Thursday, May 7, 2009

Champions League football.

The 2nd legs of the Champions League semi finals have been and gone now. The Arsenal vs Manchester Utd game was kinda over by about the 8th minute I think it was. Arsenal played about a million miles an hour from the kickoff, thinking they could score, being positive and trying to get some goals. A few defensive mistakes later, and any belief was gone in the Arsenal camp. I would say it ended up being quite a good game to watch, even if it wasnt open for either side, there was some good football played. 

That ended up as Manchester Utd 3-1 Arsenal. (4 - 1 Agg)

Tonight though, there was even more drama. Chelsea looked like they were going through to the final to play Man Utd again (yawn) in the final, after a Michael Essien volley early on. They had kept Barca at bay for so long, even though the spanish side had so much possession, they hadnt translated it to many chances. In the end, the one they did get, it paid off and killed off Chelsea's dreams of being in the final. This took right up till the 93rd minute, where Iniesta struck an equally amazing shot right into the top corner of Cech's goal. Musta been so hard on the Chelsea fans, even more so when they saw that kind of refereeing from this Norwegian(I think) official. To be fair to him, a few of the "penalty" claims didnt look like penalties to me, like the first one, which was just in the box and looked a bit soft. There were a few which could've been given for handball, like the one where Anelka tried to take it around Pique, and it hit his hand. I thought that was ball to hand, as was the Ballack shot and handball, but others would surely disagree, and that coulda been given easily. The Drogba penalty claim was hilarious though, sure there was a shirt-pull in there, but when you act like he did when it wasn't given, you cant be taken seriously. I burst out laughing when I saw his reaction. 

Which was almost as ridiculous as Ballack's protests to the referee after his penalty claim, and even worse, after the game had finished, Drogba's protests to the officials and referee which got him a yellow card. He was complaining, accusing the referee of being a "fucking disgrace." What is definitely disgraceful is the way he acted. There is no place for that kind of behaviour in football, kids could be watching, seeing him as a role model, and thats not going to look good. When Drogba stops being so theatrical, going down looking for penalties and free-kicks and acting like this, he could be an excellent footballer, but as they said on Sky Sports, his reputation is always going to go before him, and right now that is not in his favour. I hope he sees a big suspension for his actions.

Chelsea will probably think they are hard done by, but they cant always blame this kind of result on decisions by referees that didnt go their way. They could have easily put the game away. They didnt play in the first leg, and got no away goals to show for it. They had lots of chances in this game and didnt take any either. They shouldnt rely so much on the officials.

Also, no matter how much it seems something doesnt go their way and how much it infuriates them, I don't like to see Chelsea fans throwing stuff like flags at officials or the Barca bench. You lost, deal with it. Football is harsh sometimes...

Chelsea 1 - 1 Barcelona (1 - 1 Agg) Barca go through as result of away goal.

Champions League Final: Manchester Utd vs Barcelona ~ May 27th, Sky Sports



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