cularly badly against Malaga in the first half and thats what Malaga did - they set about Busquets, adds Gibson. He wa | Forum

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jcy123 May 16
NEW YORK -- Serena Williams has hit a wheelbarrow load of balls into the near and far reaches of Arthur Ashe Stadium following victories over the years, always targeting specific individuals in the crowd. Wholesale Stan Smith UK . She had never managed to get a ball into the intended hands until Tuesday night, following her dazzling 6-3, 6-3 win over Ekaterina Makarova?in the first round of the US Open.It was that kind of night for Williams.I usually pick someone out, she said of the postmatch ritual after her win. They never, never get the ball. Although today, the first time I picked someone out, the guy actually got the ball. That was exciting.Also exciting: Williams performance as she sallies forth in an attempt to move ahead of Steffi Graf and become the first player in the Open era to win 23 Grand Slam singles titles.The match with Makarova was promoted as a stern test of Williams skill and nerve at a seemingly critical juncture in her career. She turned it into a comprehensive statement of her enduring superiority and verve.Williams display of firepower lit up the night sky in Flushing, Queens. She rained down a dozen aces and so many unreturnable serves that only 44 percent of her deliveries became points. Not bad work for a woman whos been suffering a lack of match play because of a sore right shoulder. In fact, her impressive demonstration was the fruit of a workaround mandated by her tender shoulder. In having to pick her spots rather than blast away, she proved that while speed kills, placement tortures.Williams was particularly pleased because in her prematch practice session, her deliveries were flying like wild geese.I didnt hit them as hard as I normally hit them, she said of the 105 and 110 mph aces. I just went for more placement. I didnt go for the big 120s, just the regular.The regular, devastating, down-the-T and out-wide serves that leave even a doubles expert like Makarova, whos a good returner by definition, feeling as if her shoes had grown roots.This also was one of those matches in which Williams seemed to embrace a game plan with more components than a desire to serve big and let the groundstrokes rip. Williams did most of her damage by opening up the court until she could find Makarovas left-handed forehand, which is as lethal but also as unstable as C-4 explosive. Williams broke down that part of Makarovas game consistently.I definitely feel like Im more tactical now, Williams said. But I still have that raw I dont care what is your best shot, Im just going to play my best shot and lets play tennis attitude. I still have that. But I definitely play with a little more tactics.Thats a champions pride speaking. But Williams turns 35 in September. She has injuries, large and small. They demand concessions, one of which inevitably is a greater reliance on strategy and tactics. She had no pressing need to work a Plan B on Tuesday, but her willingness to do it on a night when her movement was outstanding just made her that much tougher.Its all I could do with a shoulder injury, was movement, she said. I couldnt hit any balls [leading up to the tournament]. I wanted to stay fit, so ... I guess that kind of helped me out a little bit.Williams is a great champion, so she bears great champions burdens. Every question she answers leads to more questions because more is never enough, and in her case never will be until she finally decides to set aside her rackets for good.The question now is, what can she do to keep this up? The great obstacle for players in their waning years is that they lack the intensity and innate drive of youngsters. They come up flat more frequently. Its the most natural process in the world.Williams tries to avoid that pitfall by telling herself how much better she can be. She said, I think I can improve a lot. I think I can get a lot better. I feel like theres much, much more I can do. Thats the only thing I can do is do that.A better Williams than we saw on Tuesday night is nearly unimaginable. But making the unimaginable real has been this womans stock in trade for a long time now. Stan Smith UK Sale . Despite dominating possession, Schalke needed an own goal from Nicolas Hoefler for the breakthrough a minute before the interval. The Freiburg midfielder misjudged Jefferson Farfans corner and bundled the ball into his own net. Discount Stan Smith UK . Mickelson barely made the cut but had the best round of the day with nine birdies and an eagle coupled with two bogeys to sit two shots behind leader Craig Lee of Scotland. Lee shot a 69 for a 12-under 204 total. "I just love the fact I am in contention and have an opportunity in my first tournament of the year here in Abu Dhabi," Mickelson said. . Jordan Lynch, the all-purpose Heisman Trophy finalist from Northern Illinois, failed to make it into that exclusive club.Barcelona are hot favourites to become the first team to defend the European Cup in the Champions League era and are currently on a 32-game unbeaten run in all competitions. So how can Arsenal stop them on Tuesday night? Start with Sergio Busquets… Unstoppable. Thats the verdict of many regarding this Barcelona team. There might be 16 clubs left in this seasons Champions League but the current holders are little more than 2/1 to retain the trophy in May. Its a side full of players capable of hurting the opposition.Luis Suarez is the top scorer in Spain, while Lionel Messi recently reclaimed the Ballon dOr for a record fifth time by edging out fellow Barcelona forward Neymar. But if all that sounds so daunting that Arsenal need not show up on Tuesday, there might be hope nevertheless. Even the most beautiful of machines requires an engine and Barcelonas is Sergio Busquets. He is a fundamental player for us, said coach Luis Enrique earlier this season. When he is there the team gains solidity in defence and attack. He is a unique player. Busquets has been described as fundamental by coach Luis Enrique Fundamental. Unique. And worth stopping. Barcelona might be unbeaten in 32 games but there is some evidence that disrupting Busquets can have an impact on the teams fluency. Thats something opposition sides appear to have picked up on this season.Some teams are opting to press Barca. It means being brave and abandoning the tried and trusted method of stifling Barcelona - a template made famous by Jose Mourinhos Inter side in 2010. But its a tactic that Arsenal might well be better suited to employing.We saw team after team play a narrow back-four, tuck their wide midfielders into a back-six and completely give up on possession, explains Sky Sports Spanish football expert Terry Gibson. You tracked runners and plugged gaps and hoped to somehow stay in the game. I think a lot of teams recognise now that if you stop, surprisingly enough, Sergio Busquets, and put him under pressure it forces Barcelona into going a little bit more direct than they would like. Terry Gibson I believe now that more teams are pressing them high up the pitch. I think a lot of teams recognise now that if you stop, surprisingly enough, Sergio Busquets, and put him under pressure it forces Barcelona into going a little bit more direct than they would like.They can go direct, but its normally balls played into channels, slid down the side for Suarez, rather than the long clearance from Javier Mascherano thats easy for a centre-half to clear. Its the latter that you want to try to force Barcelona to do.Pep Guardiola attempted this uber-aggressive approach with Bayern Munich in the Champions League semi-final first leg last season. The tactic was dismissed by some as reckless. But as so often with Guardiola, he might just have been on to something. Eduardo Berizzo, a fellow Marcelo Bielsa admirer, enjoyed spectacular success in coaching Celta Vigo to a 4-1 win over Barcelona in Galicia in September. Playing a high-pressing game, they were all over the visitors, leaving Barcelona - and Busquets, in particular - rattled.Roberto Rodriguez, writing in Catalan newspaper La Vanguardia, reported that Celtaa raised a cyclone of total football and that the team suffered, especially Busquets who was said to be overwhelmed and found little support from his fellow Barcelona midfielders. Cheap Adidas Shoes UK. he stats illustrate the point. Busquets pass completion rate so far this season in La Liga is 89.2 per cent. In the Champions League its up at 92.5 per cent. But against Celta that evening, he was allowed to complete only 80.5 per cent of his passes - his lowest accuracy so far this season. The video below shows how they did it... Is pressure the key for Arsenal? Heres Busquets versus Celta Vigo Busquets was substituted midway through the second half with his team 3-0 down. Vanquished. As Spain-based journalist Sid Lowe put it in The Guardian: The talk is often of a team struggling to find the final pass; Barcelona could not find the first.Celtas strategy should be particularly intriguing for Arsene Wenger and Arsenal because this was a team not merely defending against Barcelona but taking the game to them. Weve honoured football, as Berizzo grandly put it. Its something for Arsenal to aspire to.Sky Sports pundit Guillem Balague believes the parallels are there. Some people say Arsenal is the closest team to Barcelona, said Balague. It is not. It is Celta - pressure high, discipline, positional game, ball possession. Some people say Arsenal is the closest team to Barcelona. It is not. It is Celta - pressure high, discipline, positional game, ball possession. Guillem Balague But its not just Celta that have employed these tactics with some success. Malaga troubled Barca as recently as January before eventually succumbing to a 2-1 defeat, and once again Busquets was targeted. His pass completion rate dipped to 86.4 per cent in La Rosaleda.They played particularly badly against Malaga in the first half and thats what Malaga did - they set about Busquets, adds Gibson. He wasnt at his best, and Barcelona found it hard work. Celta did the same with six first-team players missing.Its a long shot. But whats clear is that theres no hope of beating Barcelona without a plan, and the template is there. Bus parking might not be Arsenals style but maybe theres another way for Wengers men. Stop Busquets, and maybe you can think about stopping Barcelona. Also See: Wenger: I used to dream of Suarez How to beat Barcelona? Pray ' ' '