Good morning everybody. It is the day after the first leg of the UEFA Champions League and if you’re like me, you’re going through a little UCL withdrawal.
If you are an MLS fan you are probably asking yourself how it is that two of the best teams in MLS can’t score a single goal in the first legs of their CONCACAF Champions Cup series. D.C. being beaten 2-0 by Pachuca on the road is one thing, seeing the Dynamo held scoreless by Deportivo Saprissa last night was troubling.
Here is a rundown of some stories and replays to get your day started:
Liverpool ties Arsenal
The Reds do it again. I’m not sure what Liverpool drinks or eats before Champions League matches but it might want to include it for before EPL matches after tying Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium, 1-1, in the first leg of their Champions League quarterfinal series.
The biggest controversy surrounding the match was a questionable no-call on what appeared to be a penalty-worthy challenge by Dirk Kuyt on Alexandr Hleb. You make the call:
Now Arsenal must go to Anfield next week and either draw by a score of more than 1-1, win outright or play to a 1-1 draw to force overtime. Can the Gunners really expect to go to Liverpool and win a game? If you were wondering, Liverpool is 6-0 in its past six matches at Anfield, with the last loss being the 1-0 shock FA Cup upset loss to Barnsley. Arsenal drew at Anfield, 1-1, last Oct. 28.
Fenerbahce downs Chelsea
When Deivid sent a hard deflection into his own net early in Fenerbahce’s Champions League quarterfinal vs. Chelsea the Brazilian looked destined to be the match’s goat. That all changed with one unbelievable blast of a goal that helped Fenerbahce come back from a goal down to post a 2-1 victory in Istanbul.
If you haven’t seen Deivid’s goal yet, prepare to enjoy:
Now Chelsea must post a victory at Stamford Bridge next week to avoid the upset and earn a semifinal match-up against the Arsenal-Liverpool quarterfinal.
O’Brien and Xavier suspended
Colorado rookie Ciaran O’Brien and LA Galaxy defender Abel Xavier were both issued suspensions by MLS on Wednesday for their actions in Colorado’s 4-0 win against LA on Saturday.
O’Brien was handed a two-game suspension for his ugly tackle from behind on Carlos Ruiz late in the match, a tackle that resulted in Ruiz suffering a torn meniscus in his right knee that will keep him out for four to six weeks. He was also hit with a $250 fine.
Xavier was suspended for one game for his red card and was issued fines totaled $1,600 for infractions ranging from excessive dissent, failure to leave the field following a red card and post-game public criticism of officiating, or as I like to call it, the Amado Guevara hat-trick.