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Rakitić, Lovren Win In 1st Leg Of Champions League Quarters

April 8, 2019


Lovren vs. Porto



Dejan Lovren returned for Liverpool Tuesday night and played the full match as the Reds defeated Porto 2-0 in the first leg of their Champions League quarterfinal clash. Now Liverpool has complete control of the tie going into Portugal next week while they still battle with Manchester City for the English crown. This was Lovren’s first start for Liverpool in over a month. He has been coming off the bench late in games as added defensive cover.




Ivan Rakitić



On Wednesday night, Ivan Rakitić and Barcelona left Old Trafford with a 1-0 victory by means of a quasi-own goal in the first 15 minutes of the match. Rakitić was on defensive duty and did one hell of a job keeping Frenchman Paul Pogba under control for the majority of the night. Barcelona now have an invaluable away goal going back to Nou Camp next week for the second leg.



Mario Mandžukić got the start for Juventus and played 60 minutes as the Italian champions-elect played out a 1-1 draw against Ajax in Amsterdam. Ronaldo scored a cutting header in the waning seconds of the first half and Ajax equalized two minutes into the restart. A semifinal berth awaits the victor after 90 more minutes in Italy next week.



Overall, it was a quiet week for Croatians in Champions League.




Ante Kvartuč
Posted By: Ante Kvartuč 19 comments

  1. BZ says:

    To all those ripping Kramaric for finishing off a goal from an onside position, watch Choupo-Moting try to pull a Kramaric for PSG.

  2. Dannyj says:

    Comments on the video people are saying it’s a match fix
    But that’s so obvious

    So bad tho. No wonder psg don’t do anything I’m champions league

  3. CroatiaU14 says:

    Dinamo 2 beats Southampton 3-1!! Dinamo played their young guys, pretty much the same team that played in the Youth Champions League.

  4. crnkovic says:

    OK here it is. the way forward 442:
    Livakovic; vrsaljko, lovren, vida, jedvaj/barisic/sosa; brekalo, modric/rakitic, brozovic/rakitic, perisic; rebic, kramaric

    442 is a good formation for a number of reasons.

    (1) it puts less emphasis on the full backs providing width and delivering assists. since we have no outstanding left back this solves a big problem. this allows jedvaj or barisic to sit in a more natural left back position and provide stability.

    (2) this in turn allows the central defenders to be more aggressive in attacking the ball in front of them as there is some cover from genuine fullback position (in 433 or 4231 formation the fullbacks are pushed high up the pitch so do not provide cover for the central defenders) this suits the aggression of vida and lovren.

    (3) we reduce our central midfield to 2 players from having had 3. modric, rakitic and brozovic should not all play together anymore. there is a lack of aggression and lack of power and pace in that midfield. we cannot afford 3 elegant midfielders anymore. let them compete for the 2 available spots. the bench will motivate them to give 100% when they play. also none of these 3 players is a natural 6 or natural 10, yet each of them are highly capable in all the areas of midfield play. this again suits a 2 central midfield as it allows both players to take turns moving forward and sitting deep…

    (4) without mandzukic we need to take the opportuntiy to develop our play in the last 3rd of the pitch. to become more creative, quicker, more incisive and to carry a greater threat on the counter attack through the middle. I cant think of 2 better suited players for this than kramaric and rebic. between the 2 of them we have everything you could ever want from a strikeforce. pace, power, running, pressing, shooting, intelligence, flair, vision and composure. let these 2 players develop an understanding between them. it would be awesome. in addition there may be only one player in world football that kramaric passes to rather than always shooting, out of fear, ante rebic

    (5) many have called to solve our left back crisis by putting perisic there. this is clearly a daft move as perisic has been our most potent attacking weapon for some time. but playing him on the left in a 442 gives the best solution. it takes way some of the responsibilty to always attack the box. allows him to pick his moment to attack. takes away attention from his attacking threat. and allows him to contribute his athleticism by dominating the left side in attack and defense.

    (6) Brekalo, along with vlasic, are the 2 players who have stepped up from youth football and showed they have what it takes. both are highly skilled dribblers and very creative players. however, neither is a presence in the box. in a front 3 you need that presence. this has led to brekalo being played as a RB just to get his talent on the pitch. in vlasic case it has led to him being deployed further back as an attacking midfielder by CSKA. by playing these guys as wide players in a 442 you solve this problem. on the right side we have vrsaljko who will over lap often. this allows brekalo, or vlasic, to cut inside often into the 10 position. alternatively they can play intelligent passes into the right channel for rebic to run onto or decide to be agressive and run at the opposition fullback 1 on 1. all of this suits their game perfectly…

    to some up, i believe that if Dalic is brave enough to work on this shape it could be the solution to our current problems. and help usher in the new generation of talent with a quicker, more direct, more incisive and more stable playing style

  5. crnkovic says:

    (7) from a tactical perspective we lost against hungary for this reason: hungary pressed the ball and marked in midfield. when teams do this to us we have a tendency to hold the ball at the back and try to spread further and further into wide areas to find a bit of space. we end up with 2 sometimes 3 central midfielders dropping deep to find the ball. in the end we have no forward solution. there are 2 ways to beat this that i can see:

    (1) play kovacic, let him beat the press by picking up the ball deep and running through the field, once he has taking one or 2 players out of the game he can pass it, like he always does, and we now have possesion in attack

    (2) play 442. when they press play forward quickly into the front strikers. one of them comes short to receive feet. the other spins into the channel. this splits their defence and puts doubt into the opposition pressing game. all it takes is one of thos passes to get through and we can score. so the oppo have to drop off and little and we then have our space to play. if the press again we pass through to the strikers again. it just gives us that variation to our play that we hardly ever see. all of this takes huge pressure off luka’s shoulders as well. it doesnt have to go through him every time. the ball can go from back to front by passing midfield. then modric can receive the ball not from the defence but from a rebic lay off on the edge of their area. from where he can shoot, dribble or slide in persic down the side of the area.

  6. The truth says:

    The truth is very busy with business lately. He needs some bullet points or cliff notes for that essay

  7. Rakuten_Rakitic says:

    Is Sipos from the Dinamo Zagreb youth team related to the American Croatian actor Shaun Sipos from Melrose Place? Rakitic to Juventus rumour.

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