The Crotchet’s Corner

My perspective about all things inconsequential

Loading up on the testosterone


It is usually enjoyable watching the later stages of the Champions League, but the past two days have been a bit of a disappointment.


It might not have been pretty, but it proved to be effective as Chelsea blunted Barcelona in the first-leg Champions League semi-final. The English team left the Camp Nou safe in the knowledge that they have home advantage in the second-leg next week.


Barcelona possess one the most electrifying attacks in world football today with Lionel Messi, Samuel Eto’o and Theirry Henry tearing down defences all over Europe. Against Chelsea, though, they came up against a wall that blocked everything that was thrown at it. Temporary coach Guus Hiddink’s pre-match battle cry of “Big clashes between big players” might have seemed like one in a series of mind games. It did not provide for great entertainment, though.


Barcelona versus Chelsea is usually one of those tinderbox ties. There is no doubt that Chelsea loaded up the testosterone for this match, employing the bulldozing power of the team’s strong men to negate Barcelona’s brilliance. If roughhouse tactics were necessary, so be it. At times it did seem that Hiddinck’s men were pushing their luck, and that eventually Barcelona would find the net, but it was not to be.


The frustration of the Catalans was increasingly evidence as the match progressed, and their inability to get onto the score sheet would worry them more than Chelsea.


Arsenal’s manager Arsene Wenger still harbours dreams of bagging a European title, and will, undoubtedly be satisfied that Manchester United’s rampant, incisive, and slick display did not result in more than one goal. The lack of gumption displayed by the Gunners could, perhaps, be blamed on the absence of full bench strength on the night, but the mercurial skills and ability of Cesc Fábregas apart, Arsenal will need to up the ante substantially if they are to go into the return leg next week with any hopes of going through.


I would be happy if it were to be Arsenal versus Barcelona in Rome on 27th May.




April 30, 2009 - Posted by | About this and that, Football | , , , , , ,

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