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Tiki-Taka

Guest
So Barcelona will face Napoli in the last 16. Our opponents surprisingly sacked Carlo Ancelotti hours after they qualified to the knockout stage and replaced him with former Milan midfielder Gennaro Gattuso, who was coached by Ancelotti. Strange decision from Napoli to say the least.



Napoli won 4 out of 6 points in the group stages against defending champions Liverpool, so that's another warning for Barca to be prepared. We already saw a couple of seasons ago in Rome that Serie A is not entirely about Juve these days, some teams are no pushovers either. The good thing is the first leg is in Italy. I just wish we could always play the 2nd leg at home. Our chances increase rather noticeably when that happens. Or I just don't trust the guys after the way they went out in the past two Champions League tournaments.

Valencia have a very realistic shot at reaching the quarterfinal and I hope they make it, remind us of their good old days in early 2000s.

One would think on paper that City should win this. But it's Real Madrid in the Champions League, an immensely dangerous opponent, while City still haven't achieved something of note on this level. Hope Pep and his players do well in this tie though.

Don't trust Atletico. Last season they had a great performance in the first leg against Juventus but were nowhere to be seen in the second, and Cristiano imposed himself the way he knows. Liverpool will bring even more heat at Anfield.

Good luck, Chelsea kids. Do the same thing to the Germans you did back in 2012. Listen to the manager, who was a very important member of that triumphant side. ;)
 

Poisoned Slice

Bionic Poster
I don't find the Ancelotti deal that surprising. Napoli was supposed to kick on but find themselves battling Milan and Parma for 8-10 position in the Serie A table.

Let's go, Atalanta.
 
T

Tiki-Taka

Guest
In the Europa League, Getafe have a very difficult challenge as they will face Ajax.

Our city rivals Espanyol are currently bottom of La Liga, but they topped their group. They drew Premier League side Wolves.

Sevilla will play Cluj.
I don't find the Ancelotti deal that surprising. Napoli was supposed to kick on but find themselves battling Milan and Parma for 8-10 position in the Serie A table.

Let's go, Atalanta.
Meant to say the timing of the decision was surprising. On the same evening when they qualified to the last 16. Not a good look. Just like when Ranieri was fired by Leicester after the first leg where they lost only narrowly to Sevilla. They turned the tie around at home under a new manager.
 

Poisoned Slice

Bionic Poster
Definitely some tasty matches. I'm not with Atalanta or anything but keep my eyes on them because it is surprising to see Atalanta there.

In the Europa League, Getafe have a very difficult challenge as they will face Ajax.

Our city rivals Espanyol are currently bottom of La Liga, but they topped their group. They drew Premier League side Wolves.

Sevilla will play Cluj.

Meant to say the timing of the decision was surprising. On the same evening when they qualified to the last 16. Not a good look. Just like when Ranieri was fired by Leicester after the first leg where they lost only narrowly to Sevilla. They turned the tie around at home under a new manager.
Yeah, I agree it is not the best look.

I can remember a point last season when Espanyol was not that far behind Barcelona in the league. I think I joked about them taking over Barcelona. Obviously, things change but to hear they are rock bottom is a surprise. Wolves seem to be coming up in the world. Not a bad side.
 

Feña14

Legend
So Barcelona will face Napoli in the last 16. Our opponents surprisingly sacked Carlo Ancelotti hours after they qualified to the knockout stage and replaced him with former Milan midfielder Gennaro Gattuso, who was coached by Ancelotti. Strange decision from Napoli to say the least.



Napoli won 4 out of 6 points in the group stages against defending champions Liverpool, so that's another warning for Barca to be prepared. We already saw a couple of seasons ago in Rome that Serie A is not entirely about Juve these days, some teams are no pushovers either. The good thing is the first leg is in Italy. I just wish we could always play the 2nd leg at home. Our chances increase rather noticeably when that happens. Or I just don't trust the guys after the way they went out in the past two Champions League tournaments.

Valencia have a very realistic shot at reaching the quarterfinal and I hope they make it, remind us of their good old days in early 2000s.

One would think on paper that City should win this. But it's Real Madrid in the Champions League, an immensely dangerous opponent, while City still haven't achieved something of note on this level. Hope Pep and his players do well in this tie though.

Don't trust Atletico. Last season they had a great performance in the first leg against Juventus but were nowhere to be seen in the second, and Cristiano imposed himself the way he knows. Liverpool will bring even more heat at Anfield.

Good luck, Chelsea kids. Do the same thing to the Germans you did back in 2012. Listen to the manager, who was a very important member of that triumphant side. ;)
5 must watch ties, the other 3 have the potential to be great ones too. We’ve been spoilt!

Yes, Lampard knows how’s to beat Bayern in that stadium. I’m not really expecting to go through, I’m looking at it as an opportunity to learn for the years ahead. Much like the dip in the league at the moment, some of the players haven’t even played in the Premier League before. Running out of steam, learning to handle the slog over the winter months, breaking down teams parking the bus, how to handle top European sides in the knockout rounds.. all vital things they need to suffer and grow from if they’re going to be an elite side in 2-3 years time when they enter their prime playing days.

Embrace the difficult times as much as the great performances! I’ve enjoyed both sides of the coin this year. It so much more satisfying as a fan than expecting to win every game and picking a few top players to sign out of a hat when things aren’t going well. I’m sure expectations will be sky high in a couple of years time, which will be fun, but I’ll look back on these times with great fondness.
 
T

Tiki-Taka

Guest
Definitely some tasty matches. I'm not with Atalanta or anything but keep my eyes on them because it is surprising to see Atalanta there.



Yeah, I agree it is not the best look.

I can remember a point last season when Espanyol was not that far behind Barcelona in the league. I think I joked about them taking over Barcelona. Obviously, things change but to hear they are rock bottom is a surprise. Wolves seem to be coming up in the world. Not a bad side.
Yes, Barcelona and Espanyol were in top two positions at one point last season. Maybe after ten games or so. It was a nice look at the table even though I obviously don't like Espanyol.

Strange how quickly things can collapse. Espanyol are just the most recent example. Malaga were in the Champions League quarterfinal in 2013, could have made it to the semifinal as well. Five years later they were relegated to Segunda. Villarreal also suffered something similar, back in 2006 Riquelme missed a penalty to tie the Champions League semifinal against Arsenal, we could have had an all Spanish final back then. Then they were relegated in 2012. They got back immediately and qualified for Europe regularly until last season when they narrowly avoided another relegation.

Atletico Madrid were in Segunda back when Deportivo won La Liga nearly two decades ago. Deportivo were in Segunda when Atletico won La Liga in 2014, and now sit rock bottom of Segunda. Long term guarantees just don't exist...
 

Poisoned Slice

Bionic Poster
5 must watch ties, the other 3 have the potential to be great ones too. We’ve been spoilt!

Yes, Lampard knows how’s to beat Bayern in that stadium. I’m not really expecting to go through, I’m looking at it as an opportunity to learn for the years ahead. Much like the dip in the league at the moment, some of the players haven’t even played in the Premier League before. Running out of steam, learning to handle the slog over the winter months, breaking down teams parking the bus, how to handle top European sides in the knockout rounds.. all vital things they need to suffer and grow from if they’re going to be an elite side in 2-3 years time when they enter their prime playing days.

Embrace the difficult times as much as the great performances! I’ve enjoyed both sides of the coin this year. It so much more satisfying as a fan than expecting to win every game and picking a few top players to sign out of a hat when things aren’t going well. I’m sure expectations will be sky high in a couple of years time, which will be fun, but I’ll look back on these times with great fondness.
Difficult to embrace some of the difficult times. I do look back at Leeds' title win with some fondness now though, just because childhood and all that. The collapse in the league then the domination begins the season after. I'm happier than I was a couple of weeks ago. Does seem to be an actual philosophy in place now, that big picture stuff, yeah. Guess we will find out soon enough if it is for real. Maybe even next month if we buy a +30 striker. Greenwood looks to be becoming a player now so that is competition for Rashford. Really think the only thing we are lacking is an attacking midfielder. Fingers crossed.
 

Poisoned Slice

Bionic Poster
I wasn't really that down about the result yesterday. At the start we wasted a lot and then it turned into one of the typical present United performances of not creating anything clean cut. Greenwood, yes, him again, he came on and saved the day. Maybe it is time to rest James. Everton going through their change was a boost for them. Not the worst result in the world.
 

Poisoned Slice

Bionic Poster
That man Carlo again. Returning to the premier league. He has agreed on a deal to become the new Everton manager. It says that Duncan Ferguson will be in charge against Leicester on Wednesday and will then remain part of the coaching team.
 

Doctor/Lawyer Red Devil

Talk Tennis Guru
Don't think I have ever seen Barca play this bad in El Clasico. :confused:

They woke up a bit in the final 10 minutes or so, had some good chances themselves. Hope they step up in the second half.
 

Doctor/Lawyer Red Devil

Talk Tennis Guru
Rashford scored in a 3-0 win against Colchester. A career best season in front of goal, and it's only December. Well done boy! (y)

Manchester derby in the Carabao cup semifinal. Leicester and Villa are the other pair.
 

FRV2

Hall of Fame
Watched my first El Clasico today. Very impressed with Real Madrid. As a Barcelona Messi fan, I think we escaped a tough one, but this leaves doubts as to whether we can make a run in the Champions League.
 
T

Tiki-Taka

Guest
The most eventful decade in history of El Clasico games finished with a 0-0 draw. The first one in this match up since 2002.

I felt like needing a shower urgently after witnessing that performance. No fluidity, losing possession too easily, for any standard. And the even more criminal thing, struggling to get it back, allowing the rivals to approach way too easily for the most part. All the things that were main Barcelona weapons were nowhere to be seen last night. At Camp Nou of all places! That was an absolute embarrassment, especially considering the great run the team was on at home domestically.

Real should have won it. Dominated the first half, and they didn't retreat in the second. They had a goal ruled out, looked like a tight offside call. Barcelona created some chances but everyone was wasteful with the end product in those moments. Both teams had a goal line clearance as well. Forgettable game considering the standards that Barca and Madrid have set when playing each other. The balls thrown on the pitch right before the hour mark was almost as interesting as the game, and all that tension that was building up ever since this match was postponed two months ago, the incidents outside the stadium prior the game, it all disappeared yesterday when the game started. Sad...

I swear if Valverde achieves La Liga threepeat it would be the most deceiving managerial success ever. At this point I am mostly hoping to see his back and for Koeman (or, in my fantasies, Pep) to replace him, as much as I hope for the league to stay here. The way this is going, Zidane's men have just as much of a chance to win it.

Barcelona and Real Madrid remain level on points. Goal difference in our favor by three. One game left in 2019, at home against Alaves on Saturday. Then it's a short winter break. Lord knows I need one from this frustrating year football wise. And some guys need to sort themselves out. This isn't going anywhere at the moment.
 

Poisoned Slice

Bionic Poster
Arteta to Arsenal is done. Best of luck to the Rangers fan favourite. Big task on for sure: making Arsenal great again. Heard so much good stuff about his coaching. Now time to put it to the test as the number one.
 

Poisoned Slice

Bionic Poster
I see it as a no-risk no reward situation. They tried the hyped-up foreign coach deal after Wenger and it was a huge failure. Time to give the up and comer the chance. We shall see.
 

Poisoned Slice

Bionic Poster
''Have you heard the one about the St Mirren chairman who declared in a tribunal over the sacking of Sir Alex Ferguson that the Scot had "no managerial ability".


''How about Carlo Ancelotti? Sacked by Parma after famously deciding that he could find no way to accommodate the talents of Roberto Baggio in his system. (I know this is meant to be a post talking about not judging managers too early, but not finding a place for Roberto Baggio is a sin. -100 sins. DING)

It is pretty much a pointless article though. Preaching to the choir. Times have changed. 3-6 games and you're done presently.
 

Poisoned Slice

Bionic Poster
Extra time coming in the world championship final. 0-0. Firmino finally puts Liverpool in front.

Man City showed their class and won 3-1. Jesus' first goal at home in the league since January. That is pretty crazy.
 
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T

Tiki-Taka

Guest
Shame, I was really hoping Flamengo could pull it off when they got to extra time. But Liverpool have won an annoyingly high number of close matches/ties this year, so I shouldn't have expected anything different. At least the world champion insignia is finally off Real Madrid's shirt after three years. About time...

Barcelona sign off in 2019 with a 4-1 win over Deportivo Alaves at Camp Nou.

Before the game, a tribute was paid to our team that achieved a complete sweep of titles - the sextuple (La Liga, Copa del Rey, Champions League, Supercopa de España, UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup) in 2009. The 10 year anniversary was yesterday, exactly a decade after the day when Pedro's late header lob equalizer and Messi's extra time winner with his chest against Estudiantes sealed our first ever intercontinental/club world cup trophy, one of the most emotional days in FC Barcelona history.

Since then, Barca have been the only club in men's football to achieve this feat.



As for the game, Griezmann opened the scoring with a first time right foot finish after Suarez's return ball wasn't cleared, while a nice quick move with short passes was finished by Vidal from tighter angle for a 2-0 lead at halftime. When it looked like it was going to be a cruise, Pons' header at the beginning of the second half gave a big confidence boost for Alaves who narrowly missed out on an equalizer from a counter attack and a corner. Fortunately Leo ensured a calm finish with yet another beautiful goal outside the penalty area while he was surrounded by four players. That strike meant he has scored 50 in a calendar year for a ninth time now. And just a few minutes later, Suarez won the penalty when his header attempt was blocked by the defender's elbow. He took it himself and scored. MSG have done their job for the fourth time this season. And on Luis' individual note, this was his 10th goal in La Liga this season, meaning he has hit double digits in the league in all of his fifteen seasons as a senior professional, with only the first one being outside Europe. He is now just four away from breaking into Barcelona's top three goalscorers, and it wouldn't be wise to bet against him doing it next month already. He remains valuable.

No football for us until the 4th of January when we will play currently last placed Espanyol. Then a bizarre Supercup awaits in Arabia, where we won't be playing the cup winner for the trophy like it is the traditional format, but this time there are four participants. Barca will play Atletico in one semifinal, Valencia will play Real in the other. What a poor way of ruining what was a perfectly fine season opener of our football.

Barcelona will finish 2019 on top of the table, unless Real Madrid win by seven goals tomorrow. As I said after Wednesday's awful match against Real Madrid, this season won't end well the way it is going, certainly won't in the Champions League at least. If I am being honest I am more happy and hopeful right now than I was in August-September, but it's impossible for me to see the team end this season's marathon on a high (except in La Liga where we will always have a chance).


On a non-serious note, I was wondering @Poisoned Slice , could you be the one behind this little piece of art? The series that combine with football here are your thing, no? :p

 
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Poisoned Slice

Bionic Poster
Shame, I was really hoping Flamengo could pull it off when they got to extra time. But Liverpool have won an annoyingly high number of close matches/ties this year, so I shouldn't have expected anything different. At least the world champion insignia is finally off Real Madrid's shirt after three years. About time...

Barcelona sign off in 2019 with a 4-1 win over Deportivo Alaves at Camp Nou.

Before the game, a tribute was paid to our team that achieved a complete sweep of titles - the sextuple (La Liga, Copa del Rey, Champions League, Supercopa de España, UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup) in 2009. The 10 year anniversary was yesterday, exactly a decade after the day when Pedro's late header lob equalizer and Messi's extra time winner with his chest against Estudiantes sealed our first ever intercontinental/club world cup trophy, one of the most emotional days in FC Barcelona history.

Since then, Barca have been the only club in men's football to achieve this feat.



As for the game, Griezmann opened the scoring with a first time right foot finish after Suarez's return ball wasn't cleared, while a nice quick move with short passes was finished by Vidal from tighter angle for a 2-0 lead at halftime. When it looked like it was going to be a cruise, Pons' header at the beginning of the second half gave a big confidence boost for Alaves who narrowly missed out on an equalizer from a counter attack and a corner. Fortunately Leo ensured a calm finish with yet another beautiful goal outside the penalty area while he was surrounded by four players. That strike meant he has scored 50 in a calendar year for a ninth time now. And just a few minutes later, Suarez won the penalty when his header attempt was blocked by the defender's elbow. He took it himself and scored. MSG have done their job for the fourth time this season. And on Luis' individual note, this was his 10th goal in La Liga this season, meaning he has hit double digits in the league in all of his fifteen seasons as a senior professional, with only the first one being outside Europe. He is now just four away from breaking into Barcelona's top three goalscorers, and it wouldn't be wise to bet against him doing it next month already. He remains valuable.

No football for us until the 4th of January when we will play currently last placed Espanyol. Then a bizarre Supercup awaits in Arabia, where we won't be playing the cup winner for the trophy like it is the traditional format, but this time there are four participants. Barca will play Atletico in one semifinal, Valencia will play Real in the other. What a poor way of ruining what was a perfectly fine season opener of our football.

Barcelona will finish 2019 on top of the table, unless Real Madrid win by seven goals tomorrow. As I said after Wednesday's awful match against Real Madrid, this season won't end well the way it is going, certainly won't in the Champions League at least. If I am being honest I am more happy and hopeful right now than I was in August-September, but it's impossible for me to see the team end this season's marathon on a high (except in La Liga where we will always have a chance).


On a non-serious note, I was wondering @Poisoned Slice , could you be the one behind this little piece of art? The series that combine with football here are your thing, no? :p

I love it but it is too classy to be one of mine. :p
 

Poisoned Slice

Bionic Poster
I seem to remember a time when players got dropped for not performing. I'm not talking 5-6 games, this here is more like 3-4 years. Lingard 1 on 1 with the keeper, you already know the result. Lingard misses.
 

Poisoned Slice

Bionic Poster
Guaranteed 3 points then!
You can count on it. :p This is a quite brutal viewing. Yeah, I know, this is what we have come to expect from United. Still stings getting so outclassed by Watford. De Gea looking to be back on form and then this happens. I don't think I have ever been so confident about a penalty going in than when they scored there to make it 2-0.
 
T

Tiki-Taka

Guest
So, 13 points earned against Liverpool, City, Leicester, Chelsea and Tottenham, and 12 points earned against the rest.

At this point I think Manchester United would be more likely to win the Champions League than the English Championship.
 

Poisoned Slice

Bionic Poster
So, 13 points earned against Liverpool, City, Leicester, Chelsea and Tottenham, and 12 points earned against the rest.

At this point I think Manchester United would be more likely to win the Champions League than the English Championship.
Your old mate Gerard Deulofeu is terrorizing us this afternoon.
 

Feña14

Legend
You can count on it. :p This is a quite brutal viewing. Yeah, I know, this is what we have come to expect from United. Still stings getting so outclassed by Watford. De Gea looking to be back on form and then this happens. I don't think I have ever been so confident about a penalty going in than when they scored there to make it 2-0.
I can’t remember seeing anything like it. A team who, without fail, outplays the top teams in Europe.. yet get destroyed by anyone lower than 6th. Makes no sense at all.

My Dad is at Spurs v Chelsea later. Braving London at Christmas is brutal, hopefully it’ll be worth it.
 

Poisoned Slice

Bionic Poster
I can’t remember seeing anything like it. A team who, without fail, outplays the top teams in Europe.. yet get destroyed by anyone lower than 6th. Makes no sense at all.

My Dad is at Spurs v Chelsea later. Braving London at Christmas is brutal, hopefully it’ll be worth it.
Must have enjoyed the first 20 minutes or so. Chelsea is completely dominating this game. Spurs struggling to put a few passes together.
 

Feña14

Legend
Must have enjoyed the first 20 minutes or so. Chelsea is completely dominating this game. Spurs struggling to put a few passes together.
First 45 minutes have been incredible. Flawless from Chelsea.

I won’t speak too soon though, from the sublime to the ridiculous is always a possibility with this very young side.
 

Poisoned Slice

Bionic Poster
Son playing the I'm such a nice guy routine. Glad to have VAR for these situations. Clear red, my son. That was a frustrating angry kick at the opponent. No amount of pleading is gonna help ya, son.
 

Feña14

Legend
Son playing the I'm such a nice guy routine. Glad to have VAR for these situations. Clear red, my son. That was a frustrating angry kick at the opponent. No amount of pleading is gonna help ya, son.
In Home Alone season, Spurs have lost their Son.

Clear red card, bit of a Beckham ‘98 feel to it. Shame the Spurs fans have resulted to racist chants and throwing things onto the pitch.
 

Poisoned Slice

Bionic Poster
In Home Alone season, Spurs have lost their Son.

Clear red card, bit of a Beckham ‘98 feel to it. Shame the Spurs fans have resulted to racist chants and throwing things onto the pitch.
Can't beat a good pun, Son. haha OK, I'll stop now. Great game for you after the recent hiccups. You made Spurs kiss the ring today. The thoughts of Beckham instantly come to mind after a player lashes out. I just don't like to see a reaction like that. The kick is fine jk, but the whole what did I do? That puts me off.
 

Doctor/Lawyer Red Devil

Talk Tennis Guru
Can't beat a good pun, Son. haha OK, I'll stop now. Great game for you after the recent hiccups. You made Spurs kiss the ring today. The thoughts of Beckham instantly come to mind after a player lashes out. I just don't like to see a reaction like that. The kick is fine jk, but the whole what did I do? That puts me off.
Footballers do that 90% of the time when they get sent off. :D
 
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