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Thread: Football: Champions League & Europa League (all seasons)

  1. #21
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    For anyone unfamiliar with the Champions League & Europa League, they are in fact cup competitions so their names are a bit misleading.

    This stems from the fact that there is initially a league phase in each tournament to decide who goes through to the knockout phase. It's all a bit messy TBQH and I much preferred the old format where you just went straight into the knockout rounds and clubs were unseeded, so they could be drawn against literally anyone right from the outset.

    The Champions League title is also a misnomer, given that the top 4 clubs now qualify from some of Europe's major domestic leagues and many other countries also have 2/3 representatives. Neither Liverpool nor Tottenham were England's champions last season, and nor are Ajax the current champions of the Netherlands.

  2. #22
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    All very valid points. But wasn't the gap between Leicester and the rest of the English clubs smaller than between Ajax and its competition? Namely the teams they eliminated like Juvé and Real - in their own stadiums? The top 3 teams in the championship (England's second division) could easily end up winning the title in the Netherlands and would at least win a ticket for European football competitions at the end of the season. And also, the premier League isn't as good as it was over a decade ago (and especially the defenders in England are so-so at best and often embarrassingly bad and amateuristic). Moreover, only Tottenham was truly in the title race when Leicester became champion of England - although the PL seems to go through a period of revival right now. This may never happen again - a team of youthful players from the Netherlands (or a country of similar football status) reaching a CL semi-finals, and almost the final after a true thriller.

    The CL may be largely a knock out competition, but if Ajax had brought the cup home it would've done so after its 19th CL game of the season - that's a considerable amount of games - to win the Belgian cup final you only need to survive about 6 games, at least as a team from the top division. Ajax eliminated Sturm Graz and Standard Ličge last summer to get where they were today.

    Nonetheless, it's true that winning a competition in which every team plays twice against each other is theoretically harder to win - up until a point. A complete amateur team winning the F.A. cup would arguably be still more impressive than Leicester's title or even Ajax winning the champions League.
    “Remember that all worlds draw to an end and that noble death is a treasure which no-one is too poor to buy.” - C. S. Lewis, The Last Battle

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  4. #23
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    You could be right in a lot of respects, Chlod.

    Maybe I'm still seeing Ajax as the great team they once were and 3-time winners of the competition, but they certainly aren't rank outsiders like LCFC were in 2015.

    Let's not forget that they got to the Europa League final as recently as 2017 and, although they've just gone to the next level with their CL exploits this season, they were already on the footballing radar, as opposed to literally appearing from nowhere as LCFC did.

    They were unlucky this evening but I'm fairly certain that their chance will come again at some future point, whereas LCFC seized their "once-in-a-club's-history" opportunity that I doubt will ever be repeated.

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    Tonight's matches in the Europa League ...

    Valencia (1) v. Arsenal (3)

    Chelsea (1) v. Eintracht Frankfurt 1


    Could we have all-English finals in both competitions?

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    Chelsea 4, Arsenal 1 in the Europa League final and here are some highlights ...


  7. #26
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    The final of the Champions League took place yesterday evening but was something of a disappointment. Still, it's always possible to compile some 'highlights' and here they are ...


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  9. #27
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    Yeah ... Getting a penalty (and a cheap one at that) within the first minute, kind of messed up the playing field. Didn't even find it interesting enough to watch the whole thing, but from what I saw, Tottenham would have deserved at least one goal for their efforts.

    Hats off to Liverpool, though. They made themselves worthy of the title already with the show they put on in the second leg against Barcelona. Perhaps they'll even win the domestic league one of these days ...
    A nation is an organic thing, historically defined.
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    Nice, Jagd! By far the game's most interesting moment

    Also relating to this match we have the following tweet from George Galloway ...



    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-48498010

    ... he's since been sacked from his job on the radio

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    Brightened up a dull game


    The pitch invader has been warned by UEFA that she would continue to be penalized if she commits a similar violation at any other football event in the future, with the next fine rising to €8,000 ($9,000).


    However, those incidental expenses imposed by the UEFA seemed to be trivial for the couple who managed to save $4 million, the cost of an advertisement display during the final.


    R TBombshell Champions League pitch invader Kinsey Wolanski fined $17,000 by UEFA




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