Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Champions League Matchday 3: October 23-24

Besiktas 2-1 Liverpool

Also, poor Sami Hyypia. That's two own-goals in less than a week -- although I don't think this one was his fault, exactly, just comedy defending all around. Their previously rock-solid defence has gone a bit wonky in the past few games. They seem to get panicky -- kind of like England, actually, and I suspect for the same reason: they don't have the confidence that if they do concede, they'll be able to pull one back easily enough. They had plenty of possession in this game, and in fact plenty of shots on goal, but without Fernando Torres they didn't have the necessary touch of class up front. There's no question that they're missing Agger and Alonso as well (I can only assume Xabi's not quite match fit, because otherwise there is no reason for him not to have been on the pitch tonight), but that's not a good enough excuse for the way they wasted their opportunities here. Gerrard finally found the net in the 85th minute, but it was far too late, as Besiktas had already added a second goal by that point. Liverpool do still have a chance to make it out of the group stage, but they'll have to win all three of their remaining matches to do that, which is a tall order unless they can step up their game. A lot.

Dynamo Kiev 2-4 Manchester United
First of all, kudos to the TSN braintrust for lopping off the first 10 minutes or so of each half, just so they could be sure to have enough time for their hockey pre-game show. On top of that, the picture kept cutting out, and all the players looked vaguely green. But I suppose I should just be grateful that they picked up the broadcast in time to see United's opening goal. Anyway, I thought that United played pretty well, although they were helped by some terrible defending by Dynamo. The Ukrainians put together some decent play of their own -- United won't be happy to have given up those two goals -- but whenever United attacked they seemed to be happy to just sit back and watch. Dynamo were a bit unlucky to concede the penalty for United's fourth goal, but honestly I'd almost say that the scoreline flattered them, because they were so dire at the back. You barely noticed that United had had Paul Scholes and Patrice Evra added to their growing list of injuries.

Chelsea 2-0 Schalke
Blah. Another solid but hardly inspiring performance by Chelsea. The game was essentially over after Malouda's early goal slipped right through the keeper's hands. There was another goal for Drogba (who else) later on, and decent penalty appeals for both sides, but I found it extremely hard to care. Instead, I am wondering: what happened to the supposed revolution at Stamford Bridge? Because the new Chelsea looks remarkably like the old Chelsea -- dour but effective -- so what was the point of sacking Mourinho? (Apart from, I guess, the unforgivable sin of criticizing John Terry.) Where is the sparkling entertainment that the emperor Roman promised us? We've got the bread, but what about the circus? (Also, I'm curious about what's going on backstage that means Sheva only gets a late cameo every now and again. Unless it's just a cruel reminder that he's cup-tied and can't stroll back to Milan in January.)

Arsenal 7-0 Slavia Prague
Well. I kind of don't know what to say about that. Arsenal were just stunningly good. I think that Slavia might have been quite bad, too, but it was hard to tell because Arsenal didn't give them much chance to be anything else. By the second half they were clearly just playing for fun, and they still went out and scored four more goals. I am kind of terrified about Liverpool having to play them this weekend. Just imagine Theo Walcott up against Sami Hyypia. That's not even fair.

Group A
Beşiktaş 2-1 Liverpool
Marseille 1-1 Porto

Group B
Rosenborg 2-0 Valencia
Chelsea 2-0 Schalke

Group C
Werder Bremen 2-1 Lazio
Real Madrid 4-2 Olympiacos

Group D
Benfica 1-0 Celtic
AC Milan 4-1 Shakhtar Donetsk

Group E
Stuttgart 0-2 Lyon
Rangers 0-0 Barcelona

Group F
Dynamo Kiev 2-4 Manchester United
Roma 2-1 Sporting Lisbon

Group G
CSKA Moscow 1-2 Inter Milan
PSV Eindhoven 0-0 Fenerbahçe

Group H
Sevilla 2-1 Steaua Bucharest
Arsenal 7-0 Slavia Prague

1 comment:

Kartal Bafiler said...

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