Tag Archives: UEFA Champions League

Valencia, Atletico Prep for Key Match

By Joe Meloni

Atletico Madrid striker Diego Forlan's future with the club may be decided by its success in the first half of 2010-11. (Photo Courtesy Alvaro Felipe)

By season’s end, Atletico Madrid’s key contribution to the 2010-11 season may be sidelining Barcelona dynamo Lionel Messi for a couple weeks. The Argentine left Sunday’s match, which Barcelona won 2-1, in the final minutes after a challenge from Tomas Ujfalusi.

Failing to pull any points from Barca cost Atletico a chance to continue its early season success. Currently, los Rojiblancos are in the obligatory late-September, four-way tie for fourth place with Barcelona, among others. Three days from now, Atletico will meet current table topper Valenica, which, even with former talisman David Villa roaming the Camp Nou, has handled its three games with as many victories. While the triumphs came against middling sides Malaga, Racing Santander and Hercules, securing maximum points from these fixtures is key to winning La Liga.
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What The Soccer Guys Are Reading – August 25, 2010

Claudio Pizzaro (center) celebrates with teammates after he scored in the 105th minute against Sampdoria on Tuesday to send Werder Bremen through to the Group Stage of the UEFA Champions League. (Photo Courtesy Deutsche Welle)

Deutsche Well – Werder Bremen completes massive comeback to qualify for Champions League Group Stage

Werder Bremen completed massive come back against Sampdoria on Tuesday to earn a bid to the UEFA Champions League Group Stage. After defeating the Italian club 3-1 in the first leg last week, Bremen fell behind 3-0 on Tuesday, which put them behind 4-3 on aggregate. However, a strike in the 93rd minute from Markus Rosenberg tied the clubs 4-4 and sent the match to extra time. In the 105th minute, Claudio Pizzaro scored for Bremen to seal the its place the 32-team group stage.

The Guardian – Robinho refuses to play in Turkey

Brazilian Robinho has turned down contracts Turkish sides Fenerbahce and Besiktas after deciding life in the country was not for him. The forward spent most of the summer embroiled in a struggle to remain with Brazilian side Santos before Manchester City demanded he return from extended loan spell. However, City’s summer spending spree deemed him expendable. After refusing to sign in Turkey, Robinho claimed he prefers to sign with an Italian or Spanish side, as many of his countrymen have succeeded in both nations.
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Champions League Still Probable for Spurs

Tottenham midfielder Gareth Bale a pair against Stoke on Saturday, but many believe his performance on Wednesday against Young Boys will decide a lot in his young career. (Photo Courtesy TottenhamFan)

By Ryan Fleming

The English soccer world was up in arms one week ago over one of their most exciting, young clubs, Tottenham. But, for no good reason.

In its first European Cup appearance since 1962, the Spurs were upset, 3-2, by Swiss side Young Boys in the first leg of their Champions League Playoff. However, a pair of second half goals to shorten a three-goal deficit gave Spurs some confidence going into their second leg Wednesday at White Hart Lane.

The frenzy that the English tabloids have themselves caught in is utterly ridiculous.

Tottenham, thanks to the likes of striker Roman Pavlyuchenko, find themselves in a awkward, yet positive position despite coming back to England with a loss.
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Please, No More Excuses, Mr. Redknapp

Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp, seen here celebrating with players and fans after winning the 2008 FA Cup with Portsmouth, was unhappy after Spurs fell to Young Boys, 3-2, in the first leg of their Champions League qualification tie on Tuesday. (Photo Courtesy Sir Pix-A-Lot)

By Joe Meloni

When they were done laughing about it, many English soccer fans whose allegiances lie outside of White Hart Lane wondered if any top-flight English sides had suffered defeats as “humiliating” and “embarrassing” as Tottenham’s 3-2 loss to Swiss club Young Boys in the first leg of the final UEFA Champions League qualifying round.

Yes, Spurs fell 3-2 to the squad from Bern, and the adjectives quoted above were just some of the barbs tossed toward Totts following the defeat. To answer the question, there was one defeat I could come up with off-hand that seems far worse than losing to perfectly fine mid-level squad. In 1988 University College Dublin AFC qualified for the European Cup Winners Cup and pulled a scoreless draw with English side Everton in the first leg of the tournament’s opening round. While the Toffees didn’t fall to UCD, it’s seems like the more improbable result than Young Boys beating Spurs on Tuesday. Continue reading

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What the Home Grown Player Rule Means for the Future of the English Premier League

By Cameron Dickinson

Since England’s disastrous World Cup campaign everyone has been coming out of the woodwork to bemoan the complete lack of young English talent coming through the ranks in the Premier League, particularly at the top clubs.

The second round would be all the nation could hope for such is the dearth of players available to Fabio Capello; indeed that would be a great achievement in 10 years time when the so-called ‘Golden Generation’ retires.

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The Mighty Mourinho

By Kevin Koczwara

Jose Mourinho’s teams win. That’s just what they do. You can’t say they are always the most entertaining side, or the best team on the field. But they score timely goals, come together in tough matches, and win. It’s that simple.

Mourinho won every trophy he could when he was in charge of FC Porto in Portugal, including the UEFA Champions League. He was introduced to the world during Porto’s amazing run through Europe. Mourinho’s men held off the marauding Manchester United and went on to win the trophy in 2004.

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Ligue 1 Top Spot Up For Grabs

By Ryan Fleming

Oh, how the mighty fall. After losing their first leg of the Champions League quarterfinal to fellow French rival, Lyon, Bordeaux now finds itself out of the pole position in Ligue 1 after suffering three-straight defeats.

Last weekend, the French giant slipped up against AS Nancy Lorraine, 2-1, despite controlling play throughout the match – owning 71 percent of possession. Fernando Cavenaghi tallied for Bordeaux, tying the match at one, but Issiar Dia put the northern France side up for good in the 72nd minute.

Cavenaghi was one of Bordeaux’s best players last year, but this year he has been nearly invisible – only starting in 11 matches compared with last years 23.  Yoann Gourcuff, another Bordeaux star, has just returned to the spectacular form  the young French international has been known for. If the side from southern France even dares to dream of beating Lyon in the second leg and capturing the league title, Cavenaghi and Gourcuff, especially, will have to be the stars their fans know they can be.

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Scottish Champion Has More than Just a Title

By Ryan Fleming

There is only seven points separating the two Glasgow teams. Celtic and Rangers,  heated rivals for longer than most can remember, square off this Sunday in what is surely the most important game for the Hoops and a vital test for the Gers as well.

Seven points might seem like a lot, but if Celtic manage a win come Sunday then only four points between of the Hoops and the SPL title. Four points closer to an automatic CL birth, which in turn means money, something that’s paramount in European soccer. Continue reading

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Anyone Else Excited for This Round Of Champions League Play?

Compiled by Kevin Koczwara

Check your local Listings for the Games Schedules in your area. I know which ones I am watching and get. Going to be two days chuck-full-o-soccer.

Tuesday 29 September

Rubin Kazan 12 : 30 Internazionale

Fiorentina 14 : 45 Liverpool(Match to Watch)

Debreceni VSC 14 : 45 Olympique Lyon

Barcelona 14 : 45 Dynamo Kyiv

Unirea Urziceni 14 : 45 VfB Stuttgart

Rangers 14 : 45 Sevilla

Arsenal 14 : 45 Olympiakos Piraeus

AZ 14 : 45 Standard Liège

Wednesday 30 September

CSKA Moskva 12 : 30 Besiktas

Bayern München 14 : 45 Juventus (Match to Watch)

Bordeaux 14 : 45 Maccabi Haifa

Manchester United 14 : 45 VfL Wolfsburg (Match to Watch)

Milan 14 : 45 Zürich

Real Madrid 14 : 45 Olympique Marseille (Match to Watch)

APOEL 14 : 45 Chelsea

Porto 14 : 45 Atlético Madrid (Match to Watch)

Kevin Koczwara can be reached at kkoczwar@gmail.com.

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