April 6th, 2011
Champions League Results, Part I: When Harry Met Jose & Other Stories
Ooh, sex-face! Image: Getty Images/Daylife
As all good Kickette Soldier Girls and Boys know, inconsistency is the key to our success. Yes, having just re-organised the Midweek Results to maximise your information gathering potential, we are now (albeit temporarily) moving the goalposts again. While the Champions League fixtures are offering such wild excitement and intrigue, we will be running the results post over two days.
Tomorrow, you can expect an in-depth examination of Manchester United vs. Chelsea and Barcelona vs. Shakhtar Donetsk. Today, we are pleased to offer full(ish) analysis of Real Madrid vs. Spurs and Inter Milan vs. Schalke 04.
We know. Even we’re surprised at the level of efficiency stalking our corridors. It must be the new espresso.
Real Madrid 4-0 Tottenham Hotspur
Er… Marcelo? That isn’t very sportsmanlike, is it? Image: Reuters/Daylife
It didn’t start well. Seconds before Spurs emerged from the tunnel into one of the most intimidating arenas in global football, news broke that Aaron Lennon had withdrawn from the starting eleven, apparently complaining of a stomach bug. To be fair, we would imagine that most people would be suffering from a similar complaint in such circumstances, but the late line up change clearly rattled his side, who barely touched the ball in the opening exchanges.
It didn’t help that Real were in a bullish mood, intent on tying up the result before the return leg at White Hart Lane. They maintained possession with crisp training match passes and Cristiano Ronaldo tested Heurelo Gomes with a couple of audacious shots from well outside the penalty area. Their first goal, scored by the newly crowned Ab-King Emmanual Adebayor, came after just four minutes.
Peter Crouch apparently felt that the only way his side were going to get back into the tie was through resilience in overcoming adversity, so added a bit of his own (above). This is the only (polite) explanation we can come up with to justify the two tackles that earned him two yellow cards within the first fifteen minutes. Down to ten men, his teammates did a remarkable defensive job for the rest of the first half, but the result was an inevitability.
Another goal from Adebayor, and two fabulous strikes from Angel Di Maria and Cristiano late in the game sealed the home win. Real travel to London next week, but unless Harry Redknapp can conjure up a comeback of historical proportions, Jose Mourinho’s pretties are certain to be in the semis for the first time since 2003.
Image: AP Photos/Daylife
Inter Milan 2-5 Schalke 04
No. We couldn’t quite believe it, either. Image: Getty Images/Zimbio
Circumstances may have ensured that the Real Madrid vs. Spurs result was a formality, but Schalke’s dominance over last year’s winners in this fixture certainly wasn’t. Indeed, the German side were a goal down within a minute of kickoff and most Kickette minds, usually monitoring on-pitch events with a military precision (ahem) had begun to wander to thoughts of internet shoe shopping.
It just shows you, doesn’t it? Dejan Stankovic’s cheeky volley was cancelled out by Joel Matip’s tap in on seventeen minutes, but Inter regained the lead after half an hour via another volley, this time from the boot of Diego Milito. Before we could even think of turning our attentions back to a cheeky footwear fix, Schalke came from behind again, Edu scoring from a Julio Cesar parry.
With two away goals in the bag, the hard work was done for Schalke, but they clearly had more in their locker and took the tie beyond doubt with three unanswered goals in the second half. Raul (whose sex face played a big part in re-engaging us to the game), Edu’s second and a flappy own goal from Andrea Ranocchia contributed to the rout and Schalke’s unlikely heroes wake this morning to an almost certain semi against either Manchester United or Chelsea.
Image: Getty Images/Daylife
Which tie grabbed your attention, Kickettes? As if we need to ask…