Football

Brian Kerr's Comments Were The Highlight Of A Crazy Champions League Night

Brian Kerr's Comments Were The Highlight Of A Crazy Champions League Night

Man City mounted an incredible comeback in Paris on Wednesday night to take a 2-1 win in the first-leg of the Champions League semi-finals. It was a crazy game, with some moments of real quality throughout - but the highlight of the night was undoubtedly Virgin Media's coverage, and the appearance of Brian Kerr.

It's a well-established fact at this stage that Brian Kerr is a national treasure. He's known not only for his excellent footballing knowledge and insight, but also for his unique and eccentric turns of phrase. He was once again in flying form during Wednesday night's coverage.

We're as tired as anyone of 'Super League talk' as anyone else is but, perhaps as expected, Virgin Media's coverage opened with a brief comment on the whole fiasco. Kerr opened the discussion with an eloquent description of how PSG and Man City's spending in recent years has contributed to the spiraling costs of European football.

You'd have been hard pushed to find another pundit bringing Derry City's 2006-07 UEFA Cup campaign into the Super League discussion over the past fortnight. Nonetheless, Brian Kerr's points about PSG and Man City's sudden transitions were fascinating food for thought, and a welcome change of pace from the anger that has encircled most of the Super League debate.

Kerr gave some brilliant analysis of PSG's defensive capabilities pre-match, but it was their attacking play that wowed viewers in the first half. They dominated Man City in the first 45, and it was almost hard to fathom that they were only 1-0 up at half-time through Marquinhos' header.

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At half-time Kerr was on the warpath, suggesting that City had partied too hard after their Carabao Cup win on Sunday night and that they had tired out all of their energy in doing so. The highlight of the night - footballing or otherwise - came in his half-time comments, which marked what is surely the first ever use of the word 'spoofology' in football analysis.

Credit to Man City, though, they upped the ante in the second half and turned things around. Their increase in tempo pinned PSG back and forced two mistakes - firstly from goalkeeper Keylor Navas and then from the defensive wall at a free-kick - to allow City to take a 2-1 lead which they held on to until the end of the game.

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But the defining moment of the second half was an absolutely shocking challenge from PSG midfielder Idrissa Gana Gueye. The former Everton man caught Ilkay Gundogan on the shin with a studs up challenge, in maybe the worst tackle we've seen all season.

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It was a hectic 90 minutes that will surely go down as a classic Champions League semi-final. It was a crucial win for Man City in a thoroughly enjoyable game for neutrals, and it gives City a fantastic chance of reaching their first ever Champions League final.

More importantly, Brian Kerr had more lined up for his post-match analysis. The incident surrounding City's second goal, when Presnel Kimpembe and Leandro Paredes turned and left a gap in the wall, was the subject of much discussion and mockery. It was, inevitably, Brian Kerr who best summed up the ridiculousness of the PSG wall, even acting out the actions of Kimpembe and Paredes.

The second-leg in Manchester next Tuesday is one to savour - but we're almost as excited for another evening of Brian Kerr punditry for Wednesday's game between Real Madrid and Chelsea.

SEE ALSO: Damien Duff Slams Eden Hazard's Mentality At Real Madrid

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Eoin Harrington

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