CL Final Preview

Discussion in 'TCL: Tradition Cup Events' started by AJ Hart MN, Apr 8, 2011.

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  1. AJ Hart MN

    AJ Hart MN Marseille - TFL Season 1 Champions

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    [​IMG]
    VS
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    The Road to the Final
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    Everton breezed through Group A with ease. After dismantling Roma twice by a combined score of 5 nil, they then beat and drew a very good Zenit squad. To nobody's surprise, this team moved on to the quarter-finals and a much anticipated matchup against Premier League power FC Porto.
    Everton was able to secure a huge opening match win against the stingy Portuguese side 2-1 thanks to goals by Osman and Cahill in the 41st and 45th minute respectively. Matchday #2 would see star Louis Saha steal the show as the striker pretty much ended Porto's hopes with 2 early goals to give Everton a huge 3 goal aggregate lead. Porto would rally with 2 goals of their own in the 83rd and 86th minute but the boys from England would prevail and head toward the Semi's against yet another Premier League power and everyone's favorite Lyon.
    Manager Darlon and Manager Blaza have had quite a history as both have butted heads many times before but none will have been bigger than these matches. With the Champions League Final on the line. The whole world would be watching as this was many experts true Final. Both games would not disappoint.
    Just like the matches against Porto, Everton jumped out early on Lyon and took the all important first game 3-1. Midfielder Arteta would score in the 8th minute to set the tone for both matches early on. Lyon answered back with a Cris goal in the 31st minute but the midfielders of Everton would prove too much. In the 69th minute, Felliani would put Everton ahead for good and superstar Saha would add an insurance goal in the 90th minute to give Everton a huge advantage heading into the second leg. Little Lisandro Lopez would give Lyon some hope early in the second match as he put the French giants up in the 16th minute. Miguel Arteta would prove too good once again however as in the 49th minute, he would score to tie this game up and for the Lyon fans and Manager Blaza end the dreams of a Champions League Title.
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    Every expert in the world had pegged Juve as a runaway winner in group B but it's funny how things don't always work out the way they were planned. After seeing Fulham dismantle Aston Villa twice, the Torino side came out lackluster against a pesky Leverkusen side and drew twice. Now feeling some pressure, Juve was able to get 6 points from stubborn Villa to get back into the group lead chase. Sitting 2 points back of Fulham, the two sides would battle it out on the field to see who was king of group B. Juventus made a statement in the first game as they destroyed Fulham 3 nil to take back control of the Group. Fulham came out with a ton of energy in the second leg scoring two quick goals as it seemed Juve was still celebrating their first victory. Juve regrouped and salvaged a tie and won the group and headed into quarter final play on good form.
    The scheduling gods must have been playing a dirty joke on Juve as they again drew the very good Fulham squad in the quarter finals. Both leg's were similar as Juve took home the opening game 3-1 in thanks to goals from Chelini, Aquilani and Vincenzo Iaquinta. This game gave the squad a ton of confidence as they thought they really handled the English side pretty easily, Fulham though would not go down without a fight in leg 2. Ehuhu quickly gave Fulham an early lead in the 16th minute to put some doubt in the Torino crowd but Fabio Quagliarella would put all the fan's worries to bed with 2 goals to give Juve a 2-1 lead and almost insurmountable lead on aggregate. Fulham would score a late goal to tie the game but would come no closer as Juventus would move onto the Semi's against somewhat surprising Benfica.
    This was easily not the sexier of the two Semifinal matchups with nobody really picking Benfica to make it this far but Manager AJ Hart would not be taking the Portuguese giant lightly after seeing Benfica beat a very good Zenit squad on away goals.
    The first leg would see both offenses provide fireworks as they combined for 7 goals. Luckily for Juventus, Benfica scored a early own goal and that kind of took them out of their rhythm. Benfica quickly tied the game in the 23rd minute on a Luisiao goal but the Juventus class and luck took over from that point. A quick response from Iaquinta in the 24th minute would put Benfica on their heels and Juventus would cruise to a easy 5-2 win. The second leg would see both teams shore up their defensive lapses that plagued them in the opening leg but a Fabio Quagliarella goal in the 12th minute would prove too much to overcome and Juve was able to coast into the finals with a 1 nil win and 6-2 aggregate victory over the upstart Benfica squad.
    Keys to the Game:
    Midfield Play
    It's no secret that the midfield of both of these teams will play a huge role in who take home the coveted Champions League crown.
    Juventus likes to use short passing and skill with Alessandro Del Piero, Alberto Aquilani and Milos Krasic to feed the ball to strikers Vincenzo Iaquinta and Fabio Quagliarella. Once they have moved to a more attacking style of play, the goals have really started to flow. Aquilani will be the key as he needs to find Del Piero in space and Alessandro then needs to find the lightning quick Krasic on the wing or move the ball forward to the two lethal strikers.
    It's no secret that the Everton midfield can beat you with skill but it's their strength and defensive prowess that really makes this team great. Marouane Fellaini, Mikel Arteta and Leon Osman are fantastic at staying in position and winning tackles but instead of just playing the ball deep, these 3 studs play the ball to Tim Cahill and Louis Saha so both are in position to do damage. It's going to be strength against skill in this critical battle between the Juve and Everton Midfield.
    Goalkeeping
    Both squads boast two of the top goalkeepers in the world in Gigi Buffon and American Tim Howard. Buffon has been considered the best in the world for some time but he is now getting up in age and the younger Howard looks to use this stage as his coming out party. With both teams likely to score goals and create chances, it very well may come down to which keeper can come up with a huge save at a critical moment.
    Star Power
    Both squads have many stars but I think it will come down to two players performances that will decide the Inaugural TSO Champions League Champion.
    Louis Saha

    Saha has been scoring at a amazing rate all during the League 1 season and CL games. He will need to score at least one goal for Everton to come out victorious.
    Milos Krasic
    Milos doesn't necessarily need to score for Juve to win but he does have to be involved in the offense for Juve to come out victorius. If Juve wins, look for Krasic to have an assist and many good runs against the tough Everton midfield.
    I surely wish there was a way to broadcast this game as it will in my mind live up to all the hype. Darlon and I have played many times and they are always very entertaining games. It should be a wide open game with plenty of skill on display. It will come down to who doesn't make the bad mistakes or turns the ball over in their own end. Expect a 2-1 game. Who will have the 2 and who will have the 1 is yet to be seen. Good luck to Darlon, I'm surely looking forward to the game.



     
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  2. niuhuskie224

    niuhuskie224 Walk On

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  3. Jmustang1968

    Jmustang1968 Walk On

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    Will try to get it up today
     
  4. Blaza

    Blaza In Arsene Wenger I Trust

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    Incredible preview. After playing both Managers several times I have to give a slight edge to AJ, but Darlon is no slouch! Both play similar styles with a slower, more deliberate tempo and look to isolate your defenders 1 v 1. I think both Managers will play the 1st half safe to feel each other out and the gloves will come off in the 2nd half! Man, wish we could record this one. GL to the both of you!
     
  5. AJ Hart MN

    AJ Hart MN Marseille - TFL Season 1 Champions

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    Got up a new Krasic vid..
     
  6. AJ Hart MN

    AJ Hart MN Marseille - TFL Season 1 Champions

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    Thanks bro.. Hopefully I can come away with a garbage goal or something. I have a bad feeling that's the type of goal that will win it.
     
  7. Blaza

    Blaza In Arsene Wenger I Trust

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    Dude one huge thing you have going for you is solid Centerbacks. I have been getting CRUSHED through the middle lately. Cris is solid, but I've tried 3 different defenders as his partner and they all have glaring weaknesses. I usually dominate defensively but I can't get these guys on the same page. Makes me miss Distain and Jagielka. Give me Chiellini! :(
     
  8. AJ Hart MN

    AJ Hart MN Marseille - TFL Season 1 Champions

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    Chiellini is a beast.. If I don't stick with Juve and you end up with the Gunners, I'm coming to take my boys Lyon. I really wish they still had Makoun so I could play him as my CDM and Toulalan as CB. I think that was a huge loss and I fear I'll run into the same problem you are currently having.
     
  9. Blaza

    Blaza In Arsene Wenger I Trust

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    Ah man, that was ALWAYS my setup with Lyon. I even switched it up sometimes to play Makoun at CB and he did well there.
     
  10. AJ Hart MN

    AJ Hart MN Marseille - TFL Season 1 Champions

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    If you end up with Arsenal and I take Lyon, I would be interested in what formation and players you have in there.. I have always used a 4-3-3 with Lyon.. Is that what you use?
     
  11. AJ Hart MN

    AJ Hart MN Marseille - TFL Season 1 Champions

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    @Darlon

    Let's go!! What time Sunday you thinking bro??
     
  12. Darlon

    Darlon Walk On

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    I'm thinking around midday. I might have some plans at night.
     
  13. AJ Hart MN

    AJ Hart MN Marseille - TFL Season 1 Champions

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    Does 3 central work??
     
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