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Saint ATN

Champions League kicks off

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New soccer season under way. Excited for today's match Barcelona vs Juventis. Both strong teams with strong scorers, with the new talent we have we can really get an idea of how we will fair this season. Our first 3 games we've won against solid but not great teams, this is the first true test. 

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After last nights disappointing Saints loss, Barcelona came thru with a 3-0 clean sheet. Messi finally scored on Buffon, not once but twice. New signings Semedo and Dembele started the game. Semedo made impacts throughout the game and his crisp passing is a thing of beauty to watch, the way he plays with the ball is a delicate ballet of frustration for Juve today. Dembele for the big signing that he is just looked a bit lost out there, he made some key passes and he started one of Messi's scores. He needs a stronger showing for the money we've thrown at him and I feel he will gel with more time with the first team. Suarez, on the other hand, has been shifted to the left side and was unforgettable most of the game except when he stood out time and time again watching balls way past him.

Not sure what Valverde had in mind but the left side that was our strength last year is now a shell of itself and the nonexistent right side is now our strength. Once Dembele and Semedo gel, that side will be deadly. Question is do we take the ambidextrous Dembele and put him on the left side and put Suarez back on the right with Messi in the middle?

Messi was more active than usual, but once he had his one goal he got a silly yellow card from the ref and that pissed him off. A pissed off Messi is identical to a pissed off Brees after he's been rocked awake by a bad defensive play on him personally. He poured on the jets and what should have been his hat trick ricocheted off the crossbar and back to a Juve player who sent it right into Rakitics feet and he drove the goal right in. 

Our defense was slow but effective and we maintained solid possession throughout the game, but Juve had more chances early compared to the possessions held at least early in the game. As the game wore on and as we poured on the points Dybala was negated and Juventus were left looking around and Buffon their goalie looked shell shocked. Buffon is one of the greatest goal tenders in the history of the game and Messi had never scored on him before. Today Messi got the game ball for 2 of those 3 goals and Buffon embraced Messi out of respect after the game. You could see it meant a lot to both of them. 

Ernesto is a seasoned coach and one who has this team with 4 games and 4 clean sheets, none of us were expecting this. Don't get me wrong, we like it, however as I learn more of the team and the game it's hard to separate the noise from the actual data in soccer as opposed to the NFL. The NFL has solid but reporting that is right on, for the most part, soccer, not so much, a whole bunch of noise and whoever you talk to seem to have a different opinion of the source of the rumor, etc. Soccer does not have the media respect or communication with the teams that the NFL has. So, for the most part, it's a guessing game unless it comes directly from the team. Twitter is a guessing game at best and filled with more opinion than facts. Rumors and innuendo are simpatico and all over the place with one bad source being the source for many of the rumors. The learning curve is steep. 

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I should have watched that game.  I was rooting for Juventus though.  I'm tired of the Spanish teams winning it every year.  I'll probably try to watch the Tottenham and Dortmund game tomorrow.

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Ok I want to get into soccer, but my biggest thing is I barely understand a few rules and don't know any others. I tried a couple of years ago to look up the rules with no luck of understanding them or the basics. Anyone know of a soccer for dummies website or book?

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I learned years ago by just playing FIFA games on my PS4. Its a learning curve but not that steep. Some rules follow hockey interestingly enough. The line judge and offsides are the most complicated. 

Bonckers likes this

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And, really, there are MUCH fewer rules than the NFL. And ATN is right, once you understand offsides, the rest sort of falls into place.

This video does a decent job of explaining it: 

 

Saint ATN and Bonckers like this

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