The good, the bad and the ugly – 2008 Week 36 – Champions League Semi-finals

Champions League Semi-finals: Champions Leagues in Europe, Asia and South America dominate podcast 36 in which we also focus on…

[gss-content-box color=”gray”] Champions Leagues in Europe, Asia and South America dominate podcast 36 in which we also focus on the problems at Arsenal, Birmingham and Liverpool! Click on the links below to find out more about the stories that have featured on this week’s show.[/gss-content-box]

The Good

Good for the English Premier League as three teams from England will contest the Champions League semi-finals, Barcelona are the fourth after beating Schalke 1-0. Liverpool beat Arsenal 4-2 in a game with great goals including Theo Walcott’s spectacular run and pass for Adebayor to score. It reminded Damon of 18 year old Michael Owen bursting onto the scene in the 1998 World Cup against Argentina. Only Theo left four players in his wake and went two thirds of the pitch not half, though he didn’t score! You forgot one other thing they had in common Damon, they both ended up on the losing team!
Good for Gamba Osaka of Japan as they won 4-3 away for the second time in the AFC Champions League to top the group of death. This time they beat Melbourne Victory with a 90th minute goal from Lucas. With Kashima Antlers also scoring a 90th minute winner away from home both Japanese teams are well poised to make the knock-out stages. In the Copa Libertadores Flamengo have also qualified for the knock out stage after winning away in Peru. It looks like all the Brazilian teams will make it to the last 16 with Sao Paolo, Fluminense and Cruzeiro all leading their groups.

Congratulations to Portsmouth and Cardiff City for reaching the FA Cup Final after beating West Brom and Barnsley respectively, romance of the cup maybe but two very average games! Finally, well done to Porto who are Portuguese champions for the 23rd time in their history, though corruption charges still hang over them.

Bad

Two Birmingham City board members, including the chairman, have been arrested for possible tax irregularities, there remains a cloud of uncertainty over the club. Boardroom troubles of a different kind for Liverpool – the struggle for power continues.

Arsenal are having a bad week as they face up to the fact that they may well be without a trophy for the third year running after their defeat at Anfield. After the loss, manager Arsene Wenger lashes out at his players, the referee, anyone in fact but himself after their Champions League departure. Come on Arsene be a man and take some responsibility. Just like Jens Lehman. Or rather not. Team spirit at The Emirates does not seem to be that good these days and as a Tottenham fan I take no pleasure in writing this… : )

Ugly

Too good to go down? Not if you are languishing near the foot of the table after a run of 7 defeats from 9 games which sees Zaragoza from La Liga 3 points from safety while in France, Paris Saint Germain are lying third from bottom after yet another defeat at the weekend. Both ‘big’ teams are facing the drop with only a handful of games to go.
Pretty ugly for Chelsea too as they face a goalkeeping crisis with Cudicini having hamstring problems and Petr Cech needing 50 stitches in his face. 50!

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