Well, if you were expecting to have an exciting quarterfinal of Champions League matches, sorry to disappoint you. Manchester United and Chelsea provided the status quo, but the other games were absolute blowouts. The winners… the winners (obviously), but the losers are not only the losing teams but the fans. Oh well, it’ll be a boring few weeks until the semis, but let’s take a look at the opening leg that was.
Real Madrid 4 – Tottenham Hot Spur 0. Not only was it a zero, it was a fat depressing 10 man zero. I thought that Spurs were going to come out sharp. The Champions League is all they have to play for (they aren’t going to finish 4th) and they have really upped their game in the other fixtures. But only 15 minutes into the game, Peter Crouch displayed pathetic judgment, and the team was down to ten men. What followed was a desperate, yet ineffective performance by Gareth Bale and a masterpiece by Angel Di Maria and the rest of the Madridsters. It wasn’t close, and White Hart Lane is going to witness another disappointment in a week’s time when the return leg is played. OVER.
Internazionale 2 – Schalke 04 5. Definitely a blowout, but the game was not as lopsided as the score indicated. Inter came out of the gates with a bang, with Stankovic scoring one of the most impressive goals of the tournament (see below). What followed was a fun back-and-forth exchange of goals by both teams, and at the half, it still could have gone either way. I particularly enjoyed the pompous celebrations that Inter did after each goal. However, despite fairly even play, the breaks went all Schalke’s way and Farfan looked sensational on the biggest stage of his career. The Germans are fully behind their new coach, Ralf Rangnick, and look ready to make a push to the finals. See you in Germany. Defending champs are out. OVER.
Barcelona 5 – Shakhtar Donetsk 1. Donetsk came into the Nou Camp with a lot of momentum and were relishing in their role as the Cinderella’s of the tournament. I personally thought that they were going to give Barca a run for their money and even sneak away with the series at home. Barcelona had other ideas. A team often called the best team ever sure looked the part this week, putting on a clinic against the little Ukrainian bunch. When Donetsk finally scored an away goal, I thought they might have chance to catch a 2-0 win at home next leg. But that’s when young gun Seydou Keita put the game on ice with a smashing goal. End result, the kings are sitting on their throne, ready for the next round. OVER.
Chelsea 0 – Manchester United 1. In the only tight game of the week, it was more business as usual for the dominant UK rivalry for the past decade. Chelsea, who it is well known is built for the sole purpose of winning this competition, once again failed to perform against their biggest stumbling block. Torres and Drogba are still without a goal between them since the Spaniard left Liverpool and losing at home to Man U has to be compounding the pressure on the Blues. I simply don’t think this Red Devil team will relinquish this lead at old Trafford, but there’s no question that Chelsea will be pulling out all the stops for this one. UP FOR GRABS, thankfully.
That’s that, we’ll review the matches, but it looks like this round is already decided. Until then, enjoy the football.
- · Goal of the week, Inter’s Stankovic in the opening minute.( http://www.footytube.com/video/cl-update-inter-1-0-schalke-77661?ref=wv_relbox)
- · Tip if the cap to Roy Hodgson for back to back wins with West Brom, especially for the one over Liverpool this week. Revenge is good sometimes.