Rather be Red

Liverpool gave a whipping to PSV Eindhoven by the tune of 3-0 last night (TTL predicted LP to win 1-0 in a boring match WRONG).  Next week’s return match at Anfield looks to be a stroll in the park as PSV manager Ronald Koeman declared “you’d have to be from another planet” to think PSV can win the tie.  The only bad news on the night for LP was Fabio Aurelio’s achilles injury which looks to be quite serious.  Nice 2 minute recap of the game below. 

AC Milan and Bayern Munich played to a 2-2 draw in an uneven but exciting match (TTL predicted an entertaining 2-2 game KUDOS).  Belgium international defender Daniel Van Buyten scored 2 poaching goals for Bayern with his 2nd goal coming on the last kick of the match in the 93th minute.  Always play to the whistle Milan. 

Milan were the better side throughout and only some great saves by the Bayern’s reserve keeper Michael Rensing kept the German side in the match.  Milan were also awarded a dubious penalty kick by the Russian referee whose appointment was widely criticized before the match by Bayern team officials.  Italian conspiracy alert!  Anyway, this tie is delicately poised with Bayern being the slight favorite to advance due to the away goals rule and since Milan will be without the service of their suspended striker Gilardino in the return leg next Wednesday.  

Now let’s breakdown tonight’s other quarterfinal games. 

Chelsea v Valencia(20:45 CET and 2:45 EDT) 

This shapes up to be the best match-up of the quarterfinals.  While Chelsea is the oddsmaker’s favorite to win the CL, Valencia is the team no one wants to face.  They defend very well, have a huge homefield advantage in the return leg at the deafening Mestalla stadium and score goals thanks in large part to striker David Villa whom Chelsea have been rumoured to buy.   As always at this late stage in the year, injuries will play a huge part as Chelsea are without winger Arjen Robben and all everything Michael Essien.   Valencia are missing winger Edu, the suspended pair of Navaro and Marcheno, and their leading scorer Fernando Morientes. 

Both teams play a similar counterattacking style, preferring to catch teams out of position on the break.  The onus is on Chelsea to try and score at home, but TTL thinks both teams will play carefully setting up a very tense clash next Tuesday in Valencia.  Chelsea to win 1-0 tonight in a game devoid of many goal scoring opportunities. 

Manchester United v AS Roma  (20:45 CET and 2:30 EDT on ESPN )

Will Ronaldo and Rooney finally score some vital goals in the CL for United?  Can Roma’s thumb-sucking Totti, who many Italians consider their nation’s finest player, deliver in his first CL quarterfinal?  How many yellow cards will be given out for players taking dives?  And is Roma the team that will stop United’s drive towards winning the Treble (Premiership, FA Cup and CL championships)?  The answers are after the clip. 

Playboy Ronaldo and shrek will play well, but think the old guard in Scholes and Giggs will shine in Rome tonight.  Totti presents some danger on set pieces but Man U’s midfield keeps him under control in open play.  Two yellow card will be given for faking dives.   In the end, Roma is not the team to derail United’s Treble dream as Roma cannot get in done in the return leg at Old Trafford.  But tonight Roma will give Man United some trouble in a passionate 1-1 draw.  Back tomorrow with a recap and some other tidbits. 

Enjoy the games. 

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