2001: An Ace Squad-yssey – Season 2, Part 6 | @cmclassicsquads

Good morning readers, and welcome to the finale of season 2 with the CM01/02 Aces. Last week we found that a new formation yielded some great results against some good teams, so let’s see if it can help in our remaining 8 games as we look to qualify for Europe…

Before we begin the match action, I should mention that there was an international break, in which Jonas Lundén won his first cap for Sweden, well done lad!

So down to business, and we kick off with a trip to 14th-placed Brescia, who we swept aside with ease 4-0 last time. We’re unchanged from the Piacenza game, and I stick with the new formation. We start well with a couple of early chances, but Said gets himself sent off on 27 minutes. The match turns, and I’m relieved to make it to half time without conceding.

We continue to plug away in the second half, but Brescia are beginning to threaten, and they get their eventual reward through Dario Hubner on 70 minutes, which ends up being the only goal of the game. The gap between us and Piacenza vanishes as they win, but we’re lucky that Atalanta lost, so we don’t lose any ground on them.

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2001: An Ace Squad-yssey – Season 2, Part 5 | @cmclassicsquads

Hello, and welcome to the penultimate part of season 2 with the CM01/02 Aces. Last week we had some good wins, taking points off some of the big boys, and we also made it through to the semi-finals of the Coppa Italia, and we begin this week with the first leg of that semi-final, against Juventus.

The Old Lady have a trio of injuries, with Pessotto, Zidane and the prolific Fonseca all crocked, which could be good for us. I adopt the extra centre back formation, with Okoronkwo in for N’Diaye. We start brightly, and look to have taken the lead on 41 minutes, only for it to be ruled out after the referee spotted the famous something that he so often sees.

After such a good first half, with 5/7 shots on target, it’s frustrating when we fall behind just 8 minutes into the second half. We try to get back into the match with a few chances, but Deschamps gets the killer second goal 12 minutes from time to ensure we have it all to do in the second leg.

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2001: An Ace Squad-yssey – Season 2, Part 4 | @cmclassicsquads

Hello fellow Champ man-ers, and welcome to part 4. Last week the Aces began to hit some form, continuing to take points off the big sides, and putting one foot into the cup quarter-finals. We rejoin the action with a trip to 14th-placed Genoa…

Genoa are another side who joined us in promotion from Serie B last season, and they haven’t won in 4 games. Hofland returns for Klompe and Kerr is in for the injured Lundén. It’s level at half time after Madeira cancels out Varini’s early goal. We continue to threaten in the second half, but despite 6/12 shots on target, it’s another frustrating draw. We really could have done with a win there with the games we’ve got coming up.

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2001: An Ace Squad-yssey – Season 2, Part 2 | @cmclassicsquads

Hello, and welcome back for part 2. Last week the CM01/02 Aces returned from their holidays and had a good pre-season, winning 3 of their 4 friendlies, and now we’ll see whether those wins were good preparation as the competitive games begin.

A couple of quick pieces of news before we head to the first match, as AC Milan beat Lazio 4-0 to win the super cup, and we welcome back Arjen Robben from injury.

First up it’s Castel Di Sangro in the second round of the Coppa Italia. We know them very well after facing them in Serie B last season, where we drew 1-1 and won 4-0. Castel were relegated at the end of last season, so they’re now two divisions below us in Serie C, but that doesn’t mean it’ll be an easy match, and just by being in Serie A, we’ve already made it further than last season, when we lost at home to Cesena in the first round.

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2001: An Ace Squad-yssey – Season 2, Part 1 | @cmclassicsquads

Greetings beings from planet CM97/98. It’s been a while but the spaceship has returned from the future, and after taking Serie B by storm last season, the CM01/02 Aces are back to mix it with the big boys in Serie A.

To quickly recap for those of you who missed season one… I wanted to see if the legends of CM01/02 could cut it in CM97/98, so with the help of the CM Twitter community, I assembled a squad of 01/02 legends such as Maxim Tsigalko, Tó Madeira, Tonton Zola Moukoko and Cherno Samba, copied their stats, positions, ages etc exactly from the CM01/02 database, and put them in the Italian Serie B, which they won comfortably, so now it’s time to see how they fare in the top flight. This is the squad…

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Basque Boys II – Part 8 | @cmclassicsquads

Bienvenido a Bilbao! and thank you for joining me for the final part of season two with the Basque Boys.

Last week we managed to make it past the mighty Barcelona into the Copa Del Rey final, where we’ll face Espanyol. But before that, we’ve got our four remaining league matches to play. We’re currently 6th in the table, and a point off 5th with games in hand on the three sides above us.

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Basque Boys II – Part 7 | @CMClassicSquads

Feliz Viernes to you, and welcome to Bilbao once more. Last week was patchy to say the least, but we’re still 5th in the league and in the semi-finals of the Copa Del Rey, so let’s hope this episode is a better one.

I watch a lot of British TV over here, and after watching Fred Sirieix’s new series ‘Remarkable Places to Eat’, I took a drive down the road to Tolosa to check out Casa Julian steak house, and I was not disappointed, so I may take the team there for our end of season bash.

Anyway, you’re not here for a food blog, so let’s get on with the football. Next up is a visit from Tenerife, who are 15th. We’ve already faced them three times this season, in the league and cup, and have done rather well, with 4-0 and 5-0 wins and a 2-2 draw, so recent history is on our side.

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Basque Boys II – Part 6 | @CMClassicSquads

Nick’s back in Basque for another Friday visit. His job seems a lot more secure now but can he get Bilbao back up to threaten the top two?

Hello once again and welcome to part 6. At the end of part 5, we reached the semi- finals of the Copa Del Rey, where we’ll face Barcelona, and we picked up a much-needed league win against Celta after back to back defeats. So let’s continue with an away tie with Extremadura.

Rafa’s men beat us 1-0 to inflict our first defeat of the season in only our second game of the season, so we’ve definitely got a score to settle today, but this won’t be an easy match as they’re doing well in 8th place and have beaten Betis and Deportivo recently. Our only change is new boy Galdames on the bench in place of Garitano.

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Basque Boys II – Part 5 | @cmclassicsquads

Nick’s got a brand new Twitter name but he’s still the same old Basque boy at heart. What are they up to this week?

Greetings fellow championship managers, and welcome to part 5. Despite finding some form in the league and cup, the Basque Boys’ European form has been woeful to say the least, and we start this episode with our final group match against Barcelona…

We can’t qualify, but it would be nice to get some sort of result from Louis Van Gaal and his men, so I’ve fielded as strong a side as possible. We welcome back Etxeberria in goal after injury, Urzaiz is in for cup-tied Histilloles, and Etxebe comes in up front for the injured Loinaz.

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Basque Boys II – Part 4 | @NickRowe85

Hello señors and señoritas of the champ man world, it’s Friday and time for another trip to Bilbao. Last week the basque boys were beginning to gather some momentum after a less than ideal start to the season, and we continue the story with a visit from Racing Santander…

Racing are struggling in 15th, and have lost their star player, Hugo Porfirio to Real Betis. Etxebe has recovered from injury but is only 81% fit, so with one eye on the Dortmund game, he’s left out of an unchanged squad from last match. We lead early through Perez and have ten more efforts on goal but Racing’s veteran Italian keeper, Walter Zenga is on good form. I’m frustrated when Racing score with only their second attempt to make it 1-1 at half time, but that’s CM life.

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