Have a butchers
Before Wednesday, Mediawatch’s favourite non-football football story was ‘Roberto Mancini uses cash point’. Not any longer.
You know the perfect slow news day formula by now: Big-name player/manager X + inanimate object Y = spurious story Z.
‘Manchester City star Sergio Aguero gets a raw deal as he visits his local butchers,’ reads the MailOnline headline.
‘He was unable to get his teeth stuck into the Tottenham defence on Sunday, but Sergio Aguero is still hungry for success.
‘The Manchester City striker was pictured outside his local butchers in Hale, Cheshire on Tuesday afternoon ahead of trying to give Chelsea’s FA Cup hopes the chop when they meet in the fifth round this weekend.
‘The 27-year-old was in a relaxed mood upon entering and leaving the shop – although the Argentine may feel that some have beef with City’s title chances following their 2-1 home defeat by Tottenham.’
The inside track
‘Zlatan Ibrahimovic swaps shirts with Pedro AND Willian after PSG beat Chelsea,’ reads the headline on MailOnline.
Yes, that is the entire story.
One of the Daily Mirror’s ‘five things we learnt’ from Paris St Germain vs Chelsea concerns the form of Angel di Maria.
‘Whatever Louis van Gaal thinks, Angel Di Maria is an exquisitely fine footballer. Tonight in Paris the Argentine showed everyone, including his former employers, all of the quality that made him the Champions League final’s man of the match just two short seasons ago.
‘In the hosts’ early blitz, the 28-year-old was central to everything PSG did well, which was an awful lot. And he was tremendous thereafter too, providing the game-winning assist no less.’
Turn over the page for the Mirror’s match ratings from the same game. Di Maria is awarded a mark of 5 out of 10, the joint-lowest in the match with Eden Hazard, Pedro and Thiago Motta.
Slight difference of opinion
‘Thiago Motta: Often poor in his distribution and at fault for Chelsea’s goal – 5’ – Daily Mirror.
‘Thiago Motta: Kept it ticking over nicely in central midfield. Elegant display from ex-Barcelona man – 8′ – Daily Mail.
Balls to walls
On BT Sport on Tuesday, Rio Ferdinand was not impressed with John Obi Mikel turning his back on Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s free-kick. Not impressed at all.
“In the changing rooms I’m sure they’re saying ‘what are you doing?” said Ferdinand. “If you’re not going to have the balls to stand there then don’t be in the wall.
“He’ll look back on this and be embarrassed. You’ve got to stay strong, stay front on and want to take the ball in the face.”
‘Verbal agreement clears Man United to sign these two major world stars,’ reads the headline on the Metro website.
Ooh, spicy. Wonder which club United’s verbal agreement is with? Barcelona? Real Madrid? Paris St Germain?
‘The Daily Star says Pep Guardiola has a verbal agreement with Bayern that forbids him from raiding the Bavarian giants when he leaves the Allianz Arena for the Etihad Stadium in the summer.’
Oh just f**k the f**k right off…
Impossible is nothing
‘Lionel Messi scores impossible behind the net goal in training’ – @TeleFootball.
‘Lionel Messi makes impossible trick shot look ridiculously easy’ – @FOXSoccer.
‘Barcelona ace Lionel Messi scores a goal in training from an impossible angle’ – @MailSport.
‘Messi scores IMPOSSIBLE goal in Barca kickabout – even superstar team-mates are amazed’ – @MirrorFootball.
‘Arsenal beware! Barcelona star Lionel Messi scores from impossible angle in training’ – @StandardSport.
He did it. So Mediawatch is doubtful that it was ‘impossible’.
‘The striker has scored seven goals in his last nine games and is the chief reason why United still hold a faint hope of Champions League qualification this season’ – Jack Gaughan, MailOnline.
That ‘chief reason why United still hold a faint hope of Champions League qualification’ is Wayne Rooney. At which point Anthony Martial slowly raises his hand.
There’s a long way left to go
‘TV Footie Girl Told: Get Back In Kitchen’ – Daily Star front-page headline, February 17.
— Women in Football (@WomeninFootball) February 16, 2016
Ask a simple question
‘England’s Euro 2016 suit launched – but does it hint at who will make Roy Hodgson’s final squad?’ asks the Daily Mirror website.
No. It hints at who was in Roy Hodgson’s last squad. Presumably that’s when the photoshoot took place.
SEO-headline of the day
‘Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Man City and Man Utd in epic transfer fight for German whizz’ – Daily Star.
Is this the way they say the future’s meant to feel?
Recommended reading of the day
Nick Ames on Gent
Rory Smith on Leicester City and the Premier League
Owen Gibson on the Football Association