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Thread: UEFA Champions League and Europa League

  1. Ninja
    Azerbaijan
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    #1711

    Re: UEFA Champions League and Europa League

    Yes yes yes !!!!!! We wonnnnnn go Qarabagh gooooo!!!

  2. Addict
    Germany
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    #1712

    Re: UEFA Champions League and Europa League

    And the Nightmare goes on.
    I hope that QarabaQ, Astana, Maribor and Basaksehir make it to have a few underdogs, cause its boring with the same Teams every year.
    Likes  Edward liked this post
     

  3. Junkie
    Portugal
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    #1713

    Re: UEFA Champions League and Europa League

    Well that was a disappointing and frustrating match. As I predicted it wasn't easy at all and if it served for any good (other than Steaua's potential benefit) was of silencing those uncultured enough who were already celebrating upon the draw and smugly stating that we'd win by 3 or 4 before the match.

    This was only the 3rd official match of the season for us and with a lot of new faces on the starting 11 (only Coates, Adrien, Gelson and Dost - besides Patrício were on the team last season. And all of the substitutes that came on were new) the players are still getting acquainted with each other. The problem we had on Friday vs. Setúbal went on and despite dominating most of the match we couldn't just find a way to score. There are two reasons for this, first being all due credit to Steaua for defending very well (even if it made for not very attractive football) and being tactically on spot. The other reason is this sense I get that our players get nervous when attacking - nobody wants to take risks and we shoot far less at goal than what we should be doing considering the number of attacking plays.

    Obviously now things are very complicated with all to be decided in Bucharest. It was very important and a key objective to score at least one goal on this match and the team has failed completely at that.

    About the match itself, there weren't that many crucial chances. Our best came from Acuña striking the post still on the first half and Steaua's best chance was Enache's surprising run late into the 2nd half that saw him miss the goal by some meters.

    On our side, I did not like that Coentrão was called to play this match. He's clearly not competitive fit. Our right and left side defenders are again the most worrying positions for the season. I would have liked to have seen Jonathan Silva on Coentrão's place as on the last match but everyone knows the later is an eternal protegée of Jorge Jesus and will play the key games no matter how awful he may have become at this stage of his career. The only "good thing" of not playing Jonathan is that he's a very aggressive young player and for sure would have been booked, if not worse, during this match. But I'd rather have that than nearly losing the match because of that Coentrão slob (Enache's sprint was on his flank).
    As for the right back, Piccini simply is not good enough for the team. His retarded facial expression reflects his value as a player. We got this Ristovski kid from Rijeka that I hope will be stealing the place from him soon enough after he settles into the team (we just got him the other day).
    Mathieu is clearly one of the best signings so far, he's putting Seba Coates into shade and that's not an easy thing to do. Active up front and doesn't fear conducting the ball forward as if he was one of the most gifted playmakers on the pitch.
    On the midfield William was clearly missed today, it would have been a totally different match with him. But we might just lose him for the season so I understand that alternatives need to start being tested. Plus he was suspended.
    Adrien was below his level today, as was Podence. Dost never got a chance (yet again) and from those who came out of the bench Bruno Fernandes was the one who performed the least bad. Doumbia was ok-ish too but it was really impossible to break Steaua's forest dense defense today. Hence why I don't understand the insistence on trying to penetrate into the area. Clearly what was needed today was mid-range shots outside of the box and I just hope this is understood for the 2nd leg, should Steaua defend in a similar way again.

    In overall it was a very disappointing performance and I think if we fail a clear objective like the Champions League group stage that at last some heads will roll. Could very well be the end of Jorge Jesus' tenure at last. It's his 3rd year with the team and he's had more than enough time by now. I really don't see how he'll be excused if we lose out to Steaua next week. Our first season with him was great, we were not champions simply because we were robbed (ended up with same number of points as Benfica on a record year as far as points go). But I don't think that with us being eliminated early into the season from the CL that our president will have the enough patience to hold him for the season. He might even want at a personal level but the outside pressure is huge at this point.

    Obviously crossing my fingers for Bucharest, if we dominate the match as we did today and are more objective with our chances then we should do the expected. However and as I've noted before, the atmosphere in Romania won't be easy. Doubt Steaua will give away as much ball possession on their turf, it will be a much more intensive match. Everyone will be giving their all since a lot of important money is in question, both for the teams and the players.

    As for Steaua, Dica can be proud, the team had an exemplary performance today. I had underlined Enache before the match and today he proved why. Good match, supporting the attack when needed and aggressive enough defending, without crossing the line (that was Acuña's first taste of typical European tough defending actually).
    Alibec was obviously the other man standing out, his shots from far were poisonous and highlighted by the narrators in surprise. He made a very poor decision when he took that shot inside the area though. Had he passed the ball to Tanase as it's obvious that he should have done, perhaps I wouldn't be discussing a draw at this moment but rather a loss.
    Another player that I liked to see today and that I didn't know so well as the previously mentioned players was Golofca. Seems to be a very interesting player even though Steaua did not attack that much. Final shout out to Filipe Teixeira who did play after all, great energy for his age. And the technique of his PSG, Académica and Leiria years is still there.

    At last, a word to the refereeing team. Terrible work tonight. And to think this was the ref of last season's CL final...very amateurish performance by Felix Brych. Exaggerated a lot with cards, almost seemed like he came on a mission to distribute plenty. The most flagrant victim of that was obviously Pintilii, there's no fault at all on his 2nd yellow card so the red card should have not existed. Now Steaua will be unnecessairly deprived of one of it's best players. The first yellow he got was absolutely called for though. I think that moment where he had physical contact with Gelson inside the box was much more quickly worthy of yellow, even though it was not clear if the charge was strong enough to cause a penalty (it's one of the things being discussed but as no one is protesting too strongly I suppose that in the end the ref got this one right at least).
    Another moment being discussed is when Larie touches the ball with the hand inside the area on the first half. The TV images are not clear enough however. Some say it seems to have been a mix of unintentional hand play combined with head/chest movement. Personally I did not feel much about this one but I did protest at Gelson's situation instinctively though.

    Well, it wasn't for the referee that we tied this match but just thought I'd mention how weak I thought his performance was, considering his status and all.

    As for the other matches of the night, couldn't help but laugh at Young Boys losing out to CSKA Moscow with the most embarrassing own goal I've seen in a long time. At the other end of awe, the 2nd goal of APOEL was pure magic.

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