Game of week 3

– 2016/17

Alchemy United 3 -1 Zebra Rovers

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Theres something about this rivalry so sacred and ancient it almost pre dates Religion and the dualistic battle of good and evil. In keeping with the Historical theme son of former Rovers legend Kasper Schmeichel lined up in goal for United and in age old tradition the Brazilian talisman was clothed in the cloth of Rovers, this teams incarnation Neymar yet to show the form exhibited in pre season. However the real key battle was going to be how Kondogbia and Paulinho can deal with stopping Modric supply the ammo for Neymar and Lewandowski.

Both teams started well with deliberate and measured attacks, Neymar recieving the ball on the half turn played a measured ball out wide to Alaba. The Austrian’s cross was well placed for the fox of the Rovers box Lewandowski. His effort was somewhere between half decent and par and trickled harmlessly wide. Rovers pressed well and in the early stages where able to recover possession however Alchemy renowned for their defending, defended the key spaces well and never let the dangerous attackers get into the danger zones.

Schmeichel’s distribution from Gk’s where accurate and deliberate. Adopting a pattern of playing to the wide man, setting then spinning behind Alchemy where able to sucessfully go over the high press that Rovers adopted. Such a move saw a sumptuous pass played in behind to the on rushing Dries Mertens, Mertens finished on the volley with a clinical drive just inside the box. 14th minute, 1-0 and a great move from United.

Rovers adapted and made winning the first header a priority, Neymar now pressing the defenders and GK in possesion and Modric getting on and off the ball quicker than you can shout “man on”. Barzaglis win, Luka Modders one two with Neymar, into Lewandowski… back of the net! Left Foot, Right Foot, Header is there a better finisher in World Football? 1-1… Parity, #roversredemption

At this point it was becoming a tale of two men. Mertens and Neymar where becoming the cheif protagonists. Both scurring around, lurking between the lines looking to initiate mahem in the opposition half. Neymar broke down the left, blasting past the United defenders as if their presence was a mere annoyance and crossed on the outside with his left foot, Lewandowski’s connection was true forcing a great save from Kasper. The game was heating up!

on 36 minutes Valencias pass to Malcolm was an excellent one. The Brazilian got on the Wrong side of Alaba. His cross was then deflected in by Barzagli and United took the lead. Barzagli had been excellent up until that point. 2-1 United.

Rovers drove upfield and Vidal started to commit to the attack. A quick break away saw Draxler feed the ball into Aguero, after a quck exchange of Passes Aguero managed to find the back of the net. 3-1 Great move by United and Zebra with a mini mountain to climb. Agueros back flick in the build up to Draxler was delightful, Draxler wide to Kondogbia… perfect driven cross to Aguero and a great counter attacking goal.

Second half and the game was settling down. Both teams more educated on the oppositions strengths and both teams poised for one last throw of the tactical dice. Neymar glided past two defenders and shot only for Ramos to do a goal saving block in the box. To the untrained eye it looked irrelevent however the level of defending from Ramos, Chiellini and Barzagli (own goal aside) was top, top draw *Harry Redknapp Voice*

64 Minutes Aguero 1 on 1 miss
65 Minutes Lewandowski drive sails just wide… Next goal is going to be crucial.

“If your names not down your not coming in”
Georgio Chiellini
FC Alchemy V Zebra Rovers November 2017 AD… Said in the 72nd minute of the game as he crisply tackled the menacing Neymar for the umpteenth time.

“Not tonight… not with those shoes”
FC Alchemy V Zebra Rovers November 2017 AD… Said in the 73rd minute as after Sergio Aguero rounded the goalkeeper and Juanfran stayed on this feet intercepted and Barzagli then cleared the danger.

The game was now being played at a frenetic pace, the quality of both teams was now at the maximum which was making for an amazing spectacle. Rovers attacked, with deliberate patterns, Alchemy countered with game ending intentions.

However the game ended 3-1. United look a well balanced team this year. Kondogbia and Paulinho covered the spaces well and really gave a platform that Draxler, Mertens and Malcolm could play from. Every player performs the role well and Aguero’s movement up front occupied all three rovers CB’s. Modric’s lack of movement and reluctance to get beyond the forwards made the Neymars job harder. Constantley surrounded by defenders he had alot of work to do however if the own goal never came at the time where Rovers where on the ascendency the game could have taken a different course. 3-1 United great game!