So 15 Minutes is All it Takes

29 Mar

Way to make us suffer! 75 minutes of ‘Oh shit, not again!’ I think I’ve written enough draw recaps for this season, the boys are starting to give me a complex. Now I don’t breathe easy during matches until we’ve scored at least two goals! Tsk, tsk, it’s the ones you love the most that hurt you the worst. But I guess it was all worth the wait, because the boys did give us some exciting goals & assists to see.

Hooray for Mou, who was back on the bench where he belongs!!!

And hooray for Nuri who got a rare start in place of suspended Xabi. It was nice to see him play since I’m often guilty of forgetting that he’s still with us. He did put in a great effort, setting up Benz for what would’ve been a perfect goal in the 33rd minute….but Benz went and fucked that right up. Ugh.

"But...I want Kaka."

What Ice Cube really meant when he said "Put yo' back into it."

"That thang is like THIS big!"

"They're all just so damn hot!!!"

Why can't Iker ever fall into this kind of pose?

Between our misses and Chiotis’ ability to punch away anything that came close to him, things were getting boring-ish. Things that weren’t boring? The fans. APOEL had some wild ones in the stadium, flares & climbing included, but there were lots of Madridistas representing in the hizzouse!

I guess they weren't unreal enough...;)

There are moments during a match when I wish I had a 3D tv...this is not one of them!

"Get over there and SCORE!"

Oh yes we had the bulk of the possession, but possession doesn’t mean shit when you’re still 0-0! Luckily some magical changes were made in the 63rd minute. Kaka and Marcelo came on for Pipita and Coentrao. Ten minutes later we started getting somewhere. How you like that action?!?

Poor Pipa, he got quite de Jong’d before he exited the game 😦

I guess Kaka’s ring around the coach warm up worked, because he kicked off his play time with a nice ass assist! He set up Benz’s forehead perfectly. With the slightest touch & a nice leap from Benz, our first goal was headed in.

Ten minutes later, Kaka was on the receiving end of a nice ass assist from Marcelo. He sure can hustle like no other! The man is taken down in the box, but play doesn’t stop for him, nuh uh. Marcelo managed to serve his pass to Kaka as he was sliding out of bounds, AMAYSING!

The last change of the game was Pirata coming on for Nuri in the 84th minute and five minutes later we got our 3rd and final goal.

(Sorry about that vid, it was the clearest I could find!) That pass! Dayyumm Ozi! That strike! That shotgun celebration! Arbeloa’s tighty whities! It was all fab, a real nice way to finish off the match.

"Clean sheets RAWK!"

There’s TWO Kakas!!! Twice the Koo Koo?! AND the other Kaka has hair stripes….I’m not sure what this means, but I’m positive it’s significant. Hmm….

So….3-0 for the first leg, not bad at all. Coach Jovanovic had some nice words for the team after the match, he said “Certainly Real are in the semifinals of the Champions League and I personally believe they will reach the final and I hope they win the trophy.” Yes, I hope so too!

Credits: RealEsparta, Fahad-Madrid, KakaCarolSempre, FuckyeahBrasilNT, Charming-M

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Post Match Comments:

Mou:

“APOEL made things very difficult for us and we won because we played well. They were strong in defence and showcased great team spirit. I’m sure I wouldn’t do much better than Jovanovic on this team. We had to do our best to win. I think APOEL are doing a fantastic job. We knew the match would be complicated for them and bringing Kaka and Marcelo on was decisive. It will be difficult for them to win 4-1 at the Bernabeu. APOEL made it difficult for us because they have a very serious and hard working team.”

“I preferred to use Coentrao today because we have to play many games and can’t always use the same people. We feel more comfortable in some positions. I’m very happy with Sahin’s performance and so are his teammates because we all like him very much and he’s had a rough time. He had the chance to play tonight and did very well.”

“I’m happy with my team because things would have been easier for our opponent had we not given a serious and combative performance. Marcelo and Kaka came on in a privileged time during which APOEL’s physical potential was beginning to falter. It is impossible to compare Fabio and Marcelo because there is no point of comparison possible between them.”

“I shook hands with the APOEL players before I did so with mine because I have time to do so later in the dressing room. We gave a solid and serious performance. I would like to show them as much respect at the Bernabeu because they are the most important team in this Champions League; any of the other seven teams are pursuing something they’ve achieved before, but APOEL have never won the title.”

Benzema:

“It was a very difficult game, especially in the first half. The game improved after half-time and we earned a very important victory. We will keep it up in the return leg.”

“I had a very good chance to score before I netted my first, but I tallied two in the end and that’s what matters. This is an important victory, but this isn’t over yet. We want to give a good performance before our fans in the return leg.”

“APOEL are a very tough opponent and made things hard for us. We did very well and took a major step towards winning the tie.”

Kaka:

“Marcelo and I came on to try different things. I’m happy for making good use of the playing time I had and for helping Real Madrid decisively. I gradually make more use of the chances I get. I play more some times than others, but I’m happy with the victory.”

“We knew of the difficulties we would face against APOEL. They’ve reached this far for a reason and have done well. This is only the first match and this isn’t over yet. We have the advantage in the tie, but we have yet to play the return leg.”

“The coaching staff and the players decided that it was best not to talk after the game in Villarreal. We are gradually returning to normality.”

Sergio:

“We know each other well and are aware of having a large and quality squad. Those who haven’t played much for different reasons always step up when needed and Sahin should be congratulated for his performance. Xabi Alonso is very important, but we have many and excellent players.”

“Results always help calm things down. People said there was a crisis after two draws and we have to step away from that. We’re fine and must enjoy ourselves. We have to keep away from all that and continue working every day. We are in a privileged position.”

“The coaching staff and the players decided not to speak after the match against Villarreal. It wasn’t the opportune time, but now the natural thing is for everything to go back to normal.”

Pepe:

“We have yet to play one more game in this tie, but we’ve taken a major step towards winning it. We’ll have to be ready and concentrate hard in the return leg at home to avoid surprises. We must respect APOEL because they’ve eliminated other good teams.”

“We gave a good performance. APOEL were organised in defence, but we had a good start and kept possession. The substitutions helped and our forwards did well in the final minutes of the game.”

“We must continue to work hard and play every game like a final. We’re fighting for everything now and that’s what matters. We know we’re in good form and we have a great advantage to be champions. It will be difficult though and we must be humble.”

“I’m here to play the league championship. We decided not to talk much after what happened against Villarreal. We made a decision not to so as not to be misunderstood and be more relaxed. We do our job and you, the journalists, assess it. We have to face up to challenges on and off the pitch and give our all for this shirt.”

Arbeloa:

“There is nothing decisive in football. We were superior, but we’ll have to give our all in order to give a great performance against them at home. We evidently don’t expect the return leg to be this tough and we have a great squad. Anyone can play and we cannot afford to relax because it will be an important match. A team reaches the quarterfinals for a reason and differences are apparent on the pitch, but an opponent should never be disrespected. There’s a lot at stake for everyone in the next two months.”

“We’re in a good situation in La Liga thanks to a lead we would have easily accepted at the start of the campaign. We want to reach the Champions League semifinals, but we must focus on one game at a time because they will all be difficult.”

“We decided not to speak after the match against Villarreal in order to have some more relaxing days. We always knew things would go back to normal, so it isn’t all that important. It was a decision we all made. We weren’t looking for trouble. We just wanted to be calm and to avoid our words being misinterpreted.”

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And so begin the preparations for Saturday’s match against Osasuna…HALA MADRID!!!

-Maisougio

9 Responses to “So 15 Minutes is All it Takes”

  1. mygypsyspirit March 29, 2012 at 12:50 am #

    I love the photos of our boys with the flares in the background! That one of Iker looks like it’s from a commercial…

    This game was giving the shakes. Possession or not I just kept picturing it going horribly wrong. They need to quit doing this to me!

  2. Izan March 29, 2012 at 2:36 am #

    When they din’t score for about 75 minutes…I was so worried…APOEL goalkeeper work v. hard…no one can deny that is Kaka the real mastermind for the rest of the game.

  3. KatiePar March 29, 2012 at 7:12 am #

    What a long wait it was…But all is well that ends well. The assists by Marcelo and Özil were amazing! As would have been Nuri’s if Benz had scored that time. It’s nice to read all those lovely things about Nuri. Well done.
    That pic of Iker with the flares is my favourite too.

  4. jellyace March 29, 2012 at 12:08 pm #

    Great recap, Maisoun! Thanks for the Kaka-Kaka pics! Pooh-Pooh on the underarmour! The Nuricorn sure looks good on the pitch!

    • maisoun March 29, 2012 at 12:39 pm #

      I think we should start a campaign to ban under layers from the beautiful game. A shirt swap just isn’t a shirt swap when you don’t get to gawk at some hawt sweatiness!

  5. Jenny March 29, 2012 at 2:15 pm #

    I cannot believe people were worried. It was so obvious a minor flood of goals were coming – at least it was to me.

    If the Apples (notice how their supporters wear orange – Apples & Oranges – lol – okay that was lame) managed to string together two passes I certainly didn’t see it.

    Mesut had a 96% pass rate and had ZERO turnovers. Like – holy crap.

    Anyway – I was convinced we’d get four goals before we even started scoring.

    Lots of Benzil bromancing! So much love and affection between them!

    • Izan March 29, 2012 at 8:17 pm #

      u r right Jenny!

    • manie March 29, 2012 at 9:54 pm #

      Well, we were very clearly the better team, but in the past, we’ve become impatient when teams park the bus and started doing stupid shit when we don’t get the goals. So I was happy we were “mature” as Mou said!

  6. manie March 29, 2012 at 9:51 pm #

    I kind of wish APOEL had gone through a different draw, because they really are a fantastic team. It takes a long time to get everyone on the same page and Mou was right about this coach.

    Anyways, I was so happy to see the Brazilians on the pitch – esp Kaka, just so there were two Kakas on a field in Cyprus.

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