Happy Tuesday to you all! Here’s KingOfTheRooks with more from the Swedes in Barcelona. It’s the end of the season and it’s time for trophies, but will any of them be heading to Sweden?
Hello again and welcome back to Turnips on Tour. Last time out we completed a major miracle making it through to the Champions League quarter finals as the best second placed side with a squad of 10 players. Unfortunately, we lost the Super Cup 6-5 on aggregate to Borussia Dortmund following a commendable 4-4 away result. We closed out January with a 1-point cushion to an in-form Real Madrid who have just signed Alfonso, thankfully, we don’t need to play them again. Against all the odds so far, our Swedes have not wilted in the Spanish sun; here’s the run in:
February see’s us face 3 top 10 sides in Valencia, Real Sociedad and Deportivo. A customary 2-0 over 19th placed Oviedo is completed, along with the same result vs. Valencia. Away to Sociedad I make a complete turnip of myself. I mean to switch out Arvidsson but mistakenly remove the in-form Ernstsson. In the end, it’s a happy accident.
Arvidsson completes his hattrick in the final moments with two more strikes from some of my other ssons sandwiched in between. I claim the manager of the month award for the 3rd time this season and we massage the result Swedish style as we destroy Deportivo; the 4-1 is flattery to them.
A result like that against a team in red is exactly what I’m hoping for next as we take on Man Utd in the Champions League.
The turnips step out at Old Trafford and into the roar of the lion’s den. Our first game in Europe with our key players. We make a bright start as Svensson bursts clear and slots it past the big Dane. Asper makes a triple save however we don’t clear, and Butt smashes the rebound home only 5 minutes later. The goth is put through and slots home with ease. Mid second half, Schmeichel takes Ernstsson out, a clear penalty and red card, the linesman is flagging, the referee says no! Unbelievable! Man Utd pepper the goal but Asper stands tall and that is some first leg advantage.
Preparation for the 2nd leg isn’t idea as we make unbelievably heavy work of very weak opposition. After the interval, our lead is down to 2 points as Real just keep winning.
Oh and add to that Karlsson is out for a month and all our key players are at risk of getting injured on international duty. That’s my second choice ‘keeper getting a call up ahead of Asper…odd.
We…are…through! Asper gets MoM for resolutely defending from the onslaught of Sheringham, Giggs and Scholes. That was tough. And we lose Prytz and Kilhberg for the next game through suspension.
Our reward is two legs against Bayern in the semi-finals. The other game is PSV and Dortmund. Could be a chance of revenge on the cards. A proud moment for the international break as a side largely of our own making brushes Italy aside.
What ensues is an international hangover of epic proportions as we start the game against 14th placed Zaragoza in diabolical fashion. Despite Pascal’s first goal, this is woeful. We are lucky Real lose the Madrid derby to keep us top.
Next up Bayern Munich. We have given ourselves half a chance. Not sure why we were wearing our away kit at home though.
We follow-up with a poor 2-0 defeat to Atletico. Real Madrid will be ahead of us now until the final day unless they slip up as our game in hand falls the second last round of games.
We scrape a 1-0 at Sporting Gjion in preparation of the game of our lives against Bayern Munich. In contrast to the home leg, this time out we wear our home strip and Bayern wear their away.
Kipling’s boy puts us in the final where would you know it, we play Borussia Dortmund. In the league it’s one for sson and sson’s for all.
We are simply too good for Bilbao as our iron Ljung sets us on route to victory.
The man of son puts us out of sight vs. a battling Celta side who pushed us all the way.
We make easy work of Valladolid but Guiseppe Signori blows us away which means it will come down to the final day against Tenerife. We must win.
Unbelievable stuff! The pressure was on with Deportivo and Betis winning the other European trophies. We switch to 4-4-2 to combat the attacking nature of Dortmund that we felt the full force of in the Super Cup and fashion a boring and unlikely 1-0 win at the San Siro. We’ll be without our top scorer for our must win league game at Tenerife however which is bad and puts an end to Niclas Svensson’s season. Patric Karlsson the hero on the night.
Tenerife offer us swede FA in terms of opposition as Bengt Andersson lets us smash 3 goals in and with that we wrap up a La Liga and Champions League double! The board are delighted.
And with that here is the final table:
And the player stats:
And here are some vital statistics:
Transfer Fees: £7.5m
Oh, and this happened. First time a B Team has won a major competition, they’ll be in Europe next season!
Oh no. 55 games were just too much.
Our cost per goal overall has been £69k which you have to say is a fantastic return. Next season will be tough as the Barcelona B squad start to become available on free transfers. Hopefully they move abroad but I’m doubtful.
Next season we’ll be competing on 6 fronts for La Liga, Copa Del Ray, Spanish Super Cup, European Super Cup, Champions League and World Club Cup so we’ll need to wheel and deal in the market to hopefully get some of the players we want and shed some of the failures to the reserves. See you next season!
You can follow Andrew on Twitter @kingoftherooks