Champions league: Advantage Barca, Chelsea , Arsenal and Porto

9 04 2009

Awesume Barca'

The Champions league quaterfinal round most of us have been simultaneously waiting for and dreading since the draw …….arrived and how???? Here’s some thoughts on the first leg……

Man Utd vs Porto @ Old Trafford ( 2-2)

Rooney

What is wrong with this Man U team? It’s like every single player except Wayne Rooney either doesn’t care or are playing football for the first time in their lives.

They drew 2-2 with Porto tonight, at home. You may be surprised to know that United fans wont be annoyed with the result. If anything, I think the 2-2 draw flattered Man U. Porto were the better team throughout, they were quicker, more concise with passes and looked far more of a threat. Were it not for one moment of great awareness and another of genius from Wayne Rooney United would have lost this game 2-0. Those who thought the Man U blip was over after the villa game….think again. They should be starting to really worry about their season. If these players can’t get themselves together and somehow transform from the nervous, talentless wrecks they’ve become lately then Man Utd’s champions league repeat dreams will come to a screeching halt.
All this said I still believe they will scrap through next week. But after that it’s anyone’s guess.

Villareal vs Arsenal @ Villareal (1-1)

Arsenal vs Villareal


Now, this tie is not over. Not by a long shot. But the reality is that there is a better chance of Arsenal reaching the semifinal today than there was at this point last week. Villareal is a team that can perform away from home, having beaten Panathinaikos in Greece and having held Manchester United to a scoreless draw at Old Trafford. But they’ve also had some shocking performances away, including a 2-0 loss to Celtic, and 3-0 losses to Deportivo La Coruna and Almeria. Villareal is 4-6-5 away from El Madrigal in La Liga this year, and have conceded more goals than they’ve scored. Objectively, you’d have to say Arsenal have probably taken Villareal’s best shot and they’ve yet to take Arsenal’s.
Aside from the result, the big news was injuries to key Arsenal players.


Barcelona vs Bayern @ Barcelona (4-0)

messi

Most of us expected Barcelona to beat Bayern. But we didn’t expect them to decide a 180 minute tie inside the first 45. For some reason Jurgen Klinsmann thought putting Christian Lell up against Leo Messi was a fair fight, and the rest is history.

Leo Messi, Samuel Eto’o, Messi again and then Thierry Henry had this all wrapped up for Barca before half-time at the Camp Nou. 4-0 and good night. The second leg in Bavaria is now a formality (will be interesting to see how many Bayern fans turn up) and Jurgen Klinsmann might soon be looking for employment.

Liverpool vs Chelsea @ Anfield ( 1-3)

liverpool vs chelsea

Liverpool and Chelsea remembered that football is better with goals. Their ten millionth Champions League meeting didn’t produce the expected glut of goalless inaction, but a surprise 3-1 away win for Chelsea instead.
Fernando Torres put Liverpool 1-0 up after just five minutes, but Chelsea’s young(ish) defender Branislav Ivanovic got two headed goals for Chelsea, and Drogba added a third.

This tie is far from over though, for two reasons: 1. John Terry will be suspended for the second leg after Zidaneing Pepe Reina in midair, and 2. This is Liverpool we’re talking about. Comebacks are their specialty.

CONCLUSION:-
Given the display Barca put on tonight – which according to goal.com was as impressive at the back as it was going forward (even Thierry Henry was tracking back) – should we just skip the rest of this season’s Champions League and hand Barca the trophy now?

There are six sets of fans who’d say no (plus maybe one overly optimistic Bayern fan) but right now everything points to Barcelona. They’ve scored a spectacular 126 goals in all competitions so far this season, and have the massive advantage of being able to relax a little (but only a little) on the domestic front. What do YOU think?????

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