Wednesday, April 30, 2008

previous post

Liverpool escaped to the semi-finals with a 4-2 win over Arsenal. Make no mistake about it despite the score, with less than 10 minutes to go they were out of the tournament all together with a 2-2 draw as Arsenal drew level. Then a the controversial penalty and the back-door score late in the game sealed the deal. The Blues on the other hand solidly took care of business vs. Fenebahce 2-0, as the staples of Ballack and Lampard came through with goals.

Man U took it’s time but scored in the 70th minute on a great header by Tevez to advance 1-0 over Roma. It was more formality than anything else as United were two-nil up from the first leg and Sir Alex Ferguson rested several players for the game. His policy may have back-fired as in the 28th minute when Alessandro Mancini went down under a Wes Brown challenge for a dubious penalty. But Daniele De Rossi skied the resulting spot-kick over to the relief of Old Trafford. From there is was all over but the singing.

A 43rd-minute strike by Yaya Toure gave Barcelona an unconvincing 1-0 win over Schalke and sealed their passage into the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League. Barca were firm favourites at the Nou Camp having won the first leg 1-0 in Germany, but the visitors gave them a real scare as they went close to levelling the tie on numerous occasions during the opening half-hour. Toure pounced just before the break to give Barca an undeserved lead and that proved to be enough for the Spanish giants as Schalke offered little resistance in the second half.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

previous champions league post

Liverpool came from behind to claim a 1-1 draw against Arsenal in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League quarter-final at Emirates Stadium. The Gunners dominated early on and they deservedly went ahead on 23 minutes as Emmanuel Adebayor rose unchallenged to head home a corner. Arsenal were the better team thereafter but they could not find a breakthrough. They should have had a second-half penalty after Kuyt appeared to tug back Alexander Hleb in the box but the ref only gave a corner. Now Liverpool go into next week's second leg as slight favorites thanks to their away goal.
Fenerbahce fought back from a goal down to claim an unlikely 2-1 success over Chelsea in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League clash. Avram Grant's side had been in firm control of the contest early on courtesy of Deivid's own goal from Florent Malouda's cross after just 13 minutes. The Blues dominated the remainder of the first half, but crucially, they failed to add to their early advantage despite peppering Fener keeper Volkan Demirel. With the Blue’s back against the wall it sets up an intriguing second leg at Stamford Bridge.

Manchester United are in a commanding position to qualify for the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League after a 2-0 win over Roma at the Stadio Olimpico. Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney grabbed the goals for the Premier League leaders to give Roma a mountain to climb in the second leg at Old Trafford next week. United look poised to move on to the final next week where they will face the familiarity of a Premiere League side. This sets up to be Man U’s best chance at the trophy in quite some time.

Barcelona will take a narrow lead to Camp Nou after securing a 1-0 win against Schalke in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League quarter-final. Bojan Krkic grabbed the only goal of the game for the visitors and ensures that the Catalan giants will be the favourites to progress to the last four when the two sides meet again next week. It took just 12 minutes for the visitors to take the lead, when 17-year-old striker Krkic handed them the advantage. Thierry Henry troubled Schalke down the left and when his snap-shot was parried back to his feet from Manuel Neuer, he squared for his young team-mate to tap home. Only a trip to the finals will save Frank Rijkaard’s job and with the talent he’s working with it should be doable. The question is should he be asked to step down either way?