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Strange one, Real can bring it back to 5 points but can't see Barca dropping 5 along the way. However, fielding a weakened team tonight and taking a pasting is unacceptable for either team. Draw written all over it, both teams will probably knock it about and save it for the cup final on Wednesday.

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Real owned the first and Barca for the majority of the second. Real had the momentum going into extra time.

 

Adebayor making the difference I reckon as this meant that big goon Pique had to mark him leaving Ronaldo to pwn Mascherano/Adriano for his goal.

 

I thought Barca had the stronger 2nd half because of the Ozil/Adebayor switch.  Thought the 'Special One' opened the door to Barca as there was a 20/30 minute spell where Adebayor never touched the ball and it was shootie-in for Barca.

 

Some awful play acting and I LOL'd out loud when Villa got stood on, then picked up and planted on his feet.  The wee shite soon forgot about his sore leg.  ;D

 

Good build up and goal from Real and Ronaldo though.  But it was far from a classic(o).

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I thought Barca had the stronger 2nd half because of the Ozil/Adebayor switch.  Thought the 'Special One' opened the door to Barca as there was a 20/30 minute spell where Adebayor never touched the ball and it was shootie-in for Barca.

 

Some awful play acting and I LOL'd out loud when Villa got stood on, then picked up and planted on his feet.  The wee shite soon forgot about his sore leg.  ;D

 

Good build up and goal from Real and Ronaldo though.  But it was far from a classic(o).

 

Oh, agree regarding Adebayor not kicking a ball but it forced a change in the way Barca set up defensively. Not much height in that team and this showed with the goal plus Pepe's header in the first half. Iker had an unbelievable spell during that 30 minutes you are talking about. Felt Real should've passed the ball on several counter attacks though rather than just running into oppostion.

 

Villa having a bit of a crisis at the moment, 0 goals in 10 games I think now? Shocking acting at that bit.

 

I think the way Jose sets up Real againt Barca will pretty much mean there are no incredible matches between the two any time soon. Fingers crossed for the semi-final though.

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I think the way Jose sets up Real againt Barca will pretty much mean there are no incredible matches between the two any time soon. Fingers crossed for the semi-final though.

 

I agree.  Previously Real used to get torn a new one for playing an open game but its a very tactical match and a tad dull.  Hopefully the semi finals of the CL are better than the last two matches.

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My initial prediction was that the first three of these would be dull and then the last would come to life... however, with the first CL game being at the Bernabeu I fear all 4 could be pretty rotten.

 

Edit: should say I thought last night's was marginally better than Saturday's effort.

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Thought last night's game was pretty boring, which I haven't come to expect watching Barcelona or La Liga in general. Real probably deserved the win by having a game plan and sticking to it. At the same time I hope there are two attacking, open games in the Champions League but I'm starting to doubt that there will be.

 

A draw or a tight result at the Bernabue I think could set up a good match at Camp Nou though.

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Thought last night's game was pretty boring, which I haven't come to expect watching Barcelona or La Liga in general. Real probably deserved the win by having a game plan and sticking to it. At the same time I hope there are two attacking, open games in the Champions League but I'm starting to doubt that there will be.

 

A draw or a tight result at the Bernabue I think could set up a good match at Camp Nou though.

 

I can see it being as dull as the all Italian semi final a few years back tbh. I fell asleep during the one.

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I can see it being as dull as the all Italian semi final a few years back tbh. I fell asleep during the one.

 

Pep has snapped.

 

This time it's personal. Barcelona's coach, Josep Guardiola, finally exploded, sending a year of pent-up anger and frustration gushing forth as he responded to José Mourinho on the eve of the Champions League semi-final against Real Madrid.

 

The question now is whether Mourinho will feel that he has won the mental battle, dragging Guardiola into territory that is not his own, or if Guardiola will feel a release at having at last had his say. And what a say it was. The days of a respectful silence, of turning the other cheek, are definitively over. This was more like the aggressive weigh-in before a prize fight, complete with an air of "you and me outside".

 

Mourinho had pricked Guardiola's pride once too often by accusing him of complaining about referees who get decisions right. It was an accusation that Guardiola, normally so measured, was not prepared to let pass – the last straw after a year that has been a war of attrition. Guardiola was finally drawn into battle. "He called me Pep, so I answered," Guardiola said at the end of a breathtaking 45 minutes. "Normally, he talks in general terms about a team, a club or a manager, but this time he named me. If he says: 'Pep,' I say: 'Hey, José.'"

 

He said more than "hey". Sitting down in the press room at the Santiago Bernabéu, he said: "As Mourinho has spoken so candidly about me and spoken about me by name, and using tú [the informal form of you], then I will do the same." He then asked which of the gathered cameras was "Mourinho's camera" and began.

 

"Tomorrow at 8.45 we will play a match on the field," Guardiola said. " Outside of the field, he has won the entire year, the entire season and in the future [it will be the same]. He can have his personal Champions League outside the field. Fine. Let him enjoy it, I'll give him that. But this is a game. When it comes to sport we will play and sometimes we will win, sometimes we will lose. We are happy with smaller victories, trying to get the world to admire us and we are very proud of this.

 

"I can give you an immense list of things [that we could complain about]: 300,000 things. We could remember Stamford Bridge and another thousand things but I do not have that many people working for me. Secretaries and referees and people writing stuff. So tomorrow, 8.45pm, we will take to the field and we will try to play football as best as possible.

 

"In this room [Real Madrid's press room], he is the chief, the fucking man. In here he is the fucking man and I can't compete with him. If Barcelona want someone who competes with that, then they should look for another manager. But we, as a person and an institution, don't do that. I could talk about [Olegario] Bequerença [the referee from last season's Barcelona-Inter semi-final first leg], about the offside goal from Diego Milito or the penalty of [Dani] Alves, but I don't. Well, until tonight!

 

"If you think after three years, that I always moan, always make excuses and always complain, then there is nothing I can do about that.

 

Mourinho had provoked Guardiola by referring to comments his rival made after Madrid's victory in the Copa del Rey final last week. Guardiola had noted that his side had been close to winning: had a Pedro goal not been ruled out for a very close but correct offside, described by the coach as "the linesman's good eyesight", Barcelona might have taken the trophy.

 

"A new era has begun," Mourinho said on Tuesday. "Until now there were two groups of coaches. One very, very small group of coaches that don't speak about refs and then a big group of coaches, of which I am part, who criticise the refs when they have mistakes – people like me who don't control their frustration but also people who are happy to value a great job from a ref.

 

"Now there is a third group, which is only [Guardiola], that criticises referees when they get decisions right! There is a new meaning to [football] now. In his first season [Guardiola] lived the scandal of Stamford Bridge [in the semi-final], last year he played against a 10-man Inter. Now he is not happy with refs getting it right. I am not asking the referee to help my team. If the referee is good everyone will be happy – except Guardiola. He wants them to get it wrong."

 

Guardiola worked with Mourinho at Barcelona but considers their relationship to be shattered by this. "We worked together for four years. He knows me, I know him and that's all. If he wants to go by things written after the Copa del Rey by friends from the written press or Florentino Pérez, with his milkmaid's tales, then fine. If that matters more than our relationship, then that's up to him. I am not going to justify my words. It leaves a bad taste in your mouth when someone you had a relationship with does [what he has done]. I always thought that when people didn't understand me, it was because I had explained myself badly, but now I don't. I said the referee [in the cup final] had been smart and very attentive. I said it was right. I pointed out simply that the result can be down to small things, that's all. It was not a complaint. After victory I congratulated Real Madrid and that is what Barcelona does. We congratulated RM for the cup that they won on the field against a team that I represent proudly."

 

Asked if this was just a tactic, Guardiola replied: "What? You think my players will run around more because I looked for Mourinho's camera? It's a semi-final!"

 

Taken from The Guardian.

 

ring_girl_round_4.jpg

 

 

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