Tuesday, March 06, 2007

LiveBlog: Liverpool v. Barcelona 2nd Half

It will be interesting to see what Frank Rijkard does during halftime for Barcelona. It is quite obvious that this lineup he has now isn't producing. It has had chances but nothing is built up. The midfield certainly isn't controlling the ball and has given it up easily on a number of occasions. The defense is just hanging on right now, which would be fine if the team wasn't down 2-1 on aggregate. The Spanish side needs to shore up its defense and provide better fluidity between defense and offense. It's a lot to ask in only a halftime but I would still be worried if I were Liverpool. The talent is there on the Barca squad. It only takes a few chances.

Before today's match, Rijkard called Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez a "know-it-all" for his proclamation that Eto'o, Messi, and Ronaldinho would be starting up top for Barca. Well, it turns out Rafa was right. Does this mean Rafa is really a "know-it-all" or was he just lucky?

Roma's up 2-0 on Lyon now, which should send the Italian squad through. Porto still leads 1-0 on Chelsea. This will send Porto through if it stands. Valencia and Inter Milan are tied 0-0 which will send Valencia through based on the away goal rule if the score stands.

The ESPN.com stats show Barca with a 72-28 advantage in time of possession. That doesn't seem right to me.

46:00 - Bellamy just wasted an excellent opportunity from a Gerrard cross. That had goal written all over it.

48:00 - Derek Rae just called Barca "temorous" (sp?)...I've never heard the word...anybody out there help a blogger out?

timorous - of a timid disposition. As I suspected. Thanks M-W.com whomever you are.

52:00 - Pepe Reina read Ronaldinho's free kick beautifully. Liverpool just isn't able to capitalize on its opportunities this game. It is similar to Saturday's ManU match. Just as I type that, Ronaldinho beat everybody and hits the right post. Incredibly unfortunate for him that it didn't go in.

53:00 - Thuram just elbowed Bellamy in the face but didn't get his second yellow. Just a talking to. It's an odd decision based on the ref's cards in the first half.

ESPN2's broadcast isn't telling us the Chelsea-Porto score because it is showing the game later. Well, I can't find that score anywhere else. I guess I'm screwed.

61:00 - This game is definitely heating up. The Barca lineup is starting to create chances and the tackles are getting harder. Liverpool looks a bit unsettled right now. Eto'o comes off and Giuly is on. Eto'o was starting to look good but his fitness just isn't where it needs to be right now.

62:00 - Liverpool's counter attacks keep providing many chances. Kuyt just sent a long shot wide right but it was still dangerous.

Robben scored for Chelsea to level the match and aggregate in the 48th minute. Thanks anonymous for the update.

67:00 - Pennant on for Bellamy just like in the ManU game.

69:00 - The announcers have mentioned several times that the new American owners of Liverpool are in attendance for their first match. I wonder what they think of their new asset.

70:00 - Arbeloa concedes a corner to Barca and the defense has trouble clearing the ball. It bounces around several times and Barca just can't turn it into anything.

71:00 - Gudjohnsen on for Thuram. More offense and less defense for Barcelona.

73:00 - Reina doing some time killing. The ball advances quickly and Gerrard gets a strong shot on Valdes who deflects it. Then just as quick Barca counters and gets an opportunity but one player is just offside. This match is getting faster and faster. I'm not sure who that favors. Barca has the offensive talent but Liverpool's counters have been great.

75:00 - Except Gudjohnsen just scored for Barca. Game on. 1-0 Barcelona.

76:00 - I guess the fast pace helps Barca because Ronaldinho just had an excellent shot that Reina smothered. This game is really good.

77:00 - Aurelio on for Riise. Not much of a change on Rafa's part.

80:00 - Pennant booked for coming in high and cleating Messi in the thigh.

81:00 - Reina cautioned for time wasting.

82:00 - Kuyt just played great defense winning the ball away from Barca's defense which lead to a dangerous free kick direct on the goal at about 22 yards. The kick yields a corner and again Gerrard ends up with the ball and kicks the ball right at Valdes. Gerrard can't catch a break right now.

87:00 - Eleven behind the ball and Finnan makes a great stop when Gudjohnsen got in behind him with a ball dropping in. Finnan concedes a corner. Still on 'Pool's end. Now a goal kick.

88:00 - Deep throw in after Arbeloa heads it out.

89:00 -Another corner but Barca can't capitalize. Crouch and his two black eyes on for Bellamy.

90:00 - I've got to hand it to Crouch. He is supposed to have surgery on his broken nose but he postponed it for this match. 3 minutes stoppage time.

90:00 +1 - Ball played into space for Pennant who puts a great ball on to a streaking Crouch who sends it over the bar. I never thought streaking and Crouch would go together because he looks so slow but he really went after that ball.

90:00 +3 - What a thrilling match. Final whistle. Barcelona 1- Liverpool 0 but Liverpool advances on the away goal rule.

Join me tomorrow for another Champions League LiveBlog. It looks like it will be the Arsenal - PSV matchup based on the comments. I'll start tomorrow between 11:15 and 11:20. Thanks for joining me today.

Update: Roma advances 2-0 on aggregate over Lyon. Valencia advances over Inter with the away goal rule on a 2-2 aggregate. Chelsea also will advance after winning 2-1 over Porto on goals by Arjen Robben and Michael Ballack with a 3-2 aggregate.

20 comments:

Run Up The Score! said...

I have a conference call in 15 minutes, which is Super Gay.

You'll never walk alone.

Anonymous said...

Robben scored in the 48th minute to bring the game level. 2-2 aggregate.

Anonymous said...

http://soccernet.espn.go.com/scoreboard?league=uefa.champions&date=20070306&cc=5901

Anonymous said...

Chelsea up 2-1 now on a 79 min. goal from Ballack. Roma still 2-0 on Lyon and Valencia and Inter still 0-0. Chelsea in the 81ist minute, the other two games in the 83rd.

Anonymous said...

Ballack scored in the 79th minute putting Chelsea ahead 3-2 aggregate. Damn the Blues.

JT said...

YOUUUUU BEEEEAUTTTTYYYYYYY



now I have to get drunk, because Liverpool are big like can of Pepsi vs. Barcelona. Time and again. Gorgeous. Bring on the next feckless visitors in the Champions League.

JT said...

Josh whatever-his-name is on ESPN News just said that Barcelona won today, and went through to the round of 16.

Fucking moron. Would it kill anyone at ESPN to care just enough to get it correct?

The Fan's Attic said...

jt- yeah, he effed up. it was pretty lame but at least they corrected it.

The Fan's Attic said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ynba said...

Considering no one at ESPN can figure out how to pronounce "Real," as in Madrid, I wouldn't expect too much.

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