Every week, Footballopod will bring you 3 interesting news from the World Football scene as we give our own perspective on each matter.
With the Galacticos defeating their arch rivals Barcelona to land the Copa Del Rey, we also look at midweek English Premier League games as the title race intensifies.
1) Jose Mourinho rejoices in Real’s cup triumph
''I am thrilled to win the Copa del Rey - it is something special. It's a fantastic triumph against a great team like Barcelona - and we deserved it. We can take them on over two games; we have just done that. There is no reason we can't beat them in the Champions League because we have just drawn once against them and then beaten them.''
Footballopod’s view: Taking the positives from their 1-1 draw against Barcelona in the Spanish La Liga over the weekend, a jubilant Real Madrid played with a winning mentality as they were deservingly rewarded with the Copa Del Rey. Although both sides have their fair share of chances during the game, it seemed that Real Madrid wanted the win more than our arch rivals. Drafting Mascherano as a central defender alongside Pique, the Argentinean endured a torrid time in his unfamiliar role as Barca’s backline failed to subdue the goalscoring threat posed by Cristiano Ronaldo. With Puyol struggling for match fitness and Eric Abidal recuperating from his recent surgery, gaffer Josep Guardiola has not found a solution to Barcelona’s recent defensive frailties. The Spaniard is aware that Real Madrid has an opportunity to land the treble this season should his side drop points against Osasuna in the La Liga this weekend. At the same time, Guardiola has to find a quick remedy to stabilize his defense before they face Real Madrid away from home in the first leg of their Semi Final clash in the UEFA Champions League.
2) Arsene Wenger not giving up in the title race despite slip
''It's not over ... we'll fight. In the second half we dropped physically because we had a difficult game on Sunday (at home to Liverpool). We've had two games in three games, our recovery was a bit short.''
Footballopod’s view: Gaffer Arsene Wenger may have placed his faith on his relatively young squad to prevail in the English Premiership title race, but it seems the Gunners could end the season ‘trophyless’ having dropped points in fixtures they should have won. Without a doubt, in the 1990s, Manchester United have won the title on several occasions with several young players in their team. However, the competition has greatly intensified in this decade as football teams have the ability to purchase world renowned players instantaneously due to the backing of a rich owner. Remember the unbeaten season where Arsenal won the English Premiership title more than half a decade ago? There was experience and composure within all departments in the team. You have players like Jens Lehmann, Sol Campball, Robert Pires and Thierry Henry who have what it takes to deliver in high profile football games. Whereas when you look at Arsenal’s current squad, there are only a handful of players who are able to deliver under pressure. Should the Gunners end their season with a trophy, Arsene Wenger has to realize that you need to buy experienced quality players to complement with your younger lads to create a formidable team who can contest for trophies.
3) Carlo Ancelotti stressed that Chelsea are still in with a shout for the title
''In football, I learned that everything can happen in the game right up to the final whistle. You can win the title in the last minute and you can lose the title in the last minute. If we thought that one month ago we'd have a little chance to come back to fight for the title, I think that everyone could have said we were crazy.Now we are happy tonight because we've reached second place. We await to see what happens in the next five games.''
Footballopod’s view: Looking at the lackluster performance Manchester United showed against Newcastle days ago, gaffer Carlo Ancelotti is confident that Chelsea can retain their players as the Red Devils drop points in their remaining fixtures. To add on that, Drogba has rediscovered his scoring touch while Malouda is returning to his best on the left side of the midfield. Nevertheless, a major obstacle is hindering the Blues from scoring goals consistently as their major signing Fernando Torres has failed to register a single goal in eight league appearances. Given months to adapt to the playing style of Chelsea, the Spanish striker apparently has no more excuses on his profligacy in front of goal. It is now or never for Torres. If strike duo Torres and Drogba start firing in goals regularly towards the end of the season while the Red Devils slip up in their games, Chelsea could retain the title this season.