Monday, April 24, 2006

FA Cup Semi-finals

Liverpool 2 - 1 Chelsea
Oh, man, how awesome was that? I watched the game in a pub full of rabid Liverpool supporters, which was great, and I got so caught up in the excitement that I was momentarily confused when there was no trophy presentation at the end of the game.

Surprise, surprise: Jose Mourinho is claiming that the better team didn't win, which is bullshit. Liverpool outplayed his misbegotten lineup for 60 minutes, and then held on for the win, even after Mourinho came to his senses and threw some wingers on -- maybe he'd noticed Harry Kewell tearing his defence apart, and realized that trying to pack the centre of the pitch against Gerrard, Alonso and Sissoko isn't likely to work. If Chelsea's starting lineup was mystifying, Rafa's substitutions at the end of the game were slightly terrifying (Cisse? Djimi Traore, for the love of god? Even Morientes for Garcia, who as usual was alternately brilliant and utter crap). But somehow it worked.

Anyway, as far as I'm concerned, winning the big games is what makes you the better team -- and Jose can sit down and shut up about the referreeing as well. I'm admittedly biased, but it seems like way more of the decisions went in favour of Chelsea. Even the free kick for the first goal: maybe two minutes before that, Peter Crouch got called for doing the exact same thing, so it seemed perfectly fair to me. And it wouldn't have mattered anyway if the wall had done their job.

This is why so many people hate Chelsea now, I think. They're not gracious winners, and they're even less gracious losers.

Oh, yeah, and West Ham beat Middlesbrough 1-0 in the other semi-final. Yay for them. Excuse me while I go back to gloating over Chelsea (I get a slightly obscene amount of pleasure from seeing John Terry all pouty), and waiting for the "Lampard to Barcelona" rumours to ramp up this summer.

Meanwhile, in the Premiership:

  • Arsenal drew 1-1 with Tottenham in a cracking game that might have been even better if Thierry Henry and Cesc Fabregas hadn't started on the bench. Looks like Arsene Wenger's strategy of resting players for the Champions League might have backfired. But he's busy complaining about Tottenham not putting the ball out of play when two Arsenal players went down injured just before they scored the first goal. I was sort of half-heartedly cheering for Arsenal in this game, but even so: Suck it up, Wenger, and teach your team to play the whistle. If there's a serious injury, it's the referees job to stop the play, not your opponents -- especially if the players are down not because of a bad tackle, but because they ran into one another.

  • After beating West Brom 3-0, Newcastle are up to seventh place. How the hell did that happen? They've actually got a shot at European football next season. I can't decide if that's good or not -- but anything that makes Michael Owen more likely to stay at St. James' Park is not good, as far as I'm concerned. In other news, I'm not much of an Alan Shearer fan, but I did get a little sad to see him on the sidelines and them showing his Last Goal Ever in the highlight reel.

  • Bolton thumped Charlton 4-1. Why couldn't they have done that against Chelsea? Bah.

  • Birmingham and Everton played out a boring 1-1 draw that didn't do much for either team. Or for those of us who watched the game.

  • Portsmouth continued their recent streak of not completely sucking, beating the mighty Sunderland 2-1. Which, actually, is more than Man Unitd could do, so I suppose I shouldn't mock them.


brookster said...

Yeah, Newcastle are only behind Blackburn because of the alphabet. Oh, and games played.

Pompey may just do it. Fingers crossed.

Mourinho is a little annoying now, mainly because he's not being smug because he hasn't got anything to be smug about. There's about five Chelsea players who need to go, and pretty sharpish during the transfer window as well.

footie girl said...

I'm not sure that Mourinho is capable of not being smug. I've got my fingers crossed that United can beat Chelsea this weekend, because I don't want to see them win the title that way.

TheJuice said...

Ah Mourinho, is there a more annoying man on the planet?

And to think some people still mistake his overwhelming smugness for some sort of charm and inteligence...

footie girl said...

I think Mourinho must have at least modicum of intelligence -- he did manage to turn Joe Cole into a useful player -- it's just that it gets lost in that giant, seething vat of arrogance. The charm I've never seen, really.