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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
UEFA EUROPA LEAGUE 2015/2016

ROUND OF 32
Second Leg

BayArena, Leverkusen (GER)
25 February 2015, 19:00 CET
Ref: Ruddy Buquet (FRA)



x

Bayer Leverkusen (GER) 3-1 SPORTING CP - [4-1 on agg.]
(Bellarabi 30', 65', Calhanoglu 87'; João Mário 38')


**********************

It would be great if we could get our first ever win in Germany and even better if we could win this tie but if we don't there are reasons to be cheerful, as that would mean more time to focus on our real aim for this season: the league title.

It's not about lack of ambition or any of the crap spewed by the usual suspects on the several tv footy muppet shows of our beautiful little country. It's about setting priorities and knowing your real strengths and weaknesses.

JJ is aware of this and so are the players. He couldn't count with Rúben Semedo (suspended), Paulo Oliveira (injured), Marvin and Schelotto (not in the EL list) and he also didn't take Coates to Germany. Adrien did travel to Germany but apparently got hurt in training yesterday and will miss today's match, being also in doubt for the league match in Guimarães on Monday. If he also misses that game at least there are very good chances that he will be available for the derby in the following weekend.

This will be a special match for our great keeper Rui Patrício as tonight he becames the Sporting player with most appearances in Europe: 73. Massive feat. Parabéns Rui! :proud:



Here's the XI picked to start:

1 Rui Patrício

21 João Pereira - 44 Naldo - 5 Ewerton - 4 Jefferson

14 William Carvalho

17 João Mário - 6 Aquilani - 11 Bruno César

19 Teo Gutiérrez - 36 Carlos Mané


Subs: 26 Azbe Jug, 47 Ricardo Esgaio, 55 Tobias Figueiredo, 20 Bryan Ruiz, 60 Gelson Martins, 73 Matheus Pereira and 9 Slimani.


Slimani and Bryan Ruiz rested as, like I said above, we have bigger fish to fry.


 

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Discussion Starter #3
Leverkusen makes 1-0 at 30' in a very Leverkusish type of goal. Bellarabi scores again after a great pass by Chicharito. Sporting hold well so far but Leverkusen has been more dangerous.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Unbelievable miss by Mané after a great counter started by Bruno César. What a waste.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOLOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!

JOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOÃOOOOOOOO MÁRIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIOOOOOOOO

1-1
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Great work by João Pereira on the right, Mané's shot was parred by Leno and Joäo Mário buried in the rebound. Great reaction by Sporting! 1-1 at 38'.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Good first half by Sporting showing great personality against one of the top teams in Germany. It's true that Bayer had more chances and it was not that surprising that they managed to get a lead, even if when they scored Sporting was actually managing to balance the run of play. The truth is that we reacted in the best possible way and ended up scoring a goal that brings a lot of hope for the second half.

João Mário is having a brilliant game so far dictating our game like a true boss.

Let's see how JJ will approach the second half.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Half time stats:

B04 1-1 SCP

4 Shots 5
3 Shots On Goal 2
61% Pass Accuracy 65%
1 Corners 1
3 Fouls 8
43% Ball Possession 57%​
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Bayer very lucky now. Wendell smacks Bruno César in the face and doesn't even see a yellow.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
At 65' Leverkusen makes 2-1. Again through Bellarabi (with a superb shot) and again when Sporting was better in the game.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
At 86' 3-1 for Leverkusen this time by Calhanoglu, again a great goal. Game over.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Sporting started very well this second half and there were moments during those first 15'/20' where it looked closer to get a goal than the opposite. It was however Leverkusen who managed to score and that 2-1 clearly killed us. After that we still managed to create two or three dangerous chances but it never looked like we could get the 2 goals that we then needed to go through.

The 3-1 is harsh as it is harsh the 4-1 on aggregate and it's clear that had we faced this tie with a different mindset there are good chances that this tie would have ended differently but I am 100% behind the choices made by the club in this case.

João Mário was by far our best player tonight.

Now let's hope that nobody got injured because our season starts now.
 
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