Tuesday, April 20, 2010

UCL Semi-Finals Preview - Titanic Clash Await’s the Albiceleste

The title to this article say’s it all when it comes to this season’s Champions League semi finals clashes. There is just plenty to look forward to.

First up, Barcelona will take a bus trip (due to the volcanic ash cloud which have erupted most part of Europe) to Milan to face Internazionale.

Once again, Lionel MESSI will be the focal point in this game but he will have company in the form of Walter SAMUEL. Not to mentioned that there is plenty of emotions for the MILITO’s as this is going to be more than just another football match. Should Gabriel start for this game, he will be given the task in keeping an eye on his brother Diego. Esteban CAMBIASSO will also have a huge job in his hand as he will come face to face with Barca’s midfield supremo, XAVI. As always, he will have the backing of Javier ZANETTI. Most certainly (unfortunately for me), a match not to be missed.

The following day will see the two surprise package of the competition this season, Bayern Munich will be playing host to French side Olympique Lyon.

This will be another match which will see a “defence vs. attacking” situation. It’s good to see Martin DEMICHELIS back in full gear to lead Bayern defence. However this time he will have his work cut out as Lyon will deploy Lisandro LOPEZ to lead their attack. Licha will have plenty of ammunition provided to him through Cesar DELAGO. A bit off topic, Bayern is also expected to start a young player by the name of Diego Armando CONTENTO, a German born Italian whose parents hails from the city of Naples. Guess I don’t have to tell you after whom did they named their son.



GK said...

Apparently Maicon is set to start in the right midfield position for the first time. I like this call by Mourinho, it is going to add a lot for dangerous attack as Inter will need to score at home. Abidal will have his hands full. I believe Zanetti is still going to occupy the LB role and I read Cordoba will start as RB. Really looking forward to this match....


GK said...

....Unfortinatly G. Milito is set to start on the bench.

Sebastian said...

Amazing story about Diego Armando CONTENTO! Can't believe it!

The funniest bit? CONTENTO means HAPPY in Spanish! Will Diego Armando MARADONA be a Diego Armando CONTENTO hearing the news? hahaha!

All set to watch Inter-Barcelona. Too difficult to make a prediction.

I will just say that I once heard Jose MOURINHO saying that the most important thing for him in this sort of matches where the away-goal rule is in effect, is not to concede at home. He will be a happy man to walk away tonight with a 0-0 draw. Mark my words.

That said...of course he'll want Inter to score and make it easier ahead of the second leg.

And also...how can you keep a clean sheet against Barcelona? Easier said than done.

Mike said...

I hope they play Gabriel. It would be nice to see the two brothers playing head to head in such a huge match.

Anonymous said...

D.Milito has missed 2 sitters today however got the assist for Inter's goal, but how did he miss those? Messi in the first half has done nothing, he is dropping way back to get the ball.

Anonymous said...

Good for Inter, so far so good. Messi just may get his well deserved rest that he needs.

Mike said...

Milto assisted 2 and scored 1 (which was a hair offside).
Sorry seba I love milito but the man is too fast for his own good. He is constantly 1 stride ahead. Great game though, inter looked strong. Samuel looked solid. Messi was completly shut down.

Forza Inter
Vamos Argentina

Anonymous said...

Yeah Milito can not make the runs at the right time, the best I ever saw was Crespo and he was nowhere near that. It seemed Messi was playing with our jersey on today(haha).

Fadi said...

After this display from Zanetti, if Maradona didn't chose him for the WC, then he's surely out of mind!!!!

Sebastian said...

Oh! Come on! Give me a break! Give Diego MILITO a break! He was CLEARLY the man of the match. He set up two goals and then scored another one and you people are complaining because he missed a couple of goals and because he got offside?

Jesus! Poor Diego! He can't get the love. What should he do? Be born again?

He was sensational in my opinion. And he delivered the kind of game I always praise about him. You see...he is not the kind of striker that would only contribute goals. He is a team player. He is exactly what MESSI needs to have around when playing for Argentina. Somebody that is not selfish to try and shoot towards goal at every single opportunity. He does what he feels is best for the team and I think he is the best striker in that particular aspect.

Yes DROGBA is stronger and more resourceful.

Yes Niño TORRES is brilliant and his touch is almost out of this world.

Yes ROONEY is a bull and very hard to mark and keep up with him.

But MILITO is more of a team player than those three (who in my opinion are a bit ahead of the competition when it comes to that particular position).

And I like my strikers to be able to pass it around too.

It's not like Diego MILITO can't scored either, is it?

I hope MARADONA was watching today.

Mohd said...

i swear guardiola is the most overrated coach in the world.

barca has the most group of players with no football brains: Pique, Alves, Kieta, Busquets.

Messi looked like he does not want to run. at one time Xavi shouted at him. this is the difference between him and C.Ronaldo.
so people stop Maradona comparison!

Zanetti, if he is left again from the WC squad then really life is unfair to say the least.

D.Milito was a headache for the horrible barca defence. BUT-AND THIS IS A BIG BUT-yes he has been missing a LOT of chances recently. not only in Barca match, but against Roma and Fiorentina in particular. that being said, Milito, Higuain, Tevez, and Lopez should be our selected players in the WC.

Cambiasso was also very good.

And i am very disappointed by Messi who could not get past Schnieder on more than one occasion!

Congrats Inter.

Raj said...


Guardiola has been experimenting with the formation in the last 6-7 matches. It is interesting that the players have not been able to adapt to these changes. Also his choice of players have been interesting or "foolish" if the result doesn't go his way. It is extremely difficult to digest the use of Maxwell as a midfielder when Yaya Toure is fit. Also when Barca were two goals down he never wanted to get an additional striker in and put some pressure on Inter. Mourinho for sure won the tactical battle.

Absolutely right about Messi. It just reminded me of Argentina qualifiers. He was playing so damn deep in the first half. It kind of looked like Guardiola was expecting him to play deep to free space for others. Anyway there was some consistency in Argentina and Barcelona today. When Messi was not getting the ball he was fading away from the game.

I hope Guardiola fixes some basic stuff:

1. Dani Alves inconsistent form
2. Make Busquets pass to Messi more and get Messi involved. Interesting point is whenever Xavi runs the game everything falls in place. But when Xavi is man marked then the game needs to be orchestrated by Kieta and Busquets, and the whole passing game goes for a toss
3. Keita reminded me of Datalo today. He seems to be convinced he can score from anywhere in the field.
4. Hope of Barcelona fades away every time Ibrahamovic play.
5. Needs to tell Messi to be aggressive when he doesn't receive the ball and take the damn role of leader.

Zanetti once again proved his flexibility in playing multiple positions. If the focus is going to be on defend and counter attack, he should surely be a starter for Argentina.

Milito's form has dipped a bit,his finishing is not as good as Higuain but for sure he is a better team player.

Samuel and Cambiasso played their part well. Hope Cambiasso makes it to the world cup. He is the best back up for Mascharano.

Just hoping that Barcelona play their style of football in the return leg to make the match interesting. Inter is 85% there in the final.

Sebastian said...

Mohd, I swear to you if there was a statistic for goals missed or sitters missed or stinking shots or horrible efforts in the box then Martín PALERMO would top all of those columns!

And Johnny here can give credit to what I'm saying.

Strikers WILL ALWAYS miss a lot of chances.

Didn't Pipita missed a couple against Lyon and got Real Madrid eliminated for THEIR Champions League?

Did BATISTUTA never miss a single scoring chance? I mean...come on! He too was very famous for missing a handful every game.

My point is...Diego MILITO can create chances for himself and his team-mates. PALERMO can't do neither of those things. He is just TOO SLOW these days.

Regarding MESSI. You just have to remember he was pretty anonymous away to Arsenal in their first leg of the QF. What happened in the second?

I'm not comparing him to Diego, but you have got to give MOURINHO some credit for designing a system that made MESSI play like he often does for Argentina.

He was disconnected from his team-mates. Constantly forced to play with his back towards the goal. Frustrated by Inter's double-markings. That's why PEDRO found more spaces to play. Exactly how DI MARIA finds more spaces when the same thing happens in an Argentina match.

Just so everybody here understands: MESSI is allowed to have an off game every now and then. OK?

Barcelona too.

Tonight, I think, all credit should go to the industrious Inter midfield, their rock-solid defenders and their efficient forwards.

Barcelona need to win 2-0 and MESSI will play. Will you confidently bet against them?

I didn't think so.

Anonymous said...

i give credit to you Sebastian! your comments are always a pleasure to read!

i don't think messi will do something special in the return match. inter will progress.


Anonymous said...

If Barca score early, look for the floodgates to open. I think Barca really missed Iniesta tonight. When Messi is off, it seems the entire team falters, does that sound familiar?

johnny said...

Yes Seba, Palermo is slow, and slower all the time. It will be a disgrace if he makes the NT (I remain a big supporter of his with Boca). He has never been a quick guy but recently has been even more immobile.

My vote for Milito for the NT and my vote that Aguero does not go.

Off topic-when are youse guys going to do a podcast focussing on Maradona's decision to go DEFENSE FIRST at the WC ? It was educated speculation before, but now Maradona has publicly embraced it. Can Argentina play counter attack ? Does Maradona have the players to play counter attack, particularly if he takes Veron and not some of the crowd favorites (Banega, Aimar or Pastore)? Oops, I feel a rant coming on ! I'm stopping !

p2bn said...

Ahh Seba, your comments are always brilliant. You seriously are a true critic but you are very fair. And people who think Diego Milito didn't do well should really either simply hate him for reason. What is a player supposed to do then create two chances and score one out of three? How can you still complain he missed chances? This is just ridiculous.

I hope Guardiola learns from yesterday. It will be fun to watch the match as Barcelona will attack like they have nothing to loose and everything to gain with Inter defending like crazy.

On an off-note, I saw Barca winning 2-0 next game in my dream and SADLY my dream are always untrue :(. I hope for this one time this will be true as both goals were scored by MESSI :P.

Anonymous said...

Dan said

Seba, we need another podcast please. It has been a while. Please?