SoccerTV View

Uefa’s bonkers scheduling leaves us habitually on the wrong channel at the wrong time

Why oh why did the Champions league quarter-finals kick off at the same time?

Among the most commonly asked questions on the Google so far this year were “what time does McDonald’s stop serving breakfast?”, “why were chainsaws invented?”, “how old is Dolly Parton?”, “where am I?”, “how do you get rid of gnats?” and “what is love?”

While all of those queries are, of course, important, all of them searched here too apart from the gnats one, Champions League watchers will confidently predict that they’ll be overtaken this week by: “Why oh why oh why did Uefa have Tuesday and Wednesday’s quarter-finals kick off at the same time?”.

You missed all the best bits of Barcelona v PSG and Borussia Dortmund v Atlético Madrid on Tuesday night by being habitually on the wrong channel at the wrong time? Same. And enough of your multi-screen suggestions, some of us have only two eyes in our head that, on the whole, can only focus on one Champions League quarter-final at a time.

So, here we were again: Manchester or Munich?


Manchester, insisted Virgin Media’s Tommy Martin, although his suggestion might have been swayed a touch by the fact that this was the game Virgin Media was bringing us.

But “it’s one for the connoisseurs,” he argued. Which it was, but it wasn’t like you’d be, say, swigging plonk if you spent the night in Munich. But Tommy wasn’t wrong when he asked: “Bloody hell, these Champions League quarter-finals, how good have they been?”

Very, as Brian Kerr and Damien Delaney agreed, very very indeed. Especially considering the absolute muck the group stages had been, as Brian suggested (in a more diplomatic manner), most of us finding them to be the mother of all cures for insomnia.

Damien, though, felt our quarter-final-clashing pain. “You almost feel robbed that you try to focus on one, and then your phone alerts are going because the other one is a belter as well.”

And that’s the thing, in olden times you could shield yourself from the happenings in the ‘other’ game, and then rewind your video recording machine and when it got back to the start after 23 minutes, you could watch the contest “as live”.

Now, as Damien intimated, unless you mute your telly, disable your phone, watch, dog, microwave oven, front door and next door neighbour (he’s a Spurs fan, so every time Bayern went close he emoted loudly), you have no hope of avoiding the score.

No matter. You make your choices in life, and you live or weep by them.

Match time.

You might have noted of late that mountains of scorn has been poured on female pundits and co-commentators, chiefly by out-of-work managers who used to play football and now, having far too much time on their hands, try to attract attention on the tweet machine by suggesting that the Loch Ness monster killed Kennedy with the assistance of vaccinated Chemtrails, or such like.

The only break these females ever get, really, is when Steve McManaman is on TNT Sports co-commentary duty, largely because he says things like “Declan Rice doesn’t score many, but when he does, they normally end up in the back of the net”. It’s only then that the Loch Ness Chemtrailers concede that faulty co-commentating might not actually be determined by gender.

Kevin De Bruyne “did everything right” said Maccer as the City man’s shot sailed over the bar, and was last seen soaring over the Outer Hebrides. Mind you, he made up for it later.

Any way, on Tuesday we had a mountain of goals to savour from start to finish, on Wednesday we had just the one across two games by the 76th minute. And needless to say Rodrygo’s effort in Manchester was missed while skipping over to Munich to monitor happenings. The only reward was Ally McCoist asking commentator Adam Sommerton if Bayern’s Konrad Laimer was “Dutch or Belgian”. “Austrian.”

Madrid a goal up in Manchester, then, and Bayern finally in the lead in Munich through Joshua Kimmich soon after the hour mark. “Swiss or Polish,” asked Ally. “German,” Adam replied. No, no, fake news.

That’s how it remained in Munich, so Bayern were home and hosed, and Madrid thought they were too until De Bruyne did his equalising thing. Extra time. At least at this point we had only the one game to focus on. Still, a mind-melding couple of match-clashing days. At the end of it, all you could do was Google “where am I?”.