Thursday, April 30, 2009

Disappointing semifinals

The first leg of the 2008-2009 UEFA Champions League semifinals were a huge disappointment considering the exciting tournament that we have been having until now.
FC Barcelona was unable to open the strict and disciplined defense of Chelsea, in spite of the fact that they played beautifully in the first half, and probably deserved to win overall (although Chelsea did have a couple of good chances to seal what would have been an unlikely victory). 0-0 was a disappointing result for the Catalonians and for all football fans, and now Chelsea has it all in their hands to win in London. It will be interesting though: if Chelsea play more offensively, they will risk opening up spaces for FC Barcelona's awesome attacking machine.

Manchester United against Arsenal was a different type of match: mainly dominated by United, with Arsenal playing the ball nicely around but without getting any good shots. In fact, the game was most notable for its lacking chances (which largely went to Manchester United nevertheless), and it was perhaps because of this that it was also a defender, John O'Shea, who scored the winning goal in the first half.
1-0 is a rather narrow lead for United, but Arsenal will surely have to play much better to win against Manchester United, who already showed against FC Porto in the quarterfinal that they can play tactically and with discipline away.

I believe that the final in Rome will be a repeat of last years' final in Moscow.

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