Champions League/Europa League Campaign 2014-2015 Thread

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Post by McLewis September 17th 2014, 22:51

Well then.....

Just thought I'd create this thread to discuss the match, but frankly I'll post my complete thoughts later. Still absolutely stunned by the clinic we put on today.


Last edited by McLewis on December 15th 2014, 18:25; edited 1 time in total
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Post by flameas September 18th 2014, 16:43

Fantastic game! (until 70th minute)

Great finishing, through passes and overall a solid performance. Though there were some errors, CSKA could have hit 2-1 and they also hit bar two times. We kind of switched off at the end, i dont want to see that again.
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Post by McLewis September 18th 2014, 18:16

So De Sanctis had an excellent game. Could've perhaps done better on Musa's goal, but I think Maicon gets more blame for that.

Entire backline had a good game, with Manolas perhaps the standout. Showed how much CL experience he has by expertly inserting the once continentally-feared Seydou Doumbia into his back-pocket. He will come up against sterner tests with City and Bayern, but this gave us a good deal of hope that he's definitely up to the challenge. Astori looked very assured beside him and rarely put a foot wrong. Just a shame he got injured as that puts us in a spot of both chemistry-speaking as now Kostas will have to get an understanding with Yanga-Mbiwa, who didn't look at all bad himself in his cameo. Outwide, our full-backs were absolutely crucial to how this match turned out. Maicon dove-tailed so well with first Iturbe and then Florenzi and while his goal was maybe a bit fortuitous, that was all confidence from him. Torosidis enjoyed an excellent night on the other side, ensuring we didn't miss Cole. For the first time in ages, it feels good to actually have depth at LB. Toro gave CSKA all they could handle and then some and his assist was sumptuous.

As is always the case when we play well, the midfield dominated the proceedings utterly. Everyone picked out Nainggolan as the one to give us the zip and energy and he did just that, relentlessly chasing down the CSKA midfield and then creating and moving well from deep. I am confident that if we get out of this group and he continues this type of play, he's going to be recognized as one of the top complete midfielders in the game. Behind Keita did a good deal of the dirty work. This is why we signed him. He's not supposed to be a flashy, hollywood player and he didn't play like one. No fuss in his game and he goes about his work with a very calm, composed demeanor, snuffing out potential dangers. A little harsh to call his play unspectacular or uninspiring honestly, which is what I kept reading yesterday. On the opposite side of that spectrum, Pjanic had a field day with CSKA's defense, pulling them apart constantly with his metronomic passing. The tandem he sets with Totti is simply devastating as the CSKA defense simply didn't have an answer for them. All that was missed from Mire's play today was simply a goal.

Up front, the attackers rightly got the lion's share of the plaudits. Gervinho was unerringly and, perhaps, eerily clinical. It's so rewarding to see him bringing what we've all seen of him last season to the continental stage. This is going to put him back in the reckoning among the top wingers in the game if he keeps this up. The opposition he has right now is injury. On the other flank, that same opponent robbed Iturbe of what still ended up being an excellent debut in the CL. He didn't look overawed at all and his composure was rather good for his goal. Just need to keep him fit as I shudder to think what we would've done with him on the pitch during the later phases of the game. Totti was perhaps the quietest of the attackers, but quiet in Totti-terms is not the same quiet in normal attacking terms. er Pupone still had his say in this game, make not mistake about that, and his assist for Gervinho's 2nd was simply exquisite. You don't get play like that from a player of Totti's age on a stage like this these days. We need to savor moments like that. I know I did. The 4th attacker was certainly not the least of them. Florenzi came on and did what he does best: provide energy and exuberance to the attack. He deserved a goal last night, despite appearing to have gotten something on that own goal. It's just a pity Ljajic couldn't do the same as he was easily our weakest player. Quite clear that he doesn't look completely confident with the competition around him.

Despite this win, we have to remember that we were expected to win this match. We're honestly expected to win all of our home matches. Roma rarely have problems at home these days so as good as we were, the real litmus test for just how good we can be will be at the Allianz Arena and the Etihad Stadium. We have a good chance to signal our intent in this group and while mauling such a poor side is a good start, claiming a scalp from the group titans on their own patch can be an absolute statement.
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Post by Arquitecto September 18th 2014, 23:29

Fantastic match analysis as usual, Neal.

It goes to say when Roma, or more specifically, Garcia play with pure conviction in what they do best, they go on to perform at scintillating levels to which isn't just propagated by their talent yet the effectiveness of the core system itself.

The understanding between Gervais-Iturbo, the quiet but intelligent effectiveness of Totti, the use of the flanks pitched high, the underrated beast that is Nainngolan and even the disciplined performance of Keita were just a short number of factors in contributing to rip apart the Russian champions.

Pjanic I felt was excellent with the ball, yet given the old school player he is I feel he prefers the game when he can dictate the pace at hand and at a more measured tempo.

Maicon (no homo) now has 2 excellent performances in a row as this was vintage Maicon here who wasn't just the defensively evolved FB that he is now yet the one we saw rampaging down flanks in Inter. Its wonderful to see how he's built a platform on his game to eliminate the flux period in which he struggled within his career.

Florenzi coming in was Florenzi as for Italia and Roma he is a pillar of presence and consistency.

Manolas, I tell you and tell you again that one day he will be world class and one of the best centre backs in the world. Its obvious that he is raw yet this is the kid with Champions League and World Cup experience as its a mystery how more top clubs did not give Roma a fight for his signature.

The fixture at Etihad will without a doubt be far more tricky yet the key will be if Roma are not too reactionary to Pellegrini's tactics, and more introspective in their own to treat it as another fixture.

Hopefully De Rossi will be starting as he is a vital presence in big matches such as these.
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Post by McLewis September 18th 2014, 23:45

All good points as usual Arq.

Completely agree on Garcia. When he's confident, this team is confident as we saw tonight. When he's not, see what happened to us against Juve this past winter. Roma are still a bit of a mental side however. We're just not the floozy who had ridiculous mood swings. That's both a good thing and a bad thing honestly.

Having DDR back for that City match is going to completely upgrade the way we'll approach that match tactically. It gives us many options and from a mental perspective, it gives us our midfield leader, which is going to be crucial against a complete midfielder like Yaya Toure.

Take this a step further and just think about what this Roma midfield can do with Strootman back as well for possibly our 2 (likely 2nd) matches against Bayern. Madonna mia!

What we need to focus on now is Cagliari and getting our injured players fit. Astori is already out up to 4 weeks and will likely miss the City match and Castan is still very much touch-and-go, meaning we're going to get a good chance of seeing Yanga-Mbiwa in this setup. I've always rated him personally so I hope he slots in well enough. My one other worry is Ljajic. He used to be such a supers sub, but he's looked listless each time he's started or subbed in. We're going to need him this season as I don't think we'll go the whole of fall and winter without an injury to one of the attackers.
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Post by Arquitecto September 19th 2014, 00:06

Completely forgot about Strootman as a whole, as its exciting to see how an evolving Roma can introduce him back to the system.

MYM is quite a good CB and even better when covered for his lack of pace, Manolas at this point is increasingly undroppable as the absence of Castan can be well covered, provided MYM and Manolas form a solid crux of communication as that for me is more important than the Frenchman's individual ability, especially given the confidence De Sanctis instills into the back line.

Ljajic is tricky as here is a player mentally volatile as I do not see him carving himself a position back into the line-up given the competition and how far down he is now in the pecking order. Ljajic known for being de-motivated easily will have to require in my opinion an individual treatment from Garcia in not to deem him surplus as otherwise you will see the Serb causing a whole lot of ruckus in the dressing room.

Garcia? One problem I have had with him is that say someone like Allegri, he does not have just enough faith in his core system to carry it on through out a consistent basis. Maybe it is the perfectionist in him yet the fact that he mucks around within his tactics vs big teams mostly shows that he might just underestimate the potency and effectiveness of what he has built, as in a team with such talent and competition, each of them working towards a catered tangent it can be regressive to see a reactionary change as Garcia was known to actually do this in his Champions League chances when he was with Lille.

Lets hope yesterday and his past mistakes have had him learn from his mistakes.
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Post by McLewis September 19th 2014, 02:02

I try not to use Garcia's previous campaign with Lille in any reference to his current one with Roma because he simply didn't have the resources then that he has now. That was a paper thin Lille squad that was on the verge of losing its best 2 attackers so for me, that's apples to Roma's oranges.

Despite that, I do think your right in that his mentality as a coach and his hesitancy to follow his own system through, even against the big boys, has likely followed him to Roma. The hope is that now that he has more resources to work with, more options, and players who are much more motivated than the ones at Lille, this will give him enough belief to buoy and counteract any doubt. It's a truly fascinating dynamic to have a team's fortunes tied so closely to the coach's own confidence levels.
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Post by Robespierre September 19th 2014, 03:41

Rudi Garcia :bow: Fantastic job made by him , not only for results , for everything. Top manager . Best Serie A manager of course
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Post by julias September 23rd 2014, 10:59

For me Rudi Garcia is one of the best managers in Europe, his consistent ability to get the best out of his teams continues to amaze me.

Roma have been defensively solid for over a year now and the first CL showing for years was like you were never gone.

I cannot wait to see how you play against City because honestly seeing what they have shown this year I am pretty sure you are more than capable of beating them.

Forza Roma cheers
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Champions League/Europa League Campaign 2014-2015 Thread Empty Manchester City v Roma: Post-Match Discussion

Post by McLewis October 1st 2014, 03:22

2 points dropped today, lads, but overall I call this progress. To dominate the English champions on their own patch for 70+ minutes is pretty damn impressive. I just wish we took more of our chances. The game was there for the taking and think we all knew that. The usual suspects performed excellently.

What do you think of the game?
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Post by narbeZ October 1st 2014, 04:01

I thought it was UNBELIEVABLE Neal.

We played great after conceding that penalty early, but did ease of the gas for the 2nd half, although one could argue we had the better clear cut chances.

I can't say its 2 points dropped though. I was extremly overwhelmed with joy when we didnt crumple up after the 4th minute to be honest much like previous incarnations of this team would.

To be fair, we dodged another penalty with the whole Manolas incident. I thought forsure the ref was pointing to the spot.

All in all, I can't see how we can muster enough energy to face Juve on the weekend. Ninja looked dogged for most of the 2nd half, and to be honest the Iturbe substitution was a head scratcher. Iturbe looks like hes still injured, couldn't keep a handle at all on Clichey and provided boatloads of space for man city to run and catch milner on the left side, which was where the majority of their chances in the final third of the game came from.

I can't believe also that Yanga-Mbwia ended the match cardless.

Skorupski huffing it out to the middle of the park made me sweat lots near the end. Since when do we play like that?

Another interesting note. Did anyone get goosebumps upon realizing all the chants and noise in the stadium were from the tifosi? That was awesome.


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Post by narbeZ October 1st 2014, 04:36

I almost forgot to mention Keita was the best player for me for Roma today. Guy was a absolute beast out there today! Great signing!
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Post by flameas October 1st 2014, 12:29

Good game but we looked a bit tired. Hopefully De Rossi and others will be back soon. Naingolan and Pjanic need a rest, also Manolas. But they will not get any rest until the Juve showdown is over. Hopefully our energy levels will not let us down in that crunch match. Scudetto battle no 1
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Post by DiRocco October 2nd 2014, 01:10

Good match from us...I was quite happy to see how well the team played in the first half...and like some have noted we probably could have grabbed another goal and won it. Great passing in midfield in the first, but we did trail off in the second once Milner and Lampard came on. I think that was mainly to do with fatigue from the midfield three...Considering Man City had two fresh midfielders on on for the last 25-30 minutes I thought our three held in there very well...If we had De Rossi starting plus Keita and Strootman to bring on in the second I think we would have kept control of the match. Quite frankly all of our five mids are quality right now it seems. Naingolan is an absolute beast and im not sure Strootman walks into the XI right away unless an injury forces it.

I think Juve are in the exact same position as far as fatigue goes...So im not worried about tiredness against them. We even have an extra day to 'rest' more so I think that plays into our favor.
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Champions League/Europa League Campaign 2014-2015 Thread Empty Roma v Bayern Munich

Post by McLewis October 22nd 2014, 22:26

So yeah....about yesterday....

That match was hard to watch for a myriad of reasons among the obvious ones. I've seen every superlative that could go to Bayern, go to them and I can say with perfect honesty that they deserve every bit of that praise. That was an otherworldly performance. They not only brought us back down to earth, they put us in it.

Despite this though, despite how bad that loss was.....still there are positives to take from it. We ended Manu Neuer's clean sheet streak and we came out of that beating in a good position in the group still, though the goal differential is a worry. People are seeing parallels with the infamous Mineirazo back in the summer or of course the United beatdown from 8 years ago, but honestly...this was such a different game from both. Roma-06 and Brazil were mentally and psychologically beaten to a pulp as well as physically in those matches. That wasn't the case here. Mentally and psychologically, Roma remained quite strong. The players obviously dropped their heads during that first half, but came out fired up again in the 2nd and remained as such to claim a good goal from Gervinho, despite the last 2 goals from Bayern. Brazil and Roma-06 simply rolled over to their conquerors. This Roma kept fighting and went down swinging in that last half. We needed that in the first half.

What I will say however is that it must be remembered that this is our first time back in the CL, playing an elite team like this. For all of our progress, this type of game is not something we can adequately prepare for without playing in the CL year-in, year-out. This Bayern has faced the top of top opposition for over a decade. This game that we treasured so much was merely another stop on the road for them and it showed.

So how do we avoid this from happening in 2 weeks again? Simple. We now know that we are not ready to play Bayern at their own game. That was made painfully clear. As Rudi said in his press conference, we simply need to stay tight and look to counter. Is it pretty? nope. It is provincial? Probably. And yet that's one of the few ways to adequately handle Pep's style of possession football. Will it work to perfection? Nope. We'll likely still get broken down once or twice, but better attention to our defensive acumen will prevent another mauling like this. It was incredibly eerie to see that Bayern actually blocked more shots than we did and yet they outshot us by 10 shots. With CSKA away and our final match home to City, we need to ensure this loss is learned, but not forgotten.

Now we need to focus on Sampdoria and respond as we always do after a loss under Rudi.....in resounding fashion.

Daje Roma!
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Post by Lupi October 23rd 2014, 04:42

I think we should have a plan b so every time the opponent mange to limit totti's touches of the ball we wont suffer.
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Post by flameas October 23rd 2014, 14:10

Yanga and Cole proved why they were EPL outcasts. Both were stunningly awful. De Sanctis also.

Though even better defense could have not saved us in that game. Though I will say that i wish ROmagnioli had stayed and Yanga never arrived. Same goes for Dodo.

Cech in January would be epic. Still has 5-6 years left as a top keeper.
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Post by Hapless_Hans October 23rd 2014, 19:25

It was not an 'otherworldy' performance by us. It was a very good performance, especially as to our pressing, concentration and aggressivity.
However the result is that high because a lot of things went for us that do not necessarily have to go for us, your performance played a part too.
Your goalie had a bad day, could've saved a couple of goals.
Ashley Cole had a bad day, let Robben score easily very early.

As a result of the early goal we had it easy; you tried to attack and go forward (which teams rarely do nowadays against us), our pressing was spot on and deadly so after won balls we could often attack with space ahead- a luxury we do not often have.

Again, it was Cole, your goalie, and tactical naivety in face of our pressure that were mostly responsible for the quick succession of goals, which gave the game a taste of hopelessness for you.

The penalty must not necessarily be called (though Alaba had called one like that against him in the CL semi return leg 2012 against Real and missed the final due to the yellow). A few decisions can go either way.

By that I mean, it can easily be just 2:0 instead of 5:0 after 35m, and then it doesn't look that bad.
Also one could see how dangerous you can be if our intensity goes back just a tiny bit.

So if Pep calls the result an 'incident' that doesn't reflect on the actual quality difference I absolutely agree.

I agree on the experience bit. It does make a difference whether your team is used to these games or not.
Teams like Schalke, Leverkusen got similarly hammered by 'big name' teams in CL recent years, while not being actually that bad as the single results looked.
Dortmund had an abysmal first CL campaign, while they still battered us in the league.

And fwiw, the chance of you getting something out of our two ties has not decreased, rather increased the higher the result was. Chancces are we will not be that sharp in the next match anymore, psychologically.

Also, goal difference is not the deciding factor in the CL groups, direct comparison is. So a 0:0 at home, or a win against City and you're ahead of them when on same points.
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Post by McLewis October 24th 2014, 01:58

flameas wrote:Yanga and Cole proved why they were EPL outcasts. Both were stunningly awful. De Sanctis also.

Though even better defense could have not saved us in that game. Though I will say that i wish ROmagnioli had stayed and Yanga never arrived. Same goes for Dodo.

Cech in January would be epic. Still has 5-6 years left as a top keeper.


Harsh, brah.

Mbiwa's been rather good. Just faced an excellent attack line that he couldn't come to grips with. It's Cole who should've done much better. As for De Sanctis....you're bound to make the mistakes he made when you're getting peppered with shots constantly. His defense let him down big time.

This will no doubt fuel rumors surrounding Cech though.
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Post by McLewis October 24th 2014, 02:01

Hapless_Hans wrote:It was not an 'otherworldy' performance by us. It was a very good performance, especially as to our pressing, concentration and aggressivity.
However the result is that high because a lot of things went for us that do not necessarily have to go for us, your performance played a part too.
Your goalie had a bad day, could've saved a couple of goals.
Ashley Cole had a bad day, let Robben score easily very early.

As a result of the early goal we had it easy; you tried to attack and go forward (which teams rarely do nowadays against us), our pressing was spot on and deadly so after won balls we could often attack with space ahead- a luxury we do not often have.

Again, it was Cole, your goalie, and tactical naivety in face of our pressure that were mostly responsible for the quick succession of goals, which gave the game a taste of hopelessness for you.

The penalty must not necessarily be called (though Alaba had called one like that against him in the CL semi return leg 2012 against Real and missed the final due to the yellow). A few decisions can go either way.

By that I mean, it can easily be just 2:0 instead of 5:0 after 35m, and then it doesn't look that bad.
Also one could see how dangerous you can be if our intensity goes back just a tiny bit.

So if Pep calls the result an 'incident' that doesn't reflect on the actual quality difference I absolutely agree.

I agree on the experience bit. It does make a difference whether your team is used to these games or not.
Teams like Schalke, Leverkusen got similarly hammered by 'big name' teams in CL recent years, while not being actually that bad as the single results looked.
Dortmund had an abysmal first CL campaign, while they still battered us in the league.

And fwiw, the chance of you getting something out of our two ties has not decreased, rather increased the higher the result was. Chancces are we will not be that sharp in the next match anymore, psychologically.

Also, goal difference is not the deciding factor in the CL groups, direct comparison is. So a 0:0 at home, or a win against City and you're ahead of them when on same points.


All good points here.

You specifically called out "tactical naivety" as a reason for the loss and I agree with that more than basically anything else. As mentioned, we tried to attack Bayern in an open fashion and that is tactically naive on Garcia's end. He's gonna have to be flexible and switch his style of play if he's going to get some change out of a team like Bayern.
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Post by Ganso October 24th 2014, 03:10

I know how you guys feel atm Sad
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Post by McLewis October 24th 2014, 17:04

I'm not so sure honestly. Brazil's collapse against Germany was an emotional and psychological one. They aren't used to getting battered like that.

As much as I love my Roma, we are honestly a bit more used to it unfortunately so our skin is a little thicker mentally than Brazil's. Our collapse against Bayern was purely tactical and physical.
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Post by McLewis November 2nd 2014, 16:57

As with the Serie A thread, I'm merging all current CL game threads into this one. We can also use this one to discuss any future CL games.
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Post by Lupi November 3rd 2014, 02:25

scratch with the game we had against napoli, especially the first half where we have no say in the game. I'm definitely not looking forward to see bayern. Maicon is in doubt and we dont have no luck with left backs. holebas is so bad i rather team go with 10 men than him on the pitch. hmm
ima use law of attraction hmm and call for jesus
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Post by flameas November 3rd 2014, 11:16

Darmian is a must in January. Holebas and Cole have been awful. Yanga manga can only play against shitty teams like Cesena. Against all bigger teams he has failed. hopefully Castan will return and beat some sense into that defense.
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