Thursday, November 5, 2009

Minute By Minute Champion's League Food Fest Part 2

In part 2 of our "fine" dining review of UEFA Champion's League matchday 4, Chris enjoys some Boddington's and pommes frites while taking in the Liverpool at Lyon match. Check out the first match of the day here.

1:30pm: Finally a game with an English team. Time to crack a Boddington’s. Goals, please.
FSC analyst Warren Barton: “Liverpool’s whole season is at stake here. They can’t win the English Premier League. The Champions League is it for them. They must win…” Did he mention Geico?

Now FSC gives us a look-in at every stadium where a game is about to kick–off, along with a bit of commentary. This is refreshing.
Bad sign for Liverpool: aging central defender, team captain and Anfield legend Jamie Carragher is starting at right back due to a spate of injuries.

Geico, Heineken and Fifa Soccer 10 ads run constantly. Now I see an ad for XL Soccer Tours. Didn’t they go out of business last year, ignominiously removed from West Ham jerseys DURING the season. Hmmmm. Must be a different XL Soccer Tours.

1:40pm: Since all remaining games today will kick-off at 1:45 and I don’t want to spoil the result of Arsenal/Alkmaar which I’ll be watching on tape delay, all communications devices are turned off.

OK, here’s the Stade de Gerland in Lyon. The teams are lined up and the Champions League Anthem is playing, again.

Our referee is Frank De Bleeckere of Belgium, a second-generation FIFA ref.

Commentator Richard Kaufman sets the scene: “It’s a massive night in the gastronomic center of France.” Hey, that was my line.

Let’s hear Matt Millen come up with something like that.

1:45pm: Kick-off

5’: I’m not ready for the fish and pommes frites yet. Another Boddington’s should aid in tapas digestion. Both Marseille and Bourdeaux won in UCL yesterday. If Lyon wins today, all three French teams will have won on matchday four. Sacre Bleu!

14’: Commentator: “Should Liverpool lose tonight, it would be their worst run of results in fifty years.” Sacre bleu! I don’t think referee Frank De Bleeckere likes Liverpool’s captain Jamie Carragher, as if he didn’t already have enough to worry about.

17’: OL ‘keeper Lloris denies Dirk Kuyt with a fantastic save. Wait a minute…I have Kuyt on my UCL fantasy team. Lloris must die.

21’: Liverpool’s rarely used Ukrainian midfielder Andriy Voronin has fallen over backward, dirtying his ponytail. Voronin is like a Ukrainian version of “Zoolander.”
Doesn’t Manchester United striker Dimitar Berbatov look like actor Andy Garcia?

28’: Voronin almost scores. Great save again by Lloris. Shocking.

35’: This game is mercifully more end-to-end than Rubin/Barca. OL seem, perhaps, to be lacking that “je ne sais quois.”

40’: OL Coach Claude Puel forced to use 2nd substitute in first half due to injury. This doesn’t bode well for OL.

Halftime: 0-0. Three halves of top-notch European soccer yields no goals. Time for the last Boddington’s. I’d better heat up the oven for the fish et pommes frites. My stomach thinks otherwise. Has my mind made a promise my body can’t fill?

According to the Geico gecko, “(Liverpool Coach) Rafa Benitez doesn’t want to lose this game.”

46’: Someone please score a goal.

51’: Liverpool star striker Fernando Torres gets his second touch…of the game.

55’: Refs Frank De Bleeckere and Konrad Plautz should form a musical combo.

60’: I’m not eating these fries with mayonnaise, no matter what the French custom is.

64’: OL’s first corner of the game. What exactly does he mean, “a sniff of a chance”?

68’: Mercifully, Andriy Voronin is subbed out for Dutchman Ryan Babel.

69’: OL ‘keeper Lloris with another great save, denying Lucas. This is the high point of the day so far.

73’: OL striker Sidney Govou comes in for Gomis. Govou has been in the doghouse of late due to photographs printed in a local paper showing him leaving a nightclub in “poor condition”. Hey Sid, you should be here.

83’: GOAL Liverpool. A “wonderstrike” from sub Ryan Babel has the Reds up 1-0. It really was a great effort from 20+ yards out into the upper corner. “A bolt from the blue from Babel.” Ah, alliteration, the commentator’s best friend. My decision to postpone a bathroom break until the end of the game has paid off.

86’: Man I need to go to the bathroom.

90’: Just a couple of minutes to kill and Liverpool will get the win they sorely need.
GOAL OL. Lisandro equalizes for OL off a Bastos flick-on. Agony for Liverpool.

Fulltime: 1-1 OL has clinched advancement to knockout stage of UCL. Impressively, Olympique Lyon have made it to the knock-out stage eight consecutive years. Less impressively, they have not made it to a final. Liverpool no longer controls their destiny. “Heart-break for Liverpool.” Bathroom break for me.

Chris watches that AZ Alkmaar vs Arsenal match in the 3rd and final episode in Part 3.

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