Only Chelsea and Manchester United have breathed life into quarter-final ties

by admin

Thursday, April 7th, 2011

Manchester United hold the upper hand from their quarter-final tie against Chelsea after grabbing a precious away goal at Stamford Bridge last night.

A Wayne Rooney goal proved the difference between the two sides on the night and handed United their first win at the Bridge since 2002 when Ruud van Nistelrooy and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer were among the scorers in a 3-0 victory that day.

What was even more refreshing, was the way Rooney celebrated his goal- this was in stark contrast to the snarling forward who produced a wave of bile and screamed expletives down the lens of the Sky Sports pitch-side camera last weekend at Upton Park.

And at least fans were treated to a competitive contest at Stamford Bridge where both sides went for the jugular and produced some high tempo football.

The same unfortunately can’t be said of the other three ties, albeit they produced a shed load of goals. Barcelona, Real Madrid and Shakhtar Donetsk won at a canter ripping to shreds their baffled opponents.

These legs had the life sucked out of them and we the football fans had the authentic Champions League experience snatched away from us. What I mean is that we didn’t see a sense of conservatism in the ties and Spurs, Inter and Shakhtar just rolled over and took a pummelling.

Essentially the return legs in particular Barcelona’s and Real’s ties will be an exercise in star gazing, as the two clubs continue to dazzle with their irresistible array of attacking talent. Arguably, Barcelona’s tie is incomplete without a Lionel Messi special, but they have all but ensured a tantalising el clasico meeting with Ronaldo and co.

Of course Barcelona did not let us down in terms of racking up a huge lead, but should we bother watching their tie as more likely than not they will give Donetsk another masterclass in the Ukraine?

Turning our attention back to the United tie, Chelsea may well feel aggrieved for not being awarded a penalty after Ramires was felled in the area by Patrice Evra after a surging run.

Chelsea will no doubt feel the footballing gods conspired against them, but there were no ‘ghost goals’ like the one Luis Garcia scored in the semi-final for Liverpool against the Blues at Anfield in 2005.

They have an uphill task ahead, but if they stick to their guns, you never know what might happen. Having said that, United buoyed with the return to form of Rooney and a win under their belts at the Bridge should finish the job and reach the semi-finals.

This tie has kept alive what have been a lifeless set of quarter-final ties.


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  • jedivid

    Yes the game was not the greatest but still evnely balanced which should make the second round out of this world hopefully. As Chelsea have everything to play for with this being there only realy chance of silverware. Ha ha come on the reds.

  • dexylongshot

    Personally, i thought it was a good game last week and can’t for tomorrow night, watching it with some chelsea and a manc fn round mates with pre-match steak and eggs, munch. I can see another low scoring affair, especially if Rio plays like he did last week, he was top drawer alongside Vidic, the best defensive pairing in Europe.

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