abulezz

Bromley FC (...And the Rest of the World)

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Why would you only go to Ghana or Lebanon?

Don't get unstuck against the Toffee's :rolleyes:

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Least there is a positive coming out of the youth intakes,Cape Verde could have themselves a decent right back :D

Good luck against Everton.

Thanks! I think Duarte might become an international for his country, I just cant see him doing it at Bromley unless he shows drastic improvements.

Why would you only go to Ghana or Lebanon?

Don't get unstuck against the Toffee's :rolleyes:

The Everton game is huge because it represents my only chance at Europe now that all the Big Six are out of the FA Cup! I would only go to Ghana or Lebanon because those are my home nations :)

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Good luck against Everton. You could be this year's Portsmouth/Cardiff!

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CHAMPIONS CUP 2019/2020

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2020championscupgroupst.jpg

Second Round

FC Salzburg vs. Real Madrid (1 - 7)

First Leg – FCRB Salzburg Stadium, Salzburg (Att: 38,063): The hosts in the matchup had gotten one of the strongest opponents they could’ve drawn, and Real Madrid were heavy favorites to advance. Salzburg had finished 2nd Place in Group E to Bayern Munich, beating out favored Malaga to reach this round. They had been knocked out in Group Stages last year, but had advanced to the Second Round in 2018. Real Madrid, who were 2014 and 2017 Champions League winners and current defending Spanish La Liga champions, qualified out of a very tough Group G. They topped the group with 12 points despite being tied on points with two other teams, beating them out on goal difference. As expected, Real Madrid ran away with this one, defeating the home side 2-0 while managing to hold 67% of the possession. Gonzalo Higuan won the MotM, scoring a goal and recording a 9.0 AR.

FC Salzburg: 0

Real Madrid: 2 (Higuan, Sissoko)

Second Leg – Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid (Att: 87,769): Salzburg certainly felt the difference in quality in the second leg of this tie, getting dominated by the Spanish champions to the tune of 5-1. Moussa Sissoko was on fire, hitting a brace from the midfield, and Real Madrid looked capable of scoring every time they entered the final third of the pitch. Salzburg were lucky to have a consolation goal, and the 2014 and 2017 Champions League winners were headed to the Quarter-Finals in the most convincing of fashions.

Real Madrid: 5 (Sissoko 2, Asamoah, Ronaldo, Maffi)

FC Salzburg: 1 (Alan)

Wofsburg vs. Manchester United (1 - 4)

First Leg – (Att: ): The defending German Bundesliga and English Premier League champions faced off in one of the biggest ties of the Second Round. Wolfsburg advanced after securing 2nd Place to Inter Milan in Group A, scoring only 6 goals but also doing a fantastic job of conceding only 4 goals. They were looking to continue on their improvement of last season’s campaign, where they were knocked out in the Group Stages. Manchester United topped Group C despite losing twice, and managed to score 17 goals against strong competition. One of the perennial powers of this past decade, they lost to Marseille in the Quarter-Finals last season. This ended up being a very even match, but Manchester United managed to pull away at the end thanks to a goal from £14,500,000 new signing Dejan Kovacevic. The MotM was won by Eden Hazard, as the Belgian midfielder had an assist and an 8.5 AR.

Wolsburg: 1 (Marcelinho)

Manchester United: 2 (Rooney, Kovacevic)

Second Leg – Old Trafford, Manchester (Att: 88,465): After losing at home in Germany, it was always going to be a tough task for Wolfsburg to find a way back into this tie, and things did not prove any easier in England. Manchester United came away with a 2-0 victory in a match they were clearly the better team in, and the German champions were sent home earlier than they would have liked. Wayne Rooney scored his second goal of the tie, proving there was still plenty of life in his 34 year old legs.

Manchester United: 2 (Badelj, Rooney)

Wolfsburg: 0

Barcelona vs. Lyonnais (3 – 3, Barcelona Won on Away Goals)

First Leg – Nou Camp, Barcelona(Att: 101,342): Barcelona, who have long been the dominant force in club football, have also advanced to the last two Champions League Finals, losing to Inter Milan in 2019 and their opponents, Lyonnais, in 2018. The Spanish side did not have the best of times in the Group Stages, looking more vulnerable than usual, qualifying in 2nd Place to Fiorentina while conceding 8 goals. The 2018 winners did better, topping Group F having scored 13 goals and conceded only 4 goals. Although it was expected to be a tight game, Barcelona defeated their French opponents 2-0 convincingly, with new signings Alfred Kalu winning the MotM after delivering a top-notch effort from the right back position. Lyonnais were surprisingly meek in front of the Barcelona goal, and that cost them big in this first leg.

Barcelona: 2 (Sigurdsson, Bojan)

Lyonnais: 0

Second Leg – Stade de Lumieries, Lyon (Att: 61,556): Such a close matchup and such an exciting one as well, with Barcelona finally edging out the 2018 Champions League winners and gaining revenge on them for beating them in that Finals. Overall, it was an intensely even match, despite Lyonnais desperate attempt to get three more goals after Bojan tied the match on a penalty in the 56th minute. Vaclac Kadlec scored in the 89th minute to secure Lyonnais third goal, but try as they might, they could not get that all important fourth. Barcelona advanced to the Quarter-Finals by the edge of their teeth, and will be glad to have gotten this match out of the way.

Lyonnais: 3 (Mkhitaryan, Mollo, Kadlec)

Barcelona: 1 (Bojan)

Manchester City vs. Fiorentina (3 – 3, Manchester City Won on Penalties 5-4)

First Leg – City of Manchester Stadium, Manchester (Att: ): The visitors in the first leg of this tie were also the 2015 Champions League winners, and had topped Group B, which included Barcelona. Manchester City barely made it out of Group G, tied on points with 3rd Place Sporting Lisbon with 12 points, but thanks to the goal difference, they were able to advance to the Second Round. It was the visiting squad that took a surprising victory, defeating Manchester City 2-1 after the home side had taken a 2nd minute lead. The MotM was Jorge Enriquez, who had an assist for the visiting side and controlled the midfield well.

Manchester City: 1 (Wickham)

Fiorentina: 2 (Chipciu, Babacar)

Second Leg – Artemio Franchi, Florence (Att: 46,396): This was always going to be an exciting match, and it lived up to its billing. A 30th minute Khouma Babacar goal gave Fiorentina the lead early, and it seemed that they were going to advance to the Quarter-Finals until the last ten minutes of the game, when Erick Torres and Sabino Cavallari each scored to send the match into extra-time. It went all the way to penalties, and Manchester City went through at the end in improbable circumstances, knocking the 2015 Champions League winners out of the competition.

Fiorentina: 1 (Babacar)

Manchester City: 2 (Torres, Cavallari)

AC Milan vs. CSKA Moscow (3 – 3, CSKA Moscow Won on Away Goals)

First Leg – San Siro, Milan (Att: 64,118): The Russian side, visitors in the first leg of this tie, have been one of the strongest teams in Europe the past decade, advancing to the Finals in 2013 and the Semi-Finals on two other occasions, most recently being in 2018. They topped Group D ahead of Paris Saint-Germain, although they were less than impressive, scoring only 6 goals and conceding 8 goals. AC Milan have had a rough few years, but seem to be righting the ship under their new Chairman, Giuseppe Baresi. They qualified in a close 2nd Place to Arsenal in Group H, scoring 13 goals and conceding only 3 goals. Their Brazilian star strike, the 6’7 Xaropinho, did a fantastic job hitting a brace, but as they have done on numerous occasions, CSKA Moscow came away with a surprising result, drawing the home side 2-2 in Milan. Their own star striker, Nikolay Ponedelnik, got a goal of his own, and AC Milan ended up with a disappointing result for them going into the second leg.

AC Milan: 2 (Xaropinho 2)

CSKA Moscow: 2 (Ponedelnik, Popov)

Second Leg – CSKA Peschanoye, Moscow (Att: 35,000): This was as close as a tie as one can get, with both matches being played to draws. AC Milan’s young Nigerian striker Adebayo Temile scored first to give the visitors the lead, but it was not to be as CSKA Moscow equalized with a penalty in the 68th minute. They held on to the draw, and won on the away goals rule, knocking out their larger opponents as they had done so many others before them in this competition.

CSKA Moscow: 1 (Irkhin)

AC Milan: 1 (Temile)

Bayern Munich vs. Paris Saint-Germain (3 - 4)

First Leg – Parc des Prince, Paris (Att: 54,453): The 2018 French Ligue 1 winners qualified in 2nd Place behind a less than impressive CSKA Moscow side in Group D, and are hoping to reach the Semi-Finals of the competition, as they did in 2018. Bayern Munich topped Group E, gathering 13 points while scoring 11 goals and conceding 5 goals. While they were the better side during the Group Stages, the Germans could not contain the home side, who ran away with a fantastic 3-0 victory in Paris. Overall, save for the three goals, the match itself was less than entertaining, and Bayern were sinfully lackluster going forward as well as horrible defending the counter-attack. The three goal deficit is going to be a large task to turn around at home in the second leg for the Germans.

Paris Saint-Germain: 3 (Osman, Schelotto, Omrani)

Bayern Munich: 0

Second Leg – Allianz-Arena, Munich (Att: 65,325): Bayern Munich certainly gave it their all trying to steal this tie away from Paris Saint-Germain after a dreadful showing in Paris, and they almost did. They scored their third goal in the 52nd minute, and at that point, they were up 3-0 and had the tie all evened up. However, just two minutes later, Leo scored PSG’s only goal of the game, and the French held on from that point on to the result, losing the match but winning the tie.

Bayern Munich: 3 (Macheda, Amoroso, Kroos)

Paris Saint-Germain: 1 (Leo)

Lech vs. Arsenal (0 - 5)

First Leg – Bulgarska, Poznan (Att: 41,344): In the Group Stages, Arsenal were one of the most impressive teams, topping Group H with 15 points, 16 goals scored, and only 3 goals conceded. Their performance was in Europe coupled with their domestic league form (which currently sees them topping the English Premier League) has had many pegging this team as one of the clubs to beat this year. Polish champions Lech, however, somehow beat out Rangers and Sampdoria to 2nd Place in Group F to qualify to the Second Round, despite only scoring 4 goals. This was a very surprising match because for the most part, it was Lech who were the better side. In fact, Arsenal only had one shot on target, and sadly for the Polish champions, it went in, as Arsenal defeated them 1-0. Still, it was one of the worst performances by the English club all year, and they had no right to be happy with their display in the first leg of the tie in Poland.

Lech: 0

Arsenal: 1 (Walcott)

Second Leg – Emirates Stadium, London (Att: 60,361): After a somewhat difficult game in Poland, Arsenal set things right by defeating Lech 4-0 in London. They were by far the better team, with 60% of the possession, and took their chances very well, especially Abel Hernandez, who hit a brace for the English club. He won the MotM, as well, and Lech were left slightly dazed by the offensive firepower shown by Arsenal in the second leg of their tie.

Arsenal: 4 (Hernendez 2, Jovetic, Ramsey)

Lech: 0

Villareal vs. Inter Milan (0 - 4)

First Leg – El Madrigal, Villareal (Att: 23,000): The defending Champions League champions topped Group A, losing none of their games and conceding only 3 goals. In fact, the last time Inter Milan lost a Champions League match was in December of 2017, when they were embarrassed 5-0 by Barcelona. Their Spanish opponents were 2nd in Group C, behind English champions Manchester United, just edging out Benfica by a single point. The best team in Italy, Inter Milan had a hard time putting away Villareal, winning 1-0 after second half goal from Milan Djuric. It was an even game throughout, and Villareal will be disappointed having not at least earned a draw from this affair.

Villareal: 0

Inter Milan: 1 (Djuric)

Second Leg – Giuseppe Meazza, Milan (Att: 79,378): A superb midfield display by the defending Champions League and Serie A champions gave them a 3-0 victory over their Spanish opponents in the second leg. Ruben Yttergard Jenssen scored the first goal and won the MotM, but it was an overall team effort in the middle of the park that really won the game for the Italians. Villareal did not have much of a chance after losing their home leg, and Inter Milan finished things off by showcasing the difference in class between the two teams in Italy.

Inter Milan: 3 (Jenssen, Anderson, Agyei)

Villareal: 0

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Wow, they're ALL tasty ties in the Quarter Finals!

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Wow, they're ALL tasty ties in the Quarter Finals!

Yes, all the Quarter-Finals are great ties :) I really hope Barcelona crash out!

A City/Utd semi-final would be epic!

It very well could happen the way theyve been playing!

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Paris Saint Germain <3

Always had a soft spot for them, for no reason whatsoever. Although not no more now they've been taken over :(

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Paris Saint Germain <3

Always had a soft spot for them, for no reason whatsoever. Although not no more now they've been taken over :(

Well, I can tell you they took the first leg away from home against Barcelona! :) Hopefully, they can maintain that form at home!

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:applause: for the level of detail in this thread. Nice to see United domnating the prem league

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CHAMPIONS CUP 2019/2020

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QUARTER-FINALS

Manchester United vs. CSKA Moscow (6 - 1)

First Leg – Old Trafford, Manchester (Att: 94,058): In the Second Round, Manchester United easily disposed of the German Bundesliga champions Wolfsburg, defeating them in both legs convincingly. They had been one of the most impressive teams in the competition, save for their two losses in the Group Stages, and were the favorites here against CSKA Moscow. The Russian side had squeaked by AC Milan on away goals, but no one could argue that they did not deserve it. They were the Italians equals throughout the tie, and were attempting to qualify to their second straight Semi-Finals. CSKA Moscow knocked Manchester United out of the Semi-Finals in 2013 before eventually falling to Barcelona in the Finals, and the English side were certain to still remember that. Their revenge was brutal, in the form a 5-0 thrashing of CSKA Moscow. There were five different goalscorers, including young central defender Mohamed Ateya, with three coming in the first half. Manchester United were better in every aspect of the game, having 57% of the possession, with a Shots/On Target ratio of 16/8 compared to their opponent’s 7/2. Jack Wilshere took home the MotM with a 9.2 AR, an assist, and a goal. This was one of the most dominating performances in the competition in recent memory, and for once, CSKA Moscow could find no way to escape their opponents.

Manchester United: 5 (Ateya, Wilshere, Hernandez, Jones, Rooney)

CSKA Moscow: 0

Second Leg – CSKA Peschanoye, Moscow (Att: 35,000): There was not much to report here as the tie was already over before this match even began, with Manchester United having taken a 5-0 victory at home in England. CSKA Moscow did put up much of a fight, and Man United barely looked like getting out of second gear, which made for some pretty dull football. The English struck first in the 60th minute through Javier Hernandez, and CSKA Moscow woke up a bit and equalized ten minutes later, but other than that, there was not much going on. Manchester United advanced to the Semi-Finals, but in truth, they had already done so a week ago.

CSKA Moscow: 1 (Honda)

Manchester United: 1 (Hernandez)

Real Madrid vs. Manchester City (1 - 5)

First Leg – Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid (Att: 94,267): Arguably the biggest matchup in the Quarter-Finals this season, the defending Spanish La Liga champions faced up against the team with the highest salary payroll in football, topping £140,000,000! These two teams had met six times before, always in the Group Stages and most recently this season, where each team took a 3-0 home victory. While Real Madrid was 2nd in the La Liga and playing some good football, Manchester City had again sacked their manager, this time Frank de Boer, after falling to 6th Place in the Premier League. His replacement was the somewhat surprising choice of Simon Grayson, hired on February 1st. He was previously at Everton, but had been without a club for the past four months. It was an even game throughout, although the scoreline which saw Man City defeat Real Madrid 1-0 away from home was somewhat of a surprise. Moussa Sissoko was injured in the 28th minute, and Connor Wickham, whom Man City signed in January from Sunderland for £17,250,000, scored very early in the second half to give his team the victory. Real Madrid were disappointing on the offensive end, but the truth was, there was no standout performers on either team. Wickham won the MotM, but only with a 7.5 AR.

Real Madrid: 0

Manchester City: 1 (Wickham)

Second Leg – City of Manchester Stadium, Manchester (Att: 47,405): After taking a spectacular away victory against the Spanish La Liga champions in Madrid, Manchester City finished off the job with an even more spectacular demolition of their competition in Manchester, defeating them 4-1. It was the Connor Wickham show, who had already justified his large transfer fee just three months into his tenure with his new club, scoring a brace that included a ruthless 87th minute goal to seal off the demise of Real Madrid. In truth, the English were the better team, holding 55% of the possession and outplaying Real Madrid throughout the match, allowing them just one shot on goal, which was a Gonzalo Higuan goal, incidentally. Their defeat of the Spaniards set up a mouth-watering tie with their rivals Manchester United in the Semi-Finals.

Manchester City: 4 (Wickham 2, Cavallari, Ramos O.G.)

Real Madrid: 1 (Higuan)

Barcelona vs. Paris Saint-Germain (5 - 4)

First Leg – Nou Camp, Barcelona (Att: 94,336): The greatest club squad ever assembled, Barcelona were now facing a real threat that their time on top of the footballing world was coming to a close. True, they had advanced to the last two Champions League Finals, but they had lost in both of them while clearly being the second best team on the pitch on both occasions. The fact was, Barcelona had won just one Champions League title in the past six years, and were not even La Liga champions anymore. Their opponents last advanced to the Semi-Finals in 2018, before losing to fellow Frenchmen Lyonnais, who went on to defeat Barcelona in the Finals. They were French Ligue 1 winners in 2018, but gave up the title to Lyonnais last season. This season, they were not doing so well, only in 5th Place, and had sacked Julien Escude, the man that led them to their Ligue 1 title, in November, hiring Landry Chauvin in his place. It was another sign of perhaps the end of the ‘Barcelona Era’, as PSG were able to play their opponents and take a 2-0 lead on them in the first half. Alexis Sanchez, long Barcelona’s top threat in this competition, was injured in the 17th minute and potentially is ruled out for rest of the season. Pedro gave Barcelona a lifeline in the 89th minute, scoring a goal, but the damage was already done. PSG head home with a fantastic away victory and one foot in the Semi-Finals.

Barcelona: 1 (Pedro)

Paris Saint-Germain: 2 (Omrani, Leo)

Second Leg – Parc des Princes, Paris (Att: 54,453): After making the last two Finals and reaching that stage three times in the past four years, Barcelona bowed out in the Quarter-Finals to Paris Saint-Germain, but not before putting up one heck of a fight. It was one of the most entertaining matches in the competition this season, full of drama from the start. PSG came into this match with a goal advantage, but Barcelona were first to strike in the 37th minute. Brazilian striker Leo would equalize just before the halftime whistle, and from that point on, it was the Oscar show. Although he was not usually considered a first choice start for the team, the Brazilian midfielder hit a brace in the second half to secure PSG’s famous victory in this tie. His 87th minute goal will go down as one of the most famous in the club’s history, because at the point, Barcelona had scored two second half goals through Romuald Mballa and legend Lionel Messi and looked to be headed to another Semi-Finals appearance. Oscar’s goal in the dying minutes of the match sent an eruption through Paris, and their team went on to defeat ‘The Greatest Club Ever Assembled’ in dramatic circumstances.

Paris Saint-Germain: 3 (Oscar 2, Leo)

Barcelona: 3 (Sigurdsson, Mballa, Messi)

Inter Milan vs. Arsenal (2 - 3)

First Leg – Giuseppe Meazza, Milan (Att: 80,018): The defending Serie A and Champions League champions could make a case that there was simply no better team in the world at the moment. They had not lost in the competition since December of 2017, and were currently in top form. Their manager, Nicolas Frustalupi, was known as one of the best in the world, and Inter Milan were experiencing on of their past phases in their history under him. Their English opponents were not doing so bad, either – they were second in the English Premier League, and had done very well in the Group Stages and Second Round. Their manager, Paul Lambert, was hired in March of 2019, and had done well with the squad since. Inter Milan’s hero in the Finals last season was Daniel Correa, and he repeated of his feat of scoring a brace, this time against Arsenal. The English squad did get one back, however, just two minutes after Correa’s second goal in the 65th minute, as fellow Uruguayan Abel Hernandez scored to give Arsenal the all important away goal.

Inter Milan: 2 (Correa)

Arsenal: 1 (Hernandez)

Second Leg – Emirates Stadium, London (Att: 60,361): Inter Milan’s suffered its first defeat in the competition in over two years, and in all honesty, they fully deserved it. Arsenal were, by far, the better team here – their Shots/On Target ratio was 18/7, while Inter’s was 4/0. That’s right, the 2019 Champions League winners at 0 shots on target! Arsenal were playing like a team possessed, and club legend Marek Hamsik was at the center of it, scoring the first goal. The scoreline should have been a lot larger, and Inter were lucky to have gotten away by conceding only two goals. Arsenal were through to the Semi-Finals, and Europe was going to crown a new champion. Their qualification also meant that three English teams were in the Semi-Finals, and the nation was one going to have a representative in the Finals for the first time since three years.

Arsenal: 2 (Hamsik, Clark)

Inter Milan: 0

SEMI-FINALS

Paris Saint-Germain vs. Arsenal (2 – 2, Arsenal Won on Away Goals)

First Leg – Parc des Princes, Paris (Att: 54,453): Each team came into this match having been underdogs in their Quarter-Finals matchups and won. Arsenal unseated the defending champions Inter Milan and Paris Saint-Germain knocked one of the favorites, Real Madrid. Both teams were in great form in the competition, and it showed in the first leg, as they came away with a well-played 2-2 draw. Abel Hernandez had been scoring on a constant basis for the English club throughout the competition, and he struck again in this game. Of the two teams, however, it was PSG who was more disappointed with the result, as they conceded two away goals to Arsenal and could not find a way to win this match.

Paris Saint-Germain: 2 (Antwi, Martial)

Arsenal: 2 (Hernandez, Jovetic)

First Leg – Emirates Stadium, Arsenal (Att: 60,361): The two away goals scored in Paris were the deciding factor in this tie, as Arsenal buckled down at home and refused Paris Saint-Germain a single goal. In fact, the French side only had two shots on target the entire game, and it was no surprise that the Arsenal back four were the best performers in this match. The game itself was a dull affair – very few chances for both sides and little in the way of creativity, but Arsenal did not mind. They got the result needed, and for the second time in their history, they were headed to the Champions Cup Finals.

Arsenal: 0

Paris Saint-Germain: 0

Manchester City vs. Manchester United (2 – 2, Manchester United Won on Away Goals)

First Leg – City of Manchester Stadium, Manchester (Att: 47,405): This was the epic draw everyone was waiting for – both teams were favorites to win the entire competition, and this tie was viewed by some as one of the most anticipated in recent memory. Manchester City kicked things off with a 2-1 victory at home, with its most important players for the future scoring. Kevin Hofman opened up the scoring for the home side, and Sabino Cavallari contributed their second. Never ones to give up, however, Javier Hernandez responded by scoring a goal of his own, and Manchester United grabbed an important away goal before the end of the match.

Manchester City: 2 (Hofman, Cavallari)

Manchester United: 1 (Hernandez)

First Leg – Old Trafford, Manchester United (Att: 94,746): The second leg of this tie was another close encounter, but it was the more storied of the two clubs that finally won out in the end, with new signing Diego Rubio-Sanchez, who came during the January window for £15,000,000 from FC Twente, scoring in the 67th minute to seal the victory for Red Devils. Manchester United had advanced to the Finals four times since winning the competition for the third time in 2008, but all four of them ended in defeats, three times to Barcelona and once to Real Madrid. This time, they were facing an opponent they knew very well in fellow English Premier League side Arsenal.

Manchester United: 1 (Rubio-Sanchez)

Manchester City: 0

2020championscupsemifin.jpg

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For the second time in Bromley's history, we won the FA Cup! We dominated the match, but we couldnt put them away. I had my hand on my heart going into the penalties, but the boys did it!

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Wow, looked like you'd been knocking on their door all the time as well.

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Definitely deserved the win by looking at the stats. Interesting that two goals came within 6 minutes but then for the next 114minutes no-one could score.

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:applause: for the level of detail in this thread. Nice to see United domnating the prem league

Thanks! Arsenal ended up winning the Premier League and Champions League this season, though!

Wow, looked like you'd been knocking on their door all the time as well.

Yes, but we just couldnt break through, although it had just as much to do with us as it did to do with them. Still, the final result is what matters!

Definitely deserved the win by looking at the stats. Interesting that two goals came within 6 minutes but then for the next 114minutes no-one could score.

Haha, yea - it was a painful and frustrating match to sit through, to say the least!

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CHAMPIONS CUP 2019/2020

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Arsenal vs. Manchester United

Parc des Princes – Paris, France (Att: 54,453): A couple of weeks prior to this match, Arsenal were crowned the new Premier League champions, unseating Manchester United and preventing them from winning a record breaking fourth title in a row. When Paul Lambert was hired in March of last season, not many predicted to him to do better than his more famous predecessors, but that is exactly what happened – he brought home Arsenal’s first Premier League title in five years and led them to only their second ever Champions League Finals. His counterpart, Ricardo Moniz, was also leading Manchester United to his first Champions League Finals, and was out for revenge after watching Arsenal claim a title that had been Man United’s the past three years. Both teams were widely considered the finest two sides in the competition this season, and rightfully so. This promised to be an epic battle between two bitter rivals, and it was the first all-Premier League final since 2008, when Manchester United defeated Chelsea.

Arsenal were able to capture the Premier League title this year because they were the best team in England, better than Manchester United, and it showed today, as they came away with a fantastic 2-1 victory to win their first ever Chamions League title in their history. Although Manchester United had 53% of the possession, Arsenal were the more dangerous and creative side, and it all came down the man most responsible for their success this season, Luis Ramirez[/b]. He scored Arsenal’s second goal and was MotM, giving the Manchester United defense fits throughout the game. Arsenal proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that they were finest club on the planet this season, and did so by defeating their northern rivals. For Manchester United, this was for the fifth straight Champions League Finals they had been defeated in, and the third manager to have that fate befall him, after Sir Alex Ferguson (2009, 2011, 2012) and Martin Jol (2014).

Arsenal: 2 (Hedenstad, Ramirez)

Manchester United: 1 (Coentrao)

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Best Player

Luis Ramirez, Arsenal – 12 Appearances, 4 Goals, 4 Assists, 7.35: The 25 year old Venezuelan might just have been the best player in the world so far in 2020, and with good reason. He led Arsenal to the English Premier League title, and carried them to their first ever Champions League championships, as well, as their best player. His contributions were especially telling in the Finals, where he won the MotM and scored Arsenal’s winning goal.

Top Goalscorer

Xaropinho, AC Milan – 7 Appearances, 10 Goals, 1 Assists, 8.17: With such an impressive scoring rate, one has to believe that had AC Milan advanced past the Second Round, Xaropinho would have had a great chance of breaking Lionel Messi’s record of 16 goals. He was outstanding through the Group Stages, and nearly single-handedly led his club to victory against CSKA Moscow in the Second Round. The 23 year old Brazilian is a giant not only physically, but on the pitch, as well, in terms of footballing ability.

2020championscupdreamte.jpg

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I'm not sure which one is more odd: Only one player in the Champions League team of the year to not play in red or only of them to not play in England.

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Congrats on the FA Cup win :thup:

Not a bad year for Arsenal then and Looks like a miserable Euros for the Dutch!

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Well done on another FA Cup win. Definitely one of the most one-sided 1-1 draws I've ever seen!

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I'm not sure which one is more odd: Only one player in the Champions League team of the year to not play in red or only of them to not play in England.

The Premier League was definitely the most powerful force in the 2020 Champions League, and its about time, too - the last Premier League team to win the competition was Manchester United in 2008!

Congrats on the FA Cup win :thup:

Not a bad year for Arsenal then and Looks like a miserable Euros for the Dutch!

Arsenal were ridiculous this year, and they have so much talent, too! Check out the linkie on Luis Ramirez (CL Player of the Year) - he had a great season! As for the Dutch, they havent done well in any tournament this decade, so it was nothing new. I'll play out the rest of the Euros today :)

Well done on another FA Cup win. Definitely one of the most one-sided 1-1 draws I've ever seen!

It certainly was, and it was maddening and frustrating, especially going into the Penalties. Thankfully, they missed their first two shots and we made ours, so it made things alot easier to bare :)

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Congrats on the cup win. Looks like you should have won it quite convincingly so the penalties must have been a nervous time.

Good to see Xaropinho is starting to fulfill his early promise too. A few more seasons and I think he will be a world beater

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EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP 2020 - BELGIUM

SECOND ROUND

Ireland vs. Germany

Oostende International Arena, Oostende (Att: 64,825): The Irish qualified first out of a relatively tough Group A, and their main strength was their attack, scoring 8 goals in their 3 matches. Incidentally, however, their two best players coming into this Second Round matchup with the Germans were defenders – Ciaran Clark and Mark O’Brein. Their leading goalscorer was Ray Dolan, who had scored 3 goals in the Group Stages. Led by perhaps their greatest footballer of all-time, Roy Keane, the Irish were looking decent competition for the defending World Champions, and had already surpassed their achievements during the last European Championship in 2012, where they finished dead last in their group.

After losing their opening match to France, the World Champions straightened themselves out and won their last two games, but questions were still being asked of the national team as they prepared for their Second Round matchup. Bruno Labbadia had taken over from Thomas Tuchel, who led the nation to their fourth World Cup victory in 2018, and this was his first major tournament after their success under Tuchel. Robert Glockner, who had scored 17 league goals for Stuttgart this past season, was also their best player in the Group Stages, scoring 2 goals and winning 2 MotMs. Strong performances from Benedikt Howedes and Mario Gotze, both legends of the national team, also guided the Germans to finish 2nd Place behind France in Group B.

Things started off well for the Germans as Gotze scored in the 9th minute, and they never looked back after that. They were the better team for the majority of the match, and held Ireland to just 1 shot on target, while they had 6 of their own. Andre Schurrle scored their second goal in the 59th minute, and that sealed the 2-0 victory for the World Champions. Unfortunately, their goalscorer Schurrle picked up an injury very late in the game, and was ruled out for the rest of the tournament. Still, it was a solid, efficient performance by the Germans, one we had become so used to seeing from them.

Germany: 2 (Gotze, Schurrle)

Ireland: 0

Romania vs. Sweden

Charleroi Community Stadium, Charleroi (Att: 64,675): Romania qualified out of the ‘Group of Death’ in this tournament without losing a single match, and was highlighted by their 1-0 defeat of Portugal in their final match of the Group Stages. They came in 2nd Place to England in Group F, and did so on the back of striker Fabian Himcinschi, who scored 3 goals in his 3 appearances. However, fortunately for the Swedes, he was suspended from their Second Round matchup and Romania, who had been so impressive in the Group Stages, was going to have to face Sweden without their best player.

Sweden had qualified top of Group E with 6 points, and had scored 8 goals in the process. Leading their strike force was 30 year old Rasmus Jonsson, who had scored 15 league goals for his club FC Porto this past season. In the Euro 2020 Group Stages, he had scored a tournament leading 4 goals, recording a sensational hat-trick against Turkey as Sweden destroyed them 5-0. Defenders Mattias Johansson and Martin Olsson both had produced great games in the Group Stages, as well. They were ranked 11th in the world, and although they had gotten knocked out in the Group Stages of World Cup 2018, in Euro 2016 and Euro 2012, they had advanced to the Second Round and Semi-Finals, respectively.

This was as exciting as a match could get, especially the ending. Sweden struck first five minutes before half-time, and they looked like they were going to take the victory until 33 year old Bogdan Stancu of Galatasaray converted a controversial penalty call into a goal, equalizing the match in the 88th minute. This sent a very even game between two even teams into extra-time, and again Sweden struck first in extra-time, this time through 23 year old Wolfsburg striker Robert Persson in the 113th minute. This time, it seemed Sweden had finally done enough, but in a repeat of the events of the second half, Romania equalized the match in the dying seconds of the second extra-time through Fiorentina left midfielder Alexandru Chipciu, sending it into a penalty shootout. The Romanians finally prevailed, although Rasmus Elm, Fulham’s central midfielder and Sweden captain, won the MotM for an outstanding display. In heartbreaking circumstances, Sweden were knocked out of the tournament while Romania celebrated.

Romania: 2 (Stancu, Chipciu) – Romania won on Penalties 5-4

Sweden: 2 (Armenteros, Persson)

France vs. Croatia

Stade Roi Baudouin, Brussels (Att: 50,000): Possibly the most impressive team in the Group Stages, France topped Group B having won all their matches, scoring 7 goals and conceding none. They defeated the Germans 1-0 in their first match of the tournament, marking themselves as favorites to win the entire thing. Rudi Garcia, who had taken over the reigns as head coach of France in 2017 after Didier Deschamps was sacked after failing to lead the country to the World Cup 2018, was now featuring in his first major tournament with them. Their two most impressive players in the Group Stages were both relative newcomers to the French national team – midfielder Eric Coulibaly and Mbaye Niang, with the latter leading the team in scoring with 2 goals.

The Croatians qualified in 3rd Place from a tough Group A, behind Ireland and Belgium, and they were rewarded with a matchup against France. Incidentally, they drew all three of their matches in the Group Stages, scoring and conceding 5 goals in their 3 matches. Ante Vukusic, Shakhtar’s striker who had scored 12 league goals for them this past season, was their best player so far in the tournament.

From the beginning, France dominated the match. They were on the attack for almost the entire game, controlling it with 54% of the possession. Their Shots/On Target ratio was 13/6 compared to Croatia’s 5/1 – unfortunately, that’s all the Croats needed to score the only goal of the game and win 1-0, thanks to a Luka Modric penalty. Quite how France lost this match is still a mystery, but that is the way it works sometimes in football. It was a heartaching loss, for sure, because the French deserved to win this game in every respect. However, it was Croatia who were headed to the Semi-Finals while France were sent home.

Croatia: 1 (Modric)

France: 0

Austria vs. England

Liege Community Stadium, Liege (Att: 58,816): The English team was a beaten Finalist in Euro 2012, losing to Spain in a tightly contested match, but were knocked out by Portugal in the Second Round of the Euro 2016 in France. This time around, however, they were one of the most talented teams in the tournament, and had beaten Portugal 4-2 in the Group Stages, topping Group F in the process. Connor Wickham was fantastic for England in their World Cup 2018 campaign, where they fell to eventual champions Germany in the Semi-Finals, and he was their best player this tournament, as well, scoring a goal and handing out 3 assists. Jack Wilshere was also having a great tournament, and as was the defensive pairing of Chris Smalling and 24 year old right back Steve Hughes.

The Austrians barely qualified to the Second Round, coming in 3rd Place in Group E behind Italy and Wales and only scoring 2 goals in the process. Their only victory came against an abysmal Holland side that failed not only to get a single point, but also was able to score only one goal in its three matches. Their best player, and perhaps the only one playing at a decent level, was 28 year old Liverpool midfielder David Alaba, who carried the hopes of the nation on his shoulders.

There were no surprises in this match, as England took the lead through Wayne Rooney in the 22nd minute and never looked back. Austria barely got a look at the English goal, and none of their 4 shots were on target. England had 59% of the possession, and there was no doubt who the better team in this matchup was. However, it was not all good news for the English – Wilshere injured himself in the 71st minute and was ruled out for the rest of the tournament. Rooney added a second in the 73rd minute on his way to winning the MotM, and England were through to the Quarter-Finals, albeit without one of their best players.

England: 2 (Rooney 2)

Austria: 0

Slovakia vs. Belgium

Mechelen Community Stadium, Mechelen (Att: 65,500): The Euro 2016 saw Belgium reach the Finals, only to be beaten by Spain, and this year, it was still pretty much the same core who were trying to emulate the feat they did four years ago, except for one big difference – the lack of Eden Hazard. One of the best players in the world, the Manchester United midfielder was out for another four months with damaged cruciate ligaments. Their Group Stages matches did not inspire too much confidence – they came away with three draws, and that had them qualify to the Second Round after placing in 2nd Place in Group A. The strength of the Belgian team obviously lied in their midfield, which featured the likes of Arsenal’s Marouane Fellaini and Lyonnais’ Radja Nainggolan.

The Slovakians qualified 2nd out of a relatively weak Group E, second to Sweden, who was the only team they beat in the Group Stages matches, incidentally. A big reason for their qualification was Real Madrid’s 22 year old striker, Marek Tomcak, who had scored 3 goals in the Group Stages. Their GK, 25 year old Igor Berky, was also doing very well, and he was one of the top GKs in the tournament during the first three matches.

Surprisingly for the hosts, it was their opponents who were the better team throughout the match. Slovakia struck first in the 37th minute as Tomcak scored his 4th goal and cemented himself as one of the stars of the tournament. It was not until the 66th minute that Belgium equalized through Nainggolan, and twelve minutes later, a shot ricocheted off of Berky to give the hosts an undeserved lead. Somehow, they would maintain the 2-1 scoreline and go on to win the match, but Slovakia were clearly the better team on this night. They had 58% of the possession, and had nearly double the shots that Belgium was afforded. Nainggolan’s MotM effort, which included his goal, was the catalyst, however – somehow, Belgium pulled off the victory, and were headed to the Quarter-Finals.

Belgium: 2 (Nainggolan, Berky O.G.)

Slovakia: 1 (Tomcak)

Turkey vs. Spain

Bruges Community Arena, Bruges (Att: 65,500): Spain set a new record when it won the European Championships for the third consecutive time during Euro 2016 in France, and also became the only team to win the tournament four times in its history. The most decorated team in the Euros history, they were given a weak group, beating Russia, Norway, and Macedonia in Group C to top it with 9 points. Their best players were their defenders, namely legend Gerard Pique (the tournaments Best Player in 2012), Alberto Botia, and Cesar Azpilicueta. Manchester United’s GK David De Gea was also having a very strong tournament, and it seemed this Spanish team was going to live or die on the strength of its defensive unit.

The Turks were one of the worst performing teams to qualify to the Second Round, having placed in 3rd Place in Group E. They lost 5-0 to Sweden in their opening match, and only managed to score 2 goals in their three Group Stages matches. Their best player was Usta Ertem, and even the 23 year old Marseille midfielder was not performing well.

There were no surprises as Javi Martinez converted two first half penalties, and Spain barely had to get out of first gear to seal the victory. It ended 2-0, with Martinez claiming the MotM, while Turkey lived up to their Group Stages form, barely showing anything to threaten the Spanish goal. They were not much better in the back, either, and one might have felt that if Spain actually tried, they would have gotten at least four or five goals this match.

Spain: 2 (Martinez 2)

Turkey: 0

Italy vs. Portugal

Namur Community Stadium, Namur (Att: 64,750): Italy had made it through to the Second Round after topping Group D, winning 2 of their games and scoring 5 goals. They were not especially impressive, but they did do the job required of them, and did so with a bit of efficiency, too. Delio Rossi had done a good job instilling a sense of team spirit in the side, and they had gotten especially good performances from Lorenzo Crisetig and Andrea Bertolacci, who was the new Daniele De Rossi in every sense of the world, all the way down to playing for Roma.

The Portuguese, however, did not have an easy time in Group F, losing 2 of their games and just making it to the Second Round despite finishing 3rd Place. Tough losses to England and Romania did not offset its impressive 4-0 victory over the Ukraine, and the Portuguese had no right to be happy with their Group Stages performances. Joaquim Sosa led the team in scoring with 3 goals, while Fabio Coentrao was their best performer in the Group Stages.

Lyonnais’ 23 year old striker Giuseppe D’Agostino gave Italy an early in the 21st minute, and in the dying second of the first half, Crisetig scored their second goal. Going into the second half, it was clear that Italy were going to win the match given the form Portugal had been in during the first forty-five minutes, and those assumptions were proven correct. The Portuguese simply could not play up to the level of their Italian counterparts, and it was a David Astori own goal that gave the Portuguese their consolation goal. In the end, the better team won, and Italy were headed to the Quarter-Finals.

Italy: 2 (D’Agostino, Crisetig)

Portugal: 1 (Astori O.G.)

Wales vs. Norway

Ghent Community Stadium, Ghent (Att: 64,700): Although they did not qualify to the World Cup 2018 in Russia, Wales had proven they were capable of greatness when they came within one goal of advancing to the Finals of the Euro 2016, losing out to Belgium in extra-time. This time around, they impressed once again the Group Stages, winning 2 of their matches and qualifying second to Italy in Group D. Former Chelsea manager Tony Pulis, who had led them to the English Premier League title in 2014, had been manager of Wales since 2015, and he was the man that led them on their great Euro 2016 run. Their world stars of Gareth Bale, Aaron Ramsey, and Jack Collison were their best performers in the Group Stages.

The Norwegian team came in 2nd Place to Spain in Group C, and although they did not impress anyone with their Group Stages form, they also did not embarrass themselves. Their most famous player, Inter Milan’s Ruben Yttegard Jensen, was their best player in the Group Stages and would be relied upon by his nation if they were to have a chance to win against Wales.

Despite Wales not being favorites to win the tournament or even advance to its latter stages, the defeat the Norway proceeded to hand to them was a shock in any case. FC Twente striker Mushaga Bakenga, who had scored 29 league goals for them this past season, leading them to the Eredivisie title and win the league’s Golden Boot award, hit Wales with a fantastic brace in the first half that gave them a 3-0 lead going into the second half. The Welsh looked surprisingly flat-footed, even as the second half began, and despite Bristol City striker Sam Vokes getting one back for them, they were simply outplayed on this evening. Norway surprised the continent with their 3-1 victory, and were heading to the Quarter-Finals because of it.

Norway: 3 (Bakenga 2, Nielsen)

Wales: 1 (Vokes)

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EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP 2020 - BELGIUM

Quarter-Finals

Germany vs. Romania

Mechelen Community Stadium, Mechelen (Att: 65,500): Led by 23 year old striker Robert Glockner, who had 2 goals and 2 assists so far in the tournament, World Champions Germany had really impressed since their Matchday One loss to France. Benedikt Howedes and Mario Gotze, with the latter being perhaps the finest footballer in the world, were also impressive, and they were heavy favorites to advance to the Semi-Finals against their opponents. The Romanians had played out one of the most entertaining matches so far in the tournament in their 2-2 victory on penalties against Sweden, and they still had not recorded a loss in the tournament. These two teams had not faced each other at all during the past decade, and there was definitely a sense of excitement around this match.

As expected, the Germans were in full control of the match, defeating Romania 2-0. They struck first a few minutes before the halftime whistle through Inter Milan’s defender Stefan Bell, generally considered one of the finest in the world at his position, having been crowned the Serie A Defender of the Year for the past three years. Liverpool’s Peniel Mlapa, who scored 17 league goals this past season, hit Germany’s second goal in the 73rd minute, doing justice the statistics that said Germany were by far the better team in the match. They had 57% of the possession, and their Shots/On Target ratio was 19/6 compared to Romania’s 9/4. However, there was some bad news – Glockner was injured in the 55th minute, hurting his knee and getting ruled out for the next two months. Germany was headed to the Semi-Finals, but without its best player so far in the tournament.

Germany: 2 (Bell, Mlapa)

Romania: 0

Norway vs. Italy

Liege Community Stadium, Liege (Att: 64,950): Although they were expected to lose against the Welsh, Norway turned up the intensity and ran out 3-1 winners in their Second Round matchup, thanks mostly to Mushaga Bakenga’s fantastic brace. He was one of their best players and leading goalscorer with 3 goals, and Norway were riding a high as they got ready to face Italy in the Quarter-Finals. The Italians had faced the Norwegians twice before, in the World Cup 2018 Qualifying Rounds, and defeated them both times. They had done well so far in the tournament, and Lorenzo Crisetig was one of the front-runners for the Best Player award so far.

What transpired in this match will go down as one of the biggest upsets in European Championship history. Norway were on the attack from the beginning, and Paris Saint-Germain’s Magnus Wolff Eikrem opened up the scoring against the Italians in the 15th minute. In the second half, just as he had done against the Welsh, Bakenga scored another phenomenal brace, sinking the much favored Italian team as Norway came out 3-0 victors. Bakenga was crowned MotM, and his 5 goals now led the tournament. Italy were shocked by the resilience and never-ending effort of the Norwegians, and had no answer. Bakenga had become of the stars of the tournament, and had replaced Crisetig as favorite for the Best Player award. As for Norway, they advanced to the Semi-Finals for the first time in their history.

Norway: 3 (Bakenga 2 , Eikrem)

Italy: 0

Croatia vs. England

Bruges Community Arena, Bruges (Att: 66,500): After surprisingly knocking out France in the Second Round thanks to a Luka Modric penalty, Croatia advanced past the Second Round in a major tournament for the first time since 2012, where it was knocked out in the Quarter-Finals by none other than England in the Euro 2012. The English, who had gotten to the Finals during that tournament, had lost to Croatia 3-0 during the Group Stages of Euro 2016 in France, however, and were itching to get revenge for that loss. They were without Jack Wilshere, who had picked up an injury against Austria in the Second Round, a huge blow considering he was one of their best players in the tournament.

Despite their general ability to find the net previously in the tournament, England were shut out by Croatia in this Quarter-Finals matchup, and ending up losing the match 1-0. One can argue that the English were the better side overall, but an Ante Vukusic goal in the 7th minute was all Croatia needed to grab the victory. They buckled down defensively, and of England’s 19 shots, only 5 were on target. England left back Jack Robinson won the MotM, but it was small consolation for their Quarter-Finals exit – Croatia, on the other hand, were headed to the Semi-Finals.

Croatia: 1 (Vukusic)

England: 0

Belgium vs. Spain

Stade Roi Baudouin, Brussels (Att: 50,000): The hosts won their first game in the tournament in the Second Round against Slovakia, having drawn all three of their Group Stages matches. They were Finalists in 2016 in France, and were beaten by none other than Spain, their opponents in the Quarter-Finals this time around. With the absence of Eden Hazard, Belgium had not been at their best, and the rest of the team was struggling to cover the huge hole he had left in the midfield. Spain were not captivating anyone with their football, but their defensive line was doing a fantastic job, having conceded only 1 goal in the tournament so far. Cesar Azpilicueta and Gerard Pique were amongst the best players in the entire tournament, not just their national team, and it was that defensive greatness that had them favorites to win the title for a record fourth time in a row.

The hosts came out in the first half with a intent of breaking through Spain’s defensive wall, and in the 31st minute, Gianelli Imbula, Fenerbache’s central midfielder, succeeded in doing just that. Spain were taken aback by the Belgian goal, but could not counter with one of their own. Despite having 56% of the possession, Spain ended up losing this match to the hosts of the tournament 1-0, ending their streak of title wins at three. For the first time since 2008, Europe was going to crown a new champion as Belgium headed to the Semi-Finals.

Belgium: 1 (Imbula)

Spain: 0

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EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP 2020 - BELGIUM

Semi-Finals

Germany vs. Norway

Bruges Community Arena, Bruges (Att: 66,500): The German entered this match as the biggest name left in the tournament, but they were far from full strength. Their two best players at Euro 2020 were Mario Gotze and Robert Glockner, and both players were injured for the remainder of the tournament. Additionally, strikers Andre Schurrle and Julian Schieber were also out for the remainder of the tournament, robbing Germany of its four greatest offensive weapons.

This could not have been better news for Norway, who were riding an unlikely wave of great form on the back for their star striker Mushaga Bakenga. It had been an unreal last couple of weeks for Bakenga – not only was he front runner for the tournament’s Best Player award and its leading goalscorer with 5 goals, Liverpool had also just made a £19,250,000 bid to FC Twente for him thanks to his great performances at Europe’s largest stage. While Germany were limping into the Semi-Finals, Norway was charging full steam ahead.

It just thirteen minutes for Norway to continue to surprise the continent, as Stuttgart left winger Thomas Drage hit the first goal to give the Scandinavian nation the 1-0 lead. It was all Germany after that in the first half, as they started an onslaught on the Norwegian goal that was ultimately fruitless. Norway headed into the first half still leading 1-0. The second half brought with it more German pressure on the Norwegian goal, but Norway did manage to counter-attack a few times. Goalkeeper Andre Hansen was having the game of his career, and that was only highlighted when he saved a penalty in the 73rd minute to maintain Norway’s lead over the World Champions up till the final whistle. The Germans were shocked, and Norway had done it again. This time, Drage was the MotM, but the details did not matter at this point for them – they had defeated the World Champions and were headed to the Euro 2020 Finals, the first time they had reached that stage of the tournament in their history.

Norway: 1 (Drage)

Germany: 0

Belgium vs. Croatia

Mechelen Community Stadium, Mechelen (Att: 65,500): Arguably no team had tougher draws in the Knockout Rounds than Croatia, who managed to pull off 1-0 victories over France and England. Ante Vukusic, their 29 year old striker based in Shakhtar, was their best player, with 2 goals and 2 assists, but they were going to be without their most famous star for this match, Luka Modric. The Tottenham midfielder was serving a suspension, and his influence in the midfield was going to be sorely missed.

Belgium, who were the hosts of this year’s edition of the European Championship, faced Croatia on Matchday One in Group A, with the two teams fighting it out to a 2-2 draw. They had taken care of Spain the Quarter-Finals, and with Germany out, a lot of people were predicting them to win the tournament. Finalists in 2016, Belgium were reliant on their midfield, and that would not change in this match. Radja Nainggolan and Marouane Fellaini were the nation’s best players, and they were both amongst the best overall in the tournament.

From the beginning, it was a back and forth match with both teams having chances. In terms of football, it was an exciting and attacking game that unfortunately did not result in any goals – at least, not until the dramatic winner in the dying seconds of the match. MotM winner Ante Amizic barreled down the left wing and crossed the ball into a diving Kruno Ivancic, who’s flying header hit GK Thibaut Courtois and ricocheted off the post. Croatia had taken the lead in the final few moments of the match, and went on to defeat the hosts 1-0 in heartbreaking circumstances. For the first time in their history, Croatia were headed to the European Championship Finals.

Croatia: 1 (Courtois O.G.)

Belgium: 0

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EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP 2020 - BELGIUM

Finals

Croatia vs. Norway

Stade Roi Baudouin, Brussels (Att: 50,000): Norway shocked the continent with its Knockout Rounds performances, defeating Wales, Italy, and Germany on its way to the Finals. Mushaga Bakenga was the tournament’s leading goalscorer with 5 goals and had just completed his move to Liverpool a couple of days before the Finals against Croatia. On a separate note, he needed just one more goal to become Norway’s top goalscorer of all-time. This was the first time Norway had advanced to this stage of the competition in its history, and was riding an incredible wave of form along with their star striker.

The Croatians had defeated France, England, and Belgium all 1-0, and were also in the Finals for the first time in their history. Luka Modric, who missed the Semi-Finals clash with the hosts, was back in action after serving his suspension, and the Croatians had a full, healthy team at their disposal. They had failed to concede a single goal in the Knockout Rounds, and were keen to do the same in the Finals.

Just two minutes into the match, Simo Vrsaljko committed a foul just inside the box and gifted Norway a penalty. Thomas Drage, Norway’s best player in the Semi-Finals, stepped up to shoot, but GK Matej Delac forced a fantastic save that prevented the Scandinavian side from taking the lead. The two teams went back and forth throughout the first half, with both taking their chances but no one being able to convert them into goals. At the 40th mark, however, Malaga’s Norwegian defender Vadim Demidov collected his second yellow card and was sent off, leaving Norway to battle Croatia with only ten men. The second half was relatively quiet and dull, with both teams not trying to attack the other, and thus the first ninety minutes ended in a 0-0 draw. It was surprising that Croatia did not try to take advantage of their one man advantage, and many criticized their manager for attempting to play negative football. The match followed in the same form in the two extra-times, as both teams lacked inventiveness and ambition. It went to Penalty shootouts, and Norway converted their first four penalties to defeat Croatia and win the Euro 2020. Although the Finals was anti-climactic, Norway had won the tournament by playing mostly exciting and intense football, defeating much larger teams in the process. They fully deserved their victory, and it had to rank as the biggest surprise in the tournament’s history, bigger even than Greece lifting the trophy in 2004.

Norway: 0 – Won on Penalties 4-2

Croatia: 0

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Awards

Best Player

Mario Gotze, Germany – 5 Aps, 1 Goals, 3 Assists, 7.72: Although Germany did not end up winning the Euro 2020, the two time World Player of the Year, Mario Gotze, was perhaps the finest player in the competition. Injured for their last game, and Semi-Final loss, to Norway, things might have been very different had he been on the pitch. Still, Gotze was fantastic throughout the tournament for his nation.

Top Goalscorer

Mushaga Bakenga, Norway – 7 Aps, 5 Goals, 7.40: It would be understating things if one was to say that Norway would never have lifted the Euro 2020 trophy if it wasn’t for their star striker Bakenga. His braces in their matches against Wales and Italy were the main reason they were able to advance past them, and he played a big part in their Semi-Finals win over Germany – although he did not score, he posed enough of a threat for the German defenders to double team him and leave themselves vulnerable on many occasions against the Norwegians. It was that precise reason that Drage was able to score the only goal of their matchup against the World Champions. Simply put, he was the most dangerous player in the tournament this year.

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Belgium 2020, odd. I had the same on my save yet it's not been awarded has it?

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Belgium 2020, odd. I had the same on my save yet it's not been awarded has it?

No I dont believe so! Coincidence I guess :)

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Bromley 2019/2020 Review

Season Review

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Premier League: 7th Place (Media Prediction: 12th Place)

FA Cup: Winners – Defeated Birmingham in the Finals

League Cup: Fourth Round – Defeated by Manchester United

Our third season in the Premier League followed the path of the two seasons set before it – we continued to improve, placing in 7th Place after finishing 10th last year. There were no big transfers, with the exception of Eduardo Fernandez, whom we broke our transfer fee record to sign – instead, I relied on the development of my young squad, and they did not fail me. Almost everyone showed improvements across the board, and I was especially pleased with Emmanuel Musah, who scored 16 goals and was named our Player of the Year for the third consecutive season. What was most surprising, however, was the fact that we only conceded 30 league goals, good enough for second best in the Premier League, after letting in nearly 57 goals the season before that!

Our crowning achievement this season, however, was recapturing the FA Cup, winning it for the second time in our history. Just like in 2018, we had the luck of the draw on our side – all our matches up to the Semi-Finals were played at the Bromley Stadium, defeating Aston Villa, Cardiff, Stoke, and Southampton. Everton were our Semi-Final opponents, and took them out on penalties, lining up a showdown with Birmingham in the Finals.

Key Players:

Emmanuel Musah: It came a season later than everyone expected, but Musah did have his breakout season – his league goals tally went from 9 to 16, and his AR went up from 6.94 to 7.09. The 22 year old German was named Bromley’s Player of the Year for the third consecutive season, and his fine form was rewarded with his first cap for the German national side. Although his assists numbers tumbled to only 2 the entire season, he made up for it with his scoring touch.

Tricio: After conceding 52 goals in 2018/19, his debut season for the club, the 22 year old Brazilian was a central figure in the Premier League’s second best defense. The £14,000,000 man allowed only 32 goals this season, improving from 6.79 to 6.96 AR, a significant jump. His 16 clean sheets was also a huge improvement, as well. Arguably the club’s second most important player behind Emmanuel Musah.

Gaucho: In three seasons with the club, Gaucho has only missed one league game, and that was in his debut season. Again he featured in all 38 games, and his season was almost an exact replica of his 2018/19 campaign. He improved his TpG from 4.48 to 5.05, but his AR stayed almost the same, getting a 6.94 AR this season. The 21 year old Brazilian was consistent if unspectacular, and his presence in the midfield as an anchor certainly freed up the rest of the offense.

Alexandre: The 22 year old Brazilian became one of the better central defenders in the Premier League this season, as was one of the main components behind the club’s defensive success. His AR went up to 7.07, and he was a good contributor in set pieces, scoring 4 league goals. He also won 4 MotM, which showed that he has the ability to be the best player on the pitch on several occasions. His 2.94 TpG was low, but he made up for it with his ability going forward.

Kieran Holland: The Bromley Youth Academy’s star product, it is easy to forget that Holland is only 19 years old. He completed his third year as a starter for the club, and it was his finest yet. His 6.94 AR was a career-high, and as was his 36 league appearances. His continued improvement in terms of ability remained remarkable, and his future as an England international seems all but assured.

Gilmar: After stagnating a bit in his second year with the club, the 21 year old Brazilian right winger stepped his game up this season, recording career-highs with 8 assists and 7.00 AR. Still, his potential is so much greater than what he showed, and although he had a good season, the feeling is that he is capable of better.

Lukas Kubik: Much like Gilmar, Kubik did not perform well in his second season, but made up for his it in a big way this season. He got a career high 12 assists, and scored 5 goals, as well. Additionally, he had a team leading 5 MotM. The 22 year old Czech international continued to gain caps for his national team throughout the season, although he did not play the same left wing position as he did for Bromley.

Porvaldur Magnusson: Completed his sixth year with the club, and this was his finest Premier League campaign since we earned our promotion three seasons ago. His 3.97 TpG from the midfield was impressive, as was his 80% Passing Ratio. He dished out 5 assists – his highest mark since becoming a Premier League player. He certainly has the ability, as witnessed by his 18 assists in our last season in the Championship, but he has not been able to really rise up fully. Still, he earned 3 caps under former England manager Nigel Adkins, so he has shown enough ability.

Tete: After a devastating injury to his cruciate ligaments kept him out for eight months in his first season with the club, the 21 year old Brazilian came back and did not miss a beat this season. He had a respectable 6.96 AR, and was reasonably consistent in the back. His 2.42 TpG was low, and his 69% Pass Ratio showed discomfort when with the ball, but he is still very young and his potential is immense.

Rainer Rummenigge: While the 18 year old was not a starter for the club, he arguably played better than both starting central defenders, and at such a young age, too. The German’s 7.18 AR was amongst the highest at the club, and his 3 MotMs were proof that he did his job well. Possibly the club’s most talented youth.

2020endplayerstats.jpg

Transfers

2020endtransfers.jpg

We broke our transfer record yet again, spending £15,000,000 on Eduardo Fernandez. Unfortunately, it was not money well spent, at least not in his first year at the club. Our second biggest signing was Manuel Roubaud, who showed plenty of promise both as a left back and a left winger – we spent £4,000,000 to get him, and I believe it was money very well spent. The bargain was getting Rainer Rummenigge for just £1,000,000 – he’s going to be worth twenty times that in a few years. Nicolas Mancini came in for Free and became our starting left back, so he was also a very good signing. Going the other way, we got rid of some fringe players – although Matthew Morgan had been our starter at left back for the last few seasons, he had reached his full potential and was no where near good enough to compete in the Premier League. Getting £3,500,000 for him was a good deal for us. I sold Ebby Harwood, one of our finest youth academy products, with a heavy heart, but he belonged in the League One (maybe Championship). He had not have the ability to be a Premier League player.

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wonderful read! best story in the forum here :)

keep it up and please dont let Elliot Law ever leave Bromley!! ;)

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Congrats on a successful season,improvement in the league as well as the bonus of the FA Cup even if you deserved to win it inside normal time :D

As for Belgium hosting Euro 2020,it's exactly the same on my save.Also well played Norway on winning Euro 2020!

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wonderful read! best story in the forum here :)

keep it up and please dont let Elliot Law ever leave Bromley!! ;)

Wow, that is some very high praise! Thank you so much for the wonderful compliment :) I actually offered Elliot Law to clubs this summer, and I felt so bad - no one wanted him, and I was relieved, lol! Im going to keep him around, definitely. Hes a legend.

Congrats on a successful season,improvement in the league as well as the bonus of the FA Cup even if you deserved to win it inside normal time :D

As for Belgium hosting Euro 2020,it's exactly the same on my save.Also well played Norway on winning Euro 2020!

Thanks! I guess its tuned into to FM to have Belgium host the Euro 2020! Norway were suprising, and Bakenga deserved the Best Player award in my opinion.

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I did, and I cleared the 'settings' folder too - the error doesnt appear anymore, but the game wont load. Neither will my previous backups. This is so ****ing frustrating.

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I did, and I cleared the 'settings' folder too - the error doesnt appear anymore, but the game wont load. Neither will my previous backups. This is so ****ing frustrating.

Dude, I've been there. It sucks :(

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Wats the solution? Is there any?

I went back a year. Was the only way to do it.

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Not sure if it will work for this error but here's a bit of advice I passed to B.W.G that worked for him.

Try loading one of the previous versions from a restore point.

\Documents\Sports Interactive\Football Manager 2012\Games

Open up the file, right click and select properties. Might have a restore point there that works

May be worth a shot if nothing else is working

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The problem is I have my backups, but they are not working, either. My last backup is a year back, but it wont load either.

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Not sure if it will work for this error but here's a bit of advice I passed to B.W.G that worked for him.

May be worth a shot if nothing else is working

IT WORKED! You're a life saver, man!

Im back to the Second Round of the Euro 2020 - its not that far back! Awesome stuff :)

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IT WORKED! You're a life saver, man!

Im back to the Second Round of the Euro 2020 - its not that far back! Awesome stuff :)

Excellent stuff. Glad you didn't have to go too far back.

Great season too. I think you could be knocking on the door of the CL spots soon. The squad is still very young and will only improve with experience.

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Well I had to go back and replay the European Championship because of the crash - and England won! Im not going to write up simply because I want to get the new season started, but you can see below the knockout round results - Group Stages were the same. Connor Wickham won the Best Player, deservedly, and Wayne Rooney was Top Goalscorer with 5 goals!

2020europeanchampionshi.jpg

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I was ready to get this kid at all costs, and his club accepted a £40m bid for him - my entire transfer budget. All the Player's demands were met, but the Agent wanted an obscene amount of money for his fees - I could only afford less than half of his £4.6m demands. In the end, he withdrew because I would not pay him enough. I hate agents.

2020julyasafcanturkmen.jpg

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Looks like he could be world class.Hope he sacks his agent!

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