Referee rants, plane dashes and Sevilla's doodling doddle

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"It was a great game between two attacking sides and I think the second leg is very open. It could be even better than this one", was what Bernd Schuster should have said after Real Madrid's 2-1 defeat to Roma, on Tuesday night, a match where El Pais felt that his side "lacked the fertility of other days".

But instead, Bernado decided to switch to his default misery-guts mode and jabbed the finger of footballing blame firmly in the direction of Herr Herbert Fandel, Tuesday's man in the middle.

"He doesn't deserve to be a countryman of mine", blasted Bernd. "He was a homer...he blew almost all of the time in favour of Roma", continued the moustachioed moaner as he added Germany to Catalunya in the short list of places where he feels referees have it in for him.

Of course, Real Madrid's myopic manager is happily overlooking Raul's outrageous dive that brought a yellow for Di Rossi and Robben's outrageous dive that brought a dangerous free kick for the visitors.

And not to mention the fact that Diarra was a gnat's duvet away from being sent off for two yellows, something even Marca feel would have been a fair call.
Looking ahead though and AS' Tomas Roncero is very,very excited about the prospect of the second leg at the Bernabeu, in Wednesday's post partido piece.

"There will be 85,000 throats ripped with emotion,when, in the 90th minute, Real Madrid go through to the quarters, while a tearful Sergio Ramos applauds from the stands (watching) the heroes of the 5th March and...the greatest club of all time".

The man is either utterly insane or desperately needs to get laid. La Liga Loca-ettes. It's time to do your duty.
Marca's very own loon, Roberto Gomez, tells his readers about his lovely day out in Rome. But more importantly, he tells his readers about all the very, very important people he met as he merrily went about his day.
The highlight for the raving-mad Roberto was "finding himself with the prestigious cardiologist, doctor Gomez-Angulom, who came over from Malaga especially to see the game".
Baring in mind that Gomez' recent columns have consisted of glowing tributes to his favourite restaurant, repeated claims to the greatness of Florentino Perez and a plug for some flats that his construction magnate mate is trying to flog, La Liga Loca suspects Gomez is looking for a spot of surgery on the cheap. Possibly to have his head removed from his arse.
On Wednesday night, it is Barcelona's turn to play the wheel of Champions League fortune in Celtic Park, a place few teams get much joy out of.

But Frankie Rijkaard's men nearly had to take on the Scottish Bravehearts without Ronaldinho, who, in a story that almost made the blog pee with delight, nearly missed the plane to Glasgow.

The Brazilian failed to catch the team coach to el Prat and eventually arrived at the departure gate in a taxi, with the club having blamed traffic for his late arrival. A fine excuse if it wasn't for the fact that Castelldefels neighbours, Eidur Gudjohnsen and Leo Messi turned up on time. Now's the time for Joan Laporta to implement that car pooling scheme.

Sport, for one, are in buoyant mood ahead of the match with Josep Maria Casanovas writing that "the medical room is emptying, the African Cup of Nations is over and they have the best bench on the continent". 0-0, then?
Sevilla have been walking the diplomatic tightrope in Turkey - something quite normal whenever José Maria del Nido attends away trips. Ahead of Wednesday's match with Fenerbahce, Manolo Jiménez had to deny reports in the local press that he claimed the Champions League clash would be a doodling doddle.

"I've never spoken to any journalist from that country in my life", pleaded the madhouse manager, in a desperate attempt to avoid rocks being hurled in his direction.

But that's something the club's preening president is quite unconcerned about. "We have two possibilities in the Champions League. We go through...or we go through", trumpeted del Nido as he watched the snow and ice being shovelled from the Fenerbahce pitch by Kerzhakov.
The great news for all football fans is that Valencia's big day in court is now just forty-eight hours away. And Rubén Baraja, for one, is not happy about it. "This is just embarrassing. We used to be the envy of Europe", complained the midfielder on Albeda's upcoming case.

However, Baraja's main problem is with his current/former team-mate bringing the pecuniary claim - a player he has never seen eye to eye with, according to a recent interview with the player in El Pais. "I tried to call (Albeda), but he didn't answer", admitted Baraja.