Wednesday, May 4, 2011

2009 all over again

So this happened...


And then this happened...


And now this is happening...


I'll leave the parity discussions for another day.

So what do we all think? Is there anyone playing better than Barca right now? 2-0 away to Real Madrid is a pretty sexy scoreline, and coming up trumps across two legs against Mourinho's group gets some deserved props. I'm less impressed by United's immediate path, since Schalke played fairly horrible at home and all but rolled over and played dead on Wednesday, Farfan's goal notwithstanding. I'm not sure what to think about the Red Devils, especially since they played a B side in the second leg and still steamrolled.

What peaked my interest were Cristiano Ronaldo's lovely comments regarding what he views as Barca-friendly refs. What's funny is this bit, where he chides someone else for diving. Perfect.
"Barcelona is very well protected - we knew something would happen,'' Ronaldo said. ''(Higuain's) goal was legal. Pique pushed me and I fell on top of Mascherano, who never went to the ground in England, but here he's learned that trade like the rest of them.''

Oh the irony... so thick you can drizzle it over pancakes... or crepes, or whatever gold-leafed concoction he has his chefs make him for breakfast. I'm not saying there's a pro-Barcelona faction out there, mischievously wringing their hands at the Earth's core amid walls of TV screens constantly feeding them into microchips implanted in refs' ears. But...

- Norwegian Tom Henning Ovrebo puts in a pitiful 90 minutes of refereeing against Chelsea in 2009, which may or may not have cost the Blues the game. Won't say one way or another, but it was not Ovrebo's night (Drogba still mutters "Disgrace" to fictional cameras in his sleep, I've heard).

- Thiago Motta makes a silly decision to put his hand up in the semis last year. Busquets goes down like a shot, and... red card? Wha? Really? Who gets those calls, in a CL semi no less?

- Then of course there was Robin van Persie, who must have plugged his ears just as 95,000 at Camp Nou orchestrated one loud "Miss it" at once. Because otherwise he would have heard the whistle perfectly. Right? No other explanation.

- This year you've got the Pepe red card and Higuain's goal, both of which deserve some level of scrutiny from the discerning mind, I guess. And for as much as Dani Alves screamed bloody murder on that challenge, which was high and rash but nowhere near the bedeviling encounter he made it look, he bounded up as soon as the ref turned his back and was immediately back on the counter. You know, for whatever that's worth.

So Cristiano Ronaldo is warning you, Manchester Uni... oh, they've been here before you say? Well then. The game should be fun.

1 comment:

DM said...

Sexy nothing. The scorelines don't tell the whole story. Barcelona disgraced themselves in the semis this year. I've always known they had style--I just wish they had a bit more class.