CSKA Moscow v Manchester City - UEFA Champions League Group Stage Matchday Three Group D

Is there football on today?

Oh boy! The Europa League! Staring at this giant list of fixtures…I don’t know, brother. I would go for Dinamo Zagreb vs PSV at 3:05 PM EST, or Wigan vs Rubin Kazan, or Bordeaux vs APOEL. Why? Because I’ve seen those teams play before. You brave people.

Okay, what’s the big story today?

Racism. Again. In Russia. Sorry, Moscow. Sorry, Khimki Arena. Some CSKA Moscow supporters directed racist abuse at Yaya Toure during Man City’s 1-2 Champions League win:

Yaya Touré has called on Uefa to take tough action against CSKA Moscow, including the possibility of closing their stadium for a couple of years, after sections of the Russian club’s supporters subjected the Manchester City captain to racist abuse on Wednesday night. The monkey chants, which Touré reported to the referee during the game, overshadowed a crucial 2-1 victory for Manuel Pellegrini’s side.

Touré was visibly upset after the match and made it clear that Uefa needs to adopt a strong stance to stamp out behaviour which he described as “stupid” and “very, very sad”. A spokesperson for City confirmed the club had lodged a complaint with the Uefa delegate at the match and will follow that up in writing. Uefa is also aware that the referee has mentioned Touré’s complaints in his report.

The drive and seriousness of this issue is entirely in UEFA’s hands, as it always has been. We await their response. Meanwhile, right on time, CSKA issue a flat out denial.

Any other news?

Ian Holloway left Crystal Palace by mutual consent yesterday, which is obviously sad for reporters and the like, but might end up being worse for Palace supporters. Why? Well, the club has the second lowest PDO in the league, although their shots ratio isn’t spectacular. However it might have been good enough for Premier League survival should Palace had kept the faith. Palace after all are only a mere five points adrift from safety.

What’s worse is the club’s suspected candidate is Tony Pulis, a manager for whom direct football was not a practical consideration, but an ideal for whom Stoke was moulded to fit. That moulding took time. It’s not clear Pulis doubles as a Fixer.

Rooney’s all happy, Rooney’s the key to United’s future under David Moyes. Fill in all them blanks. Also United beat Real Sociedad 1-0 at Old Trafford in the Champions League last night, mostly thanks to Wayne.

And the fallout from Ferguson’s book continues, with both Richard Scudamore and Brendan Rodgers piling on.

Good stuff?

Okay. You ready? Sitting down? I know you’ve seen this before, but I just want you to be sure you’re prepared just in case:

The Daily Mail by the way rubbishes those Fox claims and clocks the ball at 93 mph. Do you want to watch the other THREE goals in addition to that one Ibra scored for PSG against Anderlecht? Of course you do:

Any good reads today?

Jonathan Wilson basically ruins/aids my tactics column today with this great effort:

What formation a team is playing, anyway, is often in the eye of the beholder . How deep does the second striker have to be for 4-4-2 to become 4-4-1-1? How advanced do the wide players have to be for that to become 4-2-3-1? Besides which, individual players will interpret different roles differently: Lionel Messi and James Milner have both played on the right of 4-2-3-1s, but they did it very differently.

The designations we give formations are useful starting point, but that’s all. They give a general idea of the structure of a team and a game and of the relationships of players to each other, but the game itself is decided by the interaction of those bundles of attributes.