2001: An Ace Squad-yssey – Part 25: A familiar season | @NTR9798

Hello, and welcome back for season five. The CM01/02 Aces are champions of Europe! but are still yet to win the Serie A. However, it’s now the 2001/02 season, so can they secure domestic glory in the season that they’re famously known for?…

Our European exploits have earned us a date with São Paulo in Tokyo…

And also a tie with a familiar foe…

But before any of that, it’s pre-season tour time. You know the drill, I like to play clubs who own CM97/98 legends to inspire my lot…

We’re off to France first to face Marseille, who have Carsten Lektonen, Thomas Røll, and Marcus Pürk in their ranks, but we keep them out and score against the run of play with our only shot on target.

Scotland next, and Rangers. Dyer and O’Neill start, and Eadie is on bench. At half time we’ve had nothing but two corners and six free kicks. The second half isn’t much better, and we suffer defeat at the hands of Bryan Hughes.

We finish with a couple of games in England. Elland Road is our first stop, where father Phil Mulryne strikes first, before Selakovic spares our blushes. I’m disappointed not to see Twiss come off the bench for them though.

Last up are Leicester, who have lots of ballers in their side. Keller, Duncan, Youngs, Spencer and Gallen all start, and Alexander and James are on the bench. Youngs hits a brace of pens, and Selakovic once again nets for us, but it’s not enough, and the tour ends in defeat.

Pinheiro, João Paiva, Risp, and Kerr all go out on loan just before the Coppa Italia draw is made, and it’s not an easy start this year…

And this is our champions league group. Not too bad in the grand scheme of things…

So, to that cup game with Inter. I’ve decided to give Nikiforenko a chance at AMC, which proves an inspired decision, as he opens the scoring and then assists one of three more goals as we smash the Nerazzuri in their own back yard.

With the blue half of Milan out of the way, we’ll face the red half next…

Duff man is out of action for a while…

This season’s league curtain-raiser is away to Juve, who are without Denilson, Ronaldo and Maldini. We have Several early chances but can’t put them away and sure enough, they lead at half time. We battle away in the second half, but Peruzzi is in a c*ntish mood as usual.

It’s a similar story at home to Lazio, where we squander numerous chances and can’t score, mainly thanks to a certain Mr. Marchegiani, and then we concede a late late goal just to rub salt in the wound.

That’s both right-sided defensive players out…

It’s not a good start at Sampdoria, our defence run like Billio, but can’t prevent the hosts leading. After a tactical tweak, it’s a better second half, and it should have been 3-1, but the goal was disallowed. I’ll take it though.

Our champions league defence begins against Brøndby. Okoronkwo, Lundén, Selakovic and Tsigalko are all suspended, so in come Klompe, Kallstrom, Aghahowa and Samba. Cherno gets us off and running, and a late Nikiforenko strike secures us the points.

Just another training ground Injury…

Another game, another blinding display by an Italian keeper, and this time it’s Bologna’s Francesco Antonioli. This is more than a tad frustrating when the big boys are dropping points left, right and centre around us.

The big boys’ loss has been Atalanta’s gain, and after an early goal against the league leaders, we have to work hard, but patience is a virtue, and it’s a good win in the end.

We wrap things up in the first half an hour against newly-promoted Venezia, but ease off in the second half and give away a cheap late goal, but it’s another three points.

Back in Europe, we’re lucky at Villa Park, with a late penalty after a very even game all the way through, I’m not complaining though.

This week’s injury…

We lead early in Florence, but Zandona puts in another c*ntish performance in their goal. We should be out of sight by the time they score, but we hold on despite the score line making it look a lot closer than it actually was.

Last up this week are Inter. They’re 13th, but I’m not being fooled by that position. Duff man gifts them an early lead, and we’re let off on 42 minutes as they have a goal disallowed, but we keep going right to the end, and are rewarded from a late corner as Sergey saves the day…

So after a rather eventful episode, we find ourselves third after eight games. Our start has been a mixed bag, but is definitely better than last season. We’re in good company though, as none of the big boys have started particularly well, and the surprise early pace-setters this season are Torino and Verona. I’m keen to capitalise on Juve’s poor start though, because I know they’ll come good in the end.

So that’s all for this week folks, tune in next week as we plough on with the league games and face both of the teams above us. We also finish off our champions league group games, take on Milan in the next round of the Coppa Italia, and do battle with São Paulo for the World Club Cup, so lots in store. Ciao for now!

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