Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Champions League Semifinal 1st Leg Preview

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

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

Liverpool-Chel$ea
I was going to write a detailed piece on this game, but I fell asleep just thinking about it. The boring potential here is off the charts. In their six previous Champions League contests, there have been a grand total of three goals, with 3 of the 6 being 0-0 draws and the other 3 being 1-0 affairs. Liverpool beat Chel$ea at this very semifinal stage last year as well as in 2005, and as such are shooting for their third final in 4 years, which is supremely bizarre considering their lackluster form in the EPL over the same period, where they have not seriously competed for a league title in quite some time.

But perhaps this year there is some hope in the form of Liverpool's Fernando Torres. In his first year at Liverpool the 29 goal scorer has been on fire all spring, and could provide a moment of magic. For us neutral fans, he is the Obi Wan Kanobie to our Princess Leia- hopefully someone sitting in a desert dome hut fiddling with a robot will see our holographic plea for help:


"You're our only hope, Fernando..."

Actually that's not entirely true. Both teams are capable of scoring goals but spend much of their energy instead on preventing the other from scoring, leaving any non neutral with some extremely boring ass shit. Hard to think this year will be any different, but dare to dream I suppose.

Also, the first leg is at Anfield, whereas in the prior two meetings the second leg was at Anfield. Surely above all else Rafa will not want to concede an away goal to Chel$ea in the opening leg, so expect the worst and hope for the best.

The key injury is Essien being out for Chel$ea- in my opinion, their best player.

My hunch is that over two legs Chel$ea will finally beat Liverpool this time around, but betting against The Pool in the CL is not a path that wise men walk down, so we'll just wait and see.

More on Barca-ManUtd later or tomorrow...

12 comments:

Killing My Liver said...

Wise not to bet against Rafa, and with the play that happened last week at Anfield, hope springs eternal.

Come on you Reds !!

beast in 'bama said...

ATTA BOY DIRK!!! He's been eating Ashley's lunch over there!

Now just keep repeating: clean sheet...clean sheet...clean sheet...

Killing My Liver said...

Dirk Kuyt is the best no talent player ever.

Kanu said...

KML- I can't argue with that assessment of Johnny from Kobra Kai dojo.

No Derek & Tommy today. Not sure who this color commentator is {Slingbox from desk = not my undivided attention at all times}, but dude has to be a former player for The Pool, his pro-Pool bias is so extreme. I don't give a shit either way, it's just interesting. Maybe he just really hates Chel$ea- not like that's uncommon.

beast in 'bama said...

WE.ARE.SCREWED.

30 seconds from time? Are you kidding?

Killing My Liver said...

That's about right. Jesus. THis is the type of shit that happens to the teams I support. App State, Barnsley, and now this own goal shit.

Kanu said...

Sorry, lads. Chel$ea were so poor today they certainly did not deserve a draw with the bonus road goal.

If you quadruple the number of chances that y'all didn't capitalize on, then this would have qualified as an Arsenalesque result.

Gotta score at the Bridge, something Liverpool has failed to do in their last 8 trips.

Finally- why did Riise even head the ball at all? Defender was behind him enough that he could have easily cleared the ball with his right foot, if he had one I guess.

Better luck next week.

Killing My Liver said...

It burns !!! It burns !! Damn left footed gingers. My only saving grace is that I "watched" on gamecast, not on TV. From what was casted, it seems the Reds had many chances and didn't score, much like Shia Lebeauf. I have a feeling furniture would've have suffered; the same way it did UNC -UM 91 championship game.

Kanu said...

KML-

Sorry to be so blunt, but it will hurt much more when you actually see it. Perhaps best to go to a friend's house, a bar, or a padded room to catch the highlights.

beast in 'bama said...

How could a one-legged man have played so long in the EPL? Riise's head gets him in more trouble than any other player I know. OK, that'll be the extent of my Riise bashing; I love the guy, just not so much right now.

And I'll second Kanu's recommendation, KML. Turn away. Just don't watch it. Don't go into the light...

Not only is it tough to score on Chel$ea's defenders, then you've got to be even better to sneak one past Cech, who is the 2nd-best goalkeeper in the world, in my opinion (next to Buffon).

oreo said...

And don't forget Essien is back for the return leg.

I watched the end when I got home from work and it was hard watching the Pool fans singing their hearts out 30 seconds from the end, to suddenly quiet down. Ugh...

Killing My Liver said...

I watched it, and wished I hadn't. Mad at, but not hating. A huge error, without a doubt, but he was trying to make a play.
Damn gingers.