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Champions League/Europa League 2020/21

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Post by Duty281 Thu 01 Oct 2020, 5:33 pm

Draw just completed for the group stages of the Champions League.

Group A: Bayern Munich, Atletico Madrid, Red Bull Salzburg, Lokomotiv Moscow
Group B: Real Madrid, Shakhtar Donetsk, Inter Milan, Borussia Monchengladbach
Group C: Porto, Man City, Olympiakos, Marseille
Group D: Liverpool, Ajax, Atalanta, Midtjylland
Group E: Sevilla, Chelsea, Krasnodar, Rennes
Group F: Zenit St Petersburg, Borussia Dortmund, Lazio, Club Bruges
Group G: Juventus, Barcelona, Dynamo Kiev, Ferencvaros
Group H: Paris St-Germain, Man Utd, RB Leipzig, Istanbul Basaksehir

I suppose the main headline is Ronaldo v Messi in Group G. Other than that, none of the groups really set the pulse racing.

Three English clubs - Liverpool, City and Chelsea - should qualify quite easily. Manchester United will have an uphill task on their hands to squeeze past one/both of PSG and Leipzig.

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Post by Duty281 Tue 20 Oct 2020, 9:56 pm

Fair play to United and Ole, that was a tactical masterclass in a very good game of football. Rashford was pretty poor overall, but that was a world-class finish to bag another winner in Paris.

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Post by JDizzle Tue 20 Oct 2020, 10:02 pm

Superbly turgid game of football between Chelsea and Sevilla. Chelsea surprisingly solid at the back, but offered very little going forward.

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Post by GSC Wed 21 Oct 2020, 7:49 am

Ole must wish he can play all his games in Paris.

A result that probably keeps the wolves from his door, but United are going to have to transition from happy underdogs to a dominant frontrunner at some stage
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Post by Just John Wed 21 Oct 2020, 9:41 pm

Bayern bending over Atletico Madrid. Ominous.

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Post by Duty281 Thu 22 Oct 2020, 1:50 pm

Yeah, Bayern look a level above any other side in Europe. Difficult to see who the challengers are going to be, with Liverpool missing VVD, City and PSG inevitably going to bottle it at some stage, the La Liga clubs looking pretty average (Madrid lost to Shaktar yesterday), and Juventus permanently unable to take the final step.

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Post by Duty281 Tue 27 Oct 2020, 9:56 pm

R Madrid looked awful tonight. Got torn apart on the counter-attack by Monchengladbach, though two late goals got Madrid a precious point. Bottom of the group for now, need some improvement to qualify.

Seems like routine wins for City and Liverpool, though an injury to Fabinho will be a further concern to Klopp.

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Post by Duty281 Wed 28 Oct 2020, 9:44 pm

Ole wishes it was the Champions League every game. The uphill task to make the last 16 turning into a Sunday afternoon stroll. Tactically superb again and defensively well organised - the complete opposite of what you see United produce in the PL.

Love that VAR allowed United's first goal. In the PL that would have been chalked off by over-zealous officiating.

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Post by Jeff Navarro Wed 02 Dec 2020, 8:53 pm

Manchester United 1-1 PSG at half time. Neymar scored for the Parisians. Rashford, potentially an OG, got united back into the match. Fred fortunate not to see red after head butt incident.

Martin Braithwaite a man reborn for Barcelona 3 goals in 2 CL starts. Literally causing carnage tonight.

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Post by GSC Wed 02 Dec 2020, 9:34 pm

Don't want to pick on Ole for the sake of picking on Ole but he has to recognise Fred has been asking for a red all game.
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Post by Duty281 Wed 02 Dec 2020, 9:36 pm

Right entertaining mess of a game between United-PSG. Fred should have been red-carded in the first half, then he shouldn't have been given a second yellow a few minutes ago for a perfectly good tackle. Either way, Ole should have subbed Fred off earlier. Meanwhile, United wasted a load of chances to get in front, including Martial skying a sitter and Cavani hitting the bar, before PSG retook the lead with a right scrappy mess of a goal.

PSG are fun to watch as they're an expansive, attacking side with a brittle defence, but their constant gamesmanship is tedious in the extreme.

United had the perfect start to this group, but the unexpected loss in Istanbul hampered them. Presuming they lose here, they'll need to avoid defeat in Germany next week otherwise they're out (assuming PSG win next week).

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Post by Duty281 Wed 02 Dec 2020, 10:02 pm

That late goal guarantees PSG a 1st place finish if they win next week. United will qualify with a win or draw in Leipzig; if they lose they suffer a fate worse than outright elimination...the Europa League.

As expected with the groups they had, the other three PL clubs are in safely through.

Group B is the tightest fought group - all 4 teams can still qualify for the last 16 with one game left.

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Post by GSC Tue 08 Dec 2020, 8:34 pm

Var saving United from being 3-0 down but a big response needed
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Post by Duty281 Tue 08 Dec 2020, 8:36 pm

Ole's defensive gamble, playing seven defensive players, doesn't seem to have worked. Wan-Bissaka having one of the worst games I've seen from him.

Leipzig's football was superb in the opening fifteen minutes. Technically on another plane to United.

Sounds like a serious incident at the PSG game.

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Post by GSC Tue 08 Dec 2020, 8:56 pm

Leipzig exposed the gap between the CB trio and the wing backs pretty easily and consistently. United have to score twice in the 2nd half now
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Post by GSC Tue 08 Dec 2020, 9:30 pm

3-0 down and heading out without a miracle
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Post by Duty281 Tue 08 Dec 2020, 9:36 pm

Maguire - most expensive comedian of all time.

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Post by GSC Tue 08 Dec 2020, 9:41 pm

Bruno from the spot and United need 2 in the last 10
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Post by GSC Tue 08 Dec 2020, 9:44 pm

Pogba narrows it to one and suddenly Leipzig are at panic stations
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Post by GSC Tue 08 Dec 2020, 9:57 pm

United are out and go straight back to being a crisis club
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Post by Duty281 Tue 08 Dec 2020, 10:00 pm

That was nearly the greatest heist of all time.

A penalty that wasn't a penalty. A goal that took two deflections, and possibly Maguire's arm, on the way. Then Leipzig nearly scoring an own goal in the last minute.

Barcelona (9th in La Liga!) got beaten 0-3 at home by Juventus, which means the Spanish club finish 2nd.

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Post by Just John Thu 10 Dec 2020, 8:46 am

CL standard has dropped. Can’t see anyone touching Bayern, they just look like the dominant Real that won three in a row, a few years back.

United might end up winning the Europa. I haven’t seen such a poor set of third placed teams dropping from the CL into the EL, in years

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Post by Duty281 Thu 10 Dec 2020, 3:14 pm

Yeah, I agree, should be a Bayern win. The other teams either aren't good enough or aren't consistent enough. Tottenham are probably my favourites to win the Europa, but if they're still in a title race come March they may play the second XI in Europe.

Biggest surprise from the CL group stages was seeing that Inter only got one win from six in a group with Monchengladbach and Shakthar.

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Post by Just John Mon 14 Dec 2020, 12:35 pm

CL last-16 draw

Borussia Monchengladbach v Manchester City
Lazio v Bayern Munich
Atletico Madrid v Chelsea
RB Leipzig v Liverpool
Porto v Juventus
Barcelona v Paris St-Germain
Sevilla v Borussia Dortmund
Atalanta v Real Madrid

Europa League draw

Wolfsberger v Tottenham
Dynamo Kyiv v Club Brugge
Real Sociedad v Manchester United
Benfica v Arsenal
Red Star Belgrade v AC Milan
Royal Antwerp v Rangers
Slavia Prague v Leicester
Salzburg v Villarreal
Braga v Roma
Krasnodar v Dinamo Zagreb
Young Boys v Bayer Leverkusen
Molde v Hoffenheim
Granada v Napoli
Maccabi Tel-Aviv v Shakhtar Donetsk
Lille v Ajax
Olympiakos v PSV Eindhoven

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Post by Duty281 Mon 14 Dec 2020, 3:51 pm

Tie of the round is probably Atletico-Chelsea, maybe Leipzig-Liverpool. Can't see PSG having too many problems with Barcelona in the Catalans' present state.

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Post by Duty281 Tue 16 Feb 2021, 8:43 am

Champions League resumes tonight. All three English clubs remaining will be playing their away legs on neutral ground, which makes things a little different. Difficult to see either Liverpool or Chelsea getting through, though City should be quite comfortable.

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Post by Dolphin Ziggler Tue 16 Feb 2021, 6:31 pm

The process of playing two-legged ties during all this seemed insane, but then one leg being at a neutral ground made me question where I thought the line of insanity was.

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Post by Duty281 Tue 16 Feb 2021, 9:52 pm

Leipzig gift Liverpool two goals through shocking errors, while missing a multitude of chances at the other end. And PSG smash Barcelona by four goals to one.

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Post by JDizzle Tue 23 Feb 2021, 10:03 pm

Excellent win for Chelsea. 1-0 and the away goal. Atletico were very poor and it’ll be interesting to see how they play chasing the game in the next leg. Certainly not their strength.

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Post by Duty281 Tue 23 Feb 2021, 10:13 pm

Yes, very good result for Chelsea. Bayern tore apart Lazio in the other tie, that one is certainly over!

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Post by Duty281 Tue 09 Mar 2021, 10:44 pm

Fantastic second leg between Juventus and Porto, doubt we'll see a better CL game all season. Great attacking football from both sides with Porto's gutsy counter-attacking completing an unlikely victory on away goals, despite playing 70 minutes with a man down and having to defend to the last ditch. Pepe was top quality.

Full of incident and contentious decisions - I felt the Dutch referee was sensational in a heated game.

It's more disappointment for Juventus who again fall short in the CL, and their run as Serie A champions is also likely to end this season. All Serie A teams, too, are set to be knocked out before the QF stages.

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Post by 88Chris05 Wed 10 Mar 2021, 10:41 am

I think poor recruitment is coming back to bite Juventus now. That side which Ronaldo joined in 2018 was already a little long in the tooth, with quite a few players the wrong side of 30 and already regressing a little from that team which made those Champions League finals in 2015 and 2017.

They'd racked up a boatload of Serie A titles and of course the Champions League was the final frontier, so given Ronaldo's incredible form in the competition for the previous few years I can see why they thought it was a chance too good to pass up in 2018. But in hindsight it looks like they might have been better off investing that £100m transfer fee (not to mention all those millions for his astronomical wages) more evenly throughout the squad to address the gradual decline, rather than just hoping a guy in his mid thirties could come in, paper over the cracks and just inspire them to Champions League glory.

Does Ronaldo regret the move? Possibly. But surely a few more of the top brass at Juventus must wonder if it was the smart move in the long run. They put a hell of a lot of their financial eggs into one basket with Ronaldo and, despite his inevitably fantastic goals return, it hasn't quite had the desired effect - and as a result they're now stuck with crud like Ramsey on something like 350k a week as the rest of their squad continues to age.
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Post by Duty281 Wed 10 Mar 2021, 6:07 pm

The bloated Champions League set to become an even greater monstrosity.

"Instead of eight groups of four playing six games each as is currently the case, all teams would play 10 matches against opponents of varying strengths and decided on each club's Uefa ranking.

Results in these matches would form an overall table which, along with some two-legged play-offs, would determine qualification for the post-Christmas knockout rounds."


https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/56325695

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Post by GSC Thu 11 Mar 2021, 7:37 am

As ever the big teams in Europe are intent on pulling up the ladder and ensuring they can never be challenged by better ran clubs who don't have access to their resources
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Post by Duty281 Wed 17 Mar 2021, 10:27 pm

Porto, Dortmund, Bayern, PSG, Liverpool, City, Chelsea, Real all through to the Quarter-Finals. Could have some good ties there.

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Post by Eyetoldyouso Thu 18 Mar 2021, 11:26 am

Duty281 wrote:Champions League resumes tonight. All three English clubs remaining will be playing their away legs on neutral ground, which makes things a little different. Difficult to see either Liverpool or Chelsea getting through, though City should be quite comfortable.

Difficult this forecasting business, isn't it?

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Post by Duty281 Thu 18 Mar 2021, 11:46 am

Eyetoldyouso wrote:
Duty281 wrote:Champions League resumes tonight. All three English clubs remaining will be playing their away legs on neutral ground, which makes things a little different. Difficult to see either Liverpool or Chelsea getting through, though City should be quite comfortable.

Difficult this forecasting business, isn't it?

Sometimes, yes! Leipzig pretty much gifted Liverpool the tie with individual errors, while Chelsea look a side transformed (in a good way) under Tuchel, and Atletico were well off the level I expected them to be (even though they're currently leading La Liga).

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Post by Afro Thu 18 Mar 2021, 3:22 pm

Duty281 wrote:Porto, Dortmund, Bayern, PSG, Liverpool, City, Chelsea, Real all through to the Quarter-Finals. Could have some good ties there.

My guess for the draw (because I'm bored)

Bayern v Porto
Liverpool v Chelsea
Real v PSG
City v Dortmund


Anyone else having a go?
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Post by GSC Thu 18 Mar 2021, 3:26 pm

I'd enjoy
Liverpool Dortmund
Chelsea PSG
City Porto (max possibilities for Pep to overcomplicate)
Bayern Real
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Post by Duty281 Thu 18 Mar 2021, 8:50 pm

1st leg: Tottenham 2-0 Zagreb
2nd leg: Zagreb 3-0 Tottenham AET.

A leading contender for one of the greatest Spursy results.

As for the CL draw, I'd love Porto to draw Dortmund, then we'd be guaranteed three cracking ties in the other games.

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Post by GSC Fri 19 Mar 2021, 11:20 am

Chelsea Porto
City Dortmund
PSG Bayern
Real Liverpool

Pretty meh draw tbh
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Post by Duty281 Fri 19 Mar 2021, 11:58 am

And the semi-final draw is:

Bayern Munich or Paris St-Germain v Manchester City or Borussia Dortmund

Real Madrid or Liverpool v Porto or Chelsea

One weaker half and one much stronger half, with arguably the three strongest teams (City, Bayern, PSG) all lumped together. All those teams in the lower half will fancy making it to the final.

Real Madrid and Liverpool should be a very close tie with both teams far from their best, and while Chelsea are favourites to get past Porto, the Portuguese club have the counter-attacking style to trouble Chelsea. City should be comfortable against Dortmund.

Bayern v PSG clearly the tie of the round. I'm glad the two best teams in Europe have a two-leg matchup to settle it. Still favouring the Bavarian club to go all the way and win it again.

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Post by Duty281 Tue 06 Apr 2021, 4:34 pm

Huge boost for Liverpool ahead of tonight's first leg with both Ramos and Varane out for Madrid, as well as Hazard and Carvajal.

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Post by Duty281 Tue 06 Apr 2021, 9:53 pm

Staggeringly naïve performance from Liverpool, far too open and expansive. Klopp got the team selection and the tactics wrong. Some Liverpool players, Trent especially, had a shocking game. But at 3-1 they're not quite out of it.

City just about scraped out a lead, Foden with a last minute winner.

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Post by GSC Wed 07 Apr 2021, 8:57 am

Maybe they rescue themselves, but they looked out of their depth and ready for an overhaul. No fans at Anfield and Real should have more than enough experience to see it out.

This is the kind of tie City usually implode in, so it's set up pretty well for the reverse leg.
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Post by Duty281 Wed 07 Apr 2021, 9:54 pm

Mad game between Bayern-PSG. The champions battered their opponents all match, but could only score twice. PSG, struggling to win the French league, burgled three goals on the break. Sets up a fantastic second leg.

Chelsea have more than a foot in the semis.

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Post by JDizzle Thu 08 Apr 2021, 7:41 am

Porto played pretty well - at least matched, if not were better than Chelsea for a lot of the game despite missing their top two scorers I believe. I don’t think they are out of it yet.

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Post by Duty281 Tue 13 Apr 2021, 9:56 pm

PSG squeeze through on away goals, knocking out the defending champions. Lewandowski's absence likely the telling factor, overall.

Chelsea also getting through, just about.

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Post by Just John Wed 14 Apr 2021, 8:49 am

Both sides progressing despite home defeats. Can’t see either winning it, given the other half of the draw. CL been a bit drab for a few years now, imo. The fact PSG are now consistent SF’s/Finalists, points to how the standard has dropped around Europe.

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Post by GSC Wed 14 Apr 2021, 9:53 pm

Real do a job on Liverpool at Anfield.

Looked dicey for City before Can headed onto his arm
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