Thursday, February 18, 2010

Porto Surprises Arsenal

In each of the past 2 years, 3 out of the 4 Champions League semifinalists have come from England. This year is a little different. 2008 semifinalist Liverpool is already out and trying to muddle thru the Europa League, and now 2009 semifinalist Arsenal is in a 2-1 hole after yesterday's loss at Porto.

Backup goalie Lukasz Fabianski wore the goat horns for Arsenal, giving up a pair of weak goals. Porto opened the scoring in the 11th minute when a cross from Silvestre Varela was bungled by Fabianski and found its way over the goal line. The recently exhumed Sol Campbell managed to tie it just seven minutes later, heading in a corner.

The winning goal came in controversial fashion. Fabianski was ruled to have picked up a backpass while out of the penalty area, which of course is handball. The referee, who happened to be the same ref for Thierry Henry's Hand of God goal that got France into the World Cup a few months ago, awarded a free kick, which was quickly taken and converted for the winning score. Arsenio Wenger was not happy.

Compared to this match, the Porto/Arsenal refereeing performance looked like a masterpiece. Arjen Robben scored for Bayern on a PK, and Fiorentina's Per Kroldrup equalised early in the second half. Then things got weird. Fiorentina's Massimo Gobbi was sent off for a pretty mundane tackle, Bayern's Miroslav Klose received only a yellow for a much more aggressive challenge later in the match, and then Klose scored the winner for Bayern on a header in the last minute even though he was clearly offside. So clearly that the referee has since apologized for allowing the goal to stand. Oh well, too late now.

- Lots of action in the round of 32 in the NIT of Europe, the Europa Cup today. A few of the European glitterati were in action:

- Liverpool got a late goal from David "Eggnog" Ngog to beat Romanian champs Unirea Urzecini 1-0.

- AS Roma may be red hottt in Serie A, but they are in danger of being 100% done in Euro play after losing 3-2 at Panathinaikos yesterday. The alien looking Djibril Cisse had the winning goal in the 89th minute.

- Valencia, who is 3rd place in La Liga, suffered a bit of embarrassment losing 1-0 at Belgian club Brugge.

- Juventus won 2-1 at Ajax with 2 goals from Amauri as they try and salvage something out of a miserable season.

Some quick updates on some NFL players

Apparently he has a pay to view website? Arrrre you serrious? Who would pay for this? He posted on this website that he is going to have surgery.

Has received a 4 year $16M extension from the Raiders with $9M of that guaranteed. Which leads me to wonder how much the Germans paid the piano player on the Hindenburg.

Apparently Jim Haslett, the world famous former head coach of the Florida Tuskers and current Redskins DC, has his eye on unrestricted free agent Leonard Little. Little has 87 1/2 sacks in his 12 year career and 1 drunken manslaughter, which he survived to get arrested for DUI again after that. He's a swell guy.

Had knee surgery yesterday.

Might be headed to the Chiefs to do a job share with Jamaal Charles.

Hasn't been approached by the Eagles about a contract extension. The Eagles are stupidly planning on bringing McNabb back last year thinking the 12th time is the charm rather than turning things over to Kolb, who looked good when he got to play last year.

Is guaranteed $6.9M from the Redskins next year, and their coaches say on film he looks like he has something left. I'm pretty sure though that the film they are watching is from 2006.

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