Champions League Manager 97/98 – Match Week 13 | @NTR9798

Hello again! and welcome aboard the trans-Europe express for another round of games between the blog boys and their footballing juggernauts. Last week saw a shuffle at the top of the table, as Ross cut Philip’s lead to 6 points, so let’s see what surprises this week’s action throws up…

Matt and Rob (well, Rob’s team) kicked off the action this week in what was the only league game on an FA Cup weekend. Matt had been complaining about Vialli and Ravanelli not pulling their weight, so he’d have been pleased to see them find their shooting boots at last.

Ross was first up in the cup, and faced a Celtic side who are no doubt disgruntled at being placed in non-league for this experiment. Ross and his side clearly gave zero fucks though, and spanked them in their own back yard.

Philip wasn’t with us this week, but he was confident enough that his side could get through an away trip to Dumbarton, which they did. The first half an hour was certainly a busy one. The 5,461 who watched must have been bored for the remaining hour.

Nathan was in Dundee, where his Dortmund side didn’t find life quite so easy. Lars Ricken got the only goal of the game, and Nathan had to endure a tense last quarter of an hour after Julio Cesar’s sending off, but he needn’t have worried, and his boys in yellow got the job done.

Andrew’s rejuvenated Bayern took an early lead at defending champions Kilmarnock, but the hosts were Wright back in it on half an hour. The frauds weren’t finished though, and useless FR, Alexander Zickler slotted home on 70 to send them into the quarter finals.

Zak, who was still on his holidays, hosted Dean in the only all-premier clash, and what a game it was. Kluivert ruined my opportunity to do some sort of Durand Durand joke, not that he cares. It looks like Pele will be joining Barthez on Zak’s list of players to have words with…

The final game saw Dave welcome Rangers. Due to injuries, Dave handed a start to grey youngster, Barry Bett, who opened the scoring after five minutes. Five more goals followed, before Florin Raducioiu struck twice to do do do Dave a favour and secure a replay.

Back to the league, and Dean and Matt played out a six-goal thriller. Beetlejuice opened the scoring for Deano, and braces for Matt’s very own Del Boy and Dean’s least-favourite striker followed. Porrini saw red, and Seedorf added a fourth to rub salt in the old lady’s wound.

A Karl-Heinz Riedle goal was enough to give Nathan a narrow win over Zak. Nathan would no doubt have been pleased to get a couple of wins this week after a disappointing time last week, but Zak’s inexplicable fall from grace continues after such a good start to the season.

Ross had an opportunity to put some more pressure on Philip against Andrew, but Alexander Zickler’s second goal in as many games stunned the 53,244-strong Old Trafford crowd and ensured that Bayern’s fraudulent but impressive resurgence continued.

Rob had a few injuries, so I had to tweak a few things for him, one of which was bringing Prosinecki back into the team, but I was left regretting my tinkerings when Mihajlovic gave Red Star the lead. Thankfully my side got their arses in gear in the second half though.

After his slip-up against Bayern, Ross would have been watching this one nervously, but luckily for him, Philip’s side were unable to find a breakthrough against Dave’s disciplined rossoneri defence, but Dave wouldn’t have been impressed with yet another injury.

Zak and Dean met for the second time this week, and the result was almost identical. Kluivert scored his fifth and sixth goals in three games to make Dean eat his words about him being crap, and Ajax’s makeshift keeper Bogarde got his third 10/10 rating in row to condemn Zak to his sixth straight defeat.

Pinilla scored at both ends in Andrew’s clash with Philip, as Andrew’s new formation continued to bear fruit. It certainly seems to be getting the best out of Zickler and Linke, who helped the frauds deal Philip his third defeat of the season, much to the relief of Ross.

Speaking of Ross, he may have also fallen victim to Andrew, but he wasn’t going to let Philip get away with this one. Admittedly my cause wasn’t helped by having my keeper sent off, but I’m pretty sure the result would have been similar even with him on the field.

So for the second week in a row, Philip’s lead is cut by another two points, and he’s now just four clear of Ross. Dean consolidates third place, but is closer to Ross and further from Dave. Matt has climbed a place thanks to Zak dropping like a stone, and that now leaves me just three points off the dizzying heights of mid-table. The bottom three remain the same, but Andrew’s making giant strides towards climbing out of the relegation zone.

So another week of frolics draws to a close. Join us next week as the FA Cup reaches the quarter final stage, with Philip hosting Rangers, Andrew welcoming Dundee Utd, Nathan entertaining Raith Rovers, and Ross taking on Deano. We’ve also two and a bit rounds of league games to get through, starting with that top of the table clash between Philip and Ross, which you won’t want to miss. Cheers and gone!

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