Tuesday, December 5, 2006

The Champions Do The Business; Hopefully the Runners-Up Can Do The Same

Barcelona 2-0 Werder Bremen.
Barca went up 2-0 in 20 minutes played them off the park in the first half. In the 2nd half WB played much better - where was that in the 1st half? - and outplayed Barca, but overall the score was about right.

Ronaldinho scored a super cheeky free kick to open the scoring from about 22 yards out. Most every free kicker in the situation tries to hit the ball just over the defensive wall and then have the ball curve back down to hit the target. As a result, the members of the defensive wall often jump up to try to deflect the free kick with their head. Well, on this free kick R10 had the balls to simply kick the ball along the ground, and as the dudes jumped up in the air, the ball went right under their feet and into the corner of the goal. The goalie had absolutely no chance since he was covering the other half of the goal and counting on his wall to defend their half. It was cheeky to even try such a stunt let alone score a great goal from it in a Champions League elimination match - I don't ever remember seeing such a kick attempted. I'll post a YouTube vid of it here once it becomes available.

How do you say "cheeky bastard" in Portugese?

5 minutes later it was 2-0 and that was pretty much all she wrote. The goal was a beautiful team passing Joga Bonito type, with a beautiful through ball from R10 to Giuly, who squared it for Gudjohnson to drive home. Gudjohnson was a mile offsides on R10's pass, and then again marginally offsides on the entry pass from giuly, but the goal stood, which would have pissed me off if I was a Bremen supporter. Soon therefter a great Deco run led to a Gudjohnson schooling of 3 defenders and a shot of the post which fell to Giuly with the goal at his mercy from 6 yards out and he managed to miss it in Kanu-esque fashion (me, not the real one - although I did actually score a nice finisher on Sunday, but I digress).

That was that. Joy for the Barca fans, disappointment for Bremen, and a little bit of anti-climax for the neutrals hoping for a barnburner.

Hopefully Arsenal can handle their business against Porto as well.

So here are the qualifiers from the 1st 4 groups (rest tomorrow; winners can only be drawn with runners-up in the round of 16 draw):

1A Chel$ea
2A Barcelona

1B Bayern Munich
2B Inter Milan

1C Liverpool
2C PSV Eindhoven

1D Valencia
2D Roma

Come on you Gunners!

1 comment:

moin said...

In light of the talk of a takeover bid for Liverpool by the 4th richest man in the world. We might need to start calling them Al-Pool or something.

That WB-Barca match was disappointing, I rolled over on my bed, opened my eyes, turned the channel to ESPN2 just in time to watch the 2nd goal and go: "wasn't that offsides"? Sad to say that I think on replay, it showed that Gudjohnson got back onside and Giuly's pass was of the "lateral" variety, meaning it was totally legit.

At that point, I rolled back to my original position and went back to sleep.