UEFA Champions & Europa League 2014-15 Season Thread

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UEFA Champions & Europa League 2014-15 Season Thread

Post by Guest on Tue Feb 24, 2015 9:38 pm

First topic message reminder :

sportform wrote:Messi is no Harry Kane.

Very Happy

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Re: UEFA Champions & Europa League 2014-15 Season Thread

Post by Hammersmith harrier on Thu May 07, 2015 8:06 pm

If representing his national side at the World Cup isn't the pinnacle for Messi then frankly he isn't fit to carry Maradona's jockstrap.

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Re: UEFA Champions & Europa League 2014-15 Season Thread

Post by Jermaine2015 on Thu May 07, 2015 8:15 pm

Crimey wrote:
Jermaine2015 wrote:Jerome Boateng was an embarrassment, and to thing we sold him then brought him back from 3 times as much...

This is the first time Boateng had played for Bayern in his career though.
Whilst what you are saying is 100% correct, Boateng's main problem is he's a poor reader of the game. It's almost like his legs are working faster than his brain can process. Undoubtedly Boateng is very fast at running, and often his poor positional play can be bailed out by his pace. But often this season, mostly in the Champions League, he's been exposed big time. The FC Porto away leg and last night against FC Barcelona. Often his is bailed out by Manuel Neuer as well, but against Messi not even Superman can stop him.

This doesn't mean Boateng can't improved, but when you consider we had both Boateng and Hummels in the academy. We lost both, and undoubtedly we've now got the wrong one back.

I think in the long run, Boateng would be better off at right back. If Badstuber can ever stay fit, he and Benatia in the middle would be best all round. If we play 3 at the back, then Badstuder, Benatia and Martinez would do better than Boateng.

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Re: UEFA Champions & Europa League 2014-15 Season Thread

Post by Dolphin Ziggler on Thu May 07, 2015 8:38 pm

The World Cup is not the pinnacle of performance. Its a knockout competition every four years. Even so, Argentina were the best side in that World Cup, a World Cup that was not of the highest standard for top notch teams. Sadly for Messi, even when he was pulling strings last World Cup, he has bumped into one of the greatest international teams ever in Spain and a rival to that I'd imagine in Germany in his generation. Would they have even won that World Cup had he not been a cheat? And as a man who scored goals, he didnt take the Golden Boot either.

The funny thing with Messi is he plays in a world class club team, with incredible players, stands out easily as the best one and yet it is almost a negative. A player so good that Xavi, Iniesta and more have basically had to become conduits to Messi.

Alas, football has also changed dramatically. Whilst defenders are far better in technique, teams defend better as a whole, club power is also more prevalent. Maradona at Napoli in today's football? Not a chance, the money and the power wouldn't let it be. The monopoly of great clubs doesn't get broken.

Personally, Messi can do everything Maradona could. Don't think it works the same way round. But nostalgia and legend is so different in the modern age, there is nothing anyone could do to change the balance.

And to Raf's point, would it really make Messi suddenly better if he'd scored, or in fact he hadn't but Argentina had won that final? Preposterous. Also, Messi best player in the same amount of World Cups as Maradona according to official records...

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Re: UEFA Champions & Europa League 2014-15 Season Thread

Post by socal1976 on Thu May 07, 2015 10:00 pm

Yep agree fully with dolph. I mean it isn't like messi is a failure at the international level he got his team to the final and they played Germany very close, this despite Di Maria being hurt, the idiot coach didn't play tevez, and Aguero was also playing hurt and completely ineffectual. In short Argentina was playing with one of their 4 best attackers. Also he is argentina's all time leading goal scorer at international level. You can't judge a player who plays 60 or so matches a year by 5 or 6 matches every 4 years? To me Messi far outstrips Maradonna's club career Diego played at barca and was sold because the club didn't want him anymore. So where Diego failed at a super club Messi succeeded and somehow because Messi plays at barca and is succesful that is held against him.

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Re: UEFA Champions & Europa League 2014-15 Season Thread

Post by Hammersmith harrier on Thu May 07, 2015 10:08 pm

Defending has got worse since the late 80's and there is no chance that the current Spanish sides defend better than the Italians back then. It's a fallacy created from the new is always better even when it clearly isn't Brigade.

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Re: UEFA Champions & Europa League 2014-15 Season Thread

Post by Ent on Thu May 07, 2015 10:11 pm

Maradona broke his ankle badly at Barca if I recall correctly.

They also were not as successful when he was there.

Football has changed so much it's almost pointless comparing between generations, there is just no way a single outstanding player is going to lift a good but unspectacular side to league trophies and a wc like maradona. No player is going to lift 3 world cups like pele did either.

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Re: UEFA Champions & Europa League 2014-15 Season Thread

Post by socal1976 on Thu May 07, 2015 10:50 pm

Ent wrote:Maradona broke his ankle badly at Barca if I recall correctly.

They also were not as successful when he was there.

Football has changed so much it's almost pointless comparing between generations, there is just no way a single outstanding player is going to lift a good but unspectacular side to league trophies and a wc like maradona. No player is going to lift 3 world cups like pele did either.

I do agree with that I mean it is so much different in terms of the money involved, the rules of defending, and the tactics employed that you can never get a clear answer and say Messi or Maradonna or Pele etc. Although if you want to have that subjective debate I think Messi is certainly in the conversation as the greatest player of all time. I don't think you can define a player simply on winning a world cup or not as a lot other factors not in the individual players control are at stake and it is one tournament every 4 years. I just don't agree that a world cup or euro tournament which represents at most 1 or 2 percent of the games these players play simply outweighs 50 or 60 matches a year they are playing each and every year at the club level.

And I think when it is all said done Messi will have the best CV at the club level both in terms of team and individual numbers that any player has ever had. Especially if this Barca team wins the league and Champions league again (which of course is not yet decided.)

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Re: UEFA Champions & Europa League 2014-15 Season Thread

Post by theslosty on Fri May 08, 2015 1:24 am

I think Pele, Maradona and Messi are in a top tier of their own. It's too difficult to differentiate between those 3.
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Re: UEFA Champions & Europa League 2014-15 Season Thread

Post by Dolphin Ziggler on Fri May 08, 2015 2:52 am

Hammersmith harrier wrote:Defending has got worse since the late 80's and there is no chance that the current Spanish sides defend better than the Italians back then. It's a fallacy created from the new is always better even when it clearly isn't Brigade.

Such nonsense. Defending as a whole has drastically improved, and especially as a team. Technique as a whole has vastly improved, defenders are better overall footballers and that has an impact.

I'm not sure why you'd compare the defending of two vastly different sporting cultures within football.

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Re: UEFA Champions & Europa League 2014-15 Season Thread

Post by Hammersmith harrier on Fri May 08, 2015 8:28 am

The only one talking nonsense here is you Dolph, not everything has improved and definitely not defending, it's as bad as it's been for me.

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Re: UEFA Champions & Europa League 2014-15 Season Thread

Post by Dolphin Ziggler on Fri May 08, 2015 11:37 am

Everything in football has improved. Ent is right, its impossible to compare era to era.

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Re: UEFA Champions & Europa League 2014-15 Season Thread

Post by Hammersmith harrier on Fri May 08, 2015 11:43 am

Strange how Maldini was one of the worlds best defenders way back in the late 80's and was still one of the worlds best nearly 20 years later, there has been no improvement defensively since his retirement so ergo you're talking nonsense. Were things improving so much you wouldn't have players like Maldini or Giggs playing at the top level for near on 20 years.

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Re: UEFA Champions & Europa League 2014-15 Season Thread

Post by GSC on Fri May 08, 2015 11:44 am

Athleticism now is on a whole new scale on decades past for one
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Re: UEFA Champions & Europa League 2014-15 Season Thread

Post by Dolphin Ziggler on Fri May 08, 2015 11:53 am

Neither Giggs nor Maldini were near the top of the world game when they finished their careers. Giggs was a fine player, but he wasn't in the top 50 players in our country for the last 5-8 years of his career

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Re: UEFA Champions & Europa League 2014-15 Season Thread

Post by Hammersmith harrier on Fri May 08, 2015 11:57 am

He was very easily inside the top 50 players in England unless you're suggesting the 51st best player won the player of the season award, I disagree with him winning but there were not 50 players better than him. Maldini was no longer the player he was once was but was still comfortably one of the top 10 centre backs in the world in 2005-2007.

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Re: UEFA Champions & Europa League 2014-15 Season Thread

Post by GSC on Fri May 08, 2015 12:09 pm

Giggs awards were a lifetime achievement award in a season with no standout candidate.
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Re: UEFA Champions & Europa League 2014-15 Season Thread

Post by Hammersmith harrier on Fri May 08, 2015 12:12 pm

Just like Messi' Golden Ball award at last years world cup was a marketing ploy from Adidas, you can't pick and choose when they have relevance.

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Re: UEFA Champions & Europa League 2014-15 Season Thread

Post by Dolphin Ziggler on Fri May 08, 2015 12:20 pm

Ones a bit more of a stretch than the other.

He did have one very good year, but was otherwise not worthy of a starting place in most teams in the league.

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Re: UEFA Champions & Europa League 2014-15 Season Thread

Post by Hammersmith harrier on Fri May 08, 2015 12:25 pm

Of course he wasn't Dolph, picked on sheer sentimentality.

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Re: UEFA Champions & Europa League 2014-15 Season Thread

Post by Dolphin Ziggler on Fri May 08, 2015 12:41 pm

He'd have been a liability in most teams in the league. Not good enough to be a luxury player outside the top. Look, he's my pick for best player of the premiership era overall, but longevity wins him it (on top of his class)

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Re: UEFA Champions & Europa League 2014-15 Season Thread

Post by Azzy on Fri May 08, 2015 12:43 pm

Maldini was top class right to the end, but I'd suggest that's more down to his quality and ability than the lack of other options. I'd rather have an 80 year old, traditionally-trained samurai on my security detail than some 20-something copper with a taser.

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Re: UEFA Champions & Europa League 2014-15 Season Thread

Post by FootballLight on Fri May 08, 2015 3:44 pm

The late Neymar goal could have just killed Bayern. They may have beaten Barca 4-0 at the Allianz before, that doesn't mean to say its guaranteed again and after Wednesday nights showing I can't see Barca bottling it from here and I can't see Bayern scoring without Barca scoring at least 1 away from home. I might even be tempted to go for a 2-0 Barca win at the Allianz...

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Re: UEFA Champions & Europa League 2014-15 Season Thread

Post by Ent on Fri May 08, 2015 3:57 pm

Better equipment, pitches and more attack friendly rules have changed defending - in some ways it is easier to attack now.

Defenders are now very athletic and teams defend as a unit with a lot more energy.

I'd say it's probably even, but a poor crop of defenders about currently.

Although back in the day you could be playing on a mud bath with centre halfs free to scythe you in half - probably contributed to the difficulty in attacking as much as the quality of the defenders.

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Re: UEFA Champions & Europa League 2014-15 Season Thread

Post by Crimey on Fri May 08, 2015 4:27 pm

Yeah defending as a team is better now, but perhaps individual defending is more difficult, because of rules designed to encourage attacking play.

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Re: UEFA Champions & Europa League 2014-15 Season Thread

Post by socal1976 on Fri May 08, 2015 4:46 pm

I do agree that we have a very poor crop of top class defenders currently. Although players are much fitter and stronger now and therefore pressure and close down space better than in the past. It is just that the last couple years we have had a poor class of defenders overall. And of course a tough challenge that might not of even been whistled 25 or 30 years ago can get you sent off nowadays.

But if you look at the inflation in goals you will actually see a very modest uptick in goals. Ronldo and Messi are sort of outliers. You don't see goal scoring records being smashed in all the leagues and every league having top scorers like those two. That is why to me you can't put all of the numbers those guys have down to poor defending. If the defending was so poor then you would say other great scorers in other leagues smashing all time records like those two are doing and other attackers in la liga getting close to those marks. But no one is even close to a goal a game or near a goal game which is what Mess has been doing for several years and Ronaldo the last couple.

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Re: UEFA Champions & Europa League 2014-15 Season Thread

Post by socal1976 on Fri May 08, 2015 4:48 pm

FootballLight wrote:The late Neymar goal could have just killed Bayern. They may have beaten Barca 4-0 at the Allianz before, that doesn't mean to say its guaranteed again and after Wednesday nights showing I can't see Barca bottling it from here and I can't see Bayern scoring without Barca scoring at least 1 away from home. I might even be tempted to go for a 2-0 Barca win at the Allianz...

That is the kicker, if Bayern go all out attack no one can open you up in an instant on the counter like Barca. Setting up to score at least three against Barca is going to give Barca lots of opportunities to hit back. And if they get one road goal then you now have to beat them at minimum 5-1, even 4-1 gets you eliminated.

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Re: UEFA Champions & Europa League 2014-15 Season Thread

Post by Dolphin Ziggler on Fri May 08, 2015 4:53 pm

They set up to match them and score at the Nou Camp and got slapped around in the end.

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Re: UEFA Champions & Europa League 2014-15 Season Thread

Post by compelling and rich on Sat May 09, 2015 11:42 am

defending has improved as a whole, as teams now are a lot more organised. defenders are quicker, fitter and stronger. i loved the 90's prem, everybody played 442 and went for it, there was still good physicality in the game but still enough technical ability on show but the defending was nowhere near as good. go even further back and everybody talks about maradonas goal against england (not the handball) but you watch the defending, they can barely run!

huge fan of the likes of maldini, but you have to remember the art of italian defending was the darks arts. they would be all over players. certainly wouldn't get away with half as much these days. todays football they touch a attacker and they dive down on the floor and get a foul, do it again and they get booked for barely even a tackle. no longer able to go near attackers making it very difficult

it makes current defenders look very bad, but they have the toughest era to play in, as the game is geared to attackers, i mean neymar couldn't play football in any other era. having said that it would have been slaughter to see the likes of messi and ronaldo run at terry butcher!!

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Re: UEFA Champions & Europa League 2014-15 Season Thread

Post by FootballLight on Sat May 09, 2015 11:57 am

socal1976 wrote:
FootballLight wrote:The late Neymar goal could have just killed Bayern. They may have beaten Barca 4-0 at the Allianz before, that doesn't mean to say its guaranteed again and after Wednesday nights showing I can't see Barca bottling it from here and I can't see Bayern scoring without Barca scoring at least 1 away from home. I might even be tempted to go for a 2-0 Barca win at the Allianz...

That is the kicker, if Bayern go all out attack no one can open you up in an instant on the counter like Barca. Setting up to score at least three against Barca is going to give Barca lots of opportunities to hit back. And if they get one road goal then you now have to beat them at minimum 5-1, even 4-1 gets you eliminated.

I can't even see Bayern scoring at home for some reason. I'm sticking by the 2-0 Barca away win I think. Bayern just showed they lacked any real quality in front of goal when they played Barca and they paid the price for it. With an attack of Messi, Suarez and Neymar, you can Barca scoring at least 1 away goal, so ultimately if your Bayern, you need to score 5. Which they have shown they are capable of doing before in the past so nothing should be written off or ruled out.

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Re: UEFA Champions & Europa League 2014-15 Season Thread

Post by Guest on Sat May 09, 2015 12:01 pm

FootballLight wrote:I can't even see Bayern scoring at home for some reason. I'm sticking by the 2-0 Barca away win I think. Bayern just showed they lacked any real quality in front of goal when they played Barca and they paid the price for it. With an attack of Messi, Suarez and Neymar, you can Barca scoring at least 1 away goal, so ultimately if your Bayern, you need to score 5. Which they have shown they are capable of doing before in the past so nothing should be written off or ruled out.

So they can't hit a barn door, however, they are capable of banging five goals picard

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Re: UEFA Champions & Europa League 2014-15 Season Thread

Post by FootballLight on Sat May 09, 2015 12:04 pm

LiamB wrote:
FootballLight wrote:I can't even see Bayern scoring at home for some reason. I'm sticking by the 2-0 Barca away win I think. Bayern just showed they lacked any real quality in front of goal when they played Barca and they paid the price for it. With an attack of Messi, Suarez and Neymar, you can Barca scoring at least 1 away goal, so ultimately if your Bayern, you need to score 5. Which they have shown they are capable of doing before in the past so nothing should be written off or ruled out.

So they can't hit a barn door, however, they are capable of banging five goals picard

The irony of cutting off your bold writing before it read, "in the past". And 1 game where they lacked quality doesn't mean its not possible for them to score 5 goals. Balanced argument.

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Re: UEFA Champions & Europa League 2014-15 Season Thread

Post by Fernando on Tue May 12, 2015 7:53 pm

Bayern 1-0 Barcelona - Medhi Benatia

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Re: UEFA Champions & Europa League 2014-15 Season Thread

Post by Fernando on Tue May 12, 2015 8:00 pm

Bayern 1-1 Barcelona - Neymar


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Re: UEFA Champions & Europa League 2014-15 Season Thread

Post by Fernando on Tue May 12, 2015 8:15 pm

Bayern 1-2 Barcelona - Neymar

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Re: UEFA Champions & Europa League 2014-15 Season Thread

Post by nadeem2099 on Tue May 12, 2015 9:07 pm

Bayern 2-2 Barcelona -Lewangoalski
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Re: UEFA Champions & Europa League 2014-15 Season Thread

Post by nadeem2099 on Tue May 12, 2015 9:19 pm

Bayern 3-2 Barcelona - Muller corner
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Re: UEFA Champions & Europa League 2014-15 Season Thread

Post by Azzy on Tue May 12, 2015 9:41 pm

Congrats Barca

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Re: UEFA Champions & Europa League 2014-15 Season Thread

Post by socal1976 on Wed May 13, 2015 4:14 am

Suarez is a freaking genius, I wish he was playing Chelsea in the final so he could munch down on Ivanovic's arm like some nice albacore sashimi with ponzu sauce and fried onion garnish. His two assists to bury Bayern shows me that he is clearly the number 3 best player in the world. Barca wins the treble and it will give Messi and incredible 4 CL titles, 7 league titles, and 3 Spanish cups. Can we at least agree that he will go down as the greatest club footballer of all time?

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Re: UEFA Champions & Europa League 2014-15 Season Thread

Post by kingraf on Wed May 13, 2015 6:31 am

Two things I suppose...

- Lewandowski really isn't very good.
- Barça are still fragile at the back.
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Re: UEFA Champions & Europa League 2014-15 Season Thread

Post by lorus59 on Wed May 13, 2015 7:39 am

Both Barca and Bayern are so used to totally dominating games that when they come across a team with similar attacking prowess, they struggle to defend.

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Re: UEFA Champions & Europa League 2014-15 Season Thread

Post by socal1976 on Wed May 13, 2015 7:56 am

kingraf wrote:Two things I suppose...

- Lewandowski really isn't very good.
- Barça are still fragile at the back.

Yes but even if Real gets through I can't see them beating Barca. While Suarez was out there with Messi and Neymar Bayern were fully in Barca's pocket. If those three are healthy Barca are winning the treble. By the way KR did you see that Valencia v. Real Match. I know it is hard as Real fan, but as a neutral that was simply the best football match I have seen maybe in years, a great advert for la liga. Incredible drama, and Alves had one of the best games I have ever seen as a goal keeper. I love the part where he told CR7 before the PK, "you are going to go right and I am going to stop you!". He mind f--ed Ronaldo. Still Real was incredibly unlucky, 3 shots hit the post and a saved PK. Seriously, the kind of football I saw in that match I haven't seen in the premiership since Arsenal's 6-3 drubbing at Man city.

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Re: UEFA Champions & Europa League 2014-15 Season Thread

Post by kingraf on Wed May 13, 2015 8:37 am

MSN were the difference over two legs. But they were helped by some at times shambolic defending. The second goal for Neymar would embarrass u14s. I didn't really mention them, because everyone knows MSN are good.

Bayern had twenty odd shots at goal, and were it not for some class keeping, they really should have scored three by half time. Lewa should really have scored at least two himself. The toe poke was a good chance, and the goal line clearance was from 10 yards out and he had a full swing at it. Given the situation... there really is no excuse for missing that.

As for the Valencia game. Still not quite over it. How on earth... Luckily la Liga might not finish this season so Barça won't get crowned Very Happy
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Re: UEFA Champions & Europa League 2014-15 Season Thread

Post by socal1976 on Wed May 13, 2015 8:49 am

kingraf wrote:MSN were the difference over two legs. But they were helped by some at times shambolic defending. The second goal for Neymar would embarrass u14s. I didn't really mention them, because everyone knows MSN are good.

Bayern had twenty odd shots at goal, and were it not for some class keeping, they really should have scored three by half time. Lewa should really have scored at least two himself. The toe poke was a good chance, and the goal line clearance was from 10 yards out and he had a full swing at it. Given the situation... there really is no excuse for missing that.  

As for the Valencia game. Still not quite over it. How on earth... Luckily la Liga might not finish this season so Barça won't get crowned Very Happy


Yeah but if Barcelona didn't pull the breaks they might of scored 3 or more by halftime. So I don't know if I buy that. Bayern was hit by serious injuries so I do respect that. I am also not that impressed with lewandowski this season, I thought he would be much better than he has been. As for Barca, I can't see them not winning at least 2 of the next three trophies in contention and most likely all three. Come on KR, you have to admit that was one hell of footballing match against Valencia. I know it hurts how close Real were to only tie, but seriously incredible football from a neutral's perspective. Best match I have seen this year.

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Re: UEFA Champions & Europa League 2014-15 Season Thread

Post by kingraf on Wed May 13, 2015 9:20 am

They didn't pull the breaks, so much as they didn't have the ball. Barça don't know how to hang back. Literally, they all jump in and hope one of them end up with the ball. That's why Thiago was at times just walking past them. Their inability to deal with set plays was also not a case of them not pulling breaks... they literally can't deal with set plays. Bayern aren't a set piece team (think they scored from one corner in 2014?) and they had a free for all.

If Real beat Juve, I'd be reasonably confident of a victory over Barça. We hit the cross bar, and had a razor close off side called in the last Clasico... so a little luck... and a different result is possible. MSN are peaking at the right time though, so if there's a decent ref, one who lets play flow, the final could be Harlem Shake.

As for the Valencia game... it was a good game. But I expect that from Valencia. They had Barça in all sorts of trouble a few weeks ago, but couldn't close the deal, and got caught bad. Good side, and if they can strengthen the side a bit next season, they can be there or thereabouts in la Liga

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Re: UEFA Champions & Europa League 2014-15 Season Thread

Post by kingraf on Wed May 13, 2015 9:20 am

They didn't pull the breaks, so much as they didn't have the ball. Barça don't know how to hang back. Literally, they all jump in and hope one of them end up with the ball. That's why Thiago was at times just walking past them. Their inability to deal with set plays was also not a case of them not pulling breaks... they literally can't deal with set plays. Bayern aren't a set piece team (think they scored from one corner in 2014?) and they had a free for all.

If Real beat Juve, I'd be reasonably confident of a victory over Barça. We hit the cross bar, and had a razor close off side called in the last Clasico... so a little luck... and a different result is possible. MSN are peaking at the right time though, so if there's a decent ref, one who lets play flow, the final could be Harlem Shake.

As for the Valencia game... it was a good game. But I expect that from Valencia. They had Barça in all sorts of trouble a few weeks ago, but couldn't close the deal, and got caught bad. Good side, and if they can strengthen the side a bit next season, they can be there or thereabouts in la Liga

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Re: UEFA Champions & Europa League 2014-15 Season Thread

Post by Duty281 on Wed May 13, 2015 9:34 am

Come on Juventus, do your duty for the good of the game.

Pogba should be starting tonight as well, how timely.

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Re: UEFA Champions & Europa League 2014-15 Season Thread

Post by Azzy on Wed May 13, 2015 11:17 am

Someone on Talksport said this morning 'every neutral will be cheering on Real'. I'm a neutral, and I want nothing more than a 55-0 Juventus win. Ronaldo can burn in hell. A Barca-Juve final would be an intriguing match-up.

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Re: UEFA Champions & Europa League 2014-15 Season Thread

Post by theslosty on Wed May 13, 2015 1:29 pm

As a neutral I am also hoping Juve do the business tonight. An El Clasico final would be very cagey with so much on the line.
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Re: UEFA Champions & Europa League 2014-15 Season Thread

Post by kingraf on Wed May 13, 2015 2:36 pm

It could be good. If the ref lets play flow, but shows that no really foul play will be tolerated, then you have two blistering attacks, with no idea on how to defend. Juve are just gonna be cagey against Barca, there is no doubt.
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Re: UEFA Champions & Europa League 2014-15 Season Thread

Post by GSC on Wed May 13, 2015 3:32 pm

Azzy wrote:Someone on Talksport said this morning 'every neutral will be cheering on Real'. I'm a neutral, and I want nothing more than a 55-0 Juventus win. Ronaldo can burn in hell. A Barca-Juve final would be an intriguing match-up.

Probably the same person that thought everyone was cheering for Liverpool in the FA Cup semi final
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