Archive for March, 2019

Jews etc.

March 7, 2019

By a curious coincidence, both of last Tuesday’s matches in the UEFA Champions League round of sixteen (or eighth-finals, as other languages have it) featured teams that have traditional connections with Jews: Ajax Amsterdam and Tottenham Hotspur. (It’s one of the reasons I am a Spurs gan.) It so happens that both teams won their matches and on aggregate, and both will proceed to the quarterfinals. In the case of Spurs, they added to their 3-0 first-leg win over Borussia Dortmund. But Ajax overcame a 2-1 home loss in the first leg, beating Real Madrid 4-1 and so making (recent)  history: it was the first time since 2010 that Real were eliminated at this stage.

What’s more, if Ajax make it to the semifinals, they will be — as I wrote last year — the first team from outside the Big Five to do so since 2005.

They may be joined in this distinction by Porto, who the next day also came from behind to beat Roma. At the same time Manchester United overcame their first-leg loss to Paris Saint-Germain and won on away goals. Three come-from-behind victories in four matches — a good week for soccer fans.

In the aforementioned post I also wrote about Gianluigi Buffon, referring to “what was probably his last appearance on a global stage”. I was wrong — at age 41 he is still PSG’s number-one goalkeeper. Whether he should be is another matter: Of United’s three goals, the two by Lukaku were clearly the result of Gigi’s mistakes, and the third was his failure to stop Marcus Rashford’s not-too-hard penalty kick.

I am looking forward to next week’s matches.

 

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