2020/21 UEFA Champions League: The Road to Istanbul (Not Constantinople)

bosox4283

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It was exciting for me to watch an American player outduel Sergio Ramos to set up the goal to win the match againt my arch enemy team.
 

Kliq

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Impressive win for Chelsea. Controlled the game wire to wire and created plenty of chances and were very calm despite the big stage.
 

coremiller

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Madrid look old and slow.

Ramos is already on a yellow, now that the game is gone he's definitely getting a second one in the last few minutes, right?
 

DJnVa

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Impressive win for Chelsea. Controlled the game wire to wire and created plenty of chances and were very calm despite the big stage.
I haven't been able to watch all of it, but possession was like 64% Madrid and they had twice as many passes--was Madrid just unable to get anywhere?
 

cromulence

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I haven't been able to watch all of it, but possession was like 64% Madrid and they had twice as many passes--was Madrid just unable to get anywhere?
Chelsea still looked way more dangerous and really should've scored several times.
 

CodPiece XL

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I hope common sense prevails and they play the final at Wembley. Turkey is a mess right now with Covid and according to the Times, they are expecting 25,000 fans. It makes no sense to hold it in Turkey.
 

teddykgb

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Legitimately worried about playing this Chelsea in a final. They barely broke a sweat holding Madrid scoreless. There aren’t a lot of tactical wrinkles to combat a high quality back 5 with superhuman Kante closing the middle. City are not a clinical side and this Chelsea team concedes so few chances. If it weren’t my team I think I’d predict a Chelsea win as their form right now is incredible
 

cromulence

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Legitimately worried about playing this Chelsea in a final. They barely broke a sweat holding Madrid scoreless. There aren’t a lot of tactical wrinkles to combat a high quality back 5 with superhuman Kante closing the middle. City are not a clinical side and this Chelsea team concedes so few chances. If it weren’t my team I think I’d predict a Chelsea win as their form right now is incredible
The funny part is that until he got hurt, Kovacic was consistently starting over Kante. Will be interesting to see what happens in the final as Kovacic will likely be back by then.
 

tmracht

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The funny part is that until he got hurt, Kovacic was consistently starting over Kante. Will be interesting to see what happens in the final as Kovacic will likely be back by then.
Shame Kante was also a little banged up most of the season. Healthy Kante is such a game changer.
 

67YAZ

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Tuchel has this team firing on all pistons, can’t wait for Pep to devise some never-before-seen tactical set up with 1 CB and 8 mids to counter it.
 

Seven Costanza

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That was enjoyable.

Chelsea Women also in the Champions League final & could clinch the league with a win this weekend. They’ve already won the Community Shield and League Cup this season.

Carefree.
 

tmracht

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That was enjoyable.

Chelsea Women also in the Champions League final & could clinch the league with a win this weekend. They’ve already won the Community Shield and League Cup this season.

Carefree.
Indeed KTBFFH, Sam Kerr does not suck.
 

Zososoxfan

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Ooofff, that's inviting pressure and relying on the Jorginho-Mount-Havertz trio to control the ball for good stretches. Werner better have his finishing boots on today.
Just catching up in this thread now, and boy this is a doozy in hindsight. TT masterclass.

Who looks more like a Bond villain - Zidane or Tuchel?
Jeez, that's a toss-up. Zidane is the muscly final boss from a video game, whereas TT is the 'Le Schiffre' mastermind type. It's gotta be both working in tandem--I can't pick!
 

Zososoxfan

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Madrid look old and slow.

Ramos is already on a yellow, now that the game is gone he's definitely getting a second one in the last few minutes, right?
Madrid is in a similar position to Barca with aging legends hanging on for too long. Madrid have definitely done a better job of infusing young talent (at least until this year). Why are they in such a financial mess? I know Barca's story well (TL;DR: the Bartomeu administration) and Flo is a piece of work for sure, but I didn't think he was incompetent criminal like his Barca counterpart. What's the story here?
 

TheRealness

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Just catching up in this thread now, and boy this is a doozy in hindsight. TT masterclass.



Jeez, that's a toss-up. Zidane is the muscly final boss from a video game, whereas TT is the 'Le Schiffre' mastermind type. It's gotta be both working in tandem--I can't pick!
Yeah I was pissed Pulisic wasn't starting, and then he came on and just ran around Real's defense. If the game was tied or they were behind, that would have really worked even better. As is, I think Pulisic finished with the most chances created for the day.

Tuchel knows what he's doing. He's been on fire since he took over, especially the last two months.
 

67YAZ

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Just catching up in this thread now, and boy this is a doozy in hindsight. TT masterclass.

It wasn’t clear that I was praising Tuchel’s clearly brilliant strategy?

I do wonder how much more threatening Madrid would have been if Asensio had started over Hazard. Hazard may well have not been on the pitch for long stretches yesterday.

Tuchel is an excellent manager, and he’s been killing it since starting at Chelsea. THe question, as always, is how long can he go without pissing off his bosses and getting fired for that.
 

bosox4283

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Madrid is in a similar position to Barca with aging legends hanging on for too long. Madrid have definitely done a better job of infusing young talent (at least until this year). Why are they in such a financial mess? I know Barca's story well (TL;DR: the Bartomeu administration) and Flo is a piece of work for sure, but I didn't think he was incompetent criminal like his Barca counterpart. What's the story here?
I don't know why Real Madrid is in a financial mess. I imagine that it is largely driven by paying the players they want with the highest wages in the sport.

As for the first part about "hanging on for too long" with the aging legends, Real Madrid's core has been so successful that they've been slow to adapt. Ramos (35), Kroos (31), Modric (35), Marcelo (32), Isco (29), Benzema (33), Nacho (31), Lucas Vazquez (29), Casemiro (29), Hazard (30!!!), and Carvajal (29) all may have gas left in the tank, good games and strong stretches, and the ability to still control matches, but they're not growing and emerging. For each, they're more on the downswing rather than young and fresh and getting better and better.
 

coremiller

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I don't know why Real Madrid is in a financial mess. I imagine that it is largely driven by paying the players they want with the highest wages in the sport.

As for the first part about "hanging on for too long" with the aging legends, Real Madrid's core has been so successful that they've been slow to adapt. Ramos (35), Kroos (31), Modric (35), Marcelo (32), Isco (29), Benzema (33), Nacho (31), Lucas Vazquez (29), Casemiro (29), Hazard (30!!!), and Carvajal (29) all may have gas left in the tank, good games and strong stretches, and the ability to still control matches, but they're not growing and emerging. For each, they're more on the downswing rather than young and fresh and getting better and better.
They tried to get younger and and spent a ton of money on Jovic, Mendy, Vinicius, Militao, and Rodrygo but only Mendy has established himself in the first XI.
 

swiftaw

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They tried to get younger and and spent a ton of money on Jovic, Mendy, Vinicius, Militao, and Rodrygo but only Mendy has established himself in the first XI.
I think Vinicius is pretty much first team isn't he? He played both legs against Liverpool and Chelsea.
 

coremiller

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I think Vinicius is pretty much first team isn't he? He played both legs against Liverpool and Chelsea.
I think he's more on fringes of first-choice? He's 11th on the team in minutes, with 27 starts and 18 sub appearances in all comps. He's definitely been useful and he's only 20, so there's still a lot of growth. But he hasn't really lit it up there yet.
 

teddykgb

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Hazard has been injured and terrible so all their young wingers have gotten a look in but nobody seems able to be a regular key player yet.

It’s sort of strange how Real made a real investment in youth while Barca went Galactico and they both basically bankrupted themselves in the process.

Madrid also made some curious signings like Mariano. But mostly they just pay too wages to a lot of aging superstars.
 

Zososoxfan

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I don't know why Real Madrid is in a financial mess. I imagine that it is largely driven by paying the players they want with the highest wages in the sport.

As for the first part about "hanging on for too long" with the aging legends, Real Madrid's core has been so successful that they've been slow to adapt. Ramos (35), Kroos (31), Modric (35), Marcelo (32), Isco (29), Benzema (33), Nacho (31), Lucas Vazquez (29), Casemiro (29), Hazard (30!!!), and Carvajal (29) all may have gas left in the tank, good games and strong stretches, and the ability to still control matches, but they're not growing and emerging. For each, they're more on the downswing rather than young and fresh and getting better and better.
Similar to Barca, each one of those guys has good games left in their legs. I'd go so far as to say that Ramos, Benz, Kroos, and Casemiro are still elite players. But you can't have such an old team I-XI, not in the modern club game. Messi, Pique, Alba, and Busi are all still very good--but when you play them all together, their collective age puts them at a huge disadvantage against bona fide competition. The difference between Madrid and Barca recently has been Valverde, Vini, Mendy, and even Militao versus Dembele, Firpo, and...ALL OF BARCA'S OTHER DISASTROUS SIGNINGS. Although this year has been incredibly encouraging for Barca with Pedri, Mingueza, Dest, Trincao, and Araujo (not to mention Ansu pre-injury) really coming on and showing the future.

I think he's more on fringes of first-choice? He's 11th on the team in minutes, with 27 starts and 18 sub appearances in all comps. He's definitely been useful and he's only 20, so there's still a lot of growth. But he hasn't really lit it up there yet.
I'm surprised by those numbers, as he's always been excellent every time I've seen him. I think he's clearly in the XI for them going forward.

If I'm being honest, a lot of Madrid's season can likely be blamed on injuries to Carvajal (I can't say enough how important I think he is to the team), Varane (allows Ramos to be current Ramos), Valverde (better MF mate than Modric for Kroos and Casemiro at this point, or going 4 MF), and even Vazquez. Now I need to go to take a shower.
 

Plantiers Wart

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Bumping for today’s final. Both sides are fit and everyone is available.
I was shocked to learn this is City’s first Champions final appearance and first of any kind in Europe since 1970.
 

teddykgb

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I won’t post during final because quite frankly it will be irrational garbage especially with Lahoz reffing. Pep starting his most attacking lineup all season with Sterling somehow making the team and neither Fernandinho or Rodri. Ripe for him to be criticized for tinkering again although I think Tuchel has been playing such regressive 5 at the back stuff that it makes sense.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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Pep playing a really attacking side, no Rodri and Gundogan (their leading scorer on the season) as assumedly the most defensive midfielder. I didn't see that coming, nor did I think he would start Sterling.

Compared to some of his setups with a player like Bernardo Silva as "striker"/false nine, from a personnel perspective its basically putting Sterling into the side instead of Rodri, then playing relatively defensive fullbacks.
 

TheRealness

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Pulisic on the bench. Boo.
Figure Tuchel is planning for City to attack them consistently through the first half, while they defend and try to counter. Pulisic as the “super sub“ works very well strategically if they withstand it and Chelsea needs a spark.

Going to be an interesting game. Hope to see Pulisic on early in the 2nd half.
 
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Pep playing a really attacking side, no Rodri and Gundogan (their leading scorer on the season) as assumedly the most defensive midfielder. I didn't see that coming, nor did I think he would start Sterling.

Compared to some of his setups with a player like Bernardo Silva as "striker"/false nine, from a personnel perspective its basically putting Sterling into the side instead of Rodri, then playing relatively defensive fullbacks.
but Cancelo starts on the bench
 

Section30

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Pre game sure has a lot of CP, CP, CP. They even dragged Dempsey out of the forest. Some good smack talk back and forth.

It will be good to see a full A-list squad for the CONCACAF next week.