Hello folks, I’m glad to bring you another episode of the Vauxhall Motors FM 2011 story! It’s been a while since the last update and I’m sorry that I had to keep you waiting but I hope you will enjoy the episode. Our season started very well, we won all the games that we had played in August and September and that surely gave the fans some confidence that we were going to defend our Premier League title and maybe give them a few other nice surprises. It was too early to celebrate though, the tough part of the season was yet to come.
The first game of October was a tough clash with German giants FC Bayern in the Champions League group, I was quite curious to see my lads in action against such a strong team.
FC Bayern vs Vauxhall (Champions League Grp A)
Starting line up: Luis Guilherme – Julian Marino, Javier Godoy, Marat Bykov, Hans Larsson – Leandro Velasco, Robert Ackermann, Marcos Fernandez, Tiago – Zé Carlos, Parana
Team Talk: You can win today!
The initial minutes of the game were quite pleasing, we were dominating and then managed to make that count after 16 minutes when a fine team move ended with Zé Carlos setting up Parana who fired into the roof of the net to give us the lead. Things got even better six minutes later when one of Bayern‘s centre backs received his marching orders for a violent tackle on Ze Carlos, we were one goal and one man up. Our superiority was quite clear at that point and we managed to double the advantage on a counter attack, Zé Carlos was the builder again and Parana played his finishing role perfectly. Bayern attempted a fightback but they were unlucky to hit the woodwork while Parana was denied the hat-trick just before half time.
Half time score: 0-2
Half time team talk: Pleased.
Half time substitutions: Indio for Fernandez, John Fleck for Tiago
The second half was comfortably quiet, we kept things well under control until 3 minutes from time when Bayern managed to pull one back. It was too late for them though, we won the game and I can say that we surely deserved it.
Full time team talk: Well done!
Man of the match: Parana
Flop of the match: Indio
Vauxhall vs Manchester City (Premier League)
Venue: Vauxhall Stadium
Starting line up: Luis Guilherme – Emanuele Santoni, Mervin Simon, Marat Bykov, Hans Larsson – Leandro Velasco, Robert Ackermann, Marcos Fernandez, Tiago – Zé Carlos, Parana
Team Talk: For the fans!
Our first Premier League game of the month, another meeting with last season’s rival José Mourinho… We beat them to the title last season and things started well this time too as Marat Bykov headed home a Marcos Fernandez free kick cross after just six minutes. The Citizens hit the crossbar from distance just two minutes later, then Parana missed a good chance on 28 minutes and Man City squandered a great opportunity on the half hour mark. That’s all that happened in the first half, we dominated possession but the game was fairly even overall.
Half time score: 1-0
Half time team talk: For the fans!
Half time substitutions: Abdallah Yaisien for Velasco, Walid Mechergui for Tiago
The second half started in a similar fashion, we were dominating but Manchester City were the ones creating chances, fortunately Luis Guilherme did very well to stop Belfodil on a counter attack. Our domination was finally converted into a goal on 71 minutes, Zé Carlos‘ shot was blocked but Parana pounced on the rebound and slotted home. There was no reaction from the visitors, we kept the ball very well during the final moments of the game and earned an important victory against our rivals.
Full time team talk: Well done!
Man of the match: Marat Bykov
Flop of the match: Walid Mechergui
The remaining games in October were supposed to be easier and some of them really were. First we cruised past West Brom with Zé Carlos bagging his 10th goal of the season and then our backups earned an easy victory against Dinamo Moscow in the Champions League. Then things took a turn for the worse as we were held to a home draw by Blackburn and then recorded the first defeat of the season as Aston Villa knocked us out of the Carling Cup in the fourth round. The only good thing in those two games was a sensational free kick goal from Tiago against Blackburn (click here to open the video)
The premature Carling Cup exit was a big disappointment but our league campaign was still on track, we were top of the table but tied with Tottenham on 25 points.
November didn’t have any special fixtures in store for us so we’ll go through the month in quick mode. First we dispatched 16th placed Fulham with ease although we should have scored a few more goals in that game. Then our backups did a great job again in the Champions League against Dinamo Moscow, we scored five goals but Indio surely bagged the best of them (click here to open the video). The next league match was quite disappointing, Everton held us to a 1-1 draw and they surely deserved to get that point. Our unconvincing performances continued against Blackpool but that time Parana saw us through with a clinical display. Our team was getting back on track but we were rather unlucky in the next game against Hull: first we conceded an unlucky early goal, then we squandered loads of chances, hit the woodwork twice but eventually took the lead and last but not least Hull netted the equalizer with an unbelievable injury time shot from 35 yards. Things went a lot better in the last two games of the month as we demolished Ipswich in the league and then eased past Banik Ostrava in the Champions League to secure our passage to the next round with five wins out of five.
The two league draws proved costly, Tottenham surpassed us at the top of the table and they also had a nice cushion: one point and a game in hand.
The good news is that we were going to meet the Spurs in December at Vauxhall Stadium so we had a chance to test our strength against this season’s most likely title rivals before a tricky away double against Chelsea and Manchester United.
Before the crucial Tottenham game the lads showed great fighting spirit against Sunderland, always a tough team to meet. The game was quite entertaining for the neutral football fans as we fought our way back from 1-0 and 2-1 down and eventually clinched a spectacular win that proved to be quite important for the league table as well because…
…because Tottenham got beaten 2-1 at White Hart Lane by Blackburn! That meant that we were back in top spot before the derby at Vauxhall Stadium, 2 points clear of the Spurs but they still had a game in hand. I guess you want to see what happened in that game, don’t you? Well, the next page has the answer! ;)
Go to the next page to read the rest of the story.
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