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Soccer Break Wednesday – Champions League week special

April 6, 2011

SOCCER-CHAMPIONS/REALGot your breath back yet? Perfected the Dejan Stankovic volley in your mirror ready to take out on the pitch? Well Tuesday’s first installment of four Champions League quarter-final evenings was spectacular and there is more to come on Wednesday.

First, a recap of last night. The Real Madrid backlash did kick in, though against the 10 men of Tottenham Hotspur and two extremely well-taken goals that on another night may have gone wide of the post.

Would 11 v 11 have made a difference? Is there any way back for Tottenham? And do you think some players may leave the club in search of Champions League next season if Spurs don’t qualify this time around?

And how about holders Inter Milan? Hopelessly outplayed in their last two games and with a creaking defence, can they score four unanswered goals in Germany to make the semi-finals? The Inter chairman has pledged his support for coach Leonardo but surely his days are numbered on this form.

So, Chelsea fans. Worried that a fired up Wayne Rooney will wreak havoc tonight after he was dropped by Coke? Or will that have taken the fizz out of the frontman? Frank Lampard seems to think his team will have to be on their guard against him. Predictions? Something tells us it’ll be a lot less open than Tuesday’s matches.

Finally, Barcelona v Shakhtar Donetsk just seems about as good as it gets. Two passing teams, easy on the eye, trying to outpass and outthink each other. Only a few more hours to wait so don’t worry.

Read here for a look at strike partnerships in the Champions League this season and of days gone by. Who does Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti pick then? Fernando Torres and Didier Drogba? What about Nicolas Anelka? Or a rejuvenated Salomon Kalou?

To finish, the referee question, why are we so quick to lambast them? And a nice look at African slum football, still the same game but a million miles away from the Champions League.

Discuss all these topics and other stories in world soccer on the Reuters Soccer Facebook page. And please feel free to send us recommendations for your pick of the day’s stories.

Picture: Tottenham Hotspur’s coach Harry Redknapp (L) shouts beside Real Madrid’s Sergio Ramos (C) and Tottenham Hotspur’s Gareth Bale during the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final soccer match at Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid April 5, 2011. REUTERS/Juan Medina

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