Tuesday, April 07, 2009

UCL – Quarter-Finals, First Leg (Same Old Rivalry)

It’s Champions League Football and we are now in the last eight. As always, at this stage you can expect some mouth watering clashes with great history behind their respective meeting.

The first tie from Day 1 will see the Devils (Manchester United) entertaining the Dragons (FC Porto) at home. Carlos TEVEZ (in place of the injured BERBATOV) is expected to start alongside Wayne ROONEY up front. United might look favourite for this tie, but as a fan of the underdog, I would like to see Lisandro LOPEZ and Lucho GONZALEZ putting up an inspiring performance in Old Trafford.

Lisandro, who scored six goals on Porto's route to the last eight, said: "We have to consider that we have a very young team, with little experience at this level. For us, the tie is a real final."

In the other match of the day, Villareal will play host to Arsenal in a repeat of the semi-final clash in 2006. If there is one moment that we could have remember from that game, it has to be the penalty miss by RIQUELME towards the end of the second leg.

What about the ties from Day 2?

Of course for most football fans here in Malaysia, the talk of the town is all about Liverpool vs. Chelsea, part V. I’ve had many conversations with some Blues supporters around here whom regard Michael ESSIEN as the best defensive midfielder in the world. Not to disrespect him as he is one hell of a player but I’m hoping for a solid performance from Javier MASCHERANO just prove them otherwise. Haha!!!

For me, the biggest encounter in this round has to Barcelona playing host Bayern Munich. Much of the attention will be on the head to head collision between Lionel MESSI and Bayern’s Frank RIBERY. Barca will look to Lionel (who has six goals to his credit) to inspire them to their first win over the Bavarian side. Bayern will welcome Martin DEMICHELIS to their line up after his arrival from international duty. Ironically, upon his return he watched his club getting hammered 1-5 at Wolfsburg over the weekend.

Let’s hope for some great display and goals from the Albiceleste


messidona19 said...

Mascherano is suspended for the first leg , he will be available for the second leg. there is no competition in the match between messi and ribery , messi is just too good! i just hope barcelona don't concede today and score more than 3 goals to carry with them for the second leg.

Dave said...

I can't wait for the Quarter Finals to begin.

There's some great ties on one half of the competition -- Chelsea, Liverpool, Barcelona and Bayern Munich. Damn that (relatively) easy road Man U got!

I'm a Chelsea fan myself and I think it's ridiculous anyone would rate Michael Essien as one of the best defensive midfielders in the world. The team gets cracked every time he's played in that role, he simply doesn't have the discipline to sit there and break up the play. Essien really annoys me whenever he is forced to play that position, he just doesn't do the job well enough.

He's a superb central midfielder, a box-to-box type, and one of the best in the world at that role. But a defensive midfielder (?), that he most certainly is not. Maybe he'll mature in this role as he gets older but his positioning is far too erratic to do it now.

Chelsea are a far superior team when Mikel is the defensive midfielder ahead of Essien. It's a huge difference to the team .... and Mikel is not an elite defensive midfielder at all. But at least he plays with patience and holds his position, and gives the team shape defensively.

Mascherano has my vote for the best defensive midfielder in the world. He's been superb this season.

It should be a great game between Chelsea and Pool. I really don't know what to expect from the game, but I'm looking forward to it.

Kashinath Bhattacharjee said...

We all are eagerly waiting for the matches. Anyway, since you are from Argentina, here's a link of my article when Diego came to Kolkata, India...hope you will like it. Thanks and regards


Ian said...

Good preview there, you've picked out all the key players who have been great in the first half. Lopez and Lisando are amazing. I go with my prediction though.

Tomorrow night is the interesting ones though.

p2bn said...

Tevez scored guys! But I was supper happy that the game was a draw. Porto deserved to win if not for that super stupid mistake by the defender. Anyway, Tevez proved his worth and the game was a draw, perfect. Now waiting for the Barca match.

Vamos Argentina

Anonymous said...

Essien really good in that defensive midfield position. he can recover his form well even though newly arriving for a long injury.
he keep gerrard silent completely. Liverpool attack will be rubbish without gerrard.

it is so sad that mascherano is suspended. I love mascherano than essien. I hope mascherano can show who is true master in that position defensive midfield at the second leg

Sir Raul

Dave said...

Essien had a magnificent game. He deserves great praise for his performance.