‘Football defeated anti-football –talent against power, attack against defence’

May 7, 2009

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“Who’s whinging now? Not the Catalans, that’s for sure. They’re far too busy hammering away at the O key, preparing odes to joy, giving thanks for happiness “in times of crisis, decadence and flu”, wiping away the tears from their cheeks and the debris from the Ramblas, launching into songs of praise and, most of all, proclaiming a new dawn of justice in the world.” (Guardian)

Chelsea’s fury at referee ends their European challenge on sickening note (Guardian – Richard Williams )
“Barcelona, touted as the most attractive side in Europe, had one shot on target all night. Unfortunately it came in the 93rd minute, and it broke Chelsea’s hearts. And given the penalty decisions that had not gone the London side’s way in the preceding 92 minutes, perhaps it was no surprise when the shock of Andrés Iniesta’s winning goal provoked scenes that tarnished the European Cup.”

Barcelona the beautiful show their flaws as Lionel Messi again fails to match the hype (Guardian – Paul Hayward)
“The beautiful team did it the ugly way, with an unconvincing performance, a man sent off, a string of controversial penalty decisions that went their way and an undignified goal celebration when Andrés Iniesta’s equaliser provided Barcelona’s lone moment of glory three minutes into added time.”

Chelsea condemn reported referee death threats (The Independent)
“Police are monitoring the home of Norwegian referee Tom Henning Ovrebo after his decisions in Wednesday’s Champions League semi-final clash between Chelsea and Barcelona triggered an outpouring of anger on the internet.”

Didier Drogba and Michael Ballack could face Uefa punishment (Times Online)
“Didier Drogba and Michael Ballack could face bans from European competition after Uefa confirmed it would look into the players’ behaviour in the aftermath of Chelsea’s heartbreaking Champions League semi-final exit last night.”

Football’s great conspiracy theories (Telegraph)
“Chelsea’s tumultuous elimination from the Champions League at the hands of Barcelona and Norwegian referee Tom Henning Ovrebo has been accompanied by allegations of a Uefa plot to prevent another all-English final. Here are some other great football conspiracy theories.”

Top Five: Didier Drogba meltdowns (Telegraph)
“Didier Drogba’s tirade against referee Tom Henning Ovrebo after Chelsea’s exit to Barcelona was another forgettable ending to a Champions League campaign for the Ivory Coast striker.”

Barcelona’s sting in the tail leaves Chelsea losing their marbles (Guardian – Amy Lawrence)
“The legend of the Lisbon Lions, when Celtic won the 1967 European Cup with an entire team born within a few miles of Glasgow, is the sort of romance confined the sepia stories of footballing ideals long gone from the modern game.”

When It’s Not Just a Game (GOAL)
“It’s just a game after all, but one in which millions of dollars, pounds, euros are at stake and the fans’ and players’ emotional investment is incalculable. Still, two disturbing incidents followed the European Champions League semifinals this week.”

Chelsea lose their heads and their dignity (Reuters Blog)
“Maybe Norwegian referee Tom Henning Ovrebo was wrong on all the big decisions in Wednesday’s Champions League semi-final second leg — it absolutely does not justify Chelsea’s reaction.”

Bitter recriminations at the Bridge (BBC -Phil McNulty)
“Tom Henning Ovrebo is a psychologist by profession – and Chelsea’s Didier Drogba provided an unpalatable close-up study in human behaviour for the Norwegian referee amid bitter recriminations at Stamford Bridge.”

Penalty decisions mystify Hiddink (BBC)
“Chelsea boss Guus Hiddink cannot understand why referee Tom Ovrebo failed to award “three clear penalties” in their Champions League semi-final against Barcelona, and defends Didier Drogba’s post-match tirade against the official.”

Drogba ‘deserves to be punished’ (BBC)
“Chelsea striker Didier Drogba labelled referee Tom Henning Ovrebo a ‘disgrace’ after his side’s Champions League exit at the hands of Barcelona.”

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