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Old 03-03-2014, 03:20 AM   #253
College Benchwarmer
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Tue. April 5, 2022

UEFA Champions League - Quarterfinals Second Leg
Dover (1) vs. (1) Barcelona
Crabble Athletic Ground, Dover, UK

Betting Odds: Dover: 3-1 Draw: 2-1 Barcelona: 4-5 (Favourites)
Past Meetings: 1W 2D 0L

This is it.

We're still big dogs at home to Barcelona but we have the distinct advantage of having a key away goal at Camp Nou so we move on with a win OR a scoreless draw. A 1-1 tie sees us move into extra time and any other ties see Barcelona move on.

Shanon Andrea is still lacking match fitness but I'm going to start him up front with Wayne Rooney - I really want Zoltan Bardi in there but I need my captain on the field today. Bardi will come in at some point for sure. The other HUGE news is that with Renato Gaucho out due to yellow card accumulation, 19 year old Carlos Guzman will be starting at left fullback in his first ever senior level game. Fellow left fullback Jozef Varga isn't registered for the competition so my hands are tied. We'll stick with the flat 4-4-2 Counter that has done well for us against Barca so far this year.

Dover: 4-4-2 Counter
GK - I. Wilke
D - C. Guzman, C. Contreras, R. Hamon, J. Kuciak
M - A. Bamba, N. Cairney, A. Rocca, G. Bolis
S - S. Andrea, W. Rooney
Bench - P. Tjiuoro, S. Nasri, K. Kalfas, A. Zubizarreta, C. Murray, Z. Bardi, P. Moses

Barcelona once again are in their 4-4-2 DM (4-2-3-1) formation with Reinhardt up front. Marc Cremades is in goal for Barca. A few key players are on the bench, including last game's goal scorer Kevin, DC Gerard Pique and Lionel Messi. I encourage the team in the room before the game and pull aside young Carlos Guzman to tell him there's no pressure on him today. Throwing the poor kid into the fire in his first ever Dover game!

2' - Right away, we need Ingo Wilke to make a huge stop off a corner kick and he's up to the task.

9' - We get our first good chance on a counter attack and it's Rocca feeding Bolis down the middle. Cremades comes out to challenge and Bolis tries to lob him but it goes just wide.

24' - Most of the dangerous possession is from Barcelona but we get another good chance when Andrea is sent in by Bolis but his shot is just turned aside by Cremades. We get a corner but Claudio Contreras heads it just over the bar.

45'+2 - Great. Andrea Rocca is hurt and will need to come off as the referee blows the whistle.

HALFTIME - We are doing great, holding an incredible 57% of possession but are being outshot 13-9 (3-2 on target). Most of Barca's shots are from distance. I bring in Kostas Kalfas to play midfield for the injured Rocca - again, this normally would be a spot for Mancini but he's suspended today just like Renato Gaucho because of yellow card accumulation. I tell the players to go out and get the result for the record crowd in attendance today.

Barcelona are now in a 4-5-1 formation with a DMC.

58' - Kostas Kalfas gets stripped of the ball at midfield by Barcelona substitute Gerard Pique and Zidane latches onto it. He immediately feeds a charging Pascal Reinhardt and against claims of offsides from our defenders, he storms in and shoots past Wilke and into the goal. We're in trouble. BARCELONA GOAL 0-1

I take out the once-again ineffective Wayne Rooney and bring in Zoltan Bardi.

66' - We work a counter and it's young Carlos Guzman sending a BRILLIANT ball up field to a streaking Shanon Andrea. He's got a breakaway and shoots but Cremades makes the sprawling save. There's a huge rebound and it pops right out to super sub Zoltan Bardi and he has the empty net at his mercy and makes no mistake!!! We've pulled level!!! DOVER GOAL 1-1

83' - We're playing nervously and it's our top player Neil Cairney as the biggest culprit, as he twice gives away easy little passes and my assistant notes that both he and Jozef Kuciak look tight out there.

86' - Okay, I'm ready to have a heart attack now as Shanon Andrea and Zoltan Bardi head out on a 2 on 2 rush but Andrea shoots wide.

89' - OH MY GOD NOOOOOOOO. Arsene Bamba with a spectacular pass up to Shanon Andrea and he's in all alone but shoots wide from inside the area. NOOOOO!!! That was our chance!!!

FULLTIME - After 90 minutes, we hold 54% of possession and they are edging us in shots 17-16 (5-4 on target). We still have a substitution available and they are clean out of them. Gianluca Bolis is completely exhausted but he's been one of our most dangerous players so I don't want to take him out yet. Plus, he's good at penalties so that's perhaps going to be needed. For now, I'll stick with the current lineup. I tell the team that we only need one goal. Let's get it!

92' - Shanon Andrea gets loose and shoots from the edge of the area but it's right at Cremades.

94' - Cairney has it near midfield and feeds Bamba to his left. From about ten yards outside the area, Barcelona substitute fullback Marcos Vargas tries to tackle him but whiffs and Bamba dribbles into the area. He is in on goal and shoots for the far post and it hits the woodwork…and bounces INTO THE NET! OHMYGOD!!! DOVER GOAL 2-1

99' - Barcelona are pressing and after young Carlos Guzman goes down and misses a tackle, we are fortunate to clear on a cross. However, Juan Ramon Vazquez gets the ball and sends it into the area and it's LIONEL MESSI sliding at the ball and kicking it past Wilke and into the net. Wow!!! This game is nuts and I'm in need of medical attention. BARCELONA GOAL 2-2

100' - Okay, poor Carlos Guzman is melting down now, as he blatantly passes at midfield right to Pascal Reinhardt and their danger man dribbles into our zone but shoots way wide. I don't have any other left fullbacks so I'd be just shooting myself in the foot if I took that kid out. Man up kid!!!

HALFTIME IN EXTRA TIME - Ok, that's it. Let's try to win this at home before extra kicks. I move to a control mentality.

112' - Pascal Reinhardt with a missle but Wilke dives and makes the game saving stop.

118' - Bolis, from distance, sends a shot OFF THE CROSSBAR!!!

119' - I bring in Samir Nasri for Jozef Kuciak. Nasri is good at penalty kicks so we'll put him in and see what happens.

Extra time is over and OH FUCK WHAT HAVE I DONE. I lose on away goals?!?! I figured if it got to extra time all even that we would have penalties but that's a HUGE ERROR on my part and we are OUT OF THE COMPETITION.

Dover 2 (3) - 2 (3*) Barcelona
Goals - Zoltan Bardi (7.2), Arsene Bamba (8.0)
Assists - Neil Cairney (7.4), Shanon Andrea (6.8)
Man of the Match - Arsene Bamba
Other Dover Notables - Wayne Rooney (5.5)
Attendance - 22,232

We end up all even in possession and are outshot slightly 23-21 (8-6 on target). Just a horrible way to go down but the chances of me scoring in the last twenty minutes of extra time were likely remote. What a great run though to get to the final eight. Lets hope we can make it back next year! And thanks for showing up these two games Rooney…sigh.

-- We are given 2,870,000 for playing in the Champions League quarter finals.

-- That's our largest home crowd ever.

-- HORRIFIC news sees Andrea Rocca suffer fractured ribs in the Barcelona game and he is out for the next four weeks, likely ending his season. Damnit.

-- In the other match, FC Bayern wins 3-1 over Atletic Madrid but lose 5-3 on aggregate. Manchester City prevail over United as they continue in their bid to repeat as European champions and also moving on are Olympique Lyonnais over OM in a French quarterfinal matchup.

Captain FINED

-- I decide to fine Wayne Rooney two weeks wages for his two stinkers against Barcelona. He's upset and actually says something to the effect that "while as captain, I know I am held to a higher standard but it's not my fault that my teammates didn't allow me to play my best." PARDON?!?! Ha - I tell him I stick by my decision to fine his ass and he sees my point of view eventually and leaves without further incident.

Dover Reserves Update

-- Giorgos Gesios scores our only goal in a 1-1 draw versus Chelsea's reserve team.

Next Up

-- We host Sheffield Wednesday in a "must win" game in Premier League play.

Last edited by NoSkillz : 03-08-2014 at 11:50 PM.
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