Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The Dream is Alive!

I have been saying since the tournament began, that my dream final for the Champions League would be Manchester United vs. Barcelona.

Although it took them over 180 minutes to do it, Barcelona finally scored a goal and advanced to the final to make my dream matchup a reality. 

Chelsea played a great game, and probably could have won if a few of the referee's calls went their way(more on that later), but ultimately I think Barcelona are the better team.

As I've said before, there were only so many times that you could play in a defensive shell and hope that Barcelona wouldn't score. 

In my opinion Barcelona weren't even that dangerous today. Danny Alves was probably the player most involved in the offense, and in case you forgot he is a defender. Alves had the ball probably for the same amount of time that Messi and Eto'o did combined. I feel that when your defender is creating all the offense, that is a problem. Eto'o was invisible out there, and Messi really seemed to be overmatched. Alves did pick up a yellow card today, meaning he cannot play in the final, which I believe will really hurt their chances against Man United.

Also, why can you have players suspended for the final? I don't understand why UEFA will not allow teams to be at full strength for the final match. I could understand if it is a 2 legged final, but the final is only 1 game. They should wipe out cards for the final to truly show who the best team is. Through injury and suspension, Barcelona have 1 starting defender ready to go for the final game.

Many Chelsea fans are probably going to complain about the referee in today's game. While there were a couple incidents of hand balls, please find me a referee that is going to make that call to decide a game, and ultimately a teams future. No ref is going to call a questionable hand ball to decide a game in the 90th minute. 

And to top it all off, the red card call on Abidal was possibly the worst call I've ever seen. Chelsea got a gift, a 10 man Barcelona and they still couldn't stop them. The red card call I believe cancelled out the other calls the ref made.

Ultimately this game between Barcelona and Chelsea was fantastic. Looking towards the final match, I believe that Man United have the advantage because they are playing at virtually full strength. Barcelona's defense has been reduced to 1 starter, which I feel makes a huge difference when you consider the amount of firepower United is bringing to the game. 

A lot of the final match also depends on what style of play United bring to the game. They saw how Chelsea's strategy shut down Barcelona for almost 2 full games, will they try the same approach? 

Time will tell, so until then I will have to keep dreaming. 

1 comment:

Matilda Hankinson said...

You're idea about clearing red cards is really interesting. At first I thought it was really good, but now I'm not so sure. Part of being a good footballer is playing by the rules, anyone can cheat, actually playing the game is what they get paid millions for. If a player commits a horrible tackle then he doesn't deserve to play, however there should be some way of revoking red cards, like Fletcher's, through a revision board or something similar. On a similar note the reffing standard these days is appalling. Throughout the Euro Cup I couldn't believe the calls I was seeing, and now in the semi-finals of what is arguably the best club competition in the world, the same thing is happening.