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 No quits from Los Periquitos

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Pringers
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Managing : Arsenal

Posts : 3316
Career Goals : 16276
Age : 27
Location : Wales, UK

20110117
PostNo quits from Los Periquitos









R.C.D Espanyol de Barcelona are pleased to announce that Welsh manager Nicholas Pring has taken the reigns, taking over from previous manager Mauricio Pochettino. Pring has signed a two year contract at Los Periquitos.



R.C.D Espanyol de Barcelona play their football at the Estadi de Cornella – El Prat, and have a fierce rivalry with FC Barcelona. Pring will be charged with the season objective off maintain a top half finish in Liga BBVA, and has been handed a transfer budget of £875k.

Pring meets media for the first time:

You sit here as the manager of Espanyol. Is this your dream job?

I am pleased the chairman has trusted me with this position. Espanyol are somewhat of a sleeping giant in Spain, and I’m fully committed to awakening this team and hopefully achieving greatness with them.

You have taken this job without being able to speak Spanish. Won’t it be tough to manage the side until you get to grips with the language?

I don’t have any worries, football is a universal language. I have also brought my closest friend in, who is multi lingual, which will no doubt help us in the long run.

Do you already have an idea of which players you like, and those you are not so happy with?

Everyone will get their chance to prove their worth. We have a great squad of players here, and I think I need one or two signings and we’ll be complete for the season.

You certainly have confidence in your side. What do you consider as the strongest part of your side?

After watching the lads in training, I think we’re pretty well covered in all areas if I’m honest.

It can’t be easy to follow in the footsteps of a legend like Mauricio Pochettino. How do you think you’ll measure up to your predecessor?

I’m confident in my ability, I’m confident in the squad’s ability, so yeah, I think we’ll do pretty well this season. Don’t get me wrong Mauricio has done wonderful things here, but sometimes change is necessary, and I believe I’m the right person for the job to take this club to the next level.

What can we expect in the transfer market?

Well, I like to make sure the signings I make are well thought out and must make some improvement to the squad. As I said, I will be looking to sign one or two players within the next two weeks.

How would you describe your tactical approach?

I believe football should be played at a good pace, and have an attacking look to the game, therefore I will be telling the lads to enjoy the games as they come, and to express themselves on the pitch and not off it.

Reports have linked you with Salamanca’s Toti. Is there any interest in the left winger?

Toti is a decent player, and there is definitely some interest from our side. Whether or not I pursue my interest is another question, as I have other targets, which I hope to sign.

You come in when it is likely that central defender Juan Forlin will leave the club. Do you think you’ll be able to keep him at the club?

Yes, I have spoken to Juan and he is very happy to work under me, and I believe he will stay here for many years to come. He is the future of the Espanyol team.

Thanks Mr Pring, it’s been a pleasure meeting you, and good luck for the following season.

Thanks gentlemen.

Espanyol start their season at home against Madrid based side Getafe on the 29th August 2010.
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No quits from Los Periquitos :: Comments

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Re: No quits from Los Periquitos
Post on 2011-01-23, 14:40 by Jelly
Great signings there mate, hopefully they can do well for you there Smile Good first leg v Karpaty too!

GL & KIU!
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Re: No quits from Los Periquitos
Post on 2011-01-23, 15:44 by Narl
Fantastic signings Pringers! Kompany + Corluka for bargain fees, as well as Emanuelson and Vela on loan! Brilliant! This is a real sign of intent from yourself and the bookies are quite right to put you at 33-1 odds. Good luck in the 2nd leg vs Karpaty as well, a good run in the Euro Cup can be achieved as well with the depth of your squad! Very Happy
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Re: No quits from Los Periquitos
Post on 2011-01-23, 17:20 by Berry
Brilliant signings mate! To get Emmanuelson on a free from Ajax is excellent mate! Bet you loved snapping their hand off for that deal Smile

Kompany + Corluka = awesome for that price, your defence shall be very solid... and Vela on loan! He's such a tricky player to play against so you've done brilliant pal!

Good win away at Karpaty mate, always nice to go that far for a game and come back with all 3 points or in this case an away goal Smile

Good luck in the 2nd leg and I personally can't wait to see how all your signings link up with the lads, this sends fireworks out to the rest of the league...

Keep up the good work Smile

Berry
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Re: No quits from Los Periquitos
Post on 2011-01-23, 22:08 by Pringers
It was second leg time, and I felt no pressure, as I was sure we'd get qualification. I let the lads know this before the game, and they seemed to also believe this.

We kicked the game off and controlled the first half, without troubling the Karpaty Lviv's goalkeeper. It was an easy first half for both sides, as neither of us seemed interested in scoring.

I tried to kick some intent in to the lads at half time, but it didn't seem to work, as the second half saw us register our first and only shot on target. Luckily, Karpaty also lacked the quality to get a goal, and we saw the game out with a 0-0 draw, which meant we'd qualified for the group stages on aggregate after a fantastic 1-0 victory in the Ukraine.



Two days later, we were in Nyon again, this time for the group stage draw of the Europa League. We were dealt with a favourable draw, as we were seeded first. We were paired with Rapid Bucharest of Romania, Young Boys of Switzerland and Aston Villa of England.



***

A day later and it saw the return of La Liga and that means competitive football, and lots of it.

Our first game of the season was away at Osasuna. I told the lads to go there and I would meet them in Pamplona as I was in Nyon. We met up, and immediately went to our hotel for some dinner.

We had an early night, and had a quick training session in the morning. We got to game time, and I told them I believed in them, and told them I think we could get a win Today.

They went out and seemed pretty confident. After just one minute, my suspicions were confirmed as we had the ball in the back of the net through Daniel Osvaldo. I was delighted with the strike, as we'd made such a quick and strong start to our new season.

The next 40 minutes would determine my team talk, and fair play to the lads, they kept the ball well, and used it well when we had to. We rarely gave the ball away and the referee blew up for half time.

I asked for more of the same, and Luis Garcia said "Of course, boss". I smiled and told them to get going.

It was great, we started the second half like we'd played the first half. Dominant on the ball without really threatening the Osasuna goal. It was a perfect away performance.

Just after the hour mark, Osasuna had created a dangeous opportunity, which saw Steve Gohouri's header thunder off the crossbar, and out for a goalkick. I looked at my assistant and took a deep breath.

A couple of minutes later, and Carlos Kameni made himself the hero again, this time with a great save from Walter Pandiani.

I got a message on to the pitch, and told them to keep the ball, which of course, we're the kings of doing so. The lads enjoyed the last 15 minutes, just popping the ball around with considerable ease.

The referee finally blew time on the game, which saw us pick up three points, and make an excellent start to the season.



***

Three days later and our first home game of the season meant we could entertain our fans. The visitors were the Yellow Submarines, Villarreal.

We kicked off in what we're so used to doing. We dominated possession, and had a few half shots from the edge of the box. We hadn't hit the target yet though.

Villarreal started to get in to the game a bit with Santi Cazorla and Giuseppe Rossi getting more involved. And, just before half time, Villarreal should've taken the lead through Giuseppe Rossi. Cazorla whipped in a delightful cross, which was nodded on by Nilmar to find Rossi unmarked, but the striker couldn't make contact with the ball, and Kameni retrieved the ball.

The referee blew for half time, and I wanted to encourage the lads, as we hadn't tested Diego Lopez yet.

The second half was similar. We were struggling to make any decent chances, and the away side were comfortable at the back.

After an hour, and it was still 0-0, I made some changes, but it seemed neither side wanted to win this, and both teams wanted to settle for a draw.

I made one more change, which I'd hoped would change the mindset of my attack, but unfortunately, the backline of Villarreal remained untested for the game.

The referee blew time on a very disappointing 0-0 draw.



***

5 points from 3 games meant that we were 10th in the league table. I was quite happy with the way we were playing, but wanted the lads to hit the target a little more often in games, rather than passing the ball too much.

***

Join me in September's update to see us take on the giants of Real Madrid, Sevilla, and Aston Villa.
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Re: No quits from Los Periquitos
Post on 2011-01-23, 22:10 by Jelly
Not a bad start there mate, good stuff in the Europa League in addition Very Happy

GL & KIU!
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Re: No quits from Los Periquitos
Post on 2011-01-23, 22:13 by Dan
Some good results coming through and a pretty decent Europa League group to boot! KIU
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Re: No quits from Los Periquitos
Post on 2011-01-23, 23:37 by Narl
Nice results in the league, Pringsy, 1-0 away and then 0-0 at home Smile Good stuff! Not a bad wee Europa League group there either. Aston Villa will be your main threat, me thinks.


Keep up the great work mate Smile
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Re: No quits from Los Periquitos
Post on 2011-01-24, 12:13 by Pringers
Two weeks in to September, and we had our first game of the month. It was a tricky tie away at Getafe. The home side were doing quite well in the league, and I knew we needed to avoid defeat today. I told the lads that we must get a positive result today.

We kicked off the game, and we looked a little bit nervous. It was understandable really, as it was quite a big game.

The first half flew by, as neither side could carve out any real attacking threats, with both sides having a share of the possession. I told the lads to do it for 2000 travelling Espanyol supporters, expecting a reaction.

The second half was very similar to the first half, both sides were comfortable with possession, without really making a real attempt to score. On the 69th minute, we lost Luis Garcia through injury, and I prayed that it wasn't a serious injury.

The referee blew up, and with both sides really causing a problem to each other, I was satisfied with the point, although I couldn't help thinking that if we took that one risk, we could've won.



***

A few days later and it was time for our first Europa League group game, at home against the Romanian side Rapid Bucharest. I told the lads we needed a win to get us started here, and to push on and get an early goal.

Instead of getting an early goal, we had an early injury, which forced me to take off Jose Raul Baena and replace him with Aldo Duscher. This was unfortunate as Baena was one of our star players.

Just before the 20th minute, Rapid's Marius Neculai opened the scoring with a powerful first time effort, Carlos Kameni had no chance.

We tried to get an equaliser before half time, but the Rapid defence played very well, limiting us to long range shots, which were easily gathered by the goalkeeper.

I told the lads I was disappointed and told them we must get at least a point now.

Just after the hour mark, Marius Neculai made it 2-0 to the visitors. I was shocked, and embarrased as there was no way we could lose to Rapid Bucharest and expect to qualify from the group stages.

The referee blew time on a very disappointing performance, and I struggled to even put two words together to the players.



***

A couple of days later and we played host to Real Sociedad in the league. I told the lads I expected them to bounce back in style, and we must get the three points our play deserves. I also told them to take a few risks, and create more opportunities.

The first half flew by, as both sides had a fair share of the possession, but Real Sociedad seemed to be the side more likely to score. I told the lads to push up a bit, as they were playing quite deep, when just 5 minutes before the whistle went Antoine Griezmann, who had been linked with a summer move to Espanyol, put the ball in the back of the net to give the visitors a 1-0 lead at half time.

Again, we'd controlled the game well, but somehow found ourselves losing at half time. I decided to go for it, and told them to go all out attack.

Just 5 minutes after the second half started, a Luis Garcia corner found summer signing Vincent Kompany unmarked at the near post, and the big Belgian guided the ball past Claudio Bravo in the Real Sociedad net to make it 1-1.

The next 40 minutes went by and neither side had really made the goalkeepers and defense work, that was until stoppage time, as a lucky deflection saw the ball roll to Luis Garcia, who smashed the winner past Claudio Bravo to give us a nice 2-1 win, and another three points.



***

Another three days had gone passed, and it was getting hardwork to keeping the lads fit, as we were playing every three days. We had to make the trip to Madrid, where we would be playing against Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu.

I told the lads I didn't expect spectacular things tonight, just to make things difficult for the home side.

We went out, and the lads totally took me by surprise. After just 5 minutes, Jose Maria Callejon put us 1-0 up from a neat header, after a good cross from Daniel Osvaldo. I tried to get the lads to keep the ball, which they did superbly for the next 40 minutes.

But, when you play against the big teams, they only need one chance to score. Deep in to stoppage time, Karim Benzema made it 1-1, after a good finish past Carlos Kameni.

At half time, I told the lads to keep going, and we could win here. That felt crazy to say, but I started to believe we could.

Especially after two minutes of the second half, Alvaro Arbeloa was dismissed for a second yellow card.

I then passed a message to Luis Garcia, and told them to go for it, but it was hard work beating Iker Casillas. Casillas made a string of superb saves, proving why he is Spain's number 1, and why he is considered the best goalkeeper in the World.

A great performance, and a very credible 1-1 draw away at the home of the Champions.



***

Three days later and we hosted Sevilla. It was the return of Victor Ruiz, and we had a few kind words to say to each other before the big kick off.

After 16 minutes, we were awarded a penalty, which Luis Garcia stepped up to take, however, Andres Palop made a brilliant save and kept the score at 0-0.

I thought we might lose the game from here, but I was wrong. Just before the half hour mark, Dani Osvaldo opened the scoring with a crisp shot in to the top corner.

Just 6 minutes later, Juan Forlin made it 2-0 after a Carlos Vela corner found the Argentine centre-back in the box. The centre-back put the ball in the back of the net and made it 2-0.

Just before the half time whistle, Sevilla grabbed one back through Mali Striker Frederic Kanoute. I was gutted that we conceded but challenged the lads to grab a third in the second half.

We didn't wait long to do so, after the hour mark, Luis Garcia smashed in a terrific volley from 12 yards out, to give us a 3-1 lead at home.

I now knew that the points were safe, and instructed the lads to waste a bit of time. We saw it out and gained an amazing 3-1 win against Sevilla.



***

A few days later, and it was our first trip in the Europa League group stages. A tricky away game to the Midlands in England. A place I didn't know too much about, and a team I hadn't heared a lot about either.

I told the lads we would do well to get a point, but I knew we needed to start winning in this competition if we had any chance of qualifying.

The first half was rubbish, the home side controlled the pace of the game, but we were able to manage their attacks.

Just before half time, Aston Villa took the lead through Ander from the penalty spot. Ander was a summer signing from Real Zaragoza, and seemed a right handful.

I screamed at the lads at half time, as I knew we couldn't lose 2 out of 2 in the group stages. I left in a sulk and left them to discuss it between themselves.

Just before the 70th minute, a corner from Luis Garcia found Vincent Kompany who found the back of the net to make it 1-1. I was happy with the way they'd come out fighting in the second half.

However, we couldn't find a winner, as the referee blew time on a very awkward first away game in Europe.

I guess I was fairly satisfied with this result.



***



As you can see we're 6th, won 3, drew 3. I was happy with the way we've started, but knew there was better to come.

***

Join me in the next month's update to see if we can continue our unbeaten streak and see if we can win our first Europa League game against the Young Boys.


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Re: No quits from Los Periquitos
Post on 2011-01-24, 13:32 by Narl
A month of mixed emotions for sure, Pringers. Razz Great victories against Sevilla and Real Sociedad, along with a formidable draw with Los Galacticos. Well done mate! Really unlucky in the Europa League, a victory against YB will get the ball rolling for your team in that competition I think Very Happy

Nice to see Luis Garcia wasn't out for long with that injury as well, he's your main man from what I can tell Razz


Good luck against YB, I'm sure you'll get a credible win against them mate. Looking forward to October's update Very Happy
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Re: No quits from Los Periquitos
Post on 2011-01-24, 14:50 by Posh
Good stuff, I have never played as Espanyol so I am very interested in this one Smile
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Re: No quits from Los Periquitos
Post on 2011-01-24, 15:49 by Berry
Good start to the new season pal; a bit of a bad start in the Europa League but you've done very well to get a draw at Villa Park so well done Smile

Amazing stuff to get a draw at the Bernabeau, you've made Espanyol into quite a force Razz

To be unbeaten in the league so far is impressive Very Happy

Good luck for next month mate, lovely to see your new signings are settling in well and they'll only settle in more from now on Smile

Berry
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Re: No quits from Los Periquitos
Post on 2011-01-25, 17:52 by Pringers
I'm going to try something new with the story this month.

***

Fixtures & Results

Espanyol 0 - 0 Racing Santander
Numancia 0 - 0 Espanyol
Espanyol 3 - 1 Young Boys (Europa League)
Espanyol 4 - 1 Xerez
Alaves 0 - 3 Espanyol (Copa del Rey 4th Round, Leg 1)
Deportivo La Coruna 0 - 1 Espanyol



***

Performance of the Month

It was our third Europa League match against the Young Boys at home. I knew we needed a win, and told the lads I expect nothing less.

I was surprised at how much this kickstarted the game, as within the first 15 minutes, we were 2-0 up. Luis Garcia scored the two goals, and we were in complete control. We really should've wrapped it up before the half hour mark, but the Young Boys goalkeeper made some excellent saves.

5 minutes later Mexican Carlos Vela smashed in a terrific volley, and put us 3-0 up. The away side managed to get one back with less than 15 minutes to go, but there was no way we was going to crumble.



***

Join me in the next update, as the Championship and Europa League heats up.
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Re: No quits from Los Periquitos
Post on 2011-01-25, 17:58 by Jelly
Liking this new layout buddy, may not be as in depth but that = more updates cheers!

Great work so far, GL & KIU!
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Re: No quits from Los Periquitos
Post on 2011-01-25, 18:41 by Narl
Hmm, short, sweet, and to the point Pringy Smile Although I enjoy reading your more detailed updates, this is also good too mate Very Happy

Nice result against Young Boys!
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Re: No quits from Los Periquitos
Post on 2011-01-25, 18:44 by Berry
Great win against Young Boys mate, liking the new layout - preferred the earlier style but no matter what kind of layout you use as long as this story continues I'm not bothered Smile

Keep up the terrific work mate.

Berry
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Re: No quits from Los Periquitos
Post on 2011-01-25, 19:31 by Pringers
Thanks for the feedbacks lads, I will go back to the other format soon, but want to go through this season as swiftly as possible.

Fixtures & Results

Young Boys 2 - 1 Espanyol (Europa League)
Espanyol 0 - 1 Malaga
Espanyol 1 - 0 Alaves (Copa del Rey, 4th Round, 2nd Leg)
Mallorca 0 - 2 Espanyol
Espanyol 1 - 1 Athletic Bilbao



Performance of the Month

There is absolutely no doubt where our best peformance was after a very tough month. We went to the Balaeric Islands expecting a tough game from Mallorca.

I told the lads to get stuck in and we could get at least a point. Just before the 20 minute mark, Jose Maria Callejon put us 1-0 with a very tidy finish.

Before half-time, Mallorca's star player Jonathan de Guzman was forced to come off through injury, and the hosts lost a bit of their flair and creativity.

Just after the restart Daniel Osvaldo gave us a 2-0 lead, which was a great goal, after the winger-cum-striker was played in by Luis Garcia, and the Italian scored with a superb shot across Dudu Aouate.



***

Join me in the next update as we try to battle back after a very poor month, and with elimination looming in the Europa League, watch us turn our attentions to other competitions.
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Re: No quits from Los Periquitos
Post on 2011-01-25, 19:33 by Jelly
Europa League knockout looming :O Oh deary me, is that a giveaway Wink

Good stuff so far mate hopefully next month will be better Smile

GL & KIU
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Re: No quits from Los Periquitos
Post on 2011-01-25, 19:34 by Berry
Shame how things have turned out in the Europa League mate but as you say there are other competitions to be focusing on, most importantly the league, which you are doing a sensational job in so far Smile

To be 2nd at this stage is great, and hopefully you can keep this up. Looking forward to seeing your next update(s) mate, as always.

Berry
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Re: No quits from Los Periquitos
Post on 2011-01-25, 23:43 by Pringers
December Update

***

Rapid Bucharest v Espanyol
Europa League
1.12.11
Valentin Stanescu, Bucharest

To even stand a little chance of qualifying from the group stages of the Europa League, We all knew what we had to do. We needed to go to Bucharest and produce a good performance, and most importantly get three points.

I told the lads that we needed to achieve a good score here, and to also get our goal difference in the positives.

Just five minutes in to the first half and we had something to celebrate. A neat one-two on the edge of the box between Luis Garcia and Jose Maria Callejon, saw the Spanish striker Callejon give us a 1-0 lead.

We probably should've made it 2-0 before half time, but instead Marius Neculai, the man who single handedly beat us in the first game in Barcelona, equalised against the run of play.

I told the lads at half time, that if the scores stay like this, we are definitely out of this years Europa League. I also told them to go out and get the win.

Nothing happened for about 30 minutes, and you could literally hear a pin drop inside the stadium, that was until Callejon was tripped on the edge of the box, and Luis Garcia smashed in a terrific free kick to give us a 2-1 lead.

Just 5 minutes later, we finished the tie off. A superb corner from Jesus Datolo found big Belgian centre-back Vincent Kompany at the front post, and his glanced header went past Flavius Achim in the Rapid Bucharest goals.

As things stood, we needed to beat Aston Villa at home to get qualification, which would've been done by the harshest circumstances, as it would've been our head-to-head record against the side from Birmingham.



***

Atletico Madrid v Espanyol
Liga BBVA
4.12.11
Vicente Calderon, Madrid

I wasn't expecting a great deal from this game to be honest, Atletico were the better side, and I knew we'd be extremely lucky to keep our run going.

I wished the lads all the best, and just told them that they have the ability, and the potential to pull an upset here. I'm not sure whether they believed me or not, but it was worth a try.

As I suspected, the home side pushed us back in the early going, and should've taken the lead through Diego Forlan, but his shot was saved by Carlos Kameni.

Atletico Madrid we're pushing on, and looked very promising. Quique Flores had them playing very well, and I felt they were by far the better side in the first half. Luckily for us, Carlos Kameni was on form, and managed to keep out the Atletico attacks.

I told the lads that they were doing well, and just to keep going, as I knew this would help them mentally understand the task at hand.

Just 5 minutes in to the second half, Atleti's Pablo Pintos strolled in to the box, only to be fouled by Vedran Corluka. It was a stone-wall penalty, and I knew if Diego Forlan put this away, we'd be in trouble. Forlan stepped up...GOOOOOOOAL! Atletico lead 1-0.

I made a change, I brought on Sergio Garcia for Dani Osvaldo, who had a pretty poor game. Sergio Garcia made an instant impact, as Garcia made a delightful run in to the box, and he was fouled by Sebastien Bassong, and the referee made no mistake in rewarding another penalty. Jesus Datolo stepped up, and he smashed the ball past David de Gea to make it 1-1.

Then, in stoppage time, I couldn't believe my eyes. Substitute Borja Valero spreaded the ball out wide to Sergio Garcia, who whipped the ball in and found Jose Maria Callejon unmarked. The Spanish striker made no mistake, and found the bottom corner to give us a 2-1 win.

I was absolutely delighted, what a win!



***

Espanyol v Real Betis
Liga BBVA
11.12.11
Estadi de Cornella - El Prat, Barcelona

I told the lads to follow up the brilliant victory at Madrid, with a good home performance against newcomers Real Betis.

Our job was made that little bit easier just before the 15 minute mark when Brazilian full-back Thiago Carleto was dismissed after a rash tackle on Javi Marquez.

I knew this advantage had to been punished, but I also knew how difficult it was going to be.

On the half hour mark, We had the ball in the back of the net, unfortunately, Jesus Datolo's effort was ruled out through a suspicion of handball.

Just before half time, we were awarded a penalty. Jesus Datolo was the taker, after Luis Garcia missed the game through an injury. Datolo stepped up and tucked it away superbly to give us a 1-0 lead going in to half time. That made my team talk all the much easier.

I told the lads to punish them in the second half, and get the game wrapped up as soon as possible.

5 minutes in to the second half, and Jose Maria Callejon produced a moment of genius, as a nice through ball from Carlos Vela, found Callejon in the box, and Callejon smashed the ball past the visitors goalkeeper to make it 2-0.

I stood on the touchline encouraging the lads to go for it, and grab a few more, but they seemed reluctant to go forward and really punish Betis. It was then, I knew I had to settle for a 2-0 win. Not that I'm complaining or anything.



***

Espanyol v Aston Villa
Europa League
15.12.11
Estadi de Cornella - El Prat, Barcelona

The objective was clear. Win, and we'd qualify on head-to-head. Draw or lose, and we're out of Europe altogether.

I told the lads, that I expect a win here, as anything less and we were history. The lads seemed to respond well, and seemed to be keen to get out on the pitch. We had a little team huggle, which seemed to movtivate the lads even more.

We kicked off and it was the visitors who took the initiative. Gabby Agbonlahor and then Federico Macheda testing Carlos Kameni with decent efforts.

On the stroke of half time, Jean Makoun scored for the visitors, but fortunately for us, the referee had seen an infringement, and disallowed the goal.

At half time, I told the lads to come on, we wasn't playing very well, and I needed them to get a bit better.

Just after the hour mark, I had something to celebrate, as a great finish from Dani Osvaldo put us 1-0 up. I checked the league table on my blackberry, and noticed that we were in fact now 2nd in the group.

With just 5 minutes left, we sealed our fate. A good finish from Spanish winger Sergio Garcia made it 2-0. I was chuffed, we'd reached the first knockout round of the Europa League.

However, there was a twist in stoppage time, as Argentinian centre-back Juan Forlin was shown a straight red card for a stray elbow on Federico Macheda.





***

Two days later we were on our way to Nyon to find out who we'd be drawn with in the 1st knockout round of the Europa League. I sat down with my chairman as the draw got underway. We didn't have long to wait as we were the third tie to be called.

"It's R.C.D Espanyol de Barcelona of Spain, they will play, Toulouse of France"

They then proceeded to the second knockout round draw and once again, we didn't have long to wait. This time we were the first tie out.

"R.C.D Espanyol de Barcelona or Toulouse, will play, Glasgow Rangers or FC Porto".

I was pretty satisfied with the draw, and felt we could reach the next round, and possibly the Quarter Finals.

***

Barcelona v Espanyol
Liga BBVA
18.12.11
Nou Camp, Barcelona

Now, I wasn't expecting any surprises here this season. Barcelona had improved from last season, and with the new manager Arsene Wenger, I knew they'd be a tough side to crack.

I told the lads to do their best, and we could surprise them, but secretly, I knew that we'd be lucky not to get thrashed.

We went out and the home side took control almost immediately. That was no surprise though, after watching Barcelona's games, I knew possession was their main point of attack.

We had done well though, no real threats from the home side, and we didn't allow them to settle that well.

After 42 minutes, Sergio Garcia raced on to a through ball from Carlos Vela, and the Spaniard put it past Victor Valdes to give us a shock 1-0 lead. I was shocked, surely we couldn't do it two seasons running here.

Just 2 minutes later, David Villa equalised. A nice ball from Xavi, found the Spanish hitman, who took the ball under superb control, and unleashed a cracking shot past Carlos Kameni.

Then, deep in to stoppage time of the first half, the home side took the lead through Argentine wizard Lionel Messi. Messi beat two players and calmly passed the ball past Kameni to turn the game upside down, and give them a 2-1 lead.

We got to half time, at 2-1 down. I felt we'd done alright, and was a bit harsh to be 2-1 down. I encouraged the team to keep going, as I knew we could get something now.

10 minutes in to the second half and Mexican Carlos Vela did just that. The young forward smashed a teasing volley past Victor Valdes to make it 2-2. Unbelievable scenes, as I did a Mourinho-esque celebration down the touchline at the Nou Camp.

Was it a bit premature? Maybe. A bit childish? Certainly. Worth it? Oh yes!.

The second half went quickly, as it was quite 50-50. Either side could've gone on to win this game. It was all down to the fitness levels, and Barcelona proved why they are one of the best and biggest teams in World football.

Deep, deep in to stoppage time, influential Andres Iniesta made it 3-2. Xavi played in Iniesta, who rounded Kameni and gave the home side a valuable win.





***

Join me in January's update to see if I have any transfer news, and to see how we progress in the league.
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Re: No quits from Los Periquitos
Post on 2011-01-26, 00:09 by Narl
WOW mate cheers cheers 2 fantastic wins against Bucharest and Aston Villa to get you into the knockouts, brilliant fightback from your team. 3rd in the league as well ain't too shabby if I do "sah so mahself" . FLIPPING AWESOME PRINGERS! Very Happy (Unlucky about the Barca game, they're dicks)
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Re: No quits from Los Periquitos
Post on 2011-01-26, 16:41 by Berry
Great update mate, that month was certainly one for the fans to cheer about; brilliant recovery in the Europa League to earn qualification through your group and into the knock outs.

Brilliant wins in the league too, especially that 2-1 win away at Atletico - they're such a great team so to beat them At Their Own Place is something to be proud of Smile

As for the Barca game... not much can be said really; they're so jammy, can't believe they nicked all 3 points like that, but hey you'll get 'em next time.

Good work mate, keep it up Smile Can't wait for your next postage Razz

Berry!
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Re: No quits from Los Periquitos
Post on 2011-01-26, 16:43 by Niko
Wow amazing work here mate Smile 3rd in the league outstanding :O

Bring the Europa league home Very Happy
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Re: No quits from Los Periquitos
Post on 2011-01-26, 22:42 by Pringers
January 2012 1/2 Update
(Update has been split in 2, as there was 8 games this month)

***

Espanyol v Valencia
Copa del Rey - 5th Round, Leg 1
4.1.12
Estadi de Cornella - El Prat, Barcelona

To stand a chance of reaching the Copa del Rey Quater Finals, I knew I had to get a decent home result against a much improved Valencia side.

I told the lads this, and I figured that if we could avoid defeat, and avoid conceding, then we may have a very good chance of qualifying.

The game started with the away side taking control, and it didn't take long before Carlos Kameni was called in to action, as he made a decent strong save from a Roberto Soldado effort.

Just a few minutes later, the visitors took the lead through a superb solo goal from Juan Manuel Mata. Mata beat two players before unleashing a beautiful curling effort in to the top corner of the net.

I could see that this hit the confidence of the lads, and I tried to get their mind's back on the job. It was important that we never conceded again before half time, otherwise it would be game over.

It probably should've been 2-0 just before half time, but another fantastic save from Kameni kept us in the game.

At half time, I told the lads I expect a little bit more from them, as we hadn't really tested Moya in the visitors net.

The second half was similar, and Valencia controlled us very well, stopping us from shooting, and defending superbly.

With just 15 minutes left, the visitors should've wrapped it up, after Aritz Aduriz missed a glaring chance from a corner kick. Mata whipped the ball in and the Spanish striker was given an unmarked header, but he cleared the cross bar.

The referee blew this whistle 15 minutes later, and the game ended 1-0 to the visitors. I knew there was a lot of work needing doing before the return leg, and turned my attentions to picking the lads up after a dismal performance.



***

Espanyol v Sporting Gijon
Liga BBVA
8.1.12
Estadi de Cornella - El Prat, Barcelona

So it was back to the league, and an home game, we really should be winning. However, Sporting are a decent side, so I knew this wouldn't be easy.

I told the lads that I expect a win today, and told them I had faith in their ability.

We started the game well, and after 20 minutes we were given a helper from the referee, as Sporting midfielder Sebastien Eguren was dismissed for a dirty tackle on Jose Raul Baena.

We created a few opportunities before half time, but was unable to really get any conviction on the chances, and couldn't get that elusive goal to put us 1-0 up.

I told the lads to push on and really get the game by the grip and rip them to pieces.

Just after half time, the visitors had been awarded a penalty. Diego Castro stepped up and put his weak shot wide of the right post. Sporting's manager could see the devastating effect this had on the side.

We pushed on and on, and still couldn't find the goal we needed - and with less than 10 minutes left, Mexican striker Carlos Vela came up with the goods, as he was played through by Dani Osvaldo, and the young Mexican chipped it over the goalkeeper to give us a valuable 1-0 win, and another 3 vital points.



***

Valencia v Espanyol
Copa del Rey - 5th Round, 2nd Leg (1-0 on agg)
11.1.12
Mestalla, Valencia

So after being 1-0 down in the first leg, I decided to go for broke, and play more attacking. I noticed in the warm up, that the home side had decided to rest a few of their key players, as they were obviously putting the league as top priority.

I wished the lads luck, and knew that if we got through here, we'd have a great chance of winning the competition.

We kicked off the game, and took immediate control of the game, which was awesome to see, as I knew we'd need a lot of possession to win this game.

And, after just 15 minutes, we found the back of the net. It was the in-form Carlos Vela. A delightful header from the young striker, to give us a 1-0 lead, which was thoroughly deserved.

Just over 15 minutes later, we'd doubled our lead. This time it was Mexican striker Carlos Vela who set up our Italian winger, Dani Osvaldo, who made no mistake in making it 2-0.

We got to half time at 2-0, and I told the lads to keep it up, and get one more, as Valencia would then need to beat us outright.

Ten minutes in to the second half, we were rewarded with a penalty, which Luis Garcia would take. Garcia stepped up and sent the 'keeper the wrong way to give us a well deserved 3-0 lead.

I couldn't believe at the ease we were dispatching the home side.

Just over 10 minutes later, and we snatched a 4th goal. It was Carlos Vela again who took the headlines with a nice goal, after great work from Luis Garcia on the edge of the box.

5 minutes later, Valencia got one back from Aritz Aduriz, who was picked out wonderfully from a Joaquin cross, and the striker had no problems in making it 4-1, and 4-2 on aggregate.

Ten minutes later, and Dutch wing-back Urby Emanuelson grabbed a 5th for us. An emphatic finish to a wonderful performance.

However, it wasn't finished there. Just a few minutes later, Valencia found another goal, this time from left winger Vicente. The winger cut inside and hit it with his right foot.

I was delighted, a 5-2 away victory at Valencia to put us through to the quarter finals. A great performance and a great boost.



The next day was the Quarter Final draw, and we were paired with Villarreal. The first leg would be at ours, and then we'd go to El Madrigal to try and get a place in the Semi Finals.

***

Espanyol v Almeria
Liga BBVA
15.1.12
Estadi de Cornella - El Prat, Barcelona

Another home league game, and another game we should be winning comfortably. I told the lads this, and told them I wanted nothing less than the three points.

And, with just 15 minutes gone, Urby Emanuelson scored another great goal. He was proving that he was more than just a left back, as he was now occupying the left wing.

Just after the 30 minute mark, we'd doubled our lead, through Dani Osvaldo. Osvaldo was played in by Carlos Vela, and the Italian smashed in a 2nd goal for us.

Almeria rarely threatened, as we pushed for a 3rd before half time, but that wasn't to be. I told the lads to keep going, and not to do anything silly.

After just an hour gone, Dani Osvaldo was dismissed for an elbow. It was a complete accident, but the referee made the right call.

Fortunately, it wasn't costly, as we saw the rest of the game out, and cruised to a 2-0 victory, and another three points.



***

Join me in the next update as I go through the rest of January.
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Re: No quits from Los Periquitos
Post on 2011-01-26, 22:52 by Niko
Great results The Valencia game in the cup is outstanding well done mate Smile keep it up
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Re: No quits from Los Periquitos
Post on 2011-01-28, 11:50 by Pringers
January 2012 Part 2

***

Espanyol v Villarreal
Copa Del Rey - Quarter Final, Leg 1
18.1.12
Estadi de Cornella - El Prat, Barcelona

So, it's Cup time again, and I knew I needed the lads to get a positive result to take to El Madrigal for the second leg.

I told the lads that we must win tonight, and I was fully expecting a win, as I had complete faith in the lads.

We kicked off, and took control of the game, and it wasn't long until we took advantage. After 10 minutes, Carlos Vela played in Daniel Osvaldo, who placed the ball in the opposite corner, where the ball had hit the post and went in.

We continued to control, and I was hoping for a quick second goal, but it didn't seem to be coming as we struggled to get shots on target, and the game was constantly being disrupted by negative and dirty tactics by the visitors.

Just before the half time whistle, Villarreal's Bruno was dismissed for two bookings in five minutes. I was disgusted with the way the visitors had conducted theirselves in this match, as they'd already racked up 7 bookings in the first half.

I encouraged the lads at half time, and told them we needed another goal.

We went out and still controlled the game. The away side were very poor, and only managed to work Carlos Kameni once.

Just after the hour mark, we were also reduced to ten men, as Carlos Vela was shown his second yellow card for a dive. I was furious with the Mexican, and I let him know that, as I followed him to the changing rooms to have a go at him.

I came back out, and the lads had still been controlling the game. I was a bit disappointed with the lads, as we hadn't made the most of our possession, and we hadn't got the second goal we deserved.

I had to settle for a 1-0 lead to take to Villarreal, a lead which I didn't feel confident about.



***

Valencia v Espanyol
Liga BBVA
21.1.12
Mestalla, Valencia

I knew this would be a hard game, even though we'd only just won 5-2 here. Valencia were back in form, and closing the gap I had over them at the top of the table.

I knew a defeat today, and this could seriously harm our chances of getting a Champions League place. I told the lads to do it for the following supports, which usually motivated the lads to do well in these type of games.

We kicked off and controlled the game, as we looked to get an early goal. However, Moya seemed to be on top form, as he made some superb saves in the first twenty minutes.

Just three minutes later and the home side punished us. It was Juan Manuel Mata down the left wing, and his cross found Spaniard Roberto Soldado unmarked in box, and his instant control and shoot found the back of the net, to give the home side a 1-0 lead against the run of play.

We pushed on to try and find an equaliser before half time, but it seemed that Moya was determined to keep a clean sheet today.

We got to half time at 1-0 down, I wasn't too disappointed as I knew this would be tough, I was just a little disappointed as we hadn't scored after all the hard work we've put in to the performance so far.

The second half started, and it a familiar feel to it. It was exactly the same as the first half, as we controlled the game, and Moya saved everything we hit.

It was a spirited display from Moya, and the Valencia backline, as we struggled to gain momentum and beat the keeper.

In the end, I settled for a 1-0 defeat as I knew Moya wouldn't be beaten, so preserved a few legs, and made some changes as the referee was checking his watch.



***

Villarreal v Espanyol
Copa del Rey, Quarter Final, 2nd Leg
25.1.12
El Madrigal, Villarreal

I knew the 2nd leg would be difficult as we only had a 1-0 lead. I encouraged the lads to push on and find a goal as soon as possible.

And, as we kicked off, it only took a few minutes for us to get going. A long ball forward by Vincent Kompany, was headed down by Jose Maria Callejon, and volleyed in by Luis Garcia...However, the referee claimed that Callejon had strayed offside, and the goal was disallowed.

Ten minutes later, and we were punished. The home side was given a free kick out on the right wing, which Santi Cazorla took, and he whipped it in and found Victor Ramos, who made no mistake in making it 1-0.

Now, I was panicking, as it was all level. I knew 1 goal for us, and the tie would change. So I pushed the lads on, and told them to go for it.

We got to half time at 1-0 down, and I made a few changes, as we tried to push on and get a goal.

The game went on and on, and it was still only 1-0.

With just more than 15 minutes left, the home side found a winning goal. It was substitute Jefferson Montero who found the net, which ultimately eliminated us from the Copa del Rey.

I was left disappointed, as we really should've done better than this, but I knew the league and Europa League was our priorties.



***

Espanyol v Osasuna
Liga BBVA
29.1.12
Estadi de Cornella - El Prat, Barcelona

So, it's the final game of a very hectic month, and it's a nice home game against strugglers Osasuna. It's really a must win, if we want to better ourselves, and get Champions League football for next season.

I told the lads that they can win today, and little before ten minutes, we were 1-0 up. A nice ball from Luis Garcia found Jose Maria Callejon, who rounded the goalkeeper to make it 1-0.

A great start to the match...

The game went on, and I was expecting a few more goals, but we struggled to hit the target. I know this is one thing we'd be working on in the Summer.

Just before the half time whistle, Sergio Garcia made it 2-0. Kameni's goalkick found Callejon, and he brought it down, and put it out wide to Sergio Garcia. Garcia cut inside, and unleashed a beautiful strike in to the top corner.

At half time, I knew the points were safe, so I told the lads to be careful, and sit on what we've got. Our defence had been strong all season, and there was no reason to change this now.

The second half started with Osasuna on the front foot, but our defence sniffed out any possible threat with considerable ease, whilst looking to get a counter attack going.

The second half was broken up with two injuries to Osasuna players, which seemed to be nothing injuries.

On the 80th minute, we had a third disallowed, as the ball was played in behind the Osasuna defence, and Callejon finished the chance. I thought the linesman had made the wrong call, and watching the video evidence, he did. I didn't see a foul, nor an offside anywhere in the build up to the goal.

The referee called time, which gave us another win, and a good three points.





***

Join me in February's update, as the Europa League returns, and the league gets interesting.
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Re: No quits from Los Periquitos
Post on 2011-01-28, 12:42 by Niko
A rather mixed month for you, out of the CUP but you still have a 1-0 lead to go to Villareal with which is great Smile


3rd in the league not doing bad at all
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Re: No quits from Los Periquitos
Post on 2011-01-28, 17:56 by Berry
Doing well mate, shame about the Copa del Rey loss to Valencia; the league and Europa has to main priority though, as you said, and to get to the Quarters in the Spain cup isn't bad at all.

Great to see you're still in the title running Very Happy

Keep up the work pal, doing class.

Berry!
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Re: No quits from Los Periquitos
Post on 2011-01-30, 00:15 by Pringers
February 2012 Update

***

Villarreal v Espanyol
Liga BBVA
5.2.12
El Madrigal, Villarreal

So, it's the first game of the month, and a return to the team who knocked us out of the Copa del Rey, just a few weeks before.

I knew this would be a tough game, and I had now learned who the main players were for Villarreal, and I told the lads to target these to make them weaker. I wished the lads luck, as I knew it would need a miracle for us to win this.

Our tough-tackling, and hussle like approach showed, as we forced Marcos Senna off the pitch through injury after just 12 minutes. That was one key player down, I said to my assistant.

We were controlling the game pretty well, and after 20 minutes, we opened the scoring through Juan Forlin. Callejon's 25 yard effort, took a deflection of Gonzalo Rodriguez and went out for a corner. Carlos Vela took the corner and the cross was met by the rising Juan Forlin, who beat Villarreal's Diego Lopez to make it 1-0.

However, our lead didn't last long as the home side equalised less than 10 minutes later, through Stanislav Manolev. I was disappointed with the marking, but like I said to the lads, watch out for the key men, as the goal was created by the in form Santi Cazorla.

We got to half time at 1-1, and I was pretty happy with what I've seen so far, and I knew a point would be a terrific result. However, I'm an ambitious coach, and wanted all three points. I encouraged the lads on for the second half stating we could win.

We started like we finished, and that was on top. Diego Lopez made a good save from Callejon, and we looked decent.

Then on the hour mark, Diego Lopez was finally beaten again. This time it would be Jose Maria Callejon with the goal, as the Spanish striker wriggled off Gonzalo, and found the bottom corner with a neat strike to make it 2-1.

I immediately made some changes to try and preserve this lead, and with 15 minutes to go Villarreal thought they found an equaliser through American Jozy Altidore, but the referee saw an infringement.

The referee eventually blew time on the match as we escaped Villarreal with an impressive 2-1 victory.



***

Espanyol v Getafe
Liga BBVA
13.2.2012
Estadi de Cornella - El Prat, Barcelona

Just over a week later, we had a tricky looking home game against Madrid based Getafe. I knew a win would be brilliant, as we looked to cement our place in the top four. I told the lads that they would play defensive, so we'd have to be patient and cautious about them.

The away team showed their game plan early on, gaining two yellow cards within the first six minutes. Mind you, I did warn the lads about this game, but I had faith in their ability.

On the half hour mark, we found a way through the plucky Getafe team, with Dani Osvaldo finding the net after a neat pass by Luis Garcia.

I encouraged the lads on, but the away side was quite content on trying to injure our players, that was until Romaric was forced to go off through injury.

We got to half time at 1-0, and I made some changes to freshen the legs up a bit, as we'd taken a few knocks of these. I told the lads to keep going, and the prize is in sight.

The second half was identical to the first. The away side were more focused on hurting us rather than trying to hurt us by playing football.

I knew my lads would come through it though, as we were mentally and physically tough.

There wasn't a great deal of action in the second half as both sides couldn't get shots on target, and with the away sides general dirtiness, I decided to tell the lads to keep possession.

5 minutes later, the referee blew up for full time, and another vital three points for us.



***

Espanyol v Toulouse
Europa League, 1st Knockout Round, 1st Leg
16.2.12
Estadi de Cornella, El Prat - Barcelona.

So, back to European action, and three days after the bruising encounter against Getafe, we had a tricky game against Toulouse.

I knew we needed a positive result to take to France for the 2nd leg, but knew we were probably stronger than our French counterparts. I told the lads they can win this, and also that it was important we win.

We took immediate control of the game and after just 6 minutes we took the lead through Jose Maria Callejon. It was a deep Jesus Datolo crossed that made the goal.

I encouraged the lads to keep going before half time, as I knew we needed another goal. However, Yohann Pele in the Toulouse net made a very good save from Carlos Vela.

We had all the possession, but was unfortunate to find another goal, as we struggled to hit the target.

We got to half time, and the away side had hardly troubled us. I told the lads more of the same, and we'll get another goal eventually.

We went back out and survived a mini-scare when Pierre Andre-Gignac should've scored, but he thankfully shot wide.

That was the only scare we would come across, as we dominated the ball and the game. It was a shame we didn't our shooting boots on, as we eventually had to settle for a 1-0 lead to take to France.



***

Real Sociedad v Espanyol
Liga BBVA
Anoeta, San Sebastian
19.2.12

I knew this would be a tricky away game, as went to San Sebastian to meet Real Sociedad. I'd hoped that my number one target Antoine Griezmann would miss the game, as he punished us last season. I wasn't in luck as he was named in the team.

We started the first half in brilliant style forcing the home side back in to their half. We had a few decent opportunites within the first ten minutes, but the Real Sociedad 'keeper didn't want to lose.

Griezmann then showed his worth with an incredible delivery, which unfortunately for the French man, no-one was on the end of his delivery, and it found Carlos Kameni.

We got to half time at 0-0, and I encouraged the lads, and requested we take the game by the scruff, and really make Sociedad work for a point.

After the second half begun, we dominated. Sociedad didn't know where to look, as we had just kept launching the ball in to the box.

With just over 20 minutes to go, we took the lead through Mexican Carlos Vela, who controlled a wonderful knockdown, and smashed it past the Sociedad 'keeper.

With just 15 minutes to go, we were handed a penalty. Luis Garcia stepped up...and...GOOOOOOOAL! 2-0! It looked like another three points had been wrapped up.

15 minutes later, and it was full time. A nice 2-0 away win in San Sebastian, and another three vital points, as we looked even more impressive.



***

Toulouse v Espanyol
Europa League, 1st Knockout Round, 2nd Leg
23.2.12
Stadium Municipal, Toulouse

I knew this was going to be tough, as we had a 1-0 lead from the first leg. I knew the French side would put us under intense pressure, so I prepared the lads for this and told them to keep an eye on the possession. I told them to keep the ball, and use it well, and we should be okay.

Toulouse kicked us off and took immediate control as expected, after all they were chasing the game. However, they seemed to be a bit cautious, as they knew how dangerous we could be.

There wasn't a lot of chances in the first half, as both sides were tentative, and very negative.

We got to half time, and at the moment we were through to the next round. I encouraged the lads to find a goal, although I wasn't expecting one.

Just a few minutes after the start of the second half, the French side took the lead through dynamic French midfielder Moussa Sissoko.

The French side added some more pressure as they looked to kill the game off in normal time, rather than taking it to extra time.

I kept thinking, one goal would change the whole game.

With 5 minutes left to go, with our 2nd effort on target, we'd stole the win. Emiliano Insua run down the left wing, and whipped in a dangerous cross to find Jose Maria Callejon to make it 1-1, and 2-1 on aggregate. This meant the home side needed two goals in the last 5 minutes to eliminate us.

The referee blew time on the game, and we had progressed.



***

We looked at the next round and found out we would play FC Porto in the next round, as we fight for a place in the quarter finals.

***

Espanyol v Real Madrid
Liga BBVA
26.2.12
Estadi de Cornella - El Prat, Barcelona

It was the final game of the month, and what a massive game to have. Real Madrid at home. Pring v Mourinho. Catalan v Madrid.

I wished the lads luck, as I sat there thinking we could really put out a message here, as a win and we'd no doubt be looking at a top four finish this season.

Real Madrid kicked off and took control. It was expected as they are much stronger than the squad I had at my disposal. Kaka, and then Ronaldo tested Kameni, but the Cameroonian goalkeeper stayed strong, and kept us in the game.

In our first attack just before half time, we scored. Javi Marquez played a long ball over the top of Raul Albiol, and Jose Maria Callejon run on and made it 1-0 with a smashing finish.

We got to half time at 1-0, and I was delighted. I told the lads to keep going, but I had one mind on the Europa League tie with Porto coming up.

Real Madrid pushed on to find the equaliser, and with less than ten minutes to go they got it. It was Ronaldo out wide, who played a nice one-two with Mesut Ozil, the ball was then played to Karim Benzema, and his touch back found the German Ozil to make it 1-1.

Real pushed on to find the winner but we stayed strong, and clinched a vital point.





***

Join me in March's update as we take on the likes of Sevilla, Porto and Deportivo, along with Xerez, Numancia and Racing Santander. Can we really secure a top four finish? This month could provide us with a great stepping stone in to April.




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Re: No quits from Los Periquitos
Post on 2011-01-30, 16:05 by Niko
Great update Pringers Smile

2nd in the league FANTASTIC Very Happy you can push on and win it im sure Smile.

Europa league Victory on the cards i think Razz

Some really good results i feel and a 1-1 draw with Real is great Smile
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