Two Draws After First Leg Semis

After two Champions League semifinal first leg matches between four of Europes biggest clubs, we have two draws. Tuesday at Anfield, Liverpool jumped out to a 1-0 lead on Dirk Kuyt’s goal just before halftime only to give it away in injury time with a brutal own goal by John Arne Riise. That allowed Chelsea to salvage a draw with a crucial away goal to give them the advantage heading back to Stamford Bridge. Last night Barcelona controlled the ball for two thirds of the game but couldn’t find the back of the net. Meanwhile Cristiano Ronaldo, the frontrunner for world player of the year (and my least favorite player on Earth) missed a chip shot penalty kick for Manchester United and the game ended in a 0-0 draw at the Nou Camp. Sir Alex Ferguson has vowed that Manchester United will be more aggressive next week when the second tie is held back at Old Trafford.

To be honest, Liverpool and Barcelona both looked dominant in their matches but both could only muster draws and on their home pitch to boot. Liverpool has their sights set on their third European Cup final in four years and looked sure to be up 1-0 heading back to London but the worst own goal I can recall will cost them the advantage. Chelsea are tough at home but Liverpool has the mental advantage as they have beaten Chelsea in several previous European encounters.

Barcelona has no excuse honestly. They dominated this match in all aspects and statistics. They even dodged a bullet when Ronaldo missed the early penalty kick. They just couldn’t get anything going. With Ronaldinho out, the other players needed to step up and find some holes in the ManU defense. Deco, Messi, Henry, Eto’o couldn’t do anything right it seemed. Barca had several shots but just couldn’t close the deal and will head back to England mentally defeated. They have experience on their side as they won the Champions League just two years ago but ManU is also tough at home and the Red devils will be fired up after their lackluster performance in Spain.

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  1. The final will end with Chelsea and Manchester United, it seems that both have skirted through the first away leg and should hold serve at home. I am an Arsenal supporter like you, however, as much as it pains me after 2006 I am supporting Barca in this years field.

  2. Barca blew their opportunity yesterday

  3. Too many English teams in the semifinals. Sad state of European football.

  4. It’ll be interesting to see how United and the Blues handle their crucial Premiership tie this weekend with the Champions league looming midweek

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