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16 March 2016 - 9:36pm

The Champions League thread

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We've got a premier league one so how about a Champion's League thread?

I was just about to post "what a goal Suarez" but just now who else but Thomas Muller has popped up 6 yards out to head in an equaliser for Bayern against Juventus. Juve decided to park the bus after a good first half and they have paid the price. It is hard to see Bayern not going on and winning this tie in extra time now.

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4 May 2016 - 7:56pm
#61

At the moment it seems that we will have Madrid final once again:) As i said and remember my words-Atletico will win it this year:)

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4 May 2016 - 8:42pm
#62

Beautiful game. So we will see a revenge this year 😂 I just hope not to see 2 Spanish finals and Shakhtar and Liverpool will play the Europa League final.

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4 May 2016 - 9:14pm
#63

Yeah we have the same final as in 2014 and I can't imagine Atletico will loose once more especially the way they've lost the previous time, it time for some good fortune for them I think.It just shows the great work done by Simeone keeping this side among the best in Spain and Europe.

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5 May 2016 - 1:18am
#64
sharpe wrote:

Don't blame Simeone for that, especially when we know he has just a fraction of the player's class and the funds of last two Atletico's opponents in the CL. Yeah the style is not enterteaining but Mourinho does exactly the same with a lot more classy teams.

No blame, he is obviously an excellent coach who is able to get the best out of the players he has. That is the mark of a truly good manager. Mourinho is the #1 opposite case in point, he should be ashamed of the way he sets his teams up to play with the money spent and the talent he has at his disposal.

I hope Atletico beat Real Madrid. I may not like watching them play but I still want to see the underdog win.

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5 May 2016 - 9:42pm
#65

Fully agreed Ed, congrats for the Liverpool win by the way, great opportunity for them to lift the cup in the end.

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6 May 2016 - 12:06am
#66

Liverpool surprised even me with how well they played tonight. I thought they would win the match but I was concerned about penalties and away goals, and in the end I didn't need to worry as they won quite easily. It should be a good final, hopefully with lots of goals!

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6 May 2016 - 9:38pm
#67

Yea I think Liverpool raise the quality of their game in the last couple of months and they are deservedly on the final and I think they are favourites to win it.

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11 May 2016 - 8:41pm
#68

I think it was a great chance for Man United to left out of the Champions League Man City and make their misery even greater this season. It looks that United won't be equal to the city rivals next season when Guardiola arrives or at least that's are the expectations of the fans of both teams I guess. From different point of view one of these teams will not have to participate in another tournament and could concentrate in the league but as we know CL appearance is connected with huge of incomes for the club so I don't think it's exactly be a voluntary expatriate.
But there still one more day in the league so let's see what will happen, anyway I don't believe United would receive yet another chance from City after they were unable to clinch the excellent one they've got all ready.

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12 May 2016 - 4:20am
#69

Both teams have been poor by their own standards this year. I would have preferred to see a team like West Ham or Southampton sneak in there than either team get in again. Anyway one of them will be in the Euro League so they will still have the extra games to play.

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12 May 2016 - 10:10pm
#70

Yes you're right Ed forgot about Europa league but as we know the top English teams participate there with not much of an effort except for this season Liverpool performance of course 😉

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13 May 2016 - 2:11am
#71

I think it is a shame that some of the teams don't give the tournament the respect it deserves. It has become far more attractive since UEFA gave the winners direct entry to the Champions League the next season. And there are some very good teams in it once you get past the group stages.

Anyway I think that there are too many teams in the Champions League. Accepting 4th place teams in a competition for "champions" is silly. They could halve the number in the CL and put more of the teams into the EL. For countries that have 4 places now, I would reduce it to 2 and enter the winner of the league and winner of the local cup. At least that means you have to win something to get in and including the cup means that smaller teams have a more realistic shot of making it. Then 2nd and 3rd place (or next lower depending on who won the cup) go to the EL. The drawback is that smaller teams have less of a chance of making the EL through the league.

I'm also old school and think that they should play straight knock-out two-leg cup ties all the way from the start in both the CL and EL. No boring group stages and meaningless games when the group winners have already been decided. They could still seed teams like a tennis tournament so the big names are more likely to get through to the end. This would make the games more exciting all the way through and reduce the number of games that the teams have to play, which managers are always complaining about.

Of course it wouldn't make as much TV money for UEFA and the clubs so I'm not deluded into thinking that it will happen!

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13 May 2016 - 9:33pm
#72
CL-Ed wrote:

Of course it wouldn't make as much TV money for UEFA and the clubs so I'm not deluded into thinking that it will happen!

That's exactly what I was thinking while reading your post Ed 😉

It's a shame really, not many people remember now that CL or European Champions Cup was tournament in which only the champions took place. I remember maybe the first year when non champions had to participate in the tournament I think Shalke 04 refused to take place in the tournament because they were not a champions!!

Anyway those times are over long ago but I think there's just too much money and interests these days, UEFA and FIFA are maybe two of the most poorly managed organizations in sport generally and I would never defend them but I think CL in today's format was born by the pressure of the European top 15-16 sides who have threatened UEFA that they will organize their own league separately from UEFA's competitions. So exactly the greediness of those clubs resulted in UEFA's decision to expand the tournament.

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13 May 2016 - 9:42pm
#73

Here's what I find about possible future changes in the tournament format which I'm afraid are too far away of what you and me as an old school fans hoping for.

UEFA, the European football governing body, is currently discussing Champions League format changes with the clubs. One of the most prominent current proposals is to have just two groups of eight teams after an expanded qualification process. If the proposal will be adopted football fans will have the occasion to watch more matches between the big clubs, as each team in the group stage will have to play a total of 14 matches.

The European Clubs' Association, which represent most of Europe's big clubs, insists on a new format that would increase revenues for the clubs by making the competition more interesting and exciting. However, there will be no changes until the 2018-2019 season as the TV rights have been sold for three years in 2015. The next batch of TV rights will be sold at the end of 2016, so the new format should be agreed by then.

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16 May 2016 - 2:54am
#74

I'm shaking my head in disbelief after reading that. And you're right that the format came about because the top clubs threatened to create their own league.

I tell you what will make the whole thing "more interesting and exciting". Play less games and make the games played more meaningful by making them all knockout, like they used to be. Problem solved. Except they won't do that because there is a risk that Basel might knock out Real Madrid in the first round and then revenue projections would nosedive.

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16 May 2016 - 7:57pm
#75

There was even two group stages some years ago in the CL which was madness really. I think they are still not sure if the format will be changed or not but I agree UEFA will make everything possible to assure big teams presence in the later stages.
I think they are too many teams and games in Europa League now and that's why some of the teams especially the English ones are not involved 100% in the tournament, certainly not before they reaching quarter or semis.

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18 May 2016 - 12:05am
#76

I feel dirty for saying this but I hope the scousers get up in the europa final tomorrow night. Klopp has done well to get a bunch of mid-table plodders to the final. He's liverpools best singing this year. Good luck Ed!

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18 May 2016 - 5:44pm
#77

Agree that Liverpool made it to the final mainly because of Klopp but I don't think their squad is so poor, by the way Seville players have to be mid table plodders too, they are 7th in Spain 😉

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18 May 2016 - 9:23pm
#78

Sorry Ed, I thought Liverpool could win it but it doesn't happen, Sevilla is the cup holder for a third straight year, and hardly anyone could argue with that. Impressive achievement but I guess it's a result from a Spanish team dedication to the tournament.

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18 May 2016 - 11:06pm
#79
Chelsea wrote:

I feel dirty for saying this but I hope the scousers get up in the europa final tomorrow night. Klopp has done well to get a bunch of mid-table plodders to the final. He's liverpools best singing this year. Good luck Ed!

Cheeky... very cheeky! the "mid-table plodders" did finish about 10 points better off than Chelsea if I remember rightly.

Anyway that was a bad second half for a Liverpool supporter! It was the stereotypical "game of two halves". Liverpool were well on top towards the end of the first half, one goal disallowed and could have had a couple of penalties for those handballs on another day. With a bit of luck it could have been 2-0 or 3-0 at half time. But in the second half, Sevilla just blew them away. Their second goal in particular was beautiful and I don't think anyone can complain that they weren't deserving winners.

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28 May 2016 - 10:14am
#80

With the final ahead of us today I don't think we could expect quite entertaining game, probably Atletico would play tough in defence and on counters which is their prefarable style, and I don't see any reason for them to change it now because this was very successful for them, hopefully would be one more time.

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30 May 2016 - 2:22am
#81

I feel sorry for Atletico. They had their chances and blew it in a tight game.

I didn't really care who won until Pepe started up his amateur performance art once again and from then I was all aboard the Atletico bus. The thing that really annoys me is that Pepe is obviously trying to get his opponent sent off with all the acting and rolling around. The referee knew it, you could tell by the way he was looking at him and telling him to get up. So give him a yellow card for simulation because that is what he is doing. If he does it again give him a red. If referees actually did that in the obvious cases I think you would see a lot less of it in the game. The rules are there, the referees just don't enforce them and it makes the game worse.

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30 May 2016 - 9:07pm
#82

Fully agree with you Ed, the simulations have always been the most annoying thing in football for me, the European referees in fact tolerating this kind of acting while there's often not any sanctions for it and they blow the whistle for free kicks and penalties far too easily. But the problem starts with FIFA and UEFA's instructions trough the refs I think.
That's the main reason I watch Spanish league and even some of the other Euro leagues very rarely, for example British refs have completely different standard and it's a lot better I think.

I feel sorry for Atletico my self, seems like their bad luck never ends (like my betting one :\ )they've had lost 2 finals in 3 seasons, once in ET and now after penalties from the same team who in the end is no better by any means 👎 What could be worst than that 🤔

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30 May 2016 - 10:57pm
#83

The sad thing is the referee was English and he didn't do anything even though it was obvious that he knew Pepe was acting. The game really needs to do something about this sort of thing as it has become ridiculous.

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30 May 2016 - 11:44pm
#84

Oops, I forgot it was Mark Clattenburg 😳
So the English refs are not better, are they 😀

CL-Ed wrote:

The game really needs to do something about this sort of thing as it has become ridiculous.

Couldn't be more agree mate, but I'm afraid it's been quite some time since this is a huge issue in the game, I remember I was mad about it a few years ago but don't seem to be better now.
I think if the rules could be changed to an immediate red card for the players who doing this and we'll see a lot less of that I guess, yeah there's probably would be some undeserved sent offs but I think generally it would influence the game in a positive manner, or at least there's have to be huge sanctions by a video reviews because sometimes it's really tough for the referee to see or judge on the moment.

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31 May 2016 - 12:23am
#85

Yes something has to be worth trying. They don't need a new rule or anything, they just need the referees to enforce the simulation law. The other one I hate is all the players surrounding and arguing with the referee. Again, if they consistently booked the players for doing it, there would be far less problems.

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31 May 2016 - 12:50am
#86
CL-Ed wrote:

The other one I hate is all the players surrounding and arguing with the referee. Again, if they consistently booked the players for doing it, there would be far less problems.

This was the reason I stopped watching the local Bulgarian league, you can't imagine how far this all goes, the refs can't even rule a throw in without half of the team jumping and yelling at him, it's so ridiculous now.
But it's not only here, the last time I watched the "greatest game in the world" Barcelona -Real I could barely stand 20 - 25 minutes in which ball was in play for no more than 5 minutes because all the dirty tricks, fights and simulations from both sides all over the field, but maybe it's my faulth maybe I couldn't appraise so huge of a game.

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21 August 2016 - 11:52pm
#87

Here's something that I read today, it's about possible changes in the CL format.

Quote:

UEFA, the European football governing body, is currently considering some major changes to the format of the Champions League. The main modification will be that all the top four teams from Europe's top four leagues will qualify automatically for the group stage of the competition. Those top four leagues are the top flights in England, Germany, Spain and Italy.

UEFA is now willing to make those changes because they are afraid that Europe's top clubs might get together and form a competition of their own, an European Super League. The changes will most likely be applied from the start of the 2018-2019 season. The main reason of discontent was that top clubs like Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester United or AC Milan won't take part in this season's Champions League, and they will be also missing out on an important source of revenue.

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22 August 2016 - 12:00am
#88

Erm... isn't the obvious point that none of Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester United, or Milan finished in the top four last season? This rule change would not help them at all. I know some that finish 4th have to play qualifiers but it is rare that they lose them. So in reality all this will do is eliminate the possibility that they would lose a qualifier and miss out.

I would prefer to see the number of teams reduced. Or if they want more teams in, fine but take it back to an all knockout format so the smaller teams have a better chance. The league format is engineered to reduce the upsets and ensure the richest teams make it through to the final stages more consistently.

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22 August 2016 - 12:16am
#89

Yes agree with you Ed,
I like that part :

Quote:

and they will be also missing out on an important source of revenue.

But that obviously didn't stoped any of these clubs spending like crazy for new players, Pogba is the freshest example for that.
I didn't even think any of these thinking of creating a new league,it's the oldest rumour in football 🙂 this is just an excuse of pressing UEFA to implement their wishes. Wouldn't be surprised if top 6 of the leading leagues qualified for the CL after few seasons.

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22 August 2016 - 12:52am
#90

Yes it is going to far I think. All the clubs are complaining about having too many games to play. This is a prime reason. If you go back to an all knockout format there will be less games overall and the competition will be much more exciting. Of course the big clubs will moan because they won't be guaranteed so much money but so what, there is already too much money there.

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