Lakenheath Old Boys

We are all former students at Lakenheath High School and other public schools in East Anglia. We were in school in the 70s and 80s and drank deeply from the well of British culture of those decades - the pints, the telly, and of course the footie!

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

So Who Else is Going to Rome...?

The second semi-final is poised on a knife's edge with Chelski bringing a hard-earned 0-0 draw from last week into Stamford Bridge tonight. Let's hope that the Asian gangsters have kept their sticky fingers off this tie and we'll see some honest football for a change.

61 Comments:

Blogger The Blue Devil said...

The teams in full are: Chelsea: Cech, Bosingwa, Cole, Alex, Terry, Essien, Ballack, Lampard, Malouda, Anelka, Drogba. Subs: Hilario, Ivanovic, Di Santo, Mikel, Kalou, Belletti, Mancienne

Barcelona: Valdes, Alves, Abidal, Pique, Toure, Busquets, Keita, Xavi, Iniesta, Eto'o, Messi. Subs: Pinto, Caceres, Gudjohnsen, Bojan, Sylvinho, Hleb, Pedro.

2:08 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

I've got a brilliant stream of Sky Sports with Martin, Andy and the rest of the gang in crisp color on LiveVSS.

2:09 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Fifteen minutes from kick-off and I'm still enjoying the excellent pre-game coverage with Jamie Redknapp, Ruud Gullit and Graeme Souness in the studio. LiveVSS has a habit of freezing up when there are too many people on it but I'm hoping that that won't be the case today.

2:28 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Teams coming out onto the pitch. It looks like a marvelous occasion at Stamford Bridge.

2:41 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Kick-off time!

2:45 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Oh, Drogba's control let him down, otherwise he was in on goal from Essien's feed.

2:47 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Am I the only one who doesn't really rate Samuel Eto'o? I just don't see the quality in him.

2:47 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Messi shows the first sign of danger trading passes with Eto'o before being knocked off the ball.

2:49 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

No Henry tonight, so it looks as if Messi is the one playing straight through the middle with Iniesta dropping out wide right.

2:49 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

GOAL! What a strike from Essien! He latched onto a ball that had bobbled out and hit a stunning volley from the edge of the D. Pick that one out!

Chelski 1-0!

2:55 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Strangely enough, that doesn't really change much here. Barca still need a goal in order to progress and one goal will do it.

2:55 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Fifteen minutes in and still advantage Chelski.

3:01 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

No possibility of extra time or penalties at this point.

3:01 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Lampard had a half chance there. Hoofed it well over.

3:02 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Danny Alves has not expanded his reputation over these two legs. His free kick there is hit tepidly wide. Roberto Carlos would be shaking his head at that one.

3:07 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Still very cagey from Barca. They know that they only need one jammy goal and they're through to Rome.

3:08 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Drogba was through there but foiled by a good stop by Valdez.

3:08 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Half way through the first half now. Malouda picks up a useful free kick on the extreme edge of the box. That will waste a few precious minutes at least.

3:09 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Oh, that was a really good shout for a penalty for Drogs but the referee was not impressed. Abidal is a very lucky boy!

3:12 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Danny Alves picks up the yellow that will exclude him from the final. Another poor night for him.

3:16 PM  
Blogger West Ham Rising said...

C'mon Barcelona!!!

Not another Manyoo v. Chelsea match please!

3:28 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

I had to pop out for a moment. The first half is almost over now. Still 1-0 Chelski.

Half time it is - Chelski will be happy.

3:33 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Hiya, WHR! I agree with you - I'd like to see a United-Barca final.

3:33 PM  
Blogger United We Stand said...

Hi, I am here just as the half time whistle went
I just looked at the goal. Not bad at all

45 minutes away from Act 2

3:35 PM  
Blogger United We Stand said...

Listen West Ham, don't worry about this game. Just concentrate on getting something from Costa on Saturday

3:36 PM  
Blogger United We Stand said...

Teams about to start the second half
As you said before, the situation hasn't changed.
Barca just need a goal

3:48 PM  
Blogger United We Stand said...

I have the TV on and Sky Sports on VSS

3:49 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Second half starting up. The studio panelists were all in agreement that Chelski deserved at least one penalty if not two.

3:49 PM  
Blogger United We Stand said...

Any cards yet?

3:49 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Hiya, Dave!

3:49 PM  
Blogger United We Stand said...

Andy Gray said that Chelski have been on the back foot most of the match

3:49 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Yes, Danny Alves is out of the Final due to a yellow in the first half.

3:49 PM  
Blogger United We Stand said...

Hi Bob

Useless free kick by Barca

3:50 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

I'd say that's true, but Barca haven't really had any chances. Cech hasn't had to earn his corn as yet.

3:50 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

This is the dangerous time. The longer it stays 1-0, the more nervy the match and Chelski's defense will get. They really should be 2-0 up.

3:51 PM  
Blogger United We Stand said...

No one from Chelski?

I know Bollocks is on a yellow

Messi done anything?

3:51 PM  
Blogger United We Stand said...

Two useless corners by Barca

3:52 PM  
Blogger United We Stand said...

I have to leave in a few minutes to see Matt's tennis match

3:53 PM  
Blogger United We Stand said...

This is what I went through in last year's semi

Drogs should have buried it!!

3:55 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Oh, how did Chelski not score there? Drogs was in one-on-one with Valdez.

3:55 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

No, Alves was the only booking. Messi's pretty much been as he was in the first leg, sporadically dangerous looking but no real threat. He's playing through the middle with the absence of TH-14 and I don't think that's his preferred role. I don't rate Eto'o at all; never have.

3:57 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Another penalty claim - another decision against Drogs. I think that was probably a good call, but I'd like to see it again.

3:59 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

No penalty, but I would have called a foul outside the box.

4:00 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Some gaps are really opening up in the Barca defense without them really pressing forward very much.

4:01 PM  
Blogger United We Stand said...

Barca don't seem to want to shoot

4:01 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Nice run by Messi and he nearly played Eto'o in there.

4:01 PM  
Blogger United We Stand said...

Unbelievably bad corner!!

4:02 PM  
Blogger United We Stand said...

I am off


I will find out who will lose in Rome when I get home!

Talk to you early Saturday for your lot

Cheerio

4:03 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Shot from Xavi knocked down by Alex. The Chelski defense has been immense over the two legs. To keep out Barca for over 100 minutes takes some doing.

4:13 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Cheerio, Dave. I'll have to leave in a few minutes too.

4:13 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Twenty minutes left to play.

4:14 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Lampard's shot was deflected but still well saved by Valdez.

4:14 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Drogba's coming off and he looks pretty arsed off about it. Not happy at all. Belletti to replace him.

4:15 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

That indicates that Hiddink is going to try to shut this one down. Risky, but he may get away with it.

4:15 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Essien slipped a lovely ball through there but Anelka had drifted offside.

4:19 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

We're into the last five minutes and Chelski still have that slim margin. Barca have to throw everything at them now.

4:31 PM  
Blogger United We Stand said...

UNBELIEVABLE!!!
I am so sorry Tony!!

4:52 PM  
Blogger United We Stand said...

Chelsea have completely lost their composure.
They almost attacked the referee.

They really could be in trouble for this

5:00 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Okay, we're supposed to believe that the Chelski defense can hold the Barca attack for 180 minutes with few chances on goal and then they give up the winning goal in extra time?

I don't buy it. Both of these semi finals stink to high heaven. I'm starting to believe that Declan Hill is right that gambling is absolutely rife throughout the game.

10:32 PM  
Blogger gooner71 said...

I don't believe that either of these were fixed, but the outcomes were so improbable that an investigation into the possibility of outside influences is certainly warranted.

But if you suppose that these were both on the up and up, in the Arsenal match, the story is how completely unprepared Arsenal were to deal with United, and secondly, how completely without leadership we were once the match was likely beyond us. It was a craven performance, and one that makes me hope never to see another performance by Adebayor in an Arsenal shirt.

If you accept that the Chelsea match was not fixed, then you need look no further than Drogba for the reason that they were not rewarded when fouled by Barca, or given the clear penalties when Alves pulled down Malouda, and Pique handled the ball. Drogba comes into ever match with the reputation of being the biggest cheat in the game. And he immediately unnecessarily went to ground twice in the first 10 minutes, only to hop up immediately the first time to remonstrate with the ref, and then magically re-enter after his antics had resulted in a restart after the second. I don't blame the ref for later on ignoring stronger claims for fouls on him. Unless you are right on top of the incident, you simply can't tell when he's fouled.

Which is not to say that the ref was without blame. Abidal should never have been dismissed for what was at best a yellow. Alves should have been on a card immediately for very reckless and repeated tackles, including the one he gave away inside box which was cast-iron. I looked for where Orebo was when that happened and he was some distance and at about 7:00 from the incident. He indicated that he'd seen an obstruction outside that led to the take-down inside. Meh, I think he was wrong. I couldn't see him at all when Pique handled the ball so he probably was poorly positioned there. But all of Drogba's claims were sketchy and if he'd been rewarded, everyone today would be talking about how Chelsea had advanced due to his persistant cheating. And his performance afterwards deserves the highest censure possible for a non-violent offence. I'd say a 100,000euro fine, and a 6 match ban, 3 of which suspended unless he commits the same sort of offense. Ballack, 100,000euros, straight 3 match ban. Terry, 50,000 euros, straight 1 match ban. Chelsea as a club, 1Meuros, and they would have to give up their guaranteed entry to next year's competition to Arsenal, and compete in the play-in games instead. Judge Gooner presides.

2:30 PM  
Blogger United We Stand said...

I agree with you 100% Judge Gooner

3:32 PM  

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