baboon2004

Darned cockwombles.
Liverpool battered Atletico, but it all counts for naught...good game though overall, and 9/10 times it would go Liverpool's way.

I think it's rare for teams to really convince in the Champions' League - I can't recall many, including winners, who haven't looked a bit suspect at one stage or another. Bayern back in 2013 were possibly the last team that looked like an immovable force, unquestionably the best. And then obviously Guardiola's Barcelona before them.
 

baboon2004

Darned cockwombles.
That's true - maybe then it's the last five years that have been a little murky, with that undead Real Madrid team somehow lurching to victory after victory.

Who is the best team in Europe right now? It seems almost unanswerable, and it's notable that this uncertainty coincides with the phasing out of Messi and Ronaldo, so no-one could really say who the best player in the world is either. Phases of certainty followed by phases of murk
 
Last edited:

version

Who loves ya, baby?
I'm inclined to say Liverpool still, but it's wobbly when they've just been knocked out after losing both legs.
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
Yeah, my guess is that Liverpool are the best side but I'm not gonna try and defend that position in this circumstance and if anyone laughs at me then fair enough.
Maybe Bayern are looking good again.
 

entertainment

Well-known member
If all you do is cross the ball all game and hope for something to happen, yeah with their degree of dominance you probably win most of the times, but you still put the game in the hands of fate. They lacked patience and sophistication.
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
If all you do is cross the ball all game and hope for something to happen, yeah with their degree of dominance you probably win most of the times, but you still put the game in the hands of fate. They lacked patience and sophistication.
I feel that Firmino and Salah made a lot of wrong choices, sometimes it's tricky when you have too many options in front of you. The fullbacks both played well though (unlike in the first leg - as regards going forward at least) and their crossing caused countless problems for AM - they weren't dealing with them and Liverpool had something like 20 shots as a result. Hard to argue with a tactic that creates chances; on another day top strikers wouldn't give the keeper a chance with so many OR the keeper wouldn't block so many OR one of the countless parried saves that dropped uncontrolled into the six yard box woukd have fallen to a striker.
I think what you're saying is true of the first leg where AM despite having no possession were comfortable in defence and L short of ideas. In the second leg there were many chances to score and AM looked first rattled, then panicked and finally desperate... and then they scored 3.
 

baboon2004

Darned cockwombles.
I feel like crosses are a very valid tactic. What annoyed me initially is that Liverpool weren't doing the obvious thing and getting in crosses from the byline, cos Atleti were dealing quite easily with TAA's crosses from midway, and playing through them just ain't happening. As soon as they did, Wijnaldum scores. Seemed like the front three all had issues with close control too, and that's a bit weird for Firmino and Mane in particular. Otoh, that seems to be a weakness of Salah's game, reliability in those areas - he gave the ball away so often. I thought Oxlade-Chamberlain had a massive game, as did Wijnaldum - criticisms of Liverpool's midfield always seem wide of the mark, as if sparing the front three from criticism. Gomez continues to join them in being very underrated. As for the keeper - to make the same mistake twice is carelessness...would Liverpool even be looking at a CL treble with even moderately reliable goalies aside from Allison?

Mostly it played out a bit like the Napoli games - Liverpool really struggle against well-marshalled defences set up to frustrate, whereas they eviscerate suspect defences like Man City or Barcelona, however good the attacking counterbalance. But then, even Messi couldn't always unlock those types of teams, and that clash of irresistible force vs immovable object brought us what might be seen as the 2010s' most epochal clash despite occurring in its first year, the second leg of Barcelona-Inter.

It's all a bit reminiscent of boxing - some opponents are just built to get the better of others, and Atleti seemed like Liverpool's/Klopp's nightmare well before last night. Just as Real somehow had the sign over Atletico themselves through those big CL games, could always find a way.

Interesting that Simeone namechecked Dortmund as a truly formidable side to face at home, as opposed to Liverpool - was this another swipe at Klopp, or a kind of tribute?
 
Last edited:

IdleRich

IdleRich
It's very hard to get through a very good team that sets up like that, obviously. I think Liverpool did show patience and got the breakthrough... and then they thought they had won and they fucked it.
Agreed that Firmino played below his level and Mane didn't show his usual level of creativity and trickery. Salah is not as good as those two of course but I thought he did ok in beating his man a few times but then not using it properly at that point. He just doesn't seem to have the same bloody minded will to score that the others display. Ox was the best player - along with the fullbacks I guess - so I dunno why they took him off. Ultimately though it's hard to blame a defence that completely shut out the other team, it's hard to blame a midfield that owned the ball the whole time and gave the attack a platform to launch from whenever they wanted, and it's hard to blame an attack that created what should have been more than enough chances to win and managed to score two of them as they had been asked.... sadly you have to look at the keeper (again) who gifted the ball to the striker with his casual clearance and gave them a way back into the game. I guess one of the paradoxes of keeping is the way that if your team dominate the ball you can easily be called into crucial action after doing nothing for ages. Still, good goalkeepers do respond to that, I've certainly seen some top keepers do nothing for 89 minutes and pull off a match-saving save (although I can't think of an example right now).
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
Re the making choices... some players are instinctive and can score with a volley or sharp chance, but will miss those ones when they have to dribble it unopposed from the half-way line and think about what they are gonna do all the way. I think that the same idea can apply when a player has to make a considered decision between several easy passes rather than only has one (often difficult) option which they can concentrate on sliding through correctly. The number of mishit simple passes yesterday would seem to bear that out. I see myself doing it too in our Monday evening 5-a-side games though I'd like to flatter myself that I'm not just an instinctual player but can think about the game too....
 

baboon2004

Darned cockwombles.
Think so, pretty mad

Don't elite athletes often struggle with their immune systems as well? Was reading about this a while back, im sure
 
Last edited:

baboon2004

Darned cockwombles.
Diego Costa's fake cough was only out-stupided by the decision to let 1000s of Atletico fans travel when their own city is a coronavirus hotspot... Liverpool is now more fucked than not just winning the league...
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
Yeah like I said above there was a weird disconnect between everything being banned in Spain yet them allowed to bring thousands of fans along for the ride.
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
Finally my Monday night football has succumbed to pressure and banned games for the foreseeable future. We'd already moved to closed games with no fans but this is a big step up of course.
 
Top