Champions League Manager 97/98 – Match Week 16 | @NTR9798

Hello! and welcome to the penultimate episode of CLM! We may be nearing the end of the season, but it’s still all to play for. Philip still tops the table, but can he hold onto his five-point advantage? and will Zak and his Marseille side of ‘93 make it past Atletico Madrid to the UEFA Cup final?…

The opening match was an entertaining Desmond between Philip and Matt. Philip will certainly rue the dropped points, while Matt will be delighted at an upturn in form after a recent bad run, with just one win in six games.

Andrew and myself were next. This fixture hasn’t traditionally produced many goals, and there wasn’t much to report this time either, apart from Karanka’s red card, and Zickler spurning the chance to win it from the spot.

After a rare slip up from Philip and Barca, Ross simply had to take advantage to keep his title hopes alive. He did just that, but was made to work for it by Zak and Marseille, who twice threw away a lead at Old Trafford.

Dave’s Milan have quietly been going about their business, with five wins from their last six games to keep themselves in the mix, and a Papin hat trick saw off Deano and Ajax ‘95, despite the best efforts of Bogarde of course.

One person who’ll be glad to see the end of the season is Rob, who to his credit, has remained optimistic throughout what has been a mostly depressing campaign, so this hammering by Nathan didn’t come as much of a surprise.

Andrew and Dave kicked off the second set of games. It’s always handy having a ballon d’or winner in your side, and Papin netted hat trick two in as many games, with a red for Maldini, and an obscene Elber finish in amongst it.

Nathan and Deano laid on a treat for us neutrals. Chapuisat got Dortmund going, but it wasn’t long before Beetlejuice started the Ajax comeback. Möller offered Dortmund hope, but a late Kohler own goal sealed their fate.

A win against Matt would have put Ross top of the league (for a few minutes at least), but the Old Lady’s revival continued, as Angelo Di Livio got the only goal of the game to keep keep Juve’s hopes of a top-four finish alive.

Ross puts on a front and says he hates Man Utd, but deep down he’d have been praying that I could beat Philip in the final el clasico, and his prayers were answered! It came as such a surprise, that Philip swore live on air!

A brief intermission for some European action, and it took extra time to separate Zak’s Marseille, and Atletico Madrid. Two penalties from Ferreri sent I’OM to their second cup final of the season, where they’ll face Lazio.

There was no rest for the wicked, as Zak’s men were straight back in action against Deano. It was another enthralling match, and every time Marseille led, Ajax hit straight back, with Beetlejuice delivering a late killer blow.

Having picked up just one point so far tonight, Philip would have been desperate to beat Andrew, but as in their last meeting, Zickler was on target for Bayern to help condemn Barca to their first winless night this season.

I tried my best to achieve an el clasico double, but after learning of Barca’s defeat, Ross’ side smelt blood, and there was no stopping them from running riot and cutting Philip’s lead at the top of the table to just two points.

Dave kept up the pressure on the top two with a win over Nathan. It was a close match, and Milan were made to wait for their goal by a resolute Dortmund defence, but Bryan “Big B” Laudrup kept the Rossoneri in the hunt.

Matches for Rob were like number ten buses tonight, he waited nine games between his first and second games, and then two came along at once. The first was against Matt, who capped an unbeaten evening with a 5-1 win.

It was the same score line against Marseille, but with a couple of injuries thrown in for good measure. Rob’s relegation was confirmed following this match, and to make matters worse, Savicevic had a relegation release clause, and was released on a free transfer…

So here’s the table with just one week remaining. It’s unchanged in terms of positions, but after a winless week, Philip’s lead has been cut from seven points to just two, and Dave has closed the gap between himself and Ross from six points to three.

Dean is pretty much guaranteed at least fourth, and fifth-placed Matt has a healthy lead over Zak in sixth, who I still have a chance of catching. Depending on how results go next week, there’s a chance that Dortmund and Bayern could switch places, but Red Star are too far gone…

So there we go, with just three more rounds of games to play, the table is set up perfectly for a final week title showdown between Philip, Ross and Dave, and the best thing is that they all play each other next week! It’s going to be absolutely carnage, and with the FA Cup and UEFA Cup finals thrown in, you won’t want to miss it. See you next week!

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