CL Season 2019 -2020

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  • #16
    Sabitzer's pass near the end is how it's done. Leipzig played some beautiful football and deserve their place in the semi-final. I don't think an East German team has gone further than they have.


    • #17
      Barcelona look all but out. Davies looks unbeatable and unstoppable, both in the air and on the ground. Messi is too subdued. He's struggling, not because Bayern have marked him out of the game, but physically and mentally he's not all there. Sometimes its too much for him and this is one of those times.

      Bayern and Liverpool have looked like the best two sides in the world this season. The big win over Tottenham hinted at it, but the convincing wins over Chelsea and now Barcelona all but confirm it. I have to say Olympiacos gave a great account of themselves against them. That goes to show what a great job they, and Martins in particular, have done this season. I hope they can build off that next season.


      • #18
        Semedo might never play for Barcelona again after tonight.


        • #19
          Barcelona should hire van't Schip.


          • #20
            There are reports Messi may leave. I think he just wants Barcelona to make the necessary changes and has little desire to actually leave.

            The problems at Barcelona was best evidenced by the signing of Braithwaite. He's not qualified enough for the club, but they became so desperate due to their lack of squad depth that they had little choice. Then there were problems with the failures to adequately replace Xavi, Puyol, and now Iniesta from within. It should be noted, however, those great players for Barcelona didn't emerge until a period like this, when the club had similar problems. The signing of Pjanic will help, but I think the key remains finding this talent internally and then developing these players by providing them the necessary patience.

            Whatever the case, this loss reminds me of that time Wenger's Arsenal had lost 8-2 against Fergie's United.


            • #21
              Bayern have to be favorites, Gnabry and Lewandowski can really pile on the goals, Alonso Davies is fast emerging as one of the world's best players, and Kimmich can really cover ground and make things happen. Obviously they're a team full of great players and PSG may not be collectively as strong, but Mbappe and Neymar are as dangerous a pair as any and they can really give hope and confidence to PSG to maybe pull it off. Should they win, it wouldn't exactly be seen as an upset, but I think Bayern are the firm favorites. Only Liverpool have looked arguably as a stronger side than Bayern, but unfortunately for them they finally hit a low point in their form this season, after looking nearly unbeatable, when they were knocked out by Atletico.


              • #22
                Not the greatest of finals, but I enjoyed it no less. By the 80th minute it was pretty clear PSG was out for the count. Choupo-Moting is no Sheringham and a Mancheste United style fairy tale simply wasn't on the cards for PSG tonight even though it almost looked like things could have gone that way.

                PSG pressed really strong at the start and paid for it towards the end of the game. Many key players were too tired to mount a comeback. Also I think losing Cavani, who left for Benfica this summer, and the inability to properly replace him hurt them. Choupo-Moting came on and had a superb chance in the second minute of stoppage time, but he lacked the instincts and quality a player like Cavani has to put chances like that away. If that chance had fallen to Cavani instead, this game may have gone into extra-time. Maybe PSG even win it because in normal time because they did have one more chance after, but that second time Neymar didn't cross the ball well enough.

                Very little separated the two teams. And I think the main reason for that was due to how well the wing-backs for PSG had performed. Kehrer and Bernat made life difficult for both Davies and Gnabry. Now in saying that, things opened up for Coman as a result and Kimmich, if I'm not mistaken, had played in the cross from which Coman had scored. I think the credit here belongs to Flick. I think he did a very good job getting his team to create that situation that led to the goal. Having Davies play a more withdrawn role and Coman in the more advanced role, while playing Gnabry more wide, made the goal possible. This was Flick's ace up his sleeve. He didn't just leave it to Lewandowski to score and win the game. They very nearly repeated the trick. Bayern's excellent passing and movement, not too mention the threats posed by the presence of players like Lewandowski, but also elsewhere on the park from players like Davies, really spread the PSG defense thin those two times. Flick also gave PSG some credit. He clearly didn't underestimate them by electing to play like this, but I did feel he underestimated who hard PSG would press early on. I don't think he was expecting PSG to come out so strong and that was clearly reflected in the attitude of his players who made mistakes that proved nearly costly.

                Lewandowski looked great in the first half and was unlucky not to have scored. It looked like maybe this was going to be one of his top days, but he petered out towards the end when again he had chances but lacked focus. He was even diving when he had a great chance to breakaway when Thiago Silva was yellow carded towards the end of the game. He was clearly tired.

                Neymar was constantly kicked and hit from behind. He could never get going and he even lashed out with a yellow card for his troubles. He needed to inspire PSG tonight like he did against Atalanta, but Bayern were strong until the very end, unlike Atalanta who had fallen apart.

                Mpabbe's pace is other worldly. We got a glimpse of it a couple of times, most notably at the end of the game when Mueller had to manhandle Mbappe and yet still couldn't prevent Mbappe from getting the pass off which led to that stoppage time chance which Choupo-Moting completely bottled. Mbappe also had two great chances to score himself. The one chance came from a cross played by Di Maria. Mbappe choose to let it run after performing an unconvincing overlap dribble. Neuer had only the easiest of saves. Mbappe should have put a touch on it, but perhaps his finishing isn't polished enough to get the faintest of touches on a ball like that and score. Later he had an even better chance. He played a pass inside the box and then received the ball back right away, but he shot it right into the keeper, making it all too easy for Neuer. I don't think Mbappe was sharp enough to expect the return pass and he simply tried to hit quickly, but safely enough to find the goal, hoping to catch Neuer sleeping. He hasn't looked very threatening as a scorer himself since the league ended abruptly due to the pandemic. The fact he was injured in the French cup final also didn't help matters for him as that seemed to have disrupted his rhythm even more so. But when it came to making and spotting passes, he was very sharp and frankly brilliant. He has such great vision and understanding with his teammates. I think he has to improve his finishing ability still. He's not in the same class as Cristiano or Lewandowski in that sense, but his vision is excellent and he reminds so much of Pele they're almost uncanny.

                Neuer was very sharp and looked close to unbeatable today. He's big, gets low and spreads himself well. He's a daunting presence for any forward to face. A lot of the PSG front line whiffed on chances where they really should have done better on. Neuer's size and presence I believe played a part in throwing them off.

                The two best for me were Kimmich and Neuer. Between the two it's hard to say who was the MVP, but Kimmich was end to end making key blocks and key passes, including the assist if I'm not mistaken (he nearly repeated the trick too). His running too, just the sheer number of kilometers he ran, I believe was second to none. I don't like how he's always moaning and making a fuss though. He's an annoying player, but he works his tail off and he makes a difference, maybe even the difference in games. If I had to vote for one, I'd say Kimmich was the MVP, but Neuer deserves it just as well.