This is my blog on the unpredictable world of football. Hope you enjoy it.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Inter the Quarters

Inter Milan have once again broken Bayern Munich hearts by overcoming a 1 nil deficit from the first leg to beat the bavarians in Munich 3-2 and progress to the final eight. It was a match that came with much anticipation from fans the world over, as last years finalists went head-to-head in the round of 16. We didn't have to wait long for the opener as Samuel Eto'o (from a possibly offside position) slotted home his eighth goal in eight appearances in the Champions League. The game kicked into life early on with Bayern looking to reply. Seventeen minutes later Dutch flyer Arjen Robben once again with his dazzling feet cut in from the right flank to shoot venomously at Julio Cesar in the Inter goal and my word what a meal he made of it, as he seemed to forget what to do with his hands as the ball struck his chest he chased in vein as Mario Gomez was johnny on the spot flicking the ball overhead style and over the calamitous Julio Cesar and into the net to make it 1 all in the match and 2-1 on aggregate. Ten minutes later and with Munich ramping up their attacks as Inter sat back, it was that man again, Robben, floating in a central position to deliver a defence cutting - or defence deflecting - ball to Mueller who superbly flicked the ball over Julio Cesar for Bayern's second and final goal. Not long after it was the other winger Franck Ribery cutting in from his left flank post to deliver a tantalising ball to Gomez - which Julio Cesar left his goal open for - who flicked the ball across the front of the goal, where centre back Andrea Ranocchia attempted to clear only for Mueller to challenge and get his foot to the ball forcing it only into the post in a play that thoroughly deserved a goal.

The second half began and five minutes into the half we saw Leonardo's (Inter Manager) intentions as he brought on his most attack minded player (Philippe Coutinho) on for stand-in captain Dejan Stankovic. It was a move that would pay his manager dividends for the positive move. It was he who gave a brilliant cross field ball to fellow country man Maicon who in turn layed of the ball to the other pivotal Dutchman Wesley Sneijder on the edge of the box for him to drive home and level the scores. This was then followed by a bizarre move from sacked-manager-walking Louis Van Gaal to take Arjen Robben off. This gave Inter even more hope and more breathing space for left back Christian Chivu who had been rounded so many times from Robben in both matches. Van Gaal then decided to end experienced centre back Daniel Van Buyten's game in favour of Holger Badstuber. Chances fell for both sides as they battled for supremacy in a closely fought match, however Bayern seemed to have the better of the chances up until Robben's substitution. Inter worked their way back the only way they knew how, through playmaker Sneijder and goal machine Eto'o. Eto'o had been troubling young Brazilian centre back Breno all match and as a long ball was played to Eto'o late on they fought for the ball. Eto'o used his body brilliantly and lost his man before shrugging off substitute Badstuber and delivering a neat pass to the flying Goran Pandev to smash home with his favoured left foot to win the match and the tie for Internazionale. Pandev looked in the mood late on in the match with chances falling to him mainly in the second half and he did not need a second invitation as Eto'o set it up on a plate for him to stroke home. An inthralling match that did not disappoint it was full of chances for both teams, but it was Inter who took the most of their chances knocking out the helpless Munich.

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