Friday, May 29, 2009

FC Barca Numero Uno!!

It was a riveting finish to this year football season and FC Barcelona was hands-down Numero Uno. The Final of Champions League between ManU and Barcelona at Rome was totally a one-side affair with Catalans came out triumph with all guns blazing. The match was without doubt between two best football team this season. ManU won the premier league confortably and Barcelona were table topper in La Liga.So it was supposed to be a clash of Titans in Olympique stadium Rome.

In the first few minutes of the match, ManU started showing their class with as many as three to four goal attempts at Barca post in first five minutes. Victor Valdes did well to cut Ronaldo’s 30-meter free kick. But once Barca started making early inroads towards Manu Goal they came in their own groove. It was Cameroonean Eto who started the scoring in Barca’s very first attack. He dribles the ball past Vidic and put the ball beyond Van Der Saar for a thumping 9th minute goal. After this there was no stopping for Barcelona and they started playing the kind of football they are loved all round the world. They started having 60-70% pocession and started controlling the game. The place where Barcelona was very good and ManU felt lost was in midfield. Xavi and Ineista show there class everybit while Carrick, Giggs and Anderson looked out of touch. No wonder Xavi won the UEFA man of the match award for this match. On the other hand ManU forwards including Ronaldo not gettng enough passes from Midfield to take the game forward. By the end of first half Barca was quite comfortably placed.

The second half also shares the same story. Inspite of bringing Tevez and Scholes ManU could not dominate the game. At around 20 minutes more to go, Xavi gave an elegant cross pass Ferdinand and Messi headed the ball pass Van Der Saar second time in the night thereby ending any hope of ManU revival in the match. It was probably the most one sided Champions League Final to have taken place in last 5-6 years. Barca for the kind of football they play totally deserved this victory. I hope Messi wins the world footballer of the year award this time because of the consistent performance his season in all leagues. As for Barca, many people have started comparing this team with Johan Cryuff’s Dream Team which ruled Europe between 1991-1994.No matter what, I am looking forward to witnessing Barca next season with new signings but with same style (some say art) of football and who know if they reach Final next year we will see them play in Santiago Bernbeau, their arch-rival Real Madrid’s local stadium which will be a contest to watch out for.
Go Barca!!!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Rambling along in Life!!

I was away from from this page for last few days due to some prior commitments which I could not relegate further and certainly world has changed a bit in more then one ways during this small span of time. It will definitely be a shame on my part if I haven’t found out anything to write about all this days. So in a small way I will be jotting down the ramblings around my life so as to cut-off this backlog in great deal.

The Red Citadel Breached: Few days back I was attending ‘Brand Equity’ Quiz contest in Bangalore when someone from audience asked Derek O Brien, the host, regarding the chances of Trinamul Congress (TC), of which he is an active member, doing well in this General Election. When he said this time change is going to come in Bengal, everybody in audience laughed and rubbished his claim in unison. I always had the feeling that Bengal is somehow so comfortably settled under left red carpet that rising from it is just next to impossible. Otherwise, how would you explain left ruling Bengal for past three decades and this is ‘biggest democracy in the world’ we are talking about?

But this General election in many ways than one has been remarkable. We saw a rapid demise of identity politics when Nitish Kumar sweeps Bihar on the basis of Governance and development-keeping Lalu’s RJD down and dusted. But one of the major changes that have occurred in this election will undoubtedly be in Bengal. Left being in minority in Bengal was unthinkable some days ago. Seriously, I never thought, I will see this day in next 20-30 years. But this time out of 42-loksabha seats in this election from Bengal TC-Congress alliance won in 25 seats keeping left with mere 15 seats. This surely is a small step before giant leap is taken to snatch state assembly from the left grip after a span of three decades when state election happen later next year and who knows Mamata can certainly turn the table around this time. Personally I have a great respect for the lady for her constant struggle all these years specially when you know that you are banging your head against a wall which is just next to impossible to break. As for Left -‘Communism’ though looks very good on paper, is quite irrelevant and impractical in this globalized world. The same policies that they support in West Bengal are opposed in Center. There was a great disparity in their thought process in every level which I believe will led them to their demise next year in assembly polls.

Chargers roared in this IPL: This is another of a turnaround story that happened last weekend. Deccan Chargers, who were at 8th in last year IPL came out triumph this time around. The major credit of this win should go to captain and Man of the series Adam Gilchrist.I always believed there are only two cricketers in this generation who we can say comes once in 50 years. One of them is Shane Warne and other one is certainly Adam Gilchrist.A wicket-keeper batsman of such a destructive nature was quite unheard of in world cricket before Gilchrist came into picture. If you prepare a list of all time best cricket team in any format of game, these two players will certainly be a part of them. Such was the impact of these players that inspite of being so called old-aged, they lead their team to victory in new format of the game in first two IPL season.

DBA-Dashers made a Hatrick: Well we have our own triumph in OTP (Oracle Tech Park) cricket tournament three years in a row. This time it felt more sweeter coz we were considered underdogs as we lost few good players who played for us last two times. Nevertheless we played some brilliant cricket (as they say) and were being ably led by our captain Animesh to Championship Victory. We played 5 matches this year though Final was washed out in rain and we had to share the Cup with other finalist. Personally I also chip in some useful runs in crucial time and made me believe that some cricketing genes are still left in my body that I seriously doubted few months back.

Champions League Final Barca-ManU: Last but certainly not the least, today Barcelona is going to play ManU in Rome in a Champions League (CL) Final match which I have been eagerly waiting since Barca-Chealsea second leg match. Undoubtedly they were the best two club teams this year considering both were league Champions in their respective country Leagues When I woke up this morning and switched on the TV, last year’s champions league Final between Chelsea-ManU was being telecasted there. John Terry’s final penalty miss in the match still brings shiver down my spine one year later. But today I hope Barca turns the table by making this clash a memorable one and take revenge of their semi-final defeat last season. Everybody is considering this match as more of a Messi-Ronaldo clash considering their dominance in team wins all throughout this season. Their chance of winning world footballer of the year award lies on result of this match. I believe Barca’s chances in this match will depend upon how good Xavi and Iniesta plays and controls the ball. They certainly holds the key to Barca’s chances considering they have few players for defence left due to suspension and injury. On a Personal level, I have made myself prepared for this match.. if you know what I mean.
Remember I said in my last post…this will certainly be a 10-pint match and I will try to keep my word!!


Thursday, May 7, 2009

Its all over for Chelsea (Huahahahaha)!!!

It was surely a match that will be itched in my memory for a long time. Two of my favorite teams were meeing in semifinals but my heart was slight tilted towards Barcelona.It was an amazing end to the two-leg semifinals and I believe Barcelona deserved to win every bit Somhow this match reminds me of France-Italy Euro 2000 final where France snitches the game from Italy’s jaw at Extra time.

I woke up at around 10 pm after having a good sleep knowing it will be long night today. I saw Mumbai losing the IPL match from ‘47 balls left’ –‘56 runs needed’ –‘6 wickets left’ like situation and immediately knew that jinx is very much prevelent. I got myself prepared for the game (u know food, snacks,beer etc) that I have been waiting since first leg eagerly. Finally as the players were marching the ground I opened my first beer of the night hoping it will be an exiting game keeping my finger crossed. By the time Essein scored first Goal of the match at 9th Minute I was down with one pint. Somehow I didn’t expected him to score such an amazing Goal.I thought ‘First touch left footter 30 meter goal’ died the day Zidane said goodBye to the beautiful game. Game was going at its own pace with Barcelona keeping majority of the possesion. I thought it would be shame if Barca didn’t qualify into the final considering they would have kept aprox. 65-70 % possession covering entire two-leg by the end of the game. But that was not to be. Chelsea thought they had done enough to earn a repeat of last season's final as they defended Michael Essien's breathtaking ninth-minute goal with great resilience only for Essien to then err in failing to clear his lines in the dying moments at 91st Minute. Messi squared to Iniesta and he cut his shot skilfully away from Čech to give the Barca - playing with ten men after Eric Abidal's dismissal - victory on away goals and the chance to reclaim their crown.

But I had to admit there were some serious refree errors in the match and unfotunately all has gone wrong against Chelsea.If I would have been supporting Chelsea at this match I would have been completely heart broken.There were definatly 2-3 penalty put down by refree against Chealsea and I totally believe the thrashing, which refree got at the end of the match from Chelsea players specially Drogba and Ballack, were completely justified. Well as they say ,‘all is well if end is well’ and by the time I finish this post I will already be down with 5 pint of beer and I just cant wait to see Barca - ManU Final in Rome on May 27(I belive that will be a 10 pint match).
Adios and have a pleasant night as I know I will :)

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Its Chelsea - Barca today in Stanford Bridge

Probably this would be a match of the season. Personally I wanted them to meet in Final in Rome, but that was not to be. Earlier I had high expectation in Camp Nou also when they met two weeks before but due to Chealse strong defensive negetive tactics(some say game's dark arts) match ended in tame nil-nil. Irrespective of the scoreline, match was very worth watching. But I am keeping my finger crossed for this match and hoping Barcelona make it to finals to meet Man U in Rome, considering Barca’s 6-2 thrashing against Real Madrid at Santiago Bernabéu last weekend.

Personally I also want to break my jinx with this match. It seems whichever team I have been supporting for last 2 weeks be it in Cricket or Football, that team somehow loses the match. If this happens again today in this match it will definately leave a big dent in my head that will take considerable amount to Booze to fill it!