Thursday, September 14, 2006

Champions League Matchday 1: September 12-13

I was so excited about the Champions League starting up again. And then I realized it meant once again being subjected to the ever-insightful Tommy "Somewhere, a village is missing its idiot" Smyth on ESPN. Gems this week included his comment that he couldn't understand why Man United had decided not to pursue signing Thomas Gravesen...right before Gravesen gave away the ball for a United goal. And watching Neil Lennon have a go at one of his teammates and observing, "You don't like to see two players on the same team pushing each other." HELL YEAH YOU DO.


PSV Eindhoven 0 - 0 Liverpool
Okay, I'm just going to give up trying to understand Rafa's team selection. In this case, it wasn't helped by the geniuses at ESPN arranging the lineup so that Stephen Warnock was supposedly playing right wing. But I still don't understand why you'd start with both Gerrard and Alonso on the bench. Yes, he did it for the Community Shield and it worked then, but here it just left them with too little creativity in midfield. Bellamy and Kuyt both played well all game, but they didn't have enough to work with.

It is good to see a clean sheet again, with no serious brain cramps from the back line. I just wish the game hadn't been so incredibly boring. On the positive side for Liverpool, the Galatasaray-Bordeaux match finished goalless as well. Group C is going to be thrilling, really.


Manchester United 3 - 2 Celtic
Be careful what you wish for, eh? I think this match may have had more goals than were scored in United's entire Champions League campaign last year. And that's despite Wayne Rooney being so careful not to get suspended again that he didn't really get in the game, and Michael Carrick being sort of anonymous.

As for those two Celtic goals. Um. Here's the situation with United's defence right now:

  • Rio Ferdinand - Might be a great defender. If he could manage 90 minutes straight without randomly spacing out. At least he's got rid of the dodgy hair, though.
  • Wes Brown - Ranges from reasonably good to aggressively mediocre. Guess which end of the spectrum he was at on Wednesday?
  • Mikael Silvestre - A blockhead, both literally and figuratively. Sometimes very good, and then he loses the plot completely.
  • Gary Neville - Has an unfortunate moustache.
Well, I don't know about you, but that certainly fills me with confidence. When is Heinze due back, again?


Group A
Chelsea 2-0 Werder Bremen
Barcelona 5-0 Levski Sofia

Group B
Sporting Lisbon 1-0 Inter Milan
Bayern Munich 4-0 Spartak Moscow

Group C
Galatasaray 0-0 Bordeaux
PSV Eindhoven 0-0 Liverpool

Group D
Olympiacos 2-4 Valencia
Roma 4-0 Shakhtar Donetsk

Group E
Dynamo Kiev 1-4 Steaua Bucharest
Lyon 2-0 Real Madrid

Group F
Manchester United 3-2 Celtic
Copenhagen 0-0 Benfica

Group G
Porto 0-0 CSKA Moscow
Hamburg 1-2 Arsenal

Group H
Anderlecht 1-1 Lille
Milan 3-0 AEK Athens

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