Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Barcelona and Shakhtar

I think that most people were expecting that Barcelona would be able to defeat Arsenal, which they also did, 3-1 tonight, to qualify for the quartefinals of the Champions League. What less people, including myself, were probably not expecting is that Arsenal would play so bad! In spite of a bad referee, 3-1 was pretty lucky, although Barcelona's attack was also somewhat inefficient; David Villa had a really bad day and Manuel Almunia had a great day in Arsenal's goal after he came in as a substitute. Still, it seems incredible that Arsenal managed to score a goal, when they didn't even have a shot on goal: their goal was an own-goal by Barcelona's Sergio Busquets where he seemed to have had a brain diahrrea, heading it into his own goal.
Arsenal are a great team, and their victory in the first match was well-deserved. However, after tonight's disappointing match, they will not be missed in the quarterfinals.

Shakhtar Donetsk is one of those brilliant but rather unknown teams, that has only become better and better over the last seasons. This season they are undefeated at home, where they have also not lost for more than two years! It was therefore looking good against a lame Roma side whom they had defeated 2-3 in Rome. Although Roma had its possibility with a missed penalty kick, Shakhtar Donetsk was otherwise brilliant and deservedly won 3-0. Roma's players resorted to violent frustration, but a friendly referee forgave them what should have been red cards.
Roma will not be missed, but any team that faces Shakhtar Donetsk in the quarterfinals should not underestimate this strong Ukrainian side!

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