Champions League Semifinal 2011 - 2nd Leg - Easy Route to the Final
By Joe, bettingexpert.com | Edited
Google+: Joe Bexpert
Lionel Messi will be and still be celebrating if he can hold Real Madrid at Nou Camp for another 90 minutes on Tuesday when Barcelona host the semifinal second leg with a 2-0 lead, that is the same situation as Manchester United, they take on Schalke 04 with some ease.
Barcelona vs. Real Madrid (Agg: 2-0)
This should be the last edition of the El Clasico in season 2010/11 unless some kind of ruling from UEFA will determine more penalties and fines coming out from the first leg saga. If there was to be, then the second leg of the Champions League semi-final will be the last, at least, on the field rather than off the field. The outspoken Real Madrid’s manager, Jose Mourinho has been sanctioned while Barcelona will defend their unsporting conduct by the Los Blancos, which will find a good making of a fight to the second leg bitter end.
Home at the Nou Camp, it is rare to see Barcelona to falter in front of their fans and every expectation for them to advance to the Champions League final is very high. They have been in this situation before and with all the experience in the last few years, Barca should be able to drive this home with the 90 minutes left in this game. The run up to the second leg hasn’t favored Barca as their weekend 2-1 away defeat to Real Sociedad showed that they are humans afterall. There is a minor detail around this defeat as Victor Valdes, David Villa, Dani Alves and Busquets started on the bench, what more was the manner of the defeat where Coach Guardialo saw his team relax too much and failed to go ten points ahead of their nearest rivals in the La Liga. On Tuesday, Guardialo will has some thinking to do as the left back slot is yet to be filled, Adriano and Abidal are absence, Puyol is doubtful with the only obvious selection of Maxwell to fill in the gap but also he is doubtful too. To further the defense misery, both Gabi Milito and Martin Montoya are also out after picking up injuries in the weekend. The front lines will stay the same with Messi and David Villa at the helm but it remains to see whether the doubtful Andres Iniesta will marshal the midfielder and if not, the Seydou Keita will step in. Goalkeeper Jose Pinto will serve his suspension after receiving a red card for the half time tussle.
Real Madrid didn’t do any better after the midweek defeat to Barcelona, they continue the home losing streak with a 3-2 home defeat to lowly Real Zaragoza. Even without Cristano Ronaldo in the squad and Marcelo, Ozil and Adebayor all started on the bench, Real have a team that could win and close the gap to Barcelona in the La Liga, but that didn’t happen and surely Jose Mourinho’s job is on the line after yet another disappointment. The Portuguese manager could redeem himself if he can do against all odds to qualify for the champions league final with a 2-0 deficit from the first leg. He will be without two key players, both Sergio Ramos and Pepe are suspended while Sami Khedira and Fernando Gago injured. The landscape is simple for Real Madrid, go to Nou Camp and score, that is the only way out for a disappointing season that the Los Blancos have endured.
Let’s all face it, Barcelona’s dominance in Spain is surely evident in this season and if any further development, it could be yet to stay if Real Madrid doesn’t step it. The capital club are weakened going into this game with Mourinho also being suspended on the sidelines, Real are near to go out of the tournament. Madrid is expected to attack while Barca is expect to hit on the counter attack, and with Messi scoring an excellent solo weaving goal, a 5-0 repeat of the earlier El Clasico could surely be on the horizon.
Manchester United vs. Schalke 04 (Agg: 2-0)
The other Champions League semi-final also goes into the second with an identitical scoreline for the home side to keep if they were to book a place in the final place at Wembley on May 28th. Manchester United have already done the hard work in Germany a week ago, now they will just need to keep things clean for another 90 minutes to safeguard their third final in five years.
This is another good chance for Sir Alex Ferguson to make history with Manchester United especially the only competition that Manchester United that doesn’t have many of. Three champion league, two under Alex Ferguson, might be plenty for some teams out there but not when some of their arch rivalries have 5 and more, something that Ferguson would want to change before he retires. With a 2-0 lead, Old Trafford shouldn’t be in a nervous wreck about their chances to advance but with the form they endure in the weekend, Schalke 04 could spoil their chance. The Red Devil saw a 1-0 away defeat to arch rival, Arsenal, in the weekend which also opened the Premiership title wide open once again. The midweek champion league game will be followed up with a Chelsea encounter in the Premiership, a definite tough task ahead for Manchester United with the hope of Paul Scholes returning with Flectcher also available.
Things are not going well for the Royal Blues after a brief stint of positive result under Ralf Rangrick at the start of his tutelage. A dreadful two weeks have seen Schalke 04 fallen against Kaiserslautern, Manchester United in the first leg and a 4-1 away defeat to Bayern Munich last weekend. Domestically things have been a bit tragic but as the final straw is coming up and Schalke 04 will need to face the warp. This might be the last chance for the German outfit to prove themselves that it’s not just a fluke but surely some kind of luck did help them on the way. Rangrick will be hoping to see Benedikt Howedes fit to travel to England and that he is able to find that ounce of fighting spirit to overcome that 2-0 deficit.
Manchester United couldn’t be in any better position that they have ever been in any semifinal of the champions league. If they were to blow it, then it is Manchester Untied to lose in the end so it will be up to Schalke 04 to show what they can capable of by throwing the last dice to salvage their season. Short and sweet, Manchester United should qualify for the final at Wembley.
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