Thursday, April 21, 2011

A breach in Barcelona's armour

A football festival as I tried to juggle the 2 fascinating matches yesterday; Tottenham v/s Arsenal and Barcelona v/s Madrid. The London derby ended in a 3-3 stalemate with goals aplenty as I was mentioning it would yesterday. A really thrilling match and the Gunners will rue throwing away another 2-goal lead. During the first half of the season, it looked like Man Utd was the one giving away points, but the way the Gunners have been surpassing them in this category, is just mind-boggling. Chelsea won, and they seem to have taken the mantle of being Man Utd's main opponents for the title. With 6 points to overcome, their mini-resurgence will prove a little too late, I believe.

In the Copa del Rey, Mourinho did it to the Catalans again! Switching between those 2 games clearly shows the difference between the English and Spanish leagues. While the game at White Hart Lane was an enthralling end-to-end affair that gave football fans something to cheer about, the Spanish final was a poor sight of constant bickering from players of both teams to the referee. If referees in the Premier League think they are under lots of pressure, then they should check this match to see the kind of pressure their Spanish counterparts are subject to. A shameful advertisement from the 2 supposedly best teams in the world. Maybe the stakes couldn't have been higher between  the fiercest rivals of all. But poor spectacle indeed. In the end, Real Madrid won the spoils in extra-time; Mourinho is really a Cup final magician and I wonder if yesterday was the start of the downfall of  Barcelona. Remains to be seen, but the Champions League clashes between the 2 teams will be explosive. There is so much bad blood between those teams that it probably won't be a football spectacle; I can see a flourish of yellow/red cards being handed already.

I mentioned the ramifications from the Masters that Tiger Woods was close to be back at his best. Tennis superstar Rafael Nadal seems to be in dominant form again, particularly on his favorite clay surface. He just won his last tournament as expected, and I reckon he'll do so again at the Barcelona Open on clay this week-end. He looks a safe recommendation to win the tournament again.

Win: Rafael Nadal

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