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Champions League


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34 replies to this topic

#1
Pirata Morado

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I know soccer isn't what you fancy most, but since the board has been a little bit quiet, let's talk about Champions League, by far the League where the best soccer is played, much better than the World Cup. And we have this one every year!

Today Barcelona played masterfully, again, against The Gunners of Arsenal. Great game! Barcelona was their own enemy, having allowed Arsenal to come back in the first leg at London thanks to a bad goalkeeping. Then today, when they were already 1-0 and tied 2-2 in the agreggate but forward thanks to the goal away, Busquets commited an own goal, tying the game, but putting Barza down again in the agreggate.

But then... Iniesta started a masterful dribble, passed it to Villa, who one touched it to Xavi, who all alone in the box only had to put it past the keeper for one of the most beautiful goals I've seen.

A penalty kick sealed it for Barza, not without another fright at the end of the game, in which Mascherano saved with a slide what could had been the winner for Arsenal.

What a great competion! Barza is through to the quarter finals, where they could clash against Real Madrid, Man U, or even Inter, for a sweet payback!
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#2
Lonnie

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I know soccer isn't what you fancy most, but since the board has been a little bit quiet, let's talk about Champions League, by far the League where the best soccer is played, much better than the World Cup. And we have this one every year!

Today Barcelona played masterfully, again, against The Gunners of Arsenal. Great game! Barcelona was their own enemy, having allowed Arsenal to come back in the first leg at London thanks to a bad goalkeeping. Then today, when they were already 1-0 and tied 2-2 in the agreggate but forward thanks to the goal away, Busquets commited an own goal, tying the game, but putting Barza down again in the agreggate.

But then... Iniesta started a masterful dribble, passed it to Villa, who one touched it to Xavi, who all alone in the box only had to put it past the keeper for one of the most beautiful goals I've seen.

A penalty kick sealed it for Barza, not without another fright at the end of the game, in which Mascherano saved with a slide what could had been the winner for Arsenal.

What a great competion! Barza is through to the quarter finals, where they could clash against Real Madrid, Man U, or even Inter, for a sweet payback!


What I know about soccer could be shoved up my... well, there would be a lot of room wherever you shoved it. What I am glad to see though is that it is giving you some joy. That is what sports should be about.

Lonnie
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#3
Sancho Panza

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Busquets commited an own goal, tying the game, but putting Barza down again in the agreggate.

As it was the only shot on Barça's goal in the first 53 minutes, I was not worried.

Barça! :yahoo:

Edited by Sancho Panza, 09 March 2011 - 02:39 AM.

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#4
Pirata Morado

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What I know about soccer could be shoved up my... well, there would be a lot of room wherever you shoved it. What I am glad to see though is that it is giving you some joy. That is what sports should be about.

Lonnie

Thanks Lonnie, yes it gave me joy! I follow Barza since I was a kid, despite the fact that everybody in Mexico used to like Real Madrid (their nemesis) because Hugo Sánchez, the best mexican player ever, played for Real Madrid in the 80's, 90's. In my avatar there's me and my kid Santi both dressed in Bacerlona's jersey.

Today everybody follows Barcelona, simply because even if you don't like soccer, or you don't understand it, just by watching the way they play you could start loving it. It's amazing the way they play it.

Edited by Pirata Morado, 09 March 2011 - 05:29 PM.

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#5
Pirata Morado

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As it was the only shot on Barça's goal in the first 53 minutes, I was not worried.

Barça! :yahoo:

Had Bendter controlled that last ball better in which Mascherano slid to save it we would be crying elimination right now. They certainly need to do better at the box and score more.

Their precission at passing is more than 80%, amazing, if they would simply score with half that precission, say 40%, they would end scoring 10 goals per game.
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#6
Sancho Panza

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They certainly need to do better at the box and score more.

You might mean Arsenal here, because Barça has 78 goals for and only 13 against in 27 La Liga matches, 14 for and only 3 against in in their 6 group play matches. Tighter aggregates like the 4:3 against Arsenal happen more frequently the deeper you get into the knock-out rounds, especially if a defender of Puyol's class isn't on the pitch.

Edited by Sancho Panza, 10 March 2011 - 06:58 AM.

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#7
Pirata Morado

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You might mean Arsenal here, because Barça has 78 goals for and only 13 against in 27 La Liga matches, 14 for and only 3 against in in their 6 group play matches. Tighter aggregates like the 4:3 against Arsenal happen more frequently the deeper you get into the knock-out rounds, especially if a defender of Puyol's class isn't on the pitch.

Yes, their numbers are impressive, but what I meant is that they still miss a lot of chances. They build a lot of goal chances which they fail to score, many times because they like to keep trying the beautiful pass once inside the box, where they should try to shoot instead.

Remember Inter last year? I guess they built 3 chances in both games. They scored them all. 100% success rate.

Barcelona had at least 5 good chances at London in the first leg, and another 5 chances on tuesday in the second leg. That's 4 goals in 10 chances, for a 40% success rate. That's my point. For the number of chances they build they should be able to score more. Not that I complain, just an observation.
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#8
Sancho Panza

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40% sounds pretty good, but as we all know stats are not my strength. What's typical in Champions League?

Edited by Sancho Panza, 10 March 2011 - 08:09 AM.

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#9
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#10
Pirata Morado

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40% sounds pretty good, but as we all know stats are not my strength. What's typical in Champions League?

Well, I don't know, soccer stats aren't precisely robust or anything.

But look at Arsenal, in both games they might have reached Barza's box in 4 times tops, and they got 3 goals to show for it. On Tuesday they didn't even got a shot a goal, but "scored" once!

Edited by Pirata Morado, 11 March 2011 - 07:04 AM.

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#11
Sancho Panza

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Well, I don't know, soccer stats aren't precisely robust or anything.

That's what I thought, just wanted to hear it from someone who knows more about those things than I.

If Arsenal were consistently that efficient, then they'd be unbeatable if they could create as many chances as Barça.

Edited by Sancho Panza, 12 March 2011 - 04:00 AM.

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#12
Pirata Morado

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Man U advanced to the quarterfinals yesterday thanks to a pair of goals by mexican Javier "Chicharito" Hernández.

I'm already savoring a QF match between Man U and Barcelona, it would be awesome.
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#13
Sancho Panza

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Man U advanced to the quarterfinals yesterday thanks to a pair of goals by mexican Javier "Chicharito" Hernández.

I'm already savoring a QF match between Man U and Barcelona, it would be awesome.

Yeah, and whatever the result, you'd have something to cheer for. :)
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#14
anunderwaterguy

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Yes, their numbers are impressive, but what I meant is that they still miss a lot of chances. They build a lot of goal chances which they fail to score, many times because they like to keep trying the beautiful pass once inside the box, where they should try to shoot instead.

Remember Inter last year? I guess they built 3 chances in both games. They scored them all. 100% success rate.

Barcelona had at least 5 good chances at London in the first leg, and another 5 chances on tuesday in the second leg. That's 4 goals in 10 chances, for a 40% success rate. That's my point. For the number of chances they build they should be able to score more. Not that I complain, just an observation.


It's a fair point. Sometimes you watch Barcelona and they completely dominate the play yet still find themselves in a tight game. Then again sometimes Villa, Messi and Pedro are clinical and look like some of the best finishers in the world.

One thing I would say is that the margins between success and failure are extremely small when it comes to finishing chances. I play as an attacking midfield player and some games everything I hit finds the corner of the net and on other days everything I hit just misses, or the keeper makes a great save. There are a lot of circumstantial factors that come into play - nobody can control shots to within a couple of inches, yet often that's the difference between success and failure. It's very similar to baseball in that sense.

Of course fans tend to look at the sports quite differently. Whereas baseball has things like BABIP, FIP and other ways to separate "performance" from "results" (or to measure how unlucky players are) when we watch football we tend to just see someone as a genius when they hit a shot straight into the top corner and an idiot when they hit a shot that goes an inch wide.

The only thing you can do in football is keep playing the percentages, dominate possession, create chances and hope they end up in the back of the net. If you have good finishers like Villa then it should even itself out. Arsenal, for instance, looked clinical against Barca, but then they played Sunderland the week before, completely dominated the game and couldn't score (it finished 0-0).
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#15
Sancho Panza

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Big night for soccer fans everwhere, and it's "only" the final of Copa del Rey, the Spanish Cup., featuring Barca and Real. Interest is so great across borders that a leading public broadcaster in Germany will televise live. I'm cheering on Messi's team, but am leaving predictions to Pirata, who probably knows the contestants better than I.
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#16
Sancho Panza

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A cup final worthy fight. Real dominated 1st half, Barca the 2nd. Ronaldo, throughout the most dangerous player, marked the 1:0 in the first half of extra time for the game's only score.

Edited by Sancho Panza, 21 April 2011 - 05:32 AM.

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#17
anunderwaterguy

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I think understandably most people are looking forward to the semi-final tomorrow night, but it's Man United - Schalke tonight. So far it's been one of the most one sided 0-0 draws I've ever seen with Manuel Neuer (one of the best keepers in the world in my opinion) making save after save. Seems like it's only a matter of time until Man United score, but at 0-0 you never know.
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#18
Pirata Morado

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I couldn't watch Copa del Rey's final. I was at San Antonio TX and not many people knew what Copa del Rey was there. Unfortunate outcome, I heard Mourinho had his team all back defending the way he loves.

Anyway, Pep Guardiola and Mourinho (I can't stand the guy) have been talking a lot.

Yesterday, Man U dominated Schalke, Chihcarito didn't score but played very well.

Today Barcelona is going to beat Real Madrid like we did some months ago, so that Mourinho and his talking can go to cry wherever he wants.

Go Barza!
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#19
Sancho Panza

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Today Barcelona is going to beat Real Madrid like we did some months ago

More recently though it was 1:1 at Bernabéu and then Real's 1:0 in the Copa final. Now it's again in Bernabéu and this time Iniesta is out due to injury.
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#20
Sancho Panza

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You called it, Pirata! 0:2 Barca in a tense, ugly match with 4 yellow cards and two red, though Real's Adebayor should have been booked with red, not yellow. Messi scored both goals. His second was sensational.
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