April 7th, 2011
Champions League Results, Pt II: Who’s The Daddy?
Aww, baby. Image: AP Photo/Daylife
It’s part two of our marvelous Champions League Results round up, people. Strap yourself in, grab your hip flask and join us for the ride.
(Psst: there’s semi-nekkid Pique and everything!)
Chelsea 0-1 Manchester United
Really, Nando? Image: Reuters/Daylife.
There are few players in world football as capable of confounding expectation as Wayne Rooney (left). Last weekend, the world (or at least the part of it concerned with such matters) was recoiling in horror from the sight of his contorted features hurling abuse at them via their television. Last night, despite desperately struggling against it, we were thrilled by his goal scoring exploits on the Stamford Bridge pitch during United’s vital 1-0 first leg victory against Chelsea. Bah!
In the league, matches between these two can be cagey affairs, but both sides were clearly in the mood in this early stage, although the combination of Rooney and Javier Hernandez upfront for United looked far more threatening than the Drogba/Torres pairing tried by Chelsea.
This was born out after twenty four minutes, when Rooney struck from a well-rehearsed Carrick/Giggs build up. He celebrated with a big smile, which we found almost as unnerving as his angry face.
Torres had his moments, but luck just isn’t on the pretty one’s side right now. He had plenty of involvement in Chelsea’s repeated surges toward goal but the final touch just isn’t there. That bad luck seemed to spread throughout the side as they game progressed; the Blues had several chances cleared by an energetic Edwin van der Saar and were denied a clear penalty in the final stages, when Ramires was taken down by Patrice Evra in the area.
Of all the games in the quarters so far, this is the one that still has a realistic chance of an exciting finish. Roll on next Tuesday!
Barcelona 5-1 Shakhtar Donetsk
There are few things that can persuade us to forgive bad goal celebrations. This is one of them. Image: Reuters/Daylife.
A Spanish side win by a four goal margin in a game that could (if we weren’t being respectful to fans of the opposition) be described as a walkover? Hmm, we’re getting déjà vu here.
Like the Spurs before them, plucky Shakhtar Donetsk must have believed in the possibility that they could cause a huge upset. They had, after all, earned their place in the quarter finals of the Champions League. And for a good two minutes, we all believed as well. Then new daddy Andres Iniesta took advantage of a pass intended for David Villa and ruined it all.
It was at that point that the result was in the bag. Iniesta set up Dani Alves for Barca’s second; Gerard Pique, who is on something of a spree at the mo, scored from a deflection and proceeded to embarrass himself again with his dodgy goal celebration.
This was the only downside for Barca fans. Shakhtar were able to pull one back via Yaroslav Rakitskiy, but Keita and Xavi made certain with two more before putting one eye forward at their potential opponents in the semis: Real Madrid.
In case you haven’t worked it out, that’s potentially FOUR ‘El Classicos’ in the span of about two weeks. We can confirm there was a spike in mental health day requests from the Kickette staff when this news broke.
This was our view. Yours, please?