The King's Marquee

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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Chelsea 1-0 Liverpool; Man U wins but also loses

Champions League play always has its surprises, and the past two days have provided just that.

Even with serious injuries to the Chelsea squad, Chelsea managed to pull out a fabulous one goal advantage at home in the first leg of the Champions League semi-final today. To me, the bigger surprise was Chelsea holding Liverpool to zero goals during the 90-minute battle. With Gerrard and Crouch in the mix, nothing seemed to come easy for Liverpool. In fact, nothing came at all. It's not a shock that Chelsea won at home, but it is a shock that Liverpool didn't manage to put at least one in the net.

Manchester United's lackluster 3-2 home victory yesterday over A.C. Milan sets the stage for a disadvantage for Man U as they head to Milan in the second leg planned for next week. Even with Rooney's two goals (and one coming in stoppage time in the second half), Man U's terrible defense allowed two big "away" goals. Milan scoring two away goals will add up unless United can pull out a major lopsided victory next week. And with roster injuries to Man U, that is going to be a tall order. No, make that gargantuan order!

The betting man who thought that the Champions League final would be a dramatic Manchester United vs Liverpool, may have to settle for the unexpected Chelsea vs A.C. Milan - particularly, if things hold as they appear to be holding. And who gets the edge in such a meeting? If the Chelsea squad remains as injured as they are - then A.C. Milan will have an advantage. If Chelsea can get back to full strength, then its going to be a real Champions League final for the ages!

And this is the thing with soccer - you're never out until the final whistle blows.

And again... this is why soccer the the greatest sport on Earth.

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