Tag Archives: Inter

Champions League group stage ends on completely crazy note

7 Dec

Well, who can say they saw today’s results coming?  Two results clearly stand out: 1) Manchester United getting knocked out of Champions League with a 2-1 loss to Basel.  Really?  2) Lyon somehow turning around a NINE goal difference to edge Ajax for second in group D.

Major props to Basel on the upset of United.  A late goal from Alexander Frei sealed second place for Basel and knocked United out in the group stage for the first time since 2005-06.  And that, Alex Ferguson, is why you don’t take the group stage for granted.

Meanwhile, in group D, Lyon scored six second half goals to seal an improbable 7-1 win over Zagreb.  Meanwhile, Ajax lost a 2-0 decision to Real Madrid, and with those results combined, it meant that Lyon, not Ajax, heads to the round of 16.  Holy crap, how mad does Ajax have to be?  For Zagreb to ship seven goals at home?  Absurb.  Props to Lyon for making something out of what seemed to be a near impossible situation, but it does seem a little bit sketchy since I think the futsal team I play on could have played better defense.

Only two English teams advanced to the round of 16.  Man City defeated Bayern 2-0, but a Napoli win with the same scoreline sent the Italian through to the next round.  Who would’ve thought that Chelsea and Arsenal would be the lone Premier League teams remaining?  Ridic.

While I’m on the subject, I don’t really understand why people would root for all the Premier League teams to do well.  Ok, sure, the league looks better, but really?  Who cares?  You’re telling me that as a United fan, you want Arsenal to succeed? I don’t think so.  I just can’t get behind the idea of rooting for a team that I would hate in every other circumstance.

Round of 16 teams: Bayern Munich (GER), Napoli (ITA), Inter (ITA), CSKA (RUS), Benfica (POR), Basel (SUI), Real (ESP), Lyon (FRA), Chelsea (ENG), Leverkusen (GER), Arsenal (ENG), Marseille (FRA), APOEL (CYP), Zenit (RUS), Barcelona (ESP) and Milan (ITA).

Really early, completely premature and totally unnecessary final prediction: Barcelona vs. Milan

2011 Champions League Quarterfinals Announced

18 Mar

The matchups for the Champions League quarterfinals were announced today and the one that will grab the most headlines is Chelsea-Manchester United.  The Red Devils met the Blues in the final in 2008, prevailing on penalties.  Of course the teams have a rivalry going in the Premier League as well.  The other English team in the draw, Tottenham, will take on Real Madrid.  Meanwhile, defending champion Inter will play German side Schalke.  Clear favorite Barcelona plays Shakhtar. 

 The draw for the semifinals was also held.  The winner of Spurs/Real will play the winner of Barcelona/Shakhtar, while the Chelsea/ManU winner will take on the Inter/Schalke winner.  Of course, the potential for a Real/Barca semifinal already has some people drooling, but it’s never a great thing to get too caught up in potential matches in a tournament, thanks to those lovely little things called upsets.

The Spurs/Real and Inter/Schalke matches will be held April 5 and 13, while the other two are scheduled for April 6 and 12.  Is it just me or is this scheduling kind of stupid?  The first four teams will have seven days of rest between games, while Chelsea, ManU, Barca and Shakhtar only have five.  Why would you not make it even for all eight teams?  All you would have to do is make the set of dates for the first four April 5 and 12 and the second four April 6 and 13.  Voila, problem solved.  But seriously, does anyone know why the one group ends up with more rest?

April 5
Real Madrid vs. Tottenham
Inter vs. Schalke

April 6
Chelsea vs. Manchester United
Barcelona vs. Shakhtar Donetsk

April 12
Shakhtar Donetsk vs. Barcelona
Manchester United vs. Chelsea

April 13
Tottenham vs. Real Madrid
Schalke vs. Inter

Champions League back in action

2 Nov

Rafa Benitez makes his return to England as Inter takes on Tottenham. (Of course, he couldn’t come to England without mouthing off about Roy Hodgson and what’s happening at Liverpool. Seriously, it’s irrelevant to your Champions League game, not necessary to talk about your former club.) Meanwhile, Rangers and Valencia will battle it out for a win that could see either squad go top if Manchester United falters. Barcelona will have its hands full with Copenhagen. The 2008 champs are only one point ahead of the Denmark outfit.

Rubin vs. Panathinaikos
Tottenham vs. Inter – 3:30 p.m. ET/Fox Soccer (Live)
Benfica vs. Lyon
Valencia vs. Rangers – 3:30 p.m. ET/Fox Soccer Plus (Live)
Copenhagen vs. Barcelona – 6 p.m. ET/Fox Soccer (Delayed)
Werder Bremen vs. Twente
Hapoel Tel-Aviv vs. Schalke
Bursapor vs. Manchester United – 8 p.m. ET/Fox Soccer (Delayed)

More Champions League today

29 Sep

Barcelona will look to avenge last season’s performance against Rubin Kazan (loss and a  draw) without the services of Lionel Messi.  As you may have heard, Messi’s ankle was the size of a small whale and he’s been out for a couple weeks, although he somehow is on the bench for today’s game that actually just started.  Later today, Manchester United will make the trip to Valencia without Wayne Rooney, who is out for three weeks with an ankle injury.  Rooney hasn’t exactly been in stellar form as of late, so they will probably cope okay without him.

Today’s schedule*
Rubin vs. Barcelona – 12:30 p.m. ET/Fox Soccer (Live)
Valencia vs. Manchester United – 2:30 p.m. ET/Fox Soccer (Live)
Inter vs. Werder Bremen
Panathiniakos vs. Copenhagen
Rangers vs. Bursapor
Tel-Aviv vs. Lyon
Schalke vs. Benfica
Tottenham vs. Twente – 2:30 p.m. ET/Fox Soccer Plus (Live)

*They should play more games in Russia so we get to see more Champions League action instead of just one game on FSC.

Barcelona romps, Inter held on day one of action

15 Sep

Defending European champions Inter got more than they bargained for in a 2-2 draw with FC Twente yesterday.  Meanwhile, Barcelona dominated Panathinaikos in a 5-1 victory with little legend Lionel Messi notching two stellar goals.  The Argentine had a chance for a hat trick but had a penalty saved and hit the frame twice.  Valencia also ran riot in their game against Bursapor with a 4-0 win.  Tottenham got their campaign off to a dream start with two goals in the first twenty minutes, but couldn’t hold on and conceded a goal to Werder Bremen on either side of the break. Copenhagen left it late, but Dame D’Noye’s 87th minute goal clinched a 1-0 win over Rubin. Despite all the goals everywhere else, Manchester United and Rangers played to a 0-0 draw.

Werder Bremen 2 (Almeida 43, Marin 47)
Tottenham 2 (Pasanen 12 – og, Crouch 18)

Twente 2 (Janssen 20, Milito 30 – og)
Inter 2 (Sneijder 13, Eto’o 41)

Lyon 1 (Bastos 21)
Schalke 0

Benfica 2 (Luisão 21, Cardozo 68)
Tel-Aviv 0

Manchester United 0
Rangers 0

Bursapor 0
Valencia 4 (Costa 16, Aduriz 41, Hernandez 68, Soldado 76)

Barcelona 5 (Messi 22, 45, Villa 33, Rodriguez 78, Alves 90+3)
Panathinaikos 1 (Govou 20)

Copenhagen 1 (N’Doye 87)
Rubin 0

Champions League group stage kicks off today

14 Sep

Champions League is back as the group stages get underway today.  The marquee matchup is of course Manchester United and Rangers as Sir Alex takes on his old team. For those U.S. fans out there, Rangers midfielder Maurice Edu will get a taste of the action as well. Tottenham will get its first taste of group stage action at Werder Bremen and will be without key striker Jermaine Defoe. Meanwhile, Inter will get its title defense underway against Twente.

Fox Soccer will be televising the Inter match, while the ManU/Rangers match can been seen on Fox Sports Net (probably in HD!), which most people with cable should get. All the other matches are available on FoxSoccer.TV or UEFA.com or various other interwebs sources.

Tuesday’s Matches
Twente vs. Inter – 2:30 p.m. ET/Fox Soccer (Live)
Bremen vs. Tottenham – 2:30 p.m. ET/Fox Soccer Plus (Live)
Lyon vs. Schalke
Benfica vs. Tel-Aviv
Manchester United vs. Rangers – 2:30 p.m. ET/Fox Sports Net (Live)
Bursapor vs. Valencia
Barcelona vs. Panathinaikos
Copenhagen vs. Rubin

2010-11 Champions League group stage is set

26 Aug

The 2010-11 Champions League draw is in the books.  Holders Internazionale were drawn in group A with Werder Bremen, Tottenham and FC Twente.  Group G is looking like a tough one as AC Milan and Real Madrid meet in the group stage for the second straight year.  Ajax is no cakewalk either. Meanwhile, Manchester United gets to take a trip down Fergie’s memory lane to Rangers in group C.  The competition gets under Sept. 14 and 15. (Quick aside, it was super depressing not to see Liverpool somewhere on this list.)

Group A
Inter
Werder Bremen
Tottenham
FC Twente

Picks to advance: Inter, Werder Bremen

Group B
Lyon
Benfica
Schalke
Hapoel Tel-Aviv

Picks to advance: Lyon, Benfica

Group C
Manchester United
Valencia
Rangers
Bursapor

Picks to advance: United, Rangers

Group D
Barcelona
Panathinaikos
FC Copenhagen
Rubin Kazan

Picks to advance: Barcelona, Rubin Kazan

Group E
Bayern Munich
Roma
Basel
CFR Cluj

Picks to advance: Bayern, Roma

Group F
Chelsea
Marseille
Spartak Moscow
Zilina

Picks to advance: Chelsea, Spartak

Group G
AC Milan
Real Madrid
Ajax
Auxerre

Picks to advance: Madrid, Ajax

Group H
Arsenal
Shakhtar Donetsk
Braga
Partizan

Picks to advance: Arsenal, Shakhtar