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PostWysłany: Pon Sie 13, 2018 06:43    Temat postu: a crystal ball next to me so itll depend on Odpowiedz z cytatem

To not win a European Cup for two years is more than understandable for most teams in world football but not this current Barcelona. Courtland Sutton Jersey . They remain a long way away from winning it again, of course, but their performance in Manchester on Tuesday night was a sign of intent, a message they very much intended on delivering the moment their attention turned on the last 16 clash. When they landed on English shores this week, there was a sense of a new dawn, the opening of a new window for this current crop of winners to accomplish something relatively new. To many, it wasnt new at all. They did have eight of the 11 that started the triumphant 2011 final against Manchester United on the pitch from the start at Manchester City on Tuesday evening, but after they were massacred by Bayern Munich in last seasons semifinal, a line had been drawn on the past and it was time to concentrate on the future. All great teams need motivation to continually reach the top and this is it for Barcelona 2013-14. "Maybe (City) do not fear us anymore, because in the last two years, we didnt win the Champions League," said defender Gerard Pique on Monday. "We can still be the best, but we have to show the world we can do it. Tomorrow is a great chance." It was in England, at Wembley, in May of 2011 that they indeed cemented their place as one of the greatest club teams of all time. Pep Guardiola was hoisted in the sky by his players after securing their second European Cup in three years. It was a time for reflection but also of great excitement at what the team could go on to achieve. However, the great unscripted drama that is sport, went on to tell a story of a different Barcelona in the next two seasons of Champions League football. As so often happens in knock-out competition, things didnt always go to plan. Chelsea ended their quest in 2012 when they defended brilliantly at the Nou Camp while last season Barcelona were never quite at the level they had set in years previous. A loss in Milan at this stage last season gave us a glimpse of what was to come. A superb comeback at home showed us again just what they are capable of but two draws against an up-and-coming PSG side in the next round squeezed them through to the battle with Bayern that was so one-sided a new legacy had to be started. "It is not the end of an era," Andres Iniesta claimed at the time but that is not what the future will say. If this Barcelona team are to go on to accomplish more European success, it will be considered a new era; one without Pep, or Tito Villanova, a team under Gerardo Martinos wing influenced more now by Cesc Fabregas and, in time, Neymar. The finals against Manchester United in 2009 and 2011 were similar in how they dominated but also in how they took around 10 minutes to get going. Sir Alex Ferguson spoke about it often in the lead-up to their second final together. United needed to take advantage of that time if they were to win. Not surprisingly Barcelona had more of the ball but United had much more of it in that phase than at any other time, just like in Rome two years earlier. At Wembley, Barcelona completed just 10 per cent of their total successful passes in that opening 10 minutes but United completed 15.5 per cent of all of their successful passes. Once Barcelona got going, United, even when they got it back to 1-1, never got any rhythm into the match. All great teams need to keep reinventing themselves and, having waited 10 weeks since the group stages to show what they could do, this current Barcelona team exploded out of the blocks against Manchester City. There was a genuine purpose about their start and for 100 seconds, shortly after the first minute was over, City never touched the ball. Four minutes in and Barcelona had already completed 60 successful passes. The Spanish giants dominating possession is nothing new but them starting this way in the Champions League is. "Maybe we gave them too much respect in the beginning," reflected City skipper Vincent Kompany, whose mind was drawn back to a time in the game that City couldnt get out of their own half. Yet, despite this, it was hard to fault City for their style. At 0-0, they defended excellently and as the first half wore on, showed just why some had thought this was a very dangerous tie for Barcelona. Martinos men will always dominate possession to protect but it is against teams that counter efficiently and remain calm with the ball that they can look vulnerable. In Yaya Toure and Fernandinho, City have two outstanding midfielders who can ensure a team does exactly that. The pair were magnificent in the first half and it would have been interesting to see what more the Brazilian midfielder could have done, had he not tired playing with just 10 men after being injured for over two weeks. Both were pivotal in a key phase before half-time when City put 22 straight passes together. Not many teams can make Barcelona chase a ball for over a minute without getting it back but Manuel Pellegrinis men did that and were encouraged when they walked off at half-time at 0-0. Six minutes after the interval, however, the tie turned when Jesus Navas went down and Barcelona countered. It looked like a foul on Navas but he also seemed to try and sell it and at that point, left his team exposed. With them attacking, City had Toure and Fernandinho further away from their back four than normal and one magical pass from Iniesta sent Lionel Messi through on goal before he was chopped down by Martin Demichelis. Demichelis had to be sent off but had played well up until that moment. Well, however, may not have still been good enough and, certainly, was probably the peak of what he could have achieved. He was, for example, never going to be the rock that Kompany was throughout the match. All great teams have a way of exploiting their opponents main weakness and Barcelona did that in the 53rd minute and, later, in the dying minutes when Neymar and Dani Alves combined to rip apart Joleon Lescott and Gael Clichy on Citys left side. The Brazilian right back had a fine match and almost scored earlier when he did the same to Citys defensive pair but shot just wide of Joe Harts goal. In between those chances, City had their best period of the match when Barcelona showed a conservative approach showing just how vital an away victory in a knock-out stage was crucial. The red card didnt help City but neither did the presence of Lescott and Clichy, who can look nervous against Swansea let alone Barcelona, and the decision to take off Aleksandar Kolarov and leave on David Silva to protect them on the left proved costly. Barcelonas fantastic four Spaniards gave another football clinic on how to treasure the ball - 409 successful passes from 434 attempts (94.2%). Some call it boring, but once again, they were at their best when their team needed them to protect. Xavi and Fabregas….. Sergio Busquets and Iniesta….. Barcelona arrived in England this week with some fear because Man City were arguably the toughest team they could have been drawn against. They left knowing the stern test was passed, likely marching them into the last eight and a step closer to reaching the same level of success in Europe as they are accomplishing domestically. Bradley Chubb Jersey . -- The San Francisco 49ers have re-signed cornerback Perrish Cox to a one-year contract. Marquette King Jersey . Bryant underwent an operation in December to correct an irregular heartbeat. His season ended with four games left because of a rapid heartbeat, a condition he has known about for several years and had been treated for in the past. http://www.authoritybroncosshop.com/ . -- LeBron James warned the Orlando Magic to stop double-teaming him and ignoring James Jones.The Toronto Maple Leafs hope to pick up where they left off before the Olympic break when they visit the John Tavares-less New York Islanders in Thursdays clash at Nassau Coliseum. Toronto was one of several NHL teams that had hot streaks interrupted by the NHLs Olympic break. The Maple Leafs had won five of six right before the hiatus and the club is 11-2-1 over its last 14 games. With 70 points, the Maple Leafs are currently holding on to the seventh of eight playoff spots in the East. Toronto also is just one point in back of both Tampa Bay and Montreal for second place in the Atlantic Division. The top three teams in each division get an automatic bid to the postseason. Toronto is aiming to qualify for the postseason for the second straight spring. Last season the Leafs halted the longest playoff drought in franchise history by making the postseason for the first time since 2004. The Maple Leafs emerge from the break with a road-heavy schedule ahead of them over the next few weeks. Toronto, which is just 11-12-5 as the away club this season, will play two straight and eight of its next 10 on the road. The Islanders, meanwhile, get to continue a five-game homestand on Thursday, but theyll do so without the services of captain and star centerman Tavares. Tavares helped Team Canada win the Olympic tournament, although he missed the semifinals and gold medal game after suffering a partial tear in the MCL of his left knee. Although the injury was originally feared to be worse, it will still keep Tavares sidelined for the remainder of the regular season. However, he will not need surgery as was originally believed. The culmination of the regular season could mark the end of the 2013-14 campaign for the Islanders, who are already 14 points out of the Easts final playoff berth. Tavares, who expects to miss 8-to-12 weeks while recovering, is New Yorks leading scorer with 66 points and is tied for the team lead with 24 goals. He is also third in the NHL in points. The Islanders lost seven of eight games before the break in a stretch that did serious damage to the clubs postseason chances. Without Tavares, the club expects to have a difficult time getting back into the thick of the playoff race. New York and the Leafs have split two meetings so far in 2013-14, but the Isles are 4-1-1 over the last six encounters between the clubs. Toronto, however, has won three straight and four of the past five games at the Coliseum. The Isles are 8-14-8 as the host team this season. The club is playing the third test of its five-game homestand tonight and will complete the stay on Long Island after welcoming New Jersey and Florida on Saturday and Sunday, respectively. Detroit Red Wings at Ottawa Senators The 2013-14 season has largely been a disappointing one for the Ottawa Senators so far, but the club hopes to start anew when it begins the post-Olympics schedule with Thursdays home tilt against the Detroit Red Wings. The Senators, a playoff team in each of the past two seasons, are only three points behind Detroit for the last postseason berth in the Eastern Conference, but Ottawa has struggled with consistency in 2013-14. Ottawa posted a 9-2-3 record during one of its best stretches of the season from Dec. 28-Jan. 30, but the club then went 2-2-1 to begin the month of February. The Sens also ended their pre-Olympics slate by losing 7-2 to the Boston Bruins on Feb. 8. The Sens have one game at home before jetting off to Vancouver, where it will play an outdoor game against the Canucks on Saturday. The game at BC Place, which features a retractable roof, kicks off a four-game road trip for Ottawa. Star defenseman Erik Karlsson is coming off an Olympic run that saw him help Team Sweden pick up a silver medal at the recent Sochi Games, and he is eager to aid the Senators in the push to the playoffs. "Im looking forward to start playing hockey here again," Karlsson told the Senators official website. "It feels like the vibe is good in the room and were looking forward to the last stretch here." Karlsson was a teammate of former Sens captain Daniel Alfredsson at the Olympics and his countryman will play his third career game against Ottawa on Thursday. Alfredsson spent his first 17 NHL seasons with the Senators before leaving to sign with Detroit over the summer. Alfredsson, who was greeted with a standing ovation by the Ottawa crowd when he returned to Scotiabank Place on Dec. 1, has one goal and one assist in his two games against the Senators this season. On the injury front, Ottawa forward Clarke MacArthur and defeenseman Chris Phillips headed into the Olympic break with injuries, but both players are expected to be ready to go for Thursdays game. Josey Jewell Jersey. Ottawa is 2-1-0 against the Red Wings this season, but Detroit has won five of the last seven meetings against the Senators overall. The Wings have won three straight, four of five and six of the past eight meetings at Scotiabank Place. The Red Wings earned a victory in their first game after the break, downing the Montreal Canadiens in overtime on Wednesday. Gustav Nyquist scored with just 27.3 seconds remaining in the extra session to help lift Detroit to the 2-1 road win. Detroit allowed the Canadiens to tie the game on Brian Giontas goal with just 28.7 seconds left in regulation but recovered to win the tilt in OT. Johan Franzen, returning from a concussion that sidelined him for 22 of Detroits final 23 contests prior to the stoppage, assisted on Nyquists game- winner as well as Todd Bertuzzis first-period power-play goal. Jimmy Howard stopped 19-of-20 shots to help the Red Wings improve to 4-1-1 over their last six outings. "We played a great game. We didnt give them much room," said Franzen. Detroit is playing the third test of a four-game road trip that began before the Olympics. The Red Wings, who are 16-9-4 as the guest this season, will cap the swing Tuesday in New Jersey. Minnesota Wild at Edmonton Oilers The Minnesota Wild hope to maintain a firm grasp on a playoff spot as they visit the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday night, when both clubs return to action following the Olympic break. The Wild come out of the hiatus a distant 10 points behind the Colorado Avalanche for third place in the Central Division, but with a five-point edge for one of the two wild card spots in the Western Conference. Minnesota won its final two games before the Olympic break and is 4-1-2 in its last seven games. While Zach Parise and Ryan Suter return from a disappointing showing by Team USA in Sochi, Russia, Mikael Granlund had a solid performance to help Finland win bronze. Granlund, who turned 22 on Wednesday, had three goals and seven points during the Olympics, getting named to the All-Tournament team. "You can tell that theyve been playing at a high speed over there, and I expect them to step right in where they left off," Wild coach Mike Yeo told his teams website of his three Olympians. Minnesota is looking to get healthy for the stretch run and is close to getting forward Mikko Koivu back from a right ankle injury that required surgery. He suffered a break blocking a shot on Jan. 4 and was unable to play for Team Finland. Koivu may return tonight or Friday versus the Vancouver Canucks. Goaltender Niklas Backstrom, meanwhile, has been out since Jan. 30 because of a strained abdominal, but could suit up tonight. If not, John Curry would serve as the backup to Darcy Kuemper. Backstrom is 25-4-1 with a 1.91 goals against average and four shutouts in his career versus the Oilers, while Kuemper has faced them once before. That came this season, a 4-1 home victory on Jan. 16 in which he made 20 saves. Minnesota has won five of six and 14 of its last 17 versus the Oilers, including two straight and seven of eight in Edmonton. With the playoffs about out of reach, the Oilers are looking to finish strong ahead of next season. They are last in the Western Conference with 47 points, 18 out of a playoff spot and five ahead of Buffalo for the fewest in the NHL. Edmonton did win five of seven before the break and kick off a five-game homestand tonight. One thing to watch for the Oilers is the situation in net, where the clubs have a pair of upcoming free agents in Ilya Bryzgalov and Ben Scrivens. Bryzgalov signed with Edmonton during the season, while Scrivens was acquired in a trade with the Los Angeles Kings. Head coach Dallas Eakins is looking for both to play well and is unsure of how the starts will be split between the two. "Its hard to say. I dont have a crystal ball next to me so itll depend on their play," said Eakins. "It may come down to if Ben plays well and Bryz is playing well, yeah we may give Ben a couple of extra starts. I think Bryz would understand that. Or, we might split it down the middle. I wont know until we get started here." Bryzgalov is 7-8-0 with a 2.64 GAA in his career versus the Wild, while Scrivens faced Minnesota for the first time in his career when he made his Oilers debut on Jan. 16 . He took that 4-1 loss, giving up four goals on 33 shots. Cheap Canadiens Jerseys Cheap Predators Jerseys Cheap Devils Jerseys Cheap Islanders Jerseys Cheap Rangers Jerseys Cheap Senators Jerseys Cheap Flyers Jerseys Cheap Penguins Jerseys Cheap Sharks Jerseys Cheap Blues Jerseys Cheap Lightning Jerseys Cheap Maple Leafs Jerseys Cheap Canucks Jerseys Cheap Golden Knights Jerseys Cheap Capitals Jerseys Cheap Winnipeg Jets Jerseys ' ' '
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