2001: An Ace Squad-yssey – Part 32: Aces High? | @NTR9798

Hello! and welcome to the penultimate episode of the blog that transports your favourite CM01/02 legends back from the future into CM97/98! Nick’s Aces are seven points clear at the top of Serie A with seven games remaining. Can they hold their nerve to finally knock Juventus off their perch?…

Here’s how things stand. Five wins and the title is ours, but Juve haven’t been fantastic this season, so I’m hoping they’ll help us further and drop some more points.

And these are the seven games that will shape our destiny. Not the easiest, but I’m sure you’ll agree that it could definitely be worse…

First up this week are Parma. A Samba rocket puts us ahead, but we concede late and it’s another draw, and another man of the match award for an opposing keeper. Our blushes are immediately spared though, as Lecce somehow hold Juventus to a draw. Phew!

We slipped up against Foggia last time, so revenge is high on the agenda. Madeira is back, and wastes little time in returning to scoring ways, and Juve draw with Atalanta, so we’re now nine clear with five games to go!!!

Udinese away, and Super Sergey is suspended, but his replacement, Lundén opens the scoring. Their keeper tries his best to ruin the party, but it’s Madeira’s day today, and he gets the third goal and a perfect ten to edge us closer to glory.

A familiar scenario develops in the Napoli game, as they score with their first shot at goal after countless efforts from us. Nikiforenko marks his return with a goal, and the game looks to be heading for a draw, but N’Diaye heads in from a late corner to nick it… Scenes!

So that means we only need a point against Bari, and Madeira gets us off and running. Said makes it two before Madeira gets his second and our third and we lead 3-0 at the break. Bari pull one back, and their keeper is man of the match, but I couldn’t give a flying f*ck because WE ARE CHAMPIONS!!!!!!!!!!

Juventus lost to Bologna anyway, so we’re now twelve points clear with two games remaining, and with the pressure now off, we can relax a bit at Torino. They lead, but we turn it around in the second half, and for a nice change, our own keeper is man of the match.

We round off the season at home to Inter. Big Taribo West is 33, and I’m worried he might retire, so I give him a start as captain against his old club in place of the injured Ibrahim Said. The match ends in defeat, with one last super keeper performanceI’m from Matthew Reed, but I couldn’t care less to be honest.

Juve won their last game, but we end up winning the title by nine points. We’re the top scorers, and have the second-tightest defence behind Inter, so not a bad season at all, and it more than makes up for the sheer heartbreak we suffered on the final day of last season.

Just out of interest, and because I’m a bit of a geek, I counted the number of games where the opposition keeper was man of the match this season, and out of 34 games, it was 16, so just under half, which is frankly ridiculous.

The relegated foursome of Udinese, Foggia, Cremonese, and Lazio will be replaced by Roma, Genoa, Palermo, Fiorentina next season. I must admit that it does make me smile to see Lazio go down after all the times that Luca Marchegiani pissed me off.

Ever since we’ve been in Serie A, either Madeira or Tsigalko have been top scorer, but ironically neither of them are for the season in which we finally win the league, but in fairness, they did have their share of injuries and suspensions between them.

I find it hilarious that we somehow won the fair play award, did they just decide to ignore all of Aghahowa and Hersi’s red cards?!

Here are the title-winning player stats for the anoraks among you. I think this is the first season that neither Madeira or Tsigalko have scored at least thirty goals, but Samba chipped in with a reasonable tally of fifteen, which was an unexpected bonus.

Elsewhere, Arsenal secured a Premiership and FA Cup double, Liverpool won the league cup, Juve the Coppa Italia, Atletico Madrid La Liga, Espanyol the Copa Del Rey, Monaco the champions league, Atalanta the Cup Winners’ Cup, and Sampdoria the UEFA Cup.

As much as I’m tempted to end this blog here, I’ve decided not to for two reasons…

1. We’ve won everything but the Supercoppa Italiana, and because of my OCD-ish ways, I won’t be satisfied until it’s in the cabinet, so on we play, and I’ll hopefully only have to play one more season to get my hands on it.

2. I can’t help but feel that I’ve not been fair to the whole squad, and some of them have been constantly out on loan and not reached their full potential. So I’m going to play my strongest side for the super cup against Juve, but after that, it’s fringe players all the way! See you next week, Ciao for now!

Leave a Reply