Champions League (Running Commentary)

Champions League (Running Commentary)

European Soccer

Champions League (Running Commentary)

Good afternoon folks. We’re just a few minutes away from one of the best match-ups of the Champions League Round of 16, Arsenal vs. AC Milan. Don’t get me wrong. Man U-Lyon and Barcelona-Celtic have their own appeal, but seeing the defending Champions League title holders and the stylish Gunners of Arsenal make this one a can’t-miss.

I will be watching the game, as well as Barcelona-Celtic via ESPN360.com and offering my take on the matches below. Feel free to share your thoughts and views on today’s games.

Let’s get started. It should be a fun afternoon so enjoy

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FINAL- AC Milan 0, Arsenal 0, Barcelona 3, Celtic 2.

That’s all folks. Thanks for those of you who followed the match here. Share your thoughts on the matches below.

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94th minute- Samaras dives to try and draw a penalty but gets a yellow for his trouble. Barcelona is holding on.

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94th minute- WOW. Adebayor has a wide open header in front of goal but hits it off the crossbar. Walcott with a perfect cross and Adebayor fails to finish. The whistle sounds just seconds later.

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92nd minute- Walcott has a shot from the arc but it goes right to Kalac.

At Celtic, Eider Gudjonnsen has replaced Henry. It is the 89th minute.

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86th minute- Barca/Celtic- And Boruc does an amazing job to kick save an Henry chance to keep the score 3-2. Boruc’s been great tonight, the three goals weren’t his fautl.

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89th minute- Pirlo scuffs a free kick and Arsenal counters but Bendtner sends his 14-yard shot high.

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87th minute- Milan with a dangerous corner but the shot is saved by Lehman. We’re still at 0-0

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BARCELONA GOAL!!! Messi scores from close range when a deflected Eto’o pass finds him in front of goal. Boruc had no chance. Barcelona 3, Celtic 2.

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82nd minute- Adebayor has a chance from the arc but can’t get enough on his shot to beat Kalac.

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81st minute- Eboue gets a yellow card for a pretty weak dive in the penalty area.

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80th minute- Arsenal looks a bit spent right now and neither team looks like they have a goal in them.

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77th minute- Pato hurt his ankle and is being carted off. Alberto Gilardino has replaced him.

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76th minute- Barca/Celtic. Ronaldinho is coming out (and doesn’t look happy about it). Samuel Eto’o is coming in for him. Good game today for Ronaldinho.

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76th minute- For those of you wondering, Rafa Marquez is NOT wearing his headband thingy tonight. No word on whether Oguchi Onyewu took it from him.

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75th minute- Fabregas gets a wide-open look from the top of the arc but his hard shot is saved by Kalac.

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74th minute- Looks like Bendtner is coming in for Arsenal, I would imagine it’s for Eduardo, who has been awful today.

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68th minute- Barca/Celtic- Donati hits a great long shot that forces a diving Valdez save. This game has slowed a bit, though Barcelona still owns possession.

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68th minute- Another match-up that Arsenal is winning is between Bacary Sagna and Pato. You can tell Pato is frustrated but can’t get past Sagna.

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63rd minute- Massimo Oddo gets a great chance in the area but he butchers the shot into the stands.

It needs to be said once again that Flamini has been great at neutralizing Kaka today.

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61st minute- Arsenal keeps knocking but Milan doesn’t crack.

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53rd minute- BARCELONA/CELTIC. GOAL BARCELONA. Thierry Henry with an exquisite curling shot into the far corner. Ronaldinho finds him with a long pass and Henry does the rest. Barcelona 2, Celtic 2.

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55th minute- Another great Arsenal sequence finishes with Eduardo sending an 18-yard shot just inches over the crossbar.

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53rd minute- An offside call waves off an Adebayor goal. And yes, it was a legit call by about two feet. Right now Milan looks tired or out of it and Arsenal is starting to click offensively.

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52nd minute- Arsenal comes SO close. A great sequence is capped by an Eboue shot that misses wide left. That should have been a goal.

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50th minute- Looks like Jankulovski will slide in at left back, with Maldini moving into a central defense role.

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50th minute- Milan narrowly avoids an own goal. Things looking a bit shaky with Nesta coming off.

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49th minute- Alessandro Nesta is injured and looks to be coming off for Marek Jankulowski.

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46th minute- And we’re off.

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HALFTIME- Arsenal and Milan are taking the field for the start of the second half. I will say that I wasn’t sure about Milan’s black shorts and white shirt combo but it has grown on me.

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HALFTIME- Celtic 2, Barcelona 1. Barca has dominated possession but Celtic strung together two quality attacks and finished both off with great headers. You get the sense that Celtic learned something from Rangers’ match against Barcelona in the group stage. I feel ike Barcelona has one more goal in them, especially with Ronaldinho being so active today.

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43rd minute- Back to Barca/Celtic- Ronaldinho delivers a 30-yard laser of a pass to a wide-open Messi in the box but Messi can’t put his shot on goal.

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HALFTIME- Arsenal 0, AC Milan 0. Arsenal has been the slightly better team but Milan’s defense has handled all of Arsenal’s threats.

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45th minute- We’re in stoppage time at Arsenal/Milan

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39th minute- Barry Robson was the scorer for Celtic. Hopefully that goal wakes up Barcelona.

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38th minute- GOAL CELTIC. Another goal comes during one of celtic’s few possessions. A flick header floats over Victor Valdez, giving Celtic the lead again.

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41st minute- Back to Barca/Celtic, Ronaldinho is having a good time today. He’s trying all the tricks and while most of them aren’t working he has been very active and I think it’s a matter of time before he scores or sets up a goal.

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40th minute- The Milan center back tandem of Nesta and Kalazde has gotten the job done today, a thoroughly impressive performance by them so far. Adebayor hasn’t had a sniff today.

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38th minute- Credit to Flamini for doing a great job pestering Kaka all game.

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36th minute- I jinxed Maldini, who gets schooled by Eboue on a beautiful Arsenal sequence. Flamini sends a shot right at the keeper though.

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35th minute- It is thoroughly impressive to watch Paolo Maldini do his thing at his age. He’s still pure class.

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33rd minute- Pato with a yellow for pushing Sagna into Lehmann, Not a smart play.

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32nd minute- Arsenal keeps trying to string passes together but whenever it comes time to make the decisive pass, a Milan defender is there to intercept it.

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31st minute- Back to Celtic/Barca, Celtic has weathered the early Barcelona storm and the game has taken a more even look.

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26th minute- Okay, if you’re following along on the commentary here please let me know. I get the feeling that most SBI readers have sneaked out of work to watch this game at a bar or at home.

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24th minute- Back to Milan-Arsenal. Arsenal has had some good chances, and some dangerous corners, but can’t put a serious chance on Milan goalkeeper Zeljko Kalac.

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18th minute (Barca-Celtic)- GOAL BARCELONA. Lionel Messi works a give-and-go with Deco and equalizes just two minutes after Celtic’s opener. Barcelona 1, Celtic 1. Game on now.

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19th minute- GOAL CELTIC. Against the run of play, Celtic pounces on a Barca turnover and converts the chance. Celtic 1, Barcelona 0.

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18th minute- Back to Barca-Celtic, Barca just had a pair of chances stopped by amazing saves by Celtic goalkeeper Artur Boruc.

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16th minute- Milan has slowed things down and is knocking the ball around. Kaka has had a few touches and has looked dangerous. If he gets any space he will score today.

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13th minute- Eduardo just whiffed on a beautiful cross in from Sagna. Milan caught a break there.

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11th minute- Early on Arsenal has had more possession but Milan had the best chance so far.

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9th minute- For those of you wondering, Barcelona is dominating possession against Celtic early on, just knocking it around the park.

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6th minute- Jens Lehman just tossed the ball about 60 yards and nearly helped Emmanuel Adebayor find a chance.

Adebayor tries a bicycle kick and kicks a Milan defender in the face.

Phillipe Senderos has come in for Toure. That is a tough blow for the Gunners.

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5th minute- Alexandre Pato is in the starting lineup tonight, having recovered from his recent ankle injury. Milan needed him today.

Kolo Toure is hurt and limping off the field. That would be a BIG loss for Arsenal.

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3rd minute- We are underway at the Emirates Stadium (No, I’m not there, but I liked the way that sounded).

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