade or so despite the occasional level of optimism exaggerations coming realistically from naïve perspectives of their fans about their ultimately chance of triumphant in European stage, but even to ignore those often false expectations for the sack of persuading more critical desire to convince this Arsenal team is underrated when competing to win the glory; inevitably we could be reinforced to give them some chance after that performance. they dominated the possession the entire night with purpose of generating fluid attacking movements and Theo Walcott was the inspiration, exactly in the way he produced for Gunners against Chelsea couple of days ago. his sudden return to high form this season had simplified Arsenal attacking productivity against touch challenges. his presence inserted a vital appearance of speed and cutting edge to their end-product movements in many ways; since their tendency to play fluid open 4-3-3 formation has flexibly encouraged and mixed the flux interaction of two versatile-central holder linking with three technically creators to ignite fierce slick build-up passing to stretch opponent, then it becomes possible to have a lone center forward or middle man to deliver for them; Olivier Giroud usually deploys in that role with his ability to switch the open run for attacking midfielders and his positional strength behind center-backs when two wide attackers shifting into an auxiliary winger role to interchange play with their front man and joined central mid, Alexis Sanchez and Ozil are the orchestrators with their ability to change the attacking tempo through their neat touches and passing vision as one joins a wider position, Sanchez willing to operate wide and the other one usually ignites skillful maneuver from deep, Ozil with his ideal possessive technique to dribble and ample vision to control the pace of movements highly boosted creativity and flair to break pressing line in the midfield as it was the case so far this season. while Sanchez and often Chamberlain tend to combine higher up the pitch; their over-reliance of pushing into advance areas to break opponent’s press sometimes caused them to leave gaps between midfield and defense, which practically allows free spaces to be played by quicker opponents in the counter that ends up in limiting Arsenal attackers to track back for re-pressing. the crucial shift of adapting Theo Walcott as a wide attacker to become an outside striker has electrified the cutting edge of penetration to end of their attacking spectrum, opening up options for midfield to produce brilliant link up and spontaneous change of pace significantly. they scored the firs goal through this tactic, a find short build-up out of wide channel played to Santi Cazorla and he quickly looked up to dink a delightful diagonal pass over defense for Sanchez as Chilean raced to the ball before turning a perfect cross inside the box for Walcott to glance a great header into the net. they doubled their advantage soon after, high mobility to win spaces involved Cazorla to switch a short pass to Ozil as he set up Walcott with a forward run, he burst with blistering pace before superbly combining with Sanchez neat touch for an overlap that ended up with his accurate low range finished to near far post. they further stamped their hunger when the English man three minutes later fired the right flank with his free speedy run before centering a short ball for Sanchez as he set up Giroud with a final ball, but his effort was saved. on the verge of half time a fine pint point cross from Bellerin was hooked to Sanchez chest but his attempted shot once again saved by goalkeeper. the second half clearly belonged to the host for the matter of their effort to extent their lead against their limited opponent and chances were flown constantly in the final third. quick transition started by Cazorla deep in midfield that linked up to Ozil and he turned to pick Iwobi and he streaming into advance position before sending his shot inch wide of the post. Santi Cazorla instantly generated delightful play at the heart of their passing movements, he made a crafty dribbling skills to open a wide run before releasing Walcott overlap and his cross was headed by Sanchez narrowly wide of the lower far post for their last action and Arsenal sealed a crucial three points to stay on top of the table with PSG. the combination of Walcott and Sanchez further ignited a vital change of dynamic play over the flanks, providing more freedom to their slick passing build-ups that involved Ozil, Cazorla and Iwobi switching to open spaces and their transitions produced essential pace to break defense. perhaps the addition of Walcott enhance their efficient pace to their penetration when transitioning from possession play in the midfield. Granit Xhaka is capable of coordinating central midfield role as a box-to-box player when shielding behind two versatile wide passers like Cazorla and either Gibbs when starting or Ozil in the shape of three passing distributors to interchange with front three strikers in supposedly 4-3-3 approach which has smoothly adapted to switch to break-away transition and open high field possession evidently with presence of Walcott as an ideal dimension of linked up striker to offer speed highly to provide their technical midfield men to ignite far more efficient passing movements with a fluid change of pace to execute better than before.
Athletico vs Bayern
perhaps the most fascinating brand of Europe’s prestigious and legacy of rivalry belongs, the most fascinating storyline of Europe’s latest prestigious and high profile brand of rivalry narrative in the fascinating storyline shaping the new brand of Europe’s caliber of prestigious and high profile narrative rivalry belongs to the battle at the vicente Caldron; Athletico Madrid vs Bayern Munich; the match envisioned with the fairly two primary feature at its heart; the ambitious motivation for a mere revenge on one side and a serious reinstatement of an enthusiastic title aspiration on the other side. the repeat of last year’s semifinal which witnessed Athletico triumphed dramatically over course of two legs to eliminate Bayern, the spotlight and scenario had a same message but there was no Guardiola and this time Ancelotti experienced Simone’s masterful tactical skill at the end. Bayern looked to have possession mostly but Athletico proved so resilient and cohesive all around, Thiago Alcantra turned inside to pick up Philip Lahm over lap on the right flank and his cross was hooked up to Alcantra outside of the box and the Spaniard dinked a fine pass over defense into Muller’s path, but his first time half volley in turn was perfectly saved by Oblak and kept the clean sheet to bring more intense and positive momentum for the host side and they soon had their first real threat. Fernando Torres positioned himself to connect with a corner kick from the right but his effort unluckily hit the wide of the far post and immediately covered by Manuel Neuer in the rebound; the effort in fact provided a vital strategic change of tempo to inspire Athletico’s attacking play and pressing Bayern’s midfield higher up with mobility and intelligence and happily they scored. the sequence of the goal repeated exactly the same picture of last year’s semi-final scenario; in the most heated up tactical complexity of winning momentum, resilient pressing to deny Bayern’s fair possession approach and breaking them through pace and quality; more noticeably Antoine Griezmann once again was the creator at the heart of movement. Vidal’s attempted cross from halfway line was re-directed forward by Diego Godin back into midfield as Xabi Alonso failed to win the challenge under Torres in the air and Griezmann neatly hooked the ball to his feet to split Bayern’s defense and turning into a gap to combine with Carrasco’s timely run and the Belgian racing forward with a blistering speed before switching to his left foot beating Neuer to his accurate and timely low-range strike at the inside of the far post, sending the crowd into a massive celebration. with sensing a high pressure Bayern immediately settled their possession to go forward and they could easily equalized for their best shot in the first half. Alcantra switched wide to the left channel for Alaba to a cool first touch before curling a fine pint point cross to pick Ribery’s run in the box, the french man’s attempted inside-turn when laying the ball down nearly waved off his savic and Lewandowski’s good pressure took out Diego Godin as Ribery was left suddenly all alone to a easy finish, but his shot instead went inch wide of the post in such disbelief of his teammates and his regret. the introduction of Koke in the second half ignited more productivity to their midfield and he initiated a good chance in the 65th minutes. he exchanged a short play with Torres from deep to open space and the striker’s return ball offered Koke to link up a forward play with Carrasco and the striker pushed inside to fire his angle shot but Neuer diving left to save it. fifteen minutes from the end, Alonso played a short ball to find opening, he then looked up to center a fine cross inside the box for Lewandowski to flick a header just wide of the lower post. the next chance involved more incisive build-up play; Alaba on the left played Ribery centrally before French man inside play with Arjen Robben ignited a vital press-breaking pace as Dutch star superb neat combination with Vidal exploited space across the line for Robben to fire a sharp curling left-footed effort, in his typical composure and speed fashion, but it went wide again and wasted. while Bayern might have claimed their fairly dominated possession was enough to produce chances to equalize, but towards the end Athletico realistic chance to double up their lead could simply whip out German’s argument without any further though. Arturo Vidal’s harsh and unnecessary challenge to foul Flipe Loius on the end of corner edge gifted the host side a penalty kick, but Neuer dived perfectly to his left saving Griezmann’s shot and it ended with a delightful home win for Athletico and warned Bayern of facing an ultimately mysterious challenge against one of the titles true favorite on their dream journey of winning the glory.