Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Champions League semi-final live blog: Barcelona v Chelsea

The second best thing about being sparingly employed is actually being home to watch Champions League matches in the afternoon. (The first best thing is watching back-to-back-to-back downloaded episodes of Deadliest Catch).

As the kick-off for Barcelona-Chelsea approaches, keep checking back for updates.

- While I have time, but on an unrelated note, does anybody think it's a coincidence that Toronto FC's play has improved since John Carver showed himself the door?

- Also, there's some good stuff, along with a touch of less good stuff, in this week's some canadian guys podcast.

- From the Department of Self Congratulation, I'm still in first (tied) in my hockey pool. Sedin twins, I will follow you to the ends of the earth.

I have a €3.83 on Barcelona winning the match today (pays €6.13) so I expect my anxiety level to be elevated: roughly equivalent to a CCL group stage match (but far below the Canada MNT liveblog stress zone)

If you're in a workplace with a very liberal internet filter / use policy, check myp2p for some online viewing options.

Note that I am eschewing the enormously popular CoverItLive liveblogging format, mostly because my laptop is a piece of shit and my CPU fan goes nuts whenever the computer is doing something processor-intensive. So if you feel need to get all interactive, keep refreshing the page and dump your opinions in the comment section.

In case you're wondering, I'm rooting for Barcelona in this match. Even though Real Madrid has become marginally less despicable since they have become the de facto Dutch national team (Robben, Sneijder, Huntelaar, et al.) Barcelona has always been my favourite side in the Big 4 leagues.

Kickoff in 5.

AUGH! Fuck you TSN! Damn you, World Hockey Championships. I guess I'll be streaming this shit.


BARCELONA: Valdez, Pique, Marquez, Abidal, Alves, Toure, Iniesta, Xavi, Henry, Eto'o, Messi

CHELSEA: Cech, Terry, Alex, Bosingwa, Ivanovic, Obi, Ballack, Drogba, Lampard, Malouda, Essien

1st min: Barcelona presses early, nearly scores, but it's buitenspel (I'm watching a Dutch sopcast feed).

4th: This Dutch announcer says there have been rumours all year about Drogba moving to Barcelona. Is this true?

When I said earlier that watching soccer in the afternoon was the second best thing about my current employment situation, I clearly had forgotton about drinking in the afternoon on a Tuesday.


11th: As for the voetbal (soccer) being player, Chelsea are playing not to lose. Messi is really good. But I'm sure you knew this already.

Cech, as always, looks cute in his bonnet.

21st: I was really hoping this match would be more awesome. Barcelona is dominating possession, but nothing is happening. A corner now.

25th: Yellow to Alex, free kick for Barcelona in a dangerous spot.

29th: Ballack has a yellow now, to go along with his outstanding head of hair.

Is it just me, or does Chelsea look vaguely Ukrainian in this strip?

39th: Marquez just made a shocking back pass, and forced Valdez into two ridiculous saves against Drogba. That was really Chelsea's only chance so far (unless I missed one when I went to answer the door).

HALF: And still 0-0. Despite the scoreline, it's nice to be watching some high quality football. After watching Toronto FC on the tube, and some USL-1 games on USLlive, it's not hard to spot a difference in skill, tactics, and the like.

Best ad of the break: two men in suits having a soccer duel in the middle of an Armani shop.

48th: An elbow (or maybe his forehead, then his shoulder) from Alex knocks Thierry Henry out cold. As Pierre McGuire would say, "BAM!"

And seconds later, Marquez looks like he might have blown out his knee making a 10-yard uncontested pass.

The only footballer in the world uglier than Carlos Tevez, Carlos Puyol, enters the match. What is it with that name?

54th: After all the injuries, the second half is beginning to look much like the first. Barcelona with all the possession, but nothing on the scoresheet.

I'd love to have the same tailor as Pep Guardiola.

62nd: Now Drogba is groggy and lying on the pitch after another clash of heads.

69th: This game is looking more and more like a 0-0 draw, which means advantage Chelsea.

And just as I write it, Eto'o nearly scores on a partial break away chance.

78th: Our Dutch announcer just called this an ugly match (lelijke wedstrijd). I was about to say the same. I should have just watched my fishing show instead.

90th: Bojan just missed THE chance of the match. This match is destined to be 0-0.

FINAL: 0-0. The ball is now in Chelsea's court.

These live blogs aren't nearly as fun (or frightening) when I don't really care about either team.


P said...

I must make my dissent to your evaluation of Puyol and Tevez. Tevez is clearly uglier. And let's not forget Riberry (and before all your sensitive readers jump on me, this is discounting the horrifying scars from his childhood accident--look at the other side of his face). Puyol isn't handsome. Tevez is a troglodyte. Rooney is actually a troll. He lives under a little country bridge outside Manchester...

J said...

You've clearly given this a lot of thought, and your analysis is well-reasoned. Ribery is an inspired choice.

You also seem to have a good deal of support for your Rooney pick, as confirmed by this survey:

Top 20 Ugliest FootballersBoth of the Horseface Killahz (Ronaldinho and Ruud) make the list, and Tevez is #3.

Talking about football is great fun!