UEFA Champions League: Your Running Commentary

UEFAChampionsLeagueLogo (Getty)

By DAN KARELL

With Lionel Messi on the bench, Barcelona will hope for another savior to help them come back from four goals down when they host Bayern Munich today in the Champions League semifinals (2:45pm FX Channel).

Barcelona manager Tito Vilanova has called for his side to play good soccer, and through that, he’s confident that they will find a way to score goals. But it’s not going to be easy to come back from a four-goal deficit against a talented and fit team, even at the Camp Nou. Javier Mascherano and Sergio Busquets have both been ruled out with injury, meaning that the frailties of the Spanish side’s defense could be on full display again.

Jupp Heynckes’ squad won their tenth match in a row last Saturday, despite putting out a team with ten different starters from last Tuesday’s win over Barcelona. Arjen Robben and Thomas Müller were fully rested while Frank Ribery and Javi Martinez featured in the second half, meaning that the vaunted Bayern midfield should be at full strength when kickoff comes. Mario Mandzukic is available again, and though Dante is suffering from a slight illness, he’s expected to be ready to go.

If you will be watching today’s action, please feel free to share your thoughts, opinions and some play-by-play in the comments section below.

Enjoy the action.

This entry was posted in European Soccer, Featured, Soccer on TV. Bookmark the permalink.

86 Responses to UEFA Champions League: Your Running Commentary

  1. Barca 0 – 1 Bayern

  2. RK says:

    Messi on the bench…oh well.

  3. csa says:

    It’s a shame Barca didn’t sign Dempsey last season. They never would have been in this situation had he been on the team

  4. NATO says:

    O/T

    but who do you think will be crowned US Soccer Player of the Year? No sure frontrunners except Dempsey

    • MemRook says:

      If jozy can find his scoring boots with the national team he’ll be in the running. Guzan will be a candidate too. If deuce keeps lighting it up for the Nats tho, he’ll probably be favorite.

    • CG says:

      I suppose by definition, there can only be one frontrunner and I would agree that Dempsey is probably that guy, but I think Altidore and Bradley will be in the conversation. Perhaps Howard and Gomez as well. It also depends on the age-old debate about how such things are assessed – is __________ the best player or did he have the best year?

    • DanO says:

      Dempsey or Bradley

  5. zykwithurs says:

    any fans of Game of Thrones?

  6. RB says:

    That WAS a back pass…

  7. RB says:

    So ol’ Gus has so far called Pique Alves and Neuer, Mûller…

  8. ChiTown says:

    wtf tito

  9. ChiTown says:

    see you later villa, good riddance

  10. ChiTown says:

    MOVE DAMMIT VILLA MAKE A FREAKING RUN

  11. Scott says:

    Robben is to Bayern what Xavi is to Barca. Really good player who I greatly dislike do to constant complaining about everything, real and imagined.

  12. ed - houston says:

    Barcelona is playing with good urgency. Still, they are in a bigger hole than RM were yesterday.

    • beachbum says:

      fun to watch games when Barca has to go for it, the back and forth action is great fun if you don’t care who wins, like me. Barca maybe can counter after Bayern streak forward on their own counter? At least there’s some space then

  13. ChiTown says:

    gus has only gotten xavi and pedro right. this is painful.

  14. Michael F SBI Mafia Original says:

    Villa just stands around and sills every surge. Sub?

  15. ChiTown says:

    also i see tito being fired

    • Scott says:

      At the end of this year? I would say there is about a 1% chance of the happening

      • ChiTown says:

        way way higher than 1%. there’s already talk of him being fired–to the extent that the club had to issue statements on it.

        his tactics have been beyond dismal with the talent at his disposal. he’s gone away from tikitaka rather dramatically and as Hislop just said on the game commentary, he started Messi in the league game and benched him for the champions league semi final.

        He’s going to be destroyed in the media. Destroyed.

  16. Alex G says:

    Bye bye Barcemoda, no guts no glory no nothing…

  17. ChiTown says:

    Messi on the bench – The worst decision since Luis Suarez’ mum slept with a beaver.

    • beachbum says:

      I’d say the decision to start him last week when he was not close to fit was perhaps bigger

  18. LIKO says:

    Barcelona, sign Clint Dempsey. Tottenham will let him go for 5 million pounds. He can guarantee you 15 goals in all competitions.

  19. Dinho says:

    Why would you not push Robben to his right? He goes left almost exclusively. Not taking anything away from the goal, though. Great finish. (I still hate him)

    • beachbum says:

      man, was JUST going to post that. I was going to earlier when he kept cutting back to his left and Barca seemed to not know that he tries to do that literally EVERY TIME!

    • RB says:

      Wright made the same commentary and it’s absolutely on target. Dunno what the Barça defenders are thinking there…

      • Dinho says:

        Oh really?

        Not watching with sound (down low at the office), so I missed that comment from Wright. I knew I liked him for a reason (not an Arsenal fan)

        • beachbum says:

          not watching with sound either :)

        • RB says:

          Yeah I don’t remember which defender it was but he called him out for it. And he brought it up again later when Piqué stopped Robben on a similar sort of move, saying, “See? Piqué knows” or something like that.

        • beachbum says:

          no sound here either, but I like Gus, just can’t have sound on here

  20. Pete says:

    I wish Ray Hudson was calling this game. He would sound so depressed, right now.

  21. ChiTown says:

    wow. xavi out for sanchez when david villa is doing what he’s done?!

    and to keep up with my comment above–don’t think Rosell won’t hesitate to kick tito to the curb if Barcelona goes SCORELESS over two legs in the champions league.

  22. ChiTown says:

    dang it gus, his name is IN-iesta not IAN-esta.

  23. RB says:

    Have I missed it or does Bayern need to think about getting some players out? I mean Barça even WITH a healthy Messi is not likely to notch 6 goals in 30 mins, so…

  24. ChiTown says:

    uh soooo tito just conceded the match

  25. Dinho says:

    Xavi, then Iniesta subbed. And Song still on the field? Towel thrown.

  26. RB says:

    Oh, look — Robben trying to get on his left!

  27. ChiTown says:

    it’s like tito never watched the team when they were firing on all cylinders.

    ian wright has been talking about it since the first minute and it’s simply impossible to understand how tito has continued to allow david villa to STAY INSIDE and not out wide like he should be.

    And cesc is so far out of position. And so many more things.

    I hate criticizing coaches for selections because many times we have no idea what they’re trying to do, but these players clearly do not work in their current location.

  28. Dinho says:

    Pique. hahaha.

  29. RB says:

    Wow. Way to put an exclamation point on it.

  30. ChiTown says:

    my god i can’t wait until dani alves is gone. dude–that’s frank ribery standing behind you.

    if bayern scores a 3rd i can see tito being fired before the weekend. there’s a pride factor in major football on top of the work. losing by 7 or 8 to 0 is more than a loss.

  31. RB says:

    How about Gus sticks to basketball but Fox keeps Ian Wright in the booth

    • ChiTown says:

      yeah i really like ian, knowledgeable but not condescending, and has a good pace and voice

      • RB says:

        He seems great to me! Don’t think I’ve ever heard him before. Seems very straightforward, down-to-earth, but yes, just like you say, knowledgeable but not condescending or showy about it or whatever.

        • ChiTown says:

          seems like he’s enjoying the match at hand, but now as crazy as ray hudson–love that man

  32. ChiTown says:

    and there it is

    chances of Tito being fired after this game are increasing by 10% a goal.

    • ed - houston says:

      lol, good one, which is a 70% chance right now

    • Increase says:

      He or whoever else was handling Messi injury should be fired. They should have rested him for the game last weekend. Why were they risking him in a virtually meaningless game in La liga.
      I don’t think the management there is brave enough to tell Messi not to play unless he is completely broken. Why risk a hurt player’s health at all in a situation like that weekend game?

  33. Spectra says:

    WOW Is this the worst champions league semi final ever. 7-0

  34. RB says:

    Great work from Ribery

  35. ChiTown says:

    can’t believe im saying this, but come on over mourinho.

  36. ed - houston says:

    Real madrid fans must be eating this up!! while Barcelona fans are getting a dose of humble pie.

    • beachbum says:

      how about the importance of Lionel? Hard to claim that Iniesta and Xavi make Lionel with as much gusto as has often been heard after what Barca has done without him

      it was a laugher

  37. ChiTown says:

    warren barton actually speechless about tito’s decisions as a manager. he can’t even manage commentator doublespeak or defection talk to not make a big deal about it haha

    and brian mcbride telling barcelona to go away from tiki-taka is hilarious and so beyond dumb. they need new attacking talent like neymar that will stretch a defense and a new LB/RB combo.

    • Steevens says:

      While McBride is not the most eloquent about it I think most recognize that Barca must move away from strict tiki-taka. It’s the same tactics, with the same XI, with the same subs all the time from Barca. The subs never change the tactics and therefore if the ONLY thing they do is not working all they can do is more of the same.

  38. Dan M says:

    Yeah, like Patton said “A fixed fortification is nothing but a monument to the stupdity of mankind.” Because Barca is such a known commodity and they are so utterly dependent on Messi, they are now back to being the best team on the Iberian Peninsula, instead of the best club on earth. They need to rotate in more players and consider adapting their style to suit different situations. More Ibra’s, less midgets. This would not only enable them to counter other strategies, but it would make it harder for opponents to disect them with a specific “anti-Barca” strategy. Tiki-taka is not going anywhere anytime soon, but there has to be a balance. In that regard, McBride has a point.

  39. MiamiAl says:

    Its over for Barca and La Liga. Bundesliga and Bayern have arrived. They will be dominant for years to come! Nobody can stop Bayern, not even a team that has a good history against them in Dortmund.