Hello once again and welcome to match week 2. It was a crazy opening week last week, with no fewer than 59 goals scored! So let’s see if this week will be anywhere near as crazy as we begin with some Coca-Cola Cup action…
First up this week is Matt as his Juve side face an away trip to Ayr Utd. Matt’s squad was still hit by injuries and he had a few players on Under-21 international duty, which meant he had exactly 16 fit players who all got in the match day squad. It was looking close at half time but Angelo Di Livio’s second goal of the game sealed a 3-1 win and saw the old lady safely through, and set up an all-Cornish third round tie against Zak’s Marseille.
Next Nathan’s Dortmund side hosted Cowdenbeath. It was 1-0 for the majority of the game thanks to Jovan Kirovski, who eventually scored his second goal with 6 minutes remaining, quickly followed by a Karl-Heinz Riedle strike to make it 3-0 and secure BVB a place in the next round where they’ll travel to Livingston.
The first all-premier league clash saw Zak’s Marseille take on Rob’s Red Star. The game was very close, and the first half was goalless. Rob lost Belodedici, who was sent off at the beginning of the second half, and Zak’s decision to bring on Jean-Michel Ferreri at half time proved to be an inspired one as he got the only goal of the game to see his side through to face Juve.
Another top flight clash followed as my Real Madrid side travelled to the San Siro to face Dave’s Milan. It was close for the first 10 minutes but after that, Milan stepped it up a gear and went in for half time 4-2 up. Despite our best efforts in the second half, we couldn’t find the net, and Papin and Laudrup added a few more nails to our coffin to emphatically send the Rossoneri through, where Dave’s reward is a visit from Clydebank.
Many expected Man Utd’s trip to Montrose to be a walk in the park but it turned out to be anything but. Teddy Sheringham gave his side a 1-0 half time lead, but the second half saw most of the action as sub Dwight Yorke added a second for United before Colin McGlashan scored either side of a Nevland strike to make it a nervy last 10 minutes for the visitors, but they held on despite the home side finishing stronger and having more shots at goal than their opponents. Ross will be hoping for a more convincing display against St. Mirren in the next round.
Next up was Philip, as he took his Barcelona side to Morton. Hristo Stoichkov opened the scoring on 23 minutes and it stayed 1-0 for most of the game, until Stoichkov’s strike partner, the in-form Julio Salinas doubled Barca’s lead at the death. Philip’s next cup fixture had to be postponed due to his champions league match with Banik Ostrava.
Andrew’s Bayern faced the young guns of Partick Thistle, most of whom get snapped up by bigger clubs before season one is over, but they hadn’t sold any so far up to this match. Andrew being Andrew, decided to shake things up in his own unique way and tried a new formation, a completely different starting eleven of fringe players, and he also decided against naming any substitutes, but despite it all, his Bavarians got the job done with a 3-1 win.
Like Ross, Dean had a seemingly easy game on paper but faced a spirited Stenhousemuir side who really took the game to Ajax. Peter Van Vossen, a man who’s used to Scottish surroundings grabbed a brace as did Marc Overmars, and Finidi and Litmanen got the other goals in a game that was a lot closer than what the scoreline suggests. Dean has a home tie with Alloa to look forward to next.
On to the league fixtures, and first up was Philip vs Zak. Barca went in for half time a goal up thanks to Antonio Pinilla, and the hosts were good value for their lead, with 14 shots at goal compared to Marseille’s single effort. Zak made one change at the break with Ferreri on for Pele, and it brought about a change in fortunes as Sauzee levelled on 65. The second half was a better one from Marseille, but despite a further 10 shots at goal, Barcelona couldn’t beat man of the match Barthez, and Philip was left cursing the Frenchman at the final whistle as it ended all-square.
Andrew made wholesale changes to his lineup for his game with Matt, and was hoping that a formation intended to combat Matt’s modified 2-3-1-2-2 would work its magic. Matt had an almost fully-fit squad to choose from but only made a couple of minor tweaks and gave Vialli and Ravanelli an extended rest. The lead changed hands three times in the first half, but it was Juve who were on top at the break. The second half was full of chances and Matt even tried his luck by asking to bring on Zidane. In the end Andrew had Oliver Kahn to thank for keeping his side in the game, but admitted that their poor finishing had kept them out of it as it ended 4-3 to Matt.
Ross fielded an unchanged side from his win over Montrose, against Nathan, who’d switched formations but said that it probably wouldn’t make any difference against United. To Nathan’s surprise, Tretschok gave Dortmund the lead, but it only lasted a quarter of an hour though as Scholes struck to level and it was 1-1 at half time. Ross introduced Dwight Yorke for the second half, and United asserted their dominance, going 3-1 up. Nathan made a couple of changes near the end, but it was the hosts’ day as Ryan Giggs wrapped things up in the last minute.
After hammering me 6-2 in the cup, Dave made only one change for our second meeting with Panucci back in for Tassotti. I on the other hand tried to make things a bit more compact by playing a narrower formation. I was hoping that Sebastiano Rossi would carry on his terrible form but this proved not to be the case, as he kept out my single effort on target and Milan led through Papin at the end of an even first half. The Frenchman got a second right after the restart, and completed his hat trick around the hour mark to all but seal it. Suker nicked a goal back for me but the damage was done and Dave completed the double over me. He did point out that Papin scored 3 goals and only got 8 out of 10, while Karanka, the man who was marking him was named man of the match!
Last up this week is Rob against Dean, who I hoped hadn’t been drinking as much as last week, when he couldn’t remember his results! There was a very minor tactical adjustment from Rob before the game, but Dean was happy to stick with his formation from the last match, saying “same again, it worked against Stenhousemuir”. I did also manage to persuade him into giving Martijn Reuser a spot on the bench for the injured Kanu. The game itself was a closely-fought affair, with Peter Van Vossen’s third goal in two games proving the deciding factor in the end.
So there ends another week of frolics, and this is how the table looks. Ross is still at the top of the pile, with Matt and Zak just behind. Dean, Rob and Dave make up the middle of the table, and it is definitely not pleasant reading for the Spanish or German readers among you.
If you’d like to watch the videos of this week’s action, use the links below.
Part 1 – https://youtu.be/6MVAFXtKsg0
Link 2 – https://youtu.be/qMUnPhyjbrA
Join us next week for some more cup action and the next round of league fixtures, see you then!