Hello! The finishing line is getting ever closer, 16 has already become 12 and after today it’ll be 8. We’ll be halving the number every day from now too, so as good old JR would say: business is about to pick up.
Williewrap vs NTR9798
Jakob has done us a great turn by being our stat man throughout the 2021 CM Cup. Skibby dibby do. Balaklov’s random stats have come out like a bag of crap for this round so Super Mario is in on the right and Ortega plays AMC. Magic man Molnar will be looking to solidify his golden boot.
Nick’s unchanged and will be hoping his motto of give it to Reuser will pay dividends. Kinkladze is pulling the strings so that might be a laugh.
What nobody really expected was Laurent Blanc to open the scoring with a bullet header from a corner. The sight of Molnar making it 2-0 was all the more predictable. Nilis briefly makes it a contest with a sharp finish from a 1 on 1 but Molnar and somehow Blanc again double down before half time. If it wasn’t over at 4-1, Molnar completes his hat-trick and might as well start wearing golden boots. Nilis and Reuser reduce the arrears late on but it’s just a bit Mel & Kim. RESPECTABLE.
To be fair, Nick had many chances but most of them came at 5-1. The game is funny like that sometimes.
Molnar, Blanc and Nilis all make a claim for the vimto (cutbacks) but three goals are better than 2.
Not a bad way to start, let’s see what our next game offers.
QuicklyKevin vs Charlemaagne
Michael made so many chances in the groups it was a wonder they didn’t score more goals. Ian Wright pays the price for that, with Baggio going up top and Hagi playing in the hole.
Unchanged for Charlemaagne. That front 4 will take some stopping.
And so it proves! Paul Scholes, he scores goals. A mere 6 minutes is all it takes him to prove that you can’t lie through song. Zamorano makes it 2 and Michael has that familiar sinking feeling. Paul Ince does a Paul Ince vs Sweden and gets sent off which allows the door to creak slightly ajar, whilst the muscular figure of Finidi George wedges it open further. The arrival of Wright from the bench results in a lot of chances but the finishing is poor and Charlemaagne holds out for a gutsy win.
The damage was all done early on, Michael nearly clawed it back but it wasn’t to be.
Effenberg of all people takes man of the match.
It’s an El Blogico next.
Verbist_Philip vs Matt_C_Wills
Belgium’s greatest export Philip is making the most of his debut year in the CM Cup and unsurprisingly sticks with what has got him here.
Matt had more of a chequered path through his group but retains the 5-3-2 which ultimately got him over the line.
Jorge Costa heads Matt into an early lead but just as though it looks like the home team are in trouble, Marc Emmers latches onto a through ball and the outcome is never in doubt. Fair. Half time is almost upon us but before the referee can let out the shrillest of peeps, Dwight Yorke pops up with a poachers finish to make it 2-1. If you thought that would knock the stuffing out of Matt, you are dead right as Henry makes it 3-1 on 50 minutes. Hang on though, N’Doram pulls one back straight from the kick off. What a game! Except the last 39 minutes, where very little happens. Even Mick Quinn’s arrival from the bench can’t stir a reaction and it finishes 3-2.
Philip had the better of things just about.
We’re all in awe of Kastendeuch afterwards, mainly because none of us know who he is but he’s so consistent.
One final game and the doctor is in.
9798Nikolai vs FMCM_FC
Hi everybody! Hi Dr Nik(olai). The tactics man lacks the DMs he craves so much but he does have John Barnes. Make of that what you will.
Nathan stumbled on this formation at just the right time to get him out of his group and he’ll be hoping for more Salas magic here.
Karembeu! The future Middlesbrough man opens the scoring and Diego makes it 2. You’d have to say a shock is on the cards and Nikolai takes some time at the break to decide how to fix this. He ponders Bobic for Hubner but decides not to do it and the Italian rewards him with a 14 minute hat-trick. Ahh management. Dario Silva also adds one during the carnage as people question just what Nikolai did in that dressing room. It finishes 4-2, shell shock all round.
Comprehensive in the end but it looked ropey for a time.
Hubner the obvious choice for man of the match.
Confirmation of the last 8 lineup:
Also, let’s have a stats update from Jakob:
That’s everything for today though, we’ll return tomorrow with those quarter finals. Business did indeed pick up but will tomorrow be a slobberknocker?