Sunday, April 30, 2017

Villain and Hero

Last week, when Barcelona defeated Real Madrid 2-3 in Madrid, Marcelo was unfairly criticized for not having made a free kick on Sergi Roberto when the defender rushed ahead in the last seconds of the match. The ball ended with Messi who scored the winning goal.
A player should not be criticized for not making a foul, although in football terms I think any professional or fan understands that this is part of the game too.
The defeat left the Spanish league title more open, with Barcelona nearly catching up to Real Madrid, who last night was facing Valencia, a team that has not been doing well this season, but who are notably known  for being specialists in giving Real Madrid a hard time. And it seemed to be another flop when Dani Parejo equalized to 1-1 ten minutes before time. Previously Ronaldo had brought Real Madrid ahead, but he had also missed penalty against Diego Alves (who has saved the last 3 of 4 penalties from Ronaldo). 1-1 would have left the hunt for the league title completely open, but in came Marcelo, who in a forward attack scored the winning goal for Real Madrid with a sure right foot-shot.
Real Madrid celebrated as if they had won the league, and I also think that goal will give the title to Real Madrid. The everyone will have forgotten that Marcelo did the right thing in not stopping Sergi Roberto, but that he fixed it with a great goal.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Forca Juve

I was delighted, sitting in Fuzion, in Monrovia, watching a great Juventus side tie 0-0 in Barcelona to make it to the CL semifinals. As the match wore on one supported Juve more against a Barca side that just seems that they are entitled to win and when things are against them they cannot handle it, least of all Neymar.
There is a difference between a great fighter and a bad loser, and Neymar is not the former.
But with this we have four teams in the semifinals, two Spanish, one French and one Italian: Ream Madrid, Atletico Madrid, Monaco and Juventus.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Feeling sorry for mighty Bayern

It is not often one feels sorry for one of the biggest teams in Europe, but tonight I felt sorry for Bayern Munich as they were eliminated from the Champions League by Real Madrid.
Don't get me wrong: despite my dislike for Real Madrid they are a truly great side, but that is why such a victory as that tonight leaves a sour taste in ones mouth.
Bayern Munich played well; much better than in their hapless first match at home, and when they went ahead 0-1 on a penalty by Lewandowski, one had the feeling that they could win the match.
There are a lot of bad referees out there, but fortunately, they are seldom defining for who wins the match (despite what many unnamed managers in England may say...), but tonight there can be no doubt that the refereeing was defining for the result. First Arturo Vidal's non-existant second yellow card (and this is not to say that he was moving close to second yellow), when Casemiro should have had a red card at least as much, and the secondly Cristiano Ronaldo's equalizing 2-2 goal, which was so clearly off side that one either has to question the skills, eyesight or worse of the linesman.
In the end the Germans fell apart and lost 4-2, but the match had been decided at the 2-2 goal and the red card already.

Real Madrid, a great team, are in the semifinal to defend their title, followed by their local rivals Atletico Madrid, who had to fight hard to defeat a Leicester side who will not be in the Champions League again in the foreseeable future, if ever.