Tag Archives: Inter Milan

2011-12 Champions League group stage set

25 Aug

After a tediously boring draw earlier today, the Champions League groups are ready to go for another year of action. Group A ended up as the toughest draw with Bayern Munich, Villarreal, Manchester City and Napoli. Of course, Barcelona and Manchester United have one team in each of their groups that could pose a challenge.  The first group games are set for Sept. 13-14 and the complete schedule can be found here.

Oh and in case you were wondering, Lionel Messi won the first UEFA Best Player in Europe Award, which was announced after the draw to the surprise of approximately no one.

Group A
Bayern Munich (GER)
Villarreal (ESP)
Manchester City (ENG)
Napoli (ITA)

Group B
Inter (ITA)
CSKA Moskva (RUS)
Lille (FRA)
Trabsponzor (TUR)

Group C
Manchester United (ENG)
Benfica (POR)
Basel (SUI)
Otelui Galati (ROU)

Group D
Real Madrid (ESP)
Lyon (FRA)
Ajax (NED)
Dinamo Zagreb (CRO)

Group E
Chelsea (ENG)
Valencia (ESP)
Bayer Leverkusen (GER)
Genk (BEL)

Group F
Arsenal (ENG)
Marseille (FRA)
Olympiacos (GRE)
Borussia Dortmund (GER)

Group G
Porto (POR)
Shakhtar Donetsk (UKR)
Zenit St. Petersburg (RUS)
APOEL (CYP)

Group H
Barcelona (ESP)
AC Milan (ITA)
BATE (BLR)
Viktoria Plzen (CZE)

Champions League semifinalists set

13 Apr

And then there were four.  Schalke and Real Madrid booked spots in the Champions League semifinals with convincing wins over defending champ Inter and Tottenham, respectively.  Schalke took down Inter with ease, winning 7-3 on aggregate.  Real had no problems with Spurs either, claiming a 5-0 aggregate win.

Here’s where the fun starts.  Real will now play Barcelona in the semifinals – two of four El Clasico matches in 18 days.  Craziness.  Not sure the world soccer media will be able to handle the intensity of that many (supposedly) awesome games without spontaneously combusting.

In the other semifinal, we will see Schalke take on Manchester United.  Schalke is making its first trip in club history to the semis, so congrats are definitely in order.  If Schalke continues to play like they did against Inter, things could get interesting.  Keep in mind also that United was eliminated by a German team (Bayern) in the quarters last year as well.  Of course, this semi will get less press than the Spanish bonanza, but that doesn’t make it less worthy of attention (as long as MU isn’t the only team getting attention).

The first leg of the semifinals will be April 26-27 and the second leg is set for May 3-4.

Last two semifinal spots up for grabs today

13 Apr

Both Tottenham and Inter Milan have their work cut out for them as they both look to overturn big deficits in second leg Champions League quarterfinal action.  Spurs sits in a four goal hole, courtesy of an early sending-off and a strong Real side.  Inter was shocked by a rampant Schalke side at the San Siro, 5-2.

Of course, Spurs will be without Peter Crouch, the red card recipient from the first leg, however, they will be boosted by the return of Aaron Lennon.  Real should be fielding a full-strength squad.  It will take quite the herculean effort from Spurs to overturn this one.

Schalke will have to play some tough defense to hold Inter at bay.  Of course, the tactic of sit back and never attack generally fails miserably, so hopefully Schalke will be out to put this one away early with some goals of their own.

TV Schedule
Tottenham vs. Real Madrid – 2:30 p.m. ET/Fox Soccer (Live)
Schalke vs. Inter – 2:30 p.m. ET/Fox Soccer Plus (Live)

Real, Schalke roll in Champions League quarters

5 Apr

Well, Peter Crouch played an important part in today’s match, but not like I thought he would.  The striker was sent off for a second yellow 15 minutes into the game and Real cruised to a 4-0 win over Tottenham.  No three-goal miracle from Gareth Bale this time!  Real got the scoring started with a fourth minute goal from Emmanuel Adebayor and never looked back.  It was only a one-goal game at the half, but goals from Adebayor, Cristiano Ronaldo and Angel Di Maria put the game beyond doubt.  The second leg will be at White Hart Lane, but I don’t think Tottenham has that kind of comeback in them.

Meanwhile, in Italy, Schalke demolished Inter, 5-2.  Who woulda thunk it?  Inter opened the scoring in the first minute on a ridiculous volley from Dejan Stankovic from close to half field.  It didn’t seem to bode well for Schalke, but the German side responded twice to one goal deficits and much like Real, poured in the goals in the second half. Joel Matip opened the scoring for Schalke, while Edu added two of his own.  Raul added to his incredible Champions League tally of 70 goals (!) with a strike of his own.  An own goal from Inter’s Andrea Ranocchia completed the Italian side’s misery.  I don’t think anyone thought Schalke would come into the San Siro and beat the crap out of the defending champs.  Well done, Schalke, now just make sure you keep up the intensity in the second leg.

Champions League quarterfinals kick off today

5 Apr

Inter Milan might be the defending champion, but their quarterfinal game against Schalke isn’t the big draw of the day.  Is it because both teams are struggling domestically?  After all, Inter’s loss to AC Milan all but eliminated Inter from winning the league.  Schalke on the other hand is like the VCU of the Champions League.  The team sits 10th in the Bundesliga, nine points out of European qualification.  Possibly, but it probably has more to do with the fact that Real Madrid has the ever-dangerous Cristiano Ronaldo and Tottenham has the talented Gareth Bale, who should both be playing today despite injury issues.

Of course, the man to really watch out for is Two-Meter Peter.  Peter Crouch has scored seven goals in his last eight Champions League games for Spurs.  Spurs have done a good job of adapting to their opponent’s style throughout the competition and will look to continue that strong performance today.  They will need a strong showing out of goalie Huerelho Gomes, who is somewhat prone to making even the simplest of saves seem like an adventure.

Real finds itself in the quarterfinals for the first time in forever (2004 actually).  In order to take a first leg lead, they will need to take advantage of their chances and keep crashing the goal.  They also must figure out how to slow down Bale, which means there needs to be a strong defensive effort.

TV Schedule
Real vs. Tottenham – 2:30 p.m. ET/Fox Soccer (Live)
Inter vs. Schalke – 5 p.m. ET/Fox Soccer (Delayed)

Champions League, Europa League knockout stages set

21 Dec

So much for a rematch in the Champions League final – Inter Milan and Bayern Munich will meet in the round of 16 instead.  Chelsea’s probably got the easiest draw out of the English teams with Copenhagen, but with the way the Blues have been playing lately, that’s no walkover win.  Arsenal got the unlucky task of taking on Barcelona, who has been on quite the run as of late, so good luck with that one Gunners.  Spurs ended up with a tough, but winnable matchup with AC Milan.  Manchester United will take on Marseille.  The first set of games will be on the 15th and 16th of February.

In the Europa League, my Liverpool boys will take on Sparta Praha with the winner advancing to play the winner of the Lech vs. Braga match.  Manchester City, the other Premier League representative, will take on Aris on 12 Feb., while the rest of the matches will be played on 17 Feb.

Champions League round of 16
AC Milan vs. Tottenham
Valencia vs. Schalke
Arsenal vs. Barcelona
Roma vs. Shakhtar Donetsk
Copenhagen vs. Chelsea
Lyon vs. Real Madrid
Marseille vs. Manchester United
Inter Milan vs. Bayern Munich

Europa League round of 32
Aris vs. Manchester City
Benfica vs. Stuttgart
Anderlecht vs. Ajax
Lech vs. Braga
Besiktas vs. Dynamo Kiev
BATE vs. PSG
Rubin vs. Twente
Sparta Praha vs. Liverpool
Basel vs. Spartak Moskva
Young Boys vs. Zenit
Sevilla vs. Porto
Lille vs. PSV
PAOK vs. CSKA Moskva
Metalist vs. Leverkusen
Rangers vs. Sporting
Napoli vs. Villarreal

Big games in Champions League today

24 Nov

Group A – Tottenham and Inter are tied at the top of the group with seven points. Both will be looking to cement those positions further with wins today.

Group B – Group leader Lyon meets second place Schalke in a crucial game for both squads. Meanwhile, Benfica will look to keep its hopes of advancing alive with a win against Hapoel Tel-Aviv.

Group C – Manchester United only needs a draw against Rangers to advance to the round of 16. However, Rangers will be searching for a win as they look to move into second.

Group D – Second place Copenhagen currently trails Rubin 1-0. A win for Rubin would keep them in contention for advancement. Barcelona should have no problems with last place Panathinaikos.

Rubin vs. Copenhagen
Inter vs. Twente
Schalke vs. Lyon
Valencia vs. Bursaspor
Hapoel Tel-Aviv vs. Benfica
Panathinaikos vs. Barcelona – 5 p.m. ET/Fox Soccer (Delayed)
Tottenham vs. Werder Bremen – 7 p.m. ET/Fox Soccer Plus (Live)
Rangers vs. Manchester United – 2:30 p.m. ET/Fox Soccer (Live)