October 24th, 2012

Champions League Observations, Part I: Rampant Lust Wants What It Wants

Image: Soccer Memes’ Facebook page via Nikita Revenko.

This post is similar to the requisite fall family photo with a pumpkin: we don’t really want to do it, but we know we have to.

About last night: Eden Hazard wore black boxers; conditions were horrendous for six pack spotting; and a lot of teams that weren’t expected to lose did.

In other words, Tuesday’s Champs League was a series of obscurely irrelevant events we think we might have nixed in favour of jammies and a face mask.

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42 Responses to “Champions League Observations, Part I: Rampant Lust Wants What It Wants”

  1. sohbet says:

    ere to support my team, and Rod is a total legend! Also it's so nice to read all the nice comments about Celtic, I am so proud of them! Not only that i cannot believe i got to see Barca! Bringing

  2. night of my life!! So happy to have been there to support my team, and Rod is a total legend! Also it's so nice to read all the nice comments about Celtic, I am so proud of them! Not only that i cannot believe i got to see Barca! Bringing

  3. Tracie says:

    Hello there! Would you mind if I share your blog with my twitter
    group? There’s a lot of people that I think would really enjoy your content. Please let me know. Many thanks

  4. HiL says:

    Chicha <3

    Frustrating to concede so easily this season… but United has charachter and awesome attacking players. :)

  5. German_Girl says:

    Great photo and caption! :D

    I have to admit I felt sorry for Celtic too. When they did the unthinkable and scored first, everyone knew that Barca would be back. But when the score was still even after ninety minutes I really thought they'd be able to snatch a point. To lose that in the last seconds of the game is so cruel.

    Can't believe Dortmund managed to beat Real!

    • JenC says:

      Somehow I was not surprised that Dortmund can actually managed RM. They have the best young squad in Europe right now. Goetze & Rolls Reus all the way baby.

    • xoWinnie says:

      i was upset but not surprised either, school's been kicking my ass so i haven't watched many games this season, but from those i HAVE seen, our form isn't the greatest atm, we've had to work much harder than usual (i.e. last season) for the games we HAVE won, and suffered some ridiculous defeats. if we were going to lose to anyone in that group it was sure to have been either Man City or Dortmund…thank goodness it wasn't City.

      • German_Girl says:

        I'm sure you'll still manage to go through the group stages! I'm afraid I think City and Ajax (despite their great game last night) will most probably be out.

  6. JenC says:

    Dortmund!!!! It's such a great day for Bundesliga isn't it? Although I feel kinda bummed that Schalke won against my favourite BPL team Arsenal. Schmelle,Schmelle,Schmelle..sweet sweet Schmelle..I want to give Marcel Schmelzer a great big hug because he deserves all the praise.Especially after the heart crushing comment from Jogi a few weeks ago.

  7. Gladys says:

    I know this is from Day 2, but here's a visual treat of Afellay and Santi Cazorla talking and exchanging shirts. It's pretty adorable. They look genuinely happy to see each other (I'm also imagining Ibi is speaking Spanish unless Santi has mastered English or Dutch.):

  8. Kristina says:

    How the hell do you manage to complete two, three passes in the opponents penalty area, plus manage to get a result from that intricate passing, when the opponent has ten men inside there? With all respect for Celtic, they did real good, but the it's a stroke of genius to accomplish the above! Messi, Xavi and Iniesta did. They could create beautiful football in an area the size of your average closet. With opponents hanging from their backs.

    Shaktar Donetsk played fun, aggressive attacking football!

    And the Dortmund vs Real game! Wow! Tight game, although it was great that Dortmund won. It adds a little excitement in that group. Plus, with Reus and Hummels out there I think they even won the hot ballers competition.

    • Gladys says:

      And Ibi scored for Schalke! So happy to see him doing well with the team and getting lots of playing time.

  9. doug in sf says:

    There's a job for you at Chelsea, Cheech.

  10. Gladys says:

    Sorry Kickette, this is more of a Europa post…but HOT PORTUGUESE MANAGER ALERT courtesy of Atletico's Twitter feed:

    That would be Pedro Manuel, Coimbra's manager (they're playing them tomorrow night). Something tells me that ATM didn't post it for this purpose, but I couldn't let it disappear into the Twittersphere unappreciated.

    • Kristina says:

      Gladys, our prayers were answered! Bartra started! Finally some classic beauty out there ;) . And he did really good, I thought. Too bad he didn't score that header. And God bless Jordi!

      • Gladys says:

        I know! What a crazy game. My feed was terrible so I could barely see Bartra. But I caught Jordi's goal. That boy is just up down up all over the map. People on Twitter kept calling it luck but then someone else said that it's about having the mindset to fight on and never give up. Seems to be the FCB way with their chaotic defense these days. (They're not the only ones– lots of last minute goals this season.) I've learned to just relax and enjoy the adrenaline rush….

        oh and how could I forget Don Andres' goal. Bless anything that little pale man does.

  11. Chicharito is so cute!

  12. tammyv says:

    I felt so bad for Celtic yesterday… that was soul crushing. They deserved a point

    • Kristina says:

      If you park the bus, I don't think you deserve it. But yeah, it was tough. I really like Celtic.

      • Sergz says:

        Why shouldn't you deserve it? Tactics are tactics. And even if they are not as visibly appealing as Barcelona's "tiki-taka", it's still tactics. And it's obviously what worked best for them.

        • Kristina says:

          I was merely answering the person that first started talking about "deserving". To me it takes a higher level of skill to actually manage to score when there is not only one goalie in a penalty area, but ten. To jamm all your players together in front of your goal as a human wall is not only unattractive football, it's bad football. Hence you can actually talk about deserving points in this cases.

          • Sergz says:

            Look at Manchester United now. "My" team is playing horribly. And it's not that they are not amazing when it comes to scoring goals, they've scored in almost every game now. It's the DEFENSE that is lacking. And defense is immensely important, and to say that goalscoring requires a higher level of skill is just insulting to many clubs and players out there.

            And of course they are going to play defensively. It's Celtic against FC Barcelona at Camp Nou! What are they going to do? Go all in on the offense and neglect the defense? They'd lose 6-0 for sure…

            • Sergz says:

              Sorry if i'm sounding a bit rude, just don't like it when a certain type of football is seen as "morally superior" than others…

              • Kristina says:

                That is YOUR words not mine! I have never, ever suggested anything like it. I prefer a certain kind of football. Don't we all?

            • Kristina says:

              You are misunderstanding me in every possible way. What is lacking at Barca nowadays? Defense! Defense is sooo important. Don't you think I know that? But as I wrote further down, there is defense and there is defense. Of course Celtic is doing what they can to stop Barca from scoring, but I'm not gonna applaude it, or say I like it, or anything like that.

              And excuse me for thinking it's pretty goddam awesome to be able to score on a team that has all their players in front of their goal. I don't think I'm the only one. Please, take of those glasses that make you perceive every Barca fan as an arrogant prick!

      • tammyv says:

        Defense is equally, if not more important that attack

        • Kristina says:

          There is also attacking defense, which is harder to pull off and more fun to look at. And the harder something is to achieve, the more success you deserve. That's what I mean when I say that I don't think teams that pack all their players in their own penalty area deserve points. Because it simply doesn't take as much skill.

          See, I'm not saying that defense is not football. I'm saying that there are a lot of ways to defend. Why chose the boring, easy one?

    • Gladys says:

      @tammyv– I'm not being sarcastic but asking a serious question…why exactly do you think Celtic deserved to win? They had 10% possession (to Barca's 90%), 2 shots on target and 2 shots off target (Barca had 13 on, 13 off), and their goal was actually an own goal off of Mascherano's shoulder (strange it isn't being counted that way but it's better for the Celtic player to get the goal credit anyway).

      I have nothing against Celtic and I think they defended very well and fought until the end. But I don't believe in anyone (including Barca) ever "deserving to win," barring egregiously incorrect ref calls (which were not a part of this game, thankfully). Sorry, but I just don't understand when people say this. Believe me, I dislike it the most when it comes from the mouths of players for the teams I support.

      • Gladys says:

        By the way, @tammyv, my apology for misreading…you said they deserved a point, not to win. I see why you say that given how late Jordi's goal came, but I still stand by my question.

      • tammyv says:

        I believe that a good attack is great but it is worthless without being able to stop your opponents.

        People, even in this thread, believe that "parking the bus" for 90 minutes is easy. It is not at all. It requires incredible discipline of the entire team and a commitment to a single mission. It requires 90 minutes of solid concentration and living on the edge because just like the Celtic v. Barca match. It take one second of missed concentration to blow the whole thing.

        The reality is that this a proven strategy that if you can hold it together Barca (and Spain) does not have a, "Plan B," to deal with it. It is how the Inter beat Barca over the second leg of the CL Semi in 2010. It is how Chelsea beat them over two legs in. Barca will continue to shoot and pass and shoot and pass looking for and opening. The Defensive players cannot get dazzled watching Messi pass to Xavi and vis versa, they must stay focused on the task.

        It is exceptionally difficult to pull off but it is a brilliant strategy if works. Even with the last winner, Celtic plays believe now that they can play 90 minutes with Barca which is invaluable as well. When everyone looked at that draw Celtic were always going to lose but the GD should have been -10. It is -1 and they players can take this result and try to move on to the next round, especially after their win in Moscow and their draw with benfica.

        I hate this idea that strategy and defense do not matter that only attacking does. It would be a really boring game if that were true. It would basically be all penalty kicks

        • Kristina says:

          I have not said that it doesn't matter, have I? In that case, I'm sorry if I'm unclear. I have played football for ten years, as an attacking midfielder. When my team met teams that were way too tough for us we used to defend like Celtic. And sometimes it worked. But we did it because we didn't know another way, and the other team were too good compared to us. Not because we wanted to, or because we thought it was fun.

          That is what lies behind my way of reasoning, and if you must interpret that as arrogance or one-sidedness then I can't help you. Because I can't explain it in any other way. Believe me, I'm not in here to trash a hard working team. Also, I'm tired of Barca getting the blame when others play boring. Plus, they (Barca, Spain) obviously does not need a plan B.

          • tammyv says:

            I don't think any one playing on the Cetlic team thought it was fun.. They knew it was the best strategy to get as much out of the match as possible. They only got a point and they now go on with a 0 GD (having been one up prior)

        • Gladys says:

          I'm actually not disagreeing with you on Celtic's manner of defense but more on the assessment of how well they played, as if FCB somehow, as their detractors always think, stole yet another win.

          Re: the park the bus argument, as a Barca fan, my frustration with them at the end of last year was their inability to be flexible in attack (to use the sides more rather than always going up the middle) and to alter their style to counter a heavy defense. That said, I was just questioning the concept that not just you but others I read on Twitter and other sites argued yesterday that Celtic deserved the tie. Only a few sports journalists (neutral, not FCB fans) countered by pointing out that Celtic had almost no shots on target. The idea of deserving a tie or win (and believe me , I no more like it when it comes out of Xavi's mouth) bothers me.

          That said, if you are a Celtic fan, I'm sorry. They did show a lot of perseverance and certainly, as you say, have a chance at advancing. Yesterday was only one game. I think the various odd results mean very little in a long competition. If you asked me, despite my loyalty, I might be quite happy to see an unexpected team win the whole thing for once.

          • tammyv says:

            I am generally neutral on both teams.. there are things I love about Barca and things I hate and as I have said, there is a strong argument they are the greatest team ever assembled. However, Celtic forced Barca to play a different game than they planned and that deserves credit. It was not the thrashing that was expected at the time of the draw. The team showed character, heart, tenacity, and disciple.

            I thought in fairness the match should have been a tie given that as good as barca were in attack, Cletic were equally good in defense. That is a draw

            • Gladys says:

              I will say that any team looking to beat Barca should really try their hand at attacking, given how practically their whole starting defense is out on injuries or suspension. Last Saturday's game against Deportivo was crazeballs! Nine goals total. Completely tense but really fun to watch at the same time. It will be interesting to see them against Rayo on Sunday. If you are a neutral, you might want to watch it (Rayo is the team that fought back against Atletico from a four goal deficit and nearly tied in the dying minutes. Plus, while I don't want them to beat Barca, it's hard not to like them. They are if not the, then one of the, poorest teams in the league and their fans are pretty politically radical.)

              • tammyv says:

                but you do not try to beat Bara attacking at Camp Nou… you try that at home in Glasgow on a cold, rainy, miserable night. At Camp Nou you just try to survive the best way you can.

                I am currently a Málaga fan because they have the only American in La Liga. It is how I pick teams, I support teams where my boys are but I do watch a lot la liga, That Rayo match should be good

              • Kristina says:

                That's what I've been thinking the whole time, Gladys! Look at Depor. They tried their luck and they almost made it. Attacking Barca now, or forcing a set piece in their half, is a very good option. Hopefully more teams will try that, even if it means I will get a heart attach. :)

  13. tammyv says:

    Lord, I felt so bad for Celtic last night. They TOTALLY deserved a draw