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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Unstoppable Eto'o

Inter Milan beat Bayern 3-2 in the second leg of the Champions League knockout round and they became only the second team in the Champions League's history to advance further after suffering a first leg defeat at home. It was Samuel Eto'o's night at the Allianz Arena after being involved in all the three Inter's goals. He scored the first and set up the other two. This match just confirmed what we already knew of Eto'o's capabilities.

Used as a classic No.9 striker during his Barcelona days, very few would have then imagined how influential he would go on to become for a treble winning Inter team. Under Jose Mourinho, he became widely used at the left of the attacking role in the 4-2-3-1 formation. This was one of the Mourinho's tactical masterpiece when he made Eto'o a threat on the left side. When Inter didn't have possession, he tracked back and helped the defenders. When Inter got the ball, he kept it well and supplied the attack. It was at this point when Eto'o's contribution for the cause of the team increased. Switching to the left helped Eto'o raise his game to another level. He was dribbling more, beating defenders at will. Not completely happy at that role, Mourinho, as he revealed later, had to convince Eto'o how this move can help them bring home the champions league trophy ahead of their game against Chelsea in the first knockout round. This season, however, he is back in his familiar No.9 position under Leonardo because of lengthy injury spells to Diego Milito. As the center forward, Eto'o can now not only score goals but also create a lot of chances making him one of the most lethal strikers in Europe at the moment. Fairly, he has given all the credit to Mourinho for making him a better striker.

He has scored 32 goals in all competitions so far, including eight in eight champions league ties. His tally of 19 in serieA makes him the third highest in the league, just one behind second placed Edinson Cavani and five behind the Udinese hero Antonio Di Natale.


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