Saturday, April 11, 2009

A week is a long time in football

A week can be a long time in football. And it was illustrated beautifully in the last couple of games played by United and Liverpool. But before that, lets do a quick review of the champions league quarter final first leg matches.

Villareal - Arsenal. I predicted a 1-1 and so it finished. Villareal had a great first half, but Arsenal came back rather strongly in the second half, with Adebayor's stunning effort, being the excalamation point. The match is balanced on a knife's edge, and I can't predict a winner. But I will be doing my best, praying that my Gunners go through :).

Manchester United - Porto. I predicted a 3-1 win home win for United, but it finished 2-2. Porto were good value for the draw and are taking a significant advantage in terms of two away goals back to the Dragao. But I would still back United to go through with a 1-0 away win.

Barcelona - Bayern Munich. My prediction was a 4-2 win for a Barca. I got the 4 goal part of it right, but Bayern never turned up with their part. Barcelona are through to the semis, and I forsee more goals from them in the second leg. Is there a better attacking force in the world than Messi, Eto'o and Henry ? If there is, I would like to see them play !!

Livepool - Chelsea. I had predicted a tight 1-0 win for the Reds at Anfield, but boy was I wrong. Chelsea played a blinder in a 3-1 drubbing with Branislav Ivanovic's head playing a key role against Rafa's zonal defence. But as they say, Spaces don't score goals, players do and that's what Chelsea did. They are almost there, but not quite. Not against Liverpool and memories of Istanbul still fresh in our memories.

Coming back to how a week is a long time in football, let us just reflect on Liverpool and United's last few days. On last Saturday, Liverpool played away at Fulham and literally pounded the Cottagers goal throughout the game, but with no luck. And just when it seemed, they would blow their chance of going on top, Benayoun scored in injury time for a well deserved and inspiring win for the Reds. Next day, United came up against Villa at Old Trafford, with a patched up defence which was missing their 3 top centre backs. And Villa promptly took advantage getting 2-1 ahead, with 20 minutes to go. Ronaldo scored his second goal to equalise and the match looked as if it would end in a draw with United dropping a couple of crucial points. But enter, Frederico Macheda, an Italian teenager on his debut. He comes with an absolutely stunning strike in injury time and United have the 3 points, the lead in the premiership and more importantly momentum on their side.

But as the events in the week in the Champions League quarter-final showed, the momentum proved short-lived with United conceding two crucial away goals to Porto with the equaliser being very late, to leave them in a tough spot. But next day, Liverpool got battered at home by Chelsea, and their champions league ambitions almost over for the season.

Both the clubs and their supporters have experienced tremendous highs and lows in the past week as the football has continued to remain rivetting in both the Premier League and in Europe.

Looking forward to this coming week to see more ups and downs in this fascinating season.

1 comment:

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