So what did we learn from this first set of Champions League knockout matches?
- Well, goals are not the new black unless you’re playing Sporting Lisbon. While there was a fair bit of drama, the nets remained nearly pristine across Europe this week. For years I have thought that there has to be a better way to do this than the two leg, away goal system that seems to turn the first leg into something resembling the opening laps of an Olympic track cycling sprint.
- Is it time to start worrying if you’re a Barcelona fan? Again, because a first-leg road team is so happy to get a draw, maybe it’s easy to read too much into Barca only drawing in Lyon. Then again, they only drew 1-1 with Lyon.
- Obviously, tribesman props are in order for Yossi Benayoun for getting the matchwinner at the Bernabeu. That said, can we award this week’s Jumping the Gun award to Kevin Fylan at something called the Reuters Soccer Blog. He asks if we’re going to see another all-English final. Umm, can we at least wait until Inter and Barca are eliminated before we can begin that talk again?
- Chelsea had a classic Mourinho throwback performance, grinding out a 1-0 win at home against Juve. I know Del Piero and Totti are still pretty darn good, but what does it say about their respective clubs (and Serie A as a whole) that they both rely on their geriatric stars so much?
Of course Europe wasn’t the only region hosting its Champions League quarterfinals this week – CONCACAF was too! I’ll keep it brief, I have never more wanted a Mexican club to win than I did last night with Santos in order to shut all these USL “truthers” up. Unfortunately, Santos laid the egg of all eggs and somehow contrived to lose to a team featuring Matt Jordan, David Testo and host of other MLS washouts. That result made me far too mad last night.