March 17th, 2011
Midweek Results: Muscle Tears & Messages
Image: Getty Images.
Good afternoon, people, and welcome to the second edition of the revamped Kickette ‘Midweek Results’.
Yes, we did it! Two weeks in a ruddy row!!
Manchester United 2-1 Marseille (agg 2-1)
Nani. His leg is better, apparently. They both look okay, anyway. Image: Reuters/Daylife
For the reasons outlined above, plus the fact that their failure to score in the first leg of the fixture made an away goal priceless for Marseille, the last thing Manchester United need to be dealing with last night was injuries to their back four. Having already lost Nemanja ‘guess what, I’m a big hot robot‘ Vidic to a calf injury, manager Alex Ferguson would have thrilled to see first John O’Shea and then Rafael Da Silva leaving the field with hamstring strains.
Luckily, Marseille forwards Andre-Pierre Gignac and Souleymane Diawara saw fit to flub the numerous chances they had in the first half and red hot & cute striker Javier Hernandez took advantage – netting twice for United and seemingly finishing off any hopes Didier Deschamps may have had for progression into the quarter finals.
However, there is always a twist in these tales, and it was Wes Brown who obliged by netting for the opposition with seven minutes to go. United held on for the win, but only just. They’re gonna have to up their game for the next round, we think. There’s some tough teams in the draw, y’know.
Bayern Munich 2-3 Inter Milan (agg 3-3)
Inter’s Japanese defender Yuto Nagatomo sends a message to the victims of last week’s terrible events in Japan. Image: Getty Images/Daylife
Having ended the first leg a goal down, even the most optimistic of Inter Milan fans would have been nervous of the task ahead of them. Not only did they have to prevent the home team from scoring (they scored six in their last home fixture against Hamburg) but they also had to score in *slightly* intimidating atmosphere of the Allianz Arena.
Image: Getty Images/Daylife.
No worries there then. Samuel Eto’o put the visitors back into contention within three minutes off kick-off, but the plan fell to bits after Mario Gomez and then Thomas Mueller restored Bayern’s lead in the tie. Wesley Sneijder brought his side back into the game with a strike on the hour, but it was Goran Pandev’s late goal that made the difference; Inter winning on the away goals rule and consigning Bayern Munich to a potential struggle for qualification next season.
Domestic Leagues – La Liga
Getafe 2-2 Athletic Bilbao
Okay, so with both teams comfortably nesting in the middle of the La Liga table, this was never going to be an eye-catching game on paper. Getafe captain Manu del Moral apparently took exception to this and proceeding to liven things up by scoring a goal for his own side, then one for Bilbao, and then another one for his own side. This wouldn’t have mattered so much if Urko Vera hadn’t popped up at the last minute to score an equaliser for the visitors, but then things would have been less exciting, wouldn’t they?
Given Manu’s predilection for drama, we’re certain he appreciated the effort.
Chelsea 0-0 FC København (agg 2-0)
Image: AP Photo.
Next stop on our whistle-work-we-gulp-Guinness tour is Stamford Bridge. At the outset of last night’s Chelsea v. Copenhagen tie, the Danish lads looked keen on avenging the earlier 2-0 defeat that they suffered at home. By the time the match started, we quickly remembered that looks can be deceiving.
Because we were totally mesmerised by Christian Bolanos’ headsnood, we completely neglected to take stock of what his team had to offer. Apparently we didn’t miss much in the first half since both teams headed for the tunnels empty-handed, but not before Dame N’Doyle got closest to the Blues goal and then the ground after curling his free kick into Petr Cech’s goal posts.
Though we feared Bolanos’ hair protection may have contributed to Copenhagen’s problems, missed headers from Nico Anelka and Jon Obi Mikel in the 51st minute further enabled the evenly scoreless cause. The second half was an equally dismal display of physical sorts, so instead of rehashing the boring bits – which colour swirly straw should we choose for this afternoon’s beer guzzling games?
Real Madrid 3-0 Lyon (agg 4 – 1)
Image: Denis Doyle/Getty Images Europe.
First things first, we have a bone to pick with UEFA and their ‘don’t wear your Abidal shirts’ restrictions. Both teams were told to leave their memorabilia at home ahead of the Santiago Bernabeau tie – which is just silly if you ask us – so it was a pleasant surprise to see Marcelo, his Real Madrid homies and Lyon’s leading men buck the ban post-match in a show of serious health matters support.
While the excitement was high throughout this repeat of last year’s group stages, so were the passive and aggressive air acrobatics from both sides. Whether it was Pepe accidentally kung-fu kicking the crap out of every personal space invader on the pitch, or Ricardo Carvalho being up-ended by Yoann Gourcuff’s empty mascara containers – the tempo of this match and our internet connections were leaning towards multi-tasking activities (we were freely surfing for handbags and holiday gear whilst keeping a distant eye on things).
As such, our fun facts of the game went a lil’ something like this: Marcelo’s goal in the 37th minute initially broke the scoreline stalemate; we snatched the Ella Moss bikini we’ve been lusting over in the 58th minute; former Lyon hero Karim Benzema added another goal to RM’s aggregate total in the 66th after his earlier shot was voided by his offsidery; our patience for Julian Louie’s cheapy collection for ALDO ran out just in time to watch Angel Di Maria’s maneuvering past Lyon’s lone defender for his side’s third goal with 15 minutes left to play.
Thanks to Cesar Delgado’s departure from the game and subsequent self-massaging of his manparts on the bench, we were brought back from the brink of ghastly group sales. He seemed to have done a sufficient job of treating whatever was going on in the groin region. We saw it on live telly, but are seriously lacking photo proof. Please send us photo proof.