Watt the f*ck just happened?So much football, so little time! Seriously, it pains me to allow all of these 90 minutes of brilliance to pass me by as I slave away over textbooks and worksheets... in other words, school has started up and is interfering with my football spectating schedule, but only as much as I'll allow it.
Luckily for me and soccer nuts everywhere (except, maybe, Barcelona and Rangers fans) I had the pleasure of witnessing the bizarre and borderline alarming phenomenon that was the Celtic vs Barcelona UEFA Champions League group match yesterday in Celtic Park. Barcelona had been undefeated in the Champions League group stage for the previous three years, no easy accomplishment, and of course are notorious for their dominance and strength in almost every other football competition on planet earth.
|Definitely better than an orgasm|
Group G was full of dramatic moments as was Group E as a strong and dominant Shakhtar Donetsk held Chelsea to a 2-2 draw until literally the final ball of the game when Di Matteo's late substitution Victor Moses scored a dramatic header to snag all three points from the fixture. The game was very well matched with both sides possessing, passing and creating; all around lovely football. An early "oopsie daisy" from Shakhtar's goalkeeper Pyatov soiled their start at Stamford Bridge as he accidentally cleared the ball right to the feet of Fernando Torres. Despite Torres' tragic history of sending the easiest of finishes over the bar, he made no mistake and gave Chelsea the laughably easy 1-0 lead. Willian would have none of that, equalizing three minutes later with the first of his two goals on the night. The classy and graceful Brazilian Oscar scored a lovely goal from long range in the 40th minute to put Chelsea ahead but again Willian put them level three minutes after the match was underway in the second half. Chelsea were the better side in the attack in the second half, but until the last moment of the match the three points were up for grabs. The reigning Ukrainian champions didn't look to be playing for the win, and in the end that cost them all three points when Moses equalized. Goal difference is now the only thing keeping the Ukrainians at the top of Group E.
Bayern Munich enjoyed piling up their goal difference as they dominated and soundly defeated LOSC Lille in Group F. 6-1 was the final score in favor of the German side, who are now tied for the top of the group with Valencia, an embarrassing defeat to BATE proving to bite them in the Arsch. The Group of Death, Group D ended with 2-2 draws between Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund and Manchester City and Ajax. The English Champions are struggling to maintain good form in both domestic and European competition as they sit at the bottom of the group with only two points. Ajax, if they weren't in the Group of Death, would easily qualify for the round-of-sixteen with their lovely and aesthetically pleasing Total Football but instead they sit in third place, the Europa League spot, with four points. The German Champions and DFB Pokal 2012 winners sit at the top of the group with eight points after a fantastic victory at home against Real Madrid and then a dramatic 2-2 draw at the Santiago Bernabeu. Los Galacticos, despite being under the watchful eye and notorious leadership of The Special One, are in second place. Still good enough to advance, but far from the first-place-with-outlandish-goal-difference-and-billion-point-lead that they enjoyed in the Group Stage last season. Ah, what a league!
Today in Europa League the disgustingly underrated Juan Arango savored a point for his Borussia Moenchengladbach (say that ten times fast) side in France with a technical masterpiece in the 92nd minute of play. His side have recently been the center of gossip as several of Lucien Farve's youngsters have turned to the press to whine about their lack of playing time. Like that's going to get you more minutes on the pitch. The level-headed Gladbach legend kept calm and carried on as the pretty-boy hissy fits calmed down and produced yet another vital goal for his side. The draw meant that goal difference puts Gladbach ahead of Marseille in the Group C standings with Feneberahce sitting pretty at the top.
Liverpool FC's manager Brendan Rogers will surely have to defend his decision to not only put on a starting eleven resembling the Liverpool Reserves for their match in Russia today. The Reds were lucky that hosts Anji were not at their strongest. If the Russians had been on, who knows how many more goals they would have added to the 1-0 scoreline. Traore's cheeky chip over Brad Jones on the stroke of half time was the only goal of the game while Liverpool's young squad hardly threatened Gabulov in the opposite penalty box. Young Boys Bern's victory over Udinese allowed them to creep up on the over-confident Liverpool, who only hold on to the second place spot thanks to goal difference.
|Marco Streller sporting his Phatom of the Opera mask to|
protect a broken nose. Stylin'.
Inter Milan and Rubin Kazan were able to clean up in Group H, making it mathematically possible for them to celebrate advancing through to the next round. FC Mentalist Kharkiv (what a name!) and Bayer 04 Leverkusen have also topped off their group, Group K while Lyon and Hannover 96 also managed to secure guaranteed passage.