CL Week Cont’d

Got to see all 4 games (albeit at the same time) and while stole some glances at the other games, TTL  spent much of the night sweating bullets as LP pulled out a glorious 1-0 loss to Barca to advance.  You’ll never walk alone indeed. 

Roma waltzed into Lyon and won rather easily 2-0.  TTL wrongly predicted a Lyon win.  Let’s hope Lyon’s poor display ends talk of Lyon’s manager Gerard Houllier taking over the US National Team.  Houllier is a decent manager with an impressive resume (Liverpool, French National Team) but he is far from the dynamic international presence the US wants.  It’d be like replacing Bruce Arena with a French version of Bruce Arena.  TTL likes the Bob Bradley interim hire and thinks Bradley should be given time to prove himself.  Enough digression as at least Roma’s Mancini provided the goal of the night.

Chelsea defeated Porto 2-1 overcoming a 1-0 deficit.  TTL predicted a Chelsea romp and it was far from that.  Chelsea won it on a solid goal with fine passing and a clinical finish by Ballack.  Porto’s goalie committed a colossal blunder in gifting Chelsea their first goal.  Without that gaffe this game would have been super tense as Porto really got stuck in and played well at Chelsea. 

Valencia drew 0-0 with Inter Milan allowing Valencia to advance due to away goals.  TTL foresaw Inter winning on penalties.  Each team had their chances and it was a rather entertaining game, especially the end.  Fortunately, there were plenty of stretchers around to carry all the players off the field. 

As for tonight’s action let’s do 2 sentence previews.  Home team is listed 1st along with goals from the 1st leg. 

Manchester United (1)-Lille (0).

This is the year of Man U as they are riding some outstanding play (particularly Ronaldo) and some glorious luck to the Premiership Title.  Lille will put up a fight but Man U’s offensive firepower along with Gigg’s disputed 1st leg goal are too much for Lille to overcome. 

Arsenal (0)-PSV Eindhoven (1)

Doubt this will be one for the purists as expect the Dutch squad to put all 11 men behind the ball and defend at all costs.  Arsenal’s magical Henry will start and Arsenal should nip PSV in a very tense affair. 

AC Milan (0)-Celtic (0)

Celtic will come to pick a fight but don’t have the talent to match-up with Milan all over the pitch.  Milan’s midfield anchored by Pirlo and the little strongman Gattuso will control the play as Milan cruise to an easy win. 

Bayern Munich(2)-Real Madrid(3)

Everyone is picking Bayern to win this game due to their good form and Madrid’s poor play coupled with Beckham being injured.  TTL  is jumping on the beerwagon and picking Munich to win. 

If Man U and Arsenal win tonight that means 4 English clubs will be in the quarterfinals.  Possibly a fifth British team as well if Celtic manages a win.   The Premiership is the best domestic league this year and are proving it in the CL.  Enjoy the games.   

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