Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Open Thread: Champions League Final

It doesn't appear any of us are able to liveblog this match, but we encourage all of you to contribute to the dialog of the match by posting comments here. We'll try to provide updates after the jump as our schedules permit.

Starting Lineups:

Chelsea:

Cech, A. Cole, Terry, Carvalho, Essien, J. Cole, Ballack, Makalele, Lampard, Malouda, Drogba

ManU:

Van Der Sar, Brown, Vidic, Ferdinand, Evra, Ronaldo, Scholes, Carrick, Hargreaves, Rooney, Tevez

I'm on the record for a 3-1 Man U victory. I hope there are lots of goals, but I'm not optimistic about it.



The pitch looks green, but that might be from paint. It's supposed to keep raining today so the pitch could become a factor. A factor that would likely help Chelsea.

0:00 - Kickoff. Of not Park not on Man U bench. And, check out this new feature on Soccernet. I will be keeping an eye on it.


22:00 - Shit...I had to deal with the A/C subcontractor and come back to a bloody Scholes and two yellow cards.

26:00 - Ronaldo with his 42nd of the season. A nice header off of a cross from Wes Brown. Ronaldo truly is quite good in the air.

27:00 - On the other end Ballack wastes a good chance.

34:00 - Wow...Chelsea had a great chance. Drogba received a cross on the touchline and headed it back across to the middle of goal box with Ferdinand getting between Ballack and the ball just getting the ball but almost scoring an own goal but Van der Sar saves.

34:00 - On the ensuing play Rooney comes all the way back to steal the ball, then makes a run to midfield but about 10-15 yards prior to the midline, launches a cross across to the left side to Ronaldo who receives outside the Chelsea 18 and then crosses it to Tevez who almost puts it in but Cech blocks and then Carrick threatens to score but Cech saves again conceding a corner. Really thrilling play. My words don't do it justice.

42:00 - Rooney is playing out of his mind. Just crossed the ball over the 18 and Tevez blew is second chance at a goal completely missing the cross with the goal wide open as Cech closed out.

42:00 - Ferdindand takes down a Chelsea player justoutside the penalty box. Drogba and Ballack stand over the ball. Ballack sends it over the bar.

44:00 - Goal!! Terrible defensive play by Man U. United gives up the ball and Lampard latches on to it to equalize. If Tevez had capitalized, this wouldn't even matter.

45:00 +2 - Carvalho comes in late and takes Ronaldo out at the shins. Nasty tackle and a yellow for the Portuguese defender.

Halftime: 1-1

2nd Half

46:00 - No changes in the lineups. ManU dominated the first half but came out tied. Let's see if they can continue to dominate. Tevez needs to capitalize on his chances.

A/C's fixed, but it's not hot here anymore.

57:00 - Vidic with a great play, keeping the cross away from Drogba conceding a corner that did no harm.

58:00 - Ballack marches down the middle of the pitch and booms a shot wide and high. Impressive but ineffective.

59:00 - Makalele bloodies another Red. Hargreaves this time with a vicious elbow but no card.

60:00 - Will we see any subs? Giggs for the record? Somebody for Makalele before he gets a red?

30 minutes to go and the blood is starting to boil. More cards are definitely in the offing as Ballack is upset at Tevez. He should be happy with Tevez because his country took a bunch of German immigrants a few years back.

68:00 - Ferdinand is down. Looks like a calf cramp.

71:00 - Maka down and Chelsea concedes a corner.

77:00 - Really boring stretch, until Malouda goes down in the box appealing for a penalty to no avail.

78:00 - Drogba finally decides to show up and gets off a great shot that was only saved by the right post.

82:00 - Tevez gets a long shot off but off the mark.

84:00 - Giggs is warming up and looks set to come in and break Sir Bobby Charlton's record for United appearances.

87:00 - Giggs on for Scholes. There's the record.

90:00 + 2 -- This is riveting. United is finally attacking again.

Full Time 1-1

Intrepid sideline reporter Dave Roberts (?) says the rain is coming down and the pitch isn't holding up. Great.

I just wanted to point out that 4-time CL medal winner Clarence Seedorf is not a good color commentator/contributor in English. It's not because he's black, it's because he is difficult to understand. This is compounded by the fact that he sounds like he's commentating from satcom in Iraq.

We're underway. No changes.

93:00 - Kalou on for Malouda. I like it. Not defensive.

94:00 - Somehow Chelsea didn't score again as United's defense was scrambling. Lampard made a nice turn in the box but was denied by the crossbar.

96:00 - Joe Cole throws a tantrum and won't get up. Fan shot...Russian guard puts on ManU jersey.

98:00 - Essien finally appears on the offensive end with a nice run into the box but it is cleaned up easily by Vidic. Had good potential.

Anelka on for Joe Cole. More offense. Nice.

101:00 - Giggs blows a sure fire goal after Evra made a beautiful run. replays show terry just got a head on it.

Rooney off for Nani. He had a great game. I am surprised to see him go off.

103:00 -- Ronaldo comes back to retrieve the ball and makes a nice feed to Tevez who shoots it right into Cech's chest.

105:00 - Man U gets really lucky with a Vidic tackle, otherwise Chelsea was off to the races.

End First Period of Extra Time

106:00 - Back again. It's looking like the teams are settling in for PKs with an occasional frontward foray.

110:00 - Still waiting for some magic. We have had potential magic.

111:00 - Vidic with a hard tackle on Anelka and gets a card. Not sure it was deserving. Chelsea with a freekick from 25 yards.

112:00 - Drogba splays it wide right.

114:00 - Nice bit of work by United with a couple of chances but Chelsea held firm until Hargreaves' cross was too close to Cech.

115:00 - Ashley Cole scratches his crabs. The commentators just mentioned that it is 1:00 a.m. local time. That's ridiculous.

115:00 - a little scrum going on right now. Tevez was livid. Ballack gets a card. Vidic had to be restrained. Drogba gets RED!!! Tevez with a yellow.

Drogba slapped Vidic in the face. What a bitch! Good ridddance. Hopefully they ship your ass off to the boot tomorrow.

118:00 - Essien with a yellow. It's dropping buckets of rain now.

120:00 - Two minutes of added time. Looks like it will be PKs.

120:00 + 1 - Nani and ACole clash heads in the box. Cech shows his concern and runs over to Nani to check on him. Experience, unfortunatley, means Cech is like this.

120:00 + 5 - Belleti on for Makelele, Anderson on for Wes Brown. It's PKs nows.

FULL TIME

PKs

All kicks on the ManU end. ManU goes first

Tevez -- slots low right; Cech dove left.
Ballack -- slots high right, VDS guess correctly but couldn't get there.

Carrick -- goes left, Cech right.
Belletti -- low right, VDS left.

Ronaldo -- Ronaldo misses...with his little giddyup. Poor kick. Sheva all over again?
Lampard -- slots Right, VDS got a hand on it but not enough.

Hargreaves -- Upper left V. Wow! Perfect.
Ashley Cole -- low left, VDS had it but couldn't save it. That was really close.

Nani -- left side netting, Cech guessed correctly.
Terry -- This is it! Misses wide right!!! Grace of God saves ManU.

Terry's foot slipped as he kicked.

Anderson - up the middle, and Cech can't get a hand on it.
Kalou - slots home to the right. VDS guessed left.

Giggs -- low right, Cech left.
Anelka -- I've got a feeling.

VDS SAVES!!!! WOW!!!

Ronaldo cries on the ground. He owes VDS a car, a bunch of money, tons of stuff.

Chelsea goes down on PKs to another team in Red, yet again.

John Terry is crying.

Tommy Smyth described Ronaldo crying, pitching a fit in the center circle while the rest of the team celebrated downfield with VDS and the fans. What a putz. That is until Gary Neville, in a suit, came out and told him to celebrate with his team.

Congratulations is in order for ManU. They have the double. They have the Big Ears.

I always feel bad for a team that loses on PKs, even if it is Chelsea. It is such a difficult way to lose. Even moreso when the last PK was lost perhaps because of a slip.

It just hit my inbox...English players and PKs...discuss.

Good question. Although, I think this was just bad luck. Not a choke.

Just read that this was SAF's first PK shootout win ever as a manager.

Sir Bobby Charlton leads ManU up to the trophy. For some reason, Ronaldo is right behind him and not the captain, Rio Ferdinand. What selfishness.

At least Ferdinand and Giggs get to raise the trophy.

11 comments:

Spectator said...

I come from the past to predict that, in the first half, Ronaldo will score a typically nice looking goal and Lampard will score a typically deflected lucky goal. Wow I was correct!!

Ian said...

1-1 in ET....looking good for my prediction so far...plus I even got the Ronaldo opening goal right!

Mike Georger said...

AT LONG LAST UNITED ARE SLIGHTLY BETTER THAN FOREST!

whatever, at least ronaldo choked and his showboating finally bit him in the ass. chelseas reign is over though, bye bye.

Andrew said...

gotta feel for EBJT. that's tough . . . too tough. Portugal's Petulant Cristiano Ronaldo is bailed out. Too bad.

The Fan's Attic said...

EBJT = Everyone but John Terry?

Precious Roy said...

Not saying it was the difference, but man, that was some piss poor officiating (and generally in United's favor).

The Fan's Attic said...

i thought there were a number of incorrect calls on who touched the ball last before going out of bounds, but other than that, i didn't see much else wrong.

Ian said...

England's Brave John Terry. Carrying on the brave English tradition of completely stuffing penalty kicks.

Precious Roy said...

TFA: That's what I was referring to. It seemed like there were about 8 or 9 of those. Two or three cost Chelsea corners.

There were a few other things that didn't seem all that consistent. There was at least one studs up tackle by United (can't recall by whom now) that could have easily been a card. Still not sure what Ballack even did for his card. And don't think Drogba should have gotten a straight red.

I'd say those didn't effect the outcome, but who knows, if Drogba is still on the pitch, Anekla is 1 player further down the line on PKs.

Still looking for someone to call C. Ronaldo for stopping on his PKs.

I don't want to bitch too much. As someone else said elsewhere pity there couldn't be two losers.

JT said...

Re: Drogba


rules is rules. He struck the player in the face [granted, it was a slap, but still], and he did it without much in the way of obvious provocation, and he did it right in front of the referee.

"Violent conduct" or something. More about Drogba tomorrow. More about all of this.

ΓΌ75 said...

@Precious Roy
The rule changed a couple of years back on PKs. Keepers no longer have to be still on the line, and kickers can pause in their run up.