Hello! and welcome once again to CM97/98’s most prestigious club competition, which was actually recorded on Tuesday, in Scotland… But anyway, we’ve got a full league fixture list this week, European games for two of our sides, and also three of the four League Cup quarter-finals, so let’s get cracking…
Dean and Nathan got the night started with a 7-goal thriller. Both managers shuffled their defences due to injuries, Dean had to play Edgar Davids at centre back, while Nathan had to almost completely change his back line, which was missing Cesar, Pedersen, Kohler and Reuter. Ajax led 2-1 at half time and then the in-form Van Vossen netted a brace in less than a minute to make it 4-1 before a late double from Riedle made the score respectable.
The first El Clasico of the season followed. I’d spent ages trying to come up with a formation that proved successful, but it all proved to be in vain as Philip’s Barcelona absolutely annihilated my lacklustre Real Madrid. It’s back to the drawing board for me, but a magnificent win for Philip, who’s side have been in good form of late and remain undefeated.
Ross was the only manager in the Old Trafford dugouts as he hosted Matt, who sent his apologies and tactics. Ross was without Schmeichel, and was cursing the Dane’s opposite number, Angelo Peruzzi at half time as Juve led 2-0 and Peruzzi kept all 6 of United’s shots on target out with a rating of 9. A couple of inspired half time changes from Ross saw United salvage a point in the end thanks to Andy Cole and a late goal from an unlikely source… Gary Neville.
Andrew’s Bayern got off to a promising start at the San Siro against the absent Dave’s Milan, leading 2-1 at half time. Andrew said that Dave said he wanted to put Raducioiu in goal but I smelt a rat and left his favourite stopper Sebastiano “helpless to stop it” Rossi between the sticks. The tables turned in the second half as Milan turned on the style with goals from Lentini, Papin and Simone to seal an emphatic turnaround.
The game between Rob’s Red Star and Zak’s Marseille had absolutely everything. There were 31 shots at goal, 12 corners, 21 free kicks, 9 goals, a missed penalty and a sending off. Zak was not in attendance this week, but he came out on top in the end and remained undefeated for another week. Rob was defiant in defeat, saying that he’d keep trying different formations until he found one the worked, I think I’ll join him!
Zak was straight back in action a few days later as his side travelled to Italy to face Sampdoria in the UEFA Cup. Bernard Casoni got the all-important away goal as l’om came from behind to snatch a draw against a side containing the likes of Veron, Montella and Signori.
Philip also ventured into Europe, but his destination was Romania, where his Barcelona side took on Steaua Bucharest. The hosts put up a reasonable fight but in the end Barca had too much for them and it was a routine 3-1 win for Philip and his men.
Dean’s victory over Andrew looks pretty straightforward on paper, but the stats tell a slightly different story. Despite a whopping 27 shots at goal compared to Dean’s 9, the Bavarians just could not find a way past an inspired Edwin Van der Sar until man of the match Mehmet Scholl found the net late on, but it was too little too late at that point.
Next up were Nathan and Ross. The early exchanges were good for Dortmund and the pressure paid off as they led through Wolters. But lead was brief as Yorke levelled on half an hour. Nathan then lost another defender to injury in Knut Reinhardt. It was level at the break, and Ross realised the Nevilles were on the wrong sides, so he swapped them over and made a couple of other changes and this did the trick as the second half was all United and Yorke scored 2 more to complete his hat trick and cap a 3-1 win at the Westfalenstadion.
Dave brought the action to a close by welcoming Raith Rovers, the only non-Premier League side left in the competition. A first half Papin hat trick including a penalty following a red card for Raith almost sealed it, but Boban added a fourth to kill the tie before the interval. The game will have been a nice pay day for Raith if nothing else. Dave will now face Philip or Zak in the semi-finals, while Dean takes on Ross in the other tie.
So after the latest round of games we have a new leader as Zak finds himself at the summit after his victory over Rob, and Ross’ draw with Matt. Zak and Philip are the only teams who remain undefeated, and my Real Madrid are the only team yet to win.
Don’t forget you can watch all of this week’s action by clicking here
That wraps up this week, join us same time next week for two rounds of league fixtures and the one remaining League Cup quarter-final between Philip and Zak. See you next time!