History, History

That’s my poor attempt at “History repeats itself”. Ha-ha. But seriously, if you aren’t pumped at the thought of one of the classics of Champions League match-ups rearing its pretty head again, you’ve been in soccer hibernation. Welcome back. It was the sentimental choice from the start; a blast from the past. Makes you believe in karma, doesn’t it? Sorry, Man U and Chelsea, but true to the plot of one of those old cheesy Bollywood films, reincarnational stuff and all that, we’ve got ourselves a ticking bomb here. Will Milan pound the Reds and make Italy happy? Will Liverpool fans get the opportunity to taunt the Milanese for the next year? What score lines will we see? All in due time, on 25th May…

The matchups were always going to be crazy and were they. ‘Pool trounced Chelsea in the penalties and Milan all but decimated Man U. The Man U defense got an upgrade from back door to revolving door, and Milan’s midfield went in and out at will. Kaka showed why he’s rated as one of the best and sang the starting number for the elegy with a beautiful drive into the lower right corner. Seedorf, the Flying Dutchman, got into the act after a vaudeville by Heinze and why-are-you-passing-to-me Vidic and struck the second in. Gattuso prowled the field and jealously guarded the Milan gate.

Rooney and Ronaldo couldn’t show their skills, completely choked by a veteran defense even in the absence of Maldini. Oddo and Jankolovski made F-16 runs up the sides forcing Giggs and Ronaldo to concentrate on their half. Truth be told, Everton had shown Man U’s defensive frailty in the first half, and it was only their own mistakes that allowed the Devils back into the game. Milan were never going to do that at San Siro, though, and had learnt their lessons at Old Trafford. Dida was tested once by Giggs…he was turning out paper sculptures for the rest of the time.

Liverpool, on the other hand, had nothing great to show from its match, lambasted as tres boring. They showed their scrappy fighting, though, and kept notorious grinders Chelsea from equalising. Reina was superb in goal and sent Liverpool onto the finals. To me though, it’s Milan all the way. Maldini will be back for the final, and if Kaka and Gattuso can pry open the Reds’s defense just a chink, it’s over. The Reds can pull off the win if Carragher and Agger stifle the strikers, and it if stays 0-0 then Liverpool’s penalty skills will surely give them the edge. My two cents worth is Milan though; they’re focused on the Champions, they’re fresh, they’re coming off the high of beating Man U. If they manage to keep their feet on the ground, unlike in 2005, they’ll be able to hold their heads high at the end, unlike in 2005. And they’ll do it.

Unless they want to repeat history.


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