Champions League: Your Running Commentary

Good afternoon folks. We’re close to getting underway with the Round of 16 of the UEFA Champions League. I will be watching the Inter-Liverpool (ESPN2) and Real Madrid-Roma (ESPN360.com) games simultaneously and offering my own running commentary on the matches.

So in short, if you don’t want Real Madrid-Roma score spoiled for you then don’t follow along (who still does this by the way? You telling me you’re not going to watch if you hear the score was 3-2 either way? And if you find out it was scoreless might you consider not watching it?)

As always, feel free to share your thoughts on today’s action, as well as your thoughts on my commentary, in the comments section below.

Enjoy the soccer.

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That’s all for now. Thanks to those of you who followed along here.

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FINAL- Roma 2, Real Madrid 1. Real won’t be happy with the loss but the road goal is vital heading back to Spain for the return leg. With Robinho a good bet to be back for the second game, Real Madrid shouldn’t feel too bad. Roma played its best match in weeks and will need to keep that form going to have a chance of holding off Real Madrid in the second leg.

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FINAL- Liverpool 2, Inter Milan 0. A dream result for Liverpool heading back to Milan. Inter will feel a bit cheated by the weak second yellow card on Marco Materazzi but some slack late defending is what cost Inter today.

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91st minute- Wow, can you believe this one? Three days after losing to Barnsley on the same field, Liverpool is going to beat an Inter Milan team that hadn’t lost since September. Just wow.

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90th minute- GOAL LIVERPOOL. Steven GERRARD with a blast from 25 yards out. Liverpool 2, Inter Milan 0.

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86th minute- Nice cross from the right flank from Pennant finds a wide-open Kuyt on the left side of the box, and he sends a shot at goal that deflects of Maicon before going in. Clutch goal.

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85th minute- GOAL LIVERPOOL!!!! And yes, it’s Dirk Kuyt. That’s what you call instant jinx. Sorry Inter fans.

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84th minute- I must say that Crouch has looked effective as a sub while Dirk Kuyt hasn’t done a thing today.

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81st minute- Liverpool with a corner that Pennant wastes. Inter breaks on the counter but does nothing.

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80th minute- Ibrahimovic is lost today. He finally gets the ball on a good sequence but sends a wide pass into the stands.

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79th minute- Crouch gets a chance in the penalty area but Maxwell steps in to block a goal-bound shot.

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77th minute- Liverpool corner goes nowhere. Gerrard is trying to will his team to a win but the offense just can’t break down a makeshift Inter defense.

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75th minute- Ivan Cordoba is being stretchered off with a leg injury. It looks pretty bad. Nicolas Burdisso comes in for Cordoba.

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74th minute- Crouch has a bad clearance come to him at the arc but he sends his shot wide left. Not much attack for Liverpool.

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72nd minute- Inter has taken control of the match despite being a man down.

Pennant comes in for Babel.

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70th minute- Nothing on the Inter corner.

Jermaine Pennant set to come in for Liverpool.

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69th minute- An Inter Milan corner kick.

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66th minute- Liverpool with more possession now but still looking for the breakthrough pass. And maybe it’s just me but Patrick Viera looks a step slow.

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64th minute- Fernando Torres comes OH so close with a 23-yard shot.

Peter Crouch is in for Lucas Leiva. Three forwards in for Liverpool now.

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ROMA-REAL (58th minute)- GOAL ROMA. It’s Mancini with the go-ahead strike. He runs in behind the Madrid defense and finishes off a nice pass from Totti.

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61st minute- Patrick Viera looked to have a handball in the box but it wasn’t called. Gutsy no-call from the ref considering the entire stadium screamed for it. My take? Viera’s hands were in front of his face when the ball came at him so I say good no call.

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59th minute- Hypia sends a wide-open header over the bar. Wow, that Torres chance that Julio Cesar saved came within inches of going in.

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58th minute-Torres gets in behind the Inter defense and breaks in on goal only to have Julio Cesar make a fingertip save. That was the chance. I don’t see Liverpool getting another one that good.

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56th minute- Hey, a Dejan Stankovic sighting. I wasn’t sure if he was playing today.

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54th minute- Patrick Viera is set to come in for Inter, he will replace Julio Cruz.

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52nd minute- Benitez needs to make a sub. This lineup isn’t getting it done.

And if you are following the commentary please let me know in the comments section. I’m probably going to wrap up my commentary a bit early.

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49th minute- Liverpool just can’t put together any long passing sequences. Everything is runs down the wing and bad crosses in. Inter will take this result as is and its defense barely misses Materazzi right now.

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HALFTIME- Liverpool has 45 minutes to get a game-winner they must have because winning in Milan will be near impossible.

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HALFTIME- Liverpool 0, Inter Milan 0. The Inter strikers have been invisible, in part because the midfield can’t keep the ball and create chances. That was before Materazzi was sent off. Liverpool needs to get more creative with the possession edge they’re enjoying right now.

It’s 1-1 at halftime of Roma-Real Madrid match. It has been a wide-open match, with both sides putting together nice attacking sequences. Roma has had a slight edge but hasn’t been able to take advantage of that.

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45th minute- Liverpool with a dangerous sequence but Gerrard’s centering pass goes begging. Torres runs near post so he overruns the ball. That was Liverpool’s best chance in a while.

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42nd minute- I think I jinxed Maicon. He’s looked a bit shaky in the past 10-15 minutes.

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40th minute- Ryan Babel has been pretty active in this match, but the youngster can’t put his shot on frame.

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35th minute- Inter will shift Christian Chivu to central defense, with Maxwell dropping to left back.

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33rd minute- What will Roberto Mancini do now? Will he remove Julio Cruz and insert a central defender? He will have to.

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32nd minute- Didn’t you just know, about five minutes into this match, that Materazzi would get a red card?

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30th minute- MARCO MATERAZZI RED CARD. He was being sloppy all game and gets caught for a second yellow card. Liverpool has a real chance here to take control of the game.

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Roma equalizes to make the score 1-1. David Pizarro with the equalizer.

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22nd minute- Not sure who is calling the Roma-Real Madrid game for ESPN360 but the color commentator sounds like Lennox Lewis.

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19th minute- As some SBI readers predicted, the Real Madrid-Roma match is definitely better from a technical standpoint. Inter-Liverpool is a grittier battle so far.

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16th minute- How good is Maicon? He just might be the best right back in the world. Nobody’s beating him tonight.

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15th minute- If you haven’t tried out ESPN360.com you really need to. It’s a must-have for those of you who want to follow multiple matches.

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10th minute- Back to Liverpool-Inter. A yellow card for Materazzi, who barely touches Torres and draws a yellow. It was about his fifth foul of the match so it was more a persistent infringement call.

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9th minute- REAL MADRID SCORES FIRST. Raul re-directs a long-range Guti shot. Real Madrid 1, Roma 0.

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9th minute- Hypia with a dangerous header that forces a tough save. Liverpool looks good early.

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6th minute- Early on we’re seeing Sami Hypia on Ibrahimovic and Carragher on Julio Cruz. Ibrahimovic has to be licking his chops.

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5th minute- Gerrard looks like he’s going to have a big game today.

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4th minute- Steven Gerrard draws a dangerous free kick for Liverpool.

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2nd minute- Marco Materazzi with his first clumsy challenge. Odds on a yellow card in this game for Materazzi are at 2-1.

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1st minute- That was a scary six seconds of darkness. The game is back on. And Inter Milan’s starting lineup is just plain scary.

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1st minute- And we’re under way. Whoops. We have a blackout on ESPN2.

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PRE-GAME- Liverpool with some young starters in Lucas Leiva and Ryan Babel. Kuyt and Torres up top.

PRE-GAME- Inter hasn’t lost a game since September’s loss to Fenerbahce. Liverpool hasn’t lost since Sunday.

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44 Responses to Champions League: Your Running Commentary

  1. Joe_in_ND says:

    This is the season for Liverpool. They are out of the league, FA Cup, and Carling Cup.

    Glad to see Rafa is taking it so seriously by playing Aurelio and Kuyt on the same field

    :S

  2. eric says:

    OK, lets keep the feed going thru the whole game…

  3. Lee says:

    PRE-GAME- Inter hasn’t lost a game since September’s loss to Fenerbahce. Liverpool hasn’t lost since Sunday.

    Haha that is funny.

  4. Chuck says:

    ESPN 360 @ work is huge!

  5. eric says:

    Why didn’t Torres go for goal on that?!? Good aggressive start for the ‘Pool

  6. Chuck says:

    Madrid 1-0. Raul looked offside to me though

  7. eric says:

    It’s a free country/web site, but I’m asking for no Roma – Real updates, since the game is on ESPN Classic at 5. Any other game I’d take an update, but I’m watching that one.

  8. Lee says:

    Does ESPN360 cost money?

  9. northzax says:

    tecnically, Schlake 04 scored first…kuranyi in the 4th minute…

  10. Don says:

    for those who can’t get espn360 due to their internet providers(like me). you can watch the madrid/roma match at link to channelsurfing.net (use first link on the site)

  11. eric says:

    Peace out y’all, I need my computer for some actual work during the festivities don’t want to know about Roma – Real.

    I say Liverpool need to convert their early domination into a goal soon, or Inter is going to get back into the game.

  12. Chuck says:

    Pizzaro just tied it up 1-1. Cassilas probably would have had it if his defender didn’t touch it

  13. Joamiq says:

    Don – thanks for the tip!

  14. Joe_in_ND says:

    Wow, Liverpool get lucky and Materazzi gets sent off. I am fine with it though.

    Liverpool haven’t been able to buy a break all season, we deserve a break at least one game. Don’t we?

  15. Garrett says:

    Liverpool caught a major break… ridiculous.

    I hate being sick from work… but its a little better when Champions League is on.

    I love espn360.com

  16. Jon says:

    does anyone else find it funny that the commentators keep saying that espn won’t show the score of the other games during the run of play, yet the scores are scrolling while they are speaking?

  17. Phillip says:

    Those were two SOFT yellows.

    The Belgian ref has to be on the take.

    No way you send someone off for that.

  18. ManicMessiah says:

    I’m following along, Ives.

  19. Kevin says:

    Ives, Please keep it going for those of us stranded at work with no access to 360…its killing me.

  20. ManicMessiah says:

    I’ve been watching Inter/Liverpool with while glancing off at Roma/Madrid. I might have to switch that soon.

  21. ManicMessiah says:

    Nice to see Liverpool try something with that corner.

  22. Sam says:

    I am also following along at work

  23. ManicMessiah says:

    Ugh, I was looking for a replay on the Viera noncall, and I miss a goal in the other game.

  24. Chuck says:

    Roma 2-1. Great thru ball by Totti and a cool finish by Mancini

  25. Chuck says:

    Does Robben ever pass the ball?

  26. Chuck says:

    The Ref for the Roma-Madrid game is the same one who got attacked. He really looks like a fat Simon Cowell

  27. Chuck says:

    I wonder if Totti’s neck really gets that cold

  28. ManicMessiah says:

    There’s the goal! 1-0 Liverpool. It was a goal they had to have. Great job by Crouch earlier in the play.

  29. ManicMessiah says:

    Goal Liverpool 2-0! I’m not sure whether that was great or fluky.

  30. RK says:

    WOW!!! What a shot…

  31. dcpohl says:

    What a cracking shot by Gerrard! Those are the goals he’s known for. Beautiful!

  32. Marlon says:

    cordoba is nasty. was stopping everything. really helped liverpool that he got hurt.

  33. CACuzcatlan says:

    Dammit! I’m stuck at work. Can’t wait to get home to see the results. I was convinced Inter was unstoppable and on track for a treble.

  34. frank says:

    I understand Materazzi has a certain reputation, but the second yellow was very weak. It cost Inter the game. (i’m not an inter fan). Just hate it when the refs decide games this important.

  35. Joe_in_ND says:

    Foot in mouth about Kuyt I guess.

    I am so happy. :)

  36. PV says:

    Two incredibly weak yellows for Materazzi. Usually complaints about refs are overdone, but this match was an embarrassment.

  37. Ted says:

    Materazzi did get sent off for two soft yellows, but the ref made bad decisions against Liverpool also (a couple handball calls, plus two of them in the area). He was consistently bad for both teams. I don’t think he decided the game. I’d say two soft calls against Materazzi are equal to two no-calls on handballs in the box.

  38. Ted says:

    Also, I’d like to say I was angry when Pennant came on for Babel instead of Kuyt (it seems like Rafa just doesn’t trust Babel at all), so I have a foot in my mouth as well.

  39. Alex says:

    I wanted Liverpool to win as much as any other EPL-brainwashed American (that’s what watching the Fox Soccer Report will do to you) but they got a really lucky break with Materazzi’s sending off. Am I the only one that thinks those were two very, very harsh yellows?

  40. eric says:

    Ives –

    Since you asked on the opening page about why not wanting to know the score of the 2nd game, here is the scenario where I prefer it. I work at home and was going to be working until 7 or so either way, so I’d just keep the TV on. If the game is mediocre or poor, well I’ll just get more done.

    Cheers!

  41. Sean H. says:

    After watching the two games today it really emphasized to me Liverpool’s lack of creativity. Even though they won the match, all they did was pound it down the flanks all day and look for a cross. Whereas Real Madrid and Roma played team football and combined well with their teammates. It was just plain better football and it was more entertaining to watch.

  42. HE from NJ says:

    heinze got beat again on def!
    last year, kaka got past him in the Milan-ManU game.
    This year, totti benefits from his bad defense and gives the pass 2 Mancini for the win.
    that guy (heinze) sucks!

  43. KingSnake says:

    The ref did not decide the game: Materrazi did, by failing to heed a very obvious warning (the first yellow) regarding the direction of his future conduct.

    link to fortheintegrityofsoccer.blogs.com

  44. reid says:

    Sean- Being a diehard liverpool supporter, I couldnt agree with you more. The only creativity I see is when babel and pennant get on the field. Being biased to the Prem, I would love to see pennant go to Italy to play, it just might encourage other english to leave the country