Inter Milan 3-1 Udinese

Nerazurri earned 3 points today away to Udinese despite giving up the lead in the first half. Sneijder scored a brace and Alvarez earned Inter’s 3rd goal before the half, and the game ended that way. Forza Inter!

Goals:

Alvarez: 3
Cambiasso: 5
Castaignos: 1
Coutinho: 1
Faraoni: 1
Forlan: 2
Lucio: 2
Maicon: 2
Milito: 22
Motta: 3
Nagatomo: 2
Pazzini: 8
Poli: 1
Ranocchia: 1
Samuel: 3
Sneijder: 4
Zarate: 2
Goals for: 63
Goals Against: 60

Champions League Final: Bayern Munich vs Chelsea

Follow comments from Chelsea Offside on this topic

I thought for sure it would be Real Madrid and Barcelona in the final. I was wrong. Spanish dominance is fabled and foiled. It is Chelsea vs Bayern. But it is in Munich, so Bayern have home field advantage.

At least my heart is spared the agony of watching two of my beloved teams go head-to-head: Real Madrid vs Chelsea. I admit I would rather have had them head-to-head so as to guarantee a victory for my liking, but alas, it was not in the cards.

So, now, Chelsea have made it to the final, but they will be without Terry who is on a red card suspension, Ramires, Meireles, or Ivanovich who are on yellow card suspensions. So much for our solid back four.

I proposed yesterday that the starting lineup consist of the following:

Drogba
Mata
Kalou – Mikel – Essien – Lampard
Cole – David Luiz – Cahill – Bosingwa
Cech

There are several talking points worth mulling over.

First, Di Mateo is going to need to get Essien game fit and quick.

Second, Di Mateo is going to need to get David Luiz and Cahill healed, game fit, and quick.

Third, Di Mateo is going to need to get Kalou and Bosingwa back into the starting line up in order to get them back up to speed and full form.

But what about formation? What may have worked in the past won’t necessarily work now, since we have a drastic change in the central-middle. If not the 4-4-1-1 as I originally suggested, then how about the 4-3-2-1:

Drogba
Mata – Kalou
Mikel – Essien – Lampard
Cole – David Luiz – Cahill – Bosingwa
Cech

Or, how about 4-4-2:

Drogba – Torres
Mata – Mikel – Essien – Lampard
Cole – David Luiz – Cahill – Bosingwa
Cech

I suppose there could be other options, but I find the above most appealing. I would prefer the 4-4-1-1, because we can flood the midfield defensively and play the counter. I think we will need to do this, since Bayern is very strong offensively, so we will be in the same position as we were against Barca.

If not 4-4-1-1, a 4-3-2-1 would provide the same flood of the midfield while providing one additional pivot for the counter. The more risky option would be a 4-4-2. We could still flood the midfield, but to a lesser extent, yet we would potentially have a better counter, as we would have one more option up top for receiving the Hail Maries. I do like this option as we only have one game to play, so having both Drogba and Torres on the pitch may prove menacing just enough to keep Bayern in check.

The thing is that Bayern were able to withstand Real Madrid’s attacking prowess and come up with some goals of their own, because they are also a strong attacking side. It’s like Barca all over again. We are going to need to soak up the attack with a very defensive approach and play the counter while optimizing set pieces as few as they may be. With the way we played against Barca–across two legs no less–I’m sure we can do it with the back four mentioned. I think if we stick to a 5 man midfield using the 4-4-1-1, we should be able to soak up Bayern’s offense and still pose a threat on the counter. I do believe we can do it: if we can beat Barca and come out on top across two legs, we can beat Bayern in one. It won’t be easy, and we may still need a healthy dose of luck, but it isn’t an insurmountable task.

Here’s to an exciting Champions League final! Go Blues! KTBFFH!

Real Madrid 2-1 Bayern Munich

Fox Soccer Match Trax Report

Liveblog Real Madrid Football Blog

UNREAL: Bayern edges Real Madrid in penalties (Fox Soccer Article)

RMCF Official Website: Video of game highlights

RMCF Official Website: Post game press conference with Mourinho

Ronaldo came up big with two goals in the first half, but Bayern were not unstoppable, so the aggregate was all equalized, bring it to a PK shootout after 2 scoreless OT halves. Ronaldo’s PK was saved, unfortunately, as was Kakas, but Sergio Ramos went sky high while Alonso scored. With only 1 of 4 netted, Bayern only needed 3 goals to send them through, and they did.

Terrible. Dreadful. Unbelievable. UNREAL.

Gotta hand it to Bayern. We just didn’t have it together like we did in the weekend’s El Clasico. I saw that some people said we looked tired. I suppose so. In the end, we’re out.

That’s okay, with La Liga nearly finished, we have that in the bag, right?

Last year we won the Copa del Rey. This year we could win La Liga. Next year Champions League? The following year the Treble?

¡Hala Madrid!

Goals

Alonso: 2
Altintop: 1
Benzema: 29
Callejon: 11
Di Maria: 7
Higuain: 25
Kaká: 8
Khedira: 4
Marcelo: 3
Özil: 5
Pepe: 1
Ramos: 4
Ronaldo: 55
Varane: 1
Goals for: 157
Goals against: 50