footy musings from a (relative) newbie

Posts tagged ‘paris saint-germain’

And so…the Quarterfinals

Glamour ties + Grudge Matches = Great European Nights

At least we hope so. I’ve written before that Champions League matches at this stage can be so cagey as to drive away any semblance of enjoyment for us fans.

That said, the balls in Nyon have spoken. My initial reactions to the quarterfinal matchups:

Manchester United vs. Bayern Munich: Um…
Barcelona vs. Atletico Madrid: A big European test for the Digeo Simeone project
Real Madrid vs. Borussia Dortmund: A rematch of last year’s semi-final, which Dortmund won impressively.
Paris Saint-Germain vs. Chelsea: Is it wrong to call this the Oligarch’s Invitational? If so, I don’t want to be right.

Now that the field has been whittled to the best of the best, we’re due for a “shocking” upset. All of the above teams should beware.

On to the Next

Manchester United survived Olympiacos – and many a gloom & doom prediction – to advance to the Uefa Champions League quarterfinals. Time will tell if this good result is a turning point for David Moyes and his team or just a blip of good fortune in their season of misery.

Rounding out the quarterfinal lineup is Borussia Dortmund who survived a (sort of) comeback from Zenit St. Petersburg.

This Friday’s quarterfinal draw should be interesting.

Atletico Madrid
Borussia Dortmund
Chelsea FC
FC Barcelona
FC Bayern Munich
Manchester United
Paris Saint-Germain
Real Madrid

The only prediction I feel safe in making is that Chelsea will have to play one of the Madrid teams.

Eazy Peazy

For PSG (see what I did there?)

Barcelona beating Manchester City 2-0 reminded me of why any matches involving Barca are automatic zzzzzz material for me.

It doesn’t feel like it, but this part of the tournament is going to fly by. Before we know it, it’ll be time for the cagey quarters and semis. Hoping for some good, competitive games between now and then.

Rd of 16 Draw Projections

The Group Stage of UEFA Champions League is over, and to my mind, a whole new tournament begins with the round of 16 draw.

My projections for the draw before it’s revealed in a few hours:

Manchester United vs. AC Milan

Real Madrid vs. Bayer 04 Leverkeusen

Paris Saint-Germain vs. FC Zenit

FC Bayern Munchen vs. Arsenal FC

Chelsea FC vs. Olympiacos

Borussia Dortmund vs. Galatasary AŞ

Club Atletico de Madrid vs. Manchester City FC

FC Barcelona vs. Schalke 04

And So the Group Stage Ends

After six matchdays, the UEFA Champions League has whittled to 16 the 32 teams that began the Group Stage in September. Along the way, some groups threw up surprises (Ciao, Juventus), while others stayed tight until almost the last kick.

At the start of the Group Stage, I made my picks for winners and runners-up. So, how did I do?

In Group A, I picked Manchester United and Bayer LeverKeusen to prevail, and they did – though not before putting out some lackluster performances. Group B was supposed to yield Real Madrid and Juventus as winner and runner-up, respectively. But while the Spaniards did their part (progressing through the group undefeated), Juventus started the competition playing badly and were eventually eliminated on this last matchday by Galatasary. Likewise, in Group C, Benfica, my pick for runner-up to Paris Saint-Germain, are out of the tournament; Greek team Olympiacos is going to the round of 16 instead.

Group D proved to be status quo as defending champions Bayern Munich and Manchester City are on to the next round – the latter for the first time. No doubt Man City will take confidence from their defeat of Bayern on the final matchday.

Despite twice defeating Chelsea, Switzerland’s FC Basel are out of the competition after losing to Schalke 04. Honestly, this is surprising to me. Basel played Chelsea off the park TWICE, and Schalke have been weaksauce in this competition and in the Bundesliga. Yet Chelsea and Schalke are the teams that ended up going through from Group E. At least I got the winner and runner-up right for this group!

As advertised, the Group of Death (Group F) showed no mercy, as Napoli were eliminated despite beating Arsenal 2-0 on Matcday 6. Borussia Dortmund squeaked into the round of 16 with just about the last kick of their game against Marseille. Seeing Gonzalo Higuain cry reminded me of why a Group of Death stresses me out. Inevitably, hearts get broken.

Zenit St. Petersburg followed Atletico Madrid out of Group G, giving me a perfect record in this group and ensuring that I get to continue ogling the pretty that is Anatoliy Tymoshchuk in the next round.

Finally, in Group H, Barcelona won the Group and AC Milan did just enough to come out runners-up. But I ran out of fucks to give about this group when I saw that Barca and Milan were drawn together again.

So, another Group Stage ends, and draw day for the round of 16 awaits on December 16. I’ll be up bright and early for it.

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