Chelsea vs Barcelona

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
i think chelsea got their number and can do em in spain but they have to win by to clear goals, or, more likely 3-2 or something. my prediction is 4-3 to chelsea. i just hope no one gets sent off. but still, they handled them nicely with ten men for most of the match, ronaldihno didn';t really do much, terry was unlucky with the goal, otherwise he was a big monster, i would support barcelona but i'm english so i can't can i really, its wrong.
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
mind you, the difference was, eto is a top striker, drogba is no type of striker at all
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
it might not be art strictly speaking but its a lot better than 'the new world'!
(or house of leaves)
 

bun-u

Trumpet Police
Messi was pretty special though wasn’t he? I know we’ve been here before with Maradona comparisons (Aimar, Riquelme, Saviola, D'Alessandro,…event Martin Palermo), but he’s the closest yet
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
Simon Barnes says this was no chick-flick, more a boys’ film about character and endurance in the face of adversity, won in the end by skill over dogged resolve


TONIGHT, you can watch the women figure skaters pout and preen their way to the medals. But if you wanted to get a serious understanding of the difference between artistic impression and technical merit, then obviously the thing to do was to watch the Chelsea-Barcelona match last night.
That, at any rate, was the way things were supposed to be. Football has this thing about beauty, and Barcelona do beauty, according to the consensus, while Chelsea do not. That is the now-traditional meaning of this fixture and last year, when the teams met in the same stage of the Champions League, Barcelona got all the available points for artistry in a single moment of genius from Ronaldinho. But Chelsea won, showing that beauty only gets you so far. Which meant that along with their victory, they had to endure the gibes that they won it, yes, but they won it in the wrong way.



These things hurt in football far more than you might think. Behind every footballing tough guy there lurks a mincing aesthete with a love of art for art’s sake, football for football’s sake. A win without art is somehow less than a victory; less, almost, than a beautiful defeat. In football, the romantic and the pragmatist are ever at war in the same breast.

Beauty, it must be understood here, is not Barcelona’s aim but their method. And last night they were ready to use this method at every opportunity — quick-fire passing of wit and purpose in the danger areas, seeking always to produce an unlooked-for player in a position of threat. And Ronaldinho may have all kinds of technical merit to offer: but he is incapable of doing anything without beauty.

He is football’s Michael Holding, and Holding looked a study in grace even when he kicked the stumps over in temper. The Brazilian’s low, thumping drive had Petr Cech performing a skill that no one but a goalkeeper ever thinks beautiful: a skimming, stinging dive into the mud to make the save. The famously horrid pitch seemed muddy only to Chelsea, who tried a fair amount of the football that people do not consider beautiful, with plenty of stuff in the air and plenty more — don’t call them long passes, that would be too beastly. Longish, and somewhat speculative passes, then. And speed is only beautiful in certain contexts in football.

So far, then, so predictable, but one of the little bonuses of sides that strong in artistic impression is that a team that does beauty can also do surprise. And that was the undoing of Asier Del Horno, taken totally aback by the speed and the skills of Lionel Messi. Beaten once again, he abandoned all thought of aesthetics and went in for a Grim Reaper scythe-swinging tackle, got it horribly wrong and was — perhaps a shade unluckily — sent off. Beauty can be a right bastard to deal with. And perhaps referees are aesthetes, too, and wish to protect beauty as conservationists seek to protect rare butterflies.

But in football, beauty is not truly an end in itself. José Mourinho prefers a functional side full of pliable talents, rather than a random flock of geniuses. He doesn’t get distracted by football’s strange obsession with beauty. And it is one of the strange rules of football that every team in some way reflect their manager.

Chelsea are a dizzy blend of very high technical merit and an even higher sense of self-worth. That was the heart of the clash: Barcelona know they are beautiful but Chelsea know they are wonderful. Something, then, must yield in the course of this tie. The sending-off changed the dynamic of the contest: Chelsea went unashamedly for pragmatism when down to ten men. That naturally involved swapping stiletto for mace, and substituting Didier Drogba for Hernán Crespo.

Chelsea had little option other than ugliness: and for people such as Mourinho there really is no contradiction involved in the phrase “winning ugly”. If you can only see it in the right sort of light, every victory has about it some aspect of beauty. That is, if you can find the victory. And so Chelsea marched on, feeding off the sometimes ugly vibes that exist between the two sides. No pride in method, in such circumstances you take anything you can.

What to do, then, but celebrate when Thiago Motta turned a — beautiful? Supremely effective, anyway — free kick by Frank Lampard into his own net. If there was art in Chelsea’s performance, it was not painting or sculpture or poetry. It was a tough, downright narrative, one about character and endurance and of shared resolve. It was no chick-flick: a boy’s film about what you do for your mates.

Not the most compelling story of all time, no. But Ronadinho then created another unheard-of thing: an own goal of exquisite beauty, a gorgeous free kick for John Terry to head home in horror. Ronaldinho does love to horrify an Englishman. The horror was completed by Samuel Eto’o, heading in a most emphatic winner. Losing ugly: no one has ever considered that a contradiction.
 

jenks

thread death
i thought mourinho's post match interview was maybe one of the oddest i have seen. it reminded me that these people are so focussed that they lose sight of rational thought, thta somehow their rather blinkered view is the only one to have - he's moving out way beyond where even fergie has inhabited.

as for chelsea winning away - yeah, if anyone can do it i'd pick 'em but they really do needs a twent-five plus a year scorer - drogba is big and imposing but eto is something else, i'd have him at spurs.
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
Pretty rubbish game last night right? I thought that the ref was too pernickety, he blew the whistle every time someone fell over (most mystifyingly at the end for the penalty) and the game didn't flow at all. Shame that with all of those players that there weren't really any great moments.
I thought that what Barcelona did well was close Chelsea down in their own half when they were on the ball and force errors so it quickly came back to Barce. Makelele looked surprisingly shaky and the Chelsea midfield didn't seem able to drive the game quickly and get the ball to the wings where they could have had a go at Barcelona's dubious defence, instead they were turning the wrong way and playing it back to the centre-backs who would pass to the keeper who would then shank it upfield. Nine times out of ten it would fall to Barcelona who would then build again.
Strangely Chelsea seemed reluctant (or were unable) to press Barcelona in the same way so they were able to dictate the play through long periods. Pity that they didn't get it wide more because I think Robben and Cole could have got some change out of the fullbacks, there were goals to be had although Drogba hasn't got enough to offer at that level.
That's my analysis anyway.
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
So did Jenks. Either we are all stupid (likely) or he didn't really achieve his final form till a bit later
 
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