Wednesday, April 26, 2006

"Get Up, Get Get Get Down,
ESPN is a Joke In Your Town..."

Champions League Semifinal 2nd Leg
Barcelona-AC Milan
11.45 a.m. PST. Setanta.

Barcelona lead 1-0 on aggregate.

First off, mad props to ESPN2 for showing a CL semifinal 2nd leg between two giants of European football that they already have the rights to a replay of the 2005 Jump Rope National Championships. Look, I understand that interest in international soccer in this country is not huge, but no one can tell me that a replay of last year's Jump Rope Championship will pull more viewers than this match. It's not even Double Dutch. What a bunch of wankers. Again, please stop referring to yourselves as the "World-Wide Leader" if you are going to make programming decisions like this over and over.

All Barcelona need is a draw to set up the Joga Bonito final that most neutrals are hoping for. AC Milan are an ageing team, and Barcelona will run circles around them again today. They will create chances, but will they score from them unlike Villarreal yesterday? Milan's strategy will likely be to try to contain Barcelona as much as possible and then hope that one of their 2 game changing players, Shevchenko and Kaka, can have a moment of magic or two and conjure up a goal. Additionally for them, striker Inzaghi returns and is always dangerous to poach a goal, like Trezeguet for Juventus or VanDivesalot for ManUtd. Add to this Barca's historic ability to underachieve at times and Milan certainly have a good chance, but I think in the end that Barcelona will run circles against the tiring old men of Milan and will move on to face Arsenal in the Final. I like Eto'o to score today and Barca to win.

***Update 2.03 p.m. PST

Barcelona 0-0 AC Milan.
Barcelona advance 1-0 on aggregate.

Barcelona attacked and tried to kill the match, created numerous great chances, managed to miss them all, and then caught a break when Shevchenko's headed goal was disallowed when he was judged to have pushed Puyol over. They only showed the replay once in the bar I was at, and it looked to me like Sheva didn't foul Puyol at all and that the goal should have stood. I would like to see the replay again that's for sure. So instead of 1-1 and game on, Barca created some more chances that they couldn't convert, but ultimately held out for the win. They certainly had the better of it though and it would be difficult for anyone who watched both legs to say that it was undeserved.

So the Final that everyone wanted has come to pass, with two of the biggest proponents of beautiful, dynamic, attacking football playing at Stade de France. Of course this means that Arsenal & Barcelona will play to a boring, dour 0-0 draw which will be decided by penalites after 30 minutes of boring, dour, extra time, right?

1 comment:

OMAA said...

Man, it's only April (i'll concede that it's late April) and you are already blogging about Setanta Clause. Can't we at least have Halloween first?

Enjoy the match, you won't miss the $20 cover anyway.