It's a bye week for the New York Red Bulls, which is one of those times when fans and players are briefly brought closer together: we're all just looking for some soccer, where ever we can find it.
Fortunately, Europe provided a distraction from RBNY's barren mid-March schedule with a little Champions League showdown between two standard bearers for UEFA's of nouveau riche super clubs: Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain. And some Red Bulls, facing the same soccer-less weekend as their fans, sat down to watch the game - and provide their thoughts on Twitter.
The match was the second leg of the round of 16. The teams were tied 1-1, putting Chelsea (the home team for this game) ahead on away goals. PSG needed a win or a high scoring draw to progress to the next round. Chelsea would progress with a 0-0 or a win. A 1-1 scoreline would force penalties. All to play for on both side, in other words.
Thirty minutes or so into the game, matters appeared to turn decisively in Chelsea's favor when PSG's star forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic was sent off.
Andrew Jean-Baptiste was not impressed by the call.
I want Chelsea to win, but that wasn't a red card. Wasn't malicious, he even tried to pull out of it. Unfortunate!— Andrew Jean-Baptiste (@ajeanbaptiste92) March 11, 2015
Dax McCarty saw what might have persuaded the referee to reach for red.
Very harsh red. Chelsea players reaction got him sent off in my opinion. Go in for a tackle like that, always a risk though.— Dax McCarty (@DaxMcCarty11) March 11, 2015
A flurry of cards punctuated the match, and Diego Costa tested the referee's appetite for another red.
Dax's composure began to suffer.
I believe this is when they say, "ref has completely lost the plot." Great game ruined. #CFCPSG— Dax McCarty (@DaxMcCarty11) March 11, 2015
Manolo Sanchez was bemused.
Damn Costa gets away with murder. Should've been sent off twice already. What a game it's turning in to— Manolo (@Manolo8_CU) March 11, 2015
And then Gary Cahill put Chelsea a goal up in the 81st minute.
The goal appeared to settle the match: Jose Mourinho knows how to coach a team through the last 10 minutes playing a man up at home. And then the match was unsettled...
Damien Perrinelle woke up.
Et tient !!!!!!! Dans ta gueule !!!!!!— Damien Perrinelle (@DamP_92) March 11, 2015
So too did Bradley Wright-Phillips, though he seemed less to be following the game than the antics of former teammates on Twitter.
"@ceddyevina: Allez allez allez paris !!!!!!!" You're not French pal, you're from Barnet— Brad Wright-Phillips (@TheRealBWP) March 11, 2015
With the aggregate score tied, 2-2, the second leg headed into extra time. Chelsea drew first blood...
Manolo Sanchez was still bemused.
Oh my lord Silva— Manolo (@Manolo8_CU) March 11, 2015
And then...well, let Damien Perrinelle describe it:
Pouaaaahahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!— Damien Perrinelle (@DamP_92) March 11, 2015
Sanchez was agog...
WHAT AM I WATCHING RIGHT NOW?!?!?!??!?— Manolo (@Manolo8_CU) March 11, 2015
Can't wait for these post-match Mourinho comments!— Manolo (@Manolo8_CU) March 11, 2015
What happened? Thiago Silva tied it up in the second half of extra time is what happened.
And then focused on winding down the clock...Perrinelle was on edge.
Que c est long 2 mn !!!!!— Damien Perrinelle (@DamP_92) March 11, 2015
But PSG held on to see themselves through to the quarterfinals of the Champions League.
A victory for France over England for some observers; Captain Dax, however, was watching the match from the perspective of one who knows the pressures of the armband on the field.
PSG thoroughly deserve to go through. Unreal performance with 10 men. Captain comes through in the biggest moment. What a finish!— Dax McCarty (@DaxMcCarty11) March 11, 2015
Yes, Dax, we're thinking what you're thinking: you've had a similar moment in your career, though the stakes were not quite as high and you weren't captain.
Here's hoping the current crop of Red Bulls and their captain found some inspiration for the season ahead on a lazy Wednesday afternoon watching high drama on a foreign field. Only 11 days to go to find out.