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Julius

Football Season 2021/22

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We deservedly got thrown out of the tourney. We've been playing like shit for a few weeks now. It worked out in the league with a little luck, but it's not nearly enough for international tournaments :nono: 

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So if Chelsea could have acquitted themselves better at home...
...looks like Roman was unable to buy them one last trophy! :grin: 

Poor Bayern. Didn't see that coming despite them not having much strength in depth these days. Someone (was it Don Hutchinson?) said it was 50-50 but I thought that was just to make it sound like the tie wasn't over because I certainly didn't give Villareal a chance. Funny old game. 

Liverpool and City need to do the biz tonight because if it's three Spanish sides + one Portuguese in the last four, we'll never hear the end of it from the Pokémon fans. 

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Posted (edited)

Fair play to City, very composed and rode their luck with their defending today at times (one of the more composed defensive performances against Atlético I think we've seen this late into the competition in a while), but managed to see it through. One of the more entertaining 0-0's I've seen in a long time. 

You only had to watch the first 15 minutes of the game to know exactly how the last 15 minutes would go: the ref's decision to not even card Felipe after drawing blood from Foden's head set the tone for the entire match, and he just let things go too many times, so it's no surprise where the game went, pretty much summed up by Llorente shoving Aké at Ederson while he was prone. Savic was brilliant at the start of the game, but man did he show his ugly side as the match went on (not for the first time, either), and Felipe's second swing at Foden after a really good initial tackle followed by Savic's actions were just appalling (apparently you can start a bust-up, headbutt someone,  yank someone's hair and just get a yellow, brilliant); fair play to Zinchenko for rushing in. Definitely spotted a bruise on Stones, apparently the BT guys saw a headbutt, and Savic supposedly followed Grealish down the tunnel. What the hell is it with us Birmingham folks not being able to lose unwanted attention? 

City were on top the first half, but Atlético really came into their own by the 60th minute, and really started dominating - City were definitely holding on for dear life at times, and like I said before, definitely rode their luck. It's always fascinating to watch Simeone conduct the Metropolitano in the way he does, the way he riles up the officials (him winding everyone up and then screaming at Savic while standing ten yards into the pitch to "calm things down" is peak Simeone), the way he gets his team really going – basically a younger Mourinho with a knife between his teeth. 

Interesting hearing about the Liverpool game secondhand while watching the City match, look forward to catching those highlights, but really enjoyed these second legs in the quarter-finals.

Liverpool will naturally be favourites against Villarreal, but never underestimate Emery's ability to get a knockout result in Europe, and City vs Real is going to be very interesting: on paper you'd say City should walk away with it, but Real were 3-0 down with 15 minutes left last night and turned it around through their experience coming to the fore. I could see them using Fernandinho to land some hits on Modric and Kroos, but I don't think City have the right midfield to really kill the flow and experience of Real's core, so I think they're better off focusing on their strengths rather than trying to find ways to exploit Real's. 

Semi-finals will hopefully be great :D

Edited by Julius

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Congrats, @Kav and @Julius

Chelsea v Liverpool final should be a cracker.

I was happy that the Toon got a last gasp goal today. It pretty much secures their premiership survival. Eddie Howe was a fantastic appointment for them. They needed someone to come in and just steady the ship and that's exactly what he's done.

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2 hours ago, Hero-of-Time said:

Congrats, @Kav and @Julius

Chelsea v Liverpool final should be a cracker.

Hopefully we don’t get done over by the match/VAR officials this time. :cheeky:

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13 hours ago, Hero-of-Time said:

I was happy that the Toon got a last gasp goal today. It pretty much secures their premiership survival. Eddie Howe was a fantastic appointment for them. They needed someone to come in and just steady the ship and that's exactly what he's done.

I feel if any of the bottom three had splashed ~100 mill in the January transfer window they'd have got out of danger. :indeed: 

Forgot Chelsea was still in the FA Cup. :woops: They've nothing else left to play for this season so I expect they'll be ready to bring it in the final.

10 hours ago, Kav said:

Hopefully we don’t get done over by the match/VAR officials this time. :cheeky:

As shown by Benfica, the Liverpool offside trap can be sprung if you keep on it. 

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We all know Lukaku was onside in that Carabao Cup Final!

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Man U have been awful in this first half. There's so much space for us to play between them and the players just don't looked bothered at all. Now watch them stage an epic comeback in the second half.

I'd love to hear what an unfiltered Neville has to say about them.

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Just hearing the disgust in his voice every time he talks about Man U is enough for me 😆

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2 minutes ago, Happenstance said:

Just hearing the disgust in his voice every time he talks about Man U is enough for me 😆

You can tell he just wants to go on a huge rant. Must be awful for him to watch how bad Man U have been in recent years. 

Phil Jones looked like he was about to have a heart attack with all the running he's had to do.

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Should really have filled their boots in the first half with Phil Jones on. 

Liverpool need to stay on it in the second and not give them a sniff.

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Lovely stuff. Bit shakey at the start of the second half but we finished them off nicely. Shame we couldn't get a fifth. :D 

Bruno should have been sent off for that filthy tackle.

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Close, well fought match between two clubs at the top of their game. Touch and go there at the end but I think we just about deserved it.

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Despite their league position, playing against Everton was always going to be a tough game. First half was very rough and even at 1-0 things didn't looked settled. Thankfully, Origi was there to save the day. 

Everton in the relegation zone. Love it. :D 

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It was clear when Real were struggling to get the ball out of their own defensive third of the pitch that they were in for some pain, but man, they could very easily find themselves on the end of a demolition job tonight. 

It's already 2-0. Carlo does not look amused :p

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1 hour ago, Julius said:

It was clear when Real were struggling to get the ball out of their own defensive third of the pitch that they were in for some pain, but man, they could very easily find themselves on the end of a demolition job tonight. 

It's already 2-0. Carlo does not look amused :p

This post has aged well. :o 

K9, Karim the dream, whatever you wanna call him, Pep's gonna have to reconsider if going Brazil vs Brazil in the blind hope of edging this 10-9 on aggregate will work out. Would maybe rather go down all guns a-blazing instead of overthink it and end up on the wrong side of a tonking. Bloomin 'eck.

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Posted (edited)

Terrific match of football, and it's one of those matches of football that's an instant classic, but what a terrible advert for defending at the top level by both sides. Some astonishing moments of skill, though, such as Mahrez's dummy and slide to the line, I was screaming at my TV that he should have chipped it, should've been one for the highlight reel! And Valverde's reverse flick to nutmeg with his back to the play and at the edge of the pitch was a thing of beauty. 

City were impervious in the first 25 minutes and the opening 10 minutes of the second half, and across those 35 minutes of the match, they absolutely could have killed the tie - not the leg, but the tie - off. They had the chances to, and they'll be ruing not killing this game off when they had the chance, not to mention just how sloppy they were at the back at times, practically inviting Madrid into the game. Pep will rightly be fuming. 

But when Real arrives, they really arrive - all of their goals were instantly memorable classics. Benzema's wonderful instinctive volley, Vinicius's excellent dummy and embarrassment of the City defence with his pace to sneak one past Ederson (though it was very poorly defended), and obviously Benzema's Panenka was pure class. They did ride their luck at times, for sure, especially considering that you didn't really notice the absence of a player like Alaba at the back once he came off, when you feel City really should have taken advantage of that. And what a great range of emotions shown by Ancelotti throughout :laughing:

Quick shout out to the ref: that's one of the better refereeing performances I've seen in a while, and the commentators were saying he's inexperienced at this level of the competition, and well, I think he should be seriously considered to ref the final. Didn't let anything go, but played the advantage really well at times. 

Second leg next week should be a cracker. Liverpool vs Villarreal has a lot to live up to tomorrow night :p

Edited by Julius

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Mino Raiola, agent to a huge list of talent (Ibra, Haaland, Pogba, Verratti, and de Ligt to name a few) and arguably the biggest agent currently working in football alongside Jorge Mendes, has passed away at 54:

Been a rollercoaster of a story the last few days with some claiming he had passed before an outright denial, and then this. Say what you will about his agent fees/add-ons, he knew how he valued himself, and it's always a shock to lose anyone at just 54. 

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I hate football. I wish I didn't care this much 😖

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The difference between the first leg and tonight is absurd, Liverpool looked totally shell shocked in that first half. 

I would expect Liverpool to improve after half time but Villarreal have got their fans bouncing so it is pretty difficult to look past them winning this, even if Liverpool can nick a goal.

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Posted (edited)

Villarreal looked exhausted from the off in this second half, not surprised Liverpool have pegged them back with how sluggish they've been since coming out of the tunnel. We'll see what happens in the remaining 20'+, but it's not looking great - shame as well, because they did such a good job of sticking it to Liverpool in the first half. Hopefully whoever Liverpool face in the final (if nothing crazy happens) is taking notes. 

One of those games where Liverpool's match fitness and experience from regularly going deep into this competition now and pulling out late results has played perfectly in their favour with Villarreal's relative inexperience and fitness at this stage. Reminds me a lot of how steeply Atlético fell off in the 13/14 final against Real as the match went on. 

EDIT: embarrassing for Villarreal now, I do feel for them. But that's football. What the hell happened in that changing room at half-time? It's like they've had their wings clipped. 

Edited by Julius

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