It might take longer than usual to get through the next few seasons. With work, and Uni work, and other games, and work on various special projects, I’m currently only managing two or three matches on PES2012 per day, on average. I usually play six or seven.
This all might continue for the next month or so. I can’t wait for the summer and for Open University, at least, to be over for the year.
I’ve stayed in the top 4 all season, but always a few points behind the leaders. It feels as if the title will be the tough one to get this season. I need to keep winning and just hope that the top two—Man Utd and Man City—slip up somewhere.
Here’s the table after 26 matches of the season:
I’m scoring fewer goals this season. One defeat and I could be out of contention.
I’ve avoided defeat recently by the skin of my teeth. I had two miracle draws against Liverpool and then against Aston Villa.
Liverpool have been easy meat in recent seasons, but confounded me by streaking into a 2-0 lead. I thought I’d blown the title race right there. But I pulled it back to 2-2 near the end, beginning with a lovely 30-yarder from Mancini. It’s the first goal in today’s mini-movie at the end of the post.
Next, the Villa—a proper superteam in my ML world, although they never win anything—repeated the trick, going 2-0 up and making me think I’d lost the lot. Again, though, I pulled it back to 2-2, this time with 15 minutes of the match remaining. I had a glorious chance to win it with Ronaldo late on, but in trying to make sure of my placement, dragged it too far wide.
Next up were the Arsenal. Yes, I was having a proper run of tough fixtures.
This game typified everything high and low in PES2012. I had a key player, my CB Nadal, sent off after 5 minutes for a last-man sliding tackle. It was a totally unjust sending-off: I got the ball.
Now I was playing with 10 men at Arsenal in a game I had to win, or at least not lose.
I suppose this mirrors the reality of real football, as we’ve seen recently, when the complexion of a massive match is drastically altered early on.
It turned out to be one of those classic PES matches. Arsenal could and should have scored, at least five times. They didn’t. My keeper played out of his skin, even getting a special mention from Beglin at half time.
The match wound on and on. I defended desperately. I was playing with one striker, Ronaldo, not the greatest at leading the line. A few chances were coming, but I wasn’t taking them. In my heart I’d accepted 0-0 as a good result.
I got a last-minute free kick and thought I’d just run the clock down. Then I spotted Barnes in a bit of space out wide and fed him the ball. What the hell, I thought, and sent over a cross.
I had two men in the box: Ronaldo, and pint-sized Farinos. I have no ideal what Farinos was doing up there from DMF. Ronaldo got something on the ball, as did an Arsenal defender. It dropped for Farinos at the back post, and I slotted the ball home.
GOAL! A precious, precious winner in the last seconds, having struggled with 10 men for 85 minutes. GOAL! A classic moment. I was cheering. And it was Farinos’ first goal, too. What an important one.
It’s matches like this one that make Master League what it is.
Today’s mini-movie features, in order:
- Mancini’s long-range strike against Liverpool. I love how it finds the inside panel of the side netting.
- A glimpse of Warzone 2100, which I’m playing through yet again, for the sixth or seventh time. Between this and Dwarf Fortress and everything else I’ve got going on, it’s a wonder I’m playing any PES2012 at all. WZ2100 is now an open source fan project available for PC, Mac, and Linux. It looks bloody excellent running at maximum resolution on my Mac. I’m already on mission 12, partying like it’s 1999.
- And finally a gorgeous placed left-foot shot from Ronaldo that smacks in off the woodwork.