Tuesday, April 29, 2008

90 Minutes From Moscow

Manchester United 0-0 Barcelona
11.45 a.m. PST, ESPN2

Last week SAF discarded ManUtd's usual attacking style and played defensively, conceding 70% possession while deploying an unseen before {at least by me} formation with winger C Ronaldo up front by himself and Rooneh and Tevez wide on the wings in kind of a 4-5-1. Tevez and Rooneh were invisible, it didn't really work, but Barcelona failed to capitalize and so it all comes down to today as they start 0-0. Rooneh and Vidic are both very questionable and it sounds like neither will play. You would think that SAF needs to play 4-4-2 to win, but we'll see- he is known to pick strange teams in the last few years, but has enough talent that they often win despite this. If he picks Scholes and/or Giggs today, then he puts his team in a hole from the first minute, as both seem quite slow and past it.

If Barcelona can score an away goal then ManUtd will need 2 to win. I have a hunch that they will find the net, and not just because I am rooting for them to do so. I just have a hunch that Messi is going to have a moment of magic and either score or set up Eto'o. We'll see.

Hopefully this game opens up and blossoms into the exciting, high-scoring shootout of a game that many are expecting, especially as we sure won't see anything like that tomorrow in all likelihood.

Here's hoping for 0-3 to Barca with C Ronaldo missing penalties, diving, flopping, and whining like a little bitch just like he did last week- that was schadenfreude at its best.

Chel$ea 1-1 Liverpool
11.45 a.m. PST, ESPN2

The Pool must score a goal at Stamford Bridge, something they have not accomplished in their previous 8 visits to Chel$ea {never scored away to Chel$ea under Rafa Benitez}. Chel$ea get Essien back, who I long have felt is their best player, and he could be the difference in the match. Hard to see more than a goal or two at most in this game.

Again, as I said before the first leg, I have a hunch that Chel$ea are going to edge the Pool this year, but as I also said picking against The Pool in the Champions League is usually folly. I'm just hoping that it's a good game for the neutral observers, although from what I know, it won't be.

The Champions League Final is in Moscow on Wednesday May 21.


oreo said...

I have a feeling that the two HUGE mistakes will come back to haunt both teams - the Ronaldo pk miss and the Riise own goal.

No Vidic, no Rooney today for ManU. That forces Scholes and Nani on the field (why no Anderson?). CR up top w/ Tevez...not sure what attacking options that leaves on the bench for them.
Barca is relatively fit...sorta. Deco, Messi are working back into shape, but at least thye've got Henry, Bujan and Gudjohnsen if they need a goal.
Should be an interesting game.

moin said...

You forgot Cristiano Ronaldo crying. Yeah, if United gets bounced, the sprinklers are gonna let loose and we all know it.

There's something about crying that takes schauenfraude up several orders of magnitude.

beast in 'bama said...

Agree with oreo - why isn't SAF playing Anderson more lately? I've been wishing all season that Liverpool would have signed Anderson and Hargreaves last summer.

Better question: If you had Frank Rijkaard's hair for one day, to what purpose would you use it?

beast in 'bama said...

Kanu: Is Barca's Toure related to your Toure?

Oh, and your Messi moment of brilliance just missed by THIS MUCH at 73'.

Kanu said...


Yes- Yaya Toure is Kolo's little brother, and both now play for Ivory Coast. Kolo is now 27 and Yaya is 25.

About 3 years ago Yaya had a trial with Arsenal but Arsene deemed him not good enough at the time and passed.

Kanu said...


Now we'll have to hope for a CR7 trail of tears in Moscow. Thanks alot, Barca. I'm sure part of you loved seeing them fail.

BIB- Great question on FR's locks. He's up there with Yannick Noah and Valderrama for sure. If I was the leader of that polygamist cult with all the preggo teen girls I might claim that I had GOL TV wired in and they all got preggers from Rijkaard's hair...

moin said...

Shame Gullit cut his hair, it's just not the same.


To me, he's like Sampson, just not that good without the hair. And that's the God's honest truth.

As for watching Barca lose, yeah, part of me did love it. But I hate United with equal and perhaps even more passion. And not to mention I saw plenty of Barca losses already this season.

beast in 'bama said...

And not to mention I saw plenty of Barca losses already this season.

Oooooh, a good old-fashioned ZING! from Moin...

Killing My Liver said...

Well, shit. Am I disappointed ? Yes. Mad? A little(at Riise). No complaints, though. Liverpool played as hard as they could. Congrats to Chelsea, as much as it hurts to say.
Now I have no need whatsoever to watch the final.