Wednesday, February 25, 2009

CL Liveblog: cometh the Tinkerhour, cometh the Tinkerman

Allow me to set the mood for Precious Roy, who shall be doing us all a solid by covering the afternoon's "big" fixture on ESPN2, the one that inexplicably involves Spartak London.

As Autoglass intoned earlier, they're up against the good manager they had before Mourinho, so respect and adulation will be in full effect (until Juve score an away goal, that is).

Will an English side come off good against Serie A yet again?

Oh, and in that other fixture, the failed ex-Spurs manager welcomes the failing Liverpool manager (soon to be ex? Surely not) to the Bernabeu for what promises to be a gripping, thrilling 0-0 draw.

It's the Champions League, take 2. After yesterday, we'll take all the goals we can get.

Fixtures, lineups and Precious Roy's commentary (from kick-off through to the bitter end) after the jump.


Real Madrid v. Liverpool
Real Madrid: Casillas, Sergio Ramos, Pepe, Cannavaro, Heinze, Robben, Gago, Lassana Diarra, Marcelo, Higuain, Raul.
Subs: Dudek, Saviola, Sneijder, Guti, Metzelder, Miguel Torres, Van der Vaart.

Liverpool: Reina, Arbeloa, Skrtel, Carragher, Aurelio, Benayoun, Alonso, Mascherano, Riera, Torres, Kuyt.
Subs: Cavalieri, Dossena, Hyypia, Gerrard, Babel, Lucas, Ngog.
Spartak London v. Juventus
Spartak (in a 4-1-2-3): Cech, Bosingwa, Terry, Alex, Ashley Cole, Kalou, Ballack, Lampard, Mikel, Drogba, Anelka.
Subs: Hilario, Ivanovic, Mancienne, Ferreira, Malouda, Di Santo, Stoch.

Juventus (in a catenaccio-inducing 4-4-2): Buffon, Chiellini, Mellberg, Legrottaglie, Molinaro, Nedved, Camoranesi, Sissoko, Tiago, Del Piero, Amauri.
Subs: Manninger, Grygera, Marchionni, Poulsen, Marchisio, Iaquinta, Trezeguet.

And we're live... Okay, someone at ESPN got my note about the weenie techno music. It's gone. Instead our montage features someone who just discovered Trapcode's 'Shine' plug-in. Everything in moderation there, boys.

Oh, and can I add another ESPN-specific comment? Hey guys, go fuck yourselves. All Chelski, all United. It's what we can expect when the 4-letter gets the Prem rights. Not that this is a bad match, but I think the Liverpool v. Real match-up holds a little more intrigue for the impartial fan.

Oh fuck, the crawl is running something called a "Tiger Alert." Big fucking deal. It's golf. The ball isn't moving. Nobody is trying to prevent him from hitting it. If they break the full screen picture at any point to tell me about fucking Tiger Woods I am going to drive to Bristol and vandalize their bike rack.

Secret: I want Del Piero to get a brace. I love that guy. Donadoni lost his job because he didn't love that guy.

The Portabook is the new Sham Wow! Discuss.

NY Kid: You're French, I'm Italian. I think they fully explains our positions on the matter.

Our ref is a Portuguese insurance broker.

Jesus, Juve is as old as Chelsea, aren't they?


And we're off...

1st minute: Think the ball has hit the ground 3 times in the first 30 seconds.

2nd minute: The mids are jamming each other. Neither team has seen the other's attacking third.

3rd minute: Chelski finally get a deep throw in, but Bosingwa puts too much weight on it and Juve shields it out for a goal kick.

4th minute: Amauri with a nice turn to get some space, but Terry cuts him off and Chelsea come back the other way. Kalou with a shot that is handled by Buffon.

5th minute: Shit... I'm going to have to type Cameronesi a bunch today aren't I? I always fuck it up. I'm sure it's wrong there. He committed a foul anyway.

6th minute: How many times are they going to mention Terry's miss from last season? Juve moving deliberately.

7th minute: Chelsea waste a chance. Chiellini makes a mistake but the deep cross is cleared out, only to be picked up by Ballack who sends it high and wide and nowhere near a threat.

8th minute: Oooh... Bosingwa from the end line with a cross that finds Drogba on the head. Could have easily scored but it goes high and Juve dodge a bit of a buller. First real threat of the match.

10th minute: First bench shot of Guus. Spartak with the balance of possession here. But they are backing up.

11th minute: Long ball in by Terry and on contact Drogba goes down. No penalty. That could have gone either way. There was contact, but Drogba went down too easily.

12th minute: Free kick, Chelski. Lamps kicks it to the... Goal! 1-0 Chelsea.

Okay, the free kick went to the feet of Cameronesi, but Juve didn't clear. Kalou collected it from about 35 out and made a nice feed to Drogba slipping through the defense. Juve held up like he was offsides but nope. He slipped it past Buffon and we're 1-0.

14th minute: Sorry, right on the goal, blogger wants to be slow to load the updated page.

15th minute: Could be 2-0. Okay, Anelka gets in on the left. Mellberg blocks the low shot out ofr a corner. On the corner Drogba gets free and unmarked gets a good header on it that just goes wide of the post left. He could have just as easily buried that. Juve getting toyed with.

17th minute: Juve look like Inter did yesterday in the first have. At least they have the excuse of being on the road.

19th minute: Juve just look lost in the midfield. And their backline is going to get caught pushing high before too long. Showing the replay on the Drogba goal. It was close, but the ref let it go. Sissoko on the other end takes a shot but it never is near on goal sliding low and right and away from danger.

20th minute: Frank makes a shoe change on the fly.

21st minute: Juve almost string together 4 passes. Almost.

22nd minute: Cole with a ball to Ballack but they are on the wrong page and the ball rolls to Buffon. Tommy Smyth just asked "Where's Del Piero?" Oh, and Tiago with a pass to Del Piero almost on cue. It's a good shot that goes just wide of the far post low.

23rd minute: And Juve blows the chance to level on the resulting corner. The ball clears the mass of humanity in the box and falls to Chiellini on the groud at the back post. But he's off balance and can't get a foot it. No soup for him.

24th minute: Juve have shown up finally. Shot (can't see who) sent a rocket that was deflected out for a Juve corner. Terrible corner goes long to Nedved who should have been carded for an intentional hand ball. But no...

26th minute: Some nice work from Drogba in a 1-on-2. He holds it up waiting for Lampard, but Mellberg gets a nice header on it to clear the threat. Good stuff from both teams now as Juve go forward and Chelsea counter.

27th minute: Cech punches out a Juve corner. Ball comes back it. Kalou chases it to midfield but Juve kepp it. And Cole fouls Cameronesi. Juve in the game now.

28th minute: Nice turn by Del Piero to get space. But his shot is maybe one of the 12 worst ever taken in football. Don't think he even hit the corner flag on the far side.

30th minute: Every time Chelsea get a dead ball, Blogger doesn't want to respond to my mouse clicks. Anyway, Spartak wasted a free kick from about 35. It went into the wall.

My clock disappeared so I don't know what minute it is. Nice work ESPN.

32nd minute: Chiellini doing his best to keep the ball in his own end. Spartak with a corner of a deflected shot. Juve's marking and clearance off of corners is really, really bad. Tottenham-esque.

33rd minute: And off another corner there is danger for Juve. But Terry's header is weak and goes right to Buffon. Just an aside... Roman should get wages back from Drogba for the last 6 months of the season because the guy out there today proves that the guy out there before today wasn't giving shit for an effort.

35th minute: Nice touch by Amauri to feed Nedved and Nedved goes down on almost no contact to waste the threat. Ballack gives it back... but Cole steals it and there should have been a foul as he hacked Sissoko. Instead Chelski play it around the Juve box. A couple of nice passes until Juve can get it to play it out. Sissoko still down.

38th minute: Sissoko up and we play on...

39th minute: Chelski holding possession. Some really nice touch passing almost gives a streaking Drogba a shot. Instead the danger is turned away. Cole should get a yellow for hacking Del Piero but he doesn't. Cunt. Cole that is.

41st minute: Chelsea owning possession. Kalou takes the ball on the right and drives deep. He gets a low cross off but it's too deep and collected by Buffon.

42nd minute: Nedved with a weak shot after a bad clearance by Bosingwa. It rolls to Cech and we play on...

43rd minute: Bosingwa trips Nedved. That might have been a card. And now we've got a late but accurate whistle for a hand ball on Drogba. Juve with a free kick from about 22 out.

45th minute: Del Piero kicks it right into the two man wall. Derrick Rae jinxed him by calling Del Piero a 'free kick master' right when he took it. Dick.

1 minute of stoppage time.

+1 minute: Nedved wins a corner and takes it quickly. Cech comes out to make the save. And it's a decent one as there were unmarked Juve players waiting for it.


And it's another montage with too much of the Shine plug-in. Good to give your video 101 interns a run out. It's the Champions League, how about putting 1/100th the resources to it that you do to trailing A-Rod or Brady?

Unbelievably Juve actually have more possesion. Really?

The more I hear Tommy Smyth, the less I care for him. He was conviced that the goal was the work of Ballack. All he did was gather the deflection and feed it to the top of the box. It wasn't even a good pass. Kalou did all the work to make space and feed Drogba. I don't even have a European accent and I could see that.

Second Half


46th minute: Good start from Chelsea. Juve can't clear and from 30 out front Ballack fires one that goes wide right.

47th minute: Quickly back the other way and Del Piero's low shot is blocked out by Alex for a Juve corner. Cleared but not out. It comes back in and a header is sent out for another Juve corner.

48th minute: Cameronesi's corner is low and short and toe punched back toward midfield. Sissoko wins a footrace and Juve tunr it back upfield.

49th minute: Nedved with space outside the box takes a long shot with little on it that was never going to bother Cech. That was a bit of a waste. Pavel, don't be a hero.

50th minute: A great cross from Bosingwa finds a streaking Drogba who turns it toward goal with great power but it's wide right. Nice work between the two. Both the feed and the work by Drogba. Cameronesi is grabbing his hammy. Uh oh... Got a change coming for Juve if they can get someone up and ready.

52nd minute: Molinaro gets a yellow. Totally earned. Late and high and studs up he stepped on Mikel. Marchionni on for Cameronesi.

54th minute: Drop ball. Not sure why. Thought Alex fouled someone. Huh...

55th minute: Drogba in the box. Cheillini with the challenge. He barely gets near him and Down Goes Didier, Down Goes Didier... No call. And no call was the right call. Drogba pitches a fit.

56th minute: Juve a bit sloppy. But Chelsea can't take advantage. Cole takes down Del Piero. No call.

57th minute: Chelsea corner: Lampard. Juve can't clear it. After some slop it finds Lampard who kicks it to Buffon. Ballack cleats Nedved in the knee as things were headed the other way and he gets a yellow for that foul.

59th minute: Terry with a push. Nice job. Free kick to Juve from 45.

60th minute: And Cech makes a mess of it almost to the point of getting a penalty as he took out Amauri(I think). That was really bad by Cech. Tiago looks hurt no, so he's coming off after a collision with one of his own players. Despite looking less crisp, Juve not without chances.

62nd minute: Marchionni with a blast that goes past the far post by just a couple of feet. More pressure from Juve.

64th minute: Juve with more possession. But not pressing much with it. Long ball goes to Cech harmlessly and he collects it.

65th minute: For someone on a yellow, Ballack, that's a fucking stupid foul. You got zero ball and all ankle.

66th minute: All kinds of space for the kids in blue, but Kalou is offside.

67th minute: Chelsea is starting to look a step slower, but Juve doing nothing to take advantage. Kalou offsides again. Flag was slow to go up.

68th minute: Amauri's header falls to Nedved who takes another shitty shot. Marchionni gets it back in to the box twice. The second feed goes toward the top of the box but Del Piero can't get to it to keep the pressure on for Juve.

70th minute: Kalou with a cross into the box. Drogba was free but the ball went right to Buffon.

72nd minute: Sorry, after a crowd shot of Bob Geldof's doppelganger I made a joke that blogger didn't like so it fed me a few errors. We missed a Juve corner and Amauri just made a run in deep on the right. Alex cleared it for a corner.

Oh and Malouda came on for Kalou.

74th minute: Bosingwa with a low cross in punhced away. Mikel gets in on Amauri and it's a free kick to Juve.

75th minute: That last bit probably didn't make sense. Mikel fouled Amauri... Chelsea on a break. Anelka chips it from the center to Malouda. It goes off him and past the end line. Goal kick taken by Buffon.

77th minute: Ballack with a second bit of play that was kind of rought for someone on a yellow. Didn't even draw a look from the ref though. Alex fouls Amauri and the ball goes of Ballack who appears to be giving a bear hug to someone. Really, let me say this a 3rd time because he's not playing like someone on a yellow.

78th minute: Sissoko splits two Chelsea defenders, gets taken down and earns a free kick. Del Piero has been shite on the free kicks. Flag was up anyway.

80th minute: Cole with a great ball to Lampard. He picks out Anelka on the right who crosses it in. Bad job by Le Sulk. Drogba was open but the ball missed him by plenty.

Mancienne in for Chelsea. Ballack off. Good move by Guss. Ballack is tired and he's playing reckless on a yellow.

82nd minute: Yellow for Sissoki. Deserved. He chopped someone... could tell because I was checking out the comments where I got shredded for picking Sporting against Munich. Drogba again takes a dive. Chiellini got him shoulder to shoulder. Was probably a bit of a risk, but that wasn't a PK's worth.

84th minute: So, 180 minutes of liveblogging and I'm going to get 1 fucking goal for my efforts. Thanks Champions League. What the fuck...

Also, is someone else cleaning up behind me and editing? I keep getting duplicate edit errors.

86th minute: Trezeguet on. Sissoko off.

87th minute: Oooh... Anelka from way out almost beats Buffon to the far post. THat was a rocket from about 25-plus. Really, nice by Le Sulk. Then on the other side Trezeguet can't get a good foot on it from the edge of the box. Both teams with chances. Still 1-0.

88th minute: I'm going with Nedved and Amauri as the biggest disappoitments of the match. Nedved's work rate has been good, but his touches have been disastrous. Juve chasing the game. Drogba with a ball from Lamps and he gets in the box and he doesn't go down. That's a mild surprise.

90th minute: Marchisio with an easy yellow on an intentional hand ball to stop a Chelsea break as Juve are pushing people forward.

Three minutes of stoppage time.

90 +2: Chelsea playing possession. Nice work by Amauri to keep the ball for Juve. They earn a free kick.

Juve get two good balls in the air but can't get a head on the end of eithe one. Nervy moments for Chelsea, then they break and have the advantage... It's snuffed out. Second left.

Oh, and Nedved with a deflected ball that JUST misses the right post. Then the ref fucking blows the call and gives a goal kick to Chelski. How did they not see the deflection of Alex. Juve robbed of at least a corner. Almost disaster as it was as Nedved's shot went just wide.

Full time. Spartak London 1 - Juventus 0


Lingering Bursitis said...

I agree. ESPN just picks those two teams as if their decisions are made at random. Like you said, if they fucking knew a thing about these matches, they'd go with the Real/LFC tilt just to watch Rafa switch from the visitors' dugout to the home dugout at half-time.

The NY Kid said...

Del Piero?

I want to see Treze-GOAL!!!!!!!!!

The NY Kid said...

is Vince shilling for the PortaBook? Because I want to punch that guy in the nuts

ü75 said...

The thing I do not fear bout ESPN getting EPL rights is their over reliance on those two teams. The rights are bought in packages by time, not team. But yeah, I'd like to see Arsenal at some point in Europe.

If the EPL were to change times (a la the SPL) to accommodate them, then I take it back.

Lingering Bursitis said...

LFC playing the 4-2-3-1

ü75 said...

Hay Guyz
Did you know Tiger is back today? I'm surprised they have not cut in already.

Lingering Bursitis said...

LFC game has been fairly scrappy and fast thus far. Neither team appear afraid to attack, and everything's on the counter. Robben and Ramos in particular look up for it.

John Dakar said...

Where is the clock on the Setanta feed?

John Dakar said...

i meant on the liverpool game? and chelsea begins to dominate. kalou.

The Fan's Attic said...

who does LFC have playing the middle in the 3? that lineup seems more suited to a straight 4-4-2.

Lingering Bursitis said...

Real love the bicycle kick. Just tried two, with little to no success, after a free kick in LFC territory and then a corner.

Silly Spaniards.

Lingering Bursitis said...

Attic: It's Yossi, Masch and Alonso across the middle, with Kuyt and Riera playing noticeably further up.

@John Dakar: I have no clue... I'm watching ESPN Deportes. Sad, really.

Lingering Bursitis said...

Alright, now Real are starting to get some good possession. Still, it's early.

The NY Kid said...

@LB - not to be a douchebag, but I think that 'Pool have been getting bossed from the beginning of the match

Lingering Bursitis said...

Great tackle by Masch to deny Higuain an opportunity, and then a wonderful tackle at the other end by Pepe to deny Torres.

A good match so far, this.

Lingering Bursitis said...

Great save by Casillas to deny Torres, who beat the offside trap. LFC beginning to turn the screws...

Lingering Bursitis said...

NY Kid: you are a douche. Real had the first 15, sure, but LFC are getting back into it.


The Fan's Attic said...

Was Lehman secretly on the pitch causing Lampard to change shoes?

The NY Kid said...

but it was at 15 minutes in that I said that!

Lingering Bursitis said...

Casillas comes out a mile to deny Yossi, who'd snuck behind the defense in pursuit of a long ball.

The NY Kid said...

Arjen Robben is not a happy camper with this assistant ref

MoonshineMike said...

Well, that was either lucky or a pay off.

Lingering Bursitis said...

Mike: Higuain was a mile offside

Keith said...

FYI. . Podolski the lone bench striker for Bayern. . So, yes, Andrew, the USMNT outfield consists of European rejects/benchwarmers, with the exception of Deuce and Gooch

Andrew said...

Why am I not surprised that ESPN chose Man U and Chelsea? Fuckers. I agree with LB et al. with the Liverpool-Real "better storyline" meme. Are there really more Chelsea fans in the States than Scousers?

Andrew said...

@Keith: Excellent. Gooch plays in Belgium, that football hotbed (no Enzo Scifo) and Dempsey gets a few run outs with a mediocre Prem side. I smell another first round exit in 2010.

The Fan's Attic said...

LB, no mention of the Torres injury? someone's in denial.

John Dakar said...

Alonso from no man's land! Damn!

Mike Georger said...

Not letting them take a corner seventeen seconds into stoppage time? Good to see the refs aren't biased.

Adam said...

That was nice from Alonso, then the ref calls time? You can't give them 20 seconds for a corner?

Mike Georger said...

An Italian ref? YOU DONT SAY!

How Italians are allowed to ref competitions outside of their own bullshit league is revolting.

Andrew said...

Between Nedved, Cameronesi, and Del Piero, Juve may be older than Chelsea.

Precious Roy said...

The Italian refs are better than the English refs.

They are less apt to do the "Oh, it's Vidic so it's not a foul" nonsense.

Andrew said...

Aaaaaaaaand LB already made that observation. I'm an idiot.

Mike Georger said...

At least they have the class to actually take the money and call games based on that rather than just fear of Ferguson.

Precious Roy said...

Exactly, when they are not being paid, they are excellent.

When they are being paid, they are also excellent. But just in favor of one team.

phil said...

Who gets away with more cheap shit:

Bosingwa, Terry, or Vidic?

That's like the axis of evil righ there, and I'm not sure there's a red card among them this season, not counting the TWO that Terry's had rescinded.

Lingering Bursitis said...

Regarding Torres and his limping:

people seem to forget that when we had Robbie Keane, he was total shite. Having him still, today? He's still be total shite.

Still, it makes for a good joke. I enjoy those!

Precious Roy said...

Vidic. And it's not even close.

Adam said...

Guti on for Madrid and the 2nd half is underway.

phil said...

@ LB: I don't recall anyone making reference to Keane, but he was obviously on your mind when Torres came up lame. Plus I seem to recall some pointy, shouty Irish bloke scoring in some of 'Pool's earlier CL matches. Sour grapes much?

MoonshineMike said...

Wow, that run on goal by Liverpool was Arsenal in chance and execution.

Andrew said...

Vidic is Serbian, right? Don't they get away with everything unless The Hague is involved?

Lingering Bursitis said...

Phil: someone noted it on the email, and all the BBC/Guardian liveblogs, etc are mentioning it, so I thought I'd just get it off my chest.

No sour grapes, really. He was a colossal waste of money, and while we did take a hit, I'm happy as hell we got as much back as we did for him.

The NY Kid said...

Xabi Alonso looks like a serial killer.

Lingering Bursitis said...

From the Guardian:

49 min: Casillas claws a Riera cross from the left away, but only to Benayoun, who feeds Kuyt down the right. His cross is cleared to the edge of the area, where Alonso half-volleys the ball just right of goal. Torres was inches away from diverting that shot past Casillas. Real are godawful at the back.

There is hope!

phil said...

@ LB: I see what you're saying now.

'Pool should take heart. No Juande Ramos-led team can hold for long.

Mike Georger said...

Nice dive Didier

phil said...

Drogba should have been carded for that shite. Egregious dive.

Andrew said...

There was contact, but the dive was extraneous. Drogba would fit in well at Inter.

Mike Georger said...


Andrew said...


Adam said...

@LB, pool is looking pretty good right now

John Dakar said...

oh god no...
Babel is on...

Adam said...

babel on, torres off.

Lingering Bursitis said...

It's true... Real are terrible at the back. We look just fine against them. Quite happy thus far.

Also, just bc Torres came off doesn't mean we're going to lose 4-0. We have other players on the pitch currently.

Andrew said...

Okay, upon review it wasn't a clear penalty by Cech's mess, but I think he intended to impede Cam'ron.

Andrew said...

@Dakar: Not a Babel fan? Or does he just work well when Torres is playing up front and Babel can play wing?

Lingering Bursitis said...

Robben is having a great game. It's a shame he's stuck with the 10 oafs around him.

The Fan's Attic said...

That traitor Rossi scored for Villareal.

Mike Georger said...

No way was that a card for Mascherano.

John Dakar said...

babel just gives the ball away too much for my liking.

Lingering Bursitis said...

I'll take this time to call out both our esteemed liveblogger and resident genius u75 for favouring Sporting in that matchup.

Bayern are winning 3-0 in Portugal. Ouchie.

Lingering Bursitis said...


suck it, Juande. Super Jew heads one in.

John Dakar said...


The Fan's Attic said...

Thank the sweet baby jesus. Don't bring on Gerrard now.

Mike Georger said...


What a few weeks for the diminutive Jew

Lingering Bursitis said...

Oh, and Bayern winning 4-0. So much for that.

Mike Georger said...

Who's the good looking guy that kept saying Bayern are the best team in the world?

Lingering Bursitis said...

Ha ha Georger, you got the opposite of your wish. Riera looks banged up, so give Stevie 5 mins to jog around.

Andrew said...

Chelsea-Juve is so so so boring. Like, Bobby Jindal boring.

Andrew said...

And its 5-nil Bayern.

Mike Georger said...

Oh no the witless wonder is on

Lingering Bursitis said...

Kudos to you, PR, for liveblogging Spartak. I feel bad for you.

Andrew said...

Five away goals for Bayern. Will they start their U18s in two weeks?

phil said...

For Georger and LB:

Does Rafa survive, after this win?

Ibracadabra said...

Andrew -

Maybe they will play Landon Donovan.

I am filled with a massive sense of national pride today. Yossi.