Three things we learnt from last night’s Champions League
Pay attention at the back
1. England aren’t the only country with a dodgy keeper
Madrid – Milan was a terrific match, end-to-end and iced with a couple of wonderful goals. But there were also some dreadful goalkeeping on display, from two men who are in contention to be the custodians for two of the favourites to win in South Africa.
Iker Casillas had his worst game in a Madrid shirt for many years. Not only was he beaten by Andrea Pirlo’s 87 yard strike for the Milan equaliser, but he then made a terrific hash of a standard long ball, to allow the Duck to put the Rossoneri ahead.
2. Serie A is no longer the home of Catenaccio
Things aren’t what they used to be in Serie A. 17 goals in the four matches in which Italian sides were involved this week, shows that the days of tuning into Ch4, to watch Roma and Sampdoria pass the ball around the back four inside their own half, are well and truly over.
3. Frank Lampard needs a team built around him
Much flapping and excitement in today’s press, as the golden boy Frank Lampard returned to form last night with a goal and two assists against the awful Atletico. Less lauded however, was how Lamps was at his best due to once more having three midfielders screening him, allowing Frank effectively a free role. It’s this sort of indulgence that Lampard has become used to, and that Capello is trying to stamp out with England.
Steven Gerrard to a slightly lesser degree relies on the same indulgence – at his best in a free role with three midfielders in behind him. Many would argue the pair are so good, they are worth spoiling. Thespoiler isn’t so sure – Paul Scholes used to score 15 a season playing with just Roy Keane alongside him, let alone two others.