Reuters Soccer Blog
World Soccer views and news
“Perhaps if they only bring eight men to Munich then we have a chance.”
Bayern’s Mark van Bommel, a former Barcelona player, was brutally honest after Barca’s 4-0 win in the Champions League quarter-final first leg at the Nou Camp.
The rest of his team mates had nothing to say in the dressing room after the thrashing.
“After the match it was very quiet in our dressing room and nothing was said,” said Bayern coach Klinsmann, whose side also lost 5-1 at Wolfsburg last weekend.
Thierry Henry did not enjoy the happiest of starts to his new life in Barcelona but it’s clicked for the Frenchman this term.
He plays more as a winger than a striker under Pep Guardiola yet he’s still managed 15 league goals this season and the Premier League certainly seems a poorer place without him.
So, here we go again. For the fifth successive season, Liverpool will face Chelsea in the Champions League.
Villarreal v Arsenal
Manchester United v Porto
Liverpool v Chelsea
Barcelona v Bayern Munich
Manchester United or Porto v Villarreal or Arsenal
Barcelona or Bayern Munich v Liverpool or Chelsea
Liverpool will perhaps be marginal favourites in the all-English quarter-final after knocking Chelsea out at the semi-final stage in 2005 and 2007 but their fans will need no reminding that last season, when Chelsea got to play the second leg at home, it was the Londoners who came through.
Quite a few sceptical eyebrows were raised when Real Madrid gave Bernd Schuster the boot back in December and brought in Juande Ramos.
After an impressive spell at Sevilla, Ramos had faltered badly at Tottenham and it seemed the Real board were taking a big gamble in bringing him back to Spain with a contract until the end of the season.
Barcelona were so proud of the slick passing move that led to Bojan Krkic’s second goal during the 2-0 win at Almeria on Sunday that they have published all the statistics surrounding the strike.
In the 53rd minute, Xavi won the ball and gave it to Lionel Messi which was the first step in an uninterrupted 37 pass move that lasted one minute 49 seconds, the league leaders said on their website.
A few weeks ago the La Liga title looked a done deal but Juande Ramos has steadied the ship and Real Madrid now find themselves four points behind Barcelona with the two teams still to play each other at the Bernabeu on May 3.
Can Real complete an unlikely comeback?
Vlogonthepitch host Owen Wyatt and Kevin Fylan discuss.
The prospect of former Real Madrid player David Beckham lining up against a new Barcelona-Miami franchise was a soccer marketing man’s dream — the most marketable man in the game against one of the biggest team brands, playing in the ‘capital of the Americas’.
A couple of months ago that scenario looked on the cards, with Beckham tied into a long-term deal with the L.A Galaxy and Barcelona’s Miami bid for a 2011 MLS expansion slot widely considered a ‘shoe in’.
Spain overcame 44 years of underachievement on the international stage when they were crowned European champions at Euro 2008. Not only did they win the tournament, but their players, their style and their attacking ambition were hailed around the world.
However, that success appears to have had a detrimental effect on their domestic teams, who have traditionally been some of the strongest performers in Europe’s club competitions.
The sort of performance Sergio Aguero turned in to inspire victory over Barcelona could be a curse as well as a blessing for Atletico Madrid, who are only going to find themselves under more pressure to sell him to one of Europe’s powerhouse clubs come the end of the season.
The gifted 20-year-old, nicknamed “Kun” after a Japanese comic book hero, scored two superb goals, including a dramatic 89th minute winner, as Atletico twice came from behind to stun the visiting Primera Liga leaders 4-3.
There’s still a long way to go to the final in Rome but from what we saw over the first legs of the opening knock-out round of the Champions League a lot of people will be expecting another all-English affair at the Olympic Stadium.
If you take Mark’s dad as an authority, and I’m sure he knows as much as anyone, serie A sides are unlikely still to be challenging but is there anyone else capable of preventing another Premier League tour match?