Author Topic: World Cup and European leagues  (Read 385897 times)

Offline rudy

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Re: World Cup and European leagues
« Reply #2985 on: April 11, 2018, 06:29:36 pm »
Wow. Thoughts on the late penalty that sent Real Madrid through? I think it could be a penalty, but at 90+7 I'm not deciding the game as a referee on that foul...

I think it was a foul. Have to call it..would most likely have been a goal if defender didn't take him down. Tough break with so little time remaining but you're playing with fire trying to defend in your box. Clear the ball out and don't make the ref have to make that decision

Online jknezek

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Re: World Cup and European leagues
« Reply #2986 on: April 11, 2018, 06:33:41 pm »
He didn't take him down. He did press from the back and it was a dangerous kick, but after 180+ of tie game? Don't make it about the referee in my opinion. I guarantee a foul was missed at least that bad in the other box over those 180. It always is. Just look for a corner. That's why I think it was the wrong moment to make that call.

Offline blooter442

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Re: World Cup and European leagues
« Reply #2987 on: April 11, 2018, 09:01:24 pm »
He didn't take him down. He did press from the back and it was a dangerous kick, but after 180+ of tie game? Don't make it about the referee in my opinion. I guarantee a foul was missed at least that bad in the other box over those 180. It always is. Just look for a corner. That's why I think it was the wrong moment to make that call.

The high boot and lack of contact with the ball seemed more of a pen to me than the contact from the back, but I can see why it was given. I do think it was a shame it happened at the time it did. Also worth pointing out that Real got hosed on the Isco offsides decision — and I say this as someone who doesn’t particularly care for Real or Ronaldo and his cockiness. If that goal stands maybe Juve doesn’t get a second. Who knows?

That being said, while Real will be the bookies’ favorites to win it all now, they are clearly not infallible on this evidence, nor were they last year IMHO when Ronado’s two offsides goals got them by Bayern in ET. An absolute clanger by Navas, and I’ll spare a thought for David De Gea — much as I dislike him saving United time and again, he could have won two (and maybe three if Real win this spring) CL titles if his transfer went through! Poor guy. I’m thinking Real come back in for him this summer, Navas is OK but not near De Gea’s level of consistency or talent.

Offline blooter442

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Re: World Cup and European leagues
« Reply #2988 on: April 25, 2018, 09:59:13 am »
If you'd said LFC would win by three goals before the game, I'd have taken it. Never say never, but even I don't think lightning is striking twice in terms of a Roma three-goal comeback — in fact, I think Liverpool can score in Rome and put the tie to bed.

That being said, after last night I think it's clear that Lovren is absolute pants and needs to go. I said a while back that he has looked better since van Dijk arrived and provided some much-needed leadership at the back — which I still believe to be true — but he still makes too many of the same mistakes to be given more chances. He is always a moment away from a screw-up and you cannot switch off like that at the highest level. If they make the final, you can bet Ronaldo or Lewandowski will be targeting him. Klopp spoke about his issues with concentration: I'd hope someone getting paid £100,000 a week would learn to concentrate. Gomez made a mistake at the weekend but he is young; Lovren should know better by now. End rant.

Anyway, Salah's first goal was an absolute banger and showed Roma what they let go. Second goal was a brilliant piece of composure and was reminiscent of his goal against City. 2 goals, 2 assists, and another brilliant display. He is on fire. Mane continues to frustrate but you can tell that he is trying. A shame that Ox got carted off but hopefully the injury isn't as bad as feared (looked terrible). Thought Milner had a good game aside from the penalty, which I think was soft but I can see why it was given. Trent and Robbo had good games on the outside, and it was great to see Bobby play so well up top, showing more of his selfless attitude in setting up Salah and finishing off another chance himself. All in all, a solid result and something to build on next week.

Offline truenorth

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Re: World Cup and European leagues
« Reply #2989 on: April 25, 2018, 01:38:39 pm »
I generally agree with your observations Blooter.  Salah is absolutely on fire this season, has deservedly won the PFA player of the year award, and has a genuine shot at the Ballon D'or.  That said, Firmino makes many of Salah's and Mane's goals possible with his incredible work rate, and skill on and off the ball.  He is the true unsung hero of this prolific offense.

And I agree that Lovren is a maddening player.  Klopp tried to pump his tires earlier in the week by describing him as the "perfect" athletic package for a center back.  He is a good athlete, but he just doesn't have the head to play at a high level for 90 minutes.  You can't teach that...either you have or you don't...and he doesn't...  Nonetheless, Van Dijk is an absolute beast and makes Lovren better than he would be alongside anyone else.

It was a bizarre emotional rollercoaster for me yesterday.  The first 25 minutes were nervy and lacked flow.  Then Liverpool began to play long balls and got into a higher gear and I felt delirium through 80 minutes.  Then the two sloppy goals conceded in the last 10 minutes left me feeling oddly deflated and a bit muted. 

Still I still think it's highly unlikely Roma will score 3 unanswered goals at the Stadio Olympico next Wednesday...

Offline blooter442

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Re: World Cup and European leagues
« Reply #2990 on: April 25, 2018, 03:19:11 pm »
That said, Firmino makes many of Salah's and Mane's goals possible with his incredible work rate, and skill on and off the ball.  He is the true unsung hero of this prolific offense.

Spot on. I have to say I have really evolved in terms of my feelings about Firmino playing No. 9. For a while — since Sturridge was so unreliable (whether due to physical or mental ailments) — I believed that the Reds needed to get a "real" No. 9 in the form of a Benzema, Costa, etc. who could play as part of a fluid 4-3-3 but could also serve as a target man, holding up the ball and providing an aerial threat. I was not convinced Firmino could do that, particularly against more direct sides.

That being said, he has been so good at that spot — particularly this season — that I have certainly come around to it. His workrate is unbelievable and he does a ton of "dirty work" that makes the rest of the team tick. Any shortcomings in terms of physicality or aerial ability (both of which I think he has improved) is more than offset by his pace, workrate, unselfishness, and how he has benefited the team overall.

(25 goals, 13 assists in all comps isn't bad either)

Offline blooter442

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Re: World Cup and European leagues
« Reply #2991 on: April 25, 2018, 03:27:24 pm »
Bayern lead against Madrid — Navas caught out at his near post again by wunderkid Joshua Kimmich! Kimmich will likely be on his way to the World Cup this summer, and a new goalkeeper simultaneously on his way to Madrid.

Offline blooter442

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Re: World Cup and European leagues
« Reply #2992 on: April 25, 2018, 03:31:27 pm »
Madrid gets the away goal against the run of play, Marcelo with a belter after a missed clearance. They are just unstoppable.

Offline blooter442

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Re: World Cup and European leagues
« Reply #2993 on: April 25, 2018, 03:35:11 pm »
Bayern with two great chances at the end of the half. As good as Madrid (and Ronaldo) are, it would seem that they have had a bit of Lady Luck on their side today.

Offline blooter442

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Re: World Cup and European leagues
« Reply #2994 on: April 25, 2018, 04:02:34 pm »
Madrid lead 2-1 after an awful giveaway by Rafinha sees Vazquez and Asensio break and the latter finish well. Poor from Bayern, but Los Blancos are so clinical. You can't give them chances like that.

Offline blooter442

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Re: World Cup and European leagues
« Reply #2995 on: April 25, 2018, 04:08:28 pm »
Navas with a couple of decent saves to preserve the advantage. Still think Madrid need to replace him.

Offline blooter442

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Re: World Cup and European leagues
« Reply #2996 on: April 25, 2018, 04:59:10 pm »
Madrid gets out of town with a 2-1 win but — notably — today is the first day that Ronaldo has failed to score in his last game for Real for the first time since February 9th (Bloots' birthday). 12 games in a row: that is an impressive streak, to say the least.

Offline EB2319

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Re: World Cup and European leagues
« Reply #2997 on: April 25, 2018, 05:16:08 pm »
Oxlade-Chamberlain to miss world cup with ligament damage.

Offline truenorth

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Re: World Cup and European leagues
« Reply #2998 on: April 26, 2018, 07:40:56 am »
Yes, Liverpool is scarily thin in the midfield at this point.  Oxlade-Chamberlain out, Can out, and Lallana doubtful to return before the end of the season.  And I don't believe you can add to your pre-approved Champions League roster...so yeah it's a bit concerning...

Online jknezek

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Re: World Cup and European leagues
« Reply #2999 on: April 26, 2018, 09:46:13 am »
Uggh.  Toronto lost the CONCACAF Champions Cup on penalties last night. Lost 2-1 at home, beat Chivas 2-1 away, lost 4-2 on penalties. MLS is getting closer, but just not quite there yet. Toronto was a team that was built to compete at that level. But they have sacrificed the early part of the MLS schedule to try and win a spot at the Club World Cup and still came up just short.

A few more years, a bit more depth and money spent on that depth, and MLS will be consistently competitive with the LigaMX teams if they choose to be. The problem is what it sacrifices on the other side. Toronto's 1-4 start to the MLS season is indicative of the problem. I have no doubt they will climb the table now that they are done with the Champions League, but there just isn't enough depth in the MLS teams to do both right now. Red Bulls, who went out in the Champions League semis, had the same problem. They were throwing almost a complete second team out there in the first weeks of MLS.

Money and development. I'm a huge believer that the MLS academies, combined with club owned and directed USL teams, are going to pay off in player quality. It just takes time. The combination should also be the death knell of college soccer as a primary provider of professional players.