April 13th, 2011
Champions League Results, Pt I: Sadness, Squeezing & Scary Shoes
Lampsy needs a hug, Kickettes. No pushey-shovey as you form an orderly queue, please. Image: Getty Images/Daylife.
We think this is what they call ‘the sharp end’ – that time of the season when one bad decision, one slip or one moment of genius could be the difference between eternal glory and agonising heartbreak for players and fans alike.
Our waistlines absolutely love this time of year.
Manchester United 2-1 Chelsea (3-1 agg)
Don’t squeeze too tight, Wazza. Any damage to Cheech’s nether regions would be heartbreaking for us. Images: AP Photo & Reuters/Daylife.
Playing sport at an elite level has it’s advantages. As Fernando Torres (left inset) is learning, it also has its £50million price tag downsides.
Carlo Ancelotti had little choice but to start the second leg of this Champions League quarter-final with Torres, but this morning even he hinted that his decision may have been a freckle too far. Down 1-0 from the first leg on their home turf, Chelsea had to score at the Theatre of Dreams in order to pose any terse threat to Manchester United’s place in the semi-finals. While Torres tried his heart out, the Blues’ lack of form and communication was brought sharply into focus by Wayne Rooney and Javier Hernandez. As luck would have it, it was our favourite future Salsa maker who broke the stalemate moments before half time, firing a Ryan Giggs’ cross into the roof of the net.
When the teams returned to the pitch for the 2nd half, Didier Drogba swapped spots with FT, a decisive move which – in the 77th minute – drew further attention to the Italian manager’s line-up ‘mistake’ once DD slotted home a priceless away goal. Chelsea’s celebration was short-lived and skint on skin, though, since Park Ji-Sung selfishly cut the Blues’ shirt-stripping time short an eyelash blink later. You owe us, PJ-S, and we *will* call the collections agency on your bootay if you don’t make good.
It didn’t help their cause that the nippy Ramires was sent off for two yellow card offences, but Chelsea cannot afford to look back now. It’s unlikely that room will need to be made in the trophy cabinet this season and we will await Roman Abramovich’s next move with interest.
Shakhtar Donetsk 1-0 Barcelona (6-1 agg)
The designers of Leo’s Adidas F50′s clearly didn’t compare notes with Barca’s away kit sketch artists did they? Getty Images/Zimbio.
The normally sugar-happy staffers who drew pulled this tie out of our writing assignment hat were not the happiest of bunnies last night. They thrive on excitement and artificial sweeteners, y’see, and while the prospect of Shaktar turning over the 5-1 deficit from the first leg was indeed exciting, it was also about as likely as Wayne Rooney giving up swearing for lent.
Image: AP Photo/Daylife.
Leo Messi scored the only goal of last night’s game, who maintained his composure in spite of his family’s recent brush with gun-toting criminals. At the end of it all, the aggregate score was as lopsided as we all imagined, sending Barcelona through to the semis against either Spurs or Real Madrid. Despite an evening’s raucous merriment and football watching, we are still just about capable of predicting that Real Madrid are the more likely victors of tonight’s fixture against Spurs.
The competition is fixated on upping our intake of digestive biscuits, people. Can you see past Barca for the win? Or will Sir Alex, Jose Mourinho, Ralf Rangnick or even Harry Redknapp have something to say about it?