AC Milan 3 – 0 Manchester United

2 05 2007

Ok, so I was wrong. I completely underestimated AC Milan. But, in all fairness they had a pretty deceiving season. I feel that since they were penalized in Serie A, they barely focused on winning the title and concentrated their efforts on the Champions League and in doing so I assumed their team was not playing at the level they were capable of. They not only beat Man U, they beat them by 3 goals, and shut them out. Kaka is amazing. He brings alot of momentum to the pitch and pushes and pushes until he lands a strike. At times he almost looks clumsy on the field for some reason, but the ball always seems to fall at his feet and then in the back of the net.

Kaka

AC Milan’s first goal was scored in the 11th minute by their wonderboy Kaka.

United looked out of it from the kickoff and I began to fear for the worse when I saw that shot go in. Milan had been pushing hard very early and seemed to control most of the play. Even after AC drew first blood, Manchester didn’t seem to wake up with the fury that we are so used to seeing them do. They just seemed to play the ball up to Milan’s 18, there would be a scramble, the ball would pop out, and it would either get pushed all the way back to van der Sar or Milan would take it for a run usually finishing with a shot or a dangerously close encounter with the United defense who seemed to be having trouble keeping themselves upright with the pounding rain. That’s when Seedorf put in the second.

It’s not in the replay, but Vidic and Heinze were messing around in the back, which they shouldn’t have been doing, when Vidic slipped and the ball squirted out to Pirlo. After a chip into the box, Seedorf survived a tackle by Vidic and almost replicated Kaka’s strike. Vidic should not have played anyway. He was deemed fit but it was his first game back from breaking his collar bone. It was clear he could not keep up with Kaka as the Brazilian scorched him up and down the pitch for 90 minutes.

I thought Manchester might be able to recover with a point and possibly get lucky in overtime or even win a penalty shoot out, but their forwards just had not been given enough opportunities. When Rooney did find the ball at his feet he seemed to be swarmed by defenders and unable to even get a pass off to someone in shooting position. Cristiano Ronaldo also had a frustrating performance. Ronaldo found himself in front of goal a few times but had no luck in finding the net. Two of his attempts were stopped short by Milan defenders, making Dida’s job rather easy.

Gilardino was subbed in for Inzaghi and not shortly after he found himself on a break away against van der Sar.

So AC Milan will move on to Athens, and Manchester United will head home to jolly old England. Kind of upsetting in my opinion. I was pulling for Man U, especially since AC had been found guilty of fixing matches last season in Serie A but apparently Milan really were the better team.

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A Much Needed Update

1 05 2007

It’s been a while since I updated but I’ve been busy with school and some real life issues that maybe I’ll get into later. But tonight I’m going to talk about football, or what I used to refer to as ‘soccer’.

Last week Chelsea and Liverpool faced off in the first leg of the Champions League semi-final. As I predicted, Chelsea came out on top and only threw me into a deeper state of depression as Arsenal battled for an indifferent fourth place in the English Premiership and one of my most hated clubs soared to a surefire spot in the finals. Today, Liverpool crushed Jose Mourinho’s dreams and expectations as the Reds tied up the series at 1-1 and finished off Chelsea in penalty kicks, 4-1. Mourinho is still claiming Chelsea is the “better team”. Sadly, I have to agree with Jose but I find it amusing that Liverpool is on their way to Athens and Chelsea is headed back to the EPL to fall short of Manchester United if statistics prove to be true.

lpool

Speaking of Manchester United, they faced off with AC Milan in the opposite end of the Champions League semi-finals and came out on top 3-2 at Old Trafford. As an Inter Milan supporter, and somewhat of a Man U fan, it was my natural tendency to pray for AC’s downfall and even with Kaka’s stellar performance, they fell short. Rooney ended the match in the 89th minute with a precision strike to the bottom right corner, beating Dida.

Tomorrow, Manchester United head to San Siro in search of their place in Athens. I’m going to have to go with my gut on this one and give the win to Manchester once again. They have played amazing this season and their goal scoring is unmatched. They embarassed Roma in a 7-1 defeat which just demonstrated the superiority of English football in today’s game. I think Rooney and Ronaldo, with their newly founded appreciation for one another, will lead the way for their side once again and finish with enough grace to send them in Liverpool’s direction.

As for the outcome of that match, I’ll report on it when the time comes.

In other news, Arsenal hosted Fulham FC at Emirates Stadium this past Sunday and although coming out on top 3-1, just squeaked by in the final minutes. Julio Baptista led off the Gunners in the early minutes of the game with a nicely placed header from a nice chip from Emanuel Adebayor. Baptista had the chance to finish the game multiple times after his first goal, but failed miserably. Many speculate he will be gone over the summer and his performance on Sunday has basically solidified that, despite his early goal. Jen Lehmann made an absolutely amature mistake around the 76th minute by charging the 18 yard box to punch out a loose ball, only dropping it at the feet of a Fulham winger to lob a shot over his head and into the back of the net. When I saw that goal I honestly thought Fulham would score again and Arsenal would blow yet another win. But, Cesc Fabregas made a nice through ball to Adebayor and the Togo striker maneuvered around one defender and bent a shot into the lower right putting Arsenal ahead yet again. Ade’s winner was then followed by Gilberto’s penalty kick right before the end of regular time.

This Sunday, Arsenal meets Chelsea. This game is definitely critical for the Blues, because they are still in search of the EPL title and I’m sure they will come out hard after their unexpected loss to Liverpool. It would be nice to see Arsenal take this from Chelsea and bring a nice clean finish to this season that was fairly disastrous for the Gunners.





AS Roma at Old Trafford: It’s Gonna Be Bloody

10 04 2007

This match is going to be ridiculous. A week ago the Red Devils were in Rome, where their fans were brutally beat down by the Roma Police, not to mention, Manchester lost 2-1. Now Roma, standing tall in second place in Serie A behind the powerhouse Inter, are in England. There have already been reports of fighting and rioting outside Old Trafford.

ot





Roma: 2, Man. Utd.: 1 – Roma Police: 4000, Man. Utd.: Fans 0

5 04 2007

Manchester United and AS Roma faced off in the Champion’s league yesterday which resulted in a 2-1 win for Roma. This was a pretty big upset in my opinion but not the biggest news that came out of the match.

There has been alot of violence in European soccer lately, especially in Italy with the recent death of a poiliceman in a Sampdoria and Catania match. I’m sure that this has contributed to a tension that Italian police are experiencing nationwide, but what happened yesterday was pure insanity.

roma beating

According to ESPNsoccernet,

“While the Roma supporters were able to hurl missiles into the visiting section of the stadium and charge towards the perspex barrier following Taddei’s goal with impunity, United fans doing exactly the same thing in response were met with extreme force.”

Apparently Roma police flooded into the visitors section of the stadium and began delivering a vicious beatdown to any Manchester United supporter that stood in their path. There have even been reports of police beating unconcious and subdued fans, while also ripping cameras away from anyone who looked to be recording or photographing the incident.

roma beating

Manchester United have condemned the attacks and are expecting something to be done about the incident, especially since the attacks have been deemed as “indiscriminate beatings to United supporters”.

On the other hand, Italian Football Federation president Giancarlo Abete has praised the policeman and said:

“The English press speak of heavy handed police? We owe gratitude to our law enforcers and I don’t believe those who try to make games safe can be crucified in this manner.”

I understand that the police need to protect themselves but I’m not so sure that they handled this one as elegantly as Abete is making it seem.





Real Madrid Are the Yankees of Soccer

27 03 2007

May I add, to the tenth power.

Ramon Calderon, Madrid’s owner, is ridiculous. Just this season Madrid jumped on Fabio Cannavaro after they saw his stellar performance in the 2006 World Cup and Juventus was demoted to Serie B. Now, he’s talking about getting Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United), Kaka (AC Milan), and Christoph Metzelder (Borussia Dortmund). That would be like the Yankees getting Alex Rodriquez, Johnny Damon, and Randy Johnson in the same year.

Ronaldo is still in contract negotiations with Manchester United, and from what I know, they still want him, and he still wants to stay. But, it has been rumored that he is not 100% happy at Old Trafford. I’m not a huge Manchester United supporter, but I would like to see Cristiano remain with the club and see what happens there in the next few years. If he does decide to leave, I really would not want to see him in Madrid. It just seems like a waste. He’s an amazing player and going to Madrid would just be throwing him in the mix of an all-star team.

Cristiano 2

As for Kaka, I feel the same way. AC Milan just picked up Ronaldo (Brazilian Ronaldo, not Cristiano for those of you who don’t follow football too closely) and I would like to see Kaka and Ronaldo come together and perform in Milan, despite the fact that I am an Inter fan. I feel like ever since the scandal that took place in the Italian Serie A, the Italian league has suffered from complacency and apathy. AC was docked 15 points at the beginning of the season, basically stunting any chances they had to have a successful season, and rightfully so, but next year is another year and it will be nice to see Serie A with some more competitiveness to it.

I don’t know too much about Christoph Metzelder, but what I have come to understand is that he is apparently a pretty dominant defender in the German Bundes Liga. Metzelder intends to leave the German league but the last place I would like to see his talent is Madrid. They are the Yankees on a much greater scale, an international scale. When I look at Real Madrid and watch them play, there is not much of a team feel to their style of play. Just like the Yankees, they look like a hand picked team of pedigree athletes, and just like the Yankees, they aren’t playing to their potential on paper as they sit 5 points behind Ronaldinho and Barcelona.

Maybe before it’s too late, Ramon Calderon should talk to George Steinbrenner and see where buying up any talent he sees has gotten him.

Steinbrenner





Chelsea vs. Tottenham: Amazng Shevchenko Goal, Lampard Dodges a Punch

20 03 2007

Chelsea faced off against Tottenham yesterday and the game was in Tottenham’s favor going into the second half. They had quite a few nice opportunities and I had Chelsea where they wanted them, until Andriy Shevchenko pulled this out:

Amazing. To be able to bend a shot that way and place it perfectly in the top left upright is not easy.

After the game, a fan rushed the field and took a swing (a pretty pathetic one) at Frank Lampard. You’ll see Lampard dodge the punch and the rest of the Chelsea squad stomp the fan out, starting with Didier Drogba. If you are going to try to sucker punch someone, make sure you hit them.





Assault at the Coliseum

8 03 2007

The Rangers and Islanders faced off tonight and what started off as a good game ended in a brutal assault.

According to HockeyFights.com

“Hollweg laid Simon into the boards hard. Whether or not that hit was legal will probably be something that’s debated for a long time to come. What came after that, Simon getting up and catching Hollweg in the face with his stick, won’t be.”

When you watch the video, you’ll see the hit and the baseball swing with a hockey stick. That had to hurt. Not only do I think Simon should be suspended for the rest of the year, but I also feel that Hollweg should press charges if he wants to.

If you want a better look at the hit, go here: http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/recap?gameId=270308012

Hockey is getting ridiculous. I feel like they have been condoning fights in order to get ratings up but this is just out of hand. They are going to need to edit the rule books for this one.

Maybe they’ve seen one too many trailers for 300.