Thursday, 26 April 2012

No wonder its called the CHAMPIONS League...

The two most celebrated players in the world couldn't make it to Munich
    "Cristiano had to fail someday" - Jose Mourinho

Bayern Munich and Real Madrid played an uncontrolled entertaining and wide open 120 minutes of football in the second leg of their UEFA Champions League semifinal tie, for the second ticket to the May 19th final game in Munich. It was indeed a champions league game.
Real Madrid had the perfect start. Mourinho’s men took a 2-0 lead early, but Bayern answered with an away goal that locked up the tie at 3-3. Unlike Lionel Messi before him, Ronaldo had stepped up in the semifinal second leg, filled the gap and scored when it really mattered. With Ronaldo’s display, Real had one foot in next month's final.
But, that one foot didn’t stay there for long. Bayern wanted theirs there also... Thirteen minutes after Ronaldo's second, Arjen Robben scored the only goal Bayern would need, a pinpoint penalty kick just far enough to his left. Casillas went the right way, but could only help the ball into the back of his net. Game on!
With the tie even, both teams changed their strategy and eventually found themselves in a penalty shootout. During the penaties, we saw DRAMA... It was a remarkable moment, with both goalkeepers coming up when their teams needed them most. David Alaba scored the opener for Bayern Munich, which was followed up by a terrific save by Manuel Neuer on Cristiano Ronaldo kick, low and to his right. Advantage Bayern!
The drama didn’t stop. Gomez stepped up and scored for the Bavarians, Kaka got to the spot and missed. Toni Kroos confidently stepped up and LOST. Xabi Alonso scored for Madrid and for me, that triggered the timer on the bomb. Phillip Lahm would have been the hero of the night for Bayern, but oh my God the pressure was too much for the Captain and with an infant kick, Casillas save his penalty and the pride of Los Blancos.
I was thinking Higuain would step up and take the crucial penalty that 'could' put Real Madrid back into contention. But you know Mourinho does the unusual and so he gave Sergio Ramos his blessings. Ramos wasn’t thinking right when he got to the spot. He thought the goal post and Neuer were miles away and with an outrageous kick, the Spaniard blasted to the sky the hopes of Champions League football final for Madrid. Here, I concluded it was over when I saw Bastian heading to the spot.
Bastian Schweinsteiger went the right way, Iker Casillas went the other, the ball flew into the net and destroyed the dreams of over 85,000 Madridistas at the Bernabeu. Painfully, it shattered the hopes of Portuguese manager Jose Mourinho who was vying for his third Champions League title with his third different team. 

So, on May 19th, at the Allianz Arena in Munich, Bayern Munich will host Chelsea in a final that probably only about ten percent of football pundits and followers all over the world predicted. Here, there's no small team... No wonder its called the CHAMPIONS league. Period!

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

The Battle is for the STRONG

The price Chelsea paid was just a red card
This is the first post on my new blog and I'm dedicating it to Chelsea Football Club of England. I don't support any football team at the moment, but when a team does well, nothing will stop me from giving them praise. Enjoy my terrible writing. Lol!!!

The moment Turkish referee Cuneyt Cakir showed Chelsea's skipper John Terry that red card, I said to myself "The fence of the Blues defence is off, its over..." I was so wrong!

Chelsea's qualification for this year's UEFA Champions League final, has once again shown the world that they are a fighting team that don't go down easily. After the sacking of Andre Villas Boas, they've been fighting hard to prove a point... One yet unknown.

Terry was given the marching order in the 37th minute for his violent off-the ball challenge on Alexis Sanchez and added more misery to his team's ambitions. Remember they had lost Gary Cahil due to an injury and moments later, in the 43rd minute to be precise, Andres Iniesta scored the second goal for Barcelona and the Catalans looked ready to be rampant.

I knew Chelsea could fight but I wasn't certain they had the strength to endure Barca's pressure. Sincerely, I was telling a friend on twitter that Chelsea should just "try" to leave it at 2-0. Just when I was about to send that tweet, Ramires scored that stunner. I've watched that goal more than times on youtube today... Its a beauty! That goal was a confidence booster and Chelsea became STRONG.

I've heard people say Chelsea was lucky, others say Barca wasn't good on the night,  some say they parked the bus and blah blah blah blah. Truly they make me wonder if the Blues travelled all the way to Spain to burn the advantage they had at Stamford Bridge. Do you know they played with TEN men? Are you aware Ivanovic and Bosingwa was the centre backs they never bargained for and sadly Barcelona couldn't break them... They were STRONG!

Who wasn't on point for Chelsea in that well-deserved victory (for me it wasn't draw). Cech was outstanding, Ramires was phenomenal, Drogba was a soldier who was everywhere fighting to keep the blue pride, Mikel was resilient, Cole couldn't take chances; he was error free, Ivanovic was firm and always on time... Every Chelsea player was STRONG for 90 minutes.

For me, Chelsea's resurgence started on March 14th after that sensational 4-1 win over Napoli in the round of sixteen. Who didn't say it was all over for them after going down 3-1 in the first leg at the San Paolo stadium. Today, they are in the finals of the Champions league... Aren't they STRONG?

The reformation under interim Coach Roberto Di-matteo continues, and so far, its been a job well done by the former Chelsea player. The Blues have qualified for the finals of the FA Cup and Champions League and they're still fighting to finish fourth in the English Premier League. Trust me, they won't stop fighting and that because they are STRONG. You doubt me? Then for a minute try to understand how Fernando Torres placed himself in that goal-scoring position when he was supposed to be defending. Remember the clock was ticking for both sides, and what a time to score that winner. Chelsea was destined to win!

For the final game in Munich, they will be without Captain John Terry, Raul Meireles, Branislav Ivanovic and the impressive Ramires. Four important players will be missing for Chelsea and one might be quick to write them off in the final game but hey, I'll advise you to just wait till May 19th and speak only after 90 minutes and "added time" has been played.

I do not know the team that will win this year's Uefa Champions League, but on that final day, I know Chelsea will come out STRONGER. Period!

Africans played a big role in Chelsea's win