Champions League action dominates the news, but sending offs in Argentina, a new shirt for Manchester United and more fan violence all make this week’s Good, the Bad and the Ugly.
It was good again for English clubs in the Champions League as all four representatives go through to the quarter finals, but perhaps that’s bad for the tournament and neutral football fans. But it was also great for Bayern Munich who demolished Sporting Lisbon 12-1 on aggregate. That’s a score you expect to see in domestic cup competitions during the early rounds, not in Europe’s premier club competition when you are down to the last 16. A fantastic result for Klinsmann’s team and I wonder if it will have a knock-on effect in the their league campaign.
It has been a good week for Barcelona as they increased their lead at the top of the Spanish League to 6 points after a 2-0 victory against Athletic Bilbao, while their nearest rivals Real Madrid could only draw 1-1 in the Madrid derby. Then in the Champions League, the Catalan side demolished Lyon 5-2 at home to book their place in the last 8 of the competition. Oh, and rivals Real Madrid received the biggest Champions League thrashing in the club’s history at Anfield by 4-0. A good week for Pep Guardiola and Barcelona.
Ronaldo scores against Inter
Well, while we’ve mentioned it was good for English sides, the Italian teams, three of them, were all knocked out of the Champions League. Roma came close, losing on penalties to Arsenal, but overall they were comfortably beaten over the two legs. Mourinho’s Inter, champions and leaders of Serie A were no match for a fluid and powerful display by Manchester United, while Juve tried to claw their way back into the tie with a stirring home display, but leaked two away goals to Chelsea. Italy’s pride now lies in the UEFA Cup with Udinese.
Daniel Montenegro – Scores two against Boca
Bad for Boca in Argentina’s Clausura championship. They lost two men and also lost the game 2-0 against Independiente. That’s three loses out of five, a terrible start for the winners of the Apertura championship. While they lost, their huge rivals River Plate won in another match marred by sending offs – four, two from each team – to climb to fifth (see the table here) – that must have rubbed salt into the wounds. No one likes to lose AND see their big rivals win.
It shouldn’t be a surprise, but another visiting fan was stabbed before a Roma game. The Arsenal fan was boarding a bus on the way to the stadium when he was attacked. Two other Arsenal fans were injured in incidents before the game. while this seems to happen regularly before Roma games, what is surprising is that Rome is to be given the honour of hosting the Champions league final. Surely it’s time to rethink that decision.
Manchester United cash in on winning the Club World Cup by wearing a ‘new’ kit with the honour featured in the Champions League match against Inter this week. The Premier league have banned the Manchester team from wearing it in league games, but I’m sure the accountants at the club will be counting on thousands of fans forking out to buy the new strip. How many different shirts do teams nowadays need?
Here are some of the words from the good, the bad and the ugly section from this week’s show. You can download the podcast here
Representatives: someone representing a country or an organisation, an ambassador
Neutral fan: A fan who is not a supporter of any team in a game or competition, no allegience
Knock on effect: something that influences future actions, it can change the future positively or negatively
the Catalan side demolished Lyon 5-2 : Barcelona thrashed Lyon 5-2; easily beat them
to book their place in: To qualify for the next round
To claw (your) way back: desperately try to recover, attempt to return to a better position
a stirring home display: A brave performance from the team at home
Marred: spoilt, damaged, disfigured
To rub salt into the wound: make a bad situation worse, increase the pain
To board: to get on (a bus, a plane)
To fork out: (casual) to spend a lot of money