Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Champions League: Mind-Numbing Rubbish, Redux

Fergie unveils N'Sync 2.0


Ranty recap of last night ahead!

The Champions League can be an exciting place. Last night, it wasn't, and we must pray for none of that anti-football this afternoon.

Rafa Marquez was felled by an invisible man and will be out 10 weeks, but the really gruesome injury was suffered by us, the hapless television audience (we won't even mention the horrors witnessed by those actually at the Nou Camp). Yes, Guus Hiddink's side hushed the Catalans and backpassed with aplomb en route to a 0-0 result in which they enjoyed just 29% of possession and managed not to get anyone sent off in a game full of clumsy tackling and casual attack.

Some call it brilliant organization, others call it cynical bus-parkery. Po-tay-to, po-tah-to.

Barca, for all their offensive might, were equally to blame for their lazy, insouciant performance, leading me to think they felt like scoring a goal were their reward for simply turning up. The overdone flourishes and passing failed, and now, we hope and pray that tonight, either United or Arsenal, or both, will have the stones to shoot at goal every once in a while.


And for today/tonight:

On Arsenal's side: karma, in the shape of news that United have begun their CL victory parade preparations. The gods do love when they get to rain on a parade. What's not on the Gooner's side is good health, as they're still set to miss several key defensive players, including Gibbs, Silvestre, Clichy, Gallas etc etc etc etc etc.

For United, Fergie is toying with the thought of deploying all his strikers at once. It's a tasty thought for those who enjoy goals, although their sturm und drang could backfire as it did for the bad guy in that Robin Williams movie "Toys". If you recall from your acid-taking, bad 90s movie-watching days, the evil General Zevo had all the best toys and weapons, and yet was outdone by Williams, a blond girl, an unconvincing soldier played by LL Cool J, and his reprogrammed sea slug killing machine.

Let's hope for some similar battles tonight. My only request is this: could Arsenal save the whole "beating United at Old Trafford" thing for their imminent EPL match?

Lineups and such after the jump. Use the comments for griping about Howard Webb.


Man United v. Arsenal
-----
Man United: Van der Sar; Evra, O'Shea, Ferdinand, Vidic; Fletcher, Carrick, Anderson, Ronaldo; Rooney, Tevez.
Subs: Foster, Berbatov, Giggs, Scholes, Park, Rafael, Evans.

Arsenal: Almunia; Sagna, Toure, Sylvestre, Gibbs; Diaby, Song, Fabregas, Nasri; Walcott, Adebayor.
Subs: Fabianski, Eduardo, Denilson, Ramsey, Bendtner, Djourou, Eboue.

150 comments:

Teeknuts said...

I wish it would get to 1:30 already. Sadly, I've already seen this episode of Maury. I blame this fact on Howard Webb.

The NY Kid said...

Howard Webb is a member of the Pentaverate. He took over for Col. Sanders

Nathaniel said...

I'm considering starting a Howard Webb Admirers' Society...

Who's in?!?!?11?!!?1/1?!!1/!!

Teeknuts said...

Since it hasn't been mentioned yet, I might as well say it. Jonny Evans is a rapist.

Keith said...

Actually, Webb has since apologized, which is something that a) most refs don't do (Mike Riley, come on down), and b) actually honorable.

Teeknuts said...

This does not bode well.

The NY Kid said...

@Teeknuts - I apologize for being lax. Thanks for providing that.

The NY Kid said...

where the hell is everyone?

ü75 said...

Waiting for something to happen.

ü75 said...

BTW, I'm taking Dunkirk in the Derby.

The NY Kid said...

Pinewood? Kentucky?

Teeknuts said...

I like the one that sounds like an emo band. Something about wanting revenge.

MoonshineMike said...

this match is too exciting for me. I need something where one team is playing for a draw

Nathaniel said...

I'm taking Selamine in the Kentucky Derby....

/too soon?

ü75 said...

KY. I assume those were the lines going on the Bottom Line when I looked up.

ü75 said...

Nice strong hand there by Almunia.

The NY Kid said...

once again Kieran Gibbs thinks he is Gael Clichy and loses the plot

ü75 said...

goddammit. Why not try marking for once?

Teeknuts said...

That was a great save. Almunia looks pretty good so far. He couldn't do much against that though.

MoonshineMike said...

no one on the right side ?WTF?

hockalees said...

What an amazing save by Almunia on Tevez.

ü75 said...

Silvestre the culprit.

The NY Kid said...

thanks Manny!

Nathaniel said...

Fucking Almunia...

hockalees said...

FUCK

O'Shea are you kidding me?

Keith said...

Well, looks like we've got some football here, or at least two teams committed to playing it.

Nathaniel said...

Least likely O'shea....Nice.

The NY Kid said...

Oh, Mickael - you are an affront to French defenders everywhere

Nathaniel said...

At least let this be an actual game....

ü75 said...

Take him out, Fabs.

Goat said...

This doesn't look good. They seem frantic at the back and unable to maintain possession.

WhiteSpeedReceiver said...

O'Shea? Am I still drunk?

jape said...

What the fuck happened?

/just walked in.

Goat said...

WSR--Yes and yes.

ü75 said...

Someone should tell them that, unlike Rugby, hoofing it downfield to the opposition in exchange for field position is not a good idea.

Teeknuts said...

I have a bad feeling this could get ugly real quick.

ü75 said...

jape-Almunia had a nice save on (an unmarked) Tevez from 4 yards out. Saved it with a strong pimp-hand and out for a corner. Corner went long, crossed back across, tipped by Silvestre to O'Shea, who buried it high and to the left of Almunia from 6 or so yards out. No Arsenal defender within 3 yards of him.

Goat said...

As I was walking into my 2:00 class I saw some d-bag acting a fool and wearing a ManU jersey. I suspect he doesn't even know they're playing.

The NY Kid said...

and you let him walk unmolested?

Goat said...

NYK--I may make shit but I still don't want to get fired. My one student who I know is a ManU fan was not wearing any gear as I think he knows I'd fail him if he did.

jape said...

Thanks Ü.

Did ManU get Champs League merit badges on their shirts?

Come On Arsenal!

The NY Kid said...

During the 2006 WC I told that my students that anyone wearing Italian gear would get an automatic F--

ü75 said...

Yeah, Blatter gave them the badges a couple of months ago.

Goat said...

Jesus, Almunia can't keep this up.

Teeknuts said...

I usually respect people I see wearing football shirts, except for those wearing Spartak or Man U jerseys. I try to subtly flip them the bird

ü75 said...

Yeah, well, Tommy Smyth, the back 4 of Arsenal suck balls.

WhiteSpeedReceiver said...

Maybe you're not such a bad person, NYK.

Goat said...

You should put that on your syllabus.

The NY Kid said...

@WSR - nah, I'm still an asshole

Goat said...

Did the back 4 all catch Almunia sleeping with their WAGs?

The NY Kid said...

please, any cheating automatically gets blamed on David Trezeguet

ü75 said...

DOn't know why Tevez is staying down. Did Almunia hurt his studs?

Teeknuts said...

That was ugly for Tevez and Almunia, more so for Tevez cause, well, he's ugly

Goat said...

Damn, U75 you beat me to it

Goat said...

I'd like to kick Tommy Smyth in his auld onion bag.

The NY Kid said...

Manny is not happy with these defensive shenanigans

hockalees said...

Get that Argeninian troll off Alumunia... we cannot have Fabianski in there.

jape said...

Did Tevez hurt his cleats on Almunia's face? Get up caveman.

/kingasm is the verification - sounds enjoyable.

WhiteSpeedReceiver said...

I'd like someone near Connecticut to put Tommy Smyth in an old onion bag and throw him into a river.

ü75 said...

Must say that's a nice finish for a defender. Bendtner would have missed it.

ü75 said...

Fuck me, come on Gibbs. You did the hard part.

Teeknuts said...

Could United fans be bigger pieces of shit? This booing crap was old before it began.

hockalees said...

Make up your fucking mind Tommy... "Nasri is invisible in this game" and then he chases down Anderson 60yds and all Tommy can muster is "That's not where they want Nasri".

FFS, the only way Tommy would compliment Nasri today is if he had AIG on his shirt.

Goat said...

Teek--don't challenge a United fan to be a bigger piece of shit.

WhiteSpeedReceiver said...

@Teek: Your avatar sucks. Boooooooo.


I kid. I only advocate booing Brad Childress.

jape said...

Clearly Arsenal are confused as they are consistently passing to red shirts.

ü75 said...

I don't think Anderson was off.

Teeknuts said...

@WSR Does anyone in Minnesota actually like Chilly? No one I know does.

ü75 said...

Either Song or Adebayor needs to get highlights. I can't tell them apart at a wide angle. Leads to a lot of "why the hell is Ade playing so far back?" type thoughts. Maybe Djibril Cisse can help them out.

ü75 said...

Come on, halftime.

Teeknuts said...

Silvestre almost made up for his mistake with a good tackle there.

Goat said...

racist.

ü75 said...

Dammit, make a simple pass, Theo.

ü75 said...

@Goat--I knew that was coming.

The NY Kid said...

outstanding hospital ball from Gibbs to Almunia.

ü75 said...

See you fucks in 15.

Goat said...

I can't believe it took that long.

jape said...

Did Tommy just compliment Theo's "flightning speed?"

hockalees said...

The one silver lining in the current Clichy injury situation is that we can be certain that Kieran Gibbs isn't fit to carry Gael's jock.

WhiteSpeedReceiver said...

@Teek: I'd say about 20% of Minnesotans are Chili fans. And in a completely unrelated statistic, I'd say about 20% of Minnesotans moved here from Wisconsin and are Packer fans.

Teeknuts said...

I'll at least say this about Arsenal: United had a chance to kill the match and maybe the tie early, but the gunners are still in it.

Mike Georger said...

Fucking revisionist United history. The first time back to back winners in 'modern era'? The last one was 89/90, I realize it was called a different name then, but in no way shape or form would United be the first.


Also, Arsenal look terrified. French, cornrowed, and scared is no way to go through the Champions League son.

hockalees said...

So is every British talking head named Robbie?

Teeknuts said...

@WSR There is almost nothing I hate as much as seeing a U of M student wear any thing Badger related. The only thing worse is seeing a Sioux jersey, which fills me with white-hot rage.

Sarah said...

Almunia has been awesome. That's really the only positive thing I can say. This game sucks so far.

Bigus Dickus said...

Sious-Falls Canaries....Get IN.

WhiteSpeedReceiver said...

@Teek: I'm about a mile from campus right now. You want me to go see if any people need to be ran down? I could take out a few fighting racist mascot fans and be back in my office before the start of the 2nd half.

Nathaniel said...

Well said, Georger (French, cornrowed, etc)...

Nathaniel said...

Oh, and on recommendation from this site, I am reading Awaydays.

It is a challenge for those of us not familiar with late 70's Northern UK slang...

Teeknuts said...

That would be beautiful. I'll always remember the game I was at last year when they started a fight in the handshake line, and Hakstol gave the finger to the ref. They're all thugs.

jape said...

There is a fucking sea of red shirts in the ManU half.

The NY Kid said...

@Georger - well, I guess the cornrows are coming out before Baltimore then!

jape said...

Arsenal can't even string together 4 short passes. Come On!

Teeknuts said...

This ref's about a thousand times better than the one last night. Of course, it helps when one team doesn't put 11 men behind the ball

jape said...

Diaby is fucking useless too.

Bigus Dickus said...

@Natahniel. Well done son, it's a great read. Ping me at the addy on the right with any translation questions.

hockalees said...

Ugh... Arsenal have no ideas for the final 1/3 tonight.

The NY Kid said...

I must leave the office once again. When I get home there had better be an Arsenal goal waiting for me on the DVR!

Teeknuts said...

I keep getting this horrible feeling it's gonna be a ManU-Spartak final again. It's like a nightmare that never ends.

JT said...

what's eating Emmanuel Adebayor? SARS? Swine flu? Fatal indifference?

JT said...

I'd say he's shit (Ade), but that's almost insulting to feces.

Teeknuts said...

Man, that was a great slo-mo Ronaldo tantrum.

jape said...

Even if Ade's shot wasnt 20 feet over the bar it would've hit VDS in the chest.

Goat said...

I'm constantly amazed about how ugly Tevez is.

hockalees said...

Oh Sh!t...

Please SAF... NOT THE PFA POTY!!!!

Teeknuts said...

OH ITS BENDTNER TIME!

JT said...

@hockalees

as much as I loathe that team, this appearance is Giggs' 800th for Man United. In any era, that's fucking impressive.

Goat said...

Oh terrific, here come the "Great" Dane.

WhiteSpeedReceiver said...

So...United has a sulking Bulgarian, a douchey Portugeser, an Irish statue, and the PFA POTY all on the pitch right now? How can anyone dream of stopping this team?

Nathaniel said...

Everyone's favorite pink-shod Austrian!

Nathaniel said...

Or not Austrian...Dane.

/dumbass

jape said...

Super Nick!!

/ready for a heartbreaking miss from 6 yards out.

Goat said...

I love how Tommy groans whenever ManU has near miss.

Teeknuts said...

My favorite Pink-Shoed Austrian is Arnold in "Ballerina Bodyguard." It's possible I only saw that in my head, but either way it was probably better than "Twins"

Nathaniel said...

@Teeknuts - Who is your daddy and what does he do?

jape said...

I decided to have a look at the Tommy Smythe wiki page (cut/paste)-

Also, a website has been made to ask him to stop talking about Cristiano Ronaldo, a young man with whom he has several bastard children. The oldest is Paul Scholes, then come Wayne Rooney, and the youngest boy is Landon Donovan. SMYTH has also chosen to give up his career as a gay porn actor to allow his children a better life.

Teeknuts said...

Oh Tommy Smith, I do know that there's a petition to have you fired, so I would stop talking about petitions if I were you.

Goat said...

Bendtner sucks my ass.

hockalees said...

Turn and FREAKING SHOOT!!!

Nathaniel said...

Bendtner with the perfect pass...AGAIN!

Teeknuts said...

@jape That's one of the best wikipedia pages I've ever seen.

Goat said...

Eduardo for Bendtner, please.

hockalees said...

Eduardo to go in...

Keith said...

Your Soccernet in-game wisdom of the match:

79'

Bendtner proves how useless he is by collecting a Fabregas ball on the dge of the box before turning and passing to Rooney. Brilliant.

Nathaniel said...

Eduardo! Oh, snap (goes the bone).

jape said...

TS is also credited with "providing all those able to hear with a devastating cancer in the ears."

/nice.

hockalees said...

Nice play by Sagna

Goat said...

Arsenal has been like Donnie--out of their element.

Goat said...

Rio may have broken his penis.

jape said...

Whats the O/U for stoppage time? 1 min if the score remains 1-0. 4 mins if Arsenal scores?

hockalees said...

Nick could have that same opportunity 17 times and still not put it in the empty net, Tommy.

Teeknuts said...

Jonny Evans feels like he's wearing nothing at all, nothing at all

Nathaniel said...

How will Rio be able to read his #5 online mag with a broken cock?

Nathaniel said...

I'll take The-Rapists for $500, Alex

Teeknuts said...

Wow, 4 minutes extra. Brave move by the ref.

Goat said...

Rooney has a fistful of jersey and yet somehow Sagna's "manhandling" him. Fuck you, Tommy.

hockalees said...

C'mon Arsenal...

WhiteSpeedReceiver said...

The 4th official's dog is already dead. It has Audi rings imprinted on it's side.

Teeknuts said...

Ronaldo was looking to break someone's leg after he didn't get that call.

jape said...

Before we are done I want to also get a "Fuck You Tommy" in.

Teeknuts said...

Not a horrible result for Arsenal. They might actually have a chance next week, but they would have to play a lot better, considering that they could have lost by 3 or 4.

hockalees said...

Well.... if you asked me in the 18th minute if I'd take 1-0 I would have said yes.

Goat said...

Well, it certainly could have been much worse if not for Almunia. I must say, though, I don't think that shaky back line can keep ManU from scoring again at the Emirates.

Goat said...

Somewhat better for neutrals after that shit yesterday but the bar was set pretty low.

WhiteSpeedReceiver said...

I figured that we'd see a draw with a few goals today. I'll take it, but a few more for United would have been nicer.

jape said...

Wiki has restored the Tommy page. I did make a PDF of it. If anyone cares I dropped it in this public folder.

http://bit.ly/irKsA

Precious Roy said...

So the entire Chicago Red Stars (is that their name?) were at the same bar I was at. Packed. Plus they had the Shiner 100, which I wouldn't get to otherwise sample.

But if there is anyone on the bench equally as bad as Silvestre, then play him. The ball just seems to find him. And it was his freak deflection that put the ball at O'Shea's feet.

Ack. I fucking hate United, but they are just better right now.

Mike Georger said...

Bendtner for Walcott? Great sub or greatest sub?

Nasri? Fast player or fastest player?


You assholes better deliver next week. Is your preening Russian not available or did Arsene just see fit to not play the hot hand?

Teeknuts said...

Unfortunately, Mr. Photogenic is cup-tied.

Mike Georger said...

I had thought it was the same situation with Huntelaar and Diarra. Did he play in the knockout round or something?

That's a shame, could have used his pace over Nasri that's for damn sure.