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Dinamo Bottle European Season After Tremendous Start

December 11, 2019

Stojanovic Foden

It’s a real shame Dinamo Zagreb won’t be moving forward in any European tournament this season. They started off so hot and controlled their own destiny – and although they should have deserved better regarding their European season – did they really? At the end of the day, the reigning Croatian champions only picked up two points in five group stage matches after opening up with a monstrous 4-0 victory over Atalanta.



And although Dinamo they bottled their season, there’s more positives to take from their CL group stage run than negatives.

1. Dinamo defeated an Italian Serie A club in Champions League
2. Dinamo held mighty Manchester City scoreless in England for an entire half; only losing 2-0
3. Dinamo made a boat load of money by making the CL group stage AND picking up a victory
4. Dinamo’s Dani Olmo, Mislav Oršicć, Bruno Petković, Dominik Livaković all increased their player evaluations
5. There were serious talks of Dinamo making the CL knockout round



It came down to Dinamo’s November 6th game against Shakhtar at Maksimir. Up 3-1, Dinamo conceded two injury time goals to let Shakhtar escape Zagreb with a 3-3 draw. It was absolutely awful. Dinamo never recovered in the standings and Atalanta made the most of their campaign. Atlanta – who only picked up one point from their first four Champions League matches – defeated Dinamo 2-0 and Shakhtar 3-0 in their final two matches; and will now be playing in the Round of 16.



It was a valiant effort. It was. And even in a match against a Manchester City B-side who already locked up top spot in the group before they took the field in Zagreb, well, City’s B-squad is better than most of Europe’s A-teams.






Ante Kvartuč
Posted By: Ante Kvartuč 40 comments

  1. Dannyj says:

    Well let’s hope they can pull out the Europa and maybe do something there

    Regardless of choking at least they played competitively and more experience for our repka guys

  2. BZ says:

    Man City has to focus on their Premier League games. Arsenal up next for them. I expect a full 2nd team, even though Pep keeps talking about resting only a few players. If so, i can see a win.

    Dinamo lucked out in the scheduling.

    Might be a good time to take a flier on Dinamo to win, given the odds (+350 to +425 depending on your slimy bookie)
    Check the lineups when they post, and I wouldn’t risk much.

  3. Slavonac from Canada says:

    I’m a Dinamo fan and a realist. There’s a chance they get a result today but that chance is extremely low…probably less than 10%!

    Either way, I’m proud of these guys and for the work Bjelica has done with this group of players.

  4. CroatiaU14 says:

    Dinamo’s U19 beat Man City U19 today 1-0 thanks to a goal from the one and only Antonio Marin and that puts them through to the knockout stages.

  5. BZ says:

    @Maminjo- I have no idea who is on the Man City 2nd team, but I would think they would not have the cohesiveness of a 1st team Dinamo. We’ll see who Pep plays.

  6. Zoki says:

    I suspect that the ride is over boys. We need too many things to happen in our favour. We blew it in the Shakhtar game. It’s a shame that the whole campaign came down to one shitty game. Or, more accurately, a 10 minute long collective brain fart in one shitty game. But if you want to play with the big boys…….you gotta play all 90 minutes. Lesson learned hopefully.

  7. Dannyj says:

    Nice goal by olmo
    Is anyone like me and say I wish it was a Croat who scored she olmo does lol

    Moro with an awful pass when Dinamo had a good 3-2 situation
    They could have done something with that no doubt

  8. Dannyj says:

    Oršić with nice header
    From the little bit I watched
    Petković really showing his quality
    Looks like the dude is not just a flash in the pan
    Let’s hope he has a real breakout this summer for us
    He looks like a guy that could bag a handful at a tourney
    I sure hope so…

  9. BZ says:

    3-1 Man C.

    Dinamo wings have no pressure skills, invitation for Man C to walk it up. Comical, but this is how we’d look without Perisic and Rebic.

  10. Mile says:

    Wow, Atalanta rises from the dead. They lost their first three games and now they’re going to the round of 16. That day Dinamo blew the two goal lead is the day Atalanta got a huge point tying Man City. Then they win the last two to make it.

  11. Slavonac from Canada says:

    this isn’t embarrassing you fucking idiot!

    Man City’s subs are better than most teams in the world. those subs take games like this to demonstrate their worth.

    the EPL plays at a far higher tempo than our HNL. the EPL has far more quality players and teams than the HNL. Man City has approximately 11 times the Dinamo player salary…and you retarded idiot call this embarrassing?

    I knew this game would end up like this. there’s a massive difference in these two sides…Man City certainly is not Atalanta…who is better than Dinamo also, but we punched above our weight!

    Dinamo did well, nothing to be embarassed about!

  12. Dalmatia says:

    Your a fucking idiot. No fucking excuse to defend like this at home. There is more than enough talent on this team to secure 1 point from a Man City with some players resting. It’s Dinamo players that should be using this stage to prove there worth.

  13. Slavonac from Canada says:

    OMG…ok, so Dinamo should just take possession over a team that destroyed them in possession. you really are dumb!

  14. Pavo says:

    Dalmaita your wrong here. Upset, yes, so am I. Honestly Dinamo at no point were ever expected to get points from Man city. Also remember both regular CB’s were suspended. It was always going to come to results against Atalanta and Shaktar. Which Dinamo did very well, the surprising results were indeed the draws these teams got against Man city. All said and done, pretty good showing for this Dinamo side. I expect them to cash in on selling a few guys now and start developing the next generation. Which looks promising as the youth team is advancing to the knockout round.

  15. Rafael says:

    Dinamo should be proud of their achievements besides the Shakhtar meltdown. Shame not to finish 3rd but they will now start selling their core. We won’t see a dinamo run in Europe for a while.

  16. Maminjo says:

    Bjelica got our hopes up, and that’s why we are all disappointed.

    Shakhtar and Atalanta both are top teams in much bigger leagues, with exponentially higher payrolls and transfer fees… And Dinamo pounced on them early and almost pulled out enough points to actually get to the knockout phase.

    Had we done what was expected of us, and not blown Atalanta out in that first game and not almost win that game in Ukraine… We would’ve had lower expectations.

    We got a bit unlucky too, but if we keep playing like this, we’ll be fine.

  17. Maminjo says:

    Bjelica is a good coach.

    He prepared the team well and pounced on these other teams early. It’s what a good coach does.

    Atalanta was playing their first ever CL game in Zagreb, and they played the exact same formation that they always do. They came unprepared for what was waiting for them in ZG, and despite having more talent… They were humiliated 4-0.

    Nobody would have expected a win in Ukraine, and Dinamo came in there for the win (and almost had it). A draw kind of became a disappointment in the end, despite most (before the game) expecting a loss.

    Then Dinamo goes into Manchester, and almost pulls out the draw (only to lose in the 70th minute).

    There was no way these teams were going to let us do this to them again (and they didn’t today, despite still going down a goal early against Dinamo).

    Dinamo almost pulled it off a second time against Shakhtar, but their luck ran out.

    Atalanta has been red hot lately, so it was going to be very difficult to beat them a second time, especially after they learned their lesson the first time.

    Oh well.

  18. BZ says:

    Bjelica-Guys like me are watching, just to scout how you strategize during big games against better teams. Two tips:

    1) when you are down 3-1 and your team is moving around like slugs, try not waiting until the 80th minute to make your last 2 subs. Especially in a do or die situation.

    2) when up 1-0 against a quality team, do not park the bus and wait until they drub you.

    3) tell your players, not to lie on the ground faking injuries when ManCity have 8 in your box.

  19. Maminjo says:


    You’re probably right that some fault goes to Bjelica, but you have to see what he’s working with here.

    Emir Dilaver is not a Champions League caliber Centerback. He was mediocre in pretty much every game in the CL, and in this one he was just bad.

    He was completely at fault for the first three Man City goals, and these mistakes simply have nothing to do with coaching.

    He is an amateur, as you said, lying on the field flopping while leaving his man wide open in the box to receive a header and score (despite his teammates struggling to defend, when he had ample time to get up and help).

    His challenge on Gabriel Jesus on the second goal was awful, and he looked stupid as Jesus turned him around leaving him on the floor. Really predictable, and out of control. Jesus saw him coming a mile away. Even if Jesus didn’t turn direction, he could have just had an out-of-control Dilaver crash into him and get a penalty anyway.

    Then on the third goal, he just steps away from his man, moments after the cross comes in. Why? Where was he going suddenly? He completely left Livakovic hanging there. It would have been better off if he wasn’t in the play at all. He pretty much acted as a decoy for Livakovic, while the Man City striker receives the ball without challenge.

    The fourth goal was largely the fault of Francois Moubandje, who would not have been playing had we not had card suspensions, but he too was pretty bad…not really challenging the cross that set up the second goal, and inexplicably letting his man just run by behind him to receive a pass in the box for the set up.

    It is remarkable that Dinamo wasn’t blown out multiple times in this group, with this last game being the only loss by a 3-goal margin (and that was, in part, due to card suspensions to an already weak backline).

  20. Jokich says:

    @maminjo you read my mind on dilaver …the goal where he lets Jesus cut back to the center of the box instead of using the Angle he was originally in,truly shows how incredibly clueless he is …no brains and no positional sense at all.

  21. Zoki says:

    Jesus is a world class striker playing behind a world class striker (Aguero) in the best league in the world. He would be a handful for any centre half, much less some guy most of us have never heard of. No shame in losing to the best. It was fun while it lasted. Dinamo will be more than happy with the money they’ll make from selling some of the assets they were able to showcase.
    Really, what were we expecting? Those of us that think with our heads instead of our hearts could see this coming.

  22. BZ says:

    Petkovic played ok.

    As a Mandzukic admirer, I will say, Petkovic is the only Forward that gives us something in return for Mandzukic’s assets:
    -World Class in air
    -World Class pressure
    -Simple, yet solid, decisions passing

    -Better with ball at his feet than almost any Striker we’ve had in awhile.

    Vlasic scored
    Brekalo with an assist (guess that counts as the first sign he is breaking out of his slump.)

  23. Dannyj says:

    When can we call Vlašić a stud in the making
    Cause surely he has the ability to be world class
    I wonder how say luka rates him

  24. BZ says:

    @DannyJ- Bonafide stud.

    I think Luka probably rates him high. If he didn’t, he probably wouldn’t have called out Rakitic for missing that key away game at Slovakia(?).

    Luka wasn’t at all worried Rakitic would say “Fuck you guys, I retire.” ….because he know Vlasic adds a great, and arguably more beneficial, alternative.

  25. Maminjo says:

    Vlašić is awesome because he steps up in big games.

    He doesn’t buckle under pressure. He seems to really enjoy it.

    All three of his National Team goals were in critical games against Slovakia, Wales and then the second Slovakia games (scored the first Croatia goal in all three games).

    Transferring to Russia and going on a steady PED regimen has done wonders for him. ;)

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