OMG. OMG. OMG.
I watched both ridiculous ‘megs live and both times I let out an audible ‘oh shhiii’. Count me among those who were leery of letting biter, whiner, and hand-baller Luis Suarez join Barca. But also count me among the number who recognize his immense talent. He isn’t as flashy as Neymar, and isn’t as effective as Messi, but he’s in the conversation about the best 9s in this world. Interestingly, his first goal reminded me of this one from Thierry Henry in 2006. A little more finesse from Suarez, but the same power and speed on display in both.
Barca look all set to take this tie. PSG had both hands and probably a foot or two tied behind their backs for this match, however, so it is difficult to completlely write them off. After all, they seemed to be out of the tie against Chelsea after Zlatan was sent off (in a very harsh call by the ref). Zlatan, Verratti (who played amazingly well in the Chelsea 2nd leg), Thiago Silva were all out for the match or left early (in the case of the latter). Even poor David Luiz, who was humiliated twice by Suarez1 was questionable for the match coming in. Again, in the second leg against Chelsea he was the hero. He can play.
PSG had a Uruguayo of their own in Edinson Cavani. He just didn’t perform. It looks wrapped up, but you never know in this game.
I said to my friend about Wednesday’s slate of games, “Ugh, forgot Porto and Bayern are the other matchup. Bayern will roll.” He contended that I was underestimating the Porto-guese squad’s ability. He was right. Porto made Xabi Alonso, Dante, and Neuer look bad. Jackson Martinez likely increased his transfer value three-fold. Worse teams have made up larger gaps in the UCL before. Bayern will be much better in Germany.
Madrid Derby and Juve v Monaco
Tuesdays games were not nearly as goal-filled as Wednesday’s. Atletico Madrid held Real to a scoreless draw at the Vicente Calderon. It was yet more evidence that away goals are negative than a net positive for entertaining football. Simione has Real’s number this year. Things are set for Atletico to exact Champions League revenge on Los Blancos after thier title match last year.
In a purely speculative post that every Bleacher Report clone will parrot, SI.com speculated at every possible destination. I’ve seen some bemoaning his announcement as an indication that the “little guy” can’t win in modern football. And it sure seems that way. It is hard to compete with Bayern after giving them your top player every year (Goetze last year, Lewandowski this year), but former departed top players who left for riches and fame elswhere returned this year and are partly responsible for the poor form of BVB Dortmund: Shinji Kagawa and Nuri Sahin. The former left and returned from Man Utd and the later from Real Madrid.
Field of Shame
The USMNT beat El Tri at the Alamodome on what can only be described as the field only an ankle specialist in debt to his eyeballs could love. It was awful, patchy, dead, and slippery. Mexico’s keeper played the ball on the ground to his teammate and it popped up about 4 feet. That should only happen on recreational fields with rocks and possibly discarded drug paraphanelia, not in an international friendly in Amurca.
Or so I would have you believe.
What can we take away from a friendly from America’s B-team and Mexico’s C-squad? Well that Mexico better step things up if this is the team they plan to send to Copa America in Chile.
Also isn’t it cool and yet weird that it always ends 2-0? WTH.
Juan Agudelo’s deft sky-trap of a 50-yard pass was choice, but his finish was made more spectacular by the Turf Monster rendering his defender ineffetive on the turn.
It was great to see the US squad down in little ol’ San Anto, especially against Mexico. I mean when they call Los Angeles an away game, I thought for sure this was going to be a 60-40 match. From all accounts it was pretty evenly split. Which is cool.