Will Wednesday night be a Bernabeu bore-fest?
Tuesday wasnÃ¢ÂÂt the greatest of days in the glorious, award-strewn life of La Liga Loca. It suffered the maddest of moments by tipping AtlÃÂ©tico Madrid for the last four of EuropeÃ¢ÂÂs top competition. After an admittedly entertaining evening spent in the Vicente CalderÃÂ³n it now realises that the club has as much chance of experiencing a semi as Ever Banega in a power cut. For the above aberration, the blog is taking it on the chin, not offering up any excuses and looking ahead to the next game. But a feverish head-cold it is currently suffering must be thrown into the error-making equation. As IÃÂ±aki DÃÂaz-Guerra pointed out in WednesdayÃ¢ÂÂs AS in describing the previous nightÃ¢ÂÂs draw with Porto, Ã¢ÂÂ2-2 isnÃ¢ÂÂt a great result for AtlÃÂ©tico, itÃ¢ÂÂs magnificent.Ã¢ÂÂ
Lopez larrups home his and Porto's first
The rojiblancos were routed on Tuesday night and owed their draw to a hellish howler from, Porto goalkeeper, Helton, who allowed a ForlÃÂ¡n shot to slip through his arms.
This goal had put Atleti into a massively unjust half-time lead, which had most spectators muttering the word Ã¢ÂÂmiracleÃ¢ÂÂ as they munched on their bird seed snacks. The home side had taken the lead through a very early Maxi strike but were battered for the next 40-odd minutes. Porto striker, Lisandro LÃÂ³pez had a perfectly good goal disallowed after 19 minutes, but his side were helped out soon after when a blunder from the centre of the Atleti defence handed the Argentinean the chance to equalise. Ã¢ÂÂPablo is an honourable man and restored justice immediately,Ã¢ÂÂ noted DÃÂaz-Guerra on the footballing gift that just keeps giving. The general rule in Champions League football is that if you concede a goal at home in the first tie then you are in trouble.
If you let in two, then you may as well stay at home in the return leg and watch another god awful, canned laughter Spanish sitcom - something the Atleti players should consider in a fortnightÃ¢ÂÂs time. But this hasnÃ¢ÂÂt stopped, reality-dodging rojiblanco rag, Mundo Deportivo declaring Ã¢ÂÂthere is lifeÃ¢ÂÂ on Wednesday morning. Yes, itÃ¢ÂÂs life Jim. But not as the blog knows it.
Henry stoops to save Barca from successive defeats
Barcelona managed a 1-1 draw in Lyon, but as all La Liga Loca saw of the game was a grainy, missing lines, highlighted version of the match on the Vicente CalderÃÂ³n stadium screens, the blog is as much use as it normally is in dissecting the nightÃ¢ÂÂs events.
However, the Barcelona press have been busy with the straw-clutching on Wednesday and are babbling about Ã¢ÂÂgolden goalsÃ¢ÂÂ. Tonight, the Bernabeu plays host to a match that cannot possibly live up to expectations.
But judging by the blogÃ¢ÂÂs predictive abilities this week it may end up being a 12-11 classic featuring Steven Gerrard staying on his feet for the whole 90 minutes and Guti tracking back. The pre-match build up in the Madridista press has mainly focussed on questions to both Liverpool and Real players on the all-round loveliness of the Madrid captain. Ã¢ÂÂRaÃÂºl wants to retire but he keeps scoring and scoring,Ã¢ÂÂ gushed Jamie Carragher. Ã¢ÂÂIt will be an honour to be on the same pitch as him,Ã¢ÂÂ continued the Liverpool defender.
'Honoured' Carragher get to grips with Raul
There is also a concern with how the reported 3,000 ticketless Scousers will be spending their time before, during and after the game.
As one colleague of La Liga Loca has noted, a gaggle were entertaining themselves by sliding down the bannisters of a metro station escalator on Tuesday. Ã¢ÂÂNot helping our image much,Ã¢ÂÂ she tutted. However, this slightly perilous pursuit may be more fun than tonightÃ¢ÂÂs Bernabeu battle. Poor old Villarreal are not so much the ugly ducklings of the Champions League draw as the Ã¢ÂÂcanardÃ¢ÂÂ that has had extensive plastic surgery to look like Iain Dowie. The Yellow Submarine will be hosting Panathinaikos in El Madrigal in a tie which will unite every country in the world in the sense that each will only show about 20 seconds of action.