Thursday, April 06, 2006

Champions League Quarter-finals: April 4

AC Milan 3 - 1 Lyon (aggregate 3-1)
The scoreline was hardly fair to Lyon, who were the better team for long stretches of the game. Milan initially took the lead with a well-worked goal, headed in by Inzaghi, and then Lyon equalized from a free kick. The blame for that one goes partly to Milan's absentee defence, and partly to Dida missing the ball when he came out to punch. Is he really Brazil's first-choice keeper? Because he made more than one bone-headed error. Which is encouraging for the teams that have to face Brazil at the World Cup.

The second half was wide open play, with Milan desperately needing a goal, and Lyon not about to just sit back and defend. Lyon missed a few good chances, though, and they must have been kicking themselves about those when they lost their concentration at the end of the game and gave up two goals in the last five minutes. First Shevchenko fired in a shot that rebounded off both posts before Inzaghi knocked it in (a typical poacher's goal -- he seems to be the Italian version of Ruud Van Nistelrooy), and then a bad back-pass that Sheva pounced on to put the final nail in the coffin. Ouch.

This week's annoyance from the ESPN announcers: pronouncing the Milan keeper's name as "Jeeda." DIDA. FOUR LETTERS. It's not that hard, people, seriously. And the best hair award: A toss-up between Govou's frohawk and Fred's Harry Kewell-style ponytail.

Villareal 1 - 0 Inter Milan (aggregate 2-2)
Villareal are now offically the underdogs to be championed, after kicking some aging Italian ass. Possession went back and forth between the teams throughout the game, but Inter never looked like creating any decent chances for themselves. I don't think Viera had to make a save for Villareal until they were already into stoppage time.

It wasn't a dirty game, but there were a lot of fouls awarded -- and one of them turned out to be Inter's downfall. Riquelme sent a free kick into the box and Arruabarrena headed it home, as Veron, who was supposed to be marking him, was caught ball-watching. Seba was shown up quite thoroughly by both Riquelme and Sorin, actually (although he still looks like he would happily kill you in your sleep and eat your major organs). Inter's defence played well, but the rest of the team let them down. The midfield was pretty much useless -- I actually forgot that Stankovic was on the field -- and they ended up just punting the ball up to Adriano. Nothing like aspiring to be the Bolton of Italy, eh?

Also, I take back what I just said about the hair in the Milan-Lyon game, because this game was a true Festival of Crazy Latin Hair. I kind of suspect that the reason Materazzi elbowed Sorin in the face was because he was jealous of his long, flowing locks.


Anonymous said...

Hey, the ESPN commentators were right. It's pronounced "JEEDA" (or more accurately, "JIDA") because he's from Brazil.

In Brazil, the letter "D" is read as "J" when it's the first letter of the word. Hence, Denilson was always "Jenilson" to his teammates, coaches, etc. So actually, the European and American commentators who say "Denilson" and "Dida" and read the letter "D" right like it sounds in the alphabet are making the mistake.

Other fun quirks of Brazilian Portuguese:

- words ending with "o" are finished with an "ou" sound. So, Ronaldo is pronounced Ronaldou.

- words starting with "R" are started with an "H" sound. So, Ronaldo is pronounced "Honaldou." Roberto Carlos is "Hobertou Carlos."

footie girl said...

They were actually right about something?

Damn, my entire worldview is shattered now.