April 14th, 2011

Champions League Results, Pt II: Naked But Numb

Your PFA Player of The Year? Image: Getty Images/Zimbio

Having studied the habits of Kickette staff over the last four years, our data has demonstrated that emotional stress causes increased ingestion of cookie dough and white wine. As we approach the business end of the season, a review of our orders to the bakery suggests that we’re in for a record year, and we predict that unfulfilled threats to join a gym will spike in late May.

You too? What”s your fatproof foolproof method of stress management? Can you share it with us, please?

Tottenham Hotspur 0-1 Real Madrid (agg 0-5)

You know when you’ve been fantasising about a pair of shoes for months and then your friend turns up wearing them? This is the level of agony experienced by Heurelho Gomes in this photo. Images: Getty Images/Zimbio, Getty Images/Daylife

Oh, Heurelho. Your attempt to take the heat off your colleague Peter Crouch by offering forth an error at least on a par with the striker’s mad tackles in the last leg was truly admirable but not necessary. Overcoming a 4-0 deficit against a Real Madrid side managed by Jose Mourinho was always going to be a stretch, but it’s a testament to Harry Redknapp and his boys’ will for a way seeing that there was still some interest in this game for the Spurs home leg.

Kickettes know that dreams can come true, but it doesn’t happen very often. Spurs looked far more confident in the opening stages than they did in the Bernabeu, but aside from a few inspiring runs by Gareth Bale and a penalty shout from a Xabi Alonso tackle on Roman Pavlyuchenko in the box, Real Madrid looked comfortable and the result never looked in doubt.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s twenty-five yard strike should never have troubled Spurs ‘keeper Gomes and for a split second he had it covered. Those pesky balls have Houdini-like powers though, and moments later we were treated to the agonising sight of it trickling over the line a’ la Robert Green. Fortunately for Gomes, the game was already lost. The censure he receives for his mistake is likely to be muted.

So Spurs are out and now face a battle with Manchester City for the Champions League qualifying spot of fourth in the EPL. Madrid, meanwhile, face their semi-final opposition Barcelona on Saturday in a crucial league fixture. This is the first of four games between the Spanish giants and will invariably define the seasons of both.

We’re fearful but excited. You?

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Schalke 04 2-1 Inter Milan (agg 7-3)

We did like this image of Raul celebrating his goal against Inter last night, but have to confess we were pushed to include it because we really loved the fluffy, furry microphone thing in the corner. Image: Reuters/Daylife

We think it’s a shame this tie slipped through the cracks, particularly for Bundesliga side Schalke, who have earned themselves a semi-final against Manchester United with an astonishing display of football that made last year’s champs look, dare we say it, fairly ordinary.

All the hard work was done in the first leg, where visitors Schalke dominated play and gave themselves an insurmountable five-away-goal cushion. No team has ever progressed in the competition having accrued such a deficit for an away leg but there’s always hope when a side can call upon experience like that of Javier Zanetti, Maicon and Julio Cesar (left). And for forty-five minutes a flicker of hope remained, until Raul struck just before the whistle blew for half-time.

Tiago Motta equalised the tie on fifty minutes, but it was arguably academic by that point, and Benedikt Howedes made certain with another goal on eighty-one minutes. Schalke are clearly the underdogs going into the final four, but as they showed over these two games, anything is possible in football. We wouldn’t bet against ‘em.

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35 Responses to “Champions League Results, Pt II: Naked But Numb”

  1. IkerIkerIker says:

    Iker looks ALWAYS sexy, even if he is making those funny facial expression like on this picture :D
    Casillas is adorable!!!

  2. TariGirl.x.ManUtd says:

    I had a feeling Kickette was going to put that photo ( Main Photo ) . :P

  3. Agnes Wonka says:

    so cool for RM and CR! :)

  4. TariGirl.x.ManUtd says:

    Nawrrh. Chelsea are ( no offense to supporters , it's cause I'm a Manchester United fan =) )

  5. xoWinnie says:

    i am so afraid of what's to come for me and my bestie during El Clasico..s lol
    i barely looked at her for day after the last one. it was just too much, i couldn't handle that loss
    if that happen again i do not know what i will do with myself…BUT REMAIN CALM!
    i will talk myself into being prepared for this challenge;
    and convince myself that those magical moments of Sergio bending over to "fix his socks"
    or wiping his brow with his shirt, or having his shorts caught in his tighty-whities
    or occasional glaces of Ronnie's abs and Pipa's cute little smile and shelf-booty
    are worth the anxiety.

  6. Caitlin says:

    As a devout Spurs fan, I was so proud of my boys yesterday. The passion, and spirit we showed truly made my day. The fans at White Hart cheered them on until the end. I am so proud to say that we got to the quarterfinals, and UEFA for the first time (the fact that we lasted longer than Arsenal is satisfactory enough). The commitment, spirit, confidence, and level of play that Redknapp has created is truly remarkable. By far, best Spurs manager we have had, and I LOVE every player on my team. As for this weekend, I am SO rooting for Barcelona! My hatred for Real Madrid is somewhat scary (Ronaldo is a joke). Also, the London Derby is in a week, and since we beat Arsenal last November, 3-2, in probably the best comeback in the history of comebacks, I am preparing. This means more to me than the Royal Wedding…no joke. And i'm English! Now, i'm off to have a Stella! (Keeping it classy, I say).
    Happy dreaming fellow kickette's!!

  7. Ladies, rejoice as these are glorious times we live in! The last time so much El Clásico action took place was way back in 1916, when the blaugranes faced the merengues 4 times over 20 days. Let's just remain calm, and visca barça! http://www.totalbarca.com/2011/opinion-pieces/el-…

  8. balicious says:

    I'm just here for Bale! I prefer to see a picture of him than to be reading the whole post (i'm good enough to know english but the way Kickette write makes it very difficult to understand, for me)

  9. black widow says:

    for me, the best bit about that piccie of bale is iker's jersey tucked into his waistband …

  10. Lotte says:

    Ok, in order to survive this whole ordeal i have made myself two plans. Plan A: Intensify yoga sessions and try to find strength and inner peace. This will help me to be fair and impartial, Or plan B: Call in sick, buy kids and hubby a trip to some warm, nice country, drink constantly and scream obscenitys whenever Mou's face appears on the TV-screen.

    Believe me, I'm hoping plan A will work. I really do.

  11. Madrista4life says:

    HALA MADRID!!!

  12. AnnaBlume says:

    Great video of Raul taking to the stands to celebrate with the Schalke supporters: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t3GG5BxukdE

    • Lily says:

      He's so awesome, I miss him,

      I am so glad he's doing so well in this new team. Hala Madrid!

    • MadridistaJenn says:

      Wow! That video brought real tears to my eyes and chills down my spine! Raul is incredible!

      Thanks for the link!

  13. I am in full mourning for my Spurs, especially Gomes! I thought he was gonna cry for sure! They'll get past this easily though. This is one of the best weekends for football! I have made sure my schedule is very clear this weekend. I may or may not wash, brush teeth, shave, comb hair until I have watched all matches. The ignore button on my blackberry will be used often. Cadbury eggs, Chinese food and fruit punch soda will be in abundance.

  14. FloraJane says:

    As a Chelsea fan, I have no love for Spurs, but they provided some of those moments that make this such a beautiful game, and make me remember why I started watching in the first place. Who would have dreamed just a year or so ago that they'd be trying to beat Real Madrid, with a real belief they could do it? REAL freaking MADRID!! What a difference a year makes. Hats off to those players and to Harry Redknapp and what he's done for that club. But the best moments were when the Spurs fans, accepting defeat as inevitable, still filled the stadium with all the songs they know in support of their players, right through to the end. That was awesome. Well done all.

    But congrats to Real Madrid. Go get 'em Jose!!!

  15. MadridistaJenn says:

    I have to hand it to Spurs (especially the fans in White Hart Lane) for not just lying down and getting trampled in the second leg. Despite Gomes being trashed by some, he played aggressively and it just backfired.

    As for these 4 Madrid-Barca clashes….I'm exhausted at the thought.

  16. LuvinBale says:

    So we lost but I think we played well and with passion. Now we can focus on getting into the top 4 so we try for Champions league for next year.

    But my-oh-my that picture is lovely and very consoling after dropping out of the Champions League.
    Very very consoling.
    Im drooling over Bale like Homer Simpson drools over donuts. Just yummy.

  17. blitzenTO says:

    As a Barca fan, I find myself in the odd position of wishing success to Raul and his team. I would love it if Schalke could surprise ManU and knock them out in the next round!

    And as for the 4 Clasicos, all I have to say is "Mou, res!". :-p

  18. gin_in_teacups says:

    How I will ever survive 4 clasicos I do not care to imagine. I may have to take to my bed and keep smelling salts on hand. And by smelling salts, I mean bourbon.

  19. Janet says:

    Oh…Julio….I really hope he didn't walk home again. I felt so bad for him. I just want to cuddle up next to him and tell him that everything will be okay. So what if he's happily married?

  20. Janet says:

    While I was watching Barca v Shakhtar and saw that someone was lying face first in Shakhtar's box, my friend and I said, at the same time, "Who is that? Is that Pique? Did he get hit in the face again?" It seems to happen to him a lot….

  21. Devilish-x says:

    oh bale, I seem to have gotten a huge stalker-esque crush on you this season..
    Gotta say, the crowd at white hart-lane were pretty damn awsome (Y)

    • TariGirl.x says:

      OMFG. Same thing is happening to me…..But he is Fucking Hot. Thats The Truth . x

  22. chay says:

    i am so sad, i have to work on saturday during el clasico, but i will be cheering on RM and fantasizing about hot footballers and totally not paying attention to work :-P

    I was so happy for RM yesterday, but wow, my heart really went out to gomes, for sure he felt like a total ass. Oh well!

    And for the record, raul still has his mojo! yay raul!

    • black widow says:

      my madridista heart actually cracked a little for gomes yesterday … and did you see iker's reaction? the feed i was watching cut to him and whilst all the other RM players were celebrating, iker just looked sad and a bit aggrieved, as i'm sure he understood better than anyone how gomes must have felt. :(

  23. bri_saldana says:

    absolutely quivering over ALL the Clasico's to come….Pique drinking game for me starts NOW!

  24. Sarah, Madrid says:

    IKER adorable, this is soooo cute! aww Iker! I want eat you. Ramos I am still mad, why didnt you take off your shirt! we agreed on it lol? I dont think Gomez is too blamed for the goal, he underestimated the power of the Cristano rocket, the speed of his shot was 102 km/h, so I guess I would give Gomez some space to breathe and dont blame him.

    Now, semi-finals! Oh boy! nice to meet you everyone, I am off to be looked in my basement waiting for this month to end, April madness or whatever it is called, 4 classicos, and it is starting in 2 days!!!!!!!!. Real Madrid should lock a win in Bernabeu or at least a draw to break the mental block we have on our players, I guess it is very important to know how to handle ourself in the rest of 3 games.

    Raul! legend!, number 7 should retire after you! Remind me of Raul of late 90s early 2000s, I still cant get over how good is this guy.

  25. Kat says:

    And so it begins. Eighteen days of nail-biting, hair-pulling and Cheetos-chomping. If I'm alive (and have not pulled my hair out and gained 5 lbs) after all this, I'll consider myself lucky.

    While this may sound overly dramatic, there really is no exaggerating the importance of these four matches. Even the seemingly least important one, the league match, could actually be the most important one, as it will set the tone for the next three. The intense rivalry, the pressure,the possible strategies (will Mou rest players in the league match? Will Barca try and tempt the players one 4 yellows for the first leg of the CL?, etc.) and the impact of each match on the next….

    gaaaaah. It's driving me crazy. Pass the cupcakes please.