Philippe Coutinho scored his first goal for Barcelona after coming on as a halftime substitute in their Copa del Rey semifinal second leg against Valencia Thursday. Coutinho scored four minutes after coming on as Barcelona eased into the final with a 3-0 aggregate victory.
Coutinho’s finish was sure a tidy one, but the majority of the credit has to go to Luis Suarez. The Uruguayan brilliantly worked a bit of space before turning provider for Barca’s all-important away goal at a packed Mestalla.
Aymeric Laporte, Manchester City's shiny new center back, spent his formative years in the youth setup of Sporting Union Agen, a club in the French eighth division. Agen were about to go into administration when Laporte's January move from Athletic Bilbao to Manchester City saved the club.
Clubs have DNA. Not in the chemical sense but more in terms of the enduring cultural traits which are endemic to every single iteration of the team they put out onto the field.
Manchester United and their propensity for scoring late, important goals.
Barcelona and their Cruyffian pass pass pass.
Tottenham Hotspur and their glorious failure.
These are values which develop and manifest in a number of different ways. But over the course of many generations, fans will be able to witness these teams reverting to the values built into the very fabric of the club.
Weeds and dirt and worms and flowers. Soon enough, every sinew of our being will be overloaded with the stuff. There’s no escaping it in our mortal flesh, and the corroding effect of time even conspires to destroy man’s most hallowed creations.
Here are 20 once-great footballing grounds that have since been decimated by the ravages of old age.
Bayern Munich has opened an 18-point lead at the top of the Bundesliga after registering its eighth straight league victory with a 2-0 result against Mainz on Saturday, and it was Colombian attacker James Rodriguez again proving the side’s talisman with his second goal in three matches.