Thursday, April 28, 2011

Champions League Semis: Real Madrid vs Barcelona Recap (1st Leg)

0 – 2
Real Madrid vs Barcelona

Barcelona was back with a vengeance scoring two away goals in the 1st leg of the Champions League Semifinals.  So here’s the update on the el clasico series (click here for recap, stats, etc on the 1st two el clasico matches):

el clasico I – La Liga (Apr 16): Barcelona 1-1 Real Madrid
el clasico II – Copa del Rey (Apr 20): Barcelona 0-1 Real Madrid
el clasico III – Champions League Semis leg 1 (Apr 27): Real Madrid 0-2 Barcelona

All the CRonaldo vs Messi debates? Well, Messi shows them who’s boss as he scores the two goals of the match (scoring 11 goals in 11 Champions League matches and scoring on each of his last four visits to the Bernabeu).   “Another Messi master class,” according to the commentator.  His 1st goal breaks the 67 minutes of deadlock when he converted a brilliant cross from Ibrahim Afellay.  His 2nd goal was from a 20-30(?)-yard run, eluding four Real Madrid players then beating Iker Casillas with a right-footed shot to score.  As the commentator said, it was “Delightful!”  Can I just say that Messi is well marked man?  Whenever he has the ball 2-4 Real Madrid players flock to him. 

cute cartoon showing who won the Messi-CRonaldo debate in this match
Messi master class
photo from
It was another enjoyable tiki-taka football from Barca with them ending the match with a 72% ball possession and 482 passes completed while Real Madrid only had 127.   All the passing frustrated CRonaldo during the 1st half, as he ran around in a circle trying to dispossess the ball from Barca, eventually throwing his hands up in defeat.

tempers flare in this very intense match
photo courtesy of
The game was full of the tension and you can feel the pressure as tempers flared causing the game to stall twice in the 1st half as a brawl was about to erupt between the two teams on the field.  Then during half-time, both teams went at it again as they made their way to their locker rooms.  I couldn’t tell how it started as the camera only started to capture it when there was already a lot of pushing and shoving but apparently it started from a confrontation between Seydou Keita and Alvaro Arbeloa they left the field, Barca's substitute keeper Jose Pinto ended up with red card from the scuffle.  During the 2nd half, things started to get ugly again when Pepe got sent off from challenging Dani Alves.  This makes it the 4th consecutive time a Real player gets a red card in a game against Barca, I guess Real kept their “practice” of ending a match with 10 men.  Jose Mourinho got so heated up about this and Carles Puyol was seen trying to calm him down.  But Mourinho ultimately sent off to the stands after he sarcastically clapped and showed a thumbs up to the fourth official.  The look on his face when he was made to sit on the stands… priceless! Btw, they that challenge on Dani Alves looked like it hurt like hell, he was stretcher off the field.  I hope he doesn’t end up with an injury from this match, he got battered in this game, taking a lot of knocks.

the look on Mourinho face
photo courtesy of Getty Images

Mourinho sent off to the stands
photo courtesy of
Real Madrid played a very aggressive game (in the physical sense), there was Marcelo stepping (or was it more of a stomp?) on the leg of Pedro, Adebayor hitting Busquets on the face, hard tackles and challenges, etc.

Pepe sent off
Trivia: Pep Guardiola never lost a match at the Santiago Bernabeu, amazing right?

Jersey Watch: nobody asked for Messi’s jersey after the game.  I’d ask for it if I was there :P

After the match: sighting, Puyol walking around with a ball on his belly, inside his jersey.  He had an outstanding performance in this match. He seemed to be playing across the whole defence, helping out whenever his colleagues at the back made a mess of things.  I’m glad he was fit enough to play, Barca really needed his presence in this game.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Champions League Semis: Schalke vs Manchester United Recap (1st Leg)

0 – 2
Schalke vs Manchester United

I guess I could be right when I said that Manuel Neuer could be the next Van der Sar (also, I didn’t realize he was the captain).  He made a lot of awesome saves, denying Man U’s dangerous scoring attempts from Rooney, Giggs, etal.  He’s probably the main reason the score was still 0-0 by half-time.

for me, Manuel Neuer was the man of the match
photo courtesy of

But after 67 minutes of deadlock, Man U finally beat Neuer when Ryan Giggs found the back of the net from a set up by Wayne Rooney.  And two minutes later, Rooney scored another one, this time from a set up from Javier Hernandez.  Well, Neuer held it off for as long as he could.  Schalke’s defense just exposed their keeper one too many times in this match.  I’m surprised that Man U didn’t score more than two.

I was hoping for Schalke to pull off another 5-2 kind of win against the Red Devils.  But Man U’s defense was just pretty solid, neutralizing any attempts from Schalke. 

Jersey swap watch: Saw Raul swap jerseys with Giggs after the match.  Raul had hoped to swap jerseys with Giggs and actually said so prior to the match.  Neuer approached Giggs afterwards, I think he may have asked for a jersey too, but I’m only just guessing, hehe.  This is one of my favourite parts of the game, the minutes after the final whistle blows when players take off their shirts, swap jerseys… I wish the camera/coverage would be a bit longer during this part.

Christoph Metzelder wearing a face mask

On an unrelated note… I’ve been wondering why Christoph Metzelder was wearing a mask when I saw their previous games.   Apparently he broke his nose… for the 4th time.  Too bad, though, coz without the mask, he’s kinda hot J

Metzelder without the mask.  Isn't he a cutie?

Champions League Semis: Schalke vs Manchester United (1st Leg)

Schalke vs Manchester United (1st Leg)
April 27 @ 2:30AM 

Champions League Semifinals Match Schedule

Semifinals kicks off in a few hours.  Here’s the sked of Balls Channel’s live telecast of the games.  I’ll try to see if I can get the replay sked.

 Real Madrid vs Barcelona
1st Leg: April 28 @ 2:30AM
2nd Leg: May 4 @ 2:30AM

Schalke 04 vs Manchester United
1st Leg: April 27 @ 2:30AM
2nd Leg: May 5 @ 2:30AM

Monday, April 25, 2011

El Clasico

I’m back.  After posting at least one entry per day for two months, I took a little bit of break from blogging.  This entry was supposed to come out last April 15 but I got too busy preparing for my Holy Week vacation and by Holy Week, I got too lazy.

sorry, but this post is 10 days late...  Will just update it a bit.  So here goes…

In football, I’ve heard of the term derby, where in the domestic leagues there are two teams that have a strong rivalry with each other (I guess in local school sports, it’s like an Ateneo vs La Salle game).  Being not that interested in domestic leagues, the only teams I knew who had this was AC Milan and Inter Milan.  So I only recently found out that in Spain, they have what they call the el clasico.  The el clasico is any match between Real Madrid and Barcelona.  It’s apparently one of the world's great sporting rivalries.  The last el clasico was last November 2010 where Barca slaughtered Real Madrid with the final score of 5-0 (I wish I saw this match, click here and here for the match recap). 

So to the madridistas who want to see the Los Blancos avenge their 5-0 defeat from Barca, they have four opportunities to do so within 18 days. These are:

April 16: La Liga
April 20: Copa Del Rey Final
April 27: Champions League Semifinals 1st Leg
May 3: Champions League Semifinals 2nd Leg

If you were like me who hoped to see the two Spanish giants face off in the Champions League, now you have an overdose of Barca vs Real Madrid matches.

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I have been worried for Barca in the upcoming matches against Real Madrid.  Being strong offensively may be enough against some teams but facing a strong opponent like Real Madrid, they need to fix their defense.  With the absence of Carles Puyol’s solid presence at the back and Eric Abidal still recovering from his surgery, Pep Guardiola has to figure out a way to make his back line impenetrable.  Gerard Pique is there but, I dunno, I feel like he sometimes gets distracted and needs Puyol at his side to keep him focused.  I hope Puyol will be fit in time for these matches, I originally thought his knee injury was a minor thing, but he’s been out for like two months already.

So here are the updates so far..

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Champions League Semi Finals Matches

 ronaldoAnd then there were four...

FC Barcelona, Manchester United, Real Madrid and Schalke 04 move on to the semifinals.

Champions League QF: Inter Milan vs Schalke Recap (2nd Leg)

1 – 2
Inter Milan vs Schalke

Raul scores the 1st goal
photo from
Raul proves that he still got it, scoring the 1st goal of the match.  With brilliant ball control, he beat the goalkeeper and netted in his 71st Champions League goal.  Throughout the match, he posed quite a threat to Inter’s defense and goalie.  He was either making shots or setting them up. 
Inter equalized with a goal from Thiago Motta
photo from
Inter's Lucio tried to convert with a header the corner kick from Sneijder.  But the ball deflected onto a Schalke player (sorry, couldn't tell who it was) and Thiago Motta was just in the right place to give the ball a tap to score the equalizer.

Raul sets up Schalke's 2nd goal.  He definitely is still an attacking force to reckon with.
photo from
But then Schalke ended any of Inter’s hope of even just trying to salvage some pride from a 5-2 defeat in the 1st leg when Raul, executed a clever move of chipping the ball forward, giving  Howedes the chance to break away and score their 2nd goal.

Schalke moves to next round and faces Manchester United.  Speaking of Man U, Sir Alex Ferguson was seen watching the Inter Milan-Schalke game at the stands.  I guess he we sizing up his next opponent.

Champions League QF: Real Madrid vs Tottenham Recap (2nd Leg)

1 – 0
Real Madrid vs Tottenham

It was very fast-paced match with both teams making quick counter attacks.  Tottenham actually had a lot of pretty close chances, giving Casillas quite a work out.  They even actually looked like the stronger team.  But in the end, what counts is not the “almost-made-it” shots or being the stronger team, what counts is who scored the most goals.

CRonaldo scoring the only goal of the match
photo from
The only goal in the match was from CRonaldo’s longe range shot which goalie Heurelho Gomes blocked but couldn’t hold on to the ball.  Real now advances to the semis with final aggregate score of 6-0.  And yes, CRonaldo’s teammates do celebrate with him after all.  Good to know.

is he trying to start a fad of the Jose Rizal hair?
photo from
On an unrelated note… What was up with CRonaldo’s hair??

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Champions League QF: Inter Milan vs Schalke Preview (2nd Leg)

Inter Milan vs Schalke (2nd Leg)
April 14 @

Inter Milan, will have to work really hard to overturn a 3-point deficit.  With Schalke coming in with 5 away goals from a stunning 1st Leg win, Inter would really need to score a lot of goals.  But I think It think, other than scoring goals, they should also have to fix their defense problems which was the cause of them conceding 5 goals to Schalke in the last match.  Aren’t Italians known for their very organized defense?  Or was it Germany?

Initially, I was rooting for Inter on this side of the table, but somehow the defending champions, doesn’t seem to be the strong team they were last season.  Now I’m rooting for Schalke, with Raul leading the way to defeat Man U.  And hopefully, face off with Barca in the finals J

Aggregate Score:

Champions League QF: Real Madrid vs Tottenham Preview (2nd Leg)

Real Madrid vs Tottenham (2nd Leg)
April 14 @

With a 4-point goal advanatge, it would seem that Real Madrid will most likely be advancing to the semi-finals, a first in eight years. 

There’s isn’t much to say about this match, as like the Barca vs Tottenham game, this also seems like a formality, unless of course Tottenham pulls off a miracle.  Real must be very comfortable with their lead that coach Jose Mourinho can afford to have two of his key players Sergio Ramos and Angel Di Maria miss the match to avoid picking up a 2nd yellow card (and subsequently miss the next match).

They are seriously on the path of trying to reclaim the Champions League title they have won 9 times.  But they will have to go thru Barca first.

Aggregate Score:

Champions League QF: Barcelona vs Shakhtar Recap (1st Leg)

1 – 0
Barcelona vs Shakhtar

Barca seemed to have a bit of a slow start, finding their footing around 15 minutes into the game.  It was during this time that Shakhtar really pushed their offense and made a lot of attempts.  You can see the holes in Barca defense which Shakhtar tried to exploit.  With the absence of Carles Puyol and Abidal, Barca really needs to step up their defense as it seems like they will be facing Real Madrid in the semis (and in the domestic matches).  A team like Real will really capitalize on their weak defense.

Leo Messi scored the only goal of the match during the later part of the 1st half.  It was an amazing show of ball control and dribbling skills.  The commentator said of the goal, “The little man re-writes the record books, yet again.”  Can you believe he’s only 23?!

no, this isn't the "jersey-grabbing" shot.. can't find it yet, well see if I can get the vid
photo from Getty Image

I guess Shakhtar must have felt that Messi was just too dangerous that they had to literally hold onto him to slow him down.  Ischencko, was seen clearly grabbing Messi’s jersey during the 2nd half.  And a couple of minutes later, another Shakhtar defender (wasn’t able to clearly see who), grabbed on to Messi’s jersey when he dispossessed the ball from goalie, Andrey Pyativ.  I know this is normal in football but it the grabbing was caught clearly on camera.  Ischencko held on so tight, Messi couldn't run forward anymore.  I'll try to find a vid of it if I can.

On an unrelated note, this guy’s  kinda cute, hihi J  He has that Elijah Wood-look going on.

Yaroslav Rakitskiy
Another unrelated note, Swapping Jersey Watch: saw Messi holding Willian’s jersey after the match.  Messi must, like, swap jerseys every game.  Lucky Willan, got the "record-breaking" Messi jersey.

Final Aggregate Score:
Barcelona: 6
Shakhtar: 1

Here are numbers:

Champions League QF: Chelsea vs Manchester United Recap (1st Leg)

1 – 2
Chelsea vs Manchester United

Javier Fernandez scores Man U’s 1st goal during the 1st half.   Didier Drogba equalizes in the 2nd  half but just seconds after, Man U strikes back with Park Ji Sung scoring the 2nd goal.

I never really paid much attention to the English teams.  I had this unfounded perception that Chelsea is one of the weaker teams (as they just seem to coast thru Round of 16 ).  But now, looking at their squad, they actually have a lot of strong attacking players.  You have Fernando Torres, Didier Drogba, Nikolas Anelka, Frank Lampard, etc.  How come they don’t score a lot of goals?  I know I didn’t watch their games, especially in the group stage, but didn’t they have draws or 1-0 wins?

According to the commentator, Carlo Ancelloti seems “to be struggling to find the right combination of strikers, ever since Torres came in as it changed the whole team dynamics.”  Is he like the “Beckham” of Real Madrid? (Remember the club’s Galacticos era where they put in too much money on the offense with Figo, Ronaldo, Zidane, Raul, etc. and not much on defense.  And after signing Beckham they haven’t won the Champions League ever since). 

I also wondered what the logic behind substituting Torres just before the 1st half ended was?  It’s kinda early to make substitutions unless it’s because of an injury.  If it wasn’t, then that must really affect Torres’ confidence level with his “goal-drought” problem.  Won’t things like not being one of starting players and being substituted too soon makes you think the coach doesn’t have confidence in you?  But then again, he is a professional player, so I guess, that comes with the territory.  I feel bad for him, all this pressure.  He really needs to work with the team.

Chelsea seems to be under-playing their potential.  Is it because there is no team fluidity? (for me, it doesn’t really mean much if you have all the best players in the world but if they don’t know how to play together, you won’t the best team). 

So we say good bye to Chelsea as Man U moves on to the semi-finals.

Final Aggregate Score:
Chelsea:  1
Manchester United: 3

Here are numbers:

My 100th post and my favorite #10 players

This is my 100th post!!! J 


When I started this blog, this was really just my outlet for all my football “obsession” because I don’t really have anyone to talk to about football in where I am based now.  Before, I had a  couple of football-mad friends who, like me, would also stay up all night just to watch live games and the next day we’d talk about anything and everything about the match like analyzing the strategies, reliving the highlights and just sharing the love of the game.

Sadly, Philippines is not (yet) a football-loving country, there are very few people who have a passion for this sport.  So with no one to share my brimming excitement for football and the matches I watched or planned to watch, I decided to start this blog to write things I would have discussed with my football friends.

But I never really thought I’d reach 100 posts or even to be still be blogging up to now.  As with my previous attempts to blog, I thought I wouldn’t be able to sustain this beyond two weeks.  I guess, timing was a major factor as to why I lasted this long. When I started this blog, it was during the end part of the football season where the Champions League is already in the Round of 16, making it very exciting to watch the matches.  It also coincided with the rise (and I do hope it continues) of football and the Azkals in the Philippines.

In honor of my 100th post, here are my favorite number players who donned the number 10 jersey (because there is no number 100 jersey in football J)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Champions League QF: Barcelona vs Shakhtar (2nd Leg)

Barcelona vs Shakhtar
April 13 @ (Balls Channel)

According to the commentator during their 1st leg match, this game “looks like a formality”.  Even if Shakhtar wins, they need to score lots and lots of goals to overcone Barca’s solid 4-point advantage over them to advance to the next round.  Shakhtar captain Darijo Srna, defender Dmytro Chygrynskiy and Coach Mircea Lucescu are already saying that Barca will be advancing to the semis and even winning the finals.  Seems like they will just try to salvage what they can from the previous 5-1 defeat.

"We play for the honour of our club, the city and the fans." – Darijo Srna, demanding Shakhtar playesr a show of character on the 2nd leg match.

I will still be crossing my fingers coz in football, you’ll never know.

Here’s what the very modest Pep Guardiola has to say:

“A serious test awaits us. We should complete our task in the Champions League before preparing for the Santiago Bernabeu. I want to repeat, again, that the tie is not already won. Anything is possible in football, but we will work hard to prevent Shakhtar pulling off a miracle.”

Maybe Shakhtar can to exploit Barca’s shakey defense (they will still be without Puyol and Abidal).  Guardiola has been saying not to underestimate this offense-minded team.  But even if Shakhtar wins this match, it will tougher for them to win in the final aggregate score though.  They also need to prevent Barca from scoring away goals (good luck with that).

I am looking forward to watching the “best team in the world” play again, it’s very entertaining to watch their tiki-taka football J

Champions League QF: Chelsea vs Manchester United (2nd Leg)

Chelsea vs Manchester United – 2nd Leg
April 13 @ (Balls Channel)

The only match during the 1st Leg that ended with a low goal difference, this gives Chelsea a chance to turn this around.  Man U might be coming in with an away goal but compared to Shakhtar, Schalke and Tottenham, Chelsea’s chances are better.

But it won’t be that easy for Chelsea as Man U is hard to beat in their home turf.  Will this be the time for Fernando Torres to find his form and break his goal drought to score goals that will bring Chelsea to the next round?  Or will it be Didier Drogba scoring the goals?  But Chelsea will also have to look out for Wayne Rooney.

Chelsea: 0
Manchester United: 1

For the win:

Friday, April 8, 2011

Off The Pitch: Pepsi Commercials

My Off the Pitch series takes a look at what football players do, well.. when they're off the pitch...  :) It's anything that's noteworthy like endorsing products, being in magazine covers and.. oh I don't know, maybe being in a band?  (we'll just see on what I can dig up :))

This post features Ricardo Kaka, Lionel Messi, Didier Drogba, Thierry Henry, Frank Lampard and Andrei Ashravin in the funny Pepsi commercials which, I think, came out last year in time for the World Cup. 

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Champions League QF: Barcelona vs Shakhtar Recap (1st Leg)

5 – 1
Barcelona vs Shakhtar

Again, another amazing attacking football from Barca.  It was an example of Barca’s tiki-taka style of play that is just entertaining to watch.  Imagine, Barca had 671 passes completed compared to Shakhtar’s 286.  I love their quick one-two passes, building up the play, the ball zigzagging within Messi, David Villa, Iniesta and Alves, and out of nowhere a shot (mostly) on target surprising Shakhtar’s goalie and defence. 

The first goal was a pass from Messi to David Villa where there was some sort of deflection and Iniesta was just in the right spot to beat the goalkeeper.  Second goal was a long pass from Iniesta and Alves, out of nowhere, slotted the ball in.  I think Shakhtar’s defense was caught flat footed.  I mean, who was marking Alves?  Third goal was from set play corner.  Alves providing the cross and the player marking Pique didn’t notice him slip away and make the shot.  Fourth goal was right after Shakhtar scored their only goal (from a free kick) where Barca countered right away (probably within a minute after). It was Keita scoring from “a beautiful pass” (according to the commentator) from Messi.  And just when you thought Barca was finished with their attack, an unmarked Xavi converted the excellent cross from Alves to score the last goal of the match.

Shakhtar had some quick-counter attack moves, where Barca’s defense was caught off guard a couple of times.  They infiltrated the holes of Barca defense, capitalizing on the defensive mistakes of Barca.  Good thing they had some “awful finishing” (according tot the commentator) sometimes firing the shots too wide or hitting the post.  There were also great saves by Valdez.  In those instances, you would really feel the absence of Puyol and Abidal at the back.

Messi might not have scored in this match but he did make his presence felt.  He had some pretty close chances with his shots.  But more than anything, he has set up some of Barca’s goals and attempts, so his attacking creativity is not just for finding the back of the net but for creating chances for the team as well.  Can I say he can be a good playmaker as well?  Football experts out there, please enlighten me J

On a different note, Srna (I think) asked for Messi’s jersey during end of the 1st half.  I could just imagine that there are probably many players who ask for his jersey during games.  Messi must, like, stock lots of jerseys in their dressing room.  Does it happen where he’d run out of jerseys to give?  Is there, like, a record for the most jerseys requested from a player?  What does Messi do with all the jerseys he received?  What do other players do with the jerseys they swapped from other teams?   Do they hang it somewhere?  Frame it? 

*sigh* If I only lived in Europe, I’d be stalking my favourite players, and ask for autographed jerseys from them J

Aggregate Score:
Barcelona: 5
Shakhtar: 1

Here are numbers:

Champions League QF: Chelsea vs Manchester United Recap (1st Leg)

0 – 1
Chelsea vs Manchester United

Must be frustrating for Chelsea because they had a lot of attempts, most of it on target, but they just could not covert them into goals.  Man U’s organized defense and Van der Sar made sure of that.  He had some pretty incredible saves. 

The frustration must probably be more so for Fernando Torres who is still having a goal-drought since his signing to Chelsea.  He could just not hit the back of the net.

Interesting to note, this is the only game in the 1st leg that ended in low goal difference.  Real Madrid has a 4 point advantage over Tottenham, Schalke has 3 over Inter and Barca has a cushy 4 point advantage over Shakhtar.  So even if Manchester goes into the second leg with an away goal, Chelsea still has a big chance to turn things around and advance to the semis.  

Aggregate Score:
Chelsea:  0
Manchester United: 1

Here are stats/numbers:

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Champions League QF: Barcelona vs Shakhtar (1st Leg)

Barcelona vs Shakhtar – 1st Leg
April 7 @ 4:30AM

Shakhtar, first-timers in the quarterfinals stage, will be facing Barca which people are saying is the “best team in the world right now” and that they are a shoo in to reach the semis and maybe even the finals.  I love what Shakhtar Donetsk general manager, Serhy Palkin, said.  He said team will show up and he urged them not to stay locked inside the dressing room with fear.  Furthermore:

"If we can't beat them then who can? The Catalans have more chances of winning the tournament compared to other teams, fortune has smiled on us.  But, anything can happen, and so we cannot abandon the pitch without even playing them first. We have to look at the two games with optimism."  – Sherhy Palkin

He is right, though.  As much as I love, love, love Barca and their chances in advancing to the semis are high, I will still be crossing my fingers because as I’ve said before, with football, anything can happen.  Especially with a team like Shakhtar who are also known for their attacking style of football.  Barca really needs to make sure their defense is tight and organized.  They will be missing skipper, Puyol, who is still out on injury (and of course Abidal is still recovering from his surgery) but at least Pique is coming back from suspension.

I hope to get to see another match like their 2nd leg game against Arsenal.  That was some amazing football!

Click here to check out how Shakhtar’s main defense players reacted to the news that they were facing Barca in the quarterfinals.  If Shakhtar is intimidated by Barca, I wonder if Barca feels pressured with what people are saying about them.  I mean, do they feel pressured to live up to all these expectations of being called the best team in the world?

Because I’m such a Messi fan, here’s a random trivia which really has nothing to do in this post that I just want to share: Barcelona forward Lionel Messi has scored 25 goals in his last 30 matches in the Champions League and 14 in his last 11 starts. The Argentine also has taken 20 shots on target, more than any player in the competition this campaign (source:

Stadium: Camp Nou (Barca’s Home Turf)

More here:

Champions League QF: Chelsea vs Manchester United (1st Leg)

Chelsea vs Manchester United
April 7 @ 2:30AM

As I’ve said before, I’m not really a fan of the Premier League.  So with the EPL teams in this match, I don’t really care who wins either way.

But too bad though that they drew each other for the quarterfinals… I mean, they get to meet each other in the EPL anyway.  Would have been nice if they’d played against a non-English team…

Stadium: Stamford Bridge (Chelsea‘s home turf)

More here:

Champions League Qarterfinals Replay Sked (April 6 matches)

Here's Balls Channel's replay skeds of the April 6 matches:

Real Madrid vs Tottenham
April 6 @
April 9 @
Inter Milan vs Schalke
April 6 @
April 9 @

Champions League QF: Inter Milan vs Schalke (1st Leg)

2 – 5
Inter Milan vs Schalke

Quite a stunning defeat of the defending champions!  I am so bummed I overslept and missed this game L 

Looking at the numbers, I think this was a very quick-paced game.  Because I overslept and missed the match, I’m imagining that it was like the Bayern Munich vs Inter Milan game in the Round of 16.  German-style football vs Italian style football, with the Germans winning this time.

Talk about fast-paced, Inter scored the 1st goal just 1 minute into the game.  How did that happen?  Was Schalke caught off guard?  But good thing they were able to equalize 16 minutes later.

With an “own goal” and a 2nd-yellow-card-send-off in the second half, was this desperation on Inter’s part?  It seems like they just caved in to the pressure.  And even if Inter were down to 10 men I don’t think this was a factor as it happened at the 62nd minute where all the goals were already scored.  More than anything, it would seem that out of desperation, they made more and more mistakes (which maybe Schalke capitalized on).

I am definitely watching the replay of this game.

Aggregate Score:
Inter Milan: 2
Schalke: 5

Here are the numbers: