October 30, 2002

Champions League Tonight!: Liverpool VS Valencia...If Liverpool win they will have 10 points, a share of the group lead and a foot in the last 16. With Jerzy Dudek in goal and Michael Owen in attack, I would say Liverpool should win tonight. Other matches tonight include: Dortmund VS Arsenal and Real Madrid VS Roma. All of you living in Europe, you really have no idea how lame it is here in the US. Maybe you do, I don't know...but if I don't move out there soon I am going to freak out!

posted by StarFucker to soccer at 10:33 AM - 33 comments

Liverpool will have to do very well indeed to win tonight. Valencia are reigning Spanish champions, the hardest league in the world. Your post indicates to me that you don't know too much about the Valencia players. Much will depend on whether the Liverpool defence can cope with the trickery of Aimar. Dortmund-Arsenal is an interesting one. Arsenal still need a point to be certain of qualifying for the second round, and have lost their last three matches. With Bayern crashing out last night, it's difficult to look beyond Spain, England or Italy for potential winners. I'll go out on a limb and predict a Milan-Arsenal final.

posted by salmacis at 10:55 AM on October 30, 2002

All of you living in Europe, you really have no idea how lame it is here in the US. I agree completely. I can usually watch 1 or 2 good EPL games a week, thanks to FSW, but otherwise I am pretty much out of luck when it comes to good matches. Does anyone know if ESPN still shows the Champions League?

posted by pfuller at 11:13 AM on October 30, 2002

Salmacis talks sense. The humiliation of Liverpool by Valencia a couple of weeks ago was no accident, they are a very good team. They built their reputation on a solid midfield and defence but are now fluid and devastating in attack as well. If you manage to see any of tonights game keep an eye on Pablo Aimar, who is a piece of chuffin work if ever I saw one. A Valencia v Inter Milan final would be something to behold, although I don't know if that is possible the way the thing is configured. .

posted by Fat Buddha at 11:37 AM on October 30, 2002

I'm a little ignorant of all the different leagues or tournaments a club team can be in. How many different ones are there? For example, if Arsenal or Liverpool or Man U. were to win the English Premiere League, what other leagues or tournaments or cups does it qualify for in the next 2,3,4 years? It just seems that club teams are forever playing in different games with teams inside their own nation and outside. It's really hard for me to keep track of who's playing whom and why. I'm a clueless Canadian, so break it down for me in a list if you could.

posted by grum@work at 11:37 AM on October 30, 2002

I'll break it down for you after lunch...unless someone does it before me... As far as "knowing" about Valencia...i know plenty. I just so happen to be a Liverpool fan, and i want Liverpool to win. I know damn well that Valencia beat Liverpool 2-0, but that was in Spain. Tonight the game is at Anfield. We'll see how "humiliated" Valencia gets after Owen gets his second hat trick of the tournament. If you want to know what games are playing when...go to www.soccertv.com

posted by StarFucker at 11:47 AM on October 30, 2002

grum: Each country is free to organise it's domestic set-up as it sees fit, but generally, you will find the following. There are exceptions, but they can be described in terms of how they deviate from the norm. The main domestic competition is the League. This is played on a round-robin basis, home and away. England's top league is called the Premier League, and the current champions are Arsenal. The bottom three clubs in England are relegated into the next league down, the Nationwide League, being replaced by three teams from that League. Last year, Leicester City, Derby County and Coventry City were relegated and replaced by Manchester City, West Bromwich Albion and Birmingham City. The Nationwide League promotes the top two and the winners of a play-off between positions 3 and 6. Italy's Serie A has a straight 4 down/4 up system with Serie B. The top league in the United States is MLS, and the champions are the Los Angeles Galaxy. MLS is organised more like traditional American sports, with divisions, unbalanced schedule and playoffs. There is currently no relegation between MLS and the next league down, the A-League. Most national football associations also organise a knock-out trophy. This is open to every club affiliated to the football association, subject to certain criteria. In England, the Football Association run the FA Challenge Cup. Last year, Arsenal beat Chelsea in the final. The equivalent in America is the US Open Cup. This year, Columbus Crew beat the Los Angeles Galaxy in the final. In some countries, like England, Scotland and France, the League itself also organises it's own knock-out Cup. In England, the Worthington Cup was won last year by Blackburn Rovers, who beat Tottenham Hotspur in the final. In every country where it is played, this cup is by far the least presdigious of the domestic trophies available. Okay, now to international club football. In Europe, the top international competition is the UEFA Champions League. Qualification rules are complicated, but basically, the better the domestic league, the more clubs qualify. In England, Spain and Itlay, the top four clubs (as decided by previous year's league position) qualify. The likes of Wales have only one qualifier. The best teams that didn't qualify for the Champions League qualify for UEFA's secondary competition, the UEFA Cup. England gets four spaces, usually, positions 5 & 6 in the League, and the winners of the FA Cup and Worthington Cup. (Since the FA Cup winners also qualified for the Champions League, the FA Cup runners-up took their place in the UEFA Cup.) A full description of UEFA's tournaments can be found here.

posted by salmacis at 01:11 PM on October 30, 2002

Ipswich was relegated last year, not Coventry...

posted by StarFucker at 01:25 PM on October 30, 2002

The game is on! No Ayala or Vicente for Valencia. Kily Gonzalez and Carlos Marchena come in for the Spanish champs. Emile Heskey has shaken off his injury and takes his place alongside Michael Owen in the Reds' line-up in this vital game on Merseyside. Revenge for that defeat at the Mestella?

posted by StarFucker at 01:48 PM on October 30, 2002

Starfucker, mate, Liverpool were completely outplayed and made to look clueless. At the level they were playing, to be made to look so ordinary is a humiliation, however you slice it.

posted by Fat Buddha at 02:09 PM on October 30, 2002

We'll see Fat...we'll see. Are you watching the game now?

posted by StarFucker at 02:17 PM on October 30, 2002

Yes mate, 0-1 half time. Bearing in mind they are the home side, I would say Liverpool are struggling a bit. Second half should be good. By the way, I never expected them to be stuffed again, you have to allow for the fact they had a bad night the other week, but Valencia exploited that brilliantly. May I reccomend, again, the minute by minute coverage in the Guardian. He's asking for jokes.

posted by Fat Buddha at 02:40 PM on October 30, 2002

Real Madrid vs. Roma 0-1 (Totti in the 27') Damnit.

posted by romakimmy at 02:46 PM on October 30, 2002

Really? Jokes? I am reading the minute by minute at Soccernet.. I saw that Kimmy... I am also keeping track of the rest of the scores at Livescore.com

posted by StarFucker at 02:50 PM on October 30, 2002

Hey Buddha...thats my joke in the 58th minute!

posted by StarFucker at 03:03 PM on October 30, 2002

No offence, but that's a lame gag, still it got you a mention. I think the games up for Liverpool.

posted by Fat Buddha at 03:14 PM on October 30, 2002

Of course its lame...i'm not looking for a prize! Its just so true....i do NOT understand why Heskey isn't playing for the reserves!

posted by StarFucker at 03:25 PM on October 30, 2002

Anyone watching the Arsenal, Borussia match. It seems quite lively from the Guardian description, and true to his late form, Seaman seems to have been caught off guard for one of the goals.

posted by trox at 03:27 PM on October 30, 2002

Poor Seaman....i feel bad for him. He is fighting age so hard.

posted by StarFucker at 03:36 PM on October 30, 2002

Can anyone actually watching the game tell me if Valencia is really playing that dirty, or is Sean Ingle just that biased?

posted by Ufez Jones at 03:39 PM on October 30, 2002

I feel bad for Seaman too, but isn't that four 2-1 losses in a row? Surely it's time to think about someone else back there.

posted by trox at 03:42 PM on October 30, 2002

Seamans had his haircut, trouble is he still looks like a berk, he may be fighting age hard but he isn't fighting it with dignity. I agree with you about Heskey, starfucker, but there must be a reason why good managers keep picking him. Baros always seems much fresher and hungry for goals to me. Valencia gave a masterclass in the art of going somewhere difficult and doing what had to be done. Ufez, they were very far from being dirty, but they were very canny and there was lots of blocking at set pieces and not time wasting exactly, but they were perhaps a bit tardy. The commentators on ITV were very snotty about it but if the boot had been on the other foot they would have been praising Liverpools professionalism.

posted by Fat Buddha at 03:45 PM on October 30, 2002

I figured as much fat buddha, but thanks for confirming. not surprising at all.

posted by Ufez Jones at 03:50 PM on October 30, 2002

Dammit....well i am confident they are going to get the needed result in Switzerland... Stupid ASSenal got through even though they lost today.

posted by StarFucker at 04:31 PM on October 30, 2002

Starfucker: Accept that I know what I'm talking about re Valencia now? :-)

posted by salmacis at 05:28 PM on October 30, 2002

I'm not a fan of the sport, but I love the idea of relegation. I wish one of the pro sports in the U.S. could adopt it; seeing the Bengals fight for their right to stay in the NFL would be hilarious.

posted by rcade at 08:01 AM on October 31, 2002

Relegation would be great in the NFL. I am sure that there are plenty of cities that would support a second division team, and it would be a big wake up call for teams like the Bengals that, hey you might have to do something once in a while if you don't want to end up booking flights to the Quad Cities or El Paso. It would jack up the new North, South, East, West set up pretty fast, though. Anyhow, Cetic and Blackburn play today, right?

posted by eckeric at 10:04 AM on October 31, 2002

Yeah, Celtic and Blackburn tonight....

posted by StarFucker at 10:29 AM on October 31, 2002

Ooops, dropped the L out of Celtic (need more coffee). Is this a game that people care about, or is the UEFA cup not as important in most peoples minds? Celtic and Blackburn have players that I latched onto during the world cup (Henrik Larsson, Brad Friedel) so I think it would be a neat match. I just have no sense of how much importance these things have.

posted by eckeric at 10:50 AM on October 31, 2002

Oh, they are important! I like the UEFA Cup as much as the Champion's League... I don't care that much about this particular match though...

posted by StarFucker at 11:09 AM on October 31, 2002

Isn't Friedel injured?

posted by Ufez Jones at 11:10 AM on October 31, 2002

I don't think so...although he did crack some cartilage or something before the Arsenal game on Saturday...but he still played.

posted by StarFucker at 11:27 AM on October 31, 2002

Celtic v. Blackburn 1 - 0. One of the most boring games I've seen in a long while

posted by BigCalm at 04:26 AM on November 01, 2002

Yeah, that was the impression that I got from the running commentary at the Guardian. It should be interesting to see how Celtic does in the second leg. It doesn't look like playing at home helped them very much.

posted by eckeric at 09:34 AM on November 01, 2002

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