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Manchester United will meet AC Milan in the other semi-final to decide who goes to play in the final in Athens. Manchester United made easy work of Roma scoring seven goals in one of the most one sided matches I have watched for a long time. At 3-nil I thought Roma would come back but once it became 4-nil by half time the match was effectively finished as a contest.
Manchester United will now meet another Italian team in the form of AC Milan who beat Bayern Munich 2-0. I thought Milan had wrecked their chances of playing in the semis when they conceded a late equaliser at the San Siro in the first leg but they re-grouped in the second leg and dominated Bayern in their own backyard.
I think the best match of all the second leg ties would have been the match between Valencia and Chelsea. Chelsea needed to win but it was Valencia who scored first and making it even harder for Chelsea because then they needed two goals to win. Chelsea came in the second half a different team and played Valencia off the park in their own backyard.
Chelsea's strength and depth showed in this match and also Jose Mourinho's tactics worked all right and I think Michael Essien was the difference. Essien marked his return from injury with a stunning goal to secure a place semi-final berth for his team.
After winning the first leg 3-0, the second leg at Anfield was a mere formality for Liverpool and it proved to be so. As mentioned in a previous post, PSV are not the team they were in the first half of the season and I think they only came to make sure they didn't lose by an even bigger margin.
The all English semi-final between Chelsea and Liverpool should be an exciting one at least on paper. The last time these two teams met at the same stage two years ago, the matches themselves were not as exciting and I hope that this time we will not see two cagey and ultra defensive matches.
On the Austrlalian TV front, we were subjected once again to the same match being shown on both ESPN and SBS on
both days. SBS had scheduled to show the Liverpool/PSV match but after the result from the first leg they
decided to show the Bayern/Milan match instead which in a way made sense but I don't think the Liverpool fans
liked that decision that much.
The first legs are critical, Milan and Liverpool away. I think they will try to restrict the damage in those away matches and try to control the second legs. I think Milan have the depth to hold off Man U, and while Chelsea have this fighting spirit, Rafa will prevail over Jose.
I agree with you that the scheduling of live games by the networks leaves a lot ot be desired, its either take it or leave it. Thats strange especially when one of them is pay tv and doesn't care about variety. Even though the other games were shown immediately afterwards, one had to consider that these are working days and with SBS showing some matches, surely those issues should have been considered.
I would prefer though a Man U/Chelsea final just to keep the grudge going......
Its unfortunate that teams without money to have a stack of star players on their books stand no chance in this day and era. The best they can do is just reach the qualifying stage and that's it and from there onwards money rules.
We have already outclassed Chelsea at Anfield and with the last leg being at Anfield we will just finish off Chelsea and march on to Athens where the trophy will be awaiting us as both ManU and AC Milan have no chance against Liverpool.