"You could drop a tarantula down his shorts...
by wiNDycityfan (2017-04-23 19:17:51)
Edited on 2017-04-23 20:09:13

and he'd still be cool."

That was Ray Hudson earlier today on Messi's El Clasico performance.

Now, it is not surprising hearing another over the top comment from Ray Hudson, certainly when it comes to Messi. However, today's El Clasico lived up to every bit of its billing. It was just that, a classic of classics.

Do yourself a favor and watch some great soccer. What a game.

He ended the broadcast with a boner joke too
by Boston Domer  (2017-04-24 12:32:45)     Delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

How in the world did Juventus just shut this team out over three hours?

400 million people entertained. *
by Domerduck  (2017-04-23 22:12:11)     Delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

That game could have been 6-5 with goalies playing "well"
by dfw  (2017-04-23 21:44:05)     cannot delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

But they both played great and it ended up only 3-2. Ter stegen was great and Navas even better.

Good observation
by wiNDycityfan  (2017-04-23 22:24:31)     cannot delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

Ter Stegen's only flaw was on James' goal as he could've faced and squared off the shot better. Navas was incredible. The fact that he allowed 3 is really shocking.

Changing subjects, I don't know what's going on with Bale, he doesn't look like he should be playing in front of Asensio. I understand he was subbed due to injury, but he doesn't look like the record signing Galactico this club expected this being his 4th season.

I do not know what is more perplexing
by KnightlyRevue  (2017-04-24 07:48:47)     cannot delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

Bale's play (he is obviously hurt but he still gives poor effort most matches) or the fact that Zidane keeps going to the Bale well when he has Asencio (a much better compliment to Ronaldo), Isco, and James sitting on the bench. Until Bale is 100% healthy and shows a top level of fitness his behind should be glued to the pine.

The game yesterday was one for the ages. Navas seems confident again and TerStegen was the man of the match for Barca had it not been for the magic of Messi. Ramos got what he deserved and it killed my beloved Real Madrid. I still think Morata should be playing over Benzema as he delivered another below average performance and was ghost like until he got yanked.

Ramos had been so much better in the last 12-18 mos
by wcnitz  (2017-04-24 08:37:52)     cannot delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

He wasn't getting sent off against Barcelona in previous matches, but that challenge yesterday was so massively idiotic and dangerous. I don't know what the hell he was thinking.

And Messi unmarked in the 92nd minute 15 yards out? A lot of that rests on the shoulders of Ramos.

On the last Messi goal
by KnightlyRevue  (2017-04-24 10:45:26)     cannot delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

you really felt the sting of Ramos' red card. After the match, Marcelo took the bullet by saying that he should have made a much more aggressive play towards Sergio Roberto even to the point of fouling him. Kroos had primary defensive responsibility there but he sank way too deep into the box and did not see Messi trailing the play. The rest is history.

How one does not account for Messi trailing the play is befuddling. Its not like he is the best player of his generation or anything. I give Real a lot of credit for the equalizer on a beautiful curl play from James getting fantastic service from Marcelo but they gambled big at the end and lost.

As a fellow Madridista, hat tip to the little genius yesterd
by Irish2003  (2017-04-24 14:34:57)     cannot delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

That was an incredible performance, and while I hate any loss, at least it's to the most talented (best is up for grabs IMO; Ronaldo is a far superior athlete & poacher, Messi has better on the ball) player of this generation and one of the best ever having a brilliant game. I agree across the board with your comments, and after re-watching it, I think the team had become so used to the remontadas & stealing wins right at the end that they assumed they could so again, while forgetting how lethal Barca is in their own right.

Ramos might be the most maddening player, as for every complete brainfart he has that causes a mess (hell, an own goal and red card in the 2 biggest games so far this year), he also has even bigger clutch performances (La Decima alone gets him a lifetime pass, and the other Classico this year, CL, and Supercup goals weren't bad either), and I wish he could tone the aggression down just a little. I do think the BBC rotation needs to be shelved until Bale is 100%, as his game is entirely based on speed and there are plenty of rotation options among Isco/James/Asensio/Vasquez depending on the opponent. The defense is my bigger concern, and until Pepe gets back, I think we are in a very sticky spot. With that said, this year's team has shown an ability to bounce back, and hopefully it's the trough today rather than the start of a slide like we saw not too long ago.

As you say, Ramos has saved Real's
by KnightlyRevue  (2017-04-24 16:15:36)     cannot delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

bacon so many times that it is tough for me to be too mad at him. His late header against Barca earlier this year saved us two points and he has come through for both Real and the Spanish national team on countless occasions. I could not despise him even if I tried. I just wish he would knock off the antics and the reckless play. Maybe he feels he cannot play without that edge. Who knows.

Having said that, his reputation as a dirty player only gets cemented with plays like yesterday. Imagine if he had connected on that assault? Both his spikes were up and he was off the ground. There is no doubt in my mind it would have knocked Messi out of the game and possibly the season. Barca was defending in their own end and Messi was 45-50 yards from his goal. To call it unnecessary is an understatement. My guess is he will be handed a 3 game match ban at least at a time when Real needs him the most.

My other issue with the game...if you are Real Juventus just gave you the template on how to neutralize Iniesta. You cannot let him roam the middle without contact. As reckless as Casemiro is he did a poor job marking Iniesta. I get on Benzema a lot but Modric has been less than inspiring late this year and his defense yesterday was particularly poor. It is time for Zizou to get Isco a starting role ahead of him.

Juve is such a well-managed club
by Irish2003  (2017-04-27 03:14:22)     cannot delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

Yet again, agreed across the board. Zidane himself was a bit of a hothead, and I hope he can get Ramos to hit the right balance between aggression and keeping the edge. Casemiro's game is built entirely on force and I don't see that changing (heck, having some steel isn't a bad thing; I'd love to have Kante in our Makelele role), but if he can cut out just a few cards a year, it would help a lot too.

That's a great point on Juve, and I really think they are consistently one of the best coached teams. I can't find the link now, but was just reading something about how their Marcello Lippi teams were so well-trained in practice they could easily adapt to a player being temporarily injured, red-carded, playing from ahead/behind, etc without much input from the coach, and it looks like both Conte and now Allegri have kept it going. In contrast, Madrid has won so many games on the razor's edge this year, and unfortunately we chose to press against another very talented team and paid the price that we might not face against a team like Deportivo La Coruna. Both RM & Barca are IMO lacking in the tactics department but have so much raw talent they can still beat anyone short of the other top 4-5 teams even if you and I were calling plays, but guys like Buffon, Dybala, Kedhira, Alves, etc have all also played & won at the highest level and are playing such a nice team game now. I was wrong on Bayern advancing, but do think Juventus will get by a very fun to watch Monaco team, then edge their doppelganger in Atleti to take old big ears back (with RM winning La Liga; don't think we can pull off the double after Saturday's mess).

As for our Merengues, if it were up to me, I think I would go:
Navas/Casilla (have to keep reminding myself this poor man's name is not the same as San Iker)
Marcelo, Ramos, Pepe, Carvajal; Nacho & Varane if needed
Kroos, Modric
Isco, James

We'd have Casemiro to provide cover, two of the best possession midfielders in Kroos/Modric, James & Isco for creativity, and the all-time leading CL scorer with Cris up top. Bale or Benz/Morata can come in if we needed a late spark, and Asensio & Vasquez are still there if we need guys who can run all day.

As an aside, if you have not been to the Bernabeu, I definitely recommend it. I've obviously been to ND Stadium and another ~30-40 NCAA/NBA/NFL/MLB venues, but there is something really surreal about the Bernabeu, especially for a Madrid guy.

What do you think of our B team eh?
by KnightlyRevue  (2017-04-28 11:11:40)     cannot delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

Hahaha...how is Isco not starting? The surgical moves he is making in the midfield are ballet quality.

I like your starting lineup but this is the lineup I would want:

D: Carvajal, Pepe, Ramos, Marcelo (First sub: Nacho)

Midfield: Kroos, Casemiro, Isco (First Sub: Modric but man is Kovacic a high energy stud...I thought he would be more of a defensive player but his dribbling in traffic has improved 10 fold)

Forwards: Asensio (LW), Ronaldo (False 9), James (RW) (First subs: Morata (#9); Lucas V as a defensive energy replacement. Sell Bale and Benz -- I know it won't happen but I can dream right?)

Agreed! The depth is amazing, and I love the young guys
by Irish2003  (2017-04-29 15:28:01)     Delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

In many ways, I think the BBC-based lineup seems a bit forced, especially when Cris has lost a step (albeit also sharpened his pure goalscoring), Bale has a case of the Coentraos, and Benz has been off.

In the midfield, I'm torn on Modric, as he might be my favorite player to watch when he is on, but this year he's seemed perhaps a bit tired. If he & Kroos are both on, I think we have the best possession midfield in the world, and that also helps cover for a potential lack of an enforcer if we swapped Kova for Casemiro. I do think Kova is being groomed as Luka's replacement, and as you said, the combo of dribbling and defense could let him overtake Casemiro when we aren't facing a team with a loaded offense.

IMO, Isco's performance should make him a lock, and like you, I wouldn't mind selling Bale and/or Benz - both have done good things for us, but if they are currently hurt or off-form, sticking to the BBC only hinders the development of our young guys. I think the Asensio/Vasquez-James-Ronaldo trio has a nice blend of defensive cover, creativity, and scoring, and having Bale as a change of pace against a tired defense or Benz/Morata if we need a hold-up man is a pretty dang nice luxury to have.