Reuters Soccer Blog
World Soccer views and news
Bayern Munich take on Olympique Lyon in the first leg of the second Champions League semi-final and we’ll be following the match between these two stylish teams live from 1845 GMT, 2045 in central Europe.
Will the game be able to match Inter Milan’s crackling 3-1 victory over Barcelona? We’ll be here from around an hour before kick-off with on-the-spot detail from our reporter in the stadium, Karolos Grohmann and plenty of other contributors. Please join us for the fun.
What did Manchester United’s Alex Ferguson mean when he criticised Bayern Munich players for what he said was their attempt to influence Italian referee Nicola Rizzoli after Rafael Da Silva fouled Franck Ribery?
“They all rushed towards the referee,” Ferguson told British TV, complaining about the second yellow card that got his right back sent off. “Typical Germans.”
English clubs have failed to reach the Champions League semi-finals for the first time since 2003, after Arsenal were undone by a superior Barcelona side driven by the brilliant Lionel Messi and Manchester United suffered an astonishing breakdown against Bayern Munich.
They joined Premier League leaders Chelsea on the sidelines, as well as Liverpool after their exit in the group phase. The question is whether this is a shift in the balance of power or merely a blip.
We’re following the Champions League quarter-final, second legs live this evening. Join us here for updates and on-the-spot comment from Manchester United v Bayern Munich and Bordeaux v Lyon. Can Bayern hold on to their slim lead at Old Trafford? Will Wayne Rooney be fit? Is there any way back for Bordeaux? And can anyone match the feats of Lionel Messi in Barcelona’s victory over Arsenal last night?
Waiting for the post-match news conferences after a Lionel Messi-inspired Barcelona swept into the Champions League semi-finals on Tuesday, a phone rang among the cameramen at the back of the room.
In a voice that would have carried back to his office without technological help, someone answered: “Yeah, Yeah. I’m in Barcelona covering the Arsenal versus Messi game.”
So much hype about how Theo Walcott could be the difference and help Arsenal oust Barcelona from the Champions League on Tuesday night proved a bit unfortunate, didn’t it? Walcott again produced a frustrating performance as he was outshone by the wizard that is Lionel Messi.
Let’s get one thing out of the way. Comparisons with Messi would make unfortunate reading for anyone but that doesn’t alter the fact that Walcott, for all that wonderful talent, lacked confidence and conviction when he was most needed.
We’re live blogging the night’s two Champions League quarter-final first legs, with expert commentary and analysis, including on-the-spot details from our reporters in the stadiums (or stadia, if you prefer).
Join us here from around 1645 GMT for all the build-up and action from the biggest club competition in town.
Lionel Messi’s sublime hat-trick for Barcelona against Real Zaragoza on Sunday – his second triple in consecutive La Liga matches – provided more ammunition for those who believe he is the best player in the world.
As well as putting Champions League and World Cup rivals on high alert, his latest masterclass – a nonchalant header, a mazy run reminiscent of Diego Maradona in his prime, and a sweetly struck shot – even prompted club president Joan Laporta to hail the 22-year-old Argentina forward as the best the game has ever seen.
So there’ll be one French side in the semi-finals and Inter Milan will be extremely pleased to have drawn CSKA Moscow in the quarters.
If Manchester United and Arsenal are going to meet it will be in the Champions League final in Madrid in May.