Chelsea 1, Barcelona 2 (first leg, round of 16, Champions League)

A crucial pair of late away goals (the decider coming on Samuel E’to’s header, above) have Barca on the brink on th Champions League quarterfinals…and Chelsea manager Jose Mourniho, once again, railing at the referees.

From the Independent’s Glenn Moore.

Jose Mourinho accused Lionel Messi of play-acting last night but he was careful not to say anything which could lead to a referee being hounded into retirement. However, he left no doubt that he felt Chelsea’s Champions’ League defeat by Barcelona was a result of Terje Hauge’s decision to dismiss Asier Del Horno 37 minutes into the knock-out tie for a lunge on Messi.

After last year’s match, Mourinho criticised Anders Frisk, the Swedish referee, who then retired after receiving death threats. Mourinho was called “an enemy of football” by a senior Uefa official and fined and suspended.

Last night he was more careful, if still emotional. “If I say what I thought about the sending-off I can be suspended,” he said.

“Of course I saw on television in the dressing room, of course I know, but you also saw the game. It is more easy for you to say what you thought.

“Can we take back the suspension for Del Horno? Can we suspend Messi for play-acting? It is a cultural city Barcelona, you know all about theatre. Would it be right to send a B team to the Nou Camp and concentrate on the cup and the league?

Last month, Major League Soccer announced the relocated San Jose Earthquakes would now be known as Houston 1836, a decision that seemed curious at best to some H-town residents.

The Houston Chronicle’s Bernando Fallas, responding to rumors the franchise’s name will be changed sometime before Houston’s April 2 home opener against Colorad, is of the opinion that 1836 was a-ok.

It’s no secret that many influential Hispanics were, from the beginning, consulted about the name, and no objection was made then.

The name fell victim to a strong push by some in the corporate and political communities. It also fell victim to a drive by some within the media.

In the end, it was less about those who felt offended by the name and more about specific agendas set forth by some.

So if I’m to understand correctly, because “some prominent Hispanics” had no quarrel with 1836, less prominent Hispanics are precluded from taking offense? Fallas cites “specific agendas”, but no agenda could be more precise than sucking up to a new major sporting franchise and probable Chronicle advertiser.