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

bosox4283

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Good grief. This is far too easy for Chelsea.
Can you tell me why? Has Tuchel designed a system to neutralize Atletico? Do Chelsea have much more talent than Atletico? Has Simeone put forward a plan that is just bad?

I know you've just explained to me why I need to listen to more Spacemen3, so thanks for adding these comments.
 

cromulence

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Definitely an elbow, but also not THAT bad.

Yeah, that's a pretty good acting job by Rudiger.
 

Zososoxfan

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Harsh red. Likely a foul, maybe a yellow. After watching the first episode of 'Man in the Middle' on CBS Paramount+, I'm surprised the VAR ref didn't buzz the ref on the field and said something to the effect of, 'yeah, he elbowed him in the chest a bit there, but Rudiger milked it. Come see for yourself, if it's real bad, it's a yellow.' For those who haven't seen the series, I really enjoyed the first ep and plan to watch the rest over the next week or so.
 

Jimy Hendrix

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So that's a potential DOGSO red not called on one side and a dodgy red called on the other. Atletico have looked like crap anyways, but if they need to recharge the grievance battery to get La Liga over the line they could do worse than stew on this game.
 

fletcherpost

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Can you tell me why? Has Tuchel designed a system to neutralize Atletico? Do Chelsea have much more talent than Atletico? Has Simeone put forward a plan that is just bad?

I know you've just explained to me why I need to listen to more Spacemen3, so thanks for adding these comments.
At the time of writing your team just got plain sloppy. When they need to step it up, which i am sure they are more than capable of, they dropped off in terms of quality. Some poor passes at the wrong time. Tuchel is happy to sit on the lead. I was disapointed in Atletico's play it's that simple mate. I want them to trouble Chelsea, and i want them to score.

I know your feeling it. Imagine bringing up Spacemen3, that's fuckin hilarious mate.
 

Zososoxfan

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So that's a potential DOGSO red not called on one side and a dodgy red called on the other. Atletico have looked like crap anyways, but if they need to recharge the grievance battery to get La Liga over the line they could do worse than stew on this game.
NGL, this is where my mind went as well. I think this helps Atleti immensely in the Liga campaign, as Simeone will ride his best XI (or 12-14) to the finish line. Conversely, Chelsea's eyes will come off the Prem race a bit as UCL takes on more importance. Yes, I'm grasping at straws #COYSsigh
 

bosox4283

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At the time of writing your team just got plain sloppy. When they need to step it up, which i am sure they are more than capable of, they dropped off in terms of quality. Some poor passes at the wrong time. Tuchel is happy to sit on the lead. I was disapointed in Atletico's play it's that simple mate. I want them to trouble Chelsea, and i want them to score.

I know your feeling it. Imagine bringing up Spacemen3, that's fuckin hilarious mate.
Thanks. I wish the explanation was more satisfying than the team simply had a poor match. Simeone really relies on Koke and Saul, and when they play their best for Atletico, they really anchor the team. I don't have any statistics to show if they were good or shit today, but my eyes told me that Atletico couldn't more the ball or create chances, which starts with the two guys linking the backline to the frontline.

Simeone tinkered with his line-up today, which is understandable. But the players looked lost moving from a 5-3-1 to a 4-4-2. He outsmarted himself.

Just a letdown. Not so much of a letdown to spin for Spacemen, though. My photography classmates saw my soul through my photos last night and, shit, it was intense. I need some lightness today.
 
So...in eight Round of 16 matchups, six of them were decided by an aggregate margin of three or more. And of the other two, one (Dortmund-Sevilla) was 5-2 on aggregate with 21 minutes of normal time to go in the second leg, and only looks close on paper because of a meaningless goal in the 96th minute. Only Juventus-Porto had any drama at all.

Is this a fluke, or - particularly with the new Swiss system on the horizon and lots of drama-free European football potentially in prospect - is this something to worry about? I'm inclined to say the former: this has of course been a weird season, with COVID and no fans in the stands. But it's not a great look for UEFA at a time when its marquee competition is already in a state of flux.
 

Zososoxfan

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So...in eight Round of 16 matchups, six of them were decided by an aggregate margin of three or more. And of the other two, one (Dortmund-Sevilla) was 5-2 on aggregate with 21 minutes of normal time to go in the second leg, and only looks close on paper because of a meaningless goal in the 96th minute. Only Juventus-Porto had any drama at all.

Is this a fluke, or - particularly with the new Swiss system on the horizon and lots of drama-free European football potentially in prospect - is this something to worry about? I'm inclined to say the former: this has of course been a weird season, with COVID and no fans in the stands. But it's not a great look for UEFA at a time when its marquee competition is already in a state of flux.
The other major effect of COVID on world football was less movement/investment in the transfer window. The window may have also been shorter than usual, but I don't recall. From 2010-2019, there was a steady and significant trending increase in spending by the big 5 leagues in each summer transfer window, with 2019 setting the record. As you might imagine, spending came crashing down last "summer", to 2016 levels. That may not sound that long ago, but 2017-2019 saw major increases from 2016, so this really was a significant pullback. Without running the numbers, it appears that the EPL spent less than the previous 3 summer windows, but by a smaller percentage than the other big leagues. So I'm not surprised to see the EPL have 3 sides in the QFs.

Then you get into some specific cases, like Barca and MAN U, and more broadly La Liga and Serie A to explain the discrepancy. Barca's financial woes are comical to most of the world, but it's really staggering when you realize just how much debt Barto and co. piled on. There's a pending court case against him and frankly, there is likely something legitimately criminal about how the finances were run for the past 5 years. Normally Barca's a fixture in the Quarters and even in down years would put up more of a fight than they did to PSG. I bring up MAN U because as much as I've enjoyed their jaunt through the (relative) wilderness, they're gigantic spenders who rarely aren't good enough to be competitive in the UCL R16. They got squeezed out in a very tough group stage. I mention Italy because in addition to Juve, Inter is a solid team that just happened to also get squeezed out in a group of death. In other words, I think typical Barca, MAN U, and Inter would've been more competitive than Atalanta, Lazio, and Gladbach.

Your point about the swiss system is well taken though. I think the swiss system gets bigger clubs to play one another sooner, but I don't think that will make matches more exciting per se. Playing 9 matches reduces the randomness of progression and will make upsets less frequent. I think I posted this elsewhere, but a pro-rel model with better groups entering later in the competition makes a lot of sense to me.
 

The Gray Eagle

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Arsenal concede early in the second half on a shot deflected off Gabriel.
Pepe blasts one goal-bound from about 20 yards, but it hits ESR in the back and deflects over.

The overall score is 3-2 now. This team can never do anything the easy way.
 

The Gray Eagle

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Edit: sorry, wrong thread.
This is most definitely NOT the right thread for Arsenal talk anymore.
 
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deconstruction

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Nope. If Olympiacos scores, they will be one play from going through. Arsenal have shown that they can concede to any team at any time.
The red card probably sews it up, and would for most other teams, but there's still time for an implosion.
Auba with another great chance, great save, rebound pops into the air, he side-volleys from about 10 yards and hits it over.
Well, I wasn't nervous! Arsenal hasn't allowed more than two goals since Man City in December. They weren't allowing three today.
 

pedro1918

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Map Ref. 41°N 93°W
Results of the draw:

Manchester City (ENG)
Borussia Dortmund (GER)

Bayern Munich (GER)
Paris Saint-Germain (FRA)


Porto (POR)
Chelsea (ENG)

Real Madrid (ESP)
Liverpool (ENG)
 

Clears Cleaver

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three best teams at the top of the bracket! Holy shit, we've waited a long time for City v Bayern. I hope that's what we get

Meanwhile, LFC fans quietly give out a fist-pump. Maybe Thiago can break Ramos' leg on a reckless tackle and redeem his rep at Merseyside...
 

Pesky Pole

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three best teams at the top of the bracket! Holy shit, we've waited a long time for City v Bayern. I hope that's what we get

Meanwhile, LFC fans quietly give out a fist-pump. Maybe Thiago can break Ramos' leg on a reckless tackle and redeem his rep at Merseyside...
It's too bad the Kop won't be full for Ramos. I'm sure that would have been fun.
 

Stanley Steamer

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Chelsea have to be fist-pumping as well. Definitely no guarantees but it wouldn't surprise me if they ended up in the final. I like that Bayern's path looks the toughest, and seeing them match up against City would be an excellent tie.
 

Zososoxfan

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No bad matchups. Really fun draw. Don't care as much about Porto-Chelsea, but maybe someone can hurt Pepe.

Liverpool should be able to handle Madrid. This Madrid team just isn't that good even though they still have a good squad and some world class players at spots. Then again, it's Madrid and they live for UCL unfortunately and Ramos will try to remove someone's hip joint (shoulders are sooooo pre-COVID).

Citeh should be favorites against Dortmund but Haaland really is a transformational player. City better have their defending boots on because any touches for Haaland in the final third are dangerous. What's the latest on Sancho's injury?

PSG-Bayern over 2 legs should be a blast. Bayern is still the class of Europe and their position in history depends on their ability to win silverware again this year after last year's huge run. Both Bayern and PSG are in good fights domestically that should keep them sharp (RBL pushing Bayern and Lille, Lyon, and Monaco pushing PSG). Bayern are just stacked everywhere whereas PSG are stacked everywhere except a step below Bayern at the back. City also have a stronger squad than PSG but PSG are third and in the same class IMO due to their stars up front and depth.
 

67YAZ

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I'm worried that Pep is going to use this opportunity to recruit Haaland.
 
The new Champions League format will be signed off tomorrow, and become effective from 2024:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/56573883

I don't know if this will be the moment that future historians will define as the tipping point when the top European clubs went too far. But that tipping point moment is definitely coming in the next few decades, and I really look forward to seeing what football will be like after they do go too far and the game is dramatically restructured.
 

candylandriots

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The new Champions League format will be signed off tomorrow, and become effective from 2024:

https://www.sport/football/56573883

I don't know if this will be the moment that future historians will define as the tipping point when the top European clubs went too far. But that tipping point moment is definitely coming in the next few decades, and I really look forward to seeing what football will be like after they do go too far and the game is dramatically restructured.
I really hate that wild card idea. Giving teams a pass for bad play based on past successes, which presumably helps them continue to keep their coefficients high. That's some bullshit right there. And I'll be very interested to see how those first ten games are scheduled.
 

Zososoxfan

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OK, so breaking this down, the 'Champions LEAGUE' will include 36 clubs, each playing 10 matches. Qualifying will be based on domestic league position (with the 2 megaclub WCs which are a joke). After the 10 matches, the top 8 in the UCL table will move on to the KO and the next 16 (UCL table positions 9-24) will have play-in fixtures (unclear if home-and-home, but have to think so) for the KO round. Do I have this right?

A couple of things. First, any club that finishes in that 9-24 group is going to have a fixture congestion nightmare. During the current break in UCL between the group phase and the KO, clubs are usually competing in domestic leagues and cups. Well, now there's no break--tough shit. Domestic cups are going to come down even further in the pecking order for big clubs--either that, or clubs will carry better depth on the squad and make the domestic cup a training wheels competition. On the other side of the coin, making it into the UCL top 8 in the table will be a huge advantage.

The other thing that jumps out is the disparity between the culling of clubs in the current group phase vs. the new format. In other words, each club currently plays 6 matches and UCL goes from 32 --> 16 teams based on the results of the group phase. Going forward, each club will play 10 matches (EGADS!), only to eliminate 12 clubs? That's not very efficient.

Ultimately, I just expect that I will start paying more attention in the KO rounds. This seems like an oversaturation by an awesome competition. If anything, the group phase has become a bit stale, but that's because the best clubs have so consistently qualified for the KO. Introducing more elements of randomness (read: upsets) is what draws eyeballs. I've skipped plenty of Barca vs. 'Macedonia FC' group phase matches. But the rich clubs would never go for that, as evidenced by the fact that this is a naked cash grab.

Finally, to @Conigliaro's Potential point, this may be the moment that the UCL began to disappear in its current concept. This new format will be a negative development, and the UCL should just finally become what the name says it is--a full tabled competition for the best/richest 20-30 clubs.
 

teddykgb

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It’s hot garbage formed in the same place as FFP to protect the revenue streams of teams who can’t afford to miss the CL. It’s a classic “too big to fail” trap and it’s a damn shame it will almost certainly pass.
The CL is already ruined by how much seeding occurs. As consumers we would be better off not truly judging teams by their ability to win a knockout tournament and just throwing everyone into an unseeded pot and get a bunch of ridiculous matches whenever they occur. It’s already setup to keep big clubs away from each other as long as possible. We need more weird shit like Ajax going deep and even Porto’s regressive football this year.
 

Zososoxfan

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Yeah @Zososoxfan maybe this is designed to be an unmanageable mess in order to get these clubs what we all know they really want.
Well, I think this is already pretty much what they want. The only thing they would prefer is a closed system (a la MLS), but I think even they realize they need some fluidity to include clubs that are competitive and big draws. If the 'Super League' formed today, would it include RBL? Who makes it from Spain? Sevilla, Villareal, Valencia?
 

Pesky Pole

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2 games I really really want to watch. WHY DONT THEY STAGGER THESE ANYMORE?!
This drives me nuts as well. With many working from home around the world, it makes even less sense than ever. Give us a 2pm and 4pm game or at least make one start an hour early (2:30p and 3:30p) so you can switch over to the second half of the other game.
 

67YAZ

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Well, that's just world class stuff from Kroos & Vinicius. There's always some blame to go around on every goal, but not so many sqauds with the talent to make that goal look so damn simple.

Edit: I'll just add that Alison is definitely under pressure with that mustache.
 

Jimy Hendrix

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Horrifyingly bad bailout call after Ederson giftwraps Bellingham a goal to keep Dortmund scoreless.
 

Pesky Pole

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Not sure what they are complaining about to the referee there. That's all on Trent.
I'll respond to myself. That bump on Mane was certainly something and it was seconds before the goal. Still no excuse for turning off completely afterward.

p.s. - is it super windy there or something? every ball is behind the player.