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in case you missed it – the second half edition

January 10, 2011

In case you missed it – Madrid vs. Villarreal [2011-01-09].

It was a tale of two halves – in the first, Madrid deserved to lose; they played like they had during the Barça game.  In the second, they showed why they deserved to win.  Mou’s halftime pep talk must have really lit a fire under the players, as they themselves would admit after the game.  His tactical reorganization did wonders too for the team, as it shut down Villarreal completely.  (Mou put in Khedira for Lass, resorted to three centerbacks – Albiol, Carvalho and Sergio Ramos -, while Di María and Marcelo raced up and down the wings and Khedira and Özil supported Xabi.)  All this translated to an important win.

But enough of the tactical stuff, on to the fun stuff!

One. Pregame fun.  If Sergio is hiring anyone to do that for him, I’d offer my services.  I’d even pay him to let me work for him.  And here’s the Iker-Sergio kiss from another angle.  Iker also took the time to fluff up the little hair he has left his hair.

Joan Capdevila, Santi Cazorla and Ángel, all current or former Spanish internationals, got hugs from Iker and Sergio.  Other Spanish internationals on Villarreal:  Diego López (a canterano), Borja Valero (ditto), Carlos Marchena, Bruno, Marcos Senna… making it very difficult for me to dislike Villarreal.

Two. Cristiano stepped it up, scoring another hat trick in this game, although, as he said after the game, “without my teammates I would not be able to score, I have to thank them.”  Meanwhile, Kaká said, “it was a special moment to return to the Bernabéu and score a goal like that.  I want to thank the fans for welcoming me back so warmly after all the problems I’ve had… Cristiano is a great player that surprises everyone with his goals and his style each day.  He’s fundamental to this team and it’s great to play with him.”

Enough talk about your relationship as teammates, and more talk about your relationship as friends!

Here are the goals.  Number one.  Ozi’s hair got messed up in the celebration, but Cris’ had enough gel in it to bounce back immediately.

The second goal came off a Xabi Alonso pose free kick.  That, combined with Cristiano’s stealth and speed (look at his run to the goal!), led to this cute little celebratory hug between the two protagonists.

Thank goodness Cristiano never gives up, no?  But even more amazing than this goal, the third one, was the celebration – the normally calm, laid-back and stoic Xabi Alonso JUMPED IN to celebrate.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen that before.  Look at it – all the guys are hugging, and then suddenly this one guy jumps on top of everyone.  And it’s Xabi Alonso!  Maybe he was subbing for Pepe, since that’s what Pepe usually does.

And it was great to see Kaká score, and I’m sure it did wonders for his self confidence as well.  Was anyone surprised by who gave the assist for the fourth goal?  Have they been holding their own private training sessions?

This picture says it all, no?  What a great (half a) night at the Bernabéu.

Kaká also made this dedication.  I have no idea what it means.

Three. Here are the players’ takes on Mou’s halftime pep talk:

– Cris (in a silly hat, even if it is Dolce&Gabbana – did he get it during the rebajas?):  the míster spoke with us and the message was important.  We reacted and we won.

– Carvalho:  we changed our attitude after the half and we went out to win the game.  When the game wasn’t going well, Mourinho took a risk and played with three in the back.

– Sergio:  the míster got it right when he changed the system of play.

– Kaká:  he showed why he’s the best coach in the world.  He made a change in the way we were playing and motivated us so that we played much better in the second half.

Mou himself said that “I spoke with the players and I told them the result wasn’t the reality and I wanted to change the system.  The game changed because in the second half we played and Villarreal dedicated themselves to defending.”

Four. There’s no doubt who’s the leader out there.

Five. More fun moments.  See, Iker and Cris do get along!

Marcelo is the man of a thousand expressions and gestures.

Six. The Infantil B team was in the stadium, watching the game from right behind the benches.  Perhaps it was their reward for getting to the final of the Alevín tournament?  I’m loving all the teams in the cantera right now, in case you couldn’t tell!

Seven. Front and back.™

The entire team!!!  Yay for walls!  Xabi looks like a soldier.

Raúl Albiol.

Xabi Alonso.  So boss.

Karim Benzema.

Marcelino, the Karate Kid.

Sergio Ramos.  The camera person (it couldn’t have been a man, could it?  Just look at the way the camera drops down to focus on Sergio’s culito) and I were on the same wavelength.

Eight. The man with the perfect profile and the perfect pursed lips.  Just ignore the spitting.

Nine. The Xabi Alonso pose section.™

Now with props!

Even when there is a altercation, Xabi still manages to pose.

I think we can all agree who is in the right.  Whatever was going on, the right definitely wins.

Ten. Quote of the day:  Raúl Albiol, to “El Larguero,” on Cristiano’s hat trick:

We’re tired of signing game balls.  He already has a lot of them.

Cristiano had scored three previous hat tricks this season:  against Depor, Athletic, and Levante (in the Copa, but MFC went home with that ball).

Eleven. The Mou corner.

TSO, during the first half, busily taking notes for his fiery halftime pep talk.

Mou said in his press conference after the game that he didn’t like anything about his team during the first half, while Villarreal was “fantastic, marvelous.  In the second half, the team was brilliant and we won thanks to the courage that the team displayed.”

And of course, it wouldn’t be a Real Madrid game without controversy.  Yesterday’s occurred after the fourth goal, when Mou headed to the area right in front of the Villarreal bench to celebrate.  The rival team thought he was being provocative, and one of their players, Cani, threw an empty water bottle at Mou.  TSO later said that he had gone to celebrate with his son, who was sitting right behind the rival bench – because that’s where his abono is – and did not mean to disrespect anyone.  He swore this on the life of his son, saying that he hoped everyone would believe that he loves his kids and would not take their lives lightly.  Cani was kicked out of the game for “throwing from the bench a plastic bottle with some liquid inside in the direction of the coach of the home team as he celebrated a goal of his team, which didn’t hit anyone,” according to the referee’s match report.

Mou also complained a bit about how “everything I do is always negative” (his exact words were “siempre negativo” which reminds me of Louis van Gaal’s famous “siempre negativo, nunca positivo” during his time at Barcelona – anyone remember that?  My friends and I would always imitate his accent).  Anyway, Mou went on to say, “against Levante I made a change that I had planned for the last three days (Pepe for Carvalho) and I was insulted; do I have to ask permission for everything I do?  Everything I do always has a negative connotation, always.  I can’t do anything.  I swear I went to celebrate the goal with my son.  I told that to Villarreal, and if they don’t believe me, it’s their problem.”

I’m sorry, but Mou should have known better.  This is not the first game of the season and he knows perfectly well where his son sits and how his gestures can be interpreted.

Anyway, the only thing that beat Mou yesterday was his own water bottle.  Look carefully.

Mou also spoke about Kaká’s return, saying, “he played very well… the fourth goal was fantastic.”  As for Cristiano, he said, “Cristiano leaves me speechless.  I can’t even begin to describe his performance.”

Twelve. Other games notes:

– Lass left the game while it was still ongoing – he was spotted in the mixed zone in the 86th minute – which would cost him a fine, but the club informed the press that it wasn’t anything controversial at all, since he was on his way to the VIP palco to watch the game with family and friends.  Take that, Spanish sports press!

– Canales and Pacheco were once again left off the final game list, as had been the case against Levante last week.

– Ochocinco’s take on the game.

Come on Xabi, chime in and inform Ochocinco how great the rodaballo or the besugo is!  I love those as well as merluza, bacalao, basically everything!

Thirteen. And over in Chicago, Gonzalo Higuaín watched the game in his hotel room (the Hotel Allerton, for anyone who is in Chicago and would like to spot a little – and big – pipe) along with his parents and Dr. Díez.  He smiled when he saw his teammates go onto the field wearing shirts that read, “Ánimo Pipa, recupérate pronto” (stay strong, Pipa, recover quickly).

Pipita said, “it made me very emotional, I’m very thankful to all my teammates, and I hope to be with them soon.  Gracias, muchachos.”

Please, not that pose!

Pipita spent the day eating and resting in his room.  He’ll meet with Dr. Fessler today to go over the details of the operation, which is scheduled for Tuesday.

Fourteen. Meanwhile, those players who weren’t called up for the game – all three of them – had their own training session at Valdebebas.  Mateos consists of only legs.

Álvaro also tweeted about the game, saying it was a fantastic one.

Fifteen. Looking ahead:  the players have today off, and will be back tomorrow to begin preparing for Thursday’s Copa del Rey first leg quarterfinal game against Atleti.

58 Comments leave one →
  1. January 10, 2011 15:33

    amazing amazing game!! It was 1-3 am at my time zone, and I couldn’t contain my screams, I woke up the whole house. Cristiano was phenomenal! I couldn’t believe that I hated the gut out of him before, since now I would bow on the ground he walks. He’s amazing.

    • January 10, 2011 16:43

      Ouch the Far East time zone is touch. You have my sympathy. I’m three hours ahead of CET and that kills me mostly.

      • January 14, 2011 13:15

        Real match is almost always on Monday early morning for me, so every monday is like hell for me at college..

    • sweetubi permalink
      January 10, 2011 16:45

      LOL u r not the only one, I used to hate him too.. Thats CR7 for u! i forgot what is it his catch phrase? your hate make me strong your love make me something.. 😛

      • January 14, 2011 13:17

        he said that? LOL
        Only a man like Cris can be hated and loved at the same time I guess.. Right now I’m in love with him.. hehehehe

  2. January 10, 2011 15:42

    Seems like it was an awesome game. That third goal from Cristiano was just brilliant, it really shows his will to win. And that fourth from Kaka was a beauty as well.

    That hug between Alonso and Cristiano was such a “macho man” hug. So unlike Xabi. But cute, nevertheless.

    The shirt was a nice gesture for Pipita. For sure it’s hard for me to be away from the team when they win matches like this… But that 2nd gif made me realize that Iker needs a tan!

    And, Una, can I be your alternate in case you get that job with Sergio? I’ll pay you if you let me. 😉

  3. amouria permalink
    January 10, 2011 15:46

    Mou was speechless re Ronaldo’s performance. By a similar vein, I am speechless re your dedication to provide us with the really realy best blog on RM. Una, you are an angel.

    On Mou corner, lets be frank, this guy doesn’t play nicy nicy, nor likes to portray himself as a wise, polite bla bla man (you know who constantly does that). He doesn’t care whether the rival loves him, or for that matter, whether the press write good reviews about him. He cares about his players, team and fans. So let him be what he is. WE LOVE MOU…

  4. mumblo permalink
    January 10, 2011 15:54

    The first half of this game was almost painful to watch — so stressful! Then Mou worked his magic at halftime and they came out like a different team, taking control and making Villareal play their game. A win like this should have benefits beyond the three points. Hala Madrid! Thanks for letting me relive this wonderful experience, Una.

  5. Manon permalink
    January 10, 2011 16:09

    Do you think Kaka’s celebration could represent his future child? Like the tiny fetus it is for now. Just an idea though 🙂

  6. HermosaChica permalink
    January 10, 2011 16:32

    That was a great match to watch. I’m so glad we won (especially because I had an exam this morning and it would have really affected my mood if the outcome of the match was otherwise). Not to sound like a sissy, but I actually teared up when Kaka scored! It was such a wonderful breakthrough moment. I’m very happy for him, as well as Cris for his hat trick.

    Whoa. I’m a little speechless right now. *clears throat*..The first gif..I..the bulge..I..just..
    You know, a little part of me likes to imagine that the mysterious beso gif is actually capturing a bit more than just an innocent peck on the cheek 😉

    Cristiano’s hat is just ridiculous. Wait, was he wearing it because he scored a “hat” trick?! *facepalm*.. Although he does look a teensy weensy bit adorable in it, but in a slightly negative way (if that’s even possible).

    Yay!!! Sergio’s front and back gifs! *stares in awe* Thank you! 😀 Oh my, “culito”? I’m definitely using that from now on!

    LOL at Mou’s battle with the water bottle! He’s had so much trouble with that specific type of container, no? That’s it, the Bernabeu should only store gigantic clay jugs for water consumption. That way, Mou won’t be able to throw them, or struggle with fiddly little caps!

    Hmm, Pipita looks a little tired in the photos 😦 . Get well soon, Pipa!

    Once again, super ICYMI edition. In fact, they keep getting better and better! There are so many little comments that made me burst out laughing. Thanks Una! *special Iker/Sergio beso*

    • IsaBella permalink
      January 10, 2011 22:54

      “culito” is a very nice word, I like to use that too, much nicer than butt 😀 BTW I also had an exam today 🙂

    • January 10, 2011 23:31

      Screen high five for the “hat” trick comment LOL!!!!!!

  7. January 10, 2011 16:47

    This was a brilliant, brilliant match. I alternatively spent the first half chewing my nails and then the second half cheering and crossing my fingers for luck. Also since the match finished around 1AM my time, I too woke the whole house up with my screaming and shouting.

    Una, out of sheer curiosity, how many times do you re-watch a match while coming up with the ICUMI posts? Thank you so much for the sheer hard work and trouble that you put into them and the rest of your entries. We really appreciate it!

    • HermosaChica permalink
      January 11, 2011 12:01

      Hmm, I’m sure she uses a little Mou-style notebook whilst watching the matches. 😉

  8. Jenny permalink
    January 10, 2011 17:13

    I was pleased. My favourite player, Mesut Oezil, was the best attacker of the first half – the one player totally unaffected by Villareal’s first goal – a good German boy never panics – it’s practically a trademark of the National Team!

    Cristiano got a fabulous hat-trick.

    The entire team was on fire during the second half and Khedira was fabulous, keeping the balls away from our half of the pitch.

    Mou got his usual funny moment of mini-controversy.

    The opponent was great (in any other league, Villareal would be on top, no doubt) – winning over a top team is always wonderful.

    Di Maria only dived once, which was nice, though he still needs to control his temper. If he’s ever missing for an important game because he’s picked picked up five yellows for diving and ill-temper, I won’t forgive him.

    And our beautiful boy Kaka scored!

    We were down twice but still came out ahead. All in all a nail-bitingly satisfactory game (and a beautiful game at that).

    • IsaBella permalink
      January 11, 2011 00:17

      “a good German boy never panics – it’s practically a trademark of the National Team!” I love that statement 🙂

  9. January 10, 2011 17:17

    What an amazing match… I would say it was my favorite of the season so far. Villarreal were amazing but it was so amazing to see us tie the score twice and FINALLY pull ahead. I don’t have enough good things to say about Cris. I’m also so glad that Kaká scored in his first home match since his injury!

    Hahaha, in the first “front and back” of Sergio, he looks like a ballet dancer or something with that arm movement. And wow, the second one is a beauty. Maybe the camera person reads your blog and wants to make sure you get good material for front and back?

  10. IsaBella permalink
    January 10, 2011 17:27

    I agree with you Una. It was definetely a game of the second half. In the first half I was devastated, doing all the time and wondering where the Madrid defense was. My felicitaciones first go to Mou for his tactical genius and to Cristiano for the hat-trick.
    Oh I love the first part about Sergio’s pants: makes me wanna say keep doing that baby 😀 I think his butt looks much better in jeans but it is still a pleasure to take a look at it and his lovely green Nike’s 🙂
    come on Una, Iker does not have that little hair, he still looks ok with it 🙂
    Santi Cazorla is a very nice guy, I had a chance to meet him, he’s very short but looks rather sweet.
    to Xabi: hug me like that once please 🙂
    I wonder what lipstick Cristiano uses, cause his lips look great.
    Karim’s a la Xabi pose and his underwear: unforgettable :p
    The idea of the shirt for Gonzalo was fabulous, I was really touched.

    • HermosaChica permalink
      January 11, 2011 12:13

      Haha, I love Santi’s little mushroom face when he smiles! Easily makes my day 🙂

      “I wonder what lipstick Cristiano uses, cause his lips look great.” — right?! He seems like one of those guys who lather on a ton of lip balm before going to bed. Lol, I’d never do that as I’d probably wake up with my face stuck to the pillow..

      And regarding your previous reply: ugh, curse January exams.. 😦 My second one’s tomorrow.

      • IsaBella permalink
        January 11, 2011 18:15

        Santi’s smile is fantastic, I agree 🙂 but his tatoos look like he’s been recently released from prison 😉
        I mean really, Cristiano’s lips look amazing it must be something better than Carmex (sorry for the ad) I also use a lot of lip balm but with no exaggeration 😉
        I had another exam today and the rest in two weeks time…. ufff…. :/

        • HermosaChica permalink
          January 12, 2011 14:11

          What’s that you say?! Tattoos??? Hmm, I haven’t really looked at Santi “that” way, but now that you mention the “t” word, looks like I’ve got some research to do! 😉

          Aaah, I just did my last exam, and I’m still extremely tried! Yay, 10 more days of nothing to do! No wait, I have mounds of untouched coursework to deal with..
          Good luck with the rest of your exams!

        • IsaBella permalink
          January 12, 2011 17:06

          oh yes Santi has a tattoo on his arm but I sincerely don’t remember on which one, I talked to him only for a little while and he was tired after the training so I didn’t have the chance to look at it carefully, I only saw that it was on the arm and that it already looked pretty “grey” or “washed out”, just like Sergio’s.
          I have a week off uni now, but then comes the exam session 😦 and I also have to work so lots to do 😉 what do you study BTW? 😀

      • HermosaChica permalink
        January 13, 2011 14:03

        Ohhh I caught a glimpse of it last night in the Villarreal/Sevilla match (which was quite a good one, I might add)! Haha since the google search was useless, I was dying for a shot of him where I could scans his limbs 😆 then BINGO! I found it; it’s on his right forearm, and it kinda looks like elvish writing..hmm.
        And oh my, a tired, throbbing Santi.. 😉
        Since you’ve met so many Spanish ‘ballers, you should probably be our official “how gorgeous do they REALY look like in real life” critic! 😀

        • IsaBella permalink
          January 13, 2011 14:49

          I can even tell that Santi was sweating because it was very hot outside and they were training in the sun for 1,5 hs. 😉
          I can definetely assess the difference between pictures and real life. The biggest shock so far were Xabi and Sergio. It is like you saw two different men, one on TV and one in real life, who happen to be the same person 🙂 Iker more or less fulfilled my expectations I would say 😉

  11. May permalink
    January 10, 2011 17:33

    What an amazing game!!!! Easily the best of the season for us in terms of excitement and happy endings! LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE that Kaka scored – and from a Cristiano assist! And Cris, just like with Mou, you leave me speachless….No words…

    (Oh, and Kaka’s celebration is a C and a backwards C for his wife Caroline Celico.)

    • January 11, 2011 01:08

      Ooh, you’re so right about Kaka’s goal celebration! It does look like that double C thing she uses.

  12. Ms.Blau permalink
    January 10, 2011 18:36

    Couldn’t be a better shot of Sergio!!!!!!!! i was hoping you caught that moment and posted it!
    Hate these rumors of his new gf….

  13. emily permalink
    January 10, 2011 19:45

    that first half was ever so slightly scary! So glad the boys decided to straighten up and fly right for the second. CR continues to amaze. For all of the nay-sayers out there, this kid matures everyday and will hopefully run himself clear of the little niggling annoyances that make everyone call him selfish. His talent is endless, it’s just the head that needs a little more work. I liked Iker’s little CR tushy pat… oh to be in their shoes! So glad they won.

    • Kai permalink
      January 11, 2011 03:35

      Cris will never be treated like a normal person. The fact that he has “everything” (talent, money, fame, good looks) will always generate haters, regardless of how much he changes. It’s how he handles it (like how he decided to stay in England after that 2006 incident that people seem to forget was Rooney’s own fault to begin with) that amazes me.

  14. Marie permalink
    January 10, 2011 19:54

    I loved this game! I actually got to watch it since it happened to be on ESPN2. My brother was the one who found it and he’s a huge Barca fan so you can imagine how much crap he was giving me during the first half. But no worries I knew that TSO is magic and that we would be better in the second.
    You know this time I was really really REALLY fed up with some of the usual comments from the commentators about Madrid and TSO. That one guy kept complaining about how the refs called stuff on Villareal that they didn’t call on Madrid and I just wanted to say stfu you biased A hole! And Mou is right they do give him way too much crap. Just in the first minutes the commentator said in what I took as a very sardonic tone,”Look he’s already scribbling furiously.” And well yes he would be because he’s the coach and that’s his job! Sorry angry rant over.
    I personally didn’t like that he went to the other side to celebrate however, even though I have to note that it was obvious he was aiming at the stands and not the other team. Of course I understand that emotions are running high but I still thought it was not classy of that guy throwing a water bottle at a coach. You’re professional, deal with it.
    And I understood Mou’s wanting to celebrate because damn that second half was ours from the beginning but it took us forever to finally break through. Cris is a miracle. And Kaka I just love and I am so happy that he’s back and playing well.
    Those shirts for Pipita made my heart melt. I’m so happy they’re supporting him like that publicly. My best wishes go out to him for a speedy recovery.
    On a last note I have to say that I have great respect for Villareal because they held us off for quite a while.

  15. Marie permalink
    January 10, 2011 20:17

    Mourinho is the Fifa world coach of the year!!! YAY!!! Hala Madrid!!

  16. Lily Montella permalink
    January 10, 2011 20:40

    Amazing game! I can’t believe the first half I almost had a heart attack!

    Ended it well welcome back Kaka!!!

  17. suzanne permalink
    January 10, 2011 20:58

    amazing!! so happy for kaka!! so glad we came out to play in the 2nd half. just wonderful, wonderful, wonderful.

    also chad, people in the states do eat frog legs, so i don’t know if he was thinking that was weird or something (of course that’s in the south where we eat them, and people do think we eat weird things)

    aww, pipita. i am praying hard for you right now love. hope the surgery’s a success. also, hope he watched the match on espn2 and not that little computer screen 🙂

    thanks for the amazing work as always una

  18. Maddi permalink
    January 10, 2011 21:45

    Lol my computer is really old and slow so it didn’t load about half of the gifs so I had to look up what “culito” was. Now I really have to get a new computer!!!

  19. faith permalink
    January 10, 2011 21:47

    Xabi is SO Boss!! But what is with his new goal celebration with the team? I couldn’t believe it when I saw him run and jump up on top of the pile – of course my second thought was, “I bet Una says something about this.”
    CR7 wow!! And yes I bet the hat was a leftover 😉

    I agree that Villareal is a team I don’t dislike and I kept looking for interaction between the La Roja teammates.

    Unamadridista’s ICYMI Priceless!! Thanks again for a great recap.

  20. Lauren permalink
    January 10, 2011 22:39

    Yes, it was a great game but unfortunately I couldn’t watch the whole game. Yesss, Cris made it again! I read somewhere that Kaka dedictated his goal celebration to his unborn daughter. But I’m not sure.
    Is it me or does Pipita look sad. Even though he’s smiling his eyes look sad. Poor Pipita. It must be a hard time for him right now. I hope he recovers soon.

  21. January 10, 2011 22:49

    Sometimes watching Mourinho you think he’s acting and perhaps he is, but seeing him cry at Schneider’s Balon d’Or speech was very moving – he really loves his players!

    • Margie permalink
      January 11, 2011 01:52

      Ahh where can I see this, I really want to see this!!

      I don’t think Mourinho acts, I think he is actually a very emotional person, but that he often controls his emotions very well.

      If you are interested here is an example of Mourinho being emotional (well, in writing); it is a foreword to Didier Drogba’s autobiography (Didier is like a son to Mourinho):

      • Margie permalink
        January 11, 2011 02:23

        you may have seen these two videos but here’s more (I can’t help posting these videos I love them too much DX)

    • Margie permalink
      January 11, 2011 01:59

      Never mind I found it!

      • RealLisa permalink
        January 11, 2011 16:03

        Thanks for the videos!

        • Margie permalink
          January 12, 2011 00:52

          Oh, you’re welcome! 🙂

  22. Maisoun permalink
    January 10, 2011 23:08

    Ahhh I loved the SECOND half of this game! Whatever Mou did during the half worked.. launching water bottles, spitting gum at people, smacks…whatever, he got the job done!

    Oh & I was hoping you’d have a gif of Sergio’s pregame “fixing” I was screencapping like a mad woman when I saw it 😛 I know I can always count on Una for the goods!

    And Cris’s hat….looks like he’s thinking of growing some dreads….:P

  23. Gillian permalink
    January 10, 2011 23:14

    I’m starting to think they just like messing up Mesut’s hair!

    Cris’ celebration for the second goal was awesome! I loved the charged up look on his face!

    Pipita is in my city! I wish it was for something more positive. Best of luck to him and I hope he gets better soon. I liked the support the teammates gave him.

  24. January 10, 2011 23:39

    Oh!!!!!!!I love it!!!!!!!!!!!Thanks UnaMadridista!

    I have to yet see the game (I could not watch it yesterday, what a pity. Judging by that turn of events I should also miss next ElClasico-maybe that would cause the team to win ;-))

    but your summary (I love spoiler alerts!) gives me hints about where to look (oh, the first gifs…;-), excellent summary!

    Xabi looks totally like a boss, he really started to behave more and more bossy, hasn;t he recently?

    I am bit worriend about the defense though. If you say the first half was so-so, I mean, they did lost 2 goals, it worries me. To the contrary to the popular worry about the strikers, in my opinion (even though I love our defensive players, obviously!!!!), I think the problems lay there more often than they should…anyway, I am optimistic and with this optimism I will try to watch this game finally within next few days!!!

    Is it only me or Mourinho was really sad today, even though he won?

    • IsaBella permalink
      January 11, 2011 08:57

      this is exactly what I said: during the first half I was like shouting: where the hell is the defense? it was really painful to look at it… :/

  25. DebS permalink
    January 11, 2011 00:08

    The game was on ESPN2?! ggaahhh. Ah well, at least I was able to watch it on :\

    I had flashbacks of the Barca game in the first half. Our defense was getting picked apart. You could see that they really missed Pepe. I was really hoping that Khedira came in for Lass because he was really struggling to keep up. Even Xabi was having a difficult time but even he can’t do it alone.

    Mou made some great changes at 1/2 time and it paid off. Albiol played better as a rightback than he did in the center. Meanwhile Sergio played better in the center than he was at the rightback, imo.

    Karim worked his butt off, off the ball but poor guy just wasn’t cutting it as the lone forward. Cris definitely has a better connection with Kaka on (and off) the pitch.

    The shirt gesture was so sweet. After what Kaka said about needing to support him, I wonder if he was part of the catalyst behind it? Pipita’s staying at the Allerton? Hmm…great place for him to stay for a good view of the Chicago skyline…right there on the Mag Mile (which is where all the “rich & famous” in the city shop/live. I was really glad to hear that his parents were able to be there. I don’t care how rich, famous or old you are, it’s always good to have family there and I’m sure his parents wanted to be there too. It must be pretty scary as any type of back surgery, especially on someone so young, would be.

    I had to laugh when I saw Cris talking to Xabi during the game. The hand covering his mouth while he was talking…he definitely got that from Mou.

    Even Rio Ferdinand & Pique were tweeting with Ochocinco about Cris.

    rioferdy5 Rio Ferdinand
    @Cristiano is not playing around tonight! #goalmachine ! @ochocinco u must be a good luck charm bro !

    Gerard Piqué
    @cristiano can show u some skills @ochocinco…!! he was my teammate at Man U and i can tell he’s a great player… i’m waiting for u..

    No matter what you think about Cris as a person, the MAN CAN PLAY. His work rate and desire to win on the pitch is phenomenal.

    I keep telling my daughter how hilarious Marcelo is but yesterday I got the chance to show her. She just happened to be walking by the computer when Marcelo was doing the “Lean Back” dance during warm-ups. She’s finally catching on. 😀

    lol @ Sergio. As if he didn’t know that people would be watching. What a tease!

    QOTD – hilarious! Albiol, don’t be a sass! 😀

    • IsaBella permalink
      January 11, 2011 10:18

      of course he knew that everybody was watching, that’s the point 😀 why else do that? 😉 I don’t mind though 😀

  26. Molly permalink
    January 11, 2011 02:29

    ICYMI is soooo much better when you’ve actually been able to watch the game (thank you ESPN3!). Of course I spend the whole match guessing which moments will make the post. 🙂

    Thanks again for the time you spend on the blog – it is great!

    I live only about 2 miles from the Hotel Allerton, so shall be keeping an eye out for Pipita over the next few days. Northwestern is the best hospital in Chicago, so am sure he will be in good hands!

    • DebS permalink
      January 11, 2011 11:56

      A fellow Chicagoan…yay! Actually I live in the NW burbs but only a train ride away.

      You’ll have to report back on whether there’s much traffic/hoopla today. Actually, I’ll be surprised if there’s even anything in the Trib. about it. :\

  27. January 11, 2011 03:49

    thanks Una! This ICYMI is priceless since I missed the game even though I could’ve watched it..but I was debating whether to watch Real or Milan and in the end both matches were phenomenal and I missed them both anyway! I love the t-shirts, hope Pipita gets well soon!

  28. Zparklemotion permalink
    January 11, 2011 03:51

    Just adding my love to your wonderful blog ❤

  29. Yohanna permalink
    January 11, 2011 07:03

    Wow, Una. Great job as always but I’m surprised you missed that little moment that Kaka and CRon had during Kaka’s goal celebration.

  30. Marshmallow permalink
    January 11, 2011 12:10

    The game was definitely one of my favourites.
    Villarreal were one heck of an opponent but we managed to beat them! Real Madrid never cease to amaze me.
    I got emotional when I saw the shirts, too :’)

  31. PepperPots permalink
    January 11, 2011 14:36

    Good to know I’m not the only one who teared up after Kaka’s goal. This game, so much emotions!!!

  32. LaBlanca permalink
    January 11, 2011 20:00

    thanx a load una. once again a great catch-up. I can only repeat myself.

    So so loved the shirts. So sweet of the team!

  33. joezeva permalink
    January 14, 2011 04:43

    Beautiful post!!!! XD XD but, how could you missed CR and Kaka’s sweet celebration?? :3

  34. January 15, 2011 05:02

    “This picture says it all, no? What a great (half a) night at the Bernabéu.”

    Where did you get that picture of Cris and Kaka from? I can’t click it!

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