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Thursday, August 01, 2019

OT Soccer Thread - A New Season is Upon Baldrick

Everyone enjoy the break that was about 25 minutes long?  Anyway;

August 2 - Championship begins (Luton-Middlesbrough), Eridivise begins (Zwolle-Willem II)
August 3 - Scottish Premiership, League One, League Two begin
August 4 - Community Shield (Manchester City-Liverpool)
August 6 - Carabao Cup (Portsmouth-Birmingham City), Third round qualifying Champions League first legs
August 9 - EPL begins (Liverpool-Norwich City), Ligue Une begins (Monaco-Lyon)
August 16 - Bundesliga begins (Bayern-Hertha), La Liga begins (Athletic Bilbao-Barcelona)
August 29 - Champions League group stage draw
September 5 - All manner of World Cup and Euro qualifying international break begins

BTF FANTASY SOCCER COME ONE COME ALL (the link for the post now takes you to the signup page).

League name:  BTF Soccer

Code: my8hl1

Jose is an Absurd Time Cube Posted: August 01, 2019 at 06:46 PM | 911 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: off topic, soccer

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   601. jmurph Posted: August 26, 2019 at 04:16 PM (#5874559)
Lukaku with one of the easier goals he'll ever score, in his debut.
   602. Mefisto Posted: August 27, 2019 at 07:53 PM (#5874904)
Reports say Alexis Sanchez will be going to Inter on loan.
   603. Jose is an Absurd Time Cube Posted: August 27, 2019 at 09:51 PM (#5874944)
Bury are done. League One has 23 teams this year.
   604. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: August 27, 2019 at 10:10 PM (#5874957)
For now. Bolton have been given 14 days to sort things out, or they could follow them.
   605. the Centaur Nipple Paradox (CoB). Posted: August 28, 2019 at 08:27 AM (#5874997)
"Could"?

Does anyone think Bolton aren't ######?
   606. the Centaur Nipple Paradox (CoB). Posted: August 28, 2019 at 08:42 AM (#5874998)


“I shed tears this morning when I read about Bury FC’s demise,” John Harker says. “That surprised me. Why I asked myself as a Sheffield United supporter celebrating life in the Premier League, should I care about a lower league club I have no connection to, do not support and never will.

“The answer is I think because I love the game, its history and traditions. I am connected to Bury and to Bolton Wanderers as is everyone who loves the game in this country whether we know it or not. No man is an island, just as no football club is an island. There but for the grace of God go we. Every football supporter knows that in his/her heart of hearts. They know it even more this morning.

“The only crumb of comfort I can offer those loyal supporters is that this isn’t necessarily the end. Look at Accrington Stanley just up the road. It took time but it can be done. The best of luck to you.”
   607. spivey Posted: August 28, 2019 at 09:01 AM (#5874999)
Ajax/APOEL is the big game today, with it being a 0-0 draw in leg 1 at APOEL.

   608. the Centaur Nipple Paradox (CoB). Posted: August 28, 2019 at 09:54 AM (#5875004)
JFC



A Bury FC player speaks. Speaking to Talksport earlier this morning, Bury’s 33-year-old midfielder Stephen Dawson seemed resigned to having to sell his house.

“I’ve been onto the mortgage adviser this morning because that is the end,” he said. “There’s no two ways about it now, that is it for me.

“I’ve played my whole career and put everything into my house and my kids to give them a start in life when they are 18, whether that be a deposit for a house or money for college.

“I don’t have the fancy cars or the fancy clothes as I was never in a position to earn the thousands and thousands the really good players earn.”

The week before last, Dawson and Bury owner Steve Dale had a frank and bad-tempered exchange of views on the radio station, in which Dale openly rubbished the notion that Dawson might have to sell his home to make ends meet.


   609. Richard Posted: August 28, 2019 at 10:22 AM (#5875011)
Bolton might survive because:

- they are completing fixtures. Bury’s Failure to do so was a big factor in their expulsion
- they have a much larger fan base than Bury
- their stadium has a hotel attached, which turns a profit apparently and makes them a more attractive purchase
   610. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: August 28, 2019 at 10:51 AM (#5875015)
I would add to #609, they are simply a bigger club. They have been in the PL in recent memory. They have usually been a fairly stable Championship team. That just makes them much more attractive for somebody to come in and save them. Not that I am counting on that in any way shape or form.
   611. Jose is an Absurd Time Cube Posted: August 28, 2019 at 11:01 AM (#5875021)
Bolton (and Sunderland) look to me like two clubs that a motivated millionaire could turn into a real cash cow. Both have fanbases and stadiums large enough to generate substantial income and getting in now might be the right time. Newcastle are probably in the same boat though the bar for them is likely higher given they are already in the EPL.
   612. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: August 28, 2019 at 11:13 AM (#5875029)
#608 I have a great amount of sympathy for everyone involved in the mess. But I have to say, that a 33 year old league one player, who is unable to keep up with his mortgage payments because of it, feels like he would have probably been in the same situation a year or three from now anyway. If you are that close to losing your house, you really need to have some alternative source of income lined up, because you never know what will happen. Or you needed to scale down way before it got to this point (i.e. should have settled for a lesser house to begin with).

At that age in football, you are definitely staring at retirement. And that's even without one sudden injury, that can derail a career at any age. I know league one is not the glamour and money cow for players that the higher leagues are. But all those teams pay very decent wages. From what I can find, the average salary for Bury was a bit over £2400 last season. That's 120 grand a year. According to football manager (the only source I could find with a 3 min google search (not saying there are not other sources), so take it fwiw), he is on £4k a week wages. That's 200k a year. Average house prices in bury are 190k. You can get a really really nice house there for maybe 300k.

It sucks for him, and I have sympathy with the situation. But that is almost certainly some serious, serious financial mismanagement going on there.
   613. Textbook Editor Posted: August 28, 2019 at 01:26 PM (#5875070)
My Question: How does this affect the # teams promoted from the Conference?

Usually, I believe there are 2 teams promoted out of the Conference, but the knock-on effect of Bury getting kicked out would seem to mean they'll somehow promote 3 from the Conference to make up for Bury's leaving... And if Bolton manages to be expelled as well, I suppose it's possible you could see 4 teams promoted out of the Conference into League 2... Which would definitely be a 1-year shot-in-the-arm benefit to Conference clubs like my other rooting interest Torquay United...
   614. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: August 28, 2019 at 02:11 PM (#5875089)
I believe that is actually still an open question, with the league due to meet sometime in September in order to make an actual decision on it.
   615. jmurph Posted: August 28, 2019 at 02:17 PM (#5875093)
Well Bolton have just been sold, so it seems they're fine for now?
   616. Baldrick Posted: August 28, 2019 at 02:38 PM (#5875096)
It sucks for him, and I have sympathy with the situation. But that is almost certainly some serious, serious financial mismanagement going on there.

I don't totally disagree but there's also the reality that a huge percentage of people live from paycheck to paycheck, even if they're on pretty good wages. It's not inherently unreasonable to say "I enjoy spending my money, and sure we'll have to dial it back once i'm out in the real world, but for now I'm within my means." If those means radically change spontaneously because a contract you signed is no longer honored, that is a huge blow. I have no knowledge about the specific facts of this case.
   617. Textbook Editor Posted: August 28, 2019 at 02:48 PM (#5875102)
I believe that is actually still an open question, with the league due to meet sometime in September in order to make an actual decision on it.


Thanks! I've seen it speculated that 1 less team will be relegated while the same number as usual promoted, but that only fixes the issue for League 1; League 2 would then become one team short as a result, which (it seems) would lead to having to have 3 teams promoted out of the Conference... but of course that has a further knock-on effect there and in National League North/South... I'm not sure there is a result here that's not a bit of a mess/unfair to someone.
   618. Jose is an Absurd Time Cube Posted: August 28, 2019 at 03:00 PM (#5875107)
I heard a brief discussion with a member of the Bury Supporters Group last week (Football Weekly) and I think they have the systems in place to implement a new club to replace Bury which presumably would enter the pyramid somewhere a bit lower down as AFC Wimbledon when Wimbledon FC became MK Dons.

So presumably there would be lots of uneven numbers of teams being relegated/promoted for a number of levels until it gets to wherever “NewBury FC” are slotted in.
   619. Jose is an Absurd Time Cube Posted: August 28, 2019 at 03:01 PM (#5875108)
Lincoln City take 21 seconds to get on the board against Everton in their Carabao Cup match. Ugh.
   620. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: August 28, 2019 at 03:04 PM (#5875110)
Lincoln City scored against Everton 20 seconds into their Carabao Cup game. It's become apparent that the rest of the game is mainly going to be Everton hammering away at Lincoln's goal, interspersed with Lincoln possessing the ball in their own half for 10 or 15 seconds at a time. Lovely little stadium they have.

EDIT: One of us is 1 second off, and it's probably me.
   621. aberg Posted: August 28, 2019 at 03:31 PM (#5875121)
Only 19 seconds in and Lincoln City is already on the board in their Carabao Cup matchup with everton.
   622. jmurph Posted: August 28, 2019 at 03:40 PM (#5875126)
HEY GUYS WHAT'S THE SCORE IN THE EVERTON-LINCOLN CITY MATCH

EDIT: Dammit, I'm 18 seconds late in understanding berg's joke. I hang my head in shame.
   623. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: August 28, 2019 at 03:53 PM (#5875132)
aberg is totally misrepresenting the game. Everton's defense was stout and unbending for at least 19.5 seconds.
   624. aberg Posted: August 28, 2019 at 04:24 PM (#5875141)
aberg is totally misrepresenting the game. Everton's defense was stout and unbending for at least 19.5 seconds.


I was hoping someone would continue the countdown with an 18 second post. jmurph was so close.
   625. Jose is an Absurd Time Cube Posted: August 28, 2019 at 04:27 PM (#5875143)
It’s been a great match. 2-2 in the 80th minute, each team with a genuinely impressive strike for a goal and a bit of handbags at ten paces after Sigurdsson converts a penalty then runs into the net to keep Lincoln from a fast restart followed by everyone doing their best impression of a puffer fish.

And Everton lead on an Iwobi header!!!
   626. Jose is an Absurd Time Cube Posted: August 28, 2019 at 04:29 PM (#5875144)
One of the fun parts of the little brouhaha is that Pickford got booked for running the length of the pitch to get involved. It was a delightfully unnecessary act.
   627. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: August 28, 2019 at 05:34 PM (#5875153)
No surprises in this week's CL qualifying. Draw is tomorrow. Easy groups are basically those that avoid teams in the top 4 leagues, with only a few exceptions.

We all know there are 4 teams from England, Spain, Germany, and Italy in the group stage.

Quick, can you name the countries for the other 16 teams? I'll give a hint--there are 12 of them, because one country has 3 reps and two others have 2.
   628. aberg Posted: August 28, 2019 at 06:13 PM (#5875158)
Ok, I'll play. These are true guesses.

1. France (3)
2. Russia (2)
3. Netherlands (2)
4. Ukraine
5. Portugal
6. Sweden
7. Austria
8. Denmark
9. Turkey
10. Norway
11. Greece
12. Belgium
13. Switzerland
14. Croatia
15. Czechia
16. Hungary
   629. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: August 28, 2019 at 06:26 PM (#5875162)
Very close, except there are only 12 countries (not 16). You got all the countries except 1, but have 5 extras in there.

Also, one of the big surprises this year is that there is only one team from Portugal, but Netherlands isn't one of the countries with 2 teams.
   630. Commissioner Bud Black Beltre Hillman Fred Posted: August 28, 2019 at 06:40 PM (#5875163)
Derrrr is there a Serbian team? I always have trouble with the former Yugoslavia so :unsure:
   631. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: August 28, 2019 at 06:40 PM (#5875164)
NWSL news: The Spirit drew over 19,000 for their game at Audi Stadium in DC to see them top the Pride 2-1. They usually play in a 4,500 seater in the suburbs. What's the break even for attendance to make moving full or half time to Audi Stadium worthwhile? Because holy crap.
   632. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: August 28, 2019 at 06:49 PM (#5875165)
Yes, Serbia is the last country: Red Star Belgrade. Ajax is the only Netherlands rep.

Still have to dump the 5 countries that don't belong, and name the country with two reps.
   633. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: August 28, 2019 at 07:36 PM (#5875175)
Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Hungary are the easy crosses for me. Switzerland the other one?

Also, I refuse to recognise that 'Czechia' is a thing.
   634. Sean Forman Posted: August 28, 2019 at 07:43 PM (#5875177)
Roster announced for the USMNT friendlies. Big new adds are Sergino Dest who by all accounts was one of the better Ajax players on the pitch today for their UCL qualifier (he's 18 and also Dutch eligible), so there is a lot of angst that he's going to play for NED when it's all said and done. Miles Robinson, 21yo CB, from Atlanta. Paxton Pomykal, 19yo MF with FC Dallas and star of the U20 WC team.

With Dest we now have Dest (18), Adams (19), Weah (20) and Pulisic (20) into the UCL group stages and each a decent bet to play significant minutes. There's also Ethan Horvath who'll be riding the bench for Brugges. There's also McKennie (21) who had a lot of minutes last year. Adams and Weah are injured for this window.

If we could cap tie Dest with an October call-up (Nations Cup) that could be a huge addition. He's a Alba/Carvajal/Alves mighty mite right back and loves to attack.
   635. I am going to be Frank Posted: August 28, 2019 at 08:11 PM (#5875180)
Do athletes get 20 or 30 year mortgages?
   636. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: August 28, 2019 at 08:25 PM (#5875185)
Fancy pants nailed it, though some of those countries almost made it. Rosenborg lost to Slavia Prague 3-1 and Young Boys lost to Red Star 3-3(away goals) both in the very last round. Hungary and Denmark (Ferencvaros and Copenhagen) dropped out a round earlier. Sweden, alas, was the worst of the bunch this year.

Someone still has to shout out the other country with two teams.
   637. Richard Posted: August 28, 2019 at 09:03 PM (#5875190)
Someone still has to shout out the other country with two teams.


Is it Belgium? There seem to be loads of Belgian teams doing well in qualifying this year.
   638. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: August 28, 2019 at 09:38 PM (#5875202)
Belgium it is! Brugge took care of LASK (Austria) to join automatic qualifier Genk.

That Belgium/Austria tie was to decide which "other" country was to get a second team in the CL. Always favored Belgium of course, but Austria is rising in the world these days, as evidenced by RB Salzburg's auto berth and the fact that LASK made it that far through the league path. Only two teams come out of the much harder league path of the CL qualifying. This year the strong favorite in that path, Porto, didn't even make it. Austria is heavily reliant on Salzburg though, and for them to rack up points again this year they can't finish last in their group. They are plenty good enough to finish at least 3rd, though it will depend a bit on group draw.

Belgium and Portugal still have all 5 teams alive, but each has 2 teams with still-close UEFA ties to finish off. Belgium of course also has two teams in the CL while Portugal has just the one.

In the UEFA rankings, Russia is in a bit of a slump and Portugal has recovered a bit, so could pip them for 6th this year. After that there's a huge drop-off down to Belgium in 8th place, who are followed by a group of four countries that also got auto CL berths: Ukraine, Turkey, Netherland and Austria. These leagues are likely safe for another year, as the ones closely behind them mostly have few teams remaining. Of course, one team making a deep run from these lesser leagues can have a big impact on rankings.

Someone floated Hungary above as a country with a team in the CL group stages, but in reality it's a surprise they even got a team as far as they did. Hungary does not have a strong league, and are ranked 33rd in UEFA currently, behind powerhouses Liechtenstein, Azerbaijan and Belarus, among others. The highest-ranked leagues unnamed were Cyprus at 15th and Scotland at 19th. The other lowest mentioned was Sweden at 22nd.

Each of the top 18 leagues by UEFA ranking has a representative in the CL group stages, except for Denmark (14th) and Cyprus (15th). No league ranked below 18 (Serbia) has a representative.
   639. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: August 28, 2019 at 09:57 PM (#5875208)
Ajax's great run last year saw the Netherlands jump from 14th to 11th in the UEFA rankings. That allows them an auto-berth next year (so long as the CL winners qualify domestically, which is a near certainty) at the expense of Austria, who finished 12th, just behind the Netherlands. Salzburg will likely have to win in the playoff round (champions path) next year to make it to the CL group stage.

Also, as an edit to the above post, the Netherlands did not get an auto-berth to the CL this year. Ajax as the league winner from the 14th-placed league had to fight through two rounds of qualifying in the champions path.
   640. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: August 28, 2019 at 10:21 PM (#5875212)
Betting odds on CL pots:

Pot 1: City, Barca, Liverpool, then PSG/Bayern/Juve (these 3 are close), then Chelsea, and then, of course, Zenit
Pot 2: Real Madrid, then Atleti/Tottenham, then Dortmund/Napoli, then Ajax, then Benfica, then Shakhtar
Pot 3: Inter, then Valencia, then Leverkusen/Lyon, then Salzburg, then Olympiacos, then Zagreb/Brugge
Pot 4: Leipzig/Atalanta, then Lille, then Galatasary, then Lokomotiv/Genk/Prague/Belgrade

There's no mystery to the above. With the exception of PSG, it's top 4, then France, then the rest. It's also mostly England/Spain before Germany/Italy with only a few exception, most notably Chelsea (who are only pot 1 because they won Europa). Inter also has slightly better odds than Valencia.
   641. Sean Forman Posted: August 28, 2019 at 11:32 PM (#5875235)
Group of death would be City, Real, Inter, Leipzig?

   642. Richard Posted: August 29, 2019 at 02:30 AM (#5875244)

Thanks! I've seen it speculated that 1 less team will be relegated while the same number as usual promoted, but that only fixes the issue for League 1; League 2 would then become one team short as a result, which (it seems) would lead to having to have 3 teams promoted out of the Conference... but of course that has a further knock-on effect there and in National League North/South... I'm not sure there is a result here that's not a bit of a mess/unfair to someone.

In 1992 when Aldershot resigned mid season and it was one up one down between the fourth tier and the conference, they solved the problem by not relegating anyone else.

I wouldn't be surprised if they announce that only one club will go down this year.

It's less of a big deal to adjust things lower down the pyramid. teams go out of business or simply voluntarily drop down a division or two every season, and the division you are in is much less important from a financial perspective below the National League.
   643. Mefisto Posted: August 29, 2019 at 09:35 AM (#5875260)
Smalling apparently going to Roma.

United's squad can safely be described as "thin".
   644. jmurph Posted: August 29, 2019 at 09:54 AM (#5875264)
Group of death would be City, Real, Inter, Leipzig?

I think I agree, though subbing Liverpool or Barca for City would be fair, too (and also preferable, to me!).

EDIT: Of course Barca would exclude Madrid, so I guess just Liverpool would work there.
   645. jmurph Posted: August 29, 2019 at 09:58 AM (#5875267)
What's Barcelona doing with this Neymar business, again?
   646. Jose is an Absurd Time Cube Posted: August 29, 2019 at 10:07 AM (#5875269)
I think “what’s (random team) doing with this Neymar business?” Is an applicable question to ask about every team involved with Neymar including PSG.
   647. jmurph Posted: August 29, 2019 at 10:12 AM (#5875271)
I asked a couple pages ago why Juventus and Barcelona were seemingly bored with winning league titles every year and doing weird transfer business this summer, and was corrected by someone (manchestermets, I think?) that Barcelona had actually taken a step to weaken their closest rival with the Griezmann signing. That was correct and fair, but now I reiterate my question! Neymar is great when he is healthy and happy, but both those seem increasingly rare.
   648. spivey Posted: August 29, 2019 at 12:45 PM (#5875325)
This is now the 3rd year in a row that Man City have drawn Shakhtar. The Pep years have had pretty damn easy UCL groups.
   649. It's regretful that PASTE was able to get out Posted: August 29, 2019 at 12:53 PM (#5875329)
Greasing the right palms at the UEFA is an underrated managerial skill. :)
   650. spivey Posted: August 29, 2019 at 01:01 PM (#5875332)
I guess one consolation is Atalanta v City is a match I want to see.
   651. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: August 29, 2019 at 01:27 PM (#5875339)
Group F seems like the killer group, so as a Dortmund fan, I am not thrilled. Group A is pretty rough too.

All of the English teams seem to have pretty easy draws. Spurs would certainly prefer someone easier than Bayern, but they were almost guaranteed a tough club from the first pot. And this feels like the weakest Bayern has been in recent years, so could be worse.
   652. spivey Posted: August 29, 2019 at 01:37 PM (#5875342)
Spurs got a pretty weak pot 3 and 4 teams, which is nice. But they'll be long trips, in hostile away environments. Bayern will be fun to play, even if they are better than Tottenham. In the recent UCLs, Spurs have gotten to play Inter, Juve, Barcelona, Real, and Dortmund. It's been pretty awesome to see them play against, and mostly hold their own, against the European giants.

I think Group F is the toughest, probably, by virtue of having the best 3rd best team. Dortmund should be better than Inter though, imo.

In other amusing news, RB Leipzig is almost certainly the best team in their group, coming from Pot 4. That is pretty convenient for them.
   653. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: August 29, 2019 at 01:55 PM (#5875348)
Heroic effort from Northern Ireland's Linfied. Came up just short of the Europa group stage on away goals, 4-4 on aggregate to Qarabag.
   654. jmurph Posted: August 29, 2019 at 02:19 PM (#5875351)
Tough draw for all of the Italian teams. I imagine Napoli and Juventus are still relatively big favorites, though. Inter-Barca-Dortmund is brutal. Good luck Slavia Prague!
   655. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: August 29, 2019 at 02:19 PM (#5875352)
Dudelange with some clownshoes defending which led to a penalty for Ararat. This, seconds after Ararat hit the post on a sitter from close range. But the penalty was saved! Dudelange still somehow one goal away from taking the lead in the tie.

edit: Ararat now scored on an easy breakaway. Well played. It may be that they were the better team after all.
   656. aberg Posted: August 29, 2019 at 02:22 PM (#5875354)
Group F seems like the killer group, so as a Dortmund fan, I am not thrilled.


With Conte, it seems like Inter is probably better than the 2nd best team in a few groups (Shaktar, Benfica, Ajax) and maybe better than a couple of Pot 1 teams (Zenit, Chelsea?).
   657. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: August 29, 2019 at 03:01 PM (#5875366)
Riga also came just one goal short, in a good effort against Copenhagen. That means the Dudelange/Ararat winner, very likely Ararat at this point, will be the least fancied group stage team.
   658. frannyzoo Posted: August 29, 2019 at 03:08 PM (#5875370)
As Atalanta fan, I'm happy as any Pot 4 team can be, almost. Yeah, that Group G is RB Liepzig's dream and about Benfica's easiest road to knockouts one can imagine. Which having spoken to quite a few Benfica fans lately, only means the ever-present level of CL fear/loathing is even higher.
   659. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: August 29, 2019 at 03:24 PM (#5875375)
Assuming the statistical summary is correct, it's a crazy game at Antwerp against Alkmaar. In the 35th minute Antwerp had a player sent off for a second yellow. They then took the lead anyway when Didier Ze, already on a yellow, scored in the 73rd minute. He then proceeded to get a second yellow in the 74th minute. I sure hope it wasn't celebration-related, because it sent Antwerp to 9 men. They held on until extra time and have just given up a goal to bring the tie level. Now they have to play extra time with 9 against 11.

edit: the first Antwerp player sent off got the two yellows two minutes apart in the first half.

edit2 (unrelated): Dudelange with its second in the second half, to bring the tie level.
   660. vortex of dissipation Posted: August 29, 2019 at 03:39 PM (#5875381)
I sure hope it wasn't celebration-related, because it sent Antwerp to 9 men


It was.

73'

Yellow card
Second yellow card to Didier Lamkel Ze (Royal Antwerp) for excessive celebration.
   661. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: August 29, 2019 at 03:45 PM (#5875384)
Now 1-3 Alkmaar halfway through extra time. Game over.

In the 90th minute a Dudelange player broke free on goal with only the keeper to beat. He proceeded to kick the ball three times the height of the frame, over the goal, from 8 yards out. I didn't know that was possible.
   662. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: August 29, 2019 at 04:01 PM (#5875390)
re: Antwerp, someone wrote in to the Guardian's minute-by-minute of Wolves v. Torino with this:
“You’ll be able to enjoy Antwerp going down to 10 men after 35 minutes because of two stupid yellows in three minutes. They managed to hang on and even score with 15 minutes remaining, Only to see their goalscorer already on a yellow, take off his shirt and climb the fence to celebrate with fans. So they’re down to nine.”
So, yeah. Not so clever.
   663. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: August 29, 2019 at 04:14 PM (#5875392)
Middle of extra time, and the staff of Dudelange is taking turns doing the Heimlich maneuver on a Dudelange player. He didn't seem to be actively choking but someone pointed to their throat. This went on for what seemed like minutes. It got resolved somehow luckily. Game on!
   664. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: August 29, 2019 at 04:34 PM (#5875396)
Dudelange/Ararat goes to penalties. With Ferencvaros coming from behind to beat Suduva, these are by far the worst two teams remaining in Europa. The next least fancied team is probably Slovakia's Slovan Bartislava, who had the biggest upset of the round beating PAOK (3-3) on away goals, after getting 2 today in a wild tie.

Frankfurt came from behind in the tie to easily advance over France's Strasbourg. Rangers look to be headed to extra time against Warsaw after no goals over two legs.

Wolves of course got it done after looking quite shaky for the first 20 minutes.

edit: Rangers now with the very late goal to most likely advance!

edit2: Dudelange wins it after all, on sudden death PKs.
   665. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: August 29, 2019 at 05:08 PM (#5875403)
Killer loss for Antwerp. Now only England, Spain, Germany and Portugal have all their teams still alive. Portugal also has 4 teams in the Europa group stages, which is pretty unusual for any country in any year.

Wolves are in pot 3, so whatever group ends up with them in it could be a doozy. There are enough mediocre teams in pot 2 though, so it could be no harder than any other group. Espanyol and Getafe are also pot 3 teams.
   666. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: August 29, 2019 at 11:30 PM (#5875468)
To Qualify (betting odds, approximate):

A: Madrid 90%, PSG 88%, Galatasaray 17%, Brugge 5%
B: Bayern 90%, Spurs 81%, Olympiacos 21%, Red Star 8%
C: City 95%, Atalanta 56% Shakhtar 42%, Zagreb 7%
D: Juve 86%, Atleti 79%, Leverkusen 30%, Lokomotiv 5%
E: Liverpool 90%, Napoli 78%, Salzburg 26%, Genk 6%
F: Barca 90%, Dortmund 56%, Inter 49%, Prague 5%
G: Leipzig 57%, Lyon 54%, Benfica 51%, Zenit 38% (wow, that's a tight range)
H: Chelsea 73%, Ajax 52%, Valencia 49%, Lille 24%

Group H is about as tight a group as you would expect to see. Group G is a statistical anomaly--basically the least fancied team from pot 1, the most fancied from pot 4, with pot 2 and 3 hitting just about the right spot as well.
   667. frannyzoo Posted: August 29, 2019 at 11:44 PM (#5875472)
Group G is a perfect inverse in betting odds v. Pot Order. Cool.
   668. the Centaur Nipple Paradox (CoB). Posted: August 30, 2019 at 04:47 AM (#5875495)
So ... someone has to quote this:

"As flies to wanton boys are we to the gods, they kill us for their sport," Cantona said, quoting King Lear. "Soon the science will not only be able to slow down the ageing of the cells, soon the science will fix the cells to the state and so we will become eternal.

"Only accidents, crimes, wars, will still kill us but unfortunately, crimes, wars, will multiply. I love football. Thank you."
   669. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: August 30, 2019 at 11:03 AM (#5875570)
I'm so happy that Cantona has clearly become only more like himself since he retired. That might be the greatest speech of the 21st century. The accent helped -- "ze gods, zey kill us for zer sport."
   670. The_Ex Posted: August 30, 2019 at 11:26 AM (#5875584)
The Europa League draw was today. The favoured group of Wolves, Wolfsburg and Wolfsberger did not materialize, they are in groups I, J and K. It was a close miss.
   671. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: August 30, 2019 at 07:15 PM (#5875776)
No hard groups in Europa this year, really. Last year Leipzig was eliminated from a group that included Salzburg and Celtic, Marseille was eliminated from a group that included Lazio and Frankfurt, and Milan was of course eliminated from a group that contained Betis and Olympiacos (and Dudelange!)

What's the hardest group this year? Lazio/Celtic/Rennes? Getafe/Kraasnodar/Basel? Porto/Rangers/Feyenoord/Young Boys (no pushovers, but no real challengers to Porto either)?

All the favorites will have no excuses if they don't advance.
   672. Jose is an Absurd Time Cube Posted: August 30, 2019 at 11:03 PM (#5875831)
Early obviously but huge game in Italy tomorrow with Juventus and Napoli.
   673. jmurph Posted: August 31, 2019 at 09:27 AM (#5875878)
Love to be the, like, 4th richest team on earth and have Ashely Young be the most important player.
   674. manchestermets Posted: August 31, 2019 at 10:08 AM (#5875883)
It's completely ridiculous. I don't know who, but somebody must be playing left-back for the under 23 team (who have won three and drawn one of their first four games), and whoever it is cannot possibly be worse than Ashley Young. That said, there's no shortage of blame to go around the other players as well. Pogba is all style and no substance. Lindelof, who was United's best centre half last season is showing what an incredibly low bar that was to get over and has pretty much regressed to his first season form. It's a shambles all round.
   675. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: August 31, 2019 at 10:20 AM (#5875884)
For all that, United had the better of xG by a lot, on the road 1.90-0.77 (understat) and 1.8-0.8 (538). That's statistically a good performance on the road to a team that isn't supposed to be terrible. It's the fourth straight game United has outperformed expectations per 538 rankings, and United is the only team in the league other than City to have won the xG battle in every game this year (the other one prior to today was actually Southampton). It wasn't for piling on the shots after the red card either--United didn't get xG at a higher rate after that (though you maybe could fairly call that a weakness).

I wasn't able to watch the game today, unfortunately.

edit: 538 had the game against Palace as a very slight negative for United (without the Martial penalty debacle though).
   676. Mr Dashwood Posted: August 31, 2019 at 10:25 AM (#5875885)
NBC Sports Gold is having a glitch. No Premiership football for me and it's too late to sign up for an iFollow game! Sad!
   677. Jose is an Absurd Time Cube Posted: August 31, 2019 at 10:29 AM (#5875886)
Gold is working fine for me.
   678. Jose is an Absurd Time Cube Posted: August 31, 2019 at 11:09 AM (#5875889)
I love watching Sheffield United. They are such a fun team to watch play, just always going for it. Somewhere along the line they are going to get torn apart but they aren’t dull.
   679. Mr Dashwood Posted: August 31, 2019 at 11:17 AM (#5875891)
I shut my laptop down and restarted it, and now I can watch Bournemouth's loss to Man City last weekend, which I was unable to see at the time. So that will be the match report you get later on.

I don't know what was wrong. I couldn't stayed logged-in, or the site told me I had old Flash (which I don't, I checked). But once again Chrome screws up, and Opera comes to the rescue.
   680. Jose is an Absurd Time Cube Posted: August 31, 2019 at 11:51 AM (#5875895)
Are you having issues because of the hurricane? I wouldn’t think that would cause a local problem to Gold specifically but that’s all I can think of.
   681. Jose is an Absurd Time Cube Posted: August 31, 2019 at 11:55 AM (#5875896)
How far back will VAR go? Pulisic fell over in the box with about a minute to go in stoppage time and no penalty given. The ball was played for a bit, went out for a throw then full time was called.

It wasn’t a penalty in my opinion but how long could they wait? Could they blow full time then say “hold on, that’s a PK”?
   682. Richard Posted: August 31, 2019 at 11:57 AM (#5875897)
Well, I only caught the second half of Blades v Chelsea.

That turned out very well.
   683. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: August 31, 2019 at 12:07 PM (#5875901)
Speaking of postgame VAR -- Villa just got screwed in the last minute of stoppage time by tying goal being disallowed when the ref called a Villa attacker for diving. He clearly wasn't (he even popped right back up after he went over, which divers don't do), and instead was fouled by at least one and possibly two Crystal Palace defenders. Just a horrible turnaround, and VAR would've fixed it instantly.
   684. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: August 31, 2019 at 12:11 PM (#5875903)
Graelish felt contact and went down too easily, kicking his leg out dramatically. Probably not technically a dive, since there was some contact on his leg that the ref might have called a foul on some days.

So a yellow for diving was probably not the best call, but we've seen that many times. What's hard to understand is the ref stopping the live play for the "dive", with the ball still well under control in a very dangerous position for Villa, ending up negating a goal. I don't think I've ever seen that.
   685. Mefisto Posted: August 31, 2019 at 12:15 PM (#5875904)
Man United may be winning xG, but they're not winning anything else: 3 W in their last 17.
   686. Jose is an Absurd Time Cube Posted: August 31, 2019 at 01:06 PM (#5875917)
So a yellow for diving was probably not the best call, but we've seen that many times. What's hard to understand is the ref stopping the live play for the "dive", with the ball still well under control in a very dangerous position for Villa, ending up negating a goal. I don't think I've ever seen that.


That was my question too. Diving isn’t a foul is it? Shouldn’t the play have just gone on then had the ref book Grealish for diving.

And I don’t think he dove at all. It looked like there was some minimal contact and then Grealish caught his foot in the turf. As Fernigal notes he popped right back up and never looked at the ref for even an instant.
   687. Jose is an Absurd Time Cube Posted: August 31, 2019 at 01:08 PM (#5875920)
The Burnley keeper is going to want that first goal back.
   688. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: August 31, 2019 at 02:12 PM (#5875937)
Union Berlin just got their third at home against Dortmund. 3-1 now. Trying to hold on for their first ever Bundesliga win. It's quite the atmosphere in the crowd there again, as it often is when they play.
   689. Jose is an Absurd Time Cube Posted: August 31, 2019 at 02:13 PM (#5875938)
   690. Jose is an Absurd Time Cube Posted: August 31, 2019 at 02:14 PM (#5875940)
Iv’e been watching this Union-Dortmund game and the atmosphere has indeed been remarkable. Just non-stop noise and despite the possession figures I think the score is fair. Dortmund really haven’t made a lot of chances and Union have threatened fairly regularly particularly on any set pieces.
   691. Mr Dashwood Posted: August 31, 2019 at 02:44 PM (#5875945)
AFC Bournemouth 1-3 Manchester City

Bournemouth took a lot of stick last season for playing a very defensive game against the eventual Champions, but after this showing I'm not sure that isn't the right thing for a Tinpot Club like Bournemouth to do.

Facing facts, Bournemouth has the smallest ground and probably is only richer than Newcastle United because Mike Ashley is such a scrooge. They are often treated as an afterthought in the football media, and coming up against a set of well-run moneybags as Man City is only likely to produce one result.

This time, however, Bournemouth came out planning to go toe-to-toe with the rich boys, and the result was letting in a goal after fifteen minutes. The marking scheme fell apart with the gap between the defensive midfielders (Billings and Lerma) and the back line getting too wide. Aké lost his footing, Aguero got into space (whether the Wee Man or Lerma should have been covering his run is an interesting question), and scored.

Five minutes later, we saw a much better defensive effort when Ramsdale saved a D Silva shot. The midfield was back to support and the central marking by Aké, Steve Cook and Mepham held together. Silva didn't have a lot of choices and Ramsdale covered one of the few he did have. It was an ideal moment to counterattack on the break, but so many men were back and the clearance hit too strongly for anyone to cover.

In the 32nd minute, Daniels went down with an injury on an attempted cross that wasn't really there to begin with. Daniels is a popular play with fans of the Cherries, but I thought he looked overmatched out there and this was one of his few moments where he did well. They say he is out for the year, but apparently some similar injuries have seen players return 5-6 weeks after surgery. (The commentator said it was a re-injury, but in fact it is his other knee that was dislocated, requiring an operation.)

This heralded Bournemouth's best sequence of the afternoon, but poor finishing was their undoing. In the 37th minute, Aké flubbed a shot, and two minutes later The Economist (Adam Smith) should have buried it in the roof but lacked power behind the shot or failed to bend it and Ederson and his ugly tattoos saved it.

In the 42nd minute, Sterling put City two ahead on a move that should have been better covered. First, Fraser, pushed into the right wing-back position by the injury to Daniels, left too much space for David Silva. Then, Aké (who had a poor first half in my opinion) was drawn towards the ball instead of holding his covering position. With a 3 v 2 developing, Man City did the surprising thing and lofted the ball to the other side of the overlap, as a large gap developed between Steve Cook and Mepham in response, which Sterling ran into and scored.

Bournemouth brought one back with substitute Harry Wilson's goal from a direct free kick after a foul on Callum Wilson, but the half was really one of lost opportunity for Bournemouth, and City's usual ruthless exploitation of any mistake.

Bournemouth looked much less sprightly in the second half, and City's third goal came off a piece of ridiculousness, with a Bournemouth throw-in headed to Aguero. Mepham was loitering back towards the throw's landing spot when he should have been covering the space between Aguero and goal (Steve Cook was doing a good job covering Aguero.) David Silva saw the gap and ran into it taking a pass from Aguero and putting Steve Cook out of the play. Mepham overran the space in covering Silva's run, Aké was about where he should have been and Cook is unable to find anywhere to go without fouling Aguero or Silva. There wasn't much Ramsdale could do as Aguero restored the two-goal advantage.

At first I thought Bournemouth were playing a 4-4-2, but the reality was a 5-4-1 while defending that converted to a 4-4-2 when they had the ball, with King moving between the midfield and forward lines. The Economist was pushing up on the right from the 5-4-1 and Mepham would move across to right fullback. That's all fine, but in the 69th minute Eddie Howe took off Callum Wilson (who had looked good, even if he did not get on the scoresheet) and The Economist, and replaced them with Solanke and Jordon Ibe. I don't get putting Ibe on, even at two goals down. He is a worse attacker than the Wee Man and worse defender than Rico, whom Howe clearly has no confidence in. Rico could probably have got a bit of money on the transfer market, so I really don't see why he hasn't been sold on yet.

I thought it was a slightly disappointing result. I would rather not have a shot on goal and lose 0-1 than 1-3, because goal difference is a factor in determining ranking, and not have a shot on goal. The weather meant that the 'English game' of running full-tilt for 60 minutes isn't really likely to pay off. A couple of times in the first half I saw Lerma and Billing rushing forward to press and thought 'It's not worth it. Save your energy.' And there is something about a central three in defence that doesn't work for Bournemouth. I would have gone with a 4-6-0 and played shithouse football. Man City are pretty cynical themselves, and they are going to respect you for that, even if the media doesn't.
   692. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: August 31, 2019 at 03:02 PM (#5875947)
Grealish was fouled outside of the box and then fouled inside the box. What a ludicrous refereeing decision.
   693. Jose is an Absurd Time Cube Posted: August 31, 2019 at 04:10 PM (#5875967)
Juve have absolutely dominated Napoli for the first hour.
   694. Jose is an Absurd Time Cube Posted: August 31, 2019 at 04:15 PM (#5875968)
Um....
   695. Jose is an Absurd Time Cube Posted: August 31, 2019 at 04:29 PM (#5875973)
Unbelievable.
   696. Jose is an Absurd Time Cube Posted: August 31, 2019 at 04:42 PM (#5875976)
What a game. Juve score twice in the first 20 minutes to go up 2-0, Ronaldo then adds one in the 62nd minute to put it away and make it 3-0.

But Napoli aren’t done, they score in the 66th and 68th to make it interesting then equalize in the 81st minute. So we are headed for a draw but incredibly on a set piece that isn’t really being challenged Koulibaly makes a complete mess of what should have been an easy clearance and shins it into his own goal for a 92nd minute winner for Juventus.
   697. It's regretful that PASTE was able to get out Posted: August 31, 2019 at 05:32 PM (#5875986)
Mr Dashwood, I enjoy your game summaries. Just thought I'd say so.
   698. Jose is an Absurd Time Cube Posted: September 01, 2019 at 12:23 PM (#5876091)
One of the challenges of soccer watching on the weekend is picking the right games to watch. I feel like as often as not I pick games light on goals. This weekend though the games I’ve primarily watched;

Gladbach 1-3 Leipzig
Chelsea 2-2 Sheffield United
Union Berlin 3-1 Borussia Dortmund
Juventus 4-3 Napoli
Everton 3-2 Wolves
Arsenal 1-2 Spurs (halftime)

I’ve chosen wisely.
   699. spivey Posted: September 01, 2019 at 01:26 PM (#5876099)
Lo Celso needs to take all of Sissoko’s minutes starting tomorrow. Sissoko’s complete inability to pass or shoot is ridiculous.
   700. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: September 01, 2019 at 01:27 PM (#5876100)
That was a wild and very entertaining game. Pretty surprised neither team got a goal in the last 20 minutes, considering that both teams were too tired to play in the midfield, and the ball went end-to-end repeatedly.
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