Reuters Soccer Blog

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Soccer Break Wednesday


SOCCER-CHAMPIONS/A fine Wednesday to you all, and a few statistics to begin with. Attendance at the Nou Camp: 95,486. Estimated crowd noise (in decibels): 121.8. Estimated noise of a referee’s whistle (in decibels): 121.8.

The operative word above is estimated, because of course we have no idea, but a quick dig around on the internet shows some debate about whether Robin van Persie could have heard Massimo Busacca’s whistle┬ádespite the defeaning noise at the Nou Camp.

Sending-off or no sending-off,┬áhere’s another statistic for you from the Champions League thriller. Completed passes: Barcelona – 738 ; Arsenal – 199. The Londoners did mighty well to hang in there and can be proud of their efforts, but the Catalan team’s superiority told in the end. Few teams could touch them in that mood.

Do you think 11 against 11 would have seen Arsenal through? Or was the red card just a mere sideshow?

What now for wondrous Wolfsburg?


Wolfsburg are only 90 minutes away from winning their first German championship and they have equalled or broken several records in achieving that.

No other team have ever had two strikers score 20 goals or more in a Bundesliga season. Grafite has 26, Edin Dzeko 25.

Can Magath wake Germany’s sleeping giant?


It was clear from the start that Felix Magath’s move to VfL Wolfsburg in 2007, after winning consecutive league and cup doubles with Bayern Munich, was a step backwards before another big step forward.

No one really expected them to be top of the table with three matches left this season. Magath himself said the team had met their targets earlier than expected.