Yesterday was Champions League soccer nirvana. Two top-class clubs with contrasting styles, one more talented and the other better disciplined, battling it out in a close game chock full of controversial talking points and insane momentum shifts with the outcome in doubt right up until the final whistle.
That’s the kind of real, unadulterated, non-manufactured drama that Chris Harrison goes home and touches himself thinking about every night.
But wait, what’s this? We’ve got yet another game to distract from the fact today is only Wednesday? Praaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaise Jesus or Jehovah or Muhammad or Messi or whoever the hell invented Champions League.
What a game. What a god damned game.
Was Griezmann onside? (No, and anybody arguing otherwise is either nakedly biased or hopelessly igtarded.)
Should Müller have gotten a do-over on his missed PK? (No, but how fucking stupid do you have to be to go into the box early and give a referee the option to blow the whistle and kick it over? Makes me want to punch inanimate objects just thinking about it.)
Was Atletico really the “better” team? (Doesn’t matter.)
As I mentioned on twitter dot com, I could not possibly respect Atletico’s success in outmaneuvering the two most talented clubs in all of Westeros – in consecutive rounds no less (first Barrrrrrrrrrrrthelona and now Bayern, for those at a second-grade memory level). Pretty incredible any way you slice it.
Having said that, I’m looking forward to watching them in the final like I’m looking forward to getting a vasectomy. Turtling, arguing, milking the clock… it’s like the most frustrating features of 2015-16 Leicester and 2014-15 Chelsea melded into one team that was then fed a steady diet of designer steroids.
But hey, winning is winning (even if it is on away-goals).
Let’s just hope today’s game can hold a candle to yesterday’s drama…
PICK OF THE DAY
If they played this game (in Madrid) 10 times, Real would win at least seven of them. They were the better side in the first leg – granted, that’s a little like saying Hiddink was being the most successful Chelsea manager this season (Ninth place! Top half! Postshot!) – having not scored only because of some (a) desperately poor finishing and (b) several heroic saves from Joe “The Tunnel Troll” Hart.
Injuries are going to be a key feature of this game. David Silva’s injury late in the first leg will be a massive blow for City. Even if Yaya Toure returns, which he damn well better if the Sky Blues have any shot at all, Silva’s controlled creativity and vision will be sorely missed.
On the other side, Real are expected to be without striker Karim Benzema and, at least as importantly from a tactical perspective, defensive midfielder Casemiro, who is a lynchpin defensively and provides cover for those around him to go forward with reckless abandon.
Oh, and one other thing.
Pssssssssssssssssssssst…. Ronnie’s back!
He’s only the world’s most in-form player in the moment, nbd but kbfd. City basically turned water into wine in shutting down PSG in the quarterfinals, can they do it again? They’ll have to. An early goal for Real – 97% chance it’d come through Ronnie – and you might as well put a fork in this matchup.
Prediction: 1-1 draw sending City through on the beloved away-goals rule, predicated on Aguero nicking an early goal and the visitors catching more than a few breaks coming down the stretch… red card for Pepe, anyone?
For the record, I immediately hated this prediction so much that now I basically love it. Know who wouldn’t love it? UEFA, who you know was praying for a star-studded Bayern vs Real matchup in the final (which, in truth, likely would have been insanely entertaining) but would instead get a knockdown drag-out bar-time brawl between City and Atleti.
Friendly reminder: Villarreal carry a one-goal lead into Liverpool tomorrow in the second leg of the NIT+ Cup semi-finals, in case that appeals to you.
Sam U.L. Army