Champions League 08-09 discussion thread

Discussion about European club leagues, Champions League and anything in UEFA
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shahensha
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Champions League 08-09 discussion thread

Post by shahensha » 16 Sep 2008, 21:10

So today was the commencement of Champions league. This thread is to discuss pretty much everything dealing with the champs league, from post game analysis to predictions of the games and the final.

I watched Sporting Lisbon at Barcelona. There was a lot of tension within the camp nou due to Barcelona's shaky start in la liga. They have been creating plenty of chances but had terrible luck at finishing in the past two game. Thus they had to score a couple of goals to calm the barca faithfuls. Fortunately enough, Barcelona scored three as they displayed quality football like always.

The first was off a corner headed in by Rafa Marquez. Whenever Barcelona scores off a corner........its this man who is responsible majority of the times. And what a day to score too. Mexican international day!

The second was a penalty calmly scored by Eto'o

Sporting pulled one back to save their blushes off a freekick. It seemed as if Rafa would have gotten his head to it but Tonel came out of nowhere and karate kicked the ball into the net.

The third was brilliant link up between xavi and iniesta. Xavi spread the ball out wide to the left for Iniesta, who then crossed it into the box for Xavi to run in and extend his foot to direct the ball in for the third.

I noticed everyone who faces Barcelona has to park the bus which makes it very frustrating, be it numancia or manchester united. As expected Sporting Lisbon used the same strategy.

Not taking any credit away from them though cause they made some attacking runs and even had brief spells that made Barcelona look like a petrified cat backed up into a corner. That being said, Sporting was mostly restricted to attacking from the wings because Barcelona had the middle completely locked down.

Apart from that Barca still ended up dominating. A lot of posession and lots of shots on goal (not very surprising).

Guardiola is an interesting character. He rightfully decided to take off Abidal from the starting line up and put Puyol in his place on the left. No worries though, its captain puyol. His versatility allows him to play anywhere and it was evident today as he snuffed out quite any attack that came his way.

I was really impressed with Pique's performance too. Absolutely spot on! He barely took a wrong step.

Keita was pretty effective in controlling the midfield.

Iniesta is too good on the left wing.

Sporting Lisbon cant tackle. Either that or they purposefully step on their opponent's cleats.

Compared to his abysmal performances in the past, Henry performed really well. He was running circles around the defence and had some nice shots on goal too. He had a decent performance on the wing and improved further when he momentarily swapped places with eto'o from time to time.


Guardiola decided to play an interesting line-up. Sort of a 3-4-3. Alves playing right midfield given full permission to attack and he made some nice contribution to Barca's onslaught. Marquez, Pique and Puyol were the three centrebacks.
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whatznext
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Post by whatznext » 16 Sep 2008, 22:29

does anyone no what cleats Alves was wearing today in the CL game?

united10
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Post by united10 » 16 Sep 2008, 22:40

im not sure but heres two pictures

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mpcarres14
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Post by mpcarres14 » 16 Sep 2008, 23:34

Barcelona is ruining Henry big time. After losing the CL Final and World Cup back to back, it looked as though his confidence took a big hit, and it has really affected his playing style. He no longer thinks he's as amazing as he is, he rarely takes players one on one, and he just looks scared out there. The thing is though, he is a forward, and only a forward. Being played out of position guarantees that he won't play to his full potential. What he needs is trust from the coaching staff. We all know that he is a better all around player than both Eto'o and Bojan, so neither should start as a forward in front of him on a regular basis. I would think that if he was given a consistant run in the first team as a forward, he would get to a pretty high level again. But it's good to hear that he played well today.
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Post by shahensha » 18 Sep 2008, 02:58

Man united vs villareal ended in a draw for the third consecutive time in their champions league matchup. Villareal ended Man united winning streak at home tonight just as they did three years ago.

There was a clear difference in their playing style. Villareal using a lot of quick short triangle passes that coaches have orgasms over. It was like watching a pin ball machine. The ball going "ping! ping! ping! ping!". Sadly guille franco and mati fernandez are horrid. Whereas Man united played with a free form style. Using combination of long and short passes to find the open man.

man villareal defended really well today. If they were sloppy they would have been scored on three or four times.

Ferdinand had a really good chance to score near the 8th minute. However having a defender's foot, it automatically directed the ball away from the goal lmao

Cronaldo played for the first time this season. I have never seen a player get a standing ovation while warming up.

Villareal were throughly outclassed in midfield and in the offensive third. Pellegrini should have started with cazorla for an offensive threat from the start and Marcos Senna to have control of midfield. These two players could have provided that spark in midfield and offense.

Pires looked a bit shaky at first, mostly because his lack of speed made it a problem when the man united defenders quickly closed him down. He improved as the game went on and took Villareal's first shot................near the 25th mintue, yeah thats right.

Rooney, Park and Tevez ran their asses off. Wow

you know for a guy who is compared to Cronaldo alot, Nani hesitates to take a shot. There was an instance when he was racing down the middle with the goal right in front of him. He should have just taken a shot. With the powerful boot of his, by the time diego lopez realized he took a shot, the ball would have been in the back of the net.

Both teams were guilty of hitting the post.
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Post by panchester07 » 20 Sep 2008, 06:09

mpcarres
i think it isnt quite his confidence, i think its the age and that hes playing in a different league and at a different position where he has a different role, the playmaker of the team was dinho..... now they rely on iniesta or messi or xavi and henry's role now is like a vannisterlooij one just a finisher, not a player that would take it in 3/4th of the field and beat to and score

soccer11
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Post by soccer11 » 20 Sep 2008, 17:05

they're not utilizing Henry the way they should. i still believe he could be one of the worlds best players if he was used differently
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Post by Rulezzz » 20 Sep 2008, 23:40

soccer11 wrote:they're not utilizing Henry the way they should. i still believe he could be one of the worlds best players if he was used differently
so do i, but if im being honest Messi screws it up for Eto'o and Henry. Messi obviously is their best player, but if he wasent there, Barca could revert to 4-4-2, with eto'o and henry up front together, they would scores bags of goals with henry playing off eto'o. Messi can only play right or left side of a front three, or in the hole.
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Post by user1101 » 20 Sep 2008, 23:59

Rulezzz wrote:Messi screws it up for Eto'o and Henry. Messi obviously is their best player, but if he wasent there, Barca could revert to 4-4-2, with eto'o and henry up front together, they would scores bags of goals with henry playing off eto'o. Messi can only play right or left side of a front three, or in the hole.
If Messi is Barcas best player, but is really screwing it up for Eto'o and Henry, does it make any sense to get rid of Messi and revert to a 4-4-2?why not play a 4-3-1-2 with Messi in a 'free role' on the right. Barcelona have enough quality to keep possession and create attacking opportunities with Xavi, Iniesta, and Toure in the middle. Alves would also play as more of a wing back, as he did against sporting giving Barca even greater presence in midfield. In this system, Eto'o and Henry would be able to play off each other as two out-and-out strikers as you have suggested, which would allw Messi to drift, beating players and therefore unsettling the oppositions defense, giving Eto'o and Henry more room to work and to score goals. It would look something like this:

------------------------Valdez------------------------
----------------Puyol------------Marquez------------
----Alves-----------------------------------Abidal---
--------------------------------------------------------
-------------------------Toure------------------------
---------------Xavi----------------Iniesta------------
--------------------------------------------------------
------Messi--------------------------------------------
--------------------Eto'o-----Henry-------------------

Any thoughts on this system? It may seem as though the left remains too open, but Iniesta would be able to move up into that area along with Henry who would naturally drift out as he so often did at Arsenal.

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Post by soccer11 » 21 Sep 2008, 06:45

because Messi's a bitch and would probably complain about it.
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Post by shahensha » 21 Sep 2008, 10:44

wait whine about being placed in his most preferred position? haha aight buddy

I dont really see him as a complaining fellow though. When situations get worse, guardiola has put him in a free role playing behind the striker with Hleb or Pedro on the right and he doesnt really flail his arms around in discontent when that happens.

man I am getting tired of hearing this over and over again. Barca uses people on the wings for extra width in their gameplay. Its their style. You cant expect the team to change their style for one player. The player has to adapt to the team dynamic and he should realize that when he moves to a different team in a different league. They are not wingers but forwards placed along the whole width of the attacking third of the pitch. In fact they dont even cross the ball. They cut in to pass or shoot. The only people who do the crossing are the wingbacks.

Besides they already play a formation like that. Henry is sort of a left striker who is given the left side to occupy. Its not his responsibility to hug the byline. He cuts in alot and swaps places with eto'o as many times as possible. Messi swaps places with these two from time to time as well. Its not just my observation, even the great henry mentioned this.

one again, they are not wingers but forwards.
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Post by shahensha » 30 Sep 2008, 20:42

madrid beat zenit st. petersburg 2-1.

Honestly though madrid was lucky enough to escape with the three points after the heavy bombardment from Zenit in the second half.

Credit goes to the defence and especially casillas though. That fool deflected a shot with his hands and then immediately deflected the rebound with his feet in the air as he was falling down to the ground............WHAAA?! He is too good.

Ruben De La Red was impressive too. Not only can this fellow pass, he can win posession and has a decent shooting boot. Also his positional awareness is amazing.

That being said, man of the match has to go to Arshavin though. He didnt get in to the game till the 15th minute but the ruskie playmaker was the hearbeat of the zenit attack with almost every play circulating through him. This fellow was on the left wing, right wing, centre half, in the hole and making striker runs into the box...........he did everything! Plus he set up zenit's only goal.


Man united beat Aalborg 3-0

wow Rafael Da Silva is too good. He won possession for the team alot and had a good contribution to the attack. This kid is money.

Well now we know giggs can play as a centre midfielder like kaka too lol. His throughball to rooney was top draw and it would have been a major insult to his talent if rooney had not scored that.

Man of the match has to go to Berbatov. This fellow exudes class with his touch, passing and definitely finishing. His first goal was a nice no-wasting-time volley and his second was just an even better strike.
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Post by casar22 » 30 Sep 2008, 20:48

About Real's game, it was competitive most of the time. Higuain should've scored but mistakes happen.

ManUtd game: So happy that Bervatov scored. That 1st goal he scored made me laugh so hard he was so calm

Villareal's game: Competitive the whole time. What can I say about Senna's goal? Simply amazing
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Post by soccer11 » 30 Sep 2008, 21:47

I'm really pissed off that i have not seen any champions league action. I always have class at the time when the games are going on. I really wish i would've scheduled classes better.

looking at the scores though, looks like everything went just about as planned minus juventus tying. I'm kind of disappointed that Celtic couldn't get a tie but oh well. There's still plenty of games to play.
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Post by tevezaholic » 30 Sep 2008, 23:03

i like berbatov's attitude..cr7 could use a bit of his attitude instead of being so cocky...i mean,when berbatov scores his team mates celebrate more than him :lol: ...to him its just like,yea,yea,i scored,so what,nothing new 8) ...on his first goal i was like what the hell....he hits it and then turns and walks away like he has missed it by 100 yards or something...his attitude is something to admire.....that rafael boy is good..he really impressed me...he uses close control most of the time...which wins alot of freekicks
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