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Thread: Europa League 2016/17

  1. #1
    Biased against YOUR club pineapple stu's Avatar
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    Europa League 2016/17

    Got to love this time of year.

    Kairat Almaty 1-1 Maccabi Tel Aviv.

    Andrei Arshavin for Kairat. Yossi Benayoun for Maccabi.

    Some blasts from the past!

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  3. #2
    Seasoned Pro Real ale Madrid's Avatar
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    It would be an Almaty shock if Tel Aviv don't progress from there.
    If a dog weighs under 50 lbs it's a cat, and cats are useless.

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  5. #3
    International Prospect DeLorean's Avatar
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    Full draw:

    Group A: Man Utd, Fenerbahce, Feyenoord, Zorya Luhansk

    Group B: Olympiacos, Apoel Nicosia, Young Boys, Astana

    Group C: Anderlecht, St Etienne, Mainz, Qabala

    Group D: Zenit St Petersburg, AZ Alkmaar, Maccabi Tel-Aviv, Dundalk

    Group E: Plzen, Roma, Austria Vienna, FC Astra Giurgiu

    Group F: Athletic Bilbao, Genk, Rapid Vienna, Sassuolo

    Group G: Ajax, Standard Liege, Celta Vigo, Panathinaikos

    Group H: Shakhtar Donetsk, Braga, Gent, Konyaspor

    Group I: Schalke 04, FC Red Bull Salzburg, Krasnodar, Nice

    Group J: Fiorentina, PAOK Salonika, Liberec, Qarabag

    Group K: Inter Milan, Sparta Prague, Southampton, Hapoel Beer Sheva

    Group L: Villarreal, Steaua Bucharest, FC Zurich, Osmanlispor

  6. #4
    International Prospect DeLorean's Avatar
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    Entertaining night in the Europa League, with three of the four ties going to extra time and the other decided by the odd goal.

    Ajax dug very deep to pull it out of the fire in Gelsenkirchen with ten men. Apparently, and in keeping with tradition, they have a good young side, mostly 21 year olds or less.

    Cork City, Tottenham, and their almost namesake's conquerors, Genk, finally came unstuck against Celta Viga.

    Man Utd scraped through by the skin of their teeth, comprehensively outplayed for the majority of the first half but missed a host a good chances in the second and extra time. Rojo and Ibrahimovic both went off with knee injuries and appear doubts for the rest of the season. It would be a shame for Zlatan to miss the final in Sweden should United make it.

    Lyon and Besiktas played out a high quality penalty shoot-out with the French side eventually progressing. Besiktas goalkeeper Fabri's mistake in the first leg proving very costly.


    It seems pretty much wide open despite the bookies heavily favouring United.

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    International Prospect DeLorean's Avatar
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    Semi Final Draw:

    Ajax v Lyon
    Celta Vigo v Man Utd

  8. #6
    International Prospect OwlsFan's Avatar
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    God, but references to "vital away goals" irritate me no end. The RTE sports reporter mentioning the Man Utd vs Celta game said that the tie favoured the former because they had the "vital away goal". I would love to have sat her down and asked her how that goal would ever be calculated as an away goal no matter what the score ended up at Old Trafford. They were leading 0-1 end of.

    Didn't see the game. Was it on any channel ? Bit like the FA Cup these days. Hard to find a station showing it. Smart of Mourinho as identifying this way to get back to the CL and also win a trophy. So Ajax are the opponents. They have an exciting end to their season as well. In the Dutch Eredivisie Feyenoord lead them by 1 point going in to the final game. Ajax are away to a bottom half team and Feyenoord at home to a mid-table side. Really hope Feyenoord do it.
    Forget about the performance or entertainment. It's only the result that matters.

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    Seasoned Pro NeverFeltBetter's Avatar
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    It's Eir/BT Sport that show the Europa League.

    It's kind of sad that the Europa League is identified primarily as an avenue for CPL qualification rather than a worthy prize in itself.
    Author of Never Felt Better (History, Film Reviews).

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  11. #8
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    Lyon vs Ajax was brilliantly rubbish last night. Bad misses, sliced clearances, players slipping at key moments, but a gripping finale.

    I only turned onto the Man U game in injury time. How close was Giudetti to winning it?!

  12. #9
    International Prospect DeLorean's Avatar
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    He's getting a lot of stick but I don't think it was that bad miss really, Beauvue played the pass far too firmly and it wasn't really on anyway with Giudetti closely marked. Beauvue should have probably tried to tuck it inside Romero's near post but easy to talk afterwards. Giudetti's "Manchester is blue" comments beforehand probably hasn't helped him gain much sympathy.

    It did look written in the stars that he was going to score though, given the nervous energy in the stadium and the way things have been falling for United at Old Trafford this season, it really would have been the ultimate kick in the balls for them.

    I only saw very brief highlights of the Lyon-Ajax game but the defending looked amateurish alright, even in that short reel. On those grounds United will be favourites but in a one off game you'd never know, and the occasion certainly won't faze Ajax as a club.

    The United Review programme cover from last night was pretty clever I thought, about halfway down the page. - http://www.bbc.com/sport/football/39877812

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  14. #10
    Seasoned Pro NeverFeltBetter's Avatar
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    One of the reasons I've turned on away goals is situations like last night, where at kick-off Vigo needed two goals to win the game, then United scored and Vigo needed two goals to win the game. Obviously one goal at the start would have been enough to force extra time, but it still bothers me.

    For a team with De Gea, Pogba, Mikhitarian and Zlatan in it, with potential world class youth like Martial, Lingard and Rashford in the mix, United have been so underwhelming this season. Their home form has been awful - something like ten draws at OT in the league - and they look wobbly in every area of the pitch if the opposing team is even half-way disciplined in formation and mindset. Losing Bailly for the final is a big problem, as he has been their most consistent defender.

    It will help that there are three dead rubbers in the league for Mourinho to rest players and avoid more injuries. Smalling and Jones are coming back at the right time too. But Ajax really shouldn't be overawed at all. United's attack can be shut down and their back four is easily breakable. When the pressure is really on, and it will be to get into the CPL for financial reasons, they'll struggle.
    Author of Never Felt Better (History, Film Reviews).

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  16. #11
    International Prospect DeLorean's Avatar
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    Could probably have used a little Zlatan knowhow for that final as well. Against an inexperienced team it could have made all the difference. Total agree that United are nothing to fear from an Ajax perspective, but they'll have to up their game defensively it seems.

    Roy Keane is right that United should be embarrassed about being so far off the pace for the league title, never mind top four, but I don't think they're as far away as the league table suggests either. The had an insane run of games that the ball just wouldn't go in and they should have been ten plus points better off. Of course this can be put down to poor finishing, etc. but even allowing for that some of the final scores were mind boggling in light of the general flow of the games.

    Whatever about their ambitions at the start of the season, given the fact that they've been out of the title race for months I do think they will be doing cartwheels with two trophies and CL qualification, should it materialise.

    Don't get me started on that evil away goals rule.

  17. #12
    Seasoned Pro CraftyToePoke's Avatar
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    I'd love to see creativity overcome industrialism in the final but Jose's ability to set up specifically for one off games, to nullify and overcome will be in play in a big way. Hopefully Ajax, I think the game overall will benefit more from that than Man U needing a CL pathway. Ajax (and Dutch football presently) could do with it, European football needs a healthy competitive Amsterdam club, they are one of the few who have put it up to the powerhouse league club elite with any consistency down the years.

  18. #13
    Capped Player DannyInvincible's Avatar
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    Ajax halting United's expected return to the Champions League would be very entertaining.

    Superstitious Mourinho's nerves were gone towards the end of the Celta Vigo game the other night as he, in very distressed fashion, started kissing the tattoo he conceals under his watch in a desperate appeal to the gods for some sort of supernatural deliverance from the impending danger.

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