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Just felt prompted to post a thread after noticing that all but one of the teams that succeeded Celtic and Rangers in their respective CL (AC, Barcelona and Shaktar) and UEFA cup (Auxerre, AZ Alkmaar & Graz AK)groups have had successful results in the last 48 hours. Only Graz upset the sequence by losing out 4-3 on aggregate against Middlesbrough.

p.s. Rangers CL qualifying opponents, CSKA Moscow (now in the UEFA cup) are 1-0 up, away to Benfica.

Do these results give credence to any Old Firm apologists who would tell me that their opponents were all decent teams or have these teams simply taken a massive boost from overcoming Celtic and Rangers both of whom are included in the list of 20 richest clubs in Europe?

p.p.s. Looks like the 3 teams from Hearts group all lost (Basle, Feyenoord and Schalke).
 

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I don't really think Celtic's 'claims' that we were in an exceptionally difficult Champions League group needed much credence to be honest. The names Barcelona and AC Milan speak for themselves - both of whom proved again last night that they're among the very best in Europe - and i always fancied Shakhtar to make a good impact in the UEFA Cup, and they've proven their quality again by disposing of a very strong side in Schalke.

Personally i thought that a total of 5 points or thereabouts was as realistic as you could hope for with the group we were handed, and considering that other clubs progressed in Europe with lesser points in less difficult sections then you have to conclude that we were really unfortunate this season.

The Rangers fans i'd imagine will try to defend their own club's position, but you've realistically got to expect them to have been capable of finding a top 3 finish among a 5-team group, particularly one that consisted of so many average to poor sides.
 

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Slightly biased again there KH. The team who knocked us out of the Champions League were CSKA Moscow. They finished 3rd in the Champions League group stages losing out to one of the favourites Chelsea and current holders Porto. They got a lifeline into the UEFA Cup and won through to the last 16 tonight beating Benfica 3-1. They are obviously not that bad a side.

Of the "many average to poor sides" we played in the Cup UEFA only Grazer went out tonight. Not bad considering we played them once and beat them 3-0. Auxerre knocked out Ajax 3-2 and Alkmaar knocked out Aachen 2-1 so the two teams to beat us are in the last 16 with the team who knocked us out of the Champions league.
 

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It doesn't really matter to me how Auxerre/AZ/Graz do/did in the UEFA cup. The bottom line is we should have been good enough to qualify from that group. I'm still a bit miffed that Graz went through at our expense, but that's what can happen with the new format. I'm still following CSKA's results because I always maintained they were a good side. I also tipped them for the UEFA Cup on here.
 

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chivoexpiatorio said:
Slightly biased again there KH. The team who knocked us out of the Champions League were CSKA Moscow. They finished 3rd in the Champions League group stages losing out to one of the favourites Chelsea and current holders Porto. They got a lifeline into the UEFA Cup and won through to the last 16 tonight beating Benfica 3-1. They are obviously not that bad a side.

Of the "many average to poor sides" we played in the Cup UEFA only Grazer went out tonight. Not bad considering we played them once and beat them 3-0. Auxerre knocked out Ajax 3-2 and Alkmaar knocked out Aachen 2-1 so the two teams to beat us are in the last 16 with the team who knocked us out of the Champions league.
So, just let me establish this.

You don't think there was any embarassment in Rangers being unable to find a top 3 finish in a 5-team group ahead of Grazer AK, AZ Alkmaar et al?
 

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King_Henrik said:
So, just let me establish this.

You don't think there was any embarassment in Rangers being unable to find a top 3 finish in a 5-team group ahead of Grazer AK, AZ Alkmaar et al?
Sorry for the late reply but only just noticed this one.

Is there any more embarrassment in finishing fourth in a five team group than finishing fourth in a four team group?
 

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I would say I am embarrassed with one performance in the UEFA Cup Group

Grazer at homes and Amica away were great, easy wins. But playing the best team in teh group and possibly THE most on form team in Europe away and losing 1-0 is no huge embarrassment. I am quite confident that Celtic would have lost to them too. Their performances in Holland and the UEFA cup this year have shown that they are no mugs. Ask ANY Dutchman about them , how they play and how well they do it, and they will back up that they are a cracking team.

However, Auxerre at home was embarrassing. They are a decent team, but we should have turned them over. We needed a win, and Eck and the boys ****ed it up. Poor tactical choices, poor line up choices and a generally poor performace.

So, I would say that yeah, I am embarrassed that we ddint get a result against them, BUT that is the only performances in that group we have any reason to feel ashamed of.

Are you embarrassed about any performances in the CL this year King Henrik? Thats not a sly dig or rhetorical question aimed at you, its an honest question, although it may not come across like that. :)
 

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Laddie said:
Are you embarrassed about any performances in the CL this year King Henrik? Thats not a sly dig or rhetorical question aimed at you, its an honest question, although it may not come across like that. :)
No, although losing in Donetsk was disappointing.

Speaking of which, a certain AZ Alkmaar will be playing Shakhtar in the UEFA Cup tonight - the outcome of that one should be interesting...

Anyone wanna bet against Shakhtar giving them a good tanking? :D
 

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King_Henrik said:
Speaking of which, a certain AZ Alkmaar will be playing Shakhtar in the UEFA Cup tonight - the outcome of that one should be interesting...

Anyone wanna bet against Shakhtar giving them a good tanking? :D
So if Shakhtar give Alkmaar the humping they gave Celtic what will that prove?
 

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chivoexpiatorio said:
So if Shakhtar give Alkmaar the humping they gave Celtic what will that prove?
It will prove that you lost out on a UEFA Cup place to a far inferior team than we did.

Pretty obvious really.
 

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King_Henrik said:
It will prove that you lost out on a UEFA Cup place to a far inferior team than we did.

Pretty obvious really.
Really? So if Alkmaar win what does that mean? What about if Alkmaar don't get beaten 3-0 in the Ukraine or what about if CSKA Moscow win the UEFA cup? To me it says nothing. If Alkmaar knock out Shakhtar then I for one won't be on here saying how that proves Rangers lost out to a team that was better than the team Celtic lost out to. For one it means nothing and at the end of the day Rangers and Celtic both failed in Europe- no other results elsewhere will change that.
 

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chivoexpiatorio said:
Really? So if Alkmaar win what does that mean? What about if Alkmaar don't get beaten 3-0 in the Ukraine or what about if CSKA Moscow win the UEFA cup? To me it says nothing. If Alkmaar knock out Shakhtar then I for one won't be on here saying how that proves Rangers lost out to a team that was better than the team Celtic lost out to. For one it means nothing and at the end of the day Rangers and Celtic both failed in Europe- no other results elsewhere will change that.
You've been yapping on for months about how the circumstances surrounding Celtic's European exit to Barcelona, AC Milan et al were just as embarassing as Rangers losing out to Grazer AK and AZ Alkmaar.

Tonight we'll get a small indication either way as to how true that was.
 

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King_Henrik said:
You've been yapping on for months about how the circumstances surrounding Celtic's European exit to Barcelona, AC Milan et al were just as embarassing as Rangers losing out to Grazer AK and AZ Alkmaar.

Tonight we'll get a small indication either way as to how true that was.
As I said it is no indicator at all. If you wish to keep yapping on about it then here was the scoreline tonight:

Shakhtar 1-3 Alkmaar


For once kh I wish I agreed with your way of thinking, oh well just another average team that Rangers played I suppose :rollani:
 

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chivoexpiatorio said:
As I said it is no indicator at all. If you wish to keep yapping on about it then here was the scoreline tonight:

Shakhtar 1-3 Alkmaar


For once kh I wish I agreed with your way of thinking, oh well just another average team that Rangers played I suppose :rollani:
Nah chivo, the referee for that match was part of an anti-Celtic conspiracy. He knew that the result was far more significant than just a Ukrainian team versus a Dutch team. AZ even got a 90th minute penalty. How much proof do you need? :D
 

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Angle_eyes said:
Nah chivo, the referee for that match was part of an anti-Celtic conspiracy. He knew that the result was far more significant than just a Ukrainian team versus a Dutch team. AZ even got a 90th minute penalty. How much proof do you need? :D
Lol. In actual fact Srna also missed a penalty Shakhtar were awarded in the first half. Even playing in orange tops wasn't enough to stop the last minute penalty award against them.

Seriously though before the European competitions started this season I would have fancied Rangers chances against either of them. Having seen both in action they are much better sides than I thought they were and wouldn't fancy being drawn against either next season. I think kh now must realise that Alkmaar are not the average team he thought they were because as he knows Shakhtar are no pushovers.

Grazer did qualify ahead of us but I still think we were a better team than them. We only played them once and beat them 3-0. Auxerre and Alkmaar though I'd admit were better than Rangers.

In other scores CSKA Moscow got a 1-1 away draw at Partizan and Auxerre won 1-0 away to Lille. By the looks of things the 3 teams who beat Rangers in Europe this season, Martimo being the fourth but we knocked them out, should be in the last 8.
 

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chivoexpiatorio said:
For once kh I wish I agreed with your way of thinking, oh well just another average team that Rangers played I suppose :rollani:
OK so they're an above average team.

Still doesn't change the fact that Celtic were eliminated in a far more difficult European section than what Rangers were this season.

Do you disagree, chivo?
 

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King_Henrik said:
OK so they're an above average team.

Still doesn't change the fact that Celtic were eliminated in a far more difficult European section than what Rangers were this season.

Do you disagree, chivo?
No, I don't disagree. I certainly wouldn't compare Auxerre and Alkmaar to Milan and Barcelona. What I would say though is that both teams failed regardless of the oppostion. Although Auxerre and Alkmaar are not on the level of Europe's elite they are the possible calibre of teams who could be involved in the third qualifying round of the Champions League this year and every bit a match for the Old Firm.

Looking at the unseeded teams involved in the third round of the competition this year Shakhtar and CSKA Moscow were real dark horses. Both actually played in the second qualifier too which is also a little worrying.
 

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Marco Negri said:
I remember Stephen Hughes' header that was cleared off the line in Alkmaar. Oh, what could have been.
I remember that one to. We did have chances in that game and actually played better in that game than the Auxerre game at Ibrox. Alkmaar though ran the show in the first half and had some chances to bury the game before we got our chances.
 

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Alkmaar beat Shakhtar 2-1 last night to go through 5-2 on aggregate. They, along with Newcastle, are now in the last 8. Of the other 12 teams battling for a place in the last 8 there are two other sides Rangers have faced this season.

CSKA Moscow play host to Partizan tonight. The Russians had been leading by a goal during the first leg in Belgrade before Partizan equalised 7 minutes from time with a penalty. CSKA Moscow will be favourites to progress as the homes side and the tie at 1-1.

An all French tie saw Auxerre leave Lille with a 1-0 win in the first leg. Guy Roux's team will be favourites to progress into the last 8 also with a lead and home advantage.

The UEFA Cup is really wide open with no team standing out above the rest. The 3 teams Rangers played as well as Newcastle look to have as good a chance as the rest of winning the trophy. Newcastle look to be the sole surviving British club unless Middlesborough can pull a rabbit out of the hat to turn around a 3-2 deficit in Lisbon.
 
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