UEFA Champions League 2017-18

I thought I'd create a new UCL thread to keep it separate from the EPL thread as they'd both get huge in short order. Here are the groups, feel free to discuss:

Group A: Benfica, Manchester United, FC Basel, CSKA Moscow.
Group B: Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain, Anderlecht, Celtic.
Group C: Chelsea, Atletico Madrid, Roma, FK Qarabag.
Group D: Juventus, Barcelona, Olympiakos, Sporting CP.
Group E: Spartak Moscow, Sevilla, Liverpool, NK Maribor.
Group F: Shakhtar Donetsk, Manchester City, Napoli, Feyenoord.
Group G: Monaco, FC Porto, Besiktas, RB Leipzig.
Group H: Real Madrid, Borussia Dortmund, Tottenham, APOEL Nicosia

Have to say I'm chuffed at Liverpool's group. If we can't get out of that one we don't deserve to be there. I expect Spurs to be saying hello to the Europa League knockout stage by early December.

Looks like the other English teams got fairly easy draws, too...no real groups of death, but Group G might be the most balanced.

Updated with Quarter Final Draw:

Barcelona vs. AS Roma

Sevilla vs. Bayern Munich

Juventus vs. Real Madrid

Liverpool vs. Manchester City

Ties to be played April 3/4 and April 10/11

Forums: 
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Comments

I hate to say it but yeah we're going to drop too the Europa

What if i take my life today? Its not like anyone cares anyway

A few thoughts I have:
1) Man U and Liverpool both got great draws
2) No way Tottenham makes it through Group H
3) Hot Take, but I think Barcelona could really struggle in their group, but will probably make it through

Looks like Liverpool got the easiest group based on UEFA coefficients

538 has them at a 79% chance to get out of their group (Sevilla at 80% and Moscow at 38%)

Group D is group of Death

Hokies, Local Soccer, AFC Ajax, Ravens

Group D is where the line of disappointment is between Europa League/not. Group H the line of disappointment is between UCL knockouts/Europa League. Yes Olympiakos and Sporting are tough away matches. No, neither of them is as good a squad as BVB/Tottenham

Chem PhD '16

Copying these from the other thread:

  • Group A: Benfica, Manchester United, FC Basel, CSKA Moscow.
  • Group B: Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain, Anderlecht, Celtic.
  • Group C: Chelsea, Atletico Madrid, Roma, FK Qarabag.
  • Group D: Juventus, Barcelona, Olympiakos, Sporting CP.
  • Group E: Spartak Moscow, Sevilla, Liverpool, NK Maribor.
  • Group F: Shakhtar Donetsk, Manchester City,Napoli, Feyenoord.
  • Group G: Monaco, FC Porto, Besiktas, RB Leipzig.
  • Group H: Real Madrid, Borussia Dortmund, Tottenham, APOEL Nicosia

Chem PhD '16

Tottenham is gonna move on

What if i take my life today? Its not like anyone cares anyway

Liverpool not so much

What if i take my life today? Its not like anyone cares anyway

How about now?

I think VT's soccer team could put up a better fight.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

Y'alls group is the easiest out of all of them and y'all only got 5 points I'm not impressed

What if i take my life today? Its not like anyone cares anyway

John Stones gonna lead the CL in scoring, mark it down!

Taylor, looking desperately throws it deep..HAS A MAN OPEN DANNY COALE WITH A CATCH ALL THE WAY DOWN TO THE FIVE!!!!....hes still open

Another day another 3 points for the spurs

What if i take my life today? Its not like anyone cares anyway

So Tottenham is well on their way to advancing to the round of 16

What if i take my life today? Its not like anyone cares anyway

Tottenham Hotspur 7
Real Madrid 7
Borussia Dortmund 1
APOEL 1

What if i take my life today? Its not like anyone cares anyway

ESPN SPI and FiveThirtyEight gives dortmund the highest chance to win the Europa league right now.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

Spurs were lucky to draw yesterday, Real Madrid put so many shots on goal and a few just wide of the post. Spurs had some shots too that were narrowly saved by Navas, but RM controlled the tempo of the game completely and had what seemed like constant threatening build ups. That said, Spurs look way more poised in Europe this year, and I think that they will continue to improve.

Hugo is one of the best goalies in the world so I'm not surprised

What if i take my life today? Its not like anyone cares anyway

Yes he is very impressive and made brilliant saves, though I certainly believe he got a little lucky when he dove the wrong way on Benz' header and kicked the ball away from about a yard outside the goal.

Ericksen played a terrible game and Spurs did it without Dele, Dembele, and Davies.

Would be excited for the home match in two weeks if it wasn't at Wembley.

Don't believe in the Wembley curse

What if i take my life today? Its not like anyone cares anyway

I don't believe in the Wembley curse, but I do believe Real Madrid are still the best team in Europe, and I don't think their finishing luck will be so bad again.

Isee a Tottenham win actually

What if i take my life today? Its not like anyone cares anyway

Hopefully Liverpool are back on track now. Should win the group, but still not super confident with Karius right now. I'd rather see Ward get a shot back there, but looks like he is the domestic cup keeper this year.
Group G is crazy right now. Don't think many people saw Besiktas at the top of the group with 3 wins.

I like fivethirtyeight and they have some cool Champions League Predictions posted here.

Like I mentioned earlier, Dortmund is actually the favorite to win Europa League. Barcelona is the favorite with a 20% chance to win the final followed by Real Madrid with a 15% chance then Bayern and PSG with 14% and 13% each. Ateli are teetering dangerously close to missing the group stage.

United has picked up a couple away wins against some tricky opposition. Never fun going to Russia. Would've like to seen a bigger win yesterday against Benfica but it got the job done and those pesky international breaks seem to take all our form.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

Tottenham is gonna win group H. COYFuckingS!!!!

What if i take my life today? Its not like anyone cares anyway

One more day of group stage matches, qualified teams so far:

Manchester United
Basel
Roma
Paris Saint-Germain
Bayern Munich
Chelsea
Barcelona
Manchester City
Beşiktaş
Tottenham Hotspur
Real Madrid

I think that's all confirmed so far. Some other teams can get in tomorrow obviously. Liverpool need a draw and cannot lose. England should see five sides in the knockout round for the first time ever.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

England has certainly made an impressive bounce-back in Europe from the last few years.

i want to see 1 of them at least make the semis

Taylor, looking desperately throws it deep..HAS A MAN OPEN DANNY COALE WITH A CATCH ALL THE WAY DOWN TO THE FIVE!!!!....hes still open

Yeah making the knockout rounds has never really been an issue (Arsenal always seems to find a way to sneak into the last 16). It's getting past the first round. City have the best shot. Chelsea have a very good chance of facing PSG. United could draw Real Madrid, Bayern, or Juve. Tottenham should get a good draw.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

Yah..arse always seemed to get barca...or any English team drew barca in the round of 16. Monday will be interesting...if we get Real the aggregate might the highest since the early days of the competition

Chelsea drew Barcelona and PSG got Real Madrid. That will be fun to watch.

Correy

Well that was unequivocal...first time a team has recorded two 7-0's in the group stage. Magic! We'll probably get Real as our prize

Tons of goals today, even with some teams are playing their backups.

VB born, class of '14

I really feel for Napoli today. City started 2 17 year olds on defense and yaya as well as the decidedly average mangala. The team looks totally lackadaisical and Napoli dont have a prayer

Taylor, looking desperately throws it deep..HAS A MAN OPEN DANNY COALE WITH A CATCH ALL THE WAY DOWN TO THE FIVE!!!!....hes still open

City and Spurs both playing some youth with their groups clinched. Liverpool killing Spartak but an interesting game going on in Madrid.

VB born, class of '14

Citeh have the derby on sunday...theyd have played their kids regardless

Round of 16 Draw is complete!

Juventus v. Tottenham Hotspur: 13 February & 7 March
Basel v. Manchester City: 13 February & 7 March
Porto v. Liverpool: 14 February & 6 March
Real Madrid v. Paris: 14 February & 6 March
Chelsea v. Barcelona: 20 February & 14 March
Bayern München v Beşiktaş: 20 February & 14 March
Sevilla v. Manchester United: 21 February & 13 March
Shakhtar Donetsk v. Roma: 21 February & 13 March

Tottenham were impressive in the group stage. I can see them getting beating Juve. City, Liverpool, Bayern, United, and Roma should see it through. I wore about United though considering we have Chelsea, Palace, and Liverpool all around those two UCL fixtures. Real vs. Paris will be fun. Poor Chelsea.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

Looking forward to this as it's Liverpool's first Ro16 since 2008/2009.

Right now I have predicted (and rated in order most likely to advance):

1. Bayern Munich
2. Man CIty
3. Liverpool
4. PSG
5. Barcelona
6. Man United
7. Roma
8. Tottenham

I think City and Bayern are all but guaranteed advance. Liverpool are looking too good in the CL to not advance against Porto (not to disrespect them, I just think first knock out in almost 10 years-- fans will be up for that return to home leg).

PSG looks great while RM finished second in a group with Tottenham so I think they get taken down. Chelsea is starting to look fragile and so I think Barca will take advantage of that. May be closer but that is why they are 5 on my scale of certainty.

Man United has looked average as of late but more importantly Sevilla is a proper thorn. Twice Liverpool were in winning positions and twice Sevilla tied the game. Exceedingly frustrating team to play and their coaching and tactics seem to be rather intelligent. (Even though Moreno has played well, they persisted attacking down our left flank knowing that he would crack and when he did the flood gates would open).

Roma and Shakhtar--I just don't know enough about both teams to make a judgement but it seems an even match so my certainty here is low.

Last is Tottenham. They played fantastic in their group but this is yet another European giant. Can they pull it off again? I hope so and have them picked but they are the least certain in my mind.

United look average when Pogba is out. I can't believe we only lost by a goal yesterday without him. He's the magical piece. Sevilla have a new manager though. Not sure if you're referring to him or their previous manager.

FiveThirtyEight gives United a 65% chance to progress and Liverpool a 58% chance. Seems low for Liverpool but I guess their defense is always a concern.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

If we play our Fab Four (Couts, Mane, Salah, Firmino) together from the off the Porto tie might well be over in the first leg

didn't need Coutinho neither

nailed it! I don't say my gut feelings out loud because when i do, they don't happen. But after the Mane 1-0 goal I just felt in my gut 5-0 with a Mane hat-trick. Even in the 80th minute I was still waiting patiently for Mane to score his third and boy did he deliver!

Sevilla are undefeated at home for over a year last time I checked the stats (I only know because liverpool failed spectacularly to break that record after being up 3-0 away). They are a chippy team and I don't think Man U has the grit to beat the likes of them, away.

I ranked this match lower on my confidence scale only because I really think Man U has better talent on paper but Sevilla knows how to step up for European games.

Defense has been a concern for Liverpool but ever since the 4-1 loss to Tottenham they have really tightened up and even played some strange formations and got pretty good results.

I dont think mourinho is going to play all out open attack we all know hes gonna play it with the bus out in the away leg then hope pogba and co can get it done at home im not overly worried about sevilla in two legs as long as pogba is fit.

Also on Klopp after this weekend I dont think Klopp will be making that mistake of not picking his Fab 4 again for a big game.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

My picks are as follows (didn't consult league or cup fixtures that may be around the UCL fixtures)

Juventus v. Tottenham Hotspur
Basel v. Manchester City
Porto v. Liverpool
Real Madrid v. Paris Saint-Germain
Chelsea v. Barcelona
Bayern München v Beşiktaş
Sevilla v. Manchester United
Shakhtar Donetsk v. Roma

Some comments: I have no faith in the Liverpool defense, I think Porto steals a crucial away goal. (Or maybe three, who knows?) Shakhtar vs Roma is gonna be a great tie. Madrid vs PSG is gonna be a great tie, either team could advance and it will probably some down to which squad is healthier. I can't in good conscience pick Spuds to win anything (north london is red coyg coyg). City are gonna run roughshod over Basel at home.

Editing to reflect my picks vs correct. Bolded went through, if a team is struck through, they were my (wrong) pick.

Chem PhD '16

Spurs already beat juventus this year so I got COYS!!!

What if i take my life today? Its not like anyone cares anyway

Even the Cleveland Browns went 4-0 in their preseason

Chem PhD '16

Tottenham is going to win a trophy this year either this one or the FA cup

What if i take my life today? Its not like anyone cares anyway

Definitely FA cup then ^_^

I am genuinely excited for Tottenham. I like seeing a manager with a reasonable budget beat down on teams spending excessive amounts of money. But I don't see any english team other than Man City being able to challenge for the UCL. But predictions mean nothing and that is why they play the game. I am hoping at least 3 english teams advance to the quarters.

I just want trophies man the Astros got one now I need Tech and Spurs to get one

What if i take my life today? Its not like anyone cares anyway

cough

Chem PhD '16

Chelsea fan here. I'm actually fairly happy with the Barcelona draw. Team is quite average when compared to the typical Barca sides. If you look at their XI right now the only one who worries me is of course Messi. Suarez has been average, Iniesta is old. Dembele will be back which is a worry cause I think that he's just as good as Mbappe when healthy but I think it'll be a great draw especially if Chelsea strengthen in Jan. Good luck to everybody's sides with their fixtures!

I was wondering how Chelsea fan's felt about this, I am sure it is mixed. I would like to see as many English teams advancing as possible (save for ManU, they can get eliminated and I won't feel bad at all). I will say to not hold your breath on Jan transfers. With the first matches coming only a couple of weeks or less after the window closes I highly doubt any player will truly be integrated enough to make a difference in UCL games, especially against the likes of Barca. I would imagine players picked up in jan. can be used to aid depth so the starting 11 can be available but that is about it.

Even if liverpool were able to sign, say, VVD...I seriously doubt he would start against Porto unless Klopp truly felt he was ready to integrate him in such a crucial game.

In addition to these points, a club can only change their 25-man UCL roster (which had to be submitted before the beginning of group stage play) by up to 3 players by Feb 1

We have to see what Arsenal decides to do with Ozil and Sanchez. Sanchez could be a difference maker for several of these teams. Not sure if Arsenal will sell him, but I can't see them letting him go for free this summer (unless they think they can make a run for the top 4 in the EPL or do what Moreno did last year and concentrate on trying to make the Champions league through winning the Europa).

Correy

Moreno

Mourinho FTFY

It's a huge risk going all out for Europa. Liverpool tried that in 15/16 and lost 3-1 in the final and finished 8th in the EPL because they invested so heavily in europa and went deep in both domestic cups with a limited depth squad.

We were dominating the game until Moreno happened....

It depends on the competition. For you guys it was far riskier because Europa League was so strong that year. United's draw was much more favorable all the way to the end. The semifinals were United, Celta Vigo, Lyon, and Ajax. A far cry from Shakthar, Villareal, Sevilla, and Liverpool and you guys had Dortmund in the quarters. It's a calculated risk.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

The draws are always so ridiculous. Man City gets Basel and Liverpool gets Porto. Meanwhile Real Madrid and PSG draw each other, Chelsea gets Barcelona, and Tottenham gets Juventus. It always happens like that haha.

I mean.....

Liverpool in 15/16 Europa had to get past Augsburg, Man United, BvB, Villareal, then Sevilla.

The next year Man U had FC Rostov, Anderlect, Celta Vigo, Ajax.

It's just the way it goes--it isn't like Liverpool and Man City always get the easy draws.

I was saying the draws in general are always ridiculous, not specific to teams. Though Real Madrid is on a streak of only elite team draws since the QF of last season: Bayern, Atletico, Juventus (not a draw), PSG, are there last 4 opponents in knockout rounds.

I mean the year madrid won la decima they didnt beat anyone of note while atletico won against 4 straight league champions to get to rhe finals. and if youre saying city always get easy draws guess again, there was a streak where we drew barca or bayern every year in tbe knockouts for like 5 years running

then in our groups every year prior to the last 2 weve drawn bayern barca or real.

Taylor, looking desperately throws it deep..HAS A MAN OPEN DANNY COALE WITH A CATCH ALL THE WAY DOWN TO THE FIVE!!!!....hes still open

Uhh what? La decima we beat Schalke, Dortmund, Bayern, then Atletico in championship.

The easiest path we had was probably la undecima where we got Roma, Wolfsburg, Man City, then Atletico in final.

sorry got my years flipped, yeah that year atletico knocked out the dutch champions (psv), the spanish champions (barca), and finally the german champions (bayern)

madrid on the other hand had a pretty mediocore roma team, floundering wolfsburg, and finally a really bad city team (being a fan starting fernando at cm and toure at the #10 was an awful strategy, coupled with iheanacho starting one of the games and the aging zaba and kolorov at fullback...joe hart kept us in that matchup and down 1 goal we didnt even go for the win)

undecima was an awful champions league year imo, lots of defense no eye catching teams

Taylor, looking desperately throws it deep..HAS A MAN OPEN DANNY COALE WITH A CATCH ALL THE WAY DOWN TO THE FIVE!!!!....hes still open

I misunderstood, it sounded like you were a bit salty that Liverpool and City got relatively easy draws.

That being said, it's just probability at this point so there isn't much ridiculous about it unless they are influencing the probability.

Factor 1: Can't play a team from your own country in round of 16
Factor 2: Always paired with a team from the opposite pot

For the four english group winners these were the possible draws:

Man City: Basel, Bayern Munich, Juventus, Sevilla, Porto, Real Madrid
Man U: Bayern Munich, Juventus, Sevilla, Shakhtar Donetsk, Porto, Real Madrid
Tottenham: Basel, Bayern Munich, Juventus, Sevilla, Shakhtar Donetsk, Porto
Liverpool: Basel, Bayern Munich, Juventus, Shakhtar Donetsk, Porto, Real Madrid

Odds are that at least two will have difficult opponents and that held true for Tottenham getting Juventus, Liverpool getting Porto, and Man U getting Sevilla. Porto and Sevilla are not in the same league is Juventus but they are not slouches by any means.

Now what really sucks is Chelsea. Because they are unseeded and 4 english teams are seeded, and Roma was in their group, their options were: PSG, Barca, Besiktas. All three of those teams are in good form but obviously one would prefer Besiktas to PSG or Barca. Count Chelski lucky they got Barca instead of PSG.

edited to fix my mistake because VT_Warthog is a boss.

Chelsea couldn't get Roma since they were in their group.

Bottom line is things just unfolded in a way that gave us a good shot at a ridiculously entertaining, albeit tough, Round of 16.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

for reference look at PSG's draws the last 4 years, Barca last year, Chelsea then City in 15-16, the Chelsea and Barca in 14-15.

Im no PSG fan at all but theyve got Arsenalesque luck when it comes to getting tough draws in the knockout stages.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Tottenham again with their backs against the wall. Who thought they would come out of their group on top only now they have to face my favorite Italian squad.

True back when the group draw was done nobody thought tottenham had a chance but then they play the games and we realize RM werent quite what everyone thought they were and we all know the dumpster fire Dortmund have been this year hell they make tennessee look like a shining beacon of hope

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

RM issues have mostly been injury related, and some effort issues too, though nobody will admit that. That said, RM didn't have an impressive group stage last year so it's hard to gauge off of that too much. This is where it really starts to matter.

Huge comeback draw from Tottenham yesterday, wont lie I almost turned the game off. Think the team played great especially Dembele who has been a stud in recent weeks. Curious to see us at home and to see more time for Lucas Moura who looked electric in his few minutes on the pitch.

Sucks that Dybala is injuired for both games.

Yes Dybala is a game changer; I actually have him on my Tottenham squad in Fifa 18.

Mo Salah, is a beast! 2-0 Reds! (away) #YNWA

"...I'm getting a little tired of hearing how good everybody else is..." -Coach Fu [This week: 1-0]

Sunshine superman!

Even as a Spurs fan Mo Salah is such a joy to watch. Can't help but cheer for him.

PSG-Madrid even at half 1-1 after a stupid foul in the box (correct call) by PSG.

Another white bronco? The first one didn't go too far.

Liverpool up 4-0 on Porto, with 4 away goals. Barring a meltdown at the Kop we should be through to the round of 8.

"...I'm getting a little tired of hearing how good everybody else is..." -Coach Fu [This week: 1-0]

Fun winning 4-0 aint it?

nvm you guys just one upped us and pushed it to 5 good on ya!

Taylor, looking desperately throws it deep..HAS A MAN OPEN DANNY COALE WITH A CATCH ALL THE WAY DOWN TO THE FIVE!!!!....hes still open

Them Reds came to play, they might've gotten a manageable draw, but they can put up goals with the best of em'

"...I'm getting a little tired of hearing how good everybody else is..." -Coach Fu [This week: 1-0]

oh dont i know it

Taylor, looking desperately throws it deep..HAS A MAN OPEN DANNY COALE WITH A CATCH ALL THE WAY DOWN TO THE FIVE!!!!....hes still open

PSG vs Madrid didn't disappoint was definitely entertaining for the neutral but I gotta say the diving was silly as usual both teams were up to their normal stuff which as a neutral only sweetens the pot

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Madrid were very fortunate...as were Juve, spuds played one of their best games of the year and deserved more than what they got

Spurs gonna win 3-1 at home

What if i take my life today? Its not like anyone cares anyway

Real Madrid in the knockout stages is a different team, league form/group stage form doesn't mean shit once the knockouts begin. Will be interesting to see if the English teams continue to impress when they have to play decent competition. Liverpool drawing Porto and Man City drawing Basel were two of the easiest matchups in the draw.

Beg to differ in regards to Porto. Just look at the past 10 years: 3 eliminations in group stages, 3 (assuming this year because of the 5-0 win for Liverpool) eliminations in first round knockouts, two quarter finals eliminations. And 2 eliminations from Europa.

Out of the 16 teams in the knockouts Liverpool were only eligible to draw: Juventus, Basel, Porto, Real Madrid, PSG, Shakhtar, Roma, Barcelona, and Besiktas.

Out of those games, I would have preferred Besiktas, Shakhtar, Basel, and probably Roma to Porto. Our 5-0 win makes Porto look a lot worse than they really are.

Porto is a scrappy team, but the big 3 Portuguese teams get raided for all their best talent on an annual basis these days, it's difficult for them to field a team that is truly a dangerous CL squad without a lot of luck and good timing. In this scenario, I'm not suggesting they were a worse draw than Basel or Shakhtar, I'm saying it's not a top tier team draw. You still missed on RM, Barcelona, PSG, and Juventus, which I would consider to be top tier draws.

i dont think shakatar is as bad as yall seem to think. dont sleep on them travelling to ukraine is a bitch, and theyre not awful. they did beat a pretty good napoli team this year.

definitely think city got the friendliest draw with basel though

Taylor, looking desperately throws it deep..HAS A MAN OPEN DANNY COALE WITH A CATCH ALL THE WAY DOWN TO THE FIVE!!!!....hes still open

I wasn't trying to suggest Shakhtar is a bad team. As a liverpool supporter, CL 2014/2015 and Europa 2014/2015 comes to mind when I thought our group or RM, Basel, Ludogorets, and Liverpool would be easy to advance out of. And then we drew Besiktas in the Europa and I thought that was a favorable draw.

I have long since learned that any team in the UCL and Europa can be threatening especially when large amounts of travel are included.

I completely agree that we lucked out and got an better draw than those top tier teams. I am just saying that Porto is not Basel. No one expected Liverpool to go in and get a 5-0 win away from home. The result of that match didn't reflect the quality of Porto, who are typically a stingy defensive team that had a very impressive record at home before Liverpool got there.

Really feel that each PL team can advance. I said Summer 2016 that soon enough we would see steady progression with each PL team in Europe. I didn't expect it to be this early. With multiple world class players on each of the five PL teams in the UCL, along with the world class managers that each of said teams have, I figured this would happen. As a Chelsea fan, I'm hype for the draw vs Barca. Eden Hazard madness, I feel it.

Nice to see another Chelsea fan out there! With all the talk about Conte getting the stick he coached a near perfect game. That one mistake for the Barca goal still hurts a little.

Christensen's enormous blunder may have been enough to decide the tie. Barca was almost certainly not going to get an away goal without that enormous mistake and it has completely changed the second leg. I still think Chelsea can go through, they looked the better and more threatening team yesterday, but now Barca holds all the cards and they will pass the ball around at the back like pansies the entire game if Chelsea doesn't find a way to make them uncomfortable early.

Yep. Definitely uncharacteristic from Christensen. I also think Chelsea can take the game to Barca. Nervous, but overall an encouraging display. If Hazard keeps shooting like he did more often in the first half, I feel that he can snag a goal. Willian has really been surprising me lately. Typically he's too inconsistent but has had top games several times in a row now. Great, great player when he shows up. I'm excited for the second leg. I still think each English team has a good chance to advance.

Yes, bad ball by Christensen but if Azpilicueta keeps his feet, we aren't talking about it. Poor all around there from the Chelsea defense, and like others have said, undeserved Barca goal. All up hill for Chelsea now.

Always choose joy.

Sevilla had so many opportunities versus the Red Devils today. The saves De Gea recorded made me questions whether he is even human. The reaction time on multiple shots, especially the header from 5 yards out was insane. He is the only reason they are leaving Spain all tied up.

Another white bronco? The first one didn't go too far.

As a Liverpool fan, I have no clue why anyone signs up to play for Mourinho other than money and I have no clue how DDG has stayed at United this long. It is infuriating only because without him, United would easily be 6th-8th in the EPL.

Nobody parks a bus at home like Mourinho....NOBODY!

lol at this...

I'm a man! I'm 44! Hokie thru and thru.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

I love this so much.

1) Rafa is the coach of Newcastle
2) I have always enjoyed Newcastle if I were to support a second team
3) I despise Mourinho
4) I despise Man united just a bit more.

Sad to say I missed this match. I've been a longtime ManU fan (don't @ me), but while I was in Spain I became a fan of Sevilla, getting to attend several matches there (including a Champions League match vs Man City, and a La Liga win against Barcelona from right behind the Barca bench). So with my torn loyalties, 0-0 is a good result. De Gea is a freak.

'07 Mechanical Engineering

"Touchdown, Tech! I have never enjoyed saying that more"
-Bill Roth

LFC through to the Quarters #YNWA

"...I'm getting a little tired of hearing how good everybody else is..." -Coach Fu [This week: 1-0]

I really hope Chelsea can find some away goals at Camp Nou. It would bring me tremendous joy if Barcelona went out in the Ro16.

sadly after their recent performance I don't see it's happening I can't imagine a different approach to the way they played at man city in particular but that's why they play the game

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

i mean if kante is healthy theyre a different team. well see its not like theyre down 4-0 or something they could still go through. city are on a roll right now

Taylor, looking desperately throws it deep..HAS A MAN OPEN DANNY COALE WITH A CATCH ALL THE WAY DOWN TO THE FIVE!!!!....hes still open

They need Kante, he's like lab built to harass Messi. You need a small, quick, strong dm like him to keep him in check.

Getting real nervous about today's match at Wembley. Hoping Spurs show up in top form for a big one.

Dammit!! - We blew it!

I'm really disappointed with the result, but no team had tougher draws than us. (win a group with Real Madrid and Dortmund and we draw Juve - WTF). They showed up really well this year - I'm proud of what they accomplished.

We will get there. Excited about the future with our new stadium and talent (assuming we can keep most of the players). We have a huge upside.

COYS!!

Gotta go all in for the FA Cup now, especially considering the teams remaining

VB born, class of '14

make sure you qualify for CL too the race for those spots is gonna be close

Taylor, looking desperately throws it deep..HAS A MAN OPEN DANNY COALE WITH A CATCH ALL THE WAY DOWN TO THE FIVE!!!!....hes still open

Eh... lol

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

I wouldn't be worried if I was Tottenham Chelsea don't look up for it and Arsenal are well I don't even know why I'm mentioning them in the top 4 race

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

dont sleep on chelsea man, that team seems like it can just flip a switch and become competitive again

Taylor, looking desperately throws it deep..HAS A MAN OPEN DANNY COALE WITH A CATCH ALL THE WAY DOWN TO THE FIVE!!!!....hes still open

Such a heart breaker but that is how it goes with a juggernaut like Juve. Really surprised we didn't see Lucas Moura, I think his speed would have been great out there. Lots of great chances at the end but that back line for Juve was all over Kane all night.

Agreed there is a ton to be excited about with this squad so not gonna get stuck on this one too long. Gotta maintain our position in the PL for a shot next year.

Double disappointment after the ND game.

Was Lucas on the bench or not even in the squad? Is he cup tied in UCL from starting the season at PSG?

Chem PhD '16

I think he was just on the bench and Poche just decided not to use the 3rd sub for some reason.

I know this is Champions League but UNITED! Yesssss! Big win for us today. Even without Pogba.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

Rashford channeled his inner Ronaldo on that first goal. Nobody was expecting Man U to get out to an early 2-0 lead.

We needed it to give us something to hold onto but Liverpool didn't really threaten in the second half like I expected young surprised me today big time

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Yeah this loss to MU hurt a little more than it usually does. Not sure why, kudos to Mourihno and the boys though, they played a hell of a match. Time for the reds to lick their wounds and move forward, seems like finishing top 2 is a goal that won't be achieved this season.

"...I'm getting a little tired of hearing how good everybody else is..." -Coach Fu [This week: 1-0]

That certainly makes the loss to MU a lot more easier to stomach. Sevilla came through big time. On to the round of 16 we go!

"...I'm getting a little tired of hearing how good everybody else is..." -Coach Fu [This week: 1-0]

United fan here... I'm not crying, you're crying.

Go Tech Go.

Not like we were gonna win the damn thing anyway. After beating the scousers after the constant shit talking, I'm still content.

My only hope right now is not letting City clinch the title against us and knocking down Arsene one last time. Keep a top 4 finish and I'll be pleased.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

And don't forget win the FA Cup!

I'm basically in the same boat. As long as they don't clinch against us then I'm fine with it. Winning the FA Cup would also be nice, of course. I'd like to at least be first loser in the league, haha. City are on track to shatter the points record.

Go Tech Go.

I guess I also hope things settle down with Pogba. I'm extremely tired of the "he's not worth it" narrative when all of it is reactionary. Then again, that's football now. The guy was fantastic last year and was excellent this year up until the past month to a month and a half. Jose has just gotten too silly with the lineups.

As for next season, something has got to be done with the back four. Feels like Bailly and Rojo (when healthy) is the only ones that deserves a stay.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

Maybe I'm alone but I survived the moyes and van gaal era and never cracked always watched every game and I live breathe eat United but Mou is sucking the life out of me right now I'll always support but this guys wearin my support out of van gaal couldn't break me I can make it but this guy makes me feeling like I'm growing grey hairs before I'm 30

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

I started cheering for United during the Moyes era haha.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

You poor old soul you have no idea how much better it once was to the crap we get these days

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing. On the one hand, your expectations are much lower. On the other hand, you've had to watch some pretty abysmal play the last 4 years or so. I will say Mourinho is definitely better than Moyes or LVG. I know it's frustrating sometimes when he parks the bus against the bigger teams (a la the 0-0 against Liverpool earlier in the season), but then you also get the tactical masterclasses that were the Arsenal, Chelsea, and Liverpool wins. The Sevilla loss is terrible, but I blame that one more on the players than Mou. If all you have to do is win a game at home against the 5th best Spanish team then you should be able to figure out a way to get it done.

I've been following United since about 2004, so after suffering through the end of Arsenal dominance and the beginning of Chelsea's dominance during Mourinho's first stint there, I was spoiled rotten. It got to the point where you expected to win the league and it was all about what trophies you could add to the haul. Champions League semifinals were expected at the very least. Anything less than a double was basically a failure. Starting to feel like Liverpool taking about the good old days...

Go Tech Go.

Is it just me, or have Mourinho's "tactical masterclasses" this year mostly just been something along the lines of "we have De Gea and you don't"? He's outperforming xG models by something ridiculous this year. United were bound to drop games here and there because the only reason they aren't dropping more is that De Gea is in the best form in the world right now. and it's not particularly close. They would have lost the Sevilla away leg too but for De Gea.

Chem PhD '16

I agree about Pogba. If there's any player that Mou needs to design the lineup around then it's him. He keeps playing him out of position and expecting too much defense out of him. I also think the Alexis signing hinders Pogba (or hinders both of them really) a bit because they both want to drift to the same area and do the same things. Alexis is a great player but attacking and wide players has never been something we'd been short of, plus it stunts the development of Martial and Rashford.

Bailly is certainly the #1 center back option, but I couldn't tell you who the other one should be. Jones, Smalling, Lindelof, and Rojo all have their flaws. Honestly, I think the future in that position is Tuanzebe but I don't know when he's going to make the step up. I also wish Mou would give up on this Ashley Young experiment and let Shaw play. His ceiling is much higher.

EDIT: I didn't realize this is how it would organize this reply, but this is a reply to your Pogba and Bailly post, haha.

Go Tech Go.

So here's my take on this years teams performance, and similar stuff was uttered on ESPNFC as well
We started the year flying no training wheels no parking the bus we came out flying. Then comes the bigger games and mourinho recessed into his usual tactical approach and since then the so called big games we've been fine aside from the Sevilla and Tottenham games but in the games where we need to dictate play and tempo against smaller sides they've lost the ability to switch that on and mou also has odd tendencies and a very creepy love for felliaini for some odd reason

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Fellaini being in the lineup was Mourinho's biggest derp of the season. He essentially outsmarted himself.

A lot of folks on r/reddevils are calling for Mourinho to be sacked. I'm not the biggest Mourinho fan tactically, but I don't want to start this trip over again. Give him one more season, because all things considered this season has not been that bad.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

Id levy that he has the rest of the season to A. Get the fans hes lost back on board and B. Show the board why they should keep him and give him more money to spend this summer.
If he cant do either the only thing keeping him in the job might be the real lack of serious candidates to replace him.
I never was a fan of him and hes not won me over with his time here but I'll keep supporting the club and players doesnt mean I need to love him by any means.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Unless you can get Poch or someone like Simeone then Mou is the best option.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

This was probably the only time I've ever been happy for a United defeat. Long time fan, but also a Sevilla fan (with a bit of a stronger pull since I've been to several of their games, unlike United). Plus I love an underdog story, and Sevilla truly were humble about getting to play at Old Trafford. They are an easy side to root for (unless you're a Betis fan)

'07 Mechanical Engineering

"Touchdown, Tech! I have never enjoyed saying that more"
-Bill Roth

I hope Chelsea beat Barca today in the Nou Camp. Nothing would be better than a Ro16 exit for Barca now that they think they are the best team in the world again.

Gonna be tough but if Chelsea can create as many chances as we did at the Bridge, it's hard to imagine we won't score again. Hopefully Conte stops fooling around with the false 9 and starts Giroud up top with Hazard and Willy on the wings. Come on Chels.

Hopefully Giroud got all the misses out of his system over the weekend. He was getting his head/foot to the ball in dangerous positions consistently, but he just couldn't find the back of the net (though it was true for whole team for the most part).

I hate to be the one to break it to you, but Giroud's been "getting the misses out of his system" ever since he moved to the Prem

Chem PhD '16

Oof. Messi and Barca are looking to destroy any chance of hope that Chelsea had.

Chelsea's shit finishing carried into this game. Between that and Courtois giving up two completely unacceptable and avoidable nutmeg goals they didn't stand a chance. They were more than good enough, they just made a bunch of bad mistakes. Hazards touches today were awful as well.

Yeah Courtois just needs to close his legs. Chelsea has played well, it is just Barcelona has this Argentian named Messi.

Messi played well, but both of his goals, particularly the first one should have been easily stopped. Unacceptable to concede goals shot directly at you.

Live look-in on Barca v Blues:

"...I'm getting a little tired of hearing how good everybody else is..." -Coach Fu [This week: 1-0]

remember that talk of 5 EPL teams advancing to the quarters and how rosie everything looked. Like I said I'll be happy when one makes the semis, depending on city's draw I still like our odds

Taylor, looking desperately throws it deep..HAS A MAN OPEN DANNY COALE WITH A CATCH ALL THE WAY DOWN TO THE FIVE!!!!....hes still open

My only hope is that Liverpool does not draw City. I would, of course, prefer Roma or Sevilla to all the others--but I would at least like a shot at getting 2 english teams to the semis.

But that also presents the option of guaranteeing at least one to advance....

After how the group stage (or the Europa League final a couple years ago) played out, I wouldn't be quite so keen to play Sevilla again. But I'm looking forward to watching Sevilla going forward. It's all gravy from here out. Vamos Mi Sevilla!

'07 Mechanical Engineering

"Touchdown, Tech! I have never enjoyed saying that more"
-Bill Roth

I like to put our bogey teams to bed. Sevilla is a thorn in our side and in all three matches we have played, it is evident that we can win these games if we play two complete halves. I'm not saying it would be easy, heck no team is easy in the round of 8, but I would rather sevilla or roma instead of RM or Barca.

I would rather sevilla or roma instead of RM or Barca

You'll probably wind up with Bayern lol

Chem PhD '16

And that honestly wouldn't bother me. Sure Klopp is 3-years out of the Bundesliga but that is probably the opponent he knows best aside from Man City. If I had to rate it for Liverpool:

Tier 1 (toughest): RM, Man City,
Tier 2: Bayern, Barca
Tier 3a: Juventus, Sevilla
Tier 3b: Roma

Obviously these could be shuffled any which way and still make sense. I just don't think Juventus are the same danger they normally are and Sevilla has always been tough for us. I don't mean to slight Roma I just think they are a *tick* below the other two.

I would love a Barca draw if only to spite Coutinho. I actually think it would be a decent matchup. Bayern is an old Jurgen Klopp rival so that would be fun. RM is playing really good to be able to beat PSG home and away (granted, neymar..) and Man City is just ridiculous right now. Yeah we beat them but I wouldn't favor our odds in a home-and-home with them. If you look at the aggregate alone from this season we lose 8-4 on aggregate, even having beat them.

I honestly think Barcelona are there for the taking if they were to go up against a good midfield. TBH Chelsea played with essentially a one man midfield last night against Barca and controlled the game for the most part. I thought Kante was arguably the best midfielder on the pitch, given that he shared it with the likes of Busquets and Iniesta. All Kante had was a finished Fab. City will dominate Barca if that is the draw. Bayern will dominate Barca if that is the draw. As much as I hate Barca though, I probably still want them to win it all for Messi's sake.

Spanish clubs all missing each other while Liverpool gets City should be a great 2 legs between those two and the Real Juve tie isnt a joke either.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

UCL QF draw:

Real Madrid vs Juventus
Manchester City vs Liverpool
Bayern Munich vs Sevilla
Barcelona vs Roma

My picks in bold.

Chem PhD '16

I don't think it is too hard to pick this round. I am only hoping that Liverpool can put up a fight (edit: we can and will put up a fight, I mean a fight to win the home-and-home). Given that the 5-0 smashing happened with a Mane red card and no VVD while the 4-3 win was really a 4-1 win with some awful defensive lapses in the final 10 minutes...I am hopeful we can keep it close. I expect if we lose it will be a win at Anfield and a loss at the Etihad with an aggregate of something around 7-6. Conversely if we are to win this round, it would be a very similar aggregate. I could even see either team winning with the aggregate tied and away goals being the breaker. I don't see this one going to extra time or PKs.

Man City is going to be tough for sure, but I couldn't see much better of a draw honestly for this round and the familiarity that we have with them.

"...I'm getting a little tired of hearing how good everybody else is..." -Coach Fu [This week: 1-0]

It's not just the premiership familiarity, its the Klopp/Guardiola familiarity.

I was honestly hoping for Roma, Sevilla, or Barca for the story line and the chance to have two english teams advance to the semis.

For the five english teams that made the CL, Liverpool (obviously) I love, and Man City I respect and have no ill will towards. Scum, Spurs, Chelsea....can't stand 'em. So that is why I am bittersweet about this matchup.

Roma is probably the only other draw I wanted honestly.

"...I'm getting a little tired of hearing how good everybody else is..." -Coach Fu [This week: 1-0]

i mean tbf the 4-3 win had 3 goals on city come in a 10 minute lapse as well with ederson making possibly his only bad pass of the season, stones looking super rusty, and just piss poor defense. that coupled with the fact that we were missing david silva. i think both teams are on pretty equal footing and i think this is the best matchup of the round

at least well get our wish and 1 english team is making it!

Taylor, looking desperately throws it deep..HAS A MAN OPEN DANNY COALE WITH A CATCH ALL THE WAY DOWN TO THE FIVE!!!!....hes still open

Free pass to the Semi's for Barca. These draws are total shit, Liverpool-Man City draw each other, same association matchups should be heavily avoided until the Semi's. Real-Juventus could be a good matchup but it's not fresh, its happened 3 out of the last 4 years. Bayern gets another easier draw. Very frustrated by these draws.

didn't UCL previously do a bracket? I would be OK with that. Use coefficients to determine group difficulty, then using the pot you drew for your group combined with the group coefficient, you get awarded seeds. Four one seeds are in opposite quadrants and are guaranteed not to see each other until the semis. I guess the draw just allows for bigger match ups earlier, but is also subject to 'fixing'

The current method might be the easiest method to abuse possible to fix the matches however you like. I don't know if they actually do, but it would take very little effort to artificially create every single fixture you want with the draw method.

Exactly. And that is why I have never liked the draw. It can't be trusted.

We haaaaaaad to get liverpool....damnit

oh well, itll be a great matchup and a fun one to watch play out. I'd love to get some payback for ruining our shot at the untouchables. David Silva will be the most important player for us in this matchup hands down

Taylor, looking desperately throws it deep..HAS A MAN OPEN DANNY COALE WITH A CATCH ALL THE WAY DOWN TO THE FIVE!!!!....hes still open

Didn't know where to put this but, although the MLS is second tier, Zlatan signed with the Galaxy

Galaxy... sigh. I don't care for Chicago but I was so pumped when Bastian went there instead of LA like every other big name european does.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

I feel like this could be the best thing ever for the sport in the USA. Zaltan reminds me of a bad guy in a Ben Stiller or Will Ferrell movie. I can't tell if he really is that guy or if he is like a bad guy pro wrestler and his persona is a complete act. Either way I am amused by this guy.

You Can't Make this up

Agreed. There's no way that he doesn't peak the interest of folks who previously had no interest in soccer.

I always assumed it was a split between a persona and him just out there having a good time. Recently I watched his documentary on Netflix "Making Zlatan" (not the most credible source, I'll give ya that) but it sure looks like the guy has had an ego since long before he was famous. So I don't know what to believe anymore.

But better believe I'll never stop being entertained by every single thing that man does.

"But first...you gotta get speed. Demon speed. Speed's what we need. We need greasy, fast, speed!"

As a die hard premier league fan who's never been interested in mls with no local team to pull for if I find out ZLATAN is coming to play near me I'd go just for that the guy simply will put butts in seats even at 36 the stuff he does makes admission worth it for a neutral even

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

As excited as I am about this start by LFC, the past tells me their defense will give a few up. We'll see how things go this time, but man what a start. #AllezAllezAllez

"...I'm getting a little tired of hearing how good everybody else is..." -Coach Fu [This week: 1-0]

Form is temporary....class is permanent

Just need Mo' to be ok... #YNWA

"...I'm getting a little tired of hearing how good everybody else is..." -Coach Fu [This week: 1-0]

lol city

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

Mo Sah saving LFC right, come on Reds, finish this off!

"...I'm getting a little tired of hearing how good everybody else is..." -Coach Fu [This week: 1-0]

#ALLEZALLEZALLEZ #10thSEMIFINAL

Live look in at Firmino v. MC:

via GIPHY

"...I'm getting a little tired of hearing how good everybody else is..." -Coach Fu [This week: 1-0]

Roma 3-0 FCB ... Roma through on away goals as it stands!

AND THEY'VE DONE IT! spare a thought for Coutinho /s

Roma be like:

via GIPHY

"...I'm getting a little tired of hearing how good everybody else is..." -Coach Fu [This week: 1-0]

And how about AS Roma! Wow!

"...I'm getting a little tired of hearing how good everybody else is..." -Coach Fu [This week: 1-0]

Not dissapointed at all in how we played in the second leg, that disallowed sane goal and pep being taken to the stands really killed any momentum we had. We blew it in the first leg far play to liverpool go win it all and make us look good please

Taylor, looking desperately throws it deep..HAS A MAN OPEN DANNY COALE WITH A CATCH ALL THE WAY DOWN TO THE FIVE!!!!....hes still open

Esh, I don't know if we can win the whole thing, but Salah is on a roll, and we'll go as far as he takes us. Those two instances certainly killed the momentum you guys had.

"...I'm getting a little tired of hearing how good everybody else is..." -Coach Fu [This week: 1-0]

I am a die hard Roma fan (and sophomore here) and I literally just created this account after seeing this thread (I'm a long-time lurker). Holy freaking crap, I'm so happy right now.

That was an amazing game to watch as a neutral what Roma did was spectacular they played Barca out the building today

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Yeah I never thought I'd see the day...

Well glad to have ya aboard, we talk about everything here, clearly!

"...I'm getting a little tired of hearing how good everybody else is..." -Coach Fu [This week: 1-0]

Guy I work with was tired of not being included in conversations about soccer. Didn't really know what team to pick, and didn't wanna bandwagon, so we had him take a Buzzfeed quiz to determine his fandom. In the span of 10 days, the kid has become the biggest Liverpool homer I know, and it has been shitloads of fun watching these two matches against City with him.

That is awesome! I used to play soccer a ton as a kid and did it so much I got burnt out. So one day I decided I wanted to get back into watching (never really pulled for a team in my youth). I watched about a month and I would always change the channel to watch Liverpool. I mentioned to my wife I was torn between Spurs and Liverpool and she got this funny look, "But you always turn off spurs to watch liverpool." Glad she is the smarter person in this relationship, have been a red ever since.

Come on Juve!

"...I'm getting a little tired of hearing how good everybody else is..." -Coach Fu [This week: 1-0]

Thanks for sharing, that's HILARIOUS!

"...I'm getting a little tired of hearing how good everybody else is..." -Coach Fu [This week: 1-0]

Yeah it had me tearing up lol. And how about Juve right now? Serie A with a brilliant showing

The Old Lady fighting ain't she? Man, Buffon, a legend!

"...I'm getting a little tired of hearing how good everybody else is..." -Coach Fu [This week: 1-0]

Straight red for dissent????? This is a vintage Real Madrid way to win. Absolute disgrace.

Ugh, what a heist...

"...I'm getting a little tired of hearing how good everybody else is..." -Coach Fu [This week: 1-0]

Pretty clear penalty for me...and I'm no Madrid fan. However, I guess that's why there are no English refs going to the World Cup this summer.

Yeah looked like a penalty. But at the end there was a push in the box when Buffon kicked one last big kick into Madrid box and no penalty was called.

Too big of a moment to call that IMO and sending off Buffon but not Benatia is basically proof that the refs just make up whatever they want to see.

I agree it was a clear penalty, but I don't agree with the red card. Joe Hart made contact with that same ref and received a yellow. He got caught up in the moment for sure. As a ref, you can't take control of a match that late in the contest. CR7 v. Gigi, and let the chips fall where they may.

"...I'm getting a little tired of hearing how good everybody else is..." -Coach Fu [This week: 1-0]

Paging: Kop/Vtae, who would you prefer to draw?

"...I'm getting a little tired of hearing how good everybody else is..." -Coach Fu [This week: 1-0]

gotta be Roma

Chem PhD '16

Hoping for Bayern...Klopp will know them well and they didn't seem all that dominant against Sevilla (whom we should've beaten twice)...then Madrid in the final. Our record in the big cup against Real is quite good. Plus, I'd LOVE to see tears on Ronaldo's face.

I'm with you, I want Bayern, with an aging Robben/Ribery, and no Neuer. Roma seems like one of those teams that you'd prefer to play a one-off match rather than a home and home match. Honestly though (and through my red tinted frames) I think LFC can beat any of the 3 left in tournament.

"...I'm getting a little tired of hearing how good everybody else is..." -Coach Fu [This week: 1-0]

This just seems like overthinking to me, and a lot of Liverpool supporters have drank the Klopp kool-aid as if he's some magic anti-Bayern antidote. He's not exactly at Mourinho-vs-Wenger levels of historic dominance vs Bayern and his "familiarity" comes from last having managed in the Bundesliga in 2015. Yes he's probably more familiar with Bayern and their side than with Roma, but does that really make up for the difference in talent between the two? Neuer is a big deal, but Robben and Ribery haven't been more "veteran leadership" than crucial contributors for a few years now. The side simply doesn't run through them like it used to.

Roma are obviously a dangerous team, but they're in the middle of a domestic league fight to finish in the UCL spots (one of Inter, Roma, and Lazio will be bumped to Europa unless Roma win the UCL which is unlikely). Bayern on the other hand have clinched the Bundesliga and Heynckes can run out the second team on weekends and drill the first team specifically for Liverpool.

Chem PhD '16

I mean lets hold off crowning yall champions. you beat the hell out of us but madrid in the champions league are something else. imo theyre the team to beat until proven otherwise

Taylor, looking desperately throws it deep..HAS A MAN OPEN DANNY COALE WITH A CATCH ALL THE WAY DOWN TO THE FIVE!!!!....hes still open

nobody's saying that, but as you'd expect we're full of confidence after beating citeh and a decent porto side convincingly. this is our only chance at a trophy this year, interestingly enough, bayern and real are in a similar position in that their focus is purely on this competition. LFC still have a bit of work to do to secure a place in next year's competition, but that might be secure by the time the semis kick off with the way chelski have been playing lately.

Sorry I am a bit late, obviously we have drawn Roma.

I think if I had to chose I wanted Real Madrid. I think they are the toughest opponent we could face but I believe that over a two leg matchup we would be able to get the aggregate. If I was being completely sensible and reasonable, definitely Roma. They are playing really well right now but if we are being honest, Liverpool and Roma are considered the two weaker teams. I think most odds makers are taking the winner of Real Madrid/Bayern Munich to be the champions.

I would have wanted Bayern for story line and a little more credibility going into the final. What I will say was last time there was an English team, Spanish team, German team, Italian team it was 1981 and Liverpool won. SO yeah...YNWA

Just looking back on this thread still puts me in awe of what Roma has done. To get out of their pool on top with Chelsea and Athletico, then to go on and beat Barca in insane fashion. As a City fan, this was a painful week for me but watching Roma at least gave me something to get my mind off of it lol

"Fishing relaxes me. It's like yoga, except I still get to kill something." -Ron Swanson

I went to my first Virginia Tech bowl game while I was in the womb.

and without Salah...all the more impressive

I'm with you, and that's why I wanted Juve to finish off RM so badly, because Serie A deserves some air time every now and then. Granted Juve has been runner up the last couple of times.

"...I'm getting a little tired of hearing how good everybody else is..." -Coach Fu [This week: 1-0]

Draws are in:

Liverpool - Roma
Bayern - Madrid

Chem PhD '16

Yeah I'll swallow my words if it plays out otherwise, but I think this is a pretty tough draw for the reds. Roma may be fighting for a UCL spot in their domestic league, but beating Barcelona is no easy feat. It will be an interesting matchup for sure.

"...I'm getting a little tired of hearing how good everybody else is..." -Coach Fu [This week: 1-0]

Our only saving grace is that the matches in Serie A are going to matter a lot more to Roma than the matches in the EPL are to Liverpool. We can afford to rest key players and risk tying or losing simply because Chelsea have fallen. The magic number is 75. At 75 points and GD, liverpool guarantee 4th, and we get to play chelsea in just a couple weeks. I am hoping it doesn't come to that match but if it does I relish the chance to solidify fourth against Chelski.

Forza Roma

This isn't CL related, but for all of my fellow Reds, all inside #sauces here in Charlotte are pointing to Liverpool playing Dortmund in the International Champions Cup this July. Nothing is publicly confirmed until Thursday, but at this point I would be shocked to hear otherwise. The only downside is that it'll be the first match for both teams, I went to the Fenway and Baltimore matches in 2010 and all of the guys that played in the World Cup got extended breaks, didn't even arrive stateside until the second stop in the tour and played for 1 half of the last game. There's still tons of fanfare, they bring a few legendary club ambassadors along for the trip, and Charlotte turns red (though Pulisic will probably bring out some Dortmund support).

I went to the Milan match in Charlotte in 2014. There were some decent starts there. Balloteli, Sterling, Sturridge all featured. I can't remember exactly but it wasn't terrible. Just depends on how far each players team makes it.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

Everybody was at that game, Sterling even started, but Stevie, Coutinho, Studge all came on in the second half. That was the 3rd game of the preseason that year though.

So I just saw this and my 8 yr old son is a big Salah + Liverpool fan (as well as Pulisic) ... I was just thinking about taking him down to go see the game as a surprise, but do you think it will be worth it considering the star players might not be there? Disclaimer: he and I both pretty new to the soccer world, so I know very little about how all this works.

Hokie fan | W&M grad

Wait to see how the WC shakes out. If Egypt gets knocked out in the group stages, it's possible Salah might play, but Klopp will announce the squad before they leave for America, so keep as last minute as possible. I'd say it's unlikely you'll see Salah at this early stage.

If LFC buys Pulisic (and rumors on this lately have gone quiet) he'd almost certainly play.

Since your son is a big LFC fan, you'll get a good look at the reserves and the younger players like Harry Wilson, Rhian Brewster (if he's recovered from injury by then) and Ben Woodburn.

Thanks for the info!

Hokie fan | W&M grad

Where are you living at? Dortmund are doing a USA tour too. Wouldn't shock me at all if pulisic was still with them after this transfer window

Taylor, looking desperately throws it deep..HAS A MAN OPEN DANNY COALE WITH A CATCH ALL THE WAY DOWN TO THE FIVE!!!!....hes still open

Richmond, va

Hokie fan | W&M grad

Ever since the VVD saga last summer (Screw you southampton) it's when things get quiet that they get serious. There is no question Pulisic would be welcomed but the question is, would he be willing to take a back up role to mane and salah with the hope of maybe stealing the top spot from one? I think he wants to be a consistent starter....would love to have him though I just don't know if we will.

I don't think he would have to take a back up role seeing as he's an attacking midfielder, at best he'd take Coutinho's role.

"...I'm getting a little tired of hearing how good everybody else is..." -Coach Fu [This week: 1-0]

I wouldn't get my hopes up to see Salah, or anyone else who makes the trip to Russia. It's always a possibility, but not likely. Pulisic, Van Djik, Milner, there are several first teamers who won't be at the World Cup and are likely to be around for everything. Regardless, it's cool just to be around the matches. I ran into Ian Rush and Robbie Fowler just walking around Baltimore, even bumped into Gerrard, Carragher & Bale. There's usually some access to training sessions, autograph opportunities, and you get to be around a bunch of footie fans, if your son is a budding fan you should absolutely take him for the experience alone, just temper his expectations of seeing everyone on the pitch.

Arsene Wenger to step down at the end of this season

Chem PhD '16

I guess all good things must come to an end.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

Wenger out

Recruit Prosim

Absolute legend. This is pretty much the same as the Beamer situation for me. It was time, maybe past time, but it's the end of an era and it makes me sad.

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

A few years too late but yes...definitely a legend. The arsenal Shankly if you will.

I initially started following Arsenal around 2007 but really didn't get into it until about 5 years ago. I never had an emotional connection to him - so this is some of the best sporting news I've heard in a long time. I really thought he would see out his contract so I'm relieved. I respect what he's done and he seems like a stand up guy. Hopefully a weight has been lifted off the club and they can finish the season strong.

Who are your top choices for next manager?

Tuchel, Ancelotti, and Luis Enrique on the short list of capable managers who are available.

Henry has been kicked around but it's tough for me to see that happening. Same with Arteta/Vieira for former players with coaching experience.

Current managers at other clubs you will see mentioned by the rumor mill with varying degrees of believability are Antonio Conte, Max Allegri, Unai Emery, Diego Simeone, Julian Nagelsmann, Eddie Howe

Edit: i put Luis Enrique on the wrong list

Chem PhD '16

Hokie and a gooner here too, and I totally agree with ya on it. Here's to hoping the next arsenal manager gives me as much confidence as Fuente does

Chem PhD '16

Hearing its gonna be arteta. The United arsenal matchups will be fun with him and mou at press conferences. No love lost between those two.

Hes an awesome guy, dunno how great of a coach he is but hell be missed on the city grounds if he leaves

Taylor, looking desperately throws it deep..HAS A MAN OPEN DANNY COALE WITH A CATCH ALL THE WAY DOWN TO THE FIVE!!!!....hes still open

I'd be surprised if it was announced or a done deal so quickly. Something something leaving it to the last minute something classic arsenal something.

Arteta was a fine player in his day and Wenger trusted him on the pitch, just not sure that going from Manchester City assistant to Arsenal manager makes a lot of sense without cutting teeth as a manager somewhere else first. If I'm Arsenal I might rather roll the dice on Vieira or Nagelsmann bc at least they have managing experience

Chem PhD '16

Oh absolutely, I thought arteta would be a much bigger risk than say viera. If I were arsenal I'd pursue Napolis coach. They've played such an attractive style this year and are competitive doing it with a smaller budget than some other teams.

Feel like he'd suit arsenal pretty well

Jardim would be another great choice too and continues the arsenal-monaco tradition. There are definitely some options out there. Just don't go simeone please, I love that the EPL is getting more aggressive and attacking and I think simeone is a step in the opposite direction

Taylor, looking desperately throws it deep..HAS A MAN OPEN DANNY COALE WITH A CATCH ALL THE WAY DOWN TO THE FIVE!!!!....hes still open

check out this article. There is a reporter who mainly reports on Liverpool topics (did two really nice pieces on referee bias against Liverpool this season {also pointed out the refs have been biased against City as well} domestically.)

This article discusses the financial landscape of the premier league and Arsenal's dip in form has largely been due to funding for players dipping over the past decade or so.

https://tomkinstimes.com/2018/04/spending-relative-wealth-and-heritage-g...

Maybe wenger is out dated, but if he isn't getting funding or the exact players he wants, what is a man to do?

All that being said, maybe Sarri would be good for Arsenal but there are questions that have to be asked when transitioning managers. I know you are a City fan so I will try to be delicate, but there are very few clubs that get a top manager and then spend 200 million pounds without batting an eye after doing something very similar the previous summer.

Do the existing players at Arsenal fit the manager's style? Are new players going to have to be bought? Will that be a sticking point in signing Sarri etc.? Are we OK with a rebuilding period? Will the fans be OK with that?

Klopp was an instant hit with Liverpool but he sold out for Europa and we finished 8th in his first year. His first full season with us was only last season and we finished fourth with no trophies and no european football. This year has been his most complete year to date and we are still missing a couple of key pieces. Liverpool fans were very much OK with Klopp taking his time to do things...It was frustrating with VVD and Keita but Klopp has so far proven he is trustworthy.

Read on the rumor mill that we're close to finalizing a deal for Real Madrid MF Dani Ceballos for 40m. Klopp personally intervened in this one so he must like what he says. Played sparingly this season, can't say I've ever seen him play before but if he can make the full Madrid squad he can't be all bad. Guess that ends our interest in Kovacic. That probably ends Lallana and Grujic's careers at Liverpool.

I've heard he is not consistent which is why he is on RM bench. He apparently has great games and then just disappears so I am apprehensive about this one. Maybe he just isn't used right, but Klopp has a decent eye. All I know is after the VVD thing blew up in our face, I don't trust any liverpool source any longer because the club has buttoned up shop.

I think we were never in for Kovacic, we had opportunities before and never moved on him. I am hoping we can also snag Jorgniho...

Grujic had promise but just hasn't grown, he owes it to himself to get some full time playing somewhere else. I don't think Lallana is done, but his age and durability means he can no longer be counted on.

Don't think anyone will be signing away Kovacic.

Ceballos situation is confusing to even RM fans. Our midfield is deep and ideally, if we hadn't completely shit the bed in the league the first half of the season he would have played a lot more when we rotated. In his limited time he only had one poor game that I can remember off the top of my head. I think we ideally want to keep him for the future but if someone throws money at us and he wants to leave, there's not much we can do. He flashed some top class football at Betis, but it's hard to tell how high the ceilings are on the promising young guys.

Yeah, the stadium debt was a huge deal and you only really saw arsenal shopping for quality players once it was sorted.

I agree wrt Sarri/transfer dealings etc. Obviously every manager is going to have their preferences, but there is a very short list of proven managers who have shown the ability to come into a side and get results without first engineering a massive squad overhaul (Ancelotti comes to mind, Pep and Mourinho don't).

Fwiw as a gooner, my guess is that it will wind up being Luis Enrique as next manager

Chem PhD '16

That is a good point that I forgot to mention. I was also happy with Klopp because he took a struggling Mainz into the Bundesliga, and then won the Bundesliga twice and got the CL finals with a BvB teams who's budget was laughable. I only ever want to sign coaches who prove they can get the best out of the players they have as opposed to coaches he need to spend big.

I have nothing against Arsenal and I wish you guys well. I truly hope you get a coach that brings you back into contenders. As much as I would prefer guaranteed CL football, it is nice to truly have 6 teams competing for top 4.

Oh I absolutely hear you about spending power but Napoli hasn't exactly been spending the big bucks lately. They get a lot out of players that have already been around for a bit, play an attractive style, and have just been a pleasure of a club

Also side note, spending money doesn't equate success. Shit Everton dropped almost 100 million this year. Spending smartly and scouting your talent are waaaaay more important and I think pep deserves some serious credit for that. A ton of people don't realize how much city needed a facelift and frankly half of the deals we signed in the last few years are seen as BARGAINS now. I mean how much do you think ederson is worth? Sterlings value has climbed, there are reports that Madrid are sniffing around sane for 80 mil. And gabriel jesus for 30 mil was incredible business. Gotta give credit where it's due. City are laying down the foundation for the future which costs a pretty penny in this day and age. I hope we don't go to crazy because frankly I want Diaz and foden to start getting more minutes. It's a real shame foden got hurt when he did

Taylor, looking desperately throws it deep..HAS A MAN OPEN DANNY COALE WITH A CATCH ALL THE WAY DOWN TO THE FIVE!!!!....hes still open

Spending doesn't equate to EPL titles but it most certainly does to succes. Outside of Leicester City, the team to win the EPL has been in the top 3-4 of spending. If you look at the article that is all it is pointing out. Spending increases the probability of success, but you are right it does not guarantee an EPL title.

I will for sure give credit, City has made very good signings. But we are talking about a coach who has spent 450 million pounds in 19 months. There are very few, if any, teams in the EPL let alone the world that can compete with that. Just like when Chelsea was bought by Abramovich their spending immediately went to the top of the league, and then they won the EPL a few times.

All I was suggesting is that there are a lot of variables right now for a coach coming to Arsenal and it has been proving that they are spending less and less (as a percentage of the top teams) over the years. So either the coach will have to make do with what he has or have a plan for some excellent business.

As far as the City bargains, you have to consider inflation. Look here:

https://tomkinstimes.com/2010/02/tpi%C2%A9-the-top-50-premier-league-deals/

same reporter has adjusted for inflation so the cost of signing a player is balanced, he updates this every year. Man City has 5 players in the top 50 and which of them are still playing for City?

If you want to talk about Aguero being a bargain (32-38 million depending on who you source)...well yeah for 32 million he looks like a bargain today, but if you adjust for inflation that is actually 130 million pounds! Still fair value IMO but you can't ignore inflation when talking about supposed bargains.

Finally, you can talk about the city bargains etc etc. But here is the truth: City are owned by Sheikh and therefore can literally pay for anyone. And if the players they buy don't work out, they can just go and buy another. Liverpool needed a facelift on the entire defense and signed an 8million pound full back, promoted a youth midfielder to RFB and then bought VVD for 75million pounds. That is all we could do.

Now don't get me wrong I'm not dumping it on City because I dislike the club--far from it. If they want to be best in the world, year in and year out, they have to spend that kind of cash to keep up with Barca, RM, Bayern etc. But when you support a club, like Liverpool, and you see talents constantly going to clubs like City (or others for that matter) because they are always willing to spend 5-10 million more...it kind of gets a bit frustrating after a while.

Any top player is a bargain. KdB is a well known Liverpool fan and we wanted to sign him but City came in over us for a price we couldn't afford. 54 million pounds for him looks like a great bargain considering his talent. I think Liverpool were in for him for like...45-49million pounds which was considered fair.

And this is why I've never been one of those #WengerOut people. He needs to move on, but the biggest problem with Arsenal has and will probably remain the inability (or unwillingness) to spend the money clubs like City or even Liverpool spend.

These recent reports from Ornstein (read: accurate when it comes to Arsenal 99% of the time) that Wenger was ready to step down after last years FA Cup win, but didn't because Arsenal had no replacement plan... That's ridiculous and shows what a weakness the board is for the club. It's just another instance of Wenger falling on his sword for the club.

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

Wenger is class and he will be missed but likewise the club needs to get their crap together. Also caution on saying: spending like liverpool. A lot of our fans are still waiting for a summer where our net spend is actually negative. So far most of our signings have been done within the budget of players being sold. I think the biggest thing we have going for us is the pull that Klopp gets. Supposedly this summer will be the first summer in a while where we will actually be spending out of our pockets. Heck even last years business plus the VVD signing has us at maybe at 20million pound spent.

Oh sorry missed a few points here too and got hung up defending pep and city (wed been laying the groundwork for him for YEARS tbf too)

Klopp was a good manager and I knew it day 1. He had a system, an idea, and showed steady marked improvement over the years. Liverpool are reaping the benefits

Sarri loves to play a possession high pressing style much like city and hes done it with far less talent at Napoli than say his rivals juventus

Players like lacazette, Ramsey, and mkhitaryan would thrive pressing and forcing the opponent into issues while ozil picks out passes. They still need a goalkeeper albeit napoli isnt exactly blessed with neuer. Point is I think both could do well with that arsenal team and could build something pretty good there. The foundation is laid for arsenal to be successful, this is a really important hire for them though.

I think there's a bit of a deadwood in the roster that needs to be sifted through. I also think there's a fanbase that's incredibly loyal and would be thrilled with any level of success, and a paid off massive stadium. With a few key pieces and some consistent fun play I think they could be an English power again.

Taylor, looking desperately throws it deep..HAS A MAN OPEN DANNY COALE WITH A CATCH ALL THE WAY DOWN TO THE FIVE!!!!....hes still open

I'm slightly worried about today's match, I think Roma stands a good chance at frustrating Klopp's attack approach. We'll see how things go. My head tells me Roma moves on, my heart tells me Roma won't stand a chance across two legs. Until a result is in the books though, I'll be at work watching the score-line humming Allez, Allez, Allez. Go Reds!

"...I'm getting a little tired of hearing how good everybody else is..." -Coach Fu [This week: 1-0]

The guy is incredible, 1-0 Reds, Correction: 2-0 Reds, Correction 3-0 Reds, Correction 4-0 Reds, Correction 5-0 Reds, Salah 2 goals/2 assists (Mane/Firmino), if the Reds somehow win the CL, he deserves Ballon D'Or in my book:

For Liverpool This Season: 🔴 Salah + Firmino + Mane: ⚽️ 88 Goals 🎯 40 Assists Best front three in the world

"...I'm getting a little tired of hearing how good everybody else is..." -Coach Fu [This week: 1-0]

Mo 2, Roma nil at half

I'm a man! I'm 44! Hokie thru and thru.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

5-0...come back from THAT!

KH this is comical....

"...I'm getting a little tired of hearing how good everybody else is..." -Coach Fu [This week: 1-0]

tears of joy are streaming down my face right now...a few more and we play the kids in the second leg

That Edin goal might keep things interesting for the second leg. Wanted a clean sheet so badly, ugh...

Correction: that Edin and penalty kick WILL keep things interesting

"...I'm getting a little tired of hearing how good everybody else is..." -Coach Fu [This week: 1-0]

Not to be cocky here but keep in mind: The 4-1 loss to Barca was two own goals and two weird deflections on clearances that went straight to suarez and Pique. Combine that with Roma had genuine chances in the game and should have had a PK, they went home knowing they could go toe-to-toe with Barca. Fast-forward to Tuesday...they got shredded. And they only got two goals from a misjudged header (first in a long time by Lovren) and a PK that really shouldn't have been awarded if this season is anything to go by. Yes they have a chance, yes they just did this to Barca, but the 5-2 win has a completely different feel than the 4-1 for Barca.

I don't know it just feels different, my nerves will be racked until the final whistle next week. It adds drama to the second game for sure, but Liverpool and drama usually is the precursor for a letdown. I'm hoping we can stay aggressive knowing that Roma pulled off a miracle against Barca'. It's crazy how much the team melted into a puddle once Mo' was off the pitch.

"...I'm getting a little tired of hearing how good everybody else is..." -Coach Fu [This week: 1-0]

Dude, it couldn't be more different if we tried. Barca won 4-1 with two own goals and two lucky deflections where as Roma scored a legit goal and should have been awarded a PK in the game. They were totally in that game and looked threatening the entire time. In the 3-0 loss Barca looked awful in attack the entire game and weak at defense.

Fast-forward to us: We spent 30 minutes looking shaky and nervous due to the magnitude of the game and still withstood their onslaught. We then went on to hammer in 5 goals in 40 minutes against one of the best keepers in the world. We took Salah out and the team went flat. An inch perfect pass to Dzeko who literally found the only sliver of net open as Karius rushed him perfect. And then a PK awarded against us that really shouldn't have been called.

Yes the two goals take a little out of the victory but you have to be optimistic here. Both of Romas goals were not the result of bad team play, they were just perfect place perfect time type things. I didn't see anything in that game that makes me fear going to Rome and not being able to score. Look no further than Man City. They had to score at least three goals as well and it opened them up tremendously at the back.

Can anything happen next wednesday? Of course, without a doubt. But we just hammered a team 5-2 in the freaking semi-finals of the champions league and all I have seen is a bunch of Liverpool supporters freaking out, being nervous and subdued. We should be over the moon right now with that result regardless of how it happened. I would expect us to put two past them at a minimum in Rome, but I could see us easily grabbing three. If we grab three, they have to score 7 goals. Heck if we score two they still have to score five,

I think the biggest thing you have to take away from this match is that we got rid of our nerves in the first thirty minutes and dominated. We will go to Rome with confidence that we can shred them and it will open that way from the first minute.

Roma is getting boat raced.

I'm a man! I'm 44! Hokie thru and thru.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

I'll be honest, even throughout the PL season I wasn't that high on Mo Salah. But these past 10 games have been remarkable. His ability to spread the field, find the open man (in extremely unselfish acts), and finish within 25 yards is mind-blowing. Obviously with the Yanks not being in the World Cup this Summer I will be pulling for Egypt in what is a good draw for them.

Another white bronco? The first one didn't go too far.

Hopefully Elneny is able to recover by then. He's very, very important to Egypt's chances.

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

Depends on your definition of recovery and how he well his rehab goes! I can only only hope he will at least be around 85-90%.

Another white bronco? The first one didn't go too far.

Liverpool playing some mighty careless soccer in the final 10.

Another white bronco? The first one didn't go too far.

Classic Roma :(

I'm glad there is some drama to the second leg, makes watching it worthwhile. I'm hopeful we'll finish the task at hand, and bring the chant to Kiev:

We've conquered all of Europe
We're never going to stop
From Paris down to Turkey
We've won the f'ing lot
Bob Paisley and Bill Slankly
The fields of Anfield road
We are loyal supporters
And we come from Liverpool
Allez Allez Allez
Allez Allez Allez

"...I'm getting a little tired of hearing how good everybody else is..." -Coach Fu [This week: 1-0]

Tune : Arriverderci Roma

We're on our way to Roma
On the 25th of May
All the Kopites will be singing
Vatican Bells they will be ringing
Liverpool boys they will be drinking
When we win the European Cup.

We?ll be drinking all their vivo,
On the 23rd, 24th, 25th, 26th of May,
All the Kopites will be singing
Vatican Bells they will be ringing
Liverpool boys they will be drinking
When we win the European Cup.

Now we went back to Roma,
On the 30th of May,
All the Kopites they were singing,
Vatican bells they were ringing,
Liverpool FC they were a swinging,
When we won the European Cup

Man Real is just unREAL sometimes...

"...I'm getting a little tired of hearing how good everybody else is..." -Coach Fu [This week: 1-0]

Happy with the result but I wasn't pleased with that 4-5-1 we rolled out yesterday. Very defensive formation and we limited our attack heavily by isolating Ronaldo up top, we essentially sacrificed him as a distraction so we could counter. Ronaldo is not a true striker, much less a target center forward. That said we made the most of our chances and got the result. It's pretty confusing how we change our formations and tactics pretty much every match and somehow keep getting results, though it really, really hurt us in the league in the first half of the year.

It wasn't pretty, but like you said you got the result. I love Bayern, but they seem to be content with domestic titles, rather than European glory. That squad is starting to show it's age. That's one thing I applaud RM of, they pursue talent continuously, evident in 2 goals, neither of which can be attributed to Bale, Ronaldo, or Benzema.

"...I'm getting a little tired of hearing how good everybody else is..." -Coach Fu [This week: 1-0]

I agree with you, but that has actually been a point of major contention among the fanbase this year. When we offloaded James and Morata over the summer and didn't replace them with any new attackers we really hurt ourselves in the league. We needed someone to step up and replace the goals between those two players and nobody did. As a result we have become overly reliant on Ronaldo, so yesterday's match was a huge breath of fresh air knowing we could still get a result with him being tactically forced into a bad role where he could be less impactful yesterday. I think we spring for at least one, maybe two big offensive signings this summer. We haven't had a big signing since James after the 2014 World Cup, which is hard to believe for a team once known for "Galatico" transfers.

That said, I love Vazquez, and I love that we doubled down on young talents like Vallejo, Theo, Asensio, Ceballos (even though we have painfully underutilized him). If we can retain most of those guys that makes for a bright future, but we needed to address an aging Benzema and find a 2nd choice striker and we failed to do so.

Dont forget the aging modric as well. Seems alot of the top teams are slowly aging faster chelsea and arsenal both have old guys they have to replace badly plus watching bayern yesterday made me feel old when the announcer reminded us Ribery is 35. Bayern shouldve gotten Tolisso in the game sooner he was far better than thiago I thought. Still a fun second leg to come but at home youd imagine Zidane will be more attacking to try and get the result instead of like the Juve tie where he sat back at home

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Aging Modric has been addressed by Mateo Kovacic fortunately for us, and potentially Ceballos if we can hold onto him, which I'm less confident of given how we've failed to find minutes for him. Midfield is deep right now but of course things like than can flip in a few seasons.

I agree though, particularly Bayern is struggling to deal with their aging old guard. Ribery is 35 and Robben is 34, both are fairly injury prone and it's in the best interest of the team to find their future full-time replacements sooner than later. Benzema's drop in form the last two seasons, despite still providing solid link-up play, has been very noticeable in his regressing production. There is no replacing Ronaldo for us, as no single player can do that, we will likely need a new winger AND striker to replace his production. Salah being the only player who could conceivably fill that role to some degree by himself, but he only has one season playing at this level so it's too early to posit that he can play at a Ronaldo/Messi level every season moving forward.

I also agree, and hope to see us play a more attacking formation and lineup. The 4-5-1 was too defensive and isolating Ronaldo as a target center forward is not good for anyone on the team, he's just not a true striker. That said, if we sit back again and survive to the final I won't complain.

With Klopp's ability to squeeze talent out of dormant players from other clubs, I'm hoping LFC starts pulling in talent like RM. Especially young talent. He was really good at this at BVB, and finding diamonds in the rough like Robertson this past season. It's crazy we spent the same amount for multiple players (Van Dijk, Salah, Robertson, Ox) that PSG signed Neymar for. We really need to sure up the CB and Keeper spots this offseason, that'll be critical to taking the next step domestically and hopefully on the UCL stage. The only thing I think that will hamstring Klopp is the tight wallets of FSG.

"...I'm getting a little tired of hearing how good everybody else is..." -Coach Fu [This week: 1-0]

They did have that the buy-and-loan-back deal to get Vinicius Jr for what it's worth (but probably isnt much). I think Madrid will be in for Neymar this summer for stupid money

Chem PhD '16

Vinicius deal was a bit silly for his age and relatively unknown future, however, it was 45m, which as ridiculous as it sounds is no longer considered a "big" transfer fee. Barca for example dropped 140m+ and 160(?)m+ for Dembele and Coutinho respectively this summer, Neymar for 220m, 75m pounds for Van Dijk a center back, City was spending 60-70m a pop on multiple fullbacks. Transfer prices just keep climbing.

Relative to the raw amounts of the rest of the market, it wasn't an eye-popper, but like you said it was definitely a bit of "we want him and we're gonna get him"-style signing given the situation.

Chem PhD '16

Money is no longer a big deal sadly I'll be interested to see if Neymar goes I tend to believe his recent behavior suggests he wouldn't mind leaving and only place other than Manchester is Madrid and I don't think either Manchester team will want him more than Madrid

Also think it's weird Madrid are so willing to possibly let bale walk this summer with the way they are up top but who knows maybe they'll keep him

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

As a Madridista the Bale situation is hella confusing. The issue is that he is NOT a striker or center forward and we always are shit when we try to play Ronaldo and Bale up top in a 4-4-2 and so that leaves us with the wings where we have Ronaldo in the 4-3-3 and Asensio, Isco, and Vazquez who are in great form for the 4-4-2 so it's just tough to find the right spot for Bale. We change lineups/formations almost every single match, we never know how Zidane is going to line us up until they release the starting squad an hour before each match. Then Zidane's subs are usually smart but we also never know what he's gonna do. It's a really weird situation. I'd like to keep him but he's also getting older and dropping in value. The ideal setup for Bale
was the 4-3-3 with the BBC but that just hasn't been super effective and we have to sacrifice using Isco, Asensio, and Vazquez in that situation and leaves us with less cover defensively.

Typical Arsenal.

Everyone acting like it's the end and they've lost the tie, they drew the first round 1-1 certainly not over

Taylor, looking desperately throws it deep..HAS A MAN OPEN DANNY COALE WITH A CATCH ALL THE WAY DOWN TO THE FIVE!!!!....hes still open

They could certainly still win but it's a failure on the day. Played 1 man up for 80 mins...only score 1 goal...and then give up a goal out of nothing.

Considering how poor and listless Atletico looked going forward the entire game I'd say it's a negative result I know Atletico can defend but 10 men for 80 minutes then to concede the way they did was typical
Also don't forget Costa should be back for the return leg in Madrid and he has a way against arsenal

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

It was typical Arsenal in some ways but as someone who watches La Liga every week it was equally so "typical Atletico" sitting in a boring ass deep block and countering and drawing/winning matches where they've been outplayed thoroughly. Being down a man made their tactics even more extreme, but that was their game plan regardless of going down a man. Arsenal could and should have scored 3-4 goals with the chances they were creating.

Any thoughts as to what team would be a good fit for pulisic?

Hokie fan | W&M grad

I'd love to see his speed on the pitch for the Reds, I really think he would be challenged though by the physicality of the PL.

"...I'm getting a little tired of hearing how good everybody else is..." -Coach Fu [This week: 1-0]

Borussia Dortmund. I'd rather see him stay there and be settled. He might not get as much playing time as other places, but this seems to be working.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

Man, I'd love to see him on LFC (hate that it sounds like that probably won't happen now), and totally agree with you on the physicality. That's got to be one of the biggest challenges for him right now period - hard to believe he's only 19. What would that make him, a freshman in college? And he's playing fully grown men.

Hokie fan | W&M grad

Staying in the Bundesliga is probably his best bet for development as a player. He'll (continue to) get plenty of playing time for BVB, and the Bundesliga is set up nicely with just a league, one cup, and Europe if you qualify, plus a winter break. I think EPL schedule with bigger league plus two cups plus Europe with a very congested fixture list leads to stunted growth for a lot of players either due to injury or due to the fact that they only really ever play in "B-team" formats against lesser sides.

Chem PhD '16

That's a really good point, I hadn't thought about that. It'll be interesting to see if Bayern makes a play for him. That might be the best scenario of all for him personally - a group of aging midfield legends, that he could play with and learn from.

Hokie fan | W&M grad

I actually think he'd be better off starting at BVB for a few more years than being one of several rotation options at Bayern. Just can't help but think that moving to a larger club with less actual developmental time would be a lateral move at best. He's under contract at BVB until 2020 and BVB should do everything in their power to bump his wages to extend him with an understanding that in two years they'll cash in on a massive transfer fee if his development continues... unless Pulisic really wants to leave and one of the super rich clubs comes calling with a massive offer (ie Ousmane Dembele to Barca last year).

The best places in the world for developing players are clubs like Napoli and BVB who are competitive and play in Europe but also don't have "unlimited" resources to punt on their development and bring in someone else just because.

Chem PhD '16

That's good to know - thanks again for sharing!

I ask b/c I genuinely have no idea what player development looks like at this level, but why are these clubs better at developing players? My very novice perspective assumes that learning from the likes of Robben, Ribery, and Vidal would be a huge opportunity.

Hokie fan | W&M grad

I tend to think of player development on two levels: quality of teammates and quality of opponents. Teams like Bayern and PSG and Barca and Real have really awesome quality of teammates. But a young player is less likely to play against those teams' best opponents. Opportunity for game action comes against lesser teams ahead of big games, or when there's an injury crisis. In this case, the player almost has to view his own teammates as his opponent to getting first team action and push them very very hard in training to make his case. It's good for the squad, and it's good for the player to go up against those teammates in training every day. It also sucks when you're doing everything you can and not getting the game time as a result because the club wants to feature its stars and pressures the manager to play them. Once the stakes are higher and that action does come, there's much more pressure to perform without making any mistakes.

Compare that to a team like BVB or Napoli, where success is found money. There's just a HUGE gulf in expectations for these teams compared to the above. In this case, a Napoli player is going up against the first team sides of Milan or Juventus or Lazio in meaningful games. BVB players get actual in-game minutes against Bayern. Players at Sevilla face Barcelona and give it all they have because nobody expects them to win.

The one league that does have teams with best blend of squad strength and league strength is the EPL, but too often you see young player growth stunted because of what I outlined above. There's either unrealistic expectations and a player gets exposed too much too soon in high stakes games with no room for errors, or the player winds up injured (it happens everywhere obviously, but I just feel like England is particularly prone to it), or the player only ever finds themselves getting minutes against Luton Town in the FA Cup. And on top of that, if you don't pan out in training or on the field the way the manager may have liked, there's enough money to throw at the next big thing and cut your losses.

Chem PhD '16

Early goal for Bayern....RM 0-1 Bayern. JUICY!

Well that was fast...

"...I'm getting a little tired of hearing how good everybody else is..." -Coach Fu [This week: 1-0]

So what happens if this game ends as 2-1 Bayern?

Hokie fan | W&M grad

Should be extra time, seeing as RM scored two away goals, and Bayern scored 2 away goals.

"...I'm getting a little tired of hearing how good everybody else is..." -Coach Fu [This week: 1-0]

it would be 30 mins of extra time and if still tied they go to penalties...BUT...

No chance of that now as Bayern with comical defending to allow Benzema to score his second of the match...2-1 Madrid..4-2 on aggregate

Just saw what happened ... unbelievable.

Hokie fan | W&M grad

That was beyond comical...Bayern doesn't deserve to move on after that crap

"...I'm getting a little tired of hearing how good everybody else is..." -Coach Fu [This week: 1-0]

James Rodriguez with a tidy finish for Bayern....2-2. GAME ON!

Plot twist! I could care less who wins, but would be incredible if somehow Bayern pulls this out. I know they are kicking themselves for that second goal.

"...I'm getting a little tired of hearing how good everybody else is..." -Coach Fu [This week: 1-0]

Oh well, onto tomorrow, if we can pull off the W against Roma, I don't fear RM nearly as much after the last two legs that they just played.

"...I'm getting a little tired of hearing how good everybody else is..." -Coach Fu [This week: 1-0]

Real Madrid 2-2 FC Bayern Munich

Breathtaking game of football as Real just hang on to advance to the Champions League Final in Kiev. Bayern's mistakes over the two legs proved too much to overcome.

That has to sting for Bayern. Looking forward to tomorrow's match as well!

Hokie fan | W&M grad

Cristiano Ronaldo made absolutely zero impact over two legs and they still went through against Bayern. That team is just too stacked.

He played alright today, he sent players through on goal three times and they all petered out against against the keeper. That said, us winning without Cristiano scoring/assisting is not the norm, we were extremely fortunate that others stepped up in this tie. He's been the difference in every other knockout tie so far and our league troubles early on have stemmed around our extreme over reliance on Ronaldo to score. That said we do have a great team, but we don't have any consistent scoring options after Ronaldo this season. Additionally, Benz has had an awful year production wise and I am very glad he finally stepped up in CL when we needed him most.

Looking forward to the final, we very well could lose, but the Bayern tie was a bad example of a comparison game of our chances against Liverpool. We never play super defensive like that and we usually have control of the midfield. Very off-brand setup and style from us, but Bayern are not similar to Liverpool.

Without Navas, Bayern would have strolled to the final...especially in the second leg. He was magnificent today.

No doubt. When I saw our lineup originally I thought we were going to play more our true style of controlling possession and tempo and then when it started it became apparent we were gonna sit back and counter again. The problem is that we are terrible at sitting deep and defending because we don't play that way. Thank god that Navas had such a brilliant match because we needed him too. Also first goal was a seriously uncharacteristic mistake from Ramos. He's usually world class in big matches in the box.

I'm a big Roma fan so I hope to see you there but it looks quite unlikely

As a Real Madrid fan, I am also a huge Roma fan after you humiliated Barca and made them look toothless on way to your huge comeback win. I can only imagine how amazing that was for an actual fan. I watched that match in the ATL airport and was losing my mind.

I also don't feel great about your chances to go through to the final, but crazy things can happen so who knows.

Easily my favorite soccer game I've ever watched. Talent-wise this team has absolutely no business being in the CL semis but yeah I'm hoping for part two of the miracle lol

Deep CL runs by teams like Roma and Monaco (last season) are part of what makes the CL the best competition in European soccer. It's the closest thing to a "playoff" that exists for the best teams in Europe and it tests the mettle of teams when it matters most in elimination games. Roma's XI compared to Barcelona's XI on paper was the easiest draw of the QF (though in hindsight I would say Bayern-Sevilla was the easiest draw they are currently winless in their last 9 matches) and yet Barcelona couldn't step up when it mattered most. Messi was a ghost, their midfield was overrun and Roma's press had Barcelona all out of sorts. Not to mention the first leg scoreline wasn't an accurate representation of that match, two own goals and Pique goal off a goal keeper deflection were very fortunate for Barca. That 3-0 win at the Stadio Olimpico was one of the greatest underdog matches I've ever seen, it wasn't lucky, it was a dominant performance with their backs to the wall.

Valverde totally screwed up is what it came down to. Just like Di Francesco totally screwing up is what it came down to in leg one vs. Liverpool. Unfortunately, I don't see Klopp making those same mistakes today.

In the words of the NBA commentator Mark Jackson, "Mama, there goes that bad man"

via GIPHY

Edit: And MIlner screws up in the short amount of time it took for me to find this gif, smh, always anxiety with LFC

"...I'm getting a little tired of hearing how good everybody else is..." -Coach Fu [This week: 1-0]

Halfway there... #AllezX3

"...I'm getting a little tired of hearing how good everybody else is..." -Coach Fu [This week: 1-0]

Blatant handball, should've been a penalty. PretendsToBeShocked.gif

Carvajal got a red and a penalty for that exact thing in one of our matches.

Lol they give THAT penalty instead of the two earlier that could've made a difference. Nothing more rigged than UEFA

Tip of the Stetson to Roma they showed a lot of heart...on to Kiev

That got sticky, RM will be challenging to say the least, even if we don't win, what a run! In the offseason it's imperative that Klopp strengthens that backline!

3 guarantees in life: Death, taxes, and Liverpool doing things the hard way...

"...I'm getting a little tired of hearing how good everybody else is..." -Coach Fu [This week: 1-0]

Still can't believe people can't see the reasoning for VAR Liverpool benefit like RMA last night two definite penalties tonight but gonna be a hell of a final for a neutral

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

UEFA can't fix matches if there is VAR. It may be controversial to say, but that's the reason for it imo. Other leagues and FIFA actually care about the right calls being made so they use VAR.

That is a very idealistic view. In the EPL (just one example) a West Brom defender (Hegazi) clearly punches our player in the gut after tackling him to the turf. Cameras caught it, linesman was there, referee was there, no call.

Then, post-game, the panel of three referees which makes decisions on retroactive yellow and red cards (i.e. the very same panel that would be deciding VAR decisions) said there was not clear enough evidence to warrant a retroactive red card (!!!).

VAR is not 'automated' it is still referees reviewing footage and supplying it to the main referee. In almost every EPL game this year I have watched us get called on BS penalties but then seen Salah/Mane/Firmino getting ripped every which way to sunday in the box with no PK. The only game liverpool played with VAR? A 3-2 loss where every incorrect call against Liverpool was reversed.

I am all for VAR, believe me, but I support it solely for player safety and consistency within the game. There is not a narrative that refs are trying to support, specifically in champions league. The game is being played at the highest speed it has ever been played and we are relying on 4-6 officials to make all the correct calls.

Outside of VAR I would like to have 4 linesman, 2 on-field officials, the "fourth" official in the tunnel. The pitch is too large, the game is too fast, for so few men to judge it all accurately.

Then, post-game, the panel of three referees which makes decisions on retroactive yellow and red cards (i.e. the very same panel that would be deciding VAR decisions) said there was not clear enough evidence to warrant a retroactive red card (!!!).

That panel can rescind red cards (see Mo Elneny) but can only retroactively apply a red card if they judge that no official had a clear view of the play in question.

Chem PhD '16

Maybe that was the technicality although a report was released specifying that they did not see evidence for a red card. So it had seemed to me as if they had passed judgement.

EDIT: My point was that VAR is still referees who can and will make mistakes. Much less, mind you, but it's still possible.

Hard to understand the phrasing/sentence structure used but I assume you meant Liverpool got lucky with the calls.

In last night's game Florenzi should have clearly been sent off. Several Roma players diving with the ref clearly waving off a foul (i.e. saying it's a dive with no yellow). Mane was shoved into the shadow realm while in the Roma box, no PK. Salah was on-sides several times that were called off. The handball against Klavan and Milner (from last match) were both absolutely ridiculous PK calls.

I get it, VAR and you have two PKs against us last night and maybe it is a different game but the door swings both ways. This season alone the bias against Liverpool within the Premier League is astounding. So for us to see a couple PK calls against us go unnoticed was remarkable. In both games the officiating was questionable but I will also say that it was very nearly 50/50 when it comes down to it at the end. I think 7-6 is a very respectable aggregate when it is all said and done.

Just to be clear, Liverpool have been awarded 3 PKs in the premier league this year. One of the most prolific attacking teams this year that spends the bulk of their time in the opponents box has only received three PKs. And just one at Anfield--only one.

I'm not mad or upset with you wishing for those PKs, anyone would be doing the same thing. I just find some sense of poetic humor in the fact that everyone is crying about those two PK decisions and ignoring that VAR would have had Florenzi sent off and at least one PK for liverpool as well. Combined with the amount of times Liverpool have been denied a PK makes it all the more ironic. Someone calculated but we are legitimately 12-16 points lower in the EPL table because of (bad) PKs alone.

I wish for VAR only because the fouls on city this year have been infuriatingly bad. Someones gonna get seriously hurt if they dont do anything anytime soon

Taylor, looking desperately throws it deep..HAS A MAN OPEN DANNY COALE WITH A CATCH ALL THE WAY DOWN TO THE FIVE!!!!....hes still open

Agreed. The articles I posted earlier in this thread from the TompkinTimes shows that Man City and Liverpool are the two teams most likely to get PKs in their favor and yet are the two least penalized teams. He argues bias towards british players and the only reason Liverpool are fairing worse than Man City is Raheem Sterling, a british player. In Europe it is more consistent.

Here is the red card offense on Mane that received only a yellow.

https://www.reddit.com/r/soccer/comments/8gkkp0/florenzi_with_a_maliciou...

Thats the only point im trying to make is that these are incidents that clearly beg for VAR in the sense because nobodys getting hurt so take these types of incidents for what its worth and learn to realize VAR could seriously benefit these officials especially with how poor the officiating has been this season in particular. Not saying anything to bash liverpool just pointing out how with the bad officiating and no available ability to try and fix their screw ups bad officials are made to look ten times worse. The way I see it officiating in the modern game with all the diving and such in particular its like asking a fireman to put out a house fire with a block of ice instead of a fire hose. Officials already have it tough enough with the silliness on the pitch and now with 4k cameras etc social media and replays we can pick their mistakes out so quickly and easy I feel bad for the refs in the sense that theyre being held back and left out to dry but UEFA and the EPL

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Fair enough, I was just trying to understand where you were coming from.

The audacity of /r/soccer and other such forums to suggest there is narrative/bias to get Liverpool to the final is 100% laughable. The amount of times we have been screwed and would have benefited from in game VAR is ridiculous this season. As I said in an above post, for the EPL, two linesman, a match official, and the fourth official is not enough. I feel like 4 linesman, a match official, "fourth" official, and even two officials behind goal is necessary at this point.

Use the NHL model, have a ref in each half who can communicate with the other one. VAR would make the games take forever, like an NFL game.

yes yes yes please. That is my biggest fear with VAR--although I have heard the rugby leagues have done extremely well in speeding the process up. I would rather have more officials. maybe two or three match officials on the field.

Yeah the more the better if we cant have VAR the head officials need to do a better job of listening to their crew as well I've seen some instances where the others get ignored they need to learn to work as a team. The refs arent working against anybody its just something everyone stirs up to add drama

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Playing devils advocate here I've seen some shitty officiating from the side judges too. It's just been plain bad this year.

This is an ongoing one on city's subreddit. Not a single red card. Ever since the mane one it seems like officials are terrified to brandish one, which really sucks. Especially considering the mane one was the most incidental (albeit I think it was deserved probably less so than some of the others seen here)

Taylor, looking desperately throws it deep..HAS A MAN OPEN DANNY COALE WITH A CATCH ALL THE WAY DOWN TO THE FIVE!!!!....hes still open

That's crazy! I honestly can't remember the last time a red card was given against the opposition for Liverpool. The Mane one was nuts too, for all intents and purposes it was yellow-in fact the ref had the yellow coming out and saw Ederson's face and swapped for red which is totally incorrect. But since that day, I have seen liverpool players getting high boots to the face with rarely a whistle or even a yellow card...It has been unbelievably frustrating.

straight red? it's been a while but the last red I remember is the Pogba handball at old trafford last year off a corner for his second yellow of the match...and of course they equalized off a blatant off-side in the final minutes if you recall

Pogba got a straight red against Arsenal this year. It was a shitty one though, not near as bad as the ones above. He was caught in mid-stride as Bellerin went in for a challenge and couldn't correct himself.

Liverpool also got lucky Salah didn't get a straight red for a punch last weekend. This shit goes both ways folks. The officiating is awful for everyone.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

Oh I agree I think city got away with some things this year but that doesn't make it ok. Frankly I think we caught more fouls this year than we gave out due to the fact that we were on the ball more often. Teams got really frustrated playing city this year

Taylor, looking desperately throws it deep..HAS A MAN OPEN DANNY COALE WITH A CATCH ALL THE WAY DOWN TO THE FIVE!!!!....hes still open

I know the feeling man. Certainly not as prolific in possession as city but we have only received three PKs this season, one of which at home, and another aided by VAR if I am not mistaken. Tottenham, however, gets two in ten minutes AT ANFIELD. I don't care about crap refereeing just as long as it's crap and consistent for both teams. I can't stand stonewall penalties being denied because 'the Kop influences the ref' or some crap like that but then players dive in our box and are awarded PKs like candy.

Camera angle was crap on that. I guarantee you if Salah made any amount of contact at least one if not ALL of the players around him would have reacted. He had been getting grabbed and pulled all day long and so he threw the arm off.

As far as Reds for punching...hegazi surely didn't get one for punching Ings the week before even after it was reviewed.

Come on man it was a punch. Yeah he whiffed but that doesn't make it okay. Even the Liverpool fans on r/soccer said it was a punch. Players get grabbed and pulled all the time. It's a physical league. Doesn't warrant throwing punches at other players.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

I'm not arguing that he swung an arm. But this is the professional soccer where diving is occurring multiple games--heck even Salah saw yellow this weekend for a dive. Surely if he came even remotely close to making contact someone would have been gesturing or running to the ref, or the player himself falling to the ground holding his face. Like I said, I watched the replays of it, there is no good camera angle that can show it.

As I said before, there is a great camera angle that shows Ings being punched but no red card there either. And forgive me, but reddit is finicky at best and any Liverpool fan on /r/soccer saying it was a punch are those looking to just get upvotes for being the 'sensible' fan.

I'm not saying Salah wasn't trying to hit the Stoke player but there is no conclusive evidence. The fact that he was frustrated from all the grabbing and tugging, the fact that he never once looked in the players direction, the fact that not a single player from either team even remotely reacted would all lend credence to it was just him shoving off.

And yes it is a physical league as Pogba so clearly demonstrated by putting Henderson in a headlock and throwing him to the ground with no punishment. All I am saying is that there is clear physical contact that goes unpunished and no one bats an eye but the minute the leading scoring and Liverpool's golden boy finally shows anger after 35 games of being fouled but only getting one PK all season long, everyone screams bloody murder.

No one is screaming bloody murder dude. There was plenty of conclusive evidence, the dude threw a punch. He got away with it. I'm not mad about that, and I'm not complaining that he didn't get in trouble (but you got defensive over it, which is odd because you swear it's not conclusive enough). I'm just making the point that Salah threw a punch and got away with it just like Pogba got away with a headlock on Henderson and this and that etc etc. This kind of stuff happens every single match but Liverpool fans on here act like they are always the victims and never the perpetrators when that's simply not the case. Do not interpret my stance as a "oh Salah threw a punch he should be carded." My stance is "everyone does it, some get away with it, some don't and it needs to be fixed from the top down" because, like you said, my team has benefited from it too.

The bottom line is there needs to be more officials on the field. Right now there is only on on field referee and two on the touchlines. The pitch is too big for that to be acceptable.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

Fine, I understand where you are coming from... And I 100% agree that the punishments need to be consistent. I wrote up something a lot longer but I decided to boil it down into key points because at this point we may have to agree to disagree.

1. Screaming bloody murder. Yes they are, the Salah incident (where he never made contact) was judged to be a punch from poor camera angles. If Nathaniel Clyne was the player to have done this no one would bat an eye or say a word but it is the league leading scorer and therefore people ran with this a lot further than needed.

2. Conclusive evidence. Show me your conclusive evidence. I am not saying it wasn't a punch. But surely if it was, maybe at least one player or manager would have reacted to it? I saw his arm being grabbed, I saw him throw his arm (albeit across the front of the stoke player) to release the hand that was holding him. If his fist was anywhere near that player are you seriously trying to say that no one on stoke's team would try to leverage that situation in their favor?

3. Liverpool being victims. Across the entire pitch? probably not. But I have already linked articles in this thread that detail the referee bias against liverpool and city this season talking about PKs.

1. Screaming bloody murder. Yes they are, the Salah incident (where he never made contact) was judged to be a punch from poor camera angles. If Nathaniel Clyne was the player to have done this no one would bat an eye or say a word but it is the league leading scorer and therefore people ran with this a lot further than neede

Association football has a tendency to bring out really weird fans (read comments on any of the big clubs social media posts, "like if you think *player* is the best in the premier league) and fans that get so consumed with their own team they go overboard in situations like this. Plus, everyone is looking for a villain to replace Diego Costa.

2. Conclusive evidence. Show me your conclusive evidence. I am not saying it wasn't a punch. But surely if it was, maybe at least one player or manager would have reacted to it? I saw his arm being grabbed, I saw him throw his arm (albeit across the front of the stoke player) to release the hand that was holding him. If his fist was anywhere near that player are you seriously trying to say that no one on stoke's team would try to leverage that situation in their favor?

Let's agree to disagree here.

3. Liverpool being victims. Across the entire pitch? probably not. But I have already linked articles in this thread that detail the referee bias against liverpool and city this season talking about PKs.

I don't see them. Only thing I saw you link were some finance related articles from a Liverpool site. Got a proper link?

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

https://tomkinstimes.com/2018/03/big-free-read-are-refs-biased-against-f...

https://tomkinstimes.com/2018/03/refereeing-scandals-penalties-go-to-bri...

tl;dr british referees are biased towards british players.

As for Salah--I watched the videos again just in case. I completely agree it looks like a punch--I'll not disagree with you there. I just think if it really was a punch the players would have at least reacted (ref was even looking right at it). It may very well have been a punch and I will eat my words without issue...

Thanks, they're pretty long. I'll give them a read tonight.

As far as the punch, I see what you're saying no doubt. It's strange to me too. But the way Salah looks at him then swings is why I think it's very much a punch. If Salah wsa being held that hard, there's no way he would've been able to swing like that. Nonetheless, it's water under the bridge. Not worth fussing over since the season is virtually over.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

Agreed, and i see what you are saying too.

As for the Tomkins articles they are always long. He is a self-proclaimed liverpool journalist but the beauty of his articles is that he gets stats. And they aren't just stats that suit his agenda, he pulls all of the stats and makes sense of them. He rarely releases articles outside of his paywall so when he does it is usually because he has something to say that is universally important.

That aguero one literally made me turn the TV off. Pitiful.

"Fishing relaxes me. It's like yoga, except I still get to kill something." -Ron Swanson

I went to my first Virginia Tech bowl game while I was in the womb.

Depth! That is going to be the key for LFC's offseason. The XI are starting to show fatigue, especially the front 3 at the worst time of the season. I'm hoping personal accolades aren't the obstruction for Salah's form right now. I just can't stop fuming over that loss to the blues. Now the last two matches will be filled with pressure to perform, which some might say is a good thing, but honestly I was hoping that last match against Brighton was a formality in preparation for the CL Final. Just a rough Monday morning after yesterday's performance.

"...I'm getting a little tired of hearing how good everybody else is..." -Coach Fu [This week: 1-0]

Depth is, of course, key. Looks like we are heavily linked with Fekir at the moment and will always be linked with Pulisic as long as Klopp is a coach at Liverpool. I would expect a third winger to be added so that they can start a healthy rotation next season. The midfield is not a depth issue, that is simply unfortunate circumstances. I can't think of many teams that (outside of the RM, Barca, Bayern, Citeh) that can afford to have more than 2 players per position in the squad. We play three midfielders, have 3 on the bench and then three midfielders get injured.

I think our depth is pretty good, but maybe not as effective off the bench as some other clubs so that is the aspect I would like to address most.

I'm telling you if a new manager can sort out the defense, GK, and CDM situation, Arsenal can return to glory. The attacking play with Mkhi, Laca, and Auba with the likes of Ramsey, Ozil, and Xhaka behind them has been really fun to watch here at the end of the Wenger era.

That being said I'm liking Mavropanos and Chambers at CB recently. Bring in another experienced CB and I'd be interested to see how they grow.

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

I'm hoping that's the case. It'll be interesting to see if we still have injury issues under the new manager.

Who would you like to see brought in at CB, CDM and GK?

Feel really bad for Kos. Do you Mustafi to stay?

I hope they don't resign Wilshire.

The injuries have gotten a little better over the past couple years, at least.

Honestly as far as bringing people in I really don't know.

We've been linked to Sokratis from Dortmund and he'd be exactly the type I'm thinking about at CB. Plus we've got that link to all Dortmund players from a couple years ago with Sven Mislintat running the show (see: Auba and Mkhi signings). Not sure if we go that big without outgoings though. If we see one go, Mustafi would be the obvious candidate. But in CB years he's still relatively young and could still make strides. I don't want to call him a failed experiment (yet) because he's getting to the age now where Kos really came into his own. But I think Holding, Mavropanos, and Chambers all probably have more potential at this point.

I doubt we'll pony up for Oblak (there's been unreliable links) but obviously he's the dream signing at GK. Bernd Leno (decent) and Alban Lafont (preferable) are two others that have had links and that I'd like.

CDM is a crap shoot for me, and I've failed at predicting Arsenal's next savior at the position many times so I won't even try anymore. Someone in the Kante role would be perfection, and Elneny plays a poor man's version of that so I hope he recovers well. But a top class signing in that mold would be wonderful. That would free up Xhaka and Ramsey to do what they love to do in the midfield and would help us a lot.

I'm ambivalent towards Jack. There's not a player who loves Arsenal more, and he's a good squad player to have. But he doesn't need to be paid more than he's got on the table now so if he's looking for that I say let him go.

EDIT: of course all this discussion could be heavily swayed by the pick for the big seat.

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

Thanks for your reply. I don't really watch any soccer other than Arsenal, NYRB, and the major national team tournaments so I never really know what to think of the transfer rumor mill and how good players really are.

Maybe Butland since Stoke just got relegated

One of the problems with him is the English 'tax' that is probably gonna drive up his price. Any other top 10 EPL side is a potential bidding war rival if they decide they need a GK. Also I'd feel dirty if we gave Stoke money.

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

True, but I'm always impressed with his play every time Arsenal go up to that god-forsaken place. Plus I'm willing to pay the extra to celebrate their relegation.

Relegation means hes gonna be cheap unless stoke is willing to take a heavy loss financially. Might be able to tear him away like Julio cesar was from QPR

Taylor, looking desperately throws it deep..HAS A MAN OPEN DANNY COALE WITH A CATCH ALL THE WAY DOWN TO THE FIVE!!!!....hes still open

Define 'cheap'. Because the rumor is that Arsenal has 50M pounds to spend (before outgoings, of which I don't foresee that many) and there are at least 3 positions that are critical to address this summer.

I don't buy that 50M number, necessarily, but this is Arsenal we're talking about still.

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

Albeit Julio cesar didn't have the British tax but he was loaned out for 2 years before being sold for ~12 million quid. Nobody wanted his massive wages. For a good goalkeeper that's a steal

Taylor, looking desperately throws it deep..HAS A MAN OPEN DANNY COALE WITH A CATCH ALL THE WAY DOWN TO THE FIVE!!!!....hes still open

Tottenham avoid spursing it up, and secure a top 4 finish. Down to Chelsea and Liverpool for the final spot on championship sunday!

VB born, class of '14

Also fair play to Huddersfield to get away draws at man city and Chelsea to survive.

VB born, class of '14

best friends before and definitely after today!

So happy mooy got to stay up, class act and an awesome player

Taylor, looking desperately throws it deep..HAS A MAN OPEN DANNY COALE WITH A CATCH ALL THE WAY DOWN TO THE FIVE!!!!....hes still open

The only way this season could finish any better is if somehow someway we can pull it off against RM. I honestly think with a couple of signings to sure up our goalkeeping and defense, we could push for the EPL next season. #LFC #YNWA #AllezX3

"...I'm getting a little tired of hearing how good everybody else is..." -Coach Fu [This week: 1-0]

Giving this thread another little nudge to share that Arsenal is hiring Unai Emery as manager, fresh from his less than glowing time at PSG. Great when he was at Sevilla though.

There are actually things to like about the hire and I'm willing to give it some time to see where it goes. The fact that's he's not fluent in English is going to make things weird to start.

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

Yeah. It's an interesting hire and I don't hate it. I think he will have a smoother transition than Arteta would have (the other name bandied about most popularly), simply because Emery has managed a world class club with big personalities. Was PSG as successful as the Qataris would have liked under Emery? No, but he has won trophies at each of his last two gigs.

Arteta was a high upside, high risk option and I don't blame the club for not going that.

I think he needs to sort out a cobbled-together defense ASAP and also find a defensive midfielder. I don't get the impression that Emery is coming in with total control of player transactions, what with Sanllehi and Mislintat in the front office. But it will be interesting to see how he rates the current squad.

Chem PhD '16

Yeah we're moving to the model that almost every other top level team uses where the "manager" is closer to a coach and there are others moving the chess pieces behind the scenes. And it's going to help us to do so.

I honestly didn't know much about Emery until just now but after the initial shock (this came out of almost nowhere) I've decided that this has some good potential behind it. There's even talk that PSG was meddling with his management behind the scenes and not letting him use players/formations he wanted.

We need 1 and probably 2 centerbacks and a midfielder if Ramsey leaves (hopefully not). Methinks we'll see an increased role for Elneny next season which frees Xhaka to move up where he likes. And of course a new GK, but Cech was just given the #1 so I don't know what's going on there.

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

I just barfed. This is disappointing to say the least. I'd thought with the leadership they brought in things were going to change - but maybe those 3 guys are looking for a yes man at this point. I still don't know how much Kroenke is limiting the budget.

I wasn't happy with Arteta - but I had resigned myself to thinking that the club was willing to take a risk that they were appointing the next great manager.

I mean, this seems like a risk as well, just one that involves a guy who actually has managed a squad before (and in this case, a squad with some serious star power in it). I had also convinced myself that Arteta might somehow be fun to see, but I think this is probably a better route right now. We need to get back into the UCL, and hiring a guy that won 3 Europas with Sevilla is a good shout.

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

I was okay with the risk of finding a new young manager...I'm not okay with the risk of hiring another team's just fired manager. This club is severely lacking confidence and you bring in somebody that basically just failed at what he was hired to do (get to the final/win the CL - whether it was reasonable or not, he failed). I'm aware of his accomplishments, but another team just canned you.

It just seems like there were better options if they wanted an experienced manager.

First, I don't know what other options you could be talking about. Any other experienced manager out there (save Enrique I think) is currently employed.

Honestly the only name that's been thrown around that I'd have been undoubtedly happier with is Jardim.

And second, PSG is in another world for how they operate. I'm not going to draw too many conclusions from him walking away from there.

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

RIP Tuchels career haha if I were yall Jardim wouldve been choice #1, and sarri wouldve been a good one to reach out to top.

The hire was the best you could do without totally changing the culture of the club or breaking the bank for those 2. I'm just shocked arsenals transfer budget isnt bigger. I know they are a super rich club are they still paying off the Emirates?

Taylor, looking desperately throws it deep..HAS A MAN OPEN DANNY COALE WITH A CATCH ALL THE WAY DOWN TO THE FIVE!!!!....hes still open

Most people I've seen talking about it claim that Emery is an excellent in-game tactician, which is something Arsenal has been missing for awhile.

Arsenal's transfer budget is due to a few things: First, while we're a "big" club, we've never had an injection of funding from owners like City, Chelsea, PSG, etc. Secondly, our wage bill has been a clusterfuck for awhile and we're just now (with the help of our new upper level staff) making the tough decisions to rectify that. I hope so anyways. Finally, like VT, our sponsorship deals SUCK right now and I can't wait for them to be renewed/changed.

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

No UCL money for next year matters too, unfortunately. As much as it became a point of mockery for Wenger, being able to count on that kind of year in and year out reliability is almost as valuable as the money itself.

Obviously Emery is going to want to clear out some players he doesn't rate, but even a couple sales plus £50m can go a long way towards that transfer budget. Especially if he looks to some of the (very) promising academy products to fill out the squad. AMN, Willock, Nelson, Jeff, Nketiah etc all could play big roles on this team

Chem PhD '16

I thought our Emirates deal for shirt and stadium was pretty good. The puma deal aged very quickly - I think it was 2nd best when singed.

There was talk of buying out the deal for adiddas earlier this year but not sure what's going on there. Puma only has 1 year left for 30m. Biggest gap is to man u (75m) and Chelsea (60m). Otherwise we're in line with tot and ahead of city.

Pretty sure city get ~50 million from puma ATM. Think we signed over this year

Taylor, looking desperately throws it deep..HAS A MAN OPEN DANNY COALE WITH A CATCH ALL THE WAY DOWN TO THE FIVE!!!!....hes still open

Emery's contract was up. Call it "fired" or not, but it's been well established he was leaving at the end of the season for a while now.

Psg has Real Madrid levels of wack management intervention and I'm sure there was pressure to shoehorn in the big signings regardless of balance on the pitch. It's not like he was ever going to be able to pull rank on Neymar. When ownership spends a quarter of a billion dollars on a guy, it's a lot easier and cheaper to cycle through a manager than it is a squad when everyone collectively underachieves.

Chem PhD '16

I understand the psg situation. My point was more about how much respect does this guy have simply walking into the locker room.

I don't know how the players will respond, and whether or not it's important, I doubt the other managers in the pl are worried.