UEFA Champions League- Quarter/Semi Finals

Gunfighter 09

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So I’m dead. That was most intense soccer match I have ever watched.

So who hosts first in the semis?
 

koufax32

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Forgot the draw’s already done.

LFC v. Barca will be fun.

Either TOT or Ajax will make the final. That’s crazy.
 

Kliq

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So I have to work during these games and I can't focus on work and the game at the same time, so I just let myself get distracted by my work and check in when I know the score is over.

So when I checked the game score a few minutes ago and then read through this thread...I mean holy fucking shit. I felt like I was going to have a stroke! What an amazing experience to have watched live, although I'm happy I can now gleefully watch the highlights without having to deal with it playing out over an anxiety-fueled 90 minutes!
 
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jkempa

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I think that was one of the five most exciting sporting events I've ever watched.
 

FenwayFrenzy

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Do we believe this is going to be another situation where both matches will be played simultaneously, and TNT will only air one?
I ended up purchasing the B/R Live stream for Liverpool/Porto today for $2.99. It worked perfectly and I will be doing it again for future CL matches that aren't available on TV.
 

teddykgb

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Don’t begrudge Spurs they did enough to win the tie and dealt with some tough injuries. City fucked around with the first leg and ultimately not scoring an away goal proved costly as it often does.

It really chafes to have this ruled not handball though. Certainly not much luck there.

 

McBride11

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Seems like operating all day cost me a lot of amazing soccer. Dammit. But Spurs are through which is amazing. I have this on DVR so hope to catch up this weekend
 

SoxFanInCali

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Don’t begrudge Spurs they did enough to win the tie and dealt with some tough injuries. City fucked around with the first leg and ultimately not scoring an away goal proved costly as it often does.

It really chafes to have this ruled not handball though. Certainly not much luck there.

The ball definitely went in off his hip. It may have glanced his arm as well, but I don't see the ball change directions twice in that replay.
 

SocrManiac

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So, my random (drunk) thoughts:

  • With Juventus out, my marriage can survive Liverpool going through. The specter of our sides in the final had both of us looking up divorce lawyers.
  • Pepe continues to be one of the most disgusting men in the game.
    • Sergio Ramos and Diego Costa are thankful for the fleeting distraction.
  • Messi is a fine wine. He's better than he's ever been.
  • I am so glad we don't have to hear about a Citeh quadruple again.
  • I am so glad we don't have to hear about a Citeh quadruple again.
  • I am so glad we don't have to hear about a Citeh quadruple again.
  • Porto were frauds that had no place in this stage of the competition. This is a surprise to exactly nobody.
  • Ajax are incredible. Kids that age don't play with the tactical nous they displayed, especially in Turin. I hope to hell they can hold that squad together, but it seems impossible.
  • I find City's position genuinely intriguing. It's not difficult to buy into Der Spiegel and believe that they've absolutely devastated FFP rules. It's hard to imagine them being handed more than a transfer ban. If they've illegally obtained their position, how long can they hang on to any level of dominance (and, let's be honest, they could win the CL next year with no changes) with a ban?
  • Ronaldo was a bad move on the field.
    • Even domestically, it's clear that Juventus became overly reliant on him.
    • His presence throttled a promising young star, and I hope the damage isn't irreparable. I'd like to see Dybala regain his past form.
    • I don't care how many jerseys he's sold.
      • Purely first world/MFY/illegitimate problems: the fans he's brought with him have been infuriating to honest discussion of the side this year. The entire Juventus fan network has slid down several pegs as a result.
  • I've always had a player that defined Juventus for me. Baggio is the first I was aware of back in the early 90's, culminating in his most infamous kick in the '94 World Cup. I won't tick off the full list of names that have defined my fandom (beyond being born into it), but Del Piero and Buffon embodied the club for 20 years. Today, it's difficult to find the guy to fall behind. Chiellini is generally considered to be "it," but it's like rooting for Brad Marchand. There's an edge to him that takes the gloss away. Barzagli could have been the guy, but he's aging, retiring, and didn't get the time. Marchisio got pushed out by younger, flashier players, but I genuinely think he could have been the difference this year. Jordan Henderson fills a similar role for Liverpool. I don't think he's talented enough to make the starting eleven, but his passion and devotion to the badge have made all the difference. Juventus don't have "that guy," and I think it cost them. Italian clubs are generally considered unlikable to begin with, but this feels like a squad of mercenaries unlike any in memory.
  • Spurs/Ajax feels like a distraction from a "final" of LFC/Barca. I'm excited to see what those two sides can do over two matches. Barca just feels like they have all the necessary tools to win the competition. They're competent enough in the back, have a goalkeeper that can steal a win (or two), and go forward with an intensity that nobody can stop. Neymar's departure has made them scarier, because their attacks don't stall due to a player rolling around on the ground with the ball rolling in empty space. Liverpool have an impressive attack. Van Dijk is the best defender in the world, and he's made the players around him an order of magnitude better. I just don't see his leadership making an effective enough partnership with Matip or Lovren to win the tie: his support is just too weak. I think that will prove to be the difference: Liverpool are one central defender away.
 

veritas

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The one thing that I think makes the Llorente handball a little bit inconclusive is that I don't think it's clear that the ball didn't hit Laporte's hand at the same time. But I was pleasantly surprised by that ruling...

That was the best game I've ever watched, objectively. The fact that Spurs played it almost killed me. I don't know if my heart can take a Bruins game after that.
 

DrewDawg

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Don’t begrudge Spurs they did enough to win the tie and dealt with some tough injuries. City fucked around with the first leg and ultimately not scoring an away goal proved costly as it often does.

It really chafes to have this ruled not handball though. Certainly not much luck there.

That's not a handball. They had rules guy on radio. Arm against body, arm not moving towards ball, no deliberate action. The rules are the same for offense or defense.

There's a rule change for NEXT season that would likely mean that doesn't count. But it's not in effect now. Most of us are Pats fans, so we should be used to this.

https://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/news/fernando-llorentes-goal-would-automatically-14388800

At the moment, it needs to be deliberate handball in order to be an offence, rather than simply inadvertently making contact with the arm or hand as appeared to be the case with Llorente.
 

teddykgb

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City scored a goal like this earlier this season for Aguero so I knew it would go that way. It definitely hits his arm first there’s another angle which shows it clearly. Arm then thigh. I’m not saying it was the wrong call just brutal luck. Only then to have a goal ruled off by VAR for offside. Just a gut punch to go through

Edit: link to other angle

Edit2: not to lose sight of the fantastic goalkeeping by Ederson there. One of the most half hearted swipes at a ball that you’ll ever see lol
 
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teddykgb

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Did I do that? It slips my mind.

Look, it’s awesome to be a City fan. I’m glad for Spurs fans because they just took on a great team away and kept scoring. That was a gutsy performance.

I’m getting really tired of VAR already and all these super microscopic decisions. It’s getting to the point where you can’t celebrate goals anymore and there’s something just wrong about that to me. City have had a brutal run of luck in this competition and some really hard decisions against in addition to going out via away goals rule multiple times. This may have been City’s best chance in this comp and I think City are a better team than Spurs but there’s just something about this comp that I don’t like. I’ll earnestly be more devastated if this happens in the league
 
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SoxFanInCali

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And that's why I would buy you a beer if you were at the Bash, but might try to trip you afterwards.
 

BCsMightyJoeYoung

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So .. it clearly hit his arm .. and then the hip. But .. the arm wasn’t in an “unnatural position” .. it was right beside his body. Is that a handball? Frankly I have no idea. And it seems 95% of the public - not to mention the pundit class - seems to either.

Edit: just piling on I guess ..

On VAR - it’s an abomination .. on every single goal - or non goal in the box - there’s this nagging doubt in the back of your mind .. was that real ? Did it actually happen ?

Its stealing all the spontaneous joy out of the game. I don’t think soccer was meant to be officiated by running a microscope over every play.
 
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SoxFanInCali

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So .. it clearly hit his arm .. and then the hip. But .. the arm wasn’t in an “unnatural position” .. it was right beside his body. Is that a handball? Frankly I have no idea. And it seems 95% of the public - not to mention the pundit class - seems to either.
From the sound of it, it's a good goal this year but not next year. Starting next season if any advantage is gained from a ball hitting the hand or arm of an attacker, even if it's accidental or unavoidable, it's a free kick for the defense.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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Props to Spurs, who played with a ton of heart, got some big performances out of key players, and caught the breaks they needed (like many successful teams in this competition).

While City had some bad luck, this was another questionable Guardiola tactical performance in this competition. In addition to the timid tactics of the first leg, you have to wonder about the decision to take off Silva for Fernandinho. City was absolutely smothering Spurs and seemingly creating chances at will. After the substitution, Spurs had their only decent spell of the second half and City didn't create much for about 20 crucial minutes. This is definitely one of those substitutions where you're open to criticism either way if it doesn't work. But, just in terms of process, I do think it was the wrong decision. City was just so clearly on top and looked very capable of banging in another goal or two and killing the game, but the game changed a lot after Fernandinho came on.
 

DrewDawg

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I would think there should be more decision about the offside call. Was the Man City touch just a deflection on a back pass by Spurs?
 

teddykgb

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I mean it’s a deflected back pass. I’m not even sure Aguero is off and I’m probably more angry about that supposedly being a “clear and obvious error” than I am by whatever tortured logic would be deployed about whether a deflection nullifies the back pass rule. Again the VAR becomes the star of the show
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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I would think there should be more decision about the offside call. Was the Man City touch just a deflection on a back pass by Spurs?
I don't think it matters, does it? It was clearly touched by a Man City player to a player in an offside position and there was no intervening act by a defender. Are you thinking of the interpretation that says that if a defender touches or tries to play a ball that is headed toward a player in an offside position, the player in the offside position is no longer thought to have gained an advantage? I think that's not this case. Law 11 merely says that it's an offense for the player (in active play) to be in an offside position when the ball is played or "touched" by a team-mate.

In any event, the guy who has to be happiest about VAR tonight is Erikson because that was a really awful play. Wanyama had a couple of panic plays too after his brilliant tackle late in the game.
 

InstaFace

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I thought the issue was that Aguero was offside when that deflection occurred, and given that the deflection was by his own teammate, it's a pass to an offside player and a violation.

That said I haven't seen anything conclusive that he was offside.
 

DrewDawg

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I don't think it matters, does it? It was clearly touched by a Man City player to a player in an offside position and there was no intervening act by a defender. Are you thinking of the interpretation that says that if a defender touches or tries to play a ball that is headed toward a player in an offside position, the player in the offside position is no longer thought to have gained an advantage? I think that's not this case. Law 11 merely says that it's an offense for the player (in active play) to be in an offside position when the ball is played or "touched" by a team-mate.

In any event, the guy who has to be happiest about VAR tonight is Erikson because that was a really awful play. Wanyama had a couple of panic plays too after his brilliant tackle late in the game.
Well, I'm not 100% sure. On SiriusXM FC after the game, Tony Meola said he was talking to a US professional official that does VAR and that he said the ball has to be "played" by the City player, not just touched, on that play.

I'm not saying either side is right, I'm just wondering why that's about the only person I've heard that from--a soccer official.

I am NOT complaining.
 

DrewDawg

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I thought the issue was that Aguero was offside when that deflection occurred, and given that the deflection was by his own teammate, it's a pass to an offside player and a violation.

That said I haven't seen anything conclusive that he was offside.
How about Aguero's lack of argument? :)

And honestly, most every commentator I've read says he was. Barely.

EDIT: This seems pretty conclusive. Assuming grass shading is a straight line, you can draw a parallel line showing him off.

 

teddykgb

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How about Aguero's lack of argument? :)
You could say the same in reverse, not one Spurs player appealed for offside and the flag never went up. Just a VAR buzz

Edit: that’s a rough angle and I’m still not even sure he’s offside. Again we are calling that a clear and obvious error and overturning the play on the pitch? God does VAR annoy me I was handling this Ok before
 

DrewDawg

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Eh, we're never gonna have perfect angle, I see enough there.

But, good lord, City legit terrifying. Saturday might be 7-0.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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Well, I'm not 100% sure. On SiriusXM FC after the game, Tony Meola said he was talking to a US professional official that does VAR and that he said the ball has to be "played" by the City player, not just touched, on that play.

I'm not saying either side is right, I'm just wondering why that's about the only person I've heard that from--a soccer official.

I am NOT complaining.
Oh, I don’t know. I haven’t understood that to be the rule. I thought the touch by the Man City Player was sufficient. But I could be wrong.

As for whether he was behind the second last defender, he looked off to me but if the AR got a good look at it then I don’t really have a grasp on what the standard of proof is supposed to mean. It would call it clear but not obvious if that makes sense.
 

67YAZ

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So, my random (drunk) thoughts:.
  • Ajax are incredible. Kids that age don't play with the tactical nous they displayed, especially in Turin. I hope to hell they can hold that squad together, but it seems impossible.
This squad already has its most important player - de Jong - heading to Barca in a matter of weeks. And the current decision makers at Ajax have been very smart in recent years about selling young players when their value is high - Kluivert, Wober, Sanchez, Klassen, etc. They’ll weigh up the offers for de Light, Neres, van de Beek, and friends and make shrewd decisions.

What’s interesting is that after last season’s Europa League run, Ajax clearly decided that they wanted to add a few veterans to the mix to help them hang in the Champions League this season. They made brilliant & uncharacteristic moves for Blind & Tadic, costs which were covered by recent transfer surpluses. And now the entire value of those two contracts is covered many times over by CL prize money and whatever marginal increase in transfer value for their younger teammates that comes along with high profile successes.

What I mean is that the transfer strategy and execution have been incredible. And given Ajax’s long track record of identifying and developing talent as well as their crystal clear organizational philosophy, it really seems like they are set up for regular cycles of success in Europe.
 
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coremiller

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You could say the same in reverse, not one Spurs player appealed for offside and the flag never went up. Just a VAR buzz

Edit: that’s a rough angle and I’m still not even sure he’s offside. Again we are calling that a clear and obvious error and overturning the play on the pitch? God does VAR annoy me I was handling this Ok before
Don’t forget that VAR gave City an extremely marginal penalty in the first leg, which Aguero missed. VAR giveth and VAR taketh away, blessed be VAR. City’s problems were of their own making.

Eh, we're never gonna have perfect angle, I see enough there.

But, good lord, City legit terrifying. Saturday might be 7-0.
This is extremely likely and I will not care one bit.
 

SoxFanInCali

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It's going to be interesting to see when Barca plays at Anfield. I think Suarez will get a good reception, but Coutinho probably won't.
 

jkempa

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I would think there should be more decision about the offside call. Was the Man City touch just a deflection on a back pass by Spurs?
The post game show showed him in a offside position, but just barely. And I mean just. And that was compounded by the fact that Aguero turned backwards at the exact moment that the ball was struck, then went forwards. That turn meant that he had no advantage from the offside position, but from the rules of the game he was offside and it was technically the right call.
 

Zomp

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I didn't understand the call in real time because I didn't see the deflection at first. It's the correct call, just unlucky. I don't think you can call the non-handball goal unlucky because, well it was the correct call. It was just a terrible goal for City to give up.

Every season it seems the the ending is chaotic but this year especially is nuts. 2 teams going for the trophy, 4 teams battling it out for the last two top 4 spots, and with Cardiff's win over Brighton they have an outside shot at avoiding relegation.

Plus you have 2 English teams in the semi finals of the Champions League and 2 likely to be in the semis for Europa. Oh those 2 squads just happen to be in the battle for top 4.

Crazy.
 

Dernells Casket n Flagon

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I didn't understand the call in real time because I didn't see the deflection at first. It's the correct call, just unlucky. I don't think you can call the non-handball goal unlucky because, well it was the correct call. It was just a terrible goal for City to give up.

Every season it seems the the ending is chaotic but this year especially is nuts. 2 teams going for the trophy, 4 teams battling it out for the last two top 4 spots, and with Cardiff's win over Brighton they have an outside shot at avoiding relegation.

Plus you have 2 English teams in the semi finals of the Champions League and 2 likely to be in the semis for Europa. Oh those 2 squads just happen to be in the battle for top 4.

Crazy.
Going to be fun when Spurs losing the CL final and then finish in 5th.
 

Zososoxfan

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This squad already has its most important player - de Jong - heading to Barca in a matter of weeks. And the current decision makers at Ajax have been very smart in recent years about selling young players when their value is high - Kluivert, Wober, Sanchez, Klassen, etc. They’ll weigh up the offers for de Light, Neres, van de Beek, and friends and make shrewd decisions.

What’s interesting is that after last season’s Europa League run, Ajax clearly decided that they wanted to add a few veterans to the mix to help them hang in the Champions League this season. They made brilliant & uncharacteristic moves for Blind & Tadic, costs which were covered by recent transfer surpluses. And now the entire value of those two contracts is covered many times over by CL prize money and whatever marginal increase in transfer value for their younger teammates that comes along with high profile successes.

What I mean is that the transfer strategy and execution have been incredible. And given Ajax’s long track record of identifying and developing talent as well as their crystal clear organizational philosophy, it really seems like they are set up for regular cycles of success in Europe.
Despite it's questionable legality, Ajax and Barca seem to have a deal brewing where Ajax will be an official feeder club for Barca. De Ligt recently said that he will only field offers from Barca and while that's also his prerogative as a player, it does seem to support this idea.

It's going to be interesting to see when Barca plays at Anfield. I think Suarez will get a good reception, but Coutinho probably won't.
Well, Couts will be on the bench as long as Dembele is healthy ;-)

I don't even see much of a hand on the Llorente goal, would be hard to waive that off, perhaps even next year.

The offside call seems correct only because without Bernardo's touch the ball likely does not get to Aguero. He seems clearly in an offside position and I'm surprised we're even talking about that.
 

OilCanShotTupac

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This squad already has its most important player - de Jong - heading to Barca in a matter of weeks. And the current decision makers at Ajax have been very smart in recent years about selling young players when their value is high - Kluivert, Wober, Sanchez, Klassen, etc. They’ll weigh up the offers for de Light, Neres, van de Beek, and friends and make shrewd decisions.

What’s interesting is that after last season’s Europa League run, Ajax clearly decided that they wanted to add a few veterans to the mix to help them hang in the Champions League this season. They made brilliant & uncharacteristic moves for Blind & Tadic, costs which were covered by recent transfer surpluses. And now the entire value of those two contracts is covered many times over by CL prize money and whatever marginal increase in transfer value for their younger teammates that comes along with high profile successes.

What I mean is that the transfer strategy and execution have been incredible. And given Ajax’s long track record of identifying and developing talent as well as their crystal clear organizational philosophy, it really seems like they are set up for regular cycles of success in Europe.
I listened to one of the Everton fan podcasts this morning (The Blue Room - it's pretty good - https://www.theblueroomefc.com/). They were talking about their discussions with the Southampton fans they knew about Tadic at Ajax this year. They were, of course, physically ill that a guy who washed out for the Saints became a leader of a side that's going to the CL semis. You have to give enormous credit to the Ajax braintrust for recognizing Tadic's quality and his suitability for their side, and putting him in a position to succeed.

How many teams are there in the highest tier of clubs, the ones that you would never consider selling clubs? RM, Barca, City, Bayern, PSG, etc. Wherever you make the cut - for any teams below that tier, Ajax this year are the model to emulate.
 

Zososoxfan

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I listened to one of the Everton fan podcasts this morning (The Blue Room - it's pretty good - https://www.theblueroomefc.com/). They were talking about their discussions with the Southampton fans they knew about Tadic at Ajax this year. They were, of course, physically ill that a guy who washed out for the Saints became a leader of a side that's going to the CL semis. You have to give enormous credit to the Ajax braintrust for recognizing Tadic's quality and his suitability for their side, and putting him in a position to succeed.

How many teams are there in the highest tier of clubs, the ones that you would never consider selling clubs? RM, Barca, City, Bayern, PSG, etc. Wherever you make the cut - for any teams below that tier, Ajax this year are the model to emulate.
Well, what about Spurs :fonz:
 

67YAZ

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Well, what about Spurs :fonz:
The squad with 4 former Ajax players? That is one way to try to copy the model.

But you can’t really emulate Ajax. Unless your Barca, I guess, but even their commitment to Cruyffian ideals wavers at times.

My point is that Overmars & van der Sar have really got all the different facets of the club coordinated and pulling in the same direction. And those guys appear committed to sticking around for a long while.
 
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Kliq

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I can't find the chart right now but there was a graphic from a year or two ago that ranked the clubs that made the most money on transfer fees for players under the age of 25 over the last ten years or so; and I recall the top four being Dortmund (by a sizable margin IIRC), Spurs, Monaco and Ajax. Those are the clubs who are investing in young players and selling them down the line for big profits.