Prague Twin

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

European Championship

The European Champions league is THE professional sporting event of the year here. For professional soccer, it is the ultimate title because all of the best players, play in European leagues, and this is the best of the best.

This year it is Barcelona against Arsenal in the final. Barcelona won the very competitive Spanish league this year for a fourth consecutive title (a record). Arsenal has never advanced past the quarterfinals prior to this year. They play a two-game aggregate format. CORRECTION:/ It is all or nothing, the final tonight in Paris.

First half:

Thierry Henry (France) of Arsenal had two shots on goal within the first 4 minutes. The first being an amazing first touch in the box, and a quick punch with the outside of his foot that was leg-saved by the goalie.

Barcelona countered with two shots on goal, and then Ronaldino (Brazil) of Barcelona made a beautiful pass to Samuel Eto'o but he appeared to be offside. Curriously, there is no film of the exact moment when Ronaldinho made the pass to prove if Eto'o was indeed offside. Eto'o then was free to the goal at about 40 yards out and the Arsenal goalie Lehmann takes out Eto'o without getting any ball. Barcelona would have scored, but a foul was called and Lehmann was red-carded.

About 10 minutes later, Campell of Arsenal scored on a header off of an Henry free kick.

In the third minute of extra time (rough game), Eto'o had a clean shot on goal that was blocked by the replacement goalie and bounced hard off the left crossbar.

End of first half: 1-0 Arsenal

Second half:

Arsenal continued to put the pressure on with shots from Henry and Llungberg. Ronaldinho had several chances but only put one shot on goal.

In the 60th minute, Barcelona brought on Henrik Larsson which proved to be a great move. In the 76th minute he made a perfect pass to Eto'o who scored. Five minutes later he had another assist to Billetti.

Barcelona worked the clock and are now European Champions.

Final: Barcelona 2, Arsenal 1

7 Comments:

  • Alas, I know squat about soccer :(

    By Blogger dusty, at 5:07 AM  

  • Wow! Interesting change in subject matter. As a fellow American (and bay area-er to boot) I am surprised that you are so into soccer. But I guess you have been there long enough to assimilate. I still can't get the hang of it. However, I work for the publisher of a football magazine here, and as such, was invited to view the actual FIFA trophy in Singapore as it makes its way around the world. It was a nice event and I have pictures (I think) taken with my cell phone.
    So, is 7 years enough time to completely forget the 49ers and the Raiders?

    By Blogger expatbrian, at 12:34 PM  

  • Hell no!

    Still a huge Raider's fan. My mom used to run the bar up in Santa Rosa where they trained. I had dinner with the whole team when I was 9 years old. Fan for life (for better or for worse).

    I have gotten into soccer now though, mostly because of my Brittish friend. Also, I played as a kid for like 8 years so it isn't exactly alien to me.

    I just didn't have it in me to post on politics last night with the game on so I thought, what the hell. That will probably be the last sports post until football season.

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 4:36 PM  

  • I must admit the excitement level would have beenm much higher with the Socceroos involved. One day - sighs....

    By Blogger Cartledge, at 6:13 PM  

  • Praguetwin: The bar in Santa Rosa where the Raiders trained -- was that the El Rancho Tropicana? It's been torn down to make way for another shopping mall, but I'm pretty sure the Raiders used to train at their grounds. The bar and coffee shop were really trippy places late at night; it was like you'd walked into a Fellini movie or a Tom Waits song.

    By Blogger Tom Harper, at 8:26 PM  

  • PT,

    Catching up and procrastinating instead of doing the work I need to complete b/f I head to the right coast tomorrow.

    I played; my wife is a licensed coach; my sdaughter Grace was an elite youth club player and starts for Vassar College.

    The remainder or your news, however, is disquieting. Please understand that I reside in Colorado at the farthest reaches of the Denver metro area. As I Broncos fan, I don't differentaite much between the Raider Nation and the Peoples Democratic Repblic of North Korea. I recall a restaurant review that describe one establishment's food as "as heavy and greasy as an Oakland Raiders fan."

    Everyone here remembers the AFC Championship game of 1977 when Tom Jackson turned to John Madden and screamed, "It's over Fat Man."

    How can you support a team whose fans look like extras from the set of Road Warrior?

    I am uncertain whether Roger knows this about you. If you wish your sordid secret to remain unknown, you may make a generous contribution to Tony's Suds and Duds Fund.

    Broncos Rule,

    T

    By Anonymous Tony Sokolow, at 9:31 PM  

  • Tom,

    They used to hang out there too, and my Mom actually worked there as well. But I am speaking of Fiori and Grace Pub/Cafe. The El Rancho was definately a very trippy place. I have fond memories from my childhood, playing in the pool and waiting in the bar for my Mom. Even in the 80s it seemed to defy the space-time continuem. Not surprised at all that they turned it into a shopping mall.

    Tony,

    Look, I don't mind you bagging on the Raiders, I have spent a lifetime bagging on the Broncos. Just promise me this one thing: you will never write "Br**c*s R**e" on my blog ever again.

    Look, Madden was a friend of my Mom's. I had dinner with the whole team in a private banquet room. The first NFL game I ever saw live we had free tickets and it was the 1980 wildcard game against Houston, when they went on to win the Super Bowl. Irrespective of the fans' demeanor, size, and oil level, I am stuck with them, so just let it be.

    Thanks for understanding.

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 2:24 PM  

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