Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Champions League Diary: Bayern Munich-Barcelona 1st Leg, 1st Half

Bayern Munich, the Yankees of the Bundesliga, have made the quarters of the UEFA Champions League. They're off to Barcelona for a nice paella, a pitcher or two of sangria and perhaps a match against Barcelona.

Pregame: I have to say, this whole "grab kids to wear the opposing uniform and pose for pregame photos is kind of bizarre. It's always fun when one of the munchkins is so stunned by being in front of 60,000 people that she just kind of stumbles around in a trance until Messi points out the right direction.

2:00 - Critics worried that Bayern would play conservatively, but their 9-1 formation allows Luca Toni an entire half of the field to dive and gel his hair. Not quite enough room, one would guess. Bayern has left star left back Philip "Rack of" Lahm on the bench, presumably

5:13 - Samuel Eto'o beats the Bayern 'keeper like a rented goalie but can't quite get enough on the shot. He calls his agent to ask for a transfer.

8:01 - GOOOOOOOOAAAALLLLLL! Lionel Messi shows why he's only a monster coke habit, a lifetime pass to KFC and a ginormous ego away from being the next Maradona.

10:50 - Rafa Marquez shows that if it's not the USA in the opposing shirts, he's a) a decent defender and b) not a total punkass bitch.

12:00 - GOOOOOOOOAAAALLLLLL! Eto'o wasn't satisfied with almost scoring and getting an assist and takes a sweet ball from Messi to beat my high school team's offsides trap (again on the Lahm-less left side of the Munich "D"). He celebrates his goal by calling a press conference to claim that Barcelona doesn't appreciate him enough.

17:00 - YELLOW CARD! Being the next Maradona means you have to dive, roll and whine at every opportunity, and Messi is living up to his rep. Sweet to see someone booked for such poor acting. Guardiola, the Barca manager is tossed for whining about not being gifted a 3rd goal.

18:30 - Not a good sign when your best striker has the ball cleanly stripped on a slide tackle by THE OPPOSITION'S STRIKER. On the replay, though, it's clear that Toni was unfairly distracted by a mirror and hair product on the sidelines.

21:30 - Henry hits a touch shot just wide of the post and slides into the keeper (Butt, insert your own joke here) -- cleats up into his face. Kind of bullshit -- he could've made some effort to avoid him.

24:00 - Someone needs to cut off the Bayern keeper's rattail. Apparently his hair stylist has been studying the yearbook photos of my middle school classmates.

27:00 - After the restart from the face-stitching, Munich looks content to sit on their 2-goal deficit. It's a bold strategy, Cotton, let's see how it pays off.

29:00 - Munich celebrates their only real possession in the Barcelona half by having two guys offside in completely non-threatening positions. That's the Capone-on-tax-evasion of soccer stupidity.

33:00 - Rather than open a partisan bottle of Franziskaner or Rioja, I retain my blogger integrity with a neutral gin and tonic.

37:00 - GOOOOOOOOAAAALLLLLL! For some reason Toni was "guarding" Henry along the baseline & gave up a cross that went through 3 or 4 Munich players to Messi who taps it in from 4 inches off the line. I haven't seen a team of Germans look this inept since Hogan's Heroes.

42:00 - GOOOOOOOOAAAALLLLLL! Van Bommel throws a shoulder into Messi's face, then apparently feels almost guilty & passes it to Henry for an easy goal. Should've been at least a yellow in addition to a goal.

45:00 - Bayern, in spite of looking outnumbered in both halves, manages to put together a nifty little play in the Barca box. Ribery mistakes the Barca 'keeper for a bear & tries to distract him by kicking the ball harmlessly parallel to the goal.

Halftime - Whether or not Landon Donovan learned anything from his 2 months in Germany with Bayern, they clearly learned from him how to disappear in big road games. Bayern has played with all the intensity of a pregame walkthrough -- to an exhibition match. Barcelona look a bit stunned, like the exam they've been cramming for turns out to be written by a Georgia basketball coach. This is exactly the kind of game that would be livened up by some cheerleaders -- Barcelona's dressed as Carmen (apparently that's spanish for "cougar"):

Bayern's in dirndls (german for "jailbait"):

Ok, no promises on a complete 2nd half diary. This is sucking the life out of me.

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