Thursday, 5 April 2007

Champions League Reaction

Sickening scenes in Rome last can be seen here:

It is a worrying time for UEFA, crowd trouble seems to be on the rise in Europe. The Man Utd fans are no angels, but it is clear to me that the Italian fans were the instigators of the trouble. The police, naturally enough, were heavy handed, trying to control the situation.

As for the match, I thought it was a highly enjoyable affair, United will be glad to have the away goal after Scholes let the whole team down with a stupid sending off. Rooney's goal was excellent with Ronaldo beating 2 men on the right and laying a precise pass for Solksjaer, who clipped a beautiful cross to Rooney, who controlled wonderfully on his chest, and smacked the ball into the net. United tactics were on the fine line of very brave/very stupid as they left 3 attackers on the pitch, hoping to score the away goal. The trick worked, but they still lost the game. Still, a vital away goal means a 1-0 win is enough at home next week. I think they will do it, as Roma showed no penetration before the sending off, and only really threatened as the game opened up in the second half. Totti was average enough last night, Mancini anonymous, Taddei was in the right place to take his (deflected) goal but did little else. Roma will look to hit on the counter next week and flood the midfield, but if United keep their heads and play to their ability, they will go through.

I watched extended highlights of the Chelsea game and it looked like a rip-roaring affair. A wonderful goal from David Silva ( put the pressure on Chelsea, and only bad goalkeeping from Canizares let Drogba score, albeit well taken. Chelsea have it all to do next week and must score in Spain. There are some frailities in the Chelsea team - Diarra, a midfielder, at right back, Mikel Obi or an out of form Makelele as defensive midfielder, and the quite ordinary Kalou in whatever position he is played. Joe Cole is back though which is big boost, and any team with Drogba in it is a danger. A great second leg in store then

Tune into the podcast tonight to hear myself and JJ's thoughts on the above and more:
Premiership & Champions League results. We love Paulo Maldini in the Legend section. Pub Talk featuring the issues of the week: Niall Quinn's disco pants, Big Ron vs Totti and loads more from the first and only independent Irish football podcast on the internet, online since October 2006.


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