Champions’ League semi-final, leg 2: PSV Eindhoven 3 – Milan AC 1

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Football
May 5th, 2005 • 3:37 am

How cruel. Eindhoven did everything right, and then allowed one Milan player to roam freely in their penalty area in the 90th minute and then it was all over. All this hard work destroyed by a single mistake.

If you heard the ESPN commentators like I did last night, you probably noticed one of them saying, when Eindhoven went 2-0 up, “When will they ever learn?” — referring to the Italians and their negative tactics and implying that these tactics do not pay off.

Unfortunately, as this game ultimately demonstrated yet again, they don’t have to learn. Negative tactics in football do tend to bear fruit, which explains why Liverpool and Milan are both in the final, which is almost guaranteed to be one giant bore-fest in terms of footballing creativity. If I were a betting man, I would probably bet on this one going to penalty kicks.

One year, perhaps, we’ll have a Champions’ League competition that’s dominated by an attacking team that really overwhelms the opposition with creativity and inventiveness. Then it will truly be the tournament of the century — because it is nothing something that is likely to happen very often.

Until then, we’ll have to make do with half-interesting games and tournaments dominated by negative tactics, with the occasional outsider surprising everyone by employing even more negative tactics. (Euro 2004, anyone?)

Sad, but true.

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