Real Madrid played a pretty awful game against bottom tier Granada on Sunday. And Granada should have surely won, if not drawn with Real, if it wasn’t for Luka Modrić. Modrić had a superb day at the office with his passing but the midfielder maestro will be known on this day for his rocket foot. With the game tied 1-1 in the 85th minute, Modrić received a short pass from substitute Mateo Kovačić to light up a shot from 23 yards out. The ball hit the back of the net and Modrić would earn Real all three points in what was an important match to keep pace wit Atletico and Barca. Modric doesn’t score goals often, but when he does, they’re world class.
Modrić blast from 23 yards out
Ivan Rakitić had a quiet day as Barcelona skimmed by Levante 2-0 on Sunday. Rakitić got the start and played 68 minutes in the win as Barcelona’s first goal came from an own goal in the first half. The Croatian midfielder had Barca’s best chance early in the second half to double the lead, but his header off a corner was saved by the Levante keeper. With the win, Barca remain three points ahead of Atletico Madrid for the La Liga lead.
Alen Halilović came on in the 66th minute for Sporting Gijon in a 1-1 draw against Deportivo la Coruna on Saturday. The Croatian wunder-kind only has four months left on his loan spell at Sporting. Will Barcelona bring him back next season and let him play big the big boys?
Duje Čop played the full 90 minutes in Malaga’s 3-0 win over Getafe on Friday. Although Čop isn’t scoring many goals for Malaga, he is getting ample time in La Liga. With The win, Malaga climb to the top half of the table in Spain.
Dejan Lovren is injured once again. After just returning from a hamstring injury, Lovren had to limp off in the 11th minute against Sunderland injury with an undisclosed knock. His return is unknown at this time. Liverpool were in complete control of the match, up 2-0 in the 82nd minute, but conceded two late goals to earn a disappointing draw with Sunderland. The result knocks Liverpool down to 9th place on the English table.
Photo: EPA/Peter Kneffel
Inter come back for a thrilling 3-3 draw in Verona on Sunday. The nerazzurri conceded 3 goals from free kicks but were able to turn things around in the second half after having been two goals down. Marcelo Brozović retains his starting position as a left inner midfielder in the initial 4-3-3 formation. His first half is scarcely sufficient. Playing with Melo and Kongdobia, two players who lack any football IQ, make the Dinamo Zagreb star force a lot of plays that result in a few lost balls. Nonetheless, when Inter need clever passes and to change the rhythym of the game he is the go to guy. He especially grows with these regards in the second half. Almost finds the goal of the season with an incredible shot from outside of the box in the firs half.
La gazzetta dello Sport ratings: Marcelo Brozović 6: Highs and lows when he tries to organize the gameplay. Highest number of completed passes and wrong passes. His corner kick puts Inter ahead. Serves a good assist to Icardi and almost scores with a spectacular shot.
Ivan Perišić starts from the bench for the second match in a row. Roberto Mancini is widely known for being used to tickling his players pride to get the best out of them. The strategy pays off this time. Due to the score set the former Wolfbsburg star is freed from defensive duties and occupies the left flank to cut inside and trigger Telles overlaps. Ivan plays a pivotal role in the final come back when first serves a perfect assist for Icardi that is worth the 2-3 and then personally finds the equalizer showing, for the first time this season, his ability to exploit the opponents weak flank and why he was bought last summer in the first place. Ante Rebić was still out due to a problem to his back. He is being evaluated on a daily basis.
La gazzetta dello Sport ratings: Ivan Perišić 6,5 (Inter MOTM) Manages to change Inter with a few plays. Serves a clever assist and scores his third goal of the season.
Despite being clear favorites in the pre match analysis, Sassuolo did not manage to get the 3 points against Palermo. Šime Vrsaljko is a starter despite having the flu. The Croatian international is clearly not in the best form and gets subbed at the end of the first half with the match tied 1-1 after an unimpressive performance.
La gazzetta dello Sport rates him a 5,5: He has got a temperature. Does not make as many crosses as expected and runs less than usual.
Fiorentina drew 1-1 in Bologna on Saturday. Nikola Kalinić is left out of the starting eleven, Paulo Sousa having preferred Babacar as the sole offensive terminal. The Croatian international comes on at the start of the second half with the score set 0-0. Though still not in his best form Kalinić shows a glimpse of his skills when he comes deep to protect the ball and to serve Tello in the play that is worth the momentary 1-0. The former Dnipro star did not receive much service as Fiorentina played almost the entire second half with 10 men. He could have nonetheless done better on a couple occasions, especially when he wastes a counter attacking chance with an horrible dribbling on a 1 on 1.
Milan Badelj looked on from the stand due to an injury. The Croatian midfielder is targeting his come back for the home match against Inter on the 14th of February.
La gazzetta dello Sport rates Kalinić performance a 6: Starts the play for the 1-0. No shots.
Juve got their 14th consecutive victory in a row as they came atop of Frosinone with a neat 2-0. The bianconeri will face Napoli next week in a match that might be worth the tile and will have to do so without the services of Mario Mandžukić, who missed his third consecutive Serie A match due to a calf injury. Juventus staff are working to have him back for the Champions League second leg against Bayern Munich.
Bayer Leverkusen are now undefeated in five Bundesliga games after holding Bayern Munich to a nil-nil draw on Saturday. Former Dinamo Zagreb defender Tin Jedvaj started at right back and played 51 minutes in the draw. Chances are that Bayer are being cautious with Jedvaj after just recently returned from injury.
Ivo Iličević was suspended for Hamburger SV’s 1-1 draw against Köln on Sunday. The 29-year-old winger headbutted Michael Gregoritsch after the Austria under-21 international tackled him in training. “As a result of the incident of yesterday’s workout Bruno Labbadia has decided that Ivo Iličević is not available for the game on Sunday,” the club announced via Twitter.
Ivo Iličević lost his cool in training this week
Ivica Olić has decided to finish the season at Hamburg. The Croatian international was left off the roster on Sunday. Andrej Kramarić played 90 minutes for Hoffenheim in a 2-0 loss against Darmstadt on Sunday.
Danijel Subašić started between the pipes for Monaco as they solidified their hold on second place in France with a 1-0 win over 3rd-placed Nice on Saturday. Mario Pašalić also got the start, coming off in the 66th minute after firing a dangerous shot on target, completing 10 passes, and picking up a yellow card. Subasic made four saves as he earned the clean sheet. Monaco remain second in Ligue 1, and now have a six point gap over Nice and St. Etienne.
Pasalic Shot: 0:45, Saves: 1:00, 1:35, 2:35
Mladen Petrić played the full match and Danijel Pranjic came on in the 64th minute as Panathinaikos fell 1-0 at home to 8th placed Xanthi on Sunday. Panathinaikos remain third in the Greek Super League, as fourth-placed PAOK also lost this weekend.
The Ukrainian Premier League is on Winter Break until March. Dynamo Kyiv and Shakhtar Donetsk will return to competition in late February for Champions/Europa League knockout matches.
Vedran Ćorluka and the Russian Premier League are on Winter Break until March. They will play Fenerbahce in the Europa League Round of 32 in February.
Monaco at Sochaux(Coupe de France), Werder Bremen at Bayer Leverkusen(DFB Pokal),
Barcelona at Valencia(Copa del Rey), Panathinaikos at Atromitos(Cup),
Bayer Leverkusen at Darmstadt 98, Sassuolo at Chievo, Athletic Club at Real Madrid,
Liverpool at Aston Villa, Monaco at Saint-Étienne, Borussia M’gla at Hamburger SV, Internazionale at Fiorentina, Celta de Vigo at Barcelona, Panathinaikos at PAS Giannina,
~Ante Kvartuč and Denis Svirčić reporting from sunny Southern California, Zach Gilfix reporting from Minneapolis, MN and Salvatore Cagnazzi reporting from Italy
Lol, nearly there guys. Keep rolling. Can’t wait to see the boys do us proud x
Relax, nobody is going to be crying for SDP. May they all burn in hell.
But, it is funny that the SDP is probably going to be the reason IF Mamic is ever removed from soccer in Croatia. That is still a big IF. SDP started all this against him. Not because he is a criminal (which he is), but because he was for HDZ and they protected his corruption/tax evasion/bullying tactics.\
And before any of the jocksniffers start defending or justifying Mamic, remember this is the same clown who has multiple times said he misses the old Yugo and gone on Serb TV to say as much.
Croatian new Kit 2015/16
Case of the Mondays it is. You’re not reading my comment in conjunction with what Ziva brought up. I said I’m glad SDP is gone and that guys like Hasanbegovic (HDZ) and Tepes (HSP AS) are taking over in my initial post. But, there is a possible connection between some members of HDZ and Mamic that does freak me out as Ziva eluded to. However, my fear is eased with Hasanbegovic given his pedigree because he doesn’t seem to be the status quo. For me, I just want Mamic out. Get to have my cake and eat it too finally after almost eight years. We’ll see how these new guys take care of it. The rumor mill is already swirling.
Guys. Get a grip. He he he. Mussolini “fascism should be more properly called corporatism, since it is the merger of state and business interest”. You know that represents the most extreme level of corruption possible. Unless you are a business. Are any of you conglomerates? Or are you people? Seriously pick up fucking book. Jokers
RE: Your comment:
“I hope that’s not the case because the argument was made that getting rid of SDP and those assheads is more important. Well, they’re gone. Now HDZ is in. But that’s the catch 22. It’ll be harder to get rid of Mamic. Dinamo games with 100 people at them continue. My farts are louder than their chants.”
…You make it seem like it’s not apparent that removing a party filled with communists running the entire country is not as high priority as removing a despot who runs a football team.
It’s almost as if you are willing to keep in power a party that goes completely against everything you apparently stand for, just for a potentially better chance of removing the head of this football club.
In a nutshell. How can you not love the guy?
Born in Zagreb, right-wing, was an active BBB from New Blue Generation, anti Mamic and mafija, called antifasizam a floskula, spoke at Bleiburg, called for the government to sponsor Bleiburg (which it is now), calls for lustration, loathes commie scum…I can go on and on.
In a nutshell. How can you not love the guy?
Born in Zagreb, right-wing, was an active BBB from New Blue Generation, called antifasizam a floskula, spoke at Bleiburg, called for the government to sponsor Bleiburg (which it is now), calls for lustration, loathes commie scum…I can go on and on.
Now you’re being an idiot. Read up on Hasanbegovic, Tepes and Glasnovic. Especially on Hasanbegovic. Solid dude with a great history. Sounds like you’re being a Negative Nancy or just have a case of the Mondays.
Sounds like Ziva and Ante B are crying that SDP are no longer in power, lol.
I think the level of alcohol poisoning I put myself through would make me cry.
Will you cry if we win euro 2016
Josip Skoblar , Privlaka, Zadar
Modrić is a BEAST.
Love the line up but Srna instead of Vrsajlko ?
I am still traumatized by Norway on our right flank.
if you want to get a better feel for halilovic, youtube him….someone out there puts every touch of his in every game on youtube with some techno music in the background to spice it up
as some mentioned, the guy attacks with reckless abandoned…loses the ball a bunch…gets fouled hard a bunch..but also creates…quite amusing to watch
The odds of getting Mamic behind bars were better with SDP in charge. Now, the hope is MOST holds HDZ accountable with the all election promises, because MOST is very anti-Mamic and anti-Suker. So, there is hope.
I hope that’s not the case because the argument was made that getting rid of SDP and those assheads is more important. Well, they’re gone. Now HDZ is in. But that’s the catch 22. It’ll be harder to get rid of Mamic. Dinamo games with 100 people at them continue. My farts are louder than their chants.
Modric always scores them goals for Real Madrid. I hope he turns up for Croatia at Euro 2016 and not play like he did against Brazil and Mexico at the World Cup. Scoring a good goal against Granada is like scoring on the Philly 76ers,LA lakers and scoring a touchdown on the Jacksonville Jaguars teams who are bad.
Might not be more of a connection that both running in the same political circles. Mamic is no idiot. He knows he has a better chance of having the charges dropped, errrr disappear for a variety of reasons, with HDZ in charge and making the calls. That is why I think he wont be hit too hard because he has friends in powerful positions in Cro who are probably tied with him on his illegal activity.
Ziva you know where I stand on Mamic so no use circling the wagons. SDP and the cronies are gone, now you have studs like Hasanbegovic, Oreskovic, Tepes, General Glasnovic, etc in. However I can’t wait to find out the Kolinda-ZM connection. Hasanbegovic is a dude.
Kovacic is in a different situation than some of the other guys. We all knew he wasn’t go to start for Real this season outside of the spot start and coming on in the final 20 minutes of a game. He was signed by Real for depth, not to start this season.
Riding the bench at Real is not the worst thing in the world. The guys ahead of him are high quality. Lets not act like Kovacic is on the bench playing for a team in the bottom half of the standings. Lets see how he plays in the friendlies and the coaches we see how he performs in training in May/June.
what has kovacic done at real to start in france……?
take him out…..hope kalinic is on some form and play 2 up top
Ziva said: “The more I see of Lovren the less I trust him on the field. His goal against Wales might be the highlight of his international career.”
hahaha…this is so true, I’d rather play Jedvaj without enough playing time at centre back than Lovren, the guy is so mentally fragile its frightening!
How fucking lame are you guys? I am sure you take an article from an Italian publication and plug it into google translate and this is your so called “article”. Lazy piece of shit.
Jedvaj with a good match but doesn’t have the fitness to play full back yet. Would like to see him in the center. Luka had 3 good attempts on goal and made one count. Zizou could be a blessing to little Luka and Croatia at Euro 2016.
@Armada……….oh, yeah. You know its coming.
Halilovic is very active with the ball, to his own detriment at times. He’ll lose it more than you would like because he is very confident that he can take anyone one-on-one. Which is a good thing. He just needs to continue playing at a high level and ultimately he will be able to recognize when he needs to pull it back and keep possession or help build an attack.
@Crnkovic……….Barca style formation is easier said than done. There is a reason only one club can pull it off.
The more I see of Lovren the less I trust him on the field. His goal against Wales might be the highlight of his international career.
@armada halilovic can hang trust me. They can stop him but it’s a foul and free kick…or penalty. Like mahrez, the best player in the most physical league in the world, and built like a twig. Halilovic is stronger than mahrez
Here is another one. If I was croatia coach ( which, sadly for me, I’m not) I would play a barcelona style formation in the next friendly and try tin jedvaj in the deep holding midfield role. Someone who loves defending and will snap into proper tackles when needed. He’s got the skill for it without doubt. That would leave 2 spaces in the midfield in the type of role that actually suits our best midfielders. Let them play. Also lovren is a decent left back I’ve just remembered. He played there against wales and scored a screamer 🙂
I don’t watch Gijon games, but how is Halilovic on the ball?
I just ask because I know this kid is 5’7” and probably 150 pounds, if that – and not a build like Modric, who is shorter but is built like a rock and can hang with bigger defenders.
Has anyone seen this as an issue in the past? I like what Alen brings to our game, but I wonder vs. a Spain or another big boy NT in the knockouts that they just play him a little physical and that takes him out of his game?
@maminjo I don’t agree about kovacic though. Here is a guy pushing to start for Real Madrid. He is quick, aggressive, he wins a lot of ball, he gets back to help the defence very quickly and he is a very accomplished technical player. Remember his debut against Serbia? Him and modric were incredible in central midfield and complemented each other perfectly. Modric and kovacic also play together at the same club, so know each other very well. They are the best combination in central midfield surely? Brozovic best role at the moment is on the flank where he has more space. He makes too many mistakes to trust in the middle. More than little kovacic. Also brozovic has a much better cross and his shooting is probably the best in the squad with rakitic…so better not let him sit deep in midfield 🙂
@maminjo, agree with you about rakitic and vrsaljko. But if halilovic starts on the right, which I hope he does, being a right footed player he will very often come inside leaving big spaces on the right flank. Whoever is right back will have to do a lot of running….basically halilovic spells the end of srna
cue the “Ziva said Modric is a bust!!!!!” comment today
So, more info in coming out about how the Mamic brothers (and son) stole form Dinamo. Just have to wait and see how this all plays out.
But, only in Cro soccer do we allow the people who are allegedly involved in this to continue in their positions. Most normal countries would suspend them from all soccer activities until this is resolved.
What say you fans of Dinamo? Do you love Mamic more or do you love your club more? I you love Mamic then I guess you see nothing wrong with stealing and manipulating form the club you love (many dinamo fans do see something wrong). Or are you a fan of the club and want him gone from your club.
I’ll take your calls on the podcast later today.
I knew something was fishy when this story first broke months ago. Why were they hiding the identity of these dirt bags. Now we know it was another muslim gang rape in Europe. Now gang rape has come to Croatia.
Would you want Brozovic or Badelj to play instead of Kovacic?
Thanks for the nice write up.
About Lovren: it looks like he isn’t injured at all. He felt some cramp and didn’t wanted to take any chances so he was subbed out. Is he thinking of France 2016 already?
DENVER BRONCOS SUPERBOWL 50 CHAMPIONS MOST MONEY IN VEGAS WAS ON THE CAROLINA PANTHERS. PEYTON MANNING GOT THE HOLLYWOOD ENDING THE NFL IS THE WWE. CAM NEWTON PLAYED THE WORST GAME OF HIS LIFE WAS TOLD TO THROW IT FOR PEYTON.
Domagoj Vida needs to start at the back. The dude looks clumsy and lacks technical ability, but he’s just been solid for us. I can’t remember the last time he made a mistake. He needs to replace one of Corluka or Lovren in the middle.
Also, Rakitic needs to be pushed forward even if it means benching Kovacic. Personally, I don’t think Kovacic should start anyway.
Srna, I’d swap out with Vrsajlko, but that’s an impossible move now as he’s captain. I hope Halilovic really does get to start on the right wing. Maybe it prevents Srna from trying to make runs up the right side if we already have a very quick and hungry youngster full of stamina already playing there.
Pjaca is also very quick and aggressive. He hasn’t had a great season so far but he also has tremendous talent.
By the way…….nice to see the emotion from Modric after he scored the goal. We haven’t seen that type of emotion from him since he was part of the player boycott of Kum Kovac.
See what light? I’ve be consistent all along……once the kid gets minutes at the club level we can then determine if he deserves time on the repka…..as I have said, if he plays well he will have earned it, and he has. Chalk another one up for detailing it to you what needed to take place.
Great goal from Modric today. He might have saved their La Liga season with the goal and made up for a terrible second half that he was playing.
for the kid to play he has to have a strong rest of the season…….really strong.
He will get a chance in the Israel friendly and he will have to have a top performance.
Am I seeing things?
Ziva: “Ideal scenario is having Perisic on the left and Halilovic on the right in good form.”
Finally. Ziva sees the light.
Panthers to cover and OVER on the total points!
Superbowl predictìonp people. I hope Denver wins it for Manning.
I think Perisic has good pace. Ideal scenario is having Perisic on the left and Halilovic on the right in good form. If both are on – and we still have to see it from Halilovic in the national team environment – that can open up everything for the other guys.
Modric and Kovacic are similar style players. Halilovic is more attacking and willing to take the game on. If he is not in the team we will not go far. We don’t have any other players in the team that are similar to him. Brozovic is good but he is a different type of player. We really don’t have any fast players that will put the opposition defenses on edge.
Our great = group sorry
have we seen our new kits yet or have they not yet been unveiled?
Yeah i dont want to get too ahead of myself. We do that regularly (particularly on this site) so let’s wait and see. Our great isnt particularly easy and we could lose all 3 games. I’m a bit like mulder atm in that “i want to believe”.
@Ravni Kotari…….disagree. Last thing we want from the media is for them to be cheerleaders. Not the job of the media to be positive or negative. Plus, I think fans and players mistake social media for actual media. Jure from Zagreb tweeting or going on Face and commenting about the shitty play of player X is not the media. Once the media starts cheerleading then it’s over.
If Leicester City do win the title, does anyone know if Kramaric will get a League winners medal for his 2 Premier League appearances this year?
I believe he could be the first Croatian Premier League winner if he does.
Yeah, the media circus. They do talk absolute shit and not just about sport.
Typical jock, without media chatter there is no product getting the advertising dollard, and consequently salaries for guys like him! LOL
I’m pretty stoked about Euro 2016. I hope all the fans can stay positive along with the media (which is near impossible). Confidence is a big issue with all our sport teams and the media plays a huge part in it and it has only become worse with the introduction of social media. As Agbonlahor said today in his post match interview, “the media like to chat a lot of shit”.
Nobody ever said he had to pay his dues, at least I hope not. Halilovic had to show he deserved to get minutes on the repka and based on his play he has earned those minutes.
Lol. Halilovic will start. If not I’m supporting England. The boy is sick
Yea but Halilovic has gotta ‘pay his dues’ like Srna and Olic before he gets to start (whatever the hell that means).
Alen Halilovic is more attacking than Luka Modric and more dangerous around goal. He is willing to attack and dribble players more than Luka.
Lovren injured after 11 minutes. Had to subbed out.
Didn’t watch the game. Not sure if it was the same injury that he just came back from.
Iggy we have friendlies lined up against Hungary and Israel the last 7-10 days of March
Also the new kits will be out by then and they will be our first time seeing the Vatreni in them
When’s Hrvatska’s next game ? months away ?