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

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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I wonder if Rodri was hurt or something. The starting XI might have just been standard Pep galaxy brain stuff, but it was weird that he brought Fernandinho on instead of Rodri when changing it up. If you're going to be breaking down a packed defense, surely you want the pivot player who can move the ball from side to side.
 

teddykgb

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I wonder if Rodri was hurt or something. The starting XI might have just been standard Pep galaxy brain stuff, but it was weird that he brought Fernandinho on instead of Rodri when changing it up. If you're going to be breaking down a packed defense, surely you want the pivot player who can move the ball from side to side.
Rodri was really poor over the last month. I’m not surprised because he was just out of form and City were clearly wanting dynamism to break through the lines. It didn’t work but the City team without a striker were struggling against the back 5 all year. Just not enough creativity in the final third with Sterling so off form and Chilwell just manhandling Mahrez. It has been the same pattern for three matches
 

67YAZ

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Kante is a legend. He's done everything there is to do in the game.
2 EPL titles, a World Cup, a Champions League title. He’ll be competitive for a Euro title this summer, too. Amazing career so far.
 

Mighty Joe Young

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It doesn't have anything to do with the quality of the commentary.

Seven was one of our more prominent Newcastle fans around here until he bailed on them for...Chelsea.

Ok - hadn’t understood the reference . I was merely poking fun at the PL’s weird tendency to ignore a 100 years of top flight history

Edit: Shearer’s mostly a studio guy. Pretty rare to be doing commentary.
 

thehitcat

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So Man City has to go get Messi this summer right? I mean assuming they stick with Pep he needs his talisman if they're going to win a Champion's League?
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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So Man City has to go get Messi this summer right? I mean assuming they stick with Pep he needs his talisman if they're going to win a Champion's League?
They could have really used Harry Kane in this game.

I mean, every team could use Harry Kane in every game. But the lack of a real top level striker came back to bite them in this one.
 

cromulence

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It wasn't actually a head-to-head collision, though - Rudiger just grabbed his head to make it look that way. At least that's what Martinez said, and I actually thought the same at the time. More like shoulder-to-head. I'm not sure that means it's a red though.
 

teddykgb

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It wasn't actually a head-to-head collision, though - Rudiger just grabbed his head to make it look that way. At least that's what Martinez said, and I actually thought the same at the time. More like shoulder-to-head. I'm not sure that means it's a red though.
Yeah maybe it wasn’t his head but a CB body block when he ha been done by the run is a very standard yellow. A red for that in a CL final would be madness
 

tmracht

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Man that was quite a defensive performance, Werner had some good chances early, and that block by Rudiger was clutch. I thought for sure Mahrez had equalized. What a turn around from stumbling home into fourth without the FA Cup.
 

ninjacornelius

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Chelsea scored 58 goals in the Premier League this year. According to FBRef, no UCL champion in the past 5 years has scored fewer than 94 league goals. It's just been total defensive domination ever since Tuchel arrived.
 

tmracht

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Chelsea scored 58 goals in the Premier League this year. According to FBRef, no UCL champion in the past 5 years has scored fewer than 94 league goals. It's just been total defensive domination ever since Tuchel arrived.
Yep absolutely suffocating. I've had so many other fans telling me the 5ATB is too regressive. But it worked for this group. Then again with Werner massively underperforming his expected goal difference that probably could have been closer to 70 but point remains. Either way Tuchel played to the strength of this squad.
 

teddykgb

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Yep absolutely suffocating. I've had so many other fans telling me the 5ATB is too regressive. But it worked for this group. Then again with Werner massively underperforming his expected goal difference that probably could have been closer to 70 but point remains. Either way Tuchel played to the strength of this squad.
It IS regressive though. It also was fantastically effective especially against City. I have questions about it over 38 matches that can only be answered by time. It is also fantastically reliant on Kantes brilliance, Chelsea tanked immediately when he was injured. It is incredibly intelligent of Tuchel to realize that Kante is both his best player and a weapon that allows him to commit so many men in wide areas. But Kante is getting older and I think a truly unique and special player. Will the system function at a high level next Xmas when he breaks down from overuse?
 

67YAZ

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It IS regressive though. It also was fantastically effective especially against City. I have questions about it over 38 matches that can only be answered by time. It is also fantastically reliant on Kantes brilliance, Chelsea tanked immediately when he was injured. It is incredibly intelligent of Tuchel to realize that Kante is both his best player and a weapon that allows him to commit so many men in wide areas. But Kante is getting older and I think a truly unique and special player. Will the system function at a high level next Xmas when he breaks down from overuse?
We’ll have to see how Chelsea reshapes the squad this summer. Tuchel’s PSG and Dortmund teams averaged over 2.5 goals per game - his track record is much more front foot with a healthy amount of counter-pressing. But he showed incredible flexibility this season and got the most from this Chelsea side.
 

tmracht

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It IS regressive though. It also was fantastically effective especially against City. I have questions about it over 38 matches that can only be answered by time. It is also fantastically reliant on Kantes brilliance, Chelsea tanked immediately when he was injured. It is incredibly intelligent of Tuchel to realize that Kante is both his best player and a weapon that allows him to commit so many men in wide areas. But Kante is getting older and I think a truly unique and special player. Will the system function at a high level next Xmas when he breaks down from overuse?
Great point but hopefully they now have a new plan for next season. Tuchel has to get to buy some groceries this year to fit his vision.
 

teddykgb

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We’ll have to see how Chelsea reshapes the squad this summer. Tuchel’s PSG and Dortmund teams averaged over 2.5 goals per game - his track record is much more front foot with a healthy amount of counter-pressing. But he showed incredible flexibility this season and got the most from this Chelsea side.
Yes, I agree. City ran into that back 5 3 times and barely ever looked like scoring. It’s a really perfect answer to Guardiolas philosophy. Guardiola builds everything through the wingers, the entire system wants to possess and move the ball until a winger can be isolated and then win a 1 v 1. City created a few of these today with some tantalizing cutbacks but Tuchels back 5 in particular was extremely aggressive in doubling the wingers. Chilwell got away with a lot of grabbing but he paid no attention to any ball behind today and aggressively marked Mahrez while James did the same in the other side. They knew they had a Cb behind and Superman supporting inside. City could go left to right all day and never create the isolation. It should have been possible to play inside channels but Kante sniffed everything out and Citys best player of a killer ball is stuck imitating a striker. It wasn’t noticed much that City had mostly adopted a 442 with a double false 9 to try to respond to a lack of striker but the spaces just never materialized. Pep is taking belters for tinkering but the challenge based on the first two encounters was always going to be chance generation. It was a brave attempt to try Gundogan deeper because it gave Cuty a better chance of doing something creative centrally but he really had a poor game and City never created anything that way until Jesus came on and Foden had a little more freedom
 

Zososoxfan

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I also thought Pep had galaxy-brained himself once again with his XI, but looking at the bench there's only a couple of things that he could've reasonably done--he could've started Cancelo over one of his other FBs, and/or he could've played Dinho or Rodri instead of Sterling. The former is less consequential than the latter IMO. Starting Sterling after the course of this season is puzzling. Dinho and Rodri both have their limitations as @teddykgb points out, but getting Gundogan and Bernando further upfield (along with the FBs most likely) offset the value of having Sterling in attack IMO. So while this isn't the worst case of galaxy-brain by Pep, it does add to his story. At the end of the day, with the far more talented side, set the team up in a way that asks the opponent to react and then figure something out, rather than try to preempt their strategy.
 

swiftaw

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Prior to the CL final, there was only one other game during the season why Pep didn't start either of Fernandinho or Rodri. Seems like a rather big game to put out a lineup you have pretty much never used all season.