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While the first legs of the UEFA Champions League semifinals did not pack many goals, there were still plenty of fireworks in England and Spain.

First, Liverpool squandered multiple chances to put an underwhelming Chelsea side away. Without the heroics of goalie Petr Cech and a few uncharacteristic misses from Fernando Torres, Liverpool could have had three goals. An unfortunate John Risse own-goal at the match’s death (Why didn’t he try to clear the ball with his RIGHT foot????) gave a precious away goal to the Blues.

Liverpool will need to score at Stamford Bridge next week and most likely walk away with a win to secure its place in the finals for the third time in four years. Chelsea however does not lose at home and Liverpool’s attack suddenly becomes allergic to the goal at the Bridge.

Still it’s Avram Grant making the decisions for Chelsea and Rafa Benitez has become a tactical genius in European competitions. So, the pick is still Liverpool, but it’s on unsettled confidence.

Meanwhile, a certain Portuguese winger trying to lay claim to the best player in the world title muffed a penalty that could have given Manchester United a precious away goal at Camp Nou. Ronaldo has already vowed to score at Old Trafford next week and with the way he has played this season I wouldn’t want to bet against it.

Barcelona did show that it still has something left in the tank this season and is not washed up yet. Barcelona has the talent to send United packing still. However, the pick is still United.


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