Posts Tagged ‘UEFA Champions League’

Arsenal 1-0 Roma: Van Persie Gives Gunners a Slim Lead, Giallorossi Quite Fortunate in the End (UEFA Champions League Round of 16, First Leg)

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

UEFA Champions League 2008-09 - Arsenal vs. Roma

It may not have been a 7-1 thumping like at the Old Trafford and it may still keep their chances alive for the second leg, but Tuesday’s Arsenal vs. Roma confirmed one thing for Luciano Spalletti: winning in England is still taboo.

In truth, Giallorossi supporters can find themselves lucky their team leaves the Emirates with only a 1-goal deficit: based on the 90 minutes of action yesterday, the bill to pay could have been far more expensive (the misses of Bendtner and Eboué come to mind). But all excuses for their poor performance aside (the important absences of Juan and Vucinic, coupled with the OMG moments of Simone Loria), the Roma manager will have to do a hell of a lot better at the Olimpico if he hopes continuing his team’s European adventure.

Arsenal's Robin van Persie celebrates after scoring with a penalty shot against AS Roma during their Champions League soccer match at the Emirates stadium in London February 24, 2009. (REUTERS)

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Inter Milan 0-0 Manchester United: José’s Defense Holds, See You at Old Trafford Everyone (UEFA Champions League Round of 16, First Leg)

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

UEFA Champions League 2008-09 - Inter Milan vs. Manchester Utd

On the positive side, here’s a neat little stat for you: this was José Mourinho’s 13th encounter vs. Sir Alex Ferguson and so far, the Scottish legend has only managed to beat his Portuguese counterpart (wait for it)… once! You better believe it.

You better also believe that if the Nerazzurri play at Old Trafford the way they played this match’s first half, they’ll be out of Europe faster than José can say “Pirla”, and that’s a fact. The final 0-0 between Inter Milan and Manchester United is not such a bad one in itself (it’s the best home draw a team can get), but alas this was a game which also evidenced the tactical & technical superiority of the Red Devils over their Italian opponents, particularly in the first 45 minutes.

One can only hope that José saved some his half-time advice (which remotivated Inter towards playing at least decently in the second half) for the second leg, as the Nerazzurri will be needing every bit of it when they travel to Old Trafford in a match with everything still left to play for.

Manchester United Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo, right, challenges for the ball with Inter Milan forward Davide Santon, left, and Romanian defender Cristian Chivu during a Champions League, Round of 16, first leg soccer match, at the San Siro stadium in Milan, Italy, Tuesday, Feb.24, 2009. (AP Photo)

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Arsenal-Roma & Inter-Manchester: The UCL Battle Begins Tuesday

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

Premiership vs. Serie A: Let the fight begin!!

It turned out to be a tough draw back in December, when the remaining Italian sides in the UEFA Champions League were all paired against English opposition.  The Premier League clubs may have dominated the competition in recent seasons but there is a lot of quality in Serie A and I for one am excited by the prospect of an Anglo-Italian showdown

Marco did a great post at the time taking a Preliminary Look at Our EPL Opponents, but a lot has changed in the rankings & rosters since then, so I thought I’d run through the English teams involved and give you a little update.

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Serie A vs. Premier League: Gazzetta Presents the UEFA Champions League Showdown

Saturday, February 21st, 2009

Premiership vs. Serie A: Let the fight begin!!

Are English clubs still the football Masters of Europe or has something changed compared to last season, which as history has shown was unequivocally and irrevocably dominated by Premier League teams?

Attempting to provide the first part of the answer next week will be three clubs of Serie A. While Scudetto holders and current league leaders Inter Milan prepare to face off against European Champions Manchester United, Ranieri’s Juventus will attempt to surprise Hiddink’s Chelsea and the young guns of Arsenal will face off against the imperial armada of AS Roma. Three very appetizing, but also very difficult encounters for Italian Football’s remaining UCL representatives, and three matches which should tell us once and for all whether the technical gap between EPL and Serie A has finally been filled.

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UEFA Champions League Playoffs: A Preliminary Look at Our EPL Opponents…

Friday, December 19th, 2008

UEFA Champions League Playoffs Draw - Italian Teams

Fabio Capello dubbed it “diabolical“. Given the picks obtained by Inter, Juventus, and Roma in Friday’s UCL draw, the term might indeed be appropriate. For how else can we define the incredible “Serie A vs. Premier League” showdown bestowed upon us, as our beloved Italian teams face off against Manchester United, Chelsea, and Arsenal in February?

With the matches still months away, a preliminary presentation of our EPL opponents is in order. In particular, a general guess on what kind of games we will be looking at in 2009.

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