Manchester United beat Barcelona 1-0 in the second leg of their UEFA Champions League Semi-Final to advance into the Final – where they will meet either Liverpool or Chelsea. Paul Scholes lashed in a thunderous drive in the 14th minute to send United ahead and the Red Devils then managed to keep that lead intact even though Barcelona came at them relentlessly.
I had hoped to catch a quick nap and then stay up for the telecast which begins well past midnight but couldn’t do so and hence ended up watching the match with droopy eyes and a yawn-y demeanour! I did sit up once the goal was scored and each time the Barca attack would come close but to a large extent I was dozing off. And thanks in part to the lukewarm n’ lull-you-to-sleep kinda commentary from Ten Sports I wonder whether these guys are paid at all for their commentary!!! They sound sooooo uninterested!
Tonight is the second semi-final between Liverpool and Chelsea and the fact that its at Stamford Bridge may be advantageous to Chelsea. They haven’t lost there in more than two years! Whoever wins, it will be two EPL teams battling out in the Final at Moscow on the 21st of May. I hope its a Man U Vs. Liverpool match. Chelsea can stay content with 2nd place in the EPL
Ferrari and Kimi Raikkonen were the team and driver to beat on the Sunday of the Spanish Grand Prix; and at the end of 66 laps, no other team or driver could! Kimi Raikkonen won the race from pole position with teammate Felipe Massa in second – making it a Ferrari 1-2. McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton was third, in what was a redeeming performance after the howler of a race at Bahrain. His teammate Heikki Kovalainen had a big shunt in the 22nd lap and had to be airlifted to the hospital, where he was declared safe. BMW’s Robert Kubica was fourth with Red Bull’s Mark Webber in fifth. Honda had something to cheer with Jenson Button’s sixth place. Williams’ Kazuki Nakajima and the Toyota of Jarno Trulli took the last two points-scoring positions. Nick Heidfeld was unlucky as he had to serve a 10 second stop-go penalty which saw him drop down to 9th place.
There were few other incidents across the race and at the end of 66 laps, only 13 cars out of 22 finished the race. An incident on the opening lap itself saw Adrian Sutil and Sebastian Vettel damage their cars and head into retirement. Yet another incident saw Sebastian Bourdais and Nelson Piquet go out. Mechanical failure accounted for Anthony Davidson whereas tyre failure saw Heikki Kovalainen spear into the tyre barriers. Fernando Alonso’s and Renault’s good work was undone by engine failure and the same problem consumed Williams’ Nico Rosberg. Rubens Barrichello was forced to retire after front-wing damage as a result of a clash in the pitlane with Giancarlo Fisichella.
Ferrari and Kimi Raikkonen move out of Spain leading the Constructors’ and Drivers’ championships and are very much looking like the team/driver to beat. BMW Sauber are in second place – leading McLaren by just one point – in the constructors’ tally whereas Lewis Hamilton moves into second position in the drivers’ table. He is still 9 points behind Raikkonen though. Kubica and Massa leapfrog Heidfeld into 3rd and 4th places. The next race is the Turkish Grand Prix in Istanbul in two weeks time. Expect Ferrari to lead there too.
Reigning Champion Kimi Raikkonen showed what stuff champions are made of when he banged in an awesome lap at the last possible minute to snatch away the Pole Position from local-lad Fernando Alonso.The Renault looked unlikely for even a top-six position just a few weeks ago, but Alonso put in a helluva lap of 1:21.9 to be on P1 and with the Ferrari of Felipe Massa, both the McLarens and both the BMW’s already having finished their flying laps, it was left to Kimi to usurp the time and he did just that by bringing around his Ferrari in 1:21.8 – a tenth of a second faster than Alonso – and clinch pole position. Teammate Massa would start in P3 with BMW’s Robert Kubica alongside him. Both the McLarens will start on row 3 with Hamilton on P5 and Kovalainen on P6. Nick Heidfeld was pretty unlucky to be on P9 with both Trulli and Webber ahead of him. Nelson Piquet’s Renault took up P10 spot.
I couldn’t watch the Qualifying on the TV due to the monopolistic rules of my cable op (&^%#$@%#%*!*@) but where there’s a will, there’s a way and I listened to the telecast on the web (hush!). Q1 saw both the Super Aguri and both the Force India cars drop out alongwith the Toro Rosso of Sebastian Vettel and the Red Bull of David Coulthard. Q2 accounted for both the Williams and both the Hondas and the Toro Rosso of Sebastian Bourdais and the Toyota of Timo Glock. The Ferraris were fastest in both the sessions – with Kimi leading Q1 and Massa in Q2. Renault looked pretty sharp and seems the aerodynamic modifications have worked well. McLaren were still struggling to match the pace of the Scarlet cars but they may find solace in the fact that they were slightly ahead of BMW! The race tomorrow will be an interesting affair. Pole-sitters have won the race for all of the previous seven races and so it seems rosy for Kimi. But with Alonso on P2, one can never say!
Manchester United were awarded a penalty as early as then in their UCL Semi-Final 1st leg match away at Barcelona. Milito had handled the ball in the area and the referee pointed to the spot. Man U’s top-scorer of the season – Christiano Ronaldo stepped up, took it coolly, and sidled his shot wide of the upright!!!
United will rue that miss as a further 90 minutes of play did not see any goal being scored by either side. After all the hype and hoopla that this match had generated, it rather tamely ended in a 0-0 draw. Barca enjoyed as much as 65% of possession but could create very few chances and those that were created, couldn’t be converted! Man U had fewer chances but they were moreso holding off Barca rather than attacking. Lionel Messi was in the thick of things for most part of the game but goals were at a paucity at the Camp Nou. He was replaced by Thierry Henry late into the second half who almost immediately leashed a thunderous drive towards the United goal but Van Der Sar managed to parry away the shot. United made a few telling darts into the Barca half but their finishing was poor. Ronaldo was more intent on diving and crashing around in the hope of a free kick/spot kick rather than look for scoring opportunities.
At the end, methinks Man U will be more happy with the scoreline than Barca, given that the second leg is at Old Trafford. Hope that match atleast sees some goals – all from Man U
That was the time the match clock was showing when John Arne Riise tried to head out a Chelsea cross away from his net and instead helped it in to score an own goal and tie the game 1-1! It possibly can’t get any later than this!!! The Semi-Final phase of the UEFA Champions League went underway at Anfield between EPL rivals Liverpool and Chelsea and the first leg ended in a 1-1 draw…when it looked like going in favour of the homeside!
Liverpool went ahead courtesy a Dirk Kuyt strike in the 43rd minute and held onto their lead firmly. Chelsea were never fluid in their passes and the likes of Drogba, Kalou, Malouda and Lampard were never allowed to have any clean shots. At the other end, Petr Cech was stolid in goal and managed to keep out a few stinging shots from Gerrard and Kuyt towards the end. The match was all but over and Chelsea were already thinking of the second leg at home when a last-gasp-cross from Kalou found its way into the Liverpool goalmouth and with Nicholas Anelka lurking close behind, Riise stooped in to try and head away the imminent danger but instead helped the ball into his own net! Despair for Liverpool….delight for Chelsea!
The second Semi-Final is between Barcelona and Manchester United tonight at the Camp Nou. Hope it will see much goals and much action…..Go Man U Go!!!
P.S: Ten Sports’ Commentary Sucks!!!! When the own-goal was scored, the announcer was as emotionless as my TV Remote
Everyday I want to fly, stay by my side
Everyday I want to dream, stay by my side
Every morning I wish I could just play
Wish the mornings would just stay…..
In case you’re wondering who I’m talking about or which song is the one up above – Itz the Vodafone Pug
The lovable Pug is back again on TV in a new series of commercials for Vodafone and this time around, he’s company to a young girl. With the tagline of “Happy to Help” the ads show how the pug helps out the girl in time of need, be it fetching her sock/tie or fetching a fishing aid/first-aid kit [My personal favourite is the stamp-licking bit]. The ads symbolize the customer-friendly spirit of the brand and they do so with zero dialogues! As it is itz Visually appealing, but its the pug that makes it all the more wonderful!
The lyrics above are from the song that plays in the background of that song. A Google search reveals little though about the artiste or the band but methinks its a new recording made for the purpose of the Ads. Itz available on the Vodafone microsite as well as for usage as Callertune on its network. Listen to it below:
The ads (both the newer and older ones) are available on the Vodafone microsite for download; plus there are wallpapers, screensavers, music clips and e-cards also.
Noticed just today that Flickr has started allowing Video uploads too! It was announced on the 9th April (how lame of me not to have noticed that!). Downside is that as of now only Pro account holders are allowed to upload videos. Another downer is that the video length is limited to only 90 seconds. Read more here.
Free account holders can search for and view the videos though! I thought there might not be that many videos to search from, but boy! there are thousands of them…guess Flickr’s communities and members are photogenic as well as videogenic There are a few videos tagged India which show videos as diverse as the country itself. Be it some local wedding clips or a baby’s first steps or a traffic scene outside Hyderabad’s Charminar or Bangalore rains. Myriad views all…