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

I know that's why they're doing it, but the "no fans outside the stadium" thing seems to be a happy side effect, particularly for fans of clubs like PSG which care infinitely more about the Champions League than their domestic competitions. If you're willing to stipulate that UEFA and the big clubs are always going to be money whores and not reduce each round to single-legged ties unless they absolutely have to, the current solution seems pretty OK: everyone who flies to the neutral country will be getting tested multiple times and not mix with many if any locals, and the risk of super-spreader events outside the stadiums is significantly lessened.
 

Domer

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If only there were large outdoor venues where such fans could gather and remain spaced out.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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Sevilla up 1-0 on a Suso deflected shot from outside the box. Deflection was lucky but the defending was really bad.

BvB just seem dysfunctional right now, a team consistently less than the sum of its parts. Sevilla are essentially the opposite, a well drilled squad with a few excellent players and a lot of functional ones that manages to punch above the weight of its talent. I liked them to win this tie even before scoring within seven minutes.

Edit: And Dortmund level shortly after I shit talk them.
 
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The Raccoon

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As a BVB supporter, this 1st half was an unexpected surprise.
The way things are going currently, I expect the worst for then 2nd 45 minutes...
 

allstonite

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Watching the Juve game for McKennie and he just came off for Morata. They’re down 0-2 so they need goals but to my completely untrained eye he seemed to be the only one in the midfield not giving it away immediately and actually making some productive passes
 

PedroSpecialK

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Chiesa with a nice volleyed finish off a Rabiot cross for the all-important away goal, but Porto hang on 2-1 for this leg.

Taremi is going to be an isolated man for the return leg in Turin... Conceicao will surely go with a Burnley-esque low block
 

teddykgb

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Chiesa with a nice volleyed finish off a Rabiot cross for the all-important away goal, but Porto hang on 2-1 for this leg.

Taremi is going to be an isolated man for the return leg in Turin... Conceicao will surely go with a Burnley-esque low block
Classic terrible late away goal to concede by Porto. Tempting fate.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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Haaland really is an incredible player to watch. He's almost like Lebron, he just looks and moves differently than the other humans you see playing the sport and it seems kind of unfair that somebody can be simultaneously that big, that quick, and that skilled.
 

Zososoxfan

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Haaland really is an incredible player to watch. He's almost like Lebron, he just looks and moves differently than the other humans you see playing the sport and it seems kind of unfair that somebody can be simultaneously that big, that quick, and that skilled.
I had the same reaction. I'd seen a lot of his technique in the box before and his strength--OK, you have a Giroud prototype cool. Then yesterday he was blazing runs in behind and showing silky touch. Hot damn!
 

Kliq

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Yeah, we have seen plenty of technically skilled big CFs that have powerful strikes, but Haaland's speed is incredible for a player that tall and rangy. He doesn't even use his head right now, so he still has a ways to go to improve as a finisher which is terrifying.
 

Jimy Hendrix

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Yeah, we have seen plenty of technically skilled big CFs that have powerful strikes, but Haaland's speed is incredible for a player that tall and rangy. He doesn't even use his head right now, so he still has a ways to go to improve as a finisher which is terrifying.
I also think his creativity is currently ahead of his ability to execute his ideas eg. when Dortmund get into tight spaces and do their attempts at clever interplay. It's another thing that he could scarily get better at.
 
While I understand this sentiment for this year, why do you dislike it? I think it’s a great rule. Nothing like a game on the knife edge where you go from losing to winning with a goal.
Because it encourages negative, defensive football - from the home teams in particular. Keeping a clean sheet at home in the first leg is now typically more important than actually scoring. Also, if a tie goes to extra time, a goal by the away team counts extra, which is particularly daft given that the higher-seeded team usually gets home "advantage" in the second leg. The away goals concept made much more sense many decades ago, but it just doesn't do the job it was designed to do any more.

(If you want longer, more extensive versions of this argument with examples, just Google "why the away goals rule must be abolished" and you'll find plenty of articles there.)
 

Mighty Joe Young

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Because it encourages negative, defensive football - from the home teams in particular. Keeping a clean sheet at home in the first leg is now typically more important than actually scoring. Also, if a tie goes to extra time, a goal by the away team counts extra, which is particularly daft given that the higher-seeded team usually gets home "advantage" in the second leg. The away goals concept made much more sense many decades ago, but it just doesn't do the job it was designed to do any more.

(If you want longer, more extensive versions of this argument with examples, just Google "why the away goals rule must be abolished" and you'll find plenty of articles there.)
Ok .. thanks .. I agree that, if the tie goes into extra time the away goal should just be a regular goal. Minor tweak :)

On the other hand, while its true the home teams have an extra incentive to play defensively isn’t the corollary also true ? Which was the original intent.

I shall do further investigations ..
 

bosox4283

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Simeone is great and I support him, but I have no idea what he's doing today. Even granting that Simeone is missing three players in Trippier, Carrasco, and Gimenez out, he's still playing like the good ol' days with Gabi and Godin parking the bus and holding on for dear life. There's a lot of offensive talent on the pitch that he seems totally disinterested in using. It's as confusing as frustrating.
 

Jimy Hendrix

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VAR disagrees and the goal stands.

I would really like Giroud if he didn't keep playing for every London club except the one I support.
 

bosox4283

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I admire the way a handful of Atletico players adapt their style to fit Simeone's, especially when the club is missing a few key parts. But today was yet another game when I wish Simeone trusted his players more and adapted his style to them*. There was no reason to sit back and hope for the best. Joao Felix has too much talent and creativity to be asked to play so passively. Llorente is playing at such a high-level now, Simeone should really use his skill and speed. The whole thing was so disappointing.

*Well, without a RB -- Tripper is suspended and Vrsjalko is injured -- there was no real good way to structure the line-up.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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I can't get over how bad this Real Madrid team looks.

Why the fuck did they loan Jovic if it was going to mean starting fatty Isco as your striker in a CL knockout match, flanked by two wingers who can't score goals either?
 

bosox4283

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I can’t imagine Zidane having much of an appetite for putting up with Jovic. That guy is a clown.
Agreed. Beyond Jovic, Zidane has shown remarkably little interest in developing guys that aren't "his guys". The question, then, is whether Florentino Perez just buys whomever he wants and tells Zidane to deal with it, or if Zidane is rather poor at choosing whom to sign.
 

pedro1918

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Second legs start today and tomorrow:

Tuesday, March 9

Juventus vs. Porto, 3 p.m. ET (1-2)
Borussia Dortmund vs. Sevilla, 3 p.m. ET (3-2)

Wednesday, March 10

Liverpool vs. RB Leipzig, 3 p.m. ET (2-0)
PSG vs. Barcelona, 3 p.m. ET (4-1)
 
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Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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Juve on the brink of getting knocked out by Porto after a soft penalty call gifts the visitors an away goal. Weren't they hurt by a soft home penalty to Lyon last year as well in this round? Not that I feel very sorry for them in general.
 

PedroSpecialK

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Shocked Ronaldo wasn't deemed offside there - on replay, looks like Pepe played him on.

6-3-1 for Conceição this early is pretty ballsy...
 

The Raccoon

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VAR reaches another low point in absolutely ruining football. I'll just leave this summary of idiocy here.

View: https://twitter.com/SquawkaNews/status/1369395744336121869
As a fan of the team that ultimately scored: Just stupid and no fun to watch.
Sevilla keeper mocked Haaland after the first (missed) penalty and Haaland got back at him after scoring in his 2nd try, resulting in some post-goal shoving and multiple yellow cards to complete this mess.
Just ugly all around...
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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As a fan of the team that ultimately scored: Just stupid and no fun to watch.
Sevilla keeper mocked Haaland after the first (missed) penalty and Haaland got back at him after scoring in his 2nd try, resulting in some post-goal shoving and multiple yellow cards to complete this mess.
Just ugly all around...
The whole thing was ridiculous. I thought the original call was pretty marginal and negated a great goal by Haaland then the penalty call itself was fairly questionable. VAR has just introduced this bizarre and completely not fun quality to the game where you can't celebrate anything in the moment, you never know whether something that happened two minutes beforehand is suddenly going to come into play, etc.
 

PedroSpecialK

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How Alex Sandro hasn't been booked is beyond me

edit: Kuipers books Oliveira for dissent instead, nice