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Lothar Matthaus - Forza Milan

My AC Milan Story :)
Started on 24 December 2012 by Blue
Latest Reply on 20 June 2013 by JamieBhoy93
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You're doing amazingly well, is there no stop to your winning streak? :P
2013-01-27 13:13#79088 The FM Rookie : You're doing amazingly well, is there no stop to your winning streak? :P
Liverpool might... oh yeah, they can't :P

Benfica v Sporting - 24.2.2013

We're here at the Estádio da Luz for a massive derby between Benfica and Sporting Lisbon. Sporting lead the table as we approach the end of February, and will want to win to not only keep themselves at a distance from the chasing pack, but to take the ultimate bragging rights in Portugal's capital.

It's a much more tense affair in the red half of the city. Benfica lie 15 points behind their local rivals, and desperately need a win to retain any faint hope of winning the title.

Sporting's hopes here at one of the toughest grounds in Europe could rely on this man:

For the first time in a long time, Sporting are favourites for an away game at Benfica, but the game isn't played on paper, and we'll have to see how it turns out.

Here are the lineups for today's game:

Benfica (4-3-1-2): Artur, Pereira, Garay, Lopez, Luisinho, Matic, Perez, Cesar, Aimar, Lima, Cardozo

Sporting (5-3-2): Patricio, Rodriguez, Boulahrouz, Rojo, Carrico, Insua, Kara, Adrien, Elias, van Wolfswinkel, Rubio

Benfica have put out a strong team, whereas Sporting look to have dropped their 4-6-0 tactic is favour of a more defensive 5-3-2. This could be an interesting game.

Commentary from Martin Tyler

1 min: Benfica get this important derby clash underway here in Lisbon.

4 min: Aimar puts the free kick in, but Rodriguez heads away to Perez 30 yards out. He brings it forward to the edge of the box... PEREZ!!! Benfica take the lead over Sporting, and Sporting have to rearrange now.

30 min: Pereira throws the ball in... CARDOZO!!! Benfica are 2 up now, thanks to goal machine Cardozo!

32 min: Adrien plays the ball forward to van Wolfswinkel 25 yards out... he finds Rodriguez on the edge of the box... RODRIGUEZ!!! Sporting back in the game thanks to Matias Rodriguez! It's 2-1 now!

HT: An action-packed first half here, and Benfica lead at the break, although all the momentum is with Sporting.

68 min: Pranjic has it out on the left, 30 yards out. He finds van Wolfswinkel on the edge of the D... he plays it through the defence for RODRIGUEZ!!! He SMASHES the ball past Artur to level for Sporting! It's 2-2, and where do we go now?!

90+3 min: Elias plays it up to Carrillo 25 yards out. He turns and SHOOTS! Saved, but the rebound bounces to VAN WOLFSWINKEL!!!!! SPORTING WIN THE GAME IN INJURY TEAM, THANKS TO DUTCH MAESTRO RICKY VAN WOLFSWINKEL!!! The Leões fans are going crazy in the away end, and they've completed a monumental double over Benfica!!!

FT: The ref blows full time on a pulsating come back victory for Sporting!!! Full time Benfica 2 Sporting Lisbon 3!

Manager's Press Interview

There's no words I can use to describe this victory. I feared the worst at 2-0, but the lads showed real determination and grit to come back and win, and van Wolfswinkel is a massive hero. I can't see Benfica getting back in this title race, and I don't think we can be stopped anymore. We can't let up in any competitions now, I expect at least the treble, possibly more. I want us to beat Benfica again when we come here in a couple of month's time.
What a brilliant come back Blue! Congrats!
Woh! What a comeback! Amazing win Ben :)
Brilliant comeback man! Rodriguez must be the man for you at the moment.
Thanks guys, it's an immense feeling!

Matthaus: “Ricky A Legend”

Sporting CP manager Lothar Matthaus has labelled striker Ricky van Wolfswinkel “a legend” following his injury time winner in the Derby De Lisboa. Sporting came from 2-0 down to win at the Estádio da Luz to complete a derby double over Benfica, and the Lisbon club are now 18 points clear over their city rivals.

When asked about van Wolfswinkel, Matthaus said “there’s almost nothing he can’t do really, and he showed that with a brilliant performance in the derby. He showed all his qualities, and made our day with that dramatic winner. He hasn’t had the best of times in the last couple of months, he’s not played much, but today we played a tactic with strikers, and he was determined to show us what he can do. If he puts in in training in the next couple of weeks, he will definitely be back in contention. He’s an awesome player, a legend in my eyes, and after the season we’ve had so far, we’re going to struggle to hold onto him in the summer if he wants to leave.”

Ricky van Wolfswinkel has 22 goals in 26 games in all competitions this season, but has been struggling to find minutes on the pitch in Sporting’s 4-6-0 tactic. He’s started a couple of times in attacking midfield, but hasn’t played well, being substituted at half-time in both instances.

Matthaus' Diary - End of February 2013

Taca da Liga Semi-Final Draw

We will play Braga at home in the semi-final of the League Cup. This should be an easy win, which will be played on 27th February 2013.

The other semi-final will be Porto v Benfica, at Porto, which will be an interesting match, played the day after us.

Sporting 5-0 Braga – TdL SF – 27.2.2013

Sporting (4-6-0): Patricio, Soares, Xandao, Rojo, Insua, Kara, Izmailov, Schaars, Carrillo, Adryan, Capel

Subs Used: Adrien for Izmailov (63)

Goals: Capel (2, 81), Izmailov (pen 23), Carrillo (30), Xandao (39)

MOTM: Capel (Sporting)

Taca da Liga Final Draw

We will play our fierce rivals Benfica in the final of the League Cup. We hammered Braga, while they beat Porto on penalties after a 2-2 draw. I think we are favourites for this again, with our form, but we will still have to play well. We’ll play Benfica twice in three days, and I want a win from both.

Monthly Review

I don’t think this month could have gone much better. We won two European games, and a derby against Benfica. We stayed clear of Porto, and won every game. If we play like this next season, we’ll be a match for any team in Europe. If we only play like this for the rest of the season, the title is still ours, along with at least two cups.

League Table

We're still 7 points clear of Porto, and now 18 clear of Benfica.
Almost there, almost there Ben. Can we get 30 wins from 30? :P
2013-01-27 18:30#79124 The FM Rookie : Almost there, almost there Ben. Can we get 30 wins from 30? :P
Who knows? :P

Sporting To Sign Lopes

Sporting have agreed a deal with Porto fullback Miguel Lopes to sign him at the end of the season on free following the expiration of his contract. He is a full Portuguese international, but hasn't been offered a new contract yet by Porto, and Sporting have seen their opportunity.

The 26-year-old will sign a 4 year deal on £7k p/w, which will go through on the 1st July. There is also allegedly a heap of bonuses added on by the club, but for a player of Lopes' quality, Sporting won't mind much. This puts them around £15k over their wage budget, but with Jeffren leaving for Malaga in the summer, they will make up their losses.

Matthaus is said to be "delighted" with the signing, believing he will be an important part of Sporting's squad next season.

He becomes Sporting's second free transfer of 2013, along with Demirci, who signed a pre-contract agreement at the start of January, as his contract with Besiktas expires in the summer.
A good signing to strengthen your defence, will be a great bonus to your team :)
2013-01-27 21:03#79155 The FM Rookie : A good signing to strengthen your defence, will be a great bonus to your team :)
Doubt it, he's a former Benfica player too :P
Nice signing m8. I look forward to see if you will manage the 30 victories ;) Good Luck

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