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This Is How You Counterattack

Carvalho breaks out and leads Drogba in stride. Drogba's strength and technique are too much. Cole makes a perfect run and one-times with a sliding left-footer. Chelsea 1, Liverpool 0. (Love the color commentary.) So what happens in the second legs next week? I'll say Chelsea ties at Anfield to advance and Milan wins 2-1 at home over Man U to take it on away goals. Your thoughts?


By Steve Goff  |  April 26, 2007; 9:23 AM ET
Categories:  World  
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Comments

Hells yeah it is.

Great run by Drogs, and a fantastic finish from the man we've been missing most - Joey freakin' Cole.

Posted by: Riz | April 26, 2007 9:35 AM | Report abuse

sign him up!

Posted by: voyager | April 26, 2007 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Is Carvallho available? Let's get him. :) Or maybe him and Cole?

Posted by: Dan | April 26, 2007 9:49 AM | Report abuse

I'd like to see Liverpool vs. Man U in the final with Liverpool taking it all.

Posted by: Colm | April 26, 2007 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Andy GRAY!

Posted by: Twoste | April 26, 2007 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Chelsea and Milan are two of my least favorite clubs but I think they will both dominate the second legs and be in the final. Can't complain about the amount of talent whoever ends up in Athens.

Posted by: Matt | April 26, 2007 10:02 AM | Report abuse

The matchup I would love to see would be ManU vs. Chelsea. A lot is going right for both teams, and I think it would be great to see them not only battle it out for the Premiership, the FA Cup, but also the European Championship. Man U is a team of destiny, and think they will end up going to Milan and pull a 1-1 tie to advance. Chelsea are just too strong of a team for Liverpool to stop.

Posted by: DC United Fan | April 26, 2007 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Milan wins it all!

Posted by: Chico | April 26, 2007 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Milan - Liverpool for the final. Rematch of 2005.

Btw Goff, no mention of the CONCACAF Final yesterday between Pachuca and Guadalajara? Game ended 7-6 in PK with Pachuca taking it.

Not bad for Pachuca winning the South American Cup and now this.

Posted by: Vic | April 26, 2007 10:22 AM | Report abuse

As much as I'd like to see a rematch of the 2005 final, I think it will be tough for Liverpool to advance. That save that Cech made on Stevie G yesterday was unreal.

Carvalho is a fabulous defender - he is always overshadowed by Terry, but I think he's the real rock of the Chelsea defense. Plus, next week, Chelsea should have Essien back (and Ballack too). Unreal how many players those guys have.

Posted by: tmc | April 26, 2007 10:25 AM | Report abuse

The winner of the Man Utd v Milan tie wins the Champions League. And the way they're playing right now, I'd take United.

The game yesterday between the Rent Boys and the Scousers was an uninspiring borefest, the one goal notwithstanding. But my money is on Chelsea to advance, with Essien coming back next week.

Posted by: Deanna | April 26, 2007 10:34 AM | Report abuse

How is it "Unreal how many players those guys have"? With a billionaire owner anything is possible. Hopefully they will feel as good about a bought trophy as they would an earned one...

Posted by: Rob | April 26, 2007 10:40 AM | Report abuse

eight touches total from the box to the net. insane.

chelsea will take it 1-0, i can't see Liverpool actually scoring on these guys. and I think United's defense is so depleted AC will take them in the Sira, alas. and I only say alas because I like to watch Rooney go nuts.

Posted by: northzax | April 26, 2007 10:45 AM | Report abuse

I hope you're wrong Goff, I hope you're wrong.

I want Man U and Liverpool in the final.

I see it being Man U and Chelsea.

Posted by: Antonio | April 26, 2007 10:48 AM | Report abuse

To Quote Rob: Hopefully they will feel as good about a bought trophy as they would an earned one...


One needs look no further than our local billionaires Dan Snyder and Peter Angelos to realise that championships can't be bought with money alone. There is more skill involved with managing a team of superstars successfully then a team of also-rans.

Posted by: LeesburgSoccerFan | April 26, 2007 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Quoting Vic: Btw Goff, no mention of the CONCACAF Final yesterday between Pachuca and Guadalajara? Game ended 7-6 in PK with Pachuca taking it.

Thanks ever so much for the spoiler, Vic. That's 3 hours more of my life I get to enjoy. Boy, I hate watching exciting soccer matches where's there's something on the line, like a championship game.

On a serious note, Vic, maybe let Goff report the scores, eh?

Posted by: Beaker | April 26, 2007 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Martin Tyler and "The Scotsman's Scotsman" Andy Gray on the call. Former Villa man, that Gray. Two other Gray classics are his "OHHHHH, YA BEAUTY!!!" after a Gerrard 35-yard laser a couple of years back, and his call of Ryan Gigg's goal against Arsenal in the '99 FA Cup Semi replay..."And when he needed a finish, By God he gave us one! Fit to win ANY match!"

Every Andy Gray call I hear makes me think even less of Dave O'Brien, if that's still possible...

Posted by: Big C | April 26, 2007 11:25 AM | Report abuse

It'll be an all-EPL final after Liverpool comes back for a shocking 2-0 result at home and Man U survives on a 1-1 draw at the San Siro. Mourinho is denied his missing prize again....

Posted by: Baltofan | April 26, 2007 11:28 AM | Report abuse

DiDi is havin' a stellar year! The Brits have a love/hate relationship with him, but this Yank thinks he is the best.

Final: Chelsea v. Milan (2-1)

Posted by: King Drogba | April 26, 2007 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Beaker,

Best to avoid soccer blogs and forums when you're planning on watching a recorded match. Surprisingly, people tend to talk about results at such sites.

Seeing Man U and Chelsea battle for the Premiership, FA Cup, and Champions' League would be pretty interesting, but I don't think either Milan or Liverpool are going to just roll over at home and let it happen. With just 1-goal deficits for both sides, next week is going to be pretty exciting.

Posted by: Ash | April 26, 2007 11:33 AM | Report abuse

"Best to avoid soccer blogs and forums when you're planning on watching a recorded match. Surprisingly, people tend to talk about results at such sites."

Agreed!

Posted by: Goff | April 26, 2007 11:34 AM | Report abuse

In the second leg, I don't see Liverpool either:

A) Preventing Chelsea from scoring a goal
B) Scoring more than 2 goals

All of which means, Chelsea advance to face (I think) ManUre.

Anyone who thinks you can just buy a title should go have a chat with Peter Ridsdale. Without Jose Mourinho, Chelsea would not have won two titles in a row.

Posted by: Eric | April 26, 2007 11:36 AM | Report abuse

See, I'm in a conundrum. (I know, big word).

I think those two away goals for Milan are going to be enough for them to get through on a 2-1 or 1-0 aggregate, especially with Evra out and United so thin in the back. Which kills me, because what got me into soccer so much in the first place was United's treble.

Chelsea is pretty much through on the 1-0 win, having not given up any away goals. Cech is simply too good, definitely the best keeper in the world right now.

I would love to a Red Devils-Blues final (although Greece is a weird place to hold it), allowing the two best Premiership sides to go head-to-head three times for major pieces of hardware, and it could happen. Chelsea going through and facing Milan brings up what would be a very, very interesting Sheva storyline.

Second Leg predictions -- 2-0 Chelsea (An early goal and then the nail late) and 2-1 Milan in the San Siro unless the game is called off for violence (which should be a major storyline given what happened the last time Man U went to Italy).

Posted by: G-Unit | April 26, 2007 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Goff,

I didn't know where else to post this article I found. It is very interesting, and just wanted to your take/opinion on this idea:

It is probably too late to convince Giuseppe Rossi to play for his native country. But, even should Rossi continue with Italy's national team program, that should not stop the MLS from trying to recruit him.

Rossi is a unique player, his technique and tactical sense setting him apart from others who grew up playing in the U.S. Rossi could probably make a difference with the national team but, in the bigger picture, he does not have to play for the U.S. to make a difference in the growth of soccer in the country.

Rossi is playing for Parma, the Italian club that signed him 16 years after he was born in Clifton, N.J. Manchester United purchased Rossi three years ago, featuring him mostly in FA Cup matches. Then this season, they loaned him to Newcastle United and now, back to Parma. Rossi scored his seventh goal in 14 games as Parma took a 4-3 victory over Palermo Sunday, four days after he scored both goals in a 2-0 win over Fiorentina. Parma is still recovering from the collapse of the Parmalat empire and would have already given up hopes of avoiding relegation without Rossi's goals. But Rossi has rekindled Parma and he could certainly do the same for an MLS team.

The plan is for Rossi to return to Manchester United next season, but there are still questions about how much playing time he can expect with the club. In any case, Rossi needs to play games -- he has performed in a total of 25 with Newcastle and Parma this season. The MLS wants to avoid taking players on loan, but surely an exception can be made for an American player whose hometown is just a few miles from the league offices. Manchester United probably would not object if Rossi participated in another 15 matches this year. And, there are few MLS teams which could not use a goal-scorer who is just getting into his stride.

Of course, it is not as simple as that. Young players with Rossi's potential are in demand. The latest speculation is that Rossi, 20, will move to Sampdoria -- joining New York native Gabriel Ferrari -- next season as part of a deal in which Samp's Fabio Quagliarella moves to Manchester United. If the MLS threw in some money -- maybe the equivalent of a few day's pay for Beckham or Cuauhtemoc Blanco -- maybe it could land Rossi. Plus, Manchester United has been trying to develop connections with the MLS, and this is a great way to continue that.

Ferrari, Rossi and Vincenzo Bernardo (Napoli) have moved from the U.S. to Italian clubs, but they are not the first to do so. In the 1930s, U.S.-born Armando Frigo (born in Clinton, Ind.) and Alfonso Negro (New York) performed in Serie A, Negro playing for Italy's 1936 Olympic championship team. Negro certainly could have been a difference-maker for the U.S.; he did not play for Italy in its 1-0 win over the U.S. but did score a goal in a 2-1 victory over Norway. Italy had won the 1934 World Cup and would win the '38 World Cup with players such as Alfredo Foni and Annibale Frossi, who had starred on the Olympic team. A couple other Italian-Americans followed their trail in the '40s, playing in Serie B and C, and no other U.S. player made it to Serie A until Alexi Lalas went to Padova after the '94 World Cup.

Though Bernardo, Ferrari and Rossi might not represent a trend any more than Frigo and Negro did in the '30s, it does seem they were allowed to get away easily. The Beckham Rule has allowed MLS teams to go after high-priced foreigners. The league should institute a Rossi Rule to encourage teams to bring back U.S.-born stars.

Frank Dell'Apa is a soccer columnist for The Boston Globe

Posted by: DC United Fan | April 26, 2007 12:03 PM | Report abuse

See, I'm in a conundrum. (I know, big word).

I think those two away goals for Milan are going to be enough for them to get through on a 2-1 or 1-0 aggregate, especially with Evra out and United so thin in the back. Which kills me, because what got me into soccer so much in the first place was United's treble.

Chelsea is pretty much through on the 1-0 win, having not given up any away goals. Cech is simply too good, definitely the best keeper in the world right now.

I would love to a Red Devils-Blues final (although Greece is a weird place to hold it), allowing the two best Premiership sides to go head-to-head three times for major pieces of hardware, and it could happen. Chelsea going through and facing Milan brings up what would be a very, very interesting Sheva storyline.

Second Leg predictions -- 2-0 Chelsea (An early goal and then the nail late) and 2-1 Milan in the San Siro unless the game is called off for violence (which should be a major storyline given what happened the last time Man U went to Italy).

Posted by: G-Unit | April 26, 2007 11:47 AM

G-Unit ... there are rumors that Vidic may be back (not that I believe those; the Sun and Neil Custis broke -- or fabricated -- that little gem with no quotes from anyone at United). Rio also may be back. (This one is more possible, IMO) So if Rio is back, he and Brown play in central defence, and O'Shea and Heinze at fullback. And Fletcher can play in midfield, where he's been excellent lately. It's very possible even without Rio back, though. If Gattuso is out (a real possibility), United will go through. So lets see what happens. United could just pull this off.

Posted by: Deanna | April 26, 2007 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Quoting Beaker:

Just for you, I will continue to report scores.

If you dont like spoliers, watch the game live. HA!

Posted by: Vic | April 26, 2007 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Watch the backside defender take the play off. If he gets goal side then he cuts off the pass but, unexplicably, he slows down just as he should be preventing Cole from getting to the spot. Weak!

Posted by: delantero | April 26, 2007 1:30 PM | Report abuse

"If he gets goal side then he cuts off the pass"

Or Cole may have gone to the far post. Same result.

The team work was beautiful. Many MLS players would not have made the 100 yard sprint to get into scoring position. Drogba had not two teammates in support.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | April 26, 2007 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Quoting Vic: If you dont like spoliers, watch the game live. HA!

Fair enough, and point taken. Just so you know, I have avoided some likely spoiler areas and thought I was safe, knowing that Goff's headline was regarding that beautiful Chelsea play and likely not the Pachuca v. Chivas match.

Posted by: Beaker | April 26, 2007 3:10 PM | Report abuse

""Or Cole may have gone to the far post. Same result.""

Joe Cole is 2 foot 2, no way a far post ball gets to him over the defender and the passed keeper. Near post was his only choice. Defensive lapse, ball watching, whatever it was, Liverpool could have done better. It was 2 on 3!!

Posted by: delantero | April 26, 2007 3:29 PM | Report abuse

That's why Drogba is one of the best in the world. He never ceases to amaze me. And a great finish by Cole. This goal should go on instructional videos.

Posted by: thedeuce_2 | April 27, 2007 10:33 AM | Report abuse

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