UEFA Champions League, 2011/2012

I thought someone had made one of these already, but maybe I was thinking of the Euro 2012 thread. Figured it was time we had one for the CL.

Group stage is over. What do you think the biggest surprise is? I’m not too shocked two of the four English clubs didn’t make it, but I would have picked Chelsea to be one of the ones going out. Basel’s play in both of their legs against MU was impressively spirited; at home last night they didn’t seem the list bit overawed by circumstances, and it was a very pleasant game to watch.

Apparently French gambling authorities are looking into Lyon’s improbable comeback to qualify from group D (needing to gain 3 points and a 6 goal differential on Ajax to get out of the group, and doing so on Ajax’s 3-0 loss and their own 7-1 win), but UEFA says their “Betting Fraud Detection System” (heh) detects nothing unusual “yet”.

The first knockout round draw is on the 16th. I’d love to see Basel draw either Chelsea or Arsenal; if they could knock out another Premier League team it would be the stuff of legend (and, since I’m a Spurs fan, wouldn’t upset me a bit).

Not shocked? Maybe not by then end with both Manchester clubs sitting on the brink but on the whole… quite shocked.

Like you, as a Spurs fan, awaiting the draw to see whom Chelsea or Arsenal might succumb to.

Do you lay any weight to the having to choose whether to compete 100% for the domestic title vs. the Champions League? Obviously both team are top of the table at home currently. Also obviously this has not been much of a hardship (* in the past) for ManU as they regularly make the semis or better in CL and always finish top 4 at home of course.

Yes, Lyon’s comeback was certainly one for the books. But it wouldn’t have mattered if Ajax hadn’t lost by that scoreline also, correct (goal differential)? That would be quite a conspiracy if so.

I’m surprised Inter even managed to qualify considering how shitty their year has been.

Not too shocked. City and Chelsea were both in what I considered strong groups. I am quite surprised United didn’t make it out, but no, given the way Chelsea and Arsenal struggled for the first part of the season and how tepid United’s looked in league play, I’m not astounded to see two go out.

I think there’s no arguing that competing in a European cup adds to the wear and tear on a team. It’s worth noting, too, that the Manchester sides now fall to the Europa league, which is even more taxing, as indicated here. Man City also have Carling Cup matches coming up, but they have an insanely deep squad; I don’t think it will hurt them much. United’s been facing injury troubles, which have only gotten worse with Vidic likely out for months, and Arsenals’ depth is… well… Van Persie. It could be rough on them.

Let’s see. Before this round, Ajax was on 8 points with a +3 GD, and 6 GS. OL was on 5 points with a -4 GD and 2 GS. Their 7-1 win put them on 8 points with a +2 GD and 9 GS. If Ajax had lost only 1-0 they would have had a +2GD, and still lost on goals scored. (I think the CL uses goal differential then goals scored like most things do, but I’m not sure.) So the 7-1 on its own looks like it was enough to seal it for them, as long as Ajax lost at all.

Fixed? I think… don’t be jinxing VdV whatever you do. :)

@13Szczesny13 Wojciech Szczesny
I would NOT like to be in ManUtd dressing room right now…

I love it.

How taxing the Europa league is should depend on how seriously the teams take it in terms of playing their best players, I understand Spurs haven’t been taking it very seriously at all so far.

I don’t have any remote expectation Chelsea have a chance in this Champion’s League, but the further they go the more money they get at least. I’d give Chelsea an even chance against Basel, not so much against Napoli.

I wish the CL didn’t dump its trash into the Europa league. Though watching Rangers get knocked out of two European competitions back to back is always a delight.

AY CARUMBA. Fix appreciated. What a mistake-a to make-a!

Marseille v Inter
Zenit v Benfica
CSKA Moscow v Real Madrid
Bayer Leverkusen v Barcelona
Basel v Bayern Munich
Milan v Arsenal
Napoli v Chelsea
Lyon v Apoel Nicosia

Rough for the English teams.

Marseille v Inter
Zenit v Benfica
CSKA Moscow v Real Madrid
Bayer Leverkusen v Barcelona
Basel v Bayern Munich
Milan v Arsenal
Napoli v Chelsea
Lyon v Apoel Nicosia

Wow, I’ve got both French teams getting thru (I don’t think Inter are particulary good this year). A couple of other things:

-If Arsenal lose Van Persie, I don’t see them getting past Milan.

-I can see Napoli turning over Chelsea over two legs, especially if Chelsea don’t get someone that’s not cup-tied in January. I’m assuming they will.

I’m going to revive this thread because this concerns UEFA 2012.

Damn!! What a result! Who the hell expected this just a few months ago? The Spanish teams consisting of the best players in the world have now lost. Barca lost to Chelsea with an aggregated score of 2-3 and Real Madrid lost to Bayern with an aggregated score of 3-1 in penalties.

The final is, I think, going to be less spectacular. Chelsea is missing half their team which is going to be a real obstacle.

Oh Jose, not like this. Not like this.

I forget where I read it but someone summarized the Chelsea victory(*) over Barca at Camp Nou as being like watching the Devil beat God.

(* Technically they tied in the second leg and advanced on aggregate)

I know right? However, Bayern Munich quite simply played better. I think that after the BM goal, Real Madrid got scared. They knew that with one more score from Bayern they would be forced to score 2 more goals in order to advance, and so started playing really carefully. Ronaldo pretty much dissapeared on the second half, but I think that´s mostly the way Mou

And it was sort of out of character for them. Other than Barca, I don´t think any other team has outplayed RM like that in Bernabeu.

Too bad, with Barca out they had a precious chance of taking la orejona again.

Because Jose tried to play Barca style football against Barca. 0-5 devastation, lesson learned, let’s get back to pragmatic old boring Jose style football. And win La Liga! (I hope)

Today RM played their style, but Bayern was the better side after it was all over.

Yeah that 0-5 will live in infamy forever. It amuses me that when it comes to head to head matches between RM and Barca, if one of the teams completely blows the other out of the water, more often than not that team will be Barcelona.

They played their style today and got owned. There was a serious disconect between midfield-attack, and the defense looked uncharacteristically flimsy. kaka didn´t help.

They will surely win la liga at least. I´m just glad that I like Bayern Munich a lot too, so the result today is not a complete downer. Now all that is left is hope they can end Chelsea´s heroics.

I would have given Chelsea more chance against Bayern than Real if the final wasn’t at Bayern.

I feel Chelsea will lose after giving it their all against Barcelona. Still looks like it will be a great final rather than the Barcelona v Real Madrid would have been.

The Chelsea-Barca semi-final was set a sports Twitter record, beating out the Superbowl at 13,684 tweets a second.

I preferred reading Fabregas moan about how the result was “unjust”. Apparently someone hasn’t told him that if you base your whole game around possession football, get that possession, and then fail to score enough goals then the result is just.

Just having the ball isn’t enough, particularly against 10 men.