Morbo Minute–European Round Up

Work has been quite hectic for the last couple of weeks.  Usually I bank my personal days and use them to watch European games, but with my presence needed at several job sites, not only do I not get to go to my local pub, I can’t even watch a legal or illegal stream of the games.  Therefore, my grand plan of watching a game involving a Spanish team each day collapsed very quickly.  FCB was the only Champions League game I watched, and that was replay several hours later.

FC Barcelona 2            AC Milan 2

I was able to stay off the internet and social media and watch this game quasi live.  To say the first 30 seconds were stunning would be an understatement.  Pato’s goal was simply amazing as he blew right through the Blaugrana defense (“anchored” by Busi and Mascherano) before nutmegging Valdes.  FCB recovered and slowly turned the screws to the Rossoneri. After several half chances, Milanlet down their guard for a split second, which Messi punished.  His extra effort created a cross for Pedro who was able to tap in.

The second half started with FCB in the ascendency and Villa scored one of the best free kicks you will ever see.  From there, FCB created chance after chance but couldn’t put it away.  Seemed like they created more chances than on the weekend, but the third goal wouldn’t come.  In stoppage time, Abidal failed to marshal a ball out of bounds, which resulted in a corner kick.  Silva, who I thought was subdued for most of the match, rose to head it in, and another two points were thrown away.

In the aftermath, there is lot of finger pointing, burying of the head in the sand, and head scratching.  @espanafutbol submitted their breakdown of the game, which noted Milan’s compact shape and discipline.  They also noted that Milan attacked down Abidal’s side, a different tactic to trying to exploit the space left behind Alves.

Barcelona Football Blog tried to keep things in perspective.  I disagree with his comment that Keita blows, although I think Busquets does make a difference.  If you get a chance, read the comments that follow the post.  There are very different views out there, some well presented, some not.

This is now two consecutive games where points have been dropped because FCB threw away leads and get the third goal.  I think we will see an emphasis on finishing out matches over the next couple of weeks.  Even the best need a wake up call now and then.

A couple of injury notes:  Iniesta is out four weeks after pulling up on Tuesday and Sanchez is probably out eight weeks after his injury on Saturday. With Pique hurt and Puyol coming back from injury, we shall see if the Blaugrana can continue the magic.

The rest of the Champions League scores:

Ajax0-0Lyon

Basle2-1 SC Otelul Galati

Benfica 1-1 Man Utd

Dinamo Zagreb 0-1 Real Madrid

Most people thought this would be a struggle and the score reflects that.  Guess CR7 received a lot of verbal and physical abuse but Di Maria sealed the points.

InterMilan0-1 Trabzonspor

Lille2-2 CSKAMoscow

ManCity1-1Napoli

Villarreal 0-2 Bayern Munich

That’s gonna hurt.  @sidlowe commented on Football Weekly Extra that there is something not quite right with the Yellow Submarine.

Apoel Nicosia2-1 Zenit StP’sbg

Barcelona2-2 AC Milan

Borussia Dortmund 1-1 Arsenal

Chelsea2-0 BayerLeverkusen

FC Porto 2-1 Shakhtar Donetsk

Genk 0-0 Valencia

Don’t know anything about this match.  Los Che will have to get going in the next match to progress.

Olympiakos 0-1 Marseille

Plzen1-1 BATE Borisov

——————

Europa League

Both Spanish participants got off on a winning start.  Athletic Bilbao won 2-1 over Slovan Bratislava with a goal by Iker Muniain.  Atletico Madrid prevailed 2-0 over Celtic, goals coming from Falcao and Diego.

All highlights on 101greatgoals.com

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