Thursday, May 26, 2005

New Champions

I remember saying a few days back that when Liverpool beat Chelsea to make it through to the UEFA Champions League Final it was a glorious day for the red side of Merseyside.

Star-date: 25-May-2005.
Location: Istanbul, Turkey
Occassion: UEFA Champions League Final 2005.

It was built up in many ways, one was that it was the 50th European Cup final.

There was also talk of the following:
1. The last time the Pope passed away, Liverpool won the European Cup.
2. The last time Prince Charles got married, Liverpool won the European Cup.
3. Liverpool has worn their prefered red strip for the European Cup finals on four previous occassions, and on each they were victorious.
4. There was talk that if Liverpool lose, Gerrard would leave them at the end of the season.

There was a lot of talk.

Then there was the action. Frankly, there are no words that can describe the action. The match was probably the best European finals ever vitnessed. Fur a soccer purist, it was a great delight to watch the match. It was full of conventional soccer skills, and great tactics.

The first half was totally A.C.Milan showing why they are in the finals. Liverpool on the other hand struggled to get going, and were very vulnerable at the back. There were three goals in the 1st half, all to A.C.Milan:
1. In the very first minute, from a free kick given away by Djimi Traore (who I thought had the worst game ever!), Maldini came in and slotte home neatly. Very good finish.
2. The second goal came off excellent work by Kaka (great ball over Traore to Shevsheko), Shevsheko and a neat finish by Hernan Crespo.
3. The third goal in my opinion was the goal of the Champions League 2004/05. Brilliant, absolutely brilliant pass by Kaka, behind the defense to Crespo who very deftly looped it over the keeper to score his second.

By the break, everyone had given up on Liverpool, but out they came with a plan. Liverpool score 3 times in 6 minutes and 42 seconds and took the match to the Italian club.
1. The first goal was much needed. Would Gerrard stay, would he leave? A good ball from the left wing by Riise (who had a great game) to the 6 yard box, where Gerrard came and headed home well.
2. If the 1st goal lifted the Liverpool crowd, the second really lifted the roof off the stadium. A shot from outside the box by Vladmir Smicer just sneaked in from the corner of the goal. 3-2 still in Milan's favour. But they were rattled.
3. The 3rd goal was a penalty. Gerrard was clear on goal, and would have probably finished it off, but Gatusso pulled him back to gift the Reds a penalty, which Xavi Alonso put in on the rebound!

The rest of the game was more of a mind game. It went on, and by the Extra time, both teams were very tired.

I must say the Ref did an exceptional job. He kept the players in line, and kept the cards in his pocket.

The penalties were very badly taken. I have never seen so many missed. It was finally a victory for Liverpool, because Dudek stopped the penalties very very well.

Congrats to Liverpool F.C. Hope this changes their fortunes in the EPL too, and makes them more competetive there. But will Gerrard stay? Will Liverpool get to defend their Champions League title?

Saturday, May 21, 2005



Its a fabulous movie. Everything about the movie was so enchanting.

I was just flipping channels, when I came across the movie on TV. I watched maybe 2 minutes, and was hooked. I even dropped the book I was reading (I never do that!) to concentrate entirely on the movie.

On a winter day in NYC, Jonathon Trager (John Kusack) meets Sara Thomas (Kate Beckinsdale). There is instant attraction. Both feel very comfortable in each other's presence and hit it off really well. They both believe in signs from above before doing anything. They spend the day together, and then go their seperate ways. They both are about to get married (not to each other).

They dont know whether they should be together or not. So he writes his name on a dollar note, and she uses that to buy a newspaper. She writes her name on the first page of a book and sells the book to a store. The sign would be if he buys the correct book and she gets the dollar note back, they would know how to get in touch and that would be a sign!

Somehow I'm feeling that by writing this, I'm degrading the movie. It's much better to watch the movie than read any review.

Anyway, they go in search of each other with the help of their best friends, and realise how unfit they are with their current partners. He turns up where she's living, and she turns up where he is living. Finally on his wedding day, his bride-to-be gifts him the very book ("Love in the time of Cholera") in which Sara had written her name. And on a flight from NYC back to her home, Sara gets the note on which Jonathon had written his name. Thats how they meet again...forever.

Really wonderful movie.
Do watch :)

Friday, May 20, 2005

Latest happenings

Pallavi is going to Germany. Thats great news of course :)

And now let me move onto SPORTS! :)

1. Today Manchester United take on Arsenal in the F.A. Cup Final at the Millenium Stadium. The pre-match show kicks off at 19:30IST. Its going to be an epic battle. Both teams reach this match empty handed, and only one will leave this season with silverware. Who will it be? On current form, Arsenal would be the favourites, but Manchester United have already done the double over their arch rivals this season. I will support Arsenal, they are looking magestic nowdays.

2. Tomorrow is the Monaco GP. A lot will depend on the qualifying (which will take place today and tomorrow). Narain has the wishes of a billion people atleast, but with the Jordon it will be tough to even complete the race. The advantage is that it is a street circuit and he has some experience on these circuits.

3. May 25th is the UEFA Champions League final. In my opinion, it will be a dull final. Both teams will be out to prove a point. Liverpool have missed out on the crucial 4th position in the EPL, and so will not get to play in the UCL next year. However, if they win the final, they might get to defend their title (which they should get according to me). A.C. Milan just lost the Italian league to Juventus, and will be looking (and fully focussed) at the final. On current form, both teams are struggling, but the players of A.C. Milan have the experience of "been there, done that". I will support Liverpool, mainly because they play more attacking football.

Thats enough of sports for now.

My ticket to KGP is booked for the 18th of July. Somehow I'm not feeling nostalgic about leaving my company. I am feeling a little sad about leaving Mumbai. My last working day is 17th June. :)

Thats about it for now.

Thursday, May 19, 2005


Congratulations to CSKA Moscow, for winning the UEFA Cup Final against Sporting Lisbon, in Lisbon.
Well done. Final Score 1-3.

Now, they will get to play in the Cup winner's Cup against the winner of the UEFA Champions League.

The FA Cup final is right around the corner. I'd prefer it if Arsenal win. I'd rather see Arsenal lift some silverware, than Man United.

The Champions League final is next week. I dont really care who wins. Either way, Chelsea lost :(

Next yr for sure ;)

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Mumbai life

Cafe Mondigar, Colaba -> Located at Colaba, this very popular joint has a good ambience. They play good music, they have a TV, the view of the road was something I liked a lot. The food there is amazing. We had only non-veg starters, and they were absolutely fantastic!
So on a scale of 1 to 10:
1. Ambience - 7
2. Music - 5
3. Crowd - 8
4. Food - 10
5. Drinks - 9

Cafe Mocha, Bandra -> Located near Bandra band-stand, it is at a very nice place. The colours are lively and the eating is very interesting! They even have a pair of hukkas to liven the atmosphere. The rest of the experience was very bad.
So on a scale of 1 to 10:
1. Ambience - 7
2. Music - 0 (was there even music???)
3. Crowd - 6
4. Food - 3
5. Drinks - 3 (mostly everything was the same!)

Toto's, Bandra -> Located at Pali Hill, it is a little difficult to find. Its a small joint, basically a modified garage! It was really wonderful being there, the only problem being that I did not drink there :(, which made the experience not so good!! :) They however, played some really good rock.
So on a scale of 1 to 10:
1. Ambience - 10
2. Music - 10
3. Crowd - 7
4. Food - did not try!
5. Drinks - did not try!

Not Just Jazz by the Bay -> Terrific place to go to. They feature a LIVE band performance every night, in a not so large hall. Seats are very hard, and begin to hurt after some time. Waiters are friendly, but clumsy. Of course there is an entry fee of Rs. 200 per head for those who wish to stay for the band performance, which starts at 10pm.
So on a scale of 1 to 10:
1. Ambience - 10
2. Music - 10
3. Crowd - 7
4. Food - 8 (salad was yummy)
5. Drinks - 9 (had a bottle of white wine!)

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

It was a sad day for London, and a glorious day for the red side of mersey side

Chelsea crashed out of the UEFA Champions League, and Liverpool prevailed. Even though the score line over the 2 legs was 1-0 in favour of Liverpool, the reason I say Chelsea crashed out is because, they were totally outplayed in both the legs.

The game at Anfield was tactically brilliant. Both teams came out with strong tactics, and the stronger one certainly one. Well done Rafa Benitez and Liverpool. Hope your trip to Istanbul is a good one.

Chelsea, will return to the UCL stronger next year!