Hello folks and welcome back to Ellesmere Port for another episode of the (hopefully) exciting Vauxhall Motors Football Manager 2011 story! As you already know we have won everything that was up for grabs this season (Community Shield, UEFA Super Cup, Club World Championship, Carling Cup and Premier League) and we also had the chance to win the two remaining trophies: FA Cup and Champions League. I know that you are curious to see how those two finals unfolded so let’s cut the introduction and go straight to the real deal!
The first challenge was the FA Cup final against Tottenham, the team that we have frustrated so much this season as they finished second in the Premier League, lost the Community Shield to us and also got knocked out by yours truly from the Carling Cup and Champions League! We had a massive seven games against them this season and I’m happy to report that we only lost one of those, the Spurs surely hated our guts before the big showdown at Wembley :)
The Spurs had a pretty good team, it’s not by chance that they amassed 90 plus points in the Premier League. Their strikers are very good but they also have a phenomenal goalkeeper in David De Gea. As for us, we had only one absence from the standard eleven as I chose to send in backup goalkeeper Cristiano instead of Franck Gnahoua who wasn’t fully fit after recovering from a slight injury.
Vauxhall vs Tottenham (FA Cup Final)
Starting line up: Cristiano – Gary Warner, Gerhard Heinrich, Danny Wilson, Pierre Touya – Da Silva, Indio, – Gilson, Tiago – Zé Carlos, Parana
Team Talk: For the fans!
The referee blows his whistle, the game kicks off! Let’s see what happened in the most important moments of the game:
2nd minute – Spurs striker Barreto curls one from 30 yards… it thunders off the crossbar! What a shot!
5th minute – Gilson steps up to take a free kick from the edge of the area… the ball goes past the wall… but great save from De Gea!
15th minute – Spurs right back Aurier crosses into the box… no, who’s marking that lad? It’s a goal, left winger Belhanda was totally unmarked and fired home… (click here to watch the goal)
21st minute – Barreto skips past Danny Wilson, enters the penalty area… shoots… into the side netting!
27th minute – Zé Carlos has the ball in the opposition half, he runs straight at the defence, darts past a defender… enters the box and shoots hard and low… get in! Well done! It’s 1-1, we’re back in! (click here to watch the goal)
40th minute – Da Silva is brought down inside the Spurs penalty area! The referee blows his whistle… but what’s he doing??? Yellow card for my midfielder, the ref says that he dived…
Half time score: 1-1
Half time team talk: For the fans!
Half time substitutions: Javier Godoy for Warner, Phil Jones for Heinrich
Half time stats
53rd minute – Tiago bends in a wicked cross… Gilson pops up from behind a defender and heads home! Yes, we’re in the lead! (click here to watch the goal)
59th minute – Gilson makes a sizzling counter attack run down the right flank, cuts inside… and squares it for Zé Carlos at the edge of the area… The Brazilian shoots first time… Wow, what a goal! In off the crossbar! (click here to watch the goal)
63rd minute – Ze Carlos shoots again from the edge of the area… saved easily.
64th minute – Gilson‘s pressing pays off, he intercepts the ball 20 yards out and passes into the box for Ze Carlos who turns and shoots… brilliant save from De Gea!
67th minute – Good counter attack for the Spurs, Belhanda is clean through… but his shot from inside the area is weak and Cristiano saves.
72nd minute – Substitution for the Motormen, Lucas Cuello for Zé Carlos who gets a standing ovation!
81st minute – Another good counter attack for the Spurs, striker Joaozinho is one on one with our keeper… but blasts it wide!
82nd minute – Substitute Cuello plays a lovely through ball inside the penalty area for Parana… he rounds the keeper… and powers it home! Get in, the FA Cup is ours! (click here to watch the goal)
86th minute – Huge chance for the Spurs, substitute Muniain is clean through inside the penalty area but fires just wide!
91 minutes and 33 seconds – The referee blows his whistle and it’s official, we won the FA Cup!
Full time team talk: Congratulations!
Man of the match: Zé Carlos
Flop of the match: Gerhard Heinrich
So, we had won six trophies out of six, now we had to add the seventh to wrap up a perfect season. We were going to meet four-time winners Porto in the final, a team that had a pretty easy run until the semi final where they pulled off a major upset by defeating Manchester City.
I had a look at their squad and it looked solid overall with one player clearly standing out though: Brazilian midfielder Ricardo. Just have a look at his profile, absolutely stunning player! I can tell you that he was on my shortlist for quite some time but between high price tags and other targets I always avoided making an offer for him. Well, I guess I was wrong :)
Our line up had two modifications compared to the FA Cup final: Gnahoua was back between the sticks while Phil Jones was preferred to Heinrich alongside Wilson at the heart of our defence. Porto opted for a very defensive formation with star player Ricardo in the middle of the pitch. I guess they were afraid of the Bulldozer tactic :)
Vauxhall vs FC Porto (Champions League Final)
Venue: St. James’ Park
Starting line up: Franck Gnahoua – Gary Warner, Danny Wilson, Phil Jones, Pierre Touya – Da Silva, Indio, – Gilson, Tiago – Zé Carlos, Parana
Team Talk: For the fans!
3rd minute – Gilson unleashes a shot from the edge of the area… saved!
8th minute – Ricardo powers a thundering shot from 25 yards… Franck Gnahoua stretches and tips it over the bar! What a shot that was, well done goalie!
34th minute – Finally, a coherent move in our attack! There is panic inside the Porto area, Zé Carlos gets hold of the ball and strikes it low… yes! It’s in the back of the net, his 50th goal of the season! (click here to watch the goal)
39th minute – Gilson bends in a free kick cross… Wilson header from inside the area… cleared off the line! Wait, the ball bounces back to Gilson who crosses towards the far post… Tiago jumps and heads home! 2-0! (click here to watch the goal)
Half time score: 2-0
Half time team talk: Pleased.
Half time substitutions: You’ve got one hand on the cup, lads!
Half time stats
47th minute – good team move from my lads, the ball gets to Zé Carlos inside the area… shoots… the goalkeeper turns it behind!
48th minute – Velasco bends in the corner kick, Wilson heads it… but the goalie tips it over!
49th minute – corner kick again, Wilson gets in another header… just over!
70th minute – Zé Carlos tries his luck from the edge of the area… saved!
90th minute + 2 – Tiago gets a second yellow card for diving!
93 minutes and 21 seconds – the referee blows his whistle, the Champions League is ours for the third time in a row!
Full time team talk: Congratulations!
Man of the match: Tiago
Flop of the match: Robert Ackermann
There you go, a perfect season for the Motormen! It also was a perfect season for Zé Carlos, he scored 50 goals in 50 appearances and that makes him a legend for the club! Parana bagged 28 goals, not a bad sum by any means, but he just can’t compare with his team mate this season.
We had a perfect season and that’s exactly what I wanted, a clean sweep. Now I don’t really know if I want to continue this story or not because I have already won everything with the Motormen but I can tell you that the story will go on for at least one more post because I have to play at the World Cup with Argentina. Strangely enough the FA arranged a friendly against Romania, I felt a bit sorry for my fellow countrymen but we did allow them two goals :)
We will have one more friendly before the World Cup, I will use it to test the squad but I hope there won’t be any injuries because I really don’t have too many good players to choose from. But you’ll know more about that in the next post, that’s all for now! :) Thanks a lot for reading and for supporting the Motormen through this fabulous season, our very best season yet! I’m looking forward to your comments and maybe you could include suggestions for a quick career before FM 2012 ;)
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