Posts Tagged ‘The Europa League’

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The most important lesson from this season, not just this game, is that neither of the two clubs actually defend as well as they think they can.

Manchester City are used to having so much possession that they rarely need to defend, when they do need to defend they are not very good at it.

Manchester United have the best goalkeeper in the world who has been their player of the year for the last few seasons. If United’s defence was any good then their goalkeeper wouldn’t continually win this award.

So knowing that the two defences are a lot more dodgy than people would have us believe we sat down to watch the game expecting goals at both ends. (more…)

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In a hard-to-believe draw for the quarter finals of the Champion’s League the two remaining English teams have been drawn to play each other.

This despite there also being two Italian teams and THREE Spanish who have all miraculously managed to avoid having to play one of their compatriots!

Conspiracy theorists are already looking for fields in which to have a day!

Here’s the draw in full:

Liverpool v Manchester City
Juventus v Real Madrid
Sevilla v Bayern Münich
Roma v Barcelona (more…)

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Why does UEFA have such strange ideas? Is it because FIFA, the world body, also has strange ideas and it feels the need to keep up with them? And how come the two never seem to agree on anything?

FIFA has already stated that VAR will be used in this year’s World Cup, supposedly the biggest tournament on the planet. UEFA have decided that it isn’t at an acceptable standard yet for the Champion’s League. So it’s fine for the world, just not for Europe!

We have mentioned, in a recent article, how FIFA’s “best player in the world” often isn’t considered to be the “best player in Europe”.

The World Cup itself isn’t called the “World Champion’s League” yet it has a similar format to the European club version. (more…)

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On one hand, yes. On the other hand, no. If we had a third hand we would also plump for not knowing whether or not those two accomplishments would be deemed an improvement over last season’s three trophies.

In the league table, it has to be admitted, that any finish above sixth would be seen as an improvement but it must also be remembered that the final few games of last season’s Premier League campaign were deemed less important than usual due to United’s intent on winning the Europa League.

Winning the FA Cup would, of course, be an upgrade on winning the Carabao Cup as it is the major domestic knock-out cup in England. It requires, however, a favourable draw at some stage of the competition so United will be hoping for this in the coming rounds. (more…)

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Ilkay Gündoğan – Man-of-the-Match and two goals to boot.

After emphatic away wins for Manchester City and Liverpool they are both, barring disasters of seismic proportions, through to the quarter finals of the Champion’s League.

Having beaten Basel 4-0 in Switzerland City fans will be thinking that there will be tougher tests ahead and they would be right in so thinking.

The only question raised by the performance of the Swiss team is how they managed to beat Manchester United and Liverpool in the recent past!

On this form, which has been pretty consistent all season, City need fear nobody and are certainly a match for the likes of Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Münich. (more…)

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Never say never. There is a chance that José Mourinho actually does want to manage PSG at some stage of his career, just not yet, it would only make sense if United were to sack him.

What would he achieve? A Champion’s League title in another country? Probably, but is that really the kind of achievement he wants on his CV? Winning trophies at a club who will forever be accused of doing so because of their wealth rather than any managerial ability.

No, Mourinho is far better off at United for the time being. Yes, he has money to spend but, in the Premier League unlike in Ligue 1, that is no guarantee that he will win the title. (more…)

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The Champion’s league started life as the European Cup back in 1955. It was originally intended to be a competition featuring the champions of the major European football leagues and ran, in this format, for 37 years.

As a tournament it was very successful and also very simple. Ties were played over two legs, home and away, and the winners progressed to the next round. Nothing too complicated there then. To be in it a team either had to win it or win their domestic league.

Unfortunately, not only was this not complicated enough for UEFA, it also didn’t generate enough money so, in 1992, the Champion’s League was born. (more…)

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We can’t help but notice that old Arséne, you know the one, French geezer who has had Arsenal in reverse gear for the last few seasons, is slowly losing the plot and has, once again, returned to his obsession with all things Manchester United.

Having decided to award himself a new two year contract when most people wanted him awarded a gold watch and a handshake he has now decided that, from his newly acquired, (and very temporary), position of strength he will make silly comments which will probably come back to bite him. Nothing new there then. (more…)

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Judging by the amount of money with which José Mourinho has been entrusted to buy players during this transfer window, Manchester United seem pretty confident that he is the right man for the job medium to long-term. Bear in mind, he spent around £150 million in the last Summer window and is likely to spend anything between £100 and £200 million this time, maybe even a little more. (more…)

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What is happening in Manchester? United, if they are not very careful, will continue on their downward slope into total mediocrity, (in some people’s eyes, they are already there)!

City, on the other hand, can afford to throw away the FA Cup in order to be able to win in the Ukraine three days later. Many people think they could have achieved the Champion’s League win without sacrificing the other trophy but, what the heck? This is City. Who cares what the fans want?

What was particularly annoying was that they had been on a very good run in this competition with some good away wins and there was a very real possibility that a stronger City team would have beaten Chelsea.

So, at least if City win the treble, it will not include the FA Cup so wouldn’t be quite the achievement of United in 1999. (more…)