Well Chelsea played it exactly as they should have and they should have won this game 2-0. But, that’s what happens when you don’t score the second goal and have to worry about the away goal. It happened to Man U against Porto to launch Mourinho’s career and it happened again today.
Messi and company were choked just as I said they would be. One real shot on goal and they scored in injury time. Doesn’t get closer than that. Chelsea deserved this win. They should have had two penalties. But it was a questionable red card for Abidal. What’s with these referees? They don’t seem to talk things over with their linesmen for very long before handing out red cards. It’s ridiculous.
Anyway, now it’s Man U vs Barca in the final. Messi and Henry. Rooney and Ronaldo. Barca without both wing backs and Marquez, but with Henry probably back. Man U without Fletcher. Should be awesome. More awesome – I will be at the final!
This could be the second most exciting tie of the day. Atletico will have to go for it as Porto has two away goals. However, they don’t have to go for it till the second half. Try telling that to such an attacking squad. I love Aguero, Forlan, Simao and Maxi as a quad going forward. They are as good as any of the top attacking foursomes in the world. That said, Porto is tough and, in Lisandro and Lucho, have the ability to score with anyone. The Dragao is a tough stadium to play in.
Keys: If Aguero and Forlan play like they did against Real Madrid, they will get goals. It’s all about the keeper – if Leo is on, they have a good chance of going through.
Surprise match winner: Maxi.
Prediction: Atletico 2 Porto 1. Atletico in an upset.
I was wrong on the Inter game, but the qualifier was that United wouldn’t have Evans or O’Shea. That said, here is a quick note with my predictions:
1. Liverpool eliminates Real in the second leg with a goalless or 1-1 draw.
2. Chelsea will squeak through against Juve on away goals as I believe they will lose 2-1 in the return leg.
3. Porto through over Atletico (after games with Barca and Real Madrid they are going to be spent), Bayern over Sporting (way out on a limb on that one!), Villareal over Pana (toughest one to pick but I just think Villareal will be better on the road in this one as they will be more solid at the back).
4. Arsenal is going to beat Roma in the second leg at the Olympic stadium. They are about to score a hatful of goals and I think some of it is going to happen in this match. At worst, they tie and go through.
5. While everyone thinks it will be Barca through to the next round, I feel like Lyon can cause an upset. If Barca’s lead is down to three or less in Liga by next weekend, I predict Lyon upsets Barca. If not, Barca wins through comfortably.
6. Finally United v Inter. This tie should have been over. I am shocked at how pedestrian Inter were at home. And I can’t believe Ronaldo didn’t score at least one of the six chances he had, not to mention Giggs’ one on goalie. That Cesar is awesome. However, United has to be worried about the away goal at OT. I still think United wins, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s 2-0 United before Inter pulls one back and United has to sweat it out. I just don’t think Inter can keep United from scoring at home, so it’s only a question of whether Inter can score themselves. More importantly, it’s going to be based on who plays for United in the game and what the squad’s state is – go to my next thoughts before coming back to this.
7. If United beats Newcastle tomorrow, United will win the Premier League, no question. If United beats Fulham in the FA Cup on the weekend and if they don’t have to play one of the top 4 in the semis, then United will win the FA Cup. I personally think they will lose to Fulham or in the next round. More on that in a second. And if they beat Inter AND Newcastle and get knocked out before the finals of the FA Cup, they will win the Champions League. I think the Carling Cup OT is going to be a serious problem for United. It means Ronaldo and Scholes have to sit out the Newcastle game which begs the question of who starts at Fulham as the Inter game is coming up the following Wednesday. Also, with the disarray at right back, who is going to play Ibra when he floats to the left wing – O’Shea or Evans? I think SAF has to play Tevez with Welbeck at Fulham for the FA Cup along with the kids. Rest Giggs, Scholes, Carrick and Park. Play Fletch, Gibson, Tosic and Nani in midfield and Fabio, Evans, Vidic and Eckersley at the back. Forget the FA Cup if you want to progress in the Champions League.