Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Champions' League Round-Up: March 8th and 9th

Schalke 04 3-1 Valencia (Agg. 4-2): Valencia was the first to score in this game, with Ricardo Costa putting the Spaniards up 1-0 from a header, and giving hope to the fans of Valencia for an upset. However, in the 40th minute, Jefferson Farfan leveled the scores up with a wonderfully placed free kick from 25 yards out. Soon after the second half began in the 52nd minute, Mario Gavranovic's very lucky strike hit both posts before going into the back of the net, giving Schalke the 2-1 lead and the lead on aggregate. The score stayed that way until stoppage time, when Jefferson Farfan scored his second to shatter Valencia's hopes of advancing.

Tottenham 0-0 AC Milan (Agg. 1-0): After winning at the San Siro, the Spurs had the monumental tasks of holding back an inspired Milan. The Italians were dominating throughout the first half, and thanks to an off-the-line clearance from William Gallas, Tottenham went into half time still in the game. Less than 2 minutes after half time, Tottenham were finally able to create an attack, with Van Der Vaart putting his strike wide. Milan began to dictate the game again, forcing 2 saves from Heurelho Gomes. Then, after passing Gomes, Pato passed  to Robinho, who had an open goal to shoot in, but once again Gallas cleared off the line. The score stayed equal until the end of the match, ensuring that the Spurs go through.

Shakhtar Donetsk 3-0 AS Roma (Agg. 6-2): After a nearly-scoring free kick from John Arne Riise, Roma were left trailing in the 17th minute when Willian of Shakhtar had his cross assisted in by Hubschman, and now Roma needed to score atleast 3 to go through. On 28 minutes, Roma missed a significant chance to score, after Borriello missed a penalty that could have put the Romans level. Then, the Italians' chances were basically ended when Phillipe Mexes received a second yellow in the 40th minute. In the 58th minute, Donetsk put the game to bed when Willian curled the ball into the back of the net off of the corner. To make sure that they went through, Eduardo capitalized on poor passing by Roma's defense to put Shakhtar up 3-1, and go to the quarter-finals.

Barcelona 3-1 Arsenal (Agg. 4-3): I already talked about this, so read my other article. It was a valiant effort by Arsenal's defense, put they had no chance after Van Persie's sending off, which I shall nominate as the stupidest red card EVER. Massimo Busacca, the match's referee, somehow failed to book Xavi and Abidal for grabbing the necks of Nasri and Van Persie, respectively. Whatever, I'm going on a rant, but that game wasn't as bad as it first seems.


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