2001: An Ace Squad-yssey – Season 3: Part 6 | @cmclassicsquads

Greetings CM9798-lings! and welcome back to the parallel universe where two CM worlds collide. The CM01/02 Aces have climbed to the top of Serie A and are still in the Coppa Italia and UEFA Cup, so let us find out what thrills and spills await this week…

We start at home to Milan, who humiliated us 3-0 at the San Siro. I set up with my alternative formation for this one in the hope of not conceding too many. We edge the 1st half as far as chances go but no goals. The Rossoneri have the better 2nd half and think they’ve won on 87 minutes but Ziege’s strike is ruled out and it ends a stalemate. Juventus lost to Atalanta, but Inter won so it’s now them who are 2nd.

Next stop Turin, but not to face the old lady. Torino are doing ok in 9th and we thumped them 4-0 last time. I revert to 2-3-1-2-2 for this one. We’re behind after a quarter of an hour and trail at half time. Some of you will recall the modified 3-1-3-3 formation I used in Basque Boys, and I try and modified version of that in the 2nd half, courtesy of 9798Nikolai, and it pays immediate dividends as we take the lead and hold on to win 2-1. Juve and Milan lost to Fiorentina and Napoli respectively but Inter won to keep it tight.

Here’s the formation for anyone wondering..

Coppa Italia action now, and the semi final 2nd leg with Sampdoria, which we lead 1-0 on aggregate. The advantage doesn’t last long as the hosts deservedly lead at the break after a dominant 1st half display. It’s a better 2nd half from us and the game looks to be heading for extra time until Madeira fires home the equaliser/winner 3 minutes from time. Despite losing their 2nd leg with Genoa 1-0, it’s Inter who we’ll face in the final as they won 3-1 on aggregate.

Back to the league, and 17th-placed Fidelis Andria gave us a tough game last time, which we won 3-2. N’Diaye returns for Prutton. The pressure of a title race is clearly beginning to show with my players as we’ve been struggling against lesser sides, but being able to win ugly is a good quality, and this is definitely the case today as our persistence is rewarded just after the hour through Selakovic. There were more heroics from the opposing keeper but N’Diaye was named man of the match on his return.

Juventus lose a 3rd game in a row, this time to Parma, and Inter keep the pressure on with a late 1-0 win over Lazio.

Now that we’ve reached the Coppa Italia final, the weeks are a lot quieter, but I find myself stuck in a loop of clicking the reject button as AGF, Kobenhavn and Vejle take turns to make loan offers for Harbuzi, Risp and Hersi.

8th-placed Reggiana are up next. There are a few chances in the 1st half but no goals and it’s goalless at the break. It’s another gritty performance from us and we finally make a breakthrough before the hour through Tsigalko, but the hosts, who’ve had very few chances of note, equalise immediately and undo all our hard work. It ends 1-1 and I have to say that a result like this has been coming.

I anxiously look at the other results and sure enough Inter win to go top, but I don’t know what the hell is going on at Juventus as they lose a 4th straight game and slip to 5th.

Time for the next chapter of our European adventure, and Atletico Madrid are in town. They’re struggling in 7th place in La Liga and out of the Copa Del Rey. Ex Barnsley man Dean Bullock starts on the left wing for Atleti. We lead through Selakovic but a naive challenge from Prutton gives away a free kick which leads to Juninho’s equaliser and it’s 1-1 at half time. Tsigalko puts us back in front on the hour, and Atleti have their keeper Jose Ceballos to thank for keeping the score down. The away goal is niggling but a win is a win.

Next to visit are lowly Piacenza, who are 16th. We scraped a 1-0 win over them last time. We lead 2-0 at the interval through both of our front men. Tsigalko makes it 3 before the hour mark before the visitors pull one back. But Tsigalko is feeling ruthless today and completes his hat trick 7 minutes from time. A big win was just what we needed and that’s the 1st time we’ve scored more than 2 goals in 4 months! The attendance record is once again broken as well. I was hoping Milan would beat Inter but no such luck, and the Nerazzuri win 3-0.

We finish with a trip to rock-bottom Brescia. The 1st half is a disaster as we lose Tsigalko and fall behind just before half time. You know you’ve had a bad day when you’re subbed after coming on as a sub, and this is the case for Jonas Lundén, but the change is justified as his replacement, Samba grabs the equaliser before Okoronkwo smashes home a late winner. Inter sneak another 1-0 win over Torino.

This is not good. He’ll miss the 2nd leg with Atletico but should be ok for the Coppa Italia final and the big league games.

So after this week’s shenanigans we’re 2nd but only a point behind Inter, and 7 clear of Milan in 3rd, so no need to panic just yet.

We’re back next week with the 2nd leg against Atletico, the Coppa Italia final, and some huge league games against Inter and Juventus, so be sure not to miss that one! Ciao.

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