Branislav Ivanovic proves the unlikely star as Chelsea rout Brentford

Antonio Conte can do no wrong. The Chelsea manager watched his team ease into the fifth round of the FA Cup at the expense of Brentford, who did not turn up until the second half, and the icing on the cake was provided by Branislav Ivanovic – a player he had dropped from the starting line-up.

Conte introduced the Chelsea stalwart, whose future is uncertain, as a 64th-minute substitute and, with his first meaningful involvement, he scored his first goal of the season to make it 3-0. Ivanovic gave the ball to Pedro and rumbled forward in support before getting it back and squeezing a low finish underneath the goalkeeper Daniel Bentley.

Continue reading…

The deep roots of modern resentment

Age of Anger: A History of the Present. By Pankaj Mishra. Farrar, Straus and Giroux; 405 pages; $27. Allen Lane; £20.

SOON after the Soviet Union imploded, Pankaj Mishra reminds his readers, The Economist felt able to assert that “there was no serious alternative to free-market capitalism as the way to organise economic life.” Yet today, the notion that a global capitalist economy hitched to a liberal internationalism can bring peace, progress and prosperity has taken a beating. That is evident not only in the violence in Iraq and Syria, where what used to be called the civilising hand has proven incapable of stemming the bloodshed. It is evident, too, in the vitriolic populism resurging at the heart of Western democracies-in Brexit, in the rise of Marine Le Pen in France and in Donald Trump’s tumultuous route to the White House. 

Indian-born Mr Mishra divides his time between London and a retreat at the foot of the Himalayas. He earns a lot as a columnist for Bloomberg, and he sups at the tables of the Western intelligentsia. But he considers himself only a “stepchild” of the…Continue reading