Thursday, April 20, 2006

Champions League Semi-finals: April 18-19

Either I'm getting slightly footballed-out, or neither of these games was all that interesting. The highlight of the two matches was the squirrel on the pitch at Highbury.

Anyway, both games finished one-nil, with the better team taking the lead, and in both cases everything is still up for grabs heading into the second leg, which ought to be a lot more exciting to watch. (If not, hopefully the squirrels in Spain are practicing their nutmegs right now.)

AC Milan 0 - 1 Barcelona
The difference in this one came down to the two Brazilian midfielders: Kaka had a few spells of good play for Mila, but ultimately couldn't create anything, whereas Ronaldinho came through with that moment of brilliance, chipping the ball through to Giuly for the only goal of the game. If Milan have any hope of getting through this round, they have to find a way to control Ronaldinho and his crazy teeth -- and also figure out how to put away some of their chances, because right now Shevchenko has been reduced to running his fingers through his hair in frustration every time he puts a shot wide, and Gilardino just seems to be under some kind of Champions League curse.

Arsenal 1 - 0 Villareal
Aside from the squirrel, and Arsene Wenger having a tizzy on the sidelines, the big talking point from this game was the refereeing. Villareal were upset that Gilberto Silva (I may have to take back some of what I said about him being useless) didn't get called for hacking down Jose Mari from behind on the edge of the box. I'm not sure if it was a penalty, but it definitely should have been a free kick in a dangerous position -- especially with Riquelme standing over the ball. On the other hand, Henry had a goal wrongly ruled out for offside, so it all kind of works out in the end -- of course, it's easier to say that when the team you're cheering for wins.


The Gaffer said...

Footie Girl,

I agree about the squirrel being pretty entertaining at the Arsenal match. The crowd was hysterical, I thought, especially when they started chanting 'Squirrel, squirrel.'

The Gaffer

brookster said...

If you didn't see the Arsenal - Spurs game, there was a small sign by some of the fans that said:

"Squirrel : More Champions League Experience than Spurs".

He's had more column inches here in the last few days than some politics.

footie girl said...

Heee. I watched the Arsenal-Spurs game, but I didn't see the sign. Sometimes I love football fans.