AncalagonTheBlack

Football: Mo Please!

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Anyone know exactly what time the CL semi's draw is on (in GMT please!)?

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The draw is at 13.00 CET, so 12.00 BST, on Friday. They'll also designate a 'home' team for the final at that point too.

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Man, that first half last night was not easy on my nerves. That goal being allowed despite an obvious foul on VVD, Bernardo Silva hitting the post, City's clean goal being disallowed... It was not fun to watch as a Liverpool fan. It picked up a bit in the second half, though. :D 

Love seeing Roma in the semifinal! I have a friend who's a Roma fan and absolutely loves Totti so it was fun to tell him that Totti was obviously holding Roma back since they made it to the CL semis in the first season after he retired. :lol: 

Also, did anyone else want to see Sterling get bitchslapped last night or was it just me? Fouling VVD, tried to dive TWICE and did a lot of small, dirty fouls and behaved like an ass throughout the game. And all that against the team he played for and made the name for himself in. Not saying he should've given anything other than his 100% or anything like that, but seeing him behave that way made me glad Liverpool sold him.

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If Liverpool win the Champions League this season, they should give a small acknowledgement to their friends down in West London, Chelsea Football Club, for the help they have given them in their pursuit European glory.

Chelsea, having as crap of a season as they are, have fallen so far away from the top four, that teams like Liverpool and Tottenham can already look forward to being in the Champions League next season. With Liverpool being short on quality up front beyond their usual front three of Mane, Firmino and Salah, they can now rotate and rest them before and after Champions League games without having to worry about their league position.

 

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Posted (edited)

First half wasn't as bad as I feared, specially after reading the comments on the last thread. While City obviously dominated possession, there wasn't too many clear cut chances (Karius didn't have to make many saves). Lots of crosses and shots from outside boxes, all of which Liverpool defended well (<-- feels so weird typing that!).

If anything, this defensive grit is probably the most impressive thing about Liverpool to come out of these two legs. They were always good at defending from the front foot, but not this park the bus type of defending which City forced them to do in the first half. So it was a bit of relief to see them defend well like that. Second half was much better once they regained some composure on the ball.

Knowing Liverpool's luck, we will definitely get either of Bayern or Madrid. Both of which I fancy more than Roma for next leg tbh. I'll take our chances against an attacking outfit rather than a well organized defensive outfit (which I am stereotyping Roma to be, having seen none of their game :P)

Anyone else thinks that Otamendi is a total Lovren? He doesn't seem to handle pressure all that well. It seems to me that he just gets away with his rather average defending because of how good City are at retaining the ball.

 

Edited by The Winged Shadow

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Otamendi is suspect when put under any pressure but he is great at building play from the back which is what Guardiola prizes from his defenders above all else.

Wouldn't mind a Liverpool/Madrid match (assuming Juve don't pull a Roma). Marcelo is more winger than fullback and does not track back with the same enthusiam he shows getting forward so that will leave Salah with plenty of space, which in turn drags one of the CB's wide opening up space for Firmino and Mane. The only area Liverpool would be overmatched ability-wise is in midfield but their incredible workrate can make up for that.

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How the fuck do Liverpool overperform so regularly in Europe? And don't give me the 'big European night at anfield' shite. The atmosphere at anfield is vastly overrated. 

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Motivation, plus being more of a cup side than a league side (meaning, very good starting eleven but no subs of even remotely the same quality).

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I Get that for one or two seasons, but this has been going on for about 20 years.

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Posted (edited)

19 minutes ago, BigFatCoward said:

I Get that for one or two seasons, but this has been going on for about 20 years.

Why would that not be possible for about 20 years?

Edited by baxus

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Because a team changes personnel over 20 years.  Also their starting 11 still hasn't been one of the best 4 teams in Europe over this time. I doubt they have even been one of the best 10. 

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Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, BigFatCoward said:

How the fuck do Liverpool overperform so regularly in Europe?

I actually don't think we have largely. Clearly 2005 was a big over performance but 2006-09 they largely played to their level, 2014 was rubbish and I wouldn't call this year over performing as such.

We've got one of the best attacks in Europe and and I don't think it's a strong year. Barcelona and Real aren't the teams they were a few years ago, I haven't seen a lot of them but the same's probably true of Bayern. Juve are weaker than last year, PSG are a paper tiger, Monaco sold all their players, Dortmund were rubbish, Atletico and Napoli got themselves knocked out in the group stages and Spurs messed up their chance.

1 hour ago, Consigliere said:

Wouldn't mind a Liverpool/Madrid match (assuming Juve don't pull a Roma).

Real's an interesting one for Liverpool. People sort of assume it'd be a nightmare draw given them being defending champions and Ronaldo's scoring loads of goals but there's certainly reasons for optimism.

Firstly they've been pretty average for large parts of the season. Leaving aside last night's result Barcelona are good but they're not that good, they certainly not the team they were a few years ago, and Real are 15 points off the pace in La Liga. On top of that their defence in particular has been downright poor fairly often which suits Liverpool.

Secondly because Ronaldo basically doesn't run anymore outside the box they play variations of 4-4-2 to fit him into the team. This leaves them vulnerable to being outnumbered in midfield which really suits Liverpool's gegenpressing. Spurs caused them a lot of problems in the group stages.

Of course having said all that they've still got a lot of brilliantly talented attacking players and they're well capable of scoring a load of goals in pretty much every match they play in.:dunno:

Edited by ljkeane

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1 hour ago, BigFatCoward said:

The atmosphere at anfield is vastly overrated. 

I have never been to Anfield, but I'd imagine, for the most part, that it is vastly overrated. Do you expect Liverpool fans to create a buzz like they did inside Anfield against Man City for a home league fixture against Bournemouth? Probably not. But when it's a European knock-out game, the Liverpool fans seem to rise to the occasion.

Even through just watching it on the TV, you could tell quite clearly that the atmosphere was different for the first leg of the Man City tie. The fans seemed to sing the whole way through the game, only stopping to jeer and whistle at the Man City players when they were in possession. Dejan Lovern said it was the best atmosphere he had played in at Anfield, and he scored the winner against Borussia Dortmund in the Europa League 2015/16 season - another occasion where Anfield's atmosphere seemed something else.

Even thinking back to Liverpool's Champions League win in 2005, Anfield's atmosphere during the second leg of the semi final against Chelsea seemed incredible. I think players like John Terry and Steven Gerrard have noted the effect the atmosphere had on the game.

I'm not saying Liverpool are successful in Europe because of the crowd, but, if I was a Liverpool player playing there, I'd imagine the buzz from the crowd during these big European games would give me even more motivation.

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European Royalty. 

But we’re not actually that good in Europe.  Our success was mostly 30-40 years ago during our peak dominance over two full decades, and then after a very long break we had a one season wonder with Houllier (just a UEFA cup) with a very good team that included Owen and Fowler, before Rafa brought us four excellent seasons in the CL punching above our weight.  Winning the CL in 2005 was almost a Leicester level of outperformance but our final appearance in 2006-7 and semifinal in 2007-8 were well deserved for a strong defense and midfield that was hard to beat in cup ties. And a team that almost won the league in 2008-9.

Since Rafa, we were out of Europe most years and abject when we were in.  Until Klopp’s arrival brought an exciting EL run to the final but required us to sacrifice PL points with a thin squad and miss qualification last season.  This year we had a favorable draw until we met City, which helped us find our feet in the competition, and we’re finally seeing the improvement in game management after two and a half years under Klopp. 

So it doesn’t seem like anything too miraculous.  The real question is why the other English teams, Utd especially, have done so little in Europe while having so many more opportunities over the past 25 years?  Liverpool have more European Cups than Utd, City, Arsenal, Chelsea and Spurs combined.  What have they been doing?

And I have to disagree: Anfield is special on European nights and it clearly shows.  It doesn’t matter if opposing fans or players believe.  So long as Liverpool fans and players believe it and it lift the players to outperform each time, then it is working.  I was at the semifinal at home to Villareal two years ago: a tricky tie where we blew them away, and the stadium was rocking all night, long before we even scored.  You could see the players feeding off it.  Saturday afternoon games in the PL don’t get the same atmosphere at all. 

If you want to talk about outperformance in Europe, then Forest and Villa come to mind.  They only briefly had title winning teams but managed to convert it into European success. 

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1 hour ago, BigFatCoward said:

Because a team changes personnel over 20 years.  Also their starting 11 still hasn't been one of the best 4 teams in Europe over this time. I doubt they have even been one of the best 10. 

It sure does change, but Liverpool still hasn't had the squad to properly challenge for the league title in most of those 20 years, have they? Which lead to European matches being the highlights of the season so players (and fans) were more motivated to perform in those. I agree with JordanJH1993, it's different when you play in the knockout stages of the European competition than it is against Stoke on a cold Tuesday evening. I really don't think there's much more to it than that.

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Posted (edited)

3 hours ago, Iskaral Pust said:

The real question is why the other English teams, Utd especially, have done so little in Europe while having so many more opportunities over the past 25 years?  Liverpool have more European Cups than Utd, City, Arsenal, Chelsea and Spurs combined.  What have they been doing?

I don't know about having more opportunities. The difference is that Liverpool managed to convert their dominant two decades into four European Cups whereas United's two decades produced two wins and two finals defeats. Had we faced any team other than that great Barca side, we very well could be sitting with 4 or 5 titles but it wasn't to be. However, United's overall European record has never been great. Fergie even mentioned several times that United should have reached more European finals. 

A little silly to include Spurs in that list. Up until the last couple of seasons, Spurs have been largely irrelevant both domestically and in Europe for over 30 years. Both Chelsea and City were largely irrelevant prior to their respective takeovers as well. Chelsea maybe could have done more in the decade or so following Abramovich's takeover when he had no problem splashing the cash but they did perform well in Europe during that time (this period was a purple patch for the EPL in the CL). City have underperformed since their takeover given that they've spent over £1.3bn on players over the last 10 seasons and have only one CL semi-final appearance to show for it. 

Edited by Consigliere

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This is quite an attacking Bayern Munich lineup considering they're in front.

And an early goal for Juve. I'm wavering a bit on whether going with the Bayern-Sevilla game was the way to go.

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I think the change in the format of the competition from the European Cup to the Champions League can’t be underestimated here.

When it was still the European Cup, you had to actually be the champions of your league to qualify for it. So, clearly, teams who won the title more often were going to have a better chance of winning it. I think that prior to the creation of the Champions League Liverpool had 18 titles and Man United had 7. Even if you factor in English clubs’ ban from Europe, Liverpool still had more opportunities to win the European Cup than Man United, as they were the best club in England.

It can also be argued that it was easier to win then as there were fewer games. There were also fewer teams, as only the champions of each country could qualify, which meant that it was either going to be Barcelona or Real Madrid that qualified from Spain, or either Inter Milan or Juventus that qualified from Italy, for example. Now you have a chance of playing two of the best teams from a strong county in the same year, as Man United when they played both Inter and Juve in the knockout rounds of ‘99; as Liverpool did when the played Juve and AC Milan in the knockout rounds in ‘05; or as did Atletico did when they faced both Barcelona and Real Madrid in the knockout stage in ‘14 - actually, that same year Real Madrid faced Dortmund and Bayern on the way to the final.

One could argue that back in the old format you faced the champions, the very best team in each country. But in one of the five rounds Liverpool played when they won the European Cup in ‘77, they played against Crusaders, the champions of Northern Ireland - a team of part timers that they beat 7-0. Now the champion of Northern Ireland gets put into the very first round of qualifiers for the Champions League and normally gets knocked out. This year Linfield got to the second round and got knocked out 6-0 by Celtic. 

To win the Champions League even once since its inception is an impressive feat, considering the strength in the field of teams that enter the group stages of it every season. Man United’s two wins under Sir Alex only look weak when compared to their 13 league titles in the same period. But dominating domestically and dominating in Europe in the Champions League era are two very different tasks. 

 

 

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