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Champions League Day 1: Rakitić Scores, Kovačić Injured

September 13, 2017


Rakitić (center-left) mobbed by teammates after goal



On the first night of Champions League, Barcelona easily dismissed last year’s runners-up Juventus 3-0 at Camp Nou. Messi would score in the 45th minute with Ivan Rakitić picking up the trash in front of the net to beat an out of position Gigi Buffon in the 56th minute. Messi would add one more later in the second half. Barcelona are perfect to start the La Liga season and looked hungry Tuesday night in their first CL game without Neymar. Juventus’ Mario Mandžukić was not listed on the roster sheet as he picked up a minor left leg injury this past weekend in Serie A action.


Rakitić goal vs. Juventus



Šime Vrsaljko also was not on the Atletico Madrid squad list in their 0-0 draw at Roma.



On Wednesday night, Luka Modrić and Real Madrid defeated APOEL 3-0 behind two Cristiano Ronaldo goals. Modrić would play the full 90 minutes with Mateo Kovačić coming off with an abductor injury. It looks as if Kovačić could miss a few weeks which would rule him out for the Finland/Ukraine qualifiers in October.



Kovačić injury



Lovren blunder on defense



Dejan Lovren had another gaffe, this time right in front of the Liverpool goal against Sevilla. With a low cross coming in from the corner, Lovren completely missed the ball. Why does he forget how to play football sometimes? Between the Lovren blunder and a missed Firmino penalty, Liverpool should have easily won, however, they would have to settle for a 2-2 draw as Champions League returned to Anfield.



Goalie Danijel Subašić was not listed on the squad for Monaco vs. German Champions League debutants from RB Leipzig in a 1-1 draw. Mario Pašalić played the full 90 minutes for Spartak Moscow in a 1-1 draw against Maribor. Defender Matej Mitrović was left on the bench as Besiktas shocked Porto 3-1 on the road to begin their campaign.




Ante Kvartuč
Posted By: Ante Kvartuč 63 comments

  1. Poglavnik says:

    Kovacic looking weak. Giving up possession. Fouling in the final 3rd.
    He must be the world’s best training player because I haven’t seen anything from him in a long time.

  2. JUgo says:

    I’m telling you when these players had low clubs they would preform for us just to get bigger clubs, remember 10 years ago when we beat Engalnd, the likes of Modric and Rakitic were performing for us then because they were in low clubs but now that they’re getting paid half a mill each week why would they go out and hurt themselves for the repka me no good english

  3. Slavonac from Canada says:

    if Cacic called back Srna, all those that were waiting for the moment Vrsaljko got regular playing time would have a fit!

    always play the best players during the cycle…thats the best policy!

  4. Maminjo says:

    We need at least a win against Finland and a draw against Ukraine.

    Lots of our players are playing inconsistent right now.
    Gotta pick the right players in October or we’re gonna have to cheer on Serbia, Slovenia, Montenegro and BiH this summer.

  5. CiganJeCigan says:


    I wanted vrsaljko to get regular paying time too, but he just got off a big injury and jedvaj is still injured. Srna been playing in Ukraine for over a decade. It is worth thinking about the possibility.
    After seeing yarmalenko continually pass up pivaric in March, i wouldnt mind seeing srna rb and vrsaljko lb.

  6. Idemo says:

    Abductor again for kovacic club says it’s not that serious but out for a few weeks, won’t be playing for us

  7. BZ says:

    Guys, We have discussed it several times. Cacic has asked Srna to come back several times. Srna has said that he doesn’t think he was needed…translation: “with me we looked like the best team in Euro 2016, without me you can’t beat Turkey, Iceland,& can barely scrape by Kosovo at home. Why did you all beg for my retirement? Fuck you.”

    My take: If we weren’t tied for first place in the group, he would come back. As of now, no upside in returning, cause the same dumbasses that called for his retirement will blame it on him if we do not qualify.

  8. BZ says:

    With Mandzukic, Juventus hands Barcrlona their asses last year. Without Mandzukic, Barcelona destroys Juve.

    No Rog as Srna Donetsk shocks Napoli. For those who rip on Soul for not knowing more than the Napoli coach regarding Rog…well Napoli’s coach worked at a bank & coached youth squads; I’ll take a Croatian tv repair man & Soul’s opinion over a banker’s opinion ALL day.

  9. BZ says:

    Iggy-good luck, but don’t rely on luck. Science & good Doctor outweigh luck everytime time.
    Ps-Have you told your wife about your 2nd life on Croatiansports? Do not disappear on us like Ziva (although many are still celebrating his disappearance)

  10. CiganJeCigan says:


    ziva didnt “disappear” he made a “wager” with someone on the site that croatia wasnt going to beat spain, and if they did he wouldnt post anymore on the site, and he kept his word this time, unlike the time he said he would reveal his identity if cilic won.

  11. ZDS Lifestyle says:

    @Ziva left when he said Modric was a bust at Real Madrid and kept getting bitchslapped by @Soul Champ constantly reminding him of his previous comment.
    He left the site a broken cowardly man.
    If Ziva only learnt to not have any opinions of his own and only give opinions based on some model like @The truth does, he might’ve still been here today.

  12. BZ says:

    @Soul Champ- w Kovacic likely out & Badelj suspended, you are almost guaranteed to get Rog vs Finland.

    Would love to see us go up big, so we can get Pjaca some “scrub” time minutes (assuming he is back)

    @Cigan-good point about Ziva. Only reason I know it is not true is because that guy never owned up to his end of a bet.

    @to all- anyone want to bet that no Croatian scores from more than 12 yards out this weekend?

  13. Idemo says:

    @bz address me when you speak about me, I told you once about your sly comments if there’s one thing worse than belligerent cursing its your pussy sly remarks, use the @ button.

  14. Idemo says:

    What professional coach hasn’t coached youth squads? You sound moronic. You do know the Croatian repair man doesn’t select Rog either…..your comment is extremely poor and I bet you giggled thinking “hehe I got that idemo”

    shock defeat? Yaaaa Donetsk have done more in champions league in the last 17 years than Napoli.

  15. Slavonac from Canada says:

    good luck Iggy, I wish you a speedy recovery!

    coaches all start somewhere…the same principles go with Cacic although I really don’t think we can compare…even if both of them (Sarri or Cacic) can’t stay at a club long enough to hang their coat up!

    Italian coaches are usually good with tactics and the mental part of the game, Croatian coaches are good at developing skilled players.

    with that said, managing a team is a real challenge and once you add the pressure of getting results, often times these coaches are left with making the popular decisions rather than to instill their overall system, (which takes time)…and ideas that takes time and results mean everything to these clubs! depends on the club and the overall objective. In Sarri’s case, he has a really good team and must get results so maybe he’s not sure he can depend on Rog…or maybe he feels he can’t play a less expensive player over a higher paid guy…who knows?!


    “I wanted vrsaljko to get regular paying time too, but he just got off a big injury and jedvaj is still injured”…I’m just being an ass about Vrsaljko! I actually really like the guy and I do see his value. He’s much more different than Srna. when he’s in top form, he plays an incredibly high tempo game and can run like a gazzelle! I think once he is playing regularly he will be fine!

  16. idemo says:

    @slavonac allllll of that and more goes into the equation, whens the last time you’ve seen a player get the axe because of a lack of results. absolute pressure. Allan Jorginho hamsik…shit even yesterday their middle was rotated and it was sad to see he’s not even part of the B mid so including dawara and zielinski all seem to be ahead

  17. Slavonac from Canada says:

    BZ…about Rog playing because Badelj is suspended and Kovacic is injured…I’m not gonna bet on that but I’d welcome it. by then, Rakitic will be back and Cacic would probably play a combination of Brozovic with Modric and Rakitic before he’d play Rog…just my opinion! with that said and based on the little I do know, Pasalic would get the nod before Rog, he gets more playing time at his club…its just my

    from what I’ve seen, my favourite part of Cacic was when he decided to use that particular line-up vs Spain…and then vs Mexico this past May. to me, thats called intuition and showing your balls…but he tends to do this only in games that mean nothing. after watching him for the past couple of years…I can’t say he’s been terrible but he’s done little…steady Eddy…poor decisions in the first year with his subs but that has improved. I think he’s playing things safe and the media and fans are a bit unfair to him….Portugal loss was Strinic’s fault, Iceland and Turkey losses were our players fault…we can blame him but not solely!

    Cacic is not a master mind, it looks like he is trying to do things without rocking the boat. I’m not sure we can blame him for a shitty lineup in any game so far…its debatable but nothing to “out there”! we will probably never see him make a real coaches move based on experience or vision as some coaches do, he is trying to be the best he can and will most likely play things safe as far as selecting his line-ups.

    safe = play names from big clubs, players that get minutes, take few risks

  18. Slavonac from Canada says:


    things have changed…but not completely! some coaches still have the courage to bench their stars…ie…Allegri, Ancelloti, Zidane…they take the team first approach. remember when Cacic benched Lovren and half our site went ape shit? Cacic was right to do that, Lovren is a head case!

    Allegri lost two fantastic players because he went at them hard before the Champions League finals…Bonucci and Alves both left because Allegri insulted them badly for arguing before the game started.

    we don’t see everything so its hard to comment on why Rog didn’t get in.


  19. Poglavnik says:

    Thought you’d like that.. ;)
    They are rather similar to me.
    Serviceable at this point but hasn’t showed much more.

  20. Slonina istina says:

    Perisic pulls abductor muscle in training that had given book issues two years. Estimated recovery time two months

  21. Poglavnik says:

    So it looks like Kovacic, Subasic, and Perisic all out for our last 2 qualifiers. Great!
    Pretty sure 4pts would take us through.
    Just beat Finland and DON’T get beat by Ukraine.

  22. BZ says:

    Don’t mean to sound snotty, but Perisic injury faker news than Wapo, cnn, nytimes, and msnbc combined.

    Perisic was practicing w team today in prep for Crotone.

  23. Soul Champ says:

    @ BZ

    I think Juve put Pjaca on some sort of list or not on some sort of list to ensure that he will not play for us in October.

    After Estonia could you blame them?

    Man that Kovačić injury is a bummer.

    Marko “I have been READY” Rog to the rescue ?

    Now we also have to hope Rakitic graces us with his Barca presence.

    Nikola Vlasic makes the squad for young legs back up?

    Finland run hard and Ukraine is a bear at home.

    Jebi ga if it it was easy everyone would make the World Cup.

    U boj ..

  24. BZ says:

    @Soul-if true, I would be ok with that.I am not a big fan of having rusty players being thrown into big spots.

    Notice Vrsaljko not even on AM’s roster in their last two games. Not sure if he came back too soon & tweaked his knee, or just too rusty. Bummer cause he needs some playing time b4 qualifiers.

    @DruggyIggy-great news.

  25. Soul Champ says:

    @ BZ

    That Kosovo fiasco was not good for Vrsaljko.

    When you come back from serious knee ligament tears it takes time to get that kinetic chain going.

    Rest and recovery are key in the early going.

    AM not going to risk injury. There squad needs to healthy to play that intense Simeone style.

    @ Open minded Hrvati

    Thoughts on Halilovic being called back from HNS Siberia to support operation October?

    21 the kid should not thrown to the scrap heap.

    Attack dribbling lefty who seems to have learned how and when to pass to open man.

    We need a “joker.”

    God bless Stric Čačić, but after he sets the line up their is nothing up his sleeve?

    Finland are well drilled and Ukraine know us for years.

    They don’t know Rog nor Halilovic.

  26. BZ says:

    @Soul- Not sure Halil will go over well. I don’tthink Kramaric played poorly vs Tutkey, think he played the role better than Kovacic (and you know I respect Kova’s game.)

    I see Cacic going safe:
    Perisic Kramaric Brozo
    Rakitic Modric
    Piva Vida Lovren Vrsaljko (rusty Vrsa is still better than Jedvaj)
    (Any goalie)

    Plz Srna come back!

  27. Poglavnik says:

    As long as Halilovic’s attitude is right I feel like we have to bring him back at some point.
    He should have a lot to prove to the doubters.
    What say you LAknat?

  28. Iggy says:

    Cmon Eugene Levy was never so handsome. Also, the reason my robe is unbuttoned on one side was, well, i kept buttoning it up but my HERCULIAN MUSCLES just kept busting it open again ;)

  29. Slavonac from Canada says:

    I’m open minded about Halilovic and would very much like him back…but when its warranted…and right now its not. he’s done little to prove it. one assist shouldn’t be our benchmark, we are crazy to think one performance or play should get him back!

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