Archive | September, 2009

Wednesday’s Champions League results

30 Sep

Bayern 0
Juventus 0

Bordeaux 1 (Ciani 83)
Maccabi Haifa 0

CSKA Moskva 2 (Dzagoev 7, Krasić 61)
Beşiktaş 1 (Ekrem Dağ 90+2)

Manchester United 2 (Giggs 59, Carrick 78)
Wolfsburg 1 (Džeko 56)

AC Milan 0
Zurich 1 (Tihinen 10)

Real Madrid 3 (Ronaldo 58, 64, Kaka 61)
Marseille 0

APOEL 0
Chelsea 1 (Anelka 18)

Porto 2 (Falcao 75, Rolando 82)
Atletico Madrid 0

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Champions League – Tuesday’s results and Wednesday’s matches

30 Sep

Let’s see…on Tuesday, Liverpool’s defense sucked once again in a 2-0 loss to Fiorentina. (Another thing that I just found out: it’s the first time Liverpool hasn’t scored in a Champions League game in two and a half years – yikes) In other group E action, Lyon smashed Debrecen, 4-0. In group F, Inter was lucky to play Russian champ Rubin Kazan to a 1-1 draw after going down to 10 men in the second half. Sevilla and Arsenal both went top of groups G and H, respectively.

There are several good matches on Wednesday, including Bayern hosting Juventus and Wolfsburg at Manchester United.  The winner of the Wolfsburg/United game will have an early edge to lead the group.

Fiorentina 2 (Jovetić 28, 37)
Liverpool 0

Debrecen 0
Lyon 4 (Källström 3, Pjanić 13, Govou 24, Gomis 51)

Rubin Kazan 1 (Domínguez 11)
Inter 1 (Stanković 27)

Barcelona 2 (Messi 26, Pedro Rodríguez 76)
Dynamo 0

Unirea Urziceni 1 (Varga 48)
Stuttgart 1 (Tasci 5)

Rangers 1 (Novo 88)
Sevilla 4 (Konko 50, Adriano 64, Luis Fabiano 72, Kanouté 74)

Arsenal 2 (Van Persie 78, Arshavin 86)
Olympiacos 0

AZ Alkmaar 1 (El Hamdaoui 48)
Standard Liege 1 (Traore 90+1)

Wednesday’s Schedule
Bayern vs. Juventus
Bordeaux vs. Maccabi Haifa
CSKV Moskva vs. Beşiktaş
Manchester United vs. Wolfsburg – 2:45 p.m. ET/Fox Soccer (Live)
AC Milan vs. Zurich
Real Madrid vs. Marseille – 5 p.m. ET/Fox Soccer (Delayed)
APOEL vs. Chelsea – 2:30 p.m. ET/Setanta (Live)
Porto vs. Atletico Madrid – 2 a.m. ET/Fox Soccer (Delayed)

Tuesday’s Champions League Matches

29 Sep

UEFA Champions League is back in action today with the second set of group games. There are eight matches today and eight tomorrow as well. Groups E, F, G and H play today. Dynamo sits at the top of group F since Barca drew with Inter in the first game. A win for Dynamo would be a huge step towards the next round. Arsenal and Olympiacos share the top spot in group H, so the winner in that game gets an early edge.

Arsenal vs. Olympiacos
– 10 p.m. ET/Fox Soccer (Delayed)
AZ vs. Standard
Barcelona vs. Dynamo
– 4:45 p.m. ET/Setanta (Live)
– 2 a.m. ET/Fox Soccer (Delayed)
Debrecen vs. Lyon
Fiorentina vs. Liverpool
– 2:40 p.m. ET/Setanta (Live)
– 5 p.m. ET/Fox Soccer (Delayed)
Rangers vs. Sevilla
– 2:30 p.m. ET/Fox Soccer (Live)
Urinea Urziceni vs. Stuttgart
Rubin vs. Inter
– 11 a.m. ET Wed. Sept. 30/Fox Soccer (Delayed)

Weekend Thoughts & Observations

28 Sep
  • Chelsea is beatable after all.  Wigan took it to the Blues and walked away with a 3-1 win.  The loss sent Manchester United to the top of the table.  It’s definitely a game Chelsea shouldn’t have lost, but give credit to Wigan as they played a very good game.
  • Fernando Torres is the man.  Seriously, he’s a beast.  The Spainard had a sublime hat trick in Liverpool’s 6-1 thrashing of Hull City.  He already has eight goals this season.  He needs to stay healthy if Liverpool wants to contend for the title.  Since dropping two of their first three, the Reds have ripped off six straight victories in all competitions.  They also currently have the best goal difference in the league at +12.
  • Portsmouth is still without a point.   It could be a very long season for Pompey.
  • Manchester City showed no lingering effects of their tough loss in last weekend’s Manchester Derby.  City beat West Ham on Monday, 3-1, thanks to a Carlos Tevez double.
  • Champions League is back in action this week.  The big match tomorrow is Manchester United hosting German champion Wolfsburg.  Fortunately, that one will be televised live on Fox Soccer Channel. (An aside to FSC: Please, please, please invest in HD technology.  It sucks seeing the best footballers in the world as indistinct little blobs on the television.)

Premier League TV Schedule – Sept. 26-28

25 Sep

Saturday, Sept. 26
Portsmouth vs. Everton – 7:30 a.m. ET/ESPN2 (Live)
Birmingham vs. Bolton
Blackburn vs. Aston Villa – 8:30 p.m. ET/Setanta (Delayed)
Liverpool vs. Hull City – 10 a.m. ET/Fox Soccer (Live)
Stoke City vs. Manchester United – 9:30 a.m. ET/Setanta (Live)
Tottenham vs. Burnley – 7 p.m. ET/Fox Soccer (Delayed)
Wigan vs. Chelsea – 5 p.m. ET/Setanta (Delayed)
Fulham vs. Arsenal – 12:30 p.m. ET/Fox Soccer (Live)

Sunday, Sept. 27
Sunderland vs. Wolves – 10:30 a.m. ET/Fox Soccer (Live)

Monday, Sept. 28
Manchester City vs. West Ham

Slightly Delayed Thoughts & Observations

24 Sep
  • Manchester United defeated Manchester City, 4-3, thanks to a late stoppage time goal from Michael Owen.  There’s been a lot of debate that the ref allowed too much stoppage time, but you learn when you are five to play to the whistle.  The United win spoiled Man City’s perfect start to the season, but clearly Man City has the ability to compete with every team in the league.
  • Chelsea remains the only team with an unblemished record (6-0-0).  The Blues have looked nothing less than stellar so far this campaign.  They’ll face their first big test when they host Liverpool on Oct. 4.
  • Speaking of Liverpool, what the heck is going on with the defense?  I really didn’t think the back four would be a such a weak spot for the team this season.  Jamie Carragher had a terrible game against West Ham on Saturday.  The center partnership of Carragher and Skrtel is lacking in the basic skill of communication (as evidenced by their head-to-head clash opening weekend).  The Reds were able to mount a comeback thanks to a pair of sweet goals from Fernando Torres, but against top-tier competition, they are going to need to solidify that back line.
  • Poor Pompey is still without a point six games into the season.   Supposedly, they aren’t going to try to buy any new players til the summer.  At this rate, they’ll be looking for Championship players.
  • This upcoming week, we have Premier League on the weekend and then the Champions League group stage continues Tuesday and Wednesday.  I love mid-week soccer.  It makes work so much better.

Premier League TV Schedule – Sept. 19-20

18 Sep

The big game this weekend is the Manchester derby.  Manchester United sits second in the table, while potential top four threat Manchester City is currently third.  However, Manchester City will be without the services of striker Emmanuel Adebayor since he earned himself a three-game ban after stomping on Arsenal’s Robin van Persie in last weekend’s match.  City will also be missing Robinho, Roque Santa Cruz and possibly former United man Carlos Tevez to injury, so goal scoring could be an issue for them.

The derby isn’t the only good matchup of the weekend though, as league leader Chelsea plays host to Tottenham.  United handed Spurts their first loss last weekend, so a win at Chelsea would go a long way towards validating their solid start to the season.

Liverpool is finally getting production from players other than Fernando Torres and Steven Gerrard, namely Dirk Kuyt and Yossi Benayoun.    It shouldn’t be an issue, but Rafa Benitez needs to find a place in the lineup for Benayoun.  The Reds also get a boost with Javier Mascherano returning after missing out on last week’s action due to injury.   The defense needs to continue to improve and that aspect of the game should be helped with Daniel Agger’s return to training (although it will probably be a while before he is game ready).  The Reds need to continue to put together whole team efforts to get a crucial win on the road at West Ham.

Portsmouth is still looking for its first point of the 2009/10 campaign.  They will need to put on a good performance if they want that point to come against a streaking Aston Villa on Saturday.

Saturday’s Games
Burnley vs. Sunderland – 7:30 a.m. ET/ESPN2 (Live)
Arsenal vs. Wigan – 9:30 a.m. ET/Setanta (Live)
Aston Villa vs. Portsmouth – 10 a.m. ET/Fox Soccer (Live)
Bolton vs. Stoke City – 5:30 p.m. ET/Fox Soccer (Delayed)
Hull vs. Birmingham – 6:45 p.m. ET/Setanta (Delayed)
West Ham vs. Liverpool – 12:30 p.m. ET/Fox Soccer (Live)

Sunday’s Games
Manchester United vs. Manchester City – 8:25 a.m. ET/Setanta (Live)
Wolves vs. Fulham – 1 p.m. ET/Setanta (Delayed)
Everton vs. Blackburn – 7 p.m. ET/Fox Soccer (Delayed)
Chelsea vs. Tottenham – 11 a.m. ET/Fox Soccer (Live)