Two glorious nights of European Champions League
games this week saw Italian clubs crash and burn and England restake its claim as the top league in the world as the knockout rounds got under way. On Tuesday, London's Tottenham Hotspur
won 1-0 at AC Milan
on Peter Crouch
's 80th-minute goal after pretty much controlling and frustrating the Italian league leaders, who've been having their best season in years but looked frazzled and clueless on this night. The next day Arsenal
came from a goal down in the last 12 minutes to shock Barcelona
, 2-1. The Catalans have been cruising through Spain and Europe, looking like the best team in the world by a good margin; now they'll have to do something special back home in three weeks to avoid another early Champs League exit. Meanwhile, Roma
lost 3-2 at home to underrated Ukranians Shakhtar Donetsk
, and Valencia vs. Schalke
was a 1-1 draw. The remaining eight teams are in action next week, Feb. 22-23; the games being shown live on Fox Soccer Channel are Copenhagen vs. Chelsea
on Tuesday, and Marseille vs. Manchester United
on Wednesday, both at 1:30pm.
Winter is finally over? Must be because the Austin Co-ed Soccer Association spring season finally gets started this Saturday. My team, Labor Crew, for instance, kicks off the defense of our title* at 11:50am at the fabled Onion Creek Soccer Complex. Various other leagues – co-ed, women's, men's, and other – are already under way, and unsanctioned soccer balls are rolling around fields all over Austin. More play!
* Worst adult co-ed soccer team in the city