Jonathan Wilson

Author's posts

Mar 16

Champions League quarter-finals: tie-by-tie analysis

We run the rule over the last-eight matches, including the all-Premier League clash between Liverpool and Manchester City, and predict who will triumphWednesday 4 April, the Camp Nou, and Tuesday 10 April, Stadio Olimpico Related: Liverpool draw Manche…

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Mar 08

José Mourinho v Jürgen Klopp and the question of football aesthetics | Jonathan Wilson

There are several reasons why there is gloom at Manchester United while Liverpool, two points behind, are borne on a swirl of positivity – but entertainment is a fundamental oneThe Premier League table does not lie but the truths it offers can sometime…

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Feb 21

Disjointed, vulnerable and slow: Barça exposed by Chelsea’s tactical rigour | Jonathan Wilson

Chelsea stifled Barcelona’s key players, proving the Spanish side should not be so feared as they once wereThe first leg, you suspect, went just as Antonio Conte would have wanted it to go – apart from the bit about not playing a square ball across you…

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Feb 15

Neymar wilts in Madrid as superclub tie descends into Disneyfied dystopia | Jonathan Wilson

The Brazilian repeatedly ran down blind alleys as PSG appeared incoherent in the face of Real and Cristiano Ronaldo’s efficiencyTwo super-clubs! The most successful club in European history! The other a club that has just arranged the two most expensiv…

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Feb 12

Mourinho’s Pogba problem grows after Benítez overcomes his old foe | Jonathan Wilson

The Manchester United manager’s talk of luck held no weight on a day when his clumsily assembled attack were again lifelessThe end was chaotic, Newcastle camped in their box with every block and clearance being roared to the rafters, but the tension of…

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Jan 15

Ferocious Liverpool press home advantage over panicking Manchester City | Jonathan Wilson

The pressing by Jürgen Klopp’s side was so disciplined that it forced a collective loss of control in the visitors’ backlineIt turns out, then, that the formula was simple. All anybody had to do to beat Manchester City was to match them shape for shape…

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Dec 17

Tottenham are the latest challengers floored by the Manchester City problem | Jonathan Wilson

Spurs pressed Pep Guardiola’s side high up the pitch but were undone by Ederson’s distribution as Manchester City adjusted their gameplan to extend their winning runThe title race is done, Manchester City’s excellence beyond all previous experience. Th…

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Dec 07

José Mourinho faces the season’s big question – how to stop Manchester City? | Jonathan Wilson

In Sunday’s Manchester derby the United manager must call on all his pragmatism to halt Pep Guardiola’s side and keep the title race aliveThis, it feels, is it. It may be only the second weekend of December but if Manchester United lose at home to Manc…

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Nov 26

Antonio Conte shaking up title-winning tactics to keep Chelsea’s rivals guessing | Jonathan Wilson

At Anfield the Chelsea manager again favoured a 3-5-1-1 formation to the 3-4-2-1 that was the basis of his team’s title win last seasonTo stand still, as Peter Reid once observed, is to move backwards. There is need for permanent revolution, constantly…

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Nov 23

Liverpool’s defensive problems do not begin and end with Alberto Moreno | Jonathan Wilson

The Reds have let in three or more goals four times this season but the main problem is not just in defence but more the lack of a proper holding playerAt around 10 to 10 local time on Tuesday Liverpool were leading Sevilla 3-0. The home side were pres…

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Nov 19

Arsenal defeat highlights Tottenham frailties against Premier League’s big six | Jonathan Wilson

Until Mauricio Pochettino’s side learn how to win away against their biggest rivals they will struggle to turn their undoubted potential into silverwareFor all that is positive about Tottenham, for all that they are about to move into an exciting new s…

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Nov 11

Manchester City’s start no flash in pan but history is littered with flops | Jonathan Wilson

Pep Guardiola’s side are threatening points and goals records and, though other fast starters have faded, nothing suggests they will do likewise in the title raceManchester City’s start to the season has been remarkable, largely because they are challe…

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Nov 06

Manchester United pay for their meek approach against Chelsea | Jonathan Wilson

José Mourinho’s stubbornly dogmatic team tactics cost his side at Stamford Bridge and look to have handed the title initiative to Manchester CityThe memories of Manchester United in 1985-86 and Newcastle United in 1995-96 serve always as caveats, but a…

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Nov 02

Tottenham’s defeat of Real Madrid is a warning to Europe’s super-clubs | Jonathan Wilson

Spurs made the European champions look limp, lazy and disorganised – maybe the competitiveness at the top of the Premier League is finally benefiting the English sidesIt was one of the greatest nights in Tottenham’s history. It was better than beating …

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Oct 29

José Mourinho’s game of chicken will pay off until the opponent does not blink

Manchester United manager’s late show mindset, relying on exploiting errors, reaped rewards against Tottenham but he risks denting fortune-teller reputation‘Sometimes, it was as though he could see the future,” the former goalkeeper Vitor Baia said of …

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Oct 22

Tottenham show José Mourinho how counter-attacking game should work | Jonathan Wilson

Mauricio Pochettino exploited Liverpool’s defensive vulnerabilities and exposed the Manchester United manager’s rationale during their recent visit to AnfieldMauricio Pochettino had promised further surprises after his deployment of a 5-3-2 against Rea…

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