Champions League Semifinal 2nd Leg
11.45 a.m. PST. ESPN2.
(Arsenal lead 1-0 on aggregate)
It's pretty simple. If Arsenal score tonight in El Madrigal, they will go through, because with 2 goals, 1 being an away goal, Villarreal would need to score three to beat them, and I just cannot see that happening. If they don't, it will be tense and nervy and anything can happen, including the dreaded lottery of penalties (extra time will only happen if Villarreal win 1-0 tonight and it is 1-1 on aggreagate).
Arsene has put all of his eggs in one basket by playing weakened sides in the last two weeks against Portsmouth and Spurs, earning a draw in each for a total of 2 points out of a possible six, thus relinquishing control over their own destiny for 4th place in the league. I'm not sure about his strategy, but given our comparative records as professional football managers, I am not really in a position to second guess the guy.
Senderos injured his knee on Saturday, so broken-beaked colossus Sol Campbell is back in the side tonight. The key matchup is again how well Gilberto can contain Riquelme. In the first leg he completely stifled him in one of the best games I have ever seen G19 play: rinse and repeat, please. I think Spaniards Reyes & Fabregas will play great in their home country just as they did in Madrid, and I belive that TH14 is truly inspired to reach the final in his hometown. He has 49 Champions League goals in 100 appearances; here's hoping he hits the half century tonight.
Air Henry Flight 14, awaiting takeoff to Paris
Arsenal will do the business, score a goal, and go through to their first ever Champions League Final.