Posts Tagged ‘UEFA Champions League’

Real Madrid 0-2 Juventus: Del Piero Taking the Bernabéu Crown (UEFA Champions League 2008-09)

Thursday, November 6th, 2008

There is only one king in Spain tonight, and his name is Alessandro Del Piero. Royal ADP. Real Pinturicchio. Two blows from the cannon, two thrusts of the mighty sword, two strokes of that epic paintbrush of his, painting the colours of a magical Spanish night in which Juventus beat Real Madrid on their home turf. That, ladies & gentlemen, had not happened for over 46 years.

And a deserved victory it was too. The Bianconeri suffered in ball possession, but they were more organized, more disciplined, more cynical. Lead by the inspirational magic of their nº10 captain, and under the direction of the tall white-haired man in the dugout. The Santiago Bernabeu stadium must be bringing Claudio Ranieri some luck, because including the seasons he was in command of Valencia and Atletico Madrid, this is the third time the Juve coach was victorious on royal territory.

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Inter 1-0 Anorthosis: Adriano Getting the Job Done in Milan (UEFA Champions League 2008-09)

Thursday, October 23rd, 2008

Tolstoy once wrote that “the two most powerful warriors are patience and time”. Inter needed a lot of the former in order to beat their UCL opponents Wednesday night… and 44 minutes of the latter. But boy did those 44 minutes seem long. If there is one sure thing this year’s Champions League will remember, it’s that surprise teams are on the rise: a list which already includes names such as CFR Cluj, FC Zenit, and BATE Borisov, can safely add the “boys of Temuri Ketsbaia”, aka Anorthosis with a big fat marker pen.

With that said, somebody is really paying attention at Inter Milan these days. Manager José Mourinho demanded “dedication to the cause for this match, and the Nerazzurri promptly obliged the request. After conquering the top spot of Serie A Sunday, today was the turn for European supremacy. Well, in group B at least. More good news? Adriano continues on the way to “recovery”. O Imperador is back, and today he provided the match-winning-goal.

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Chelsea 1-0 Roma: So Close for the Giallorossi, John Terry Has a Late-Match Hammer (UEFA Champions League 2008-09)

Thursday, October 23rd, 2008

Unlike Chelsea, ranking 1st in the Premier League and undefeated domestically since February, AS Roma approached their UEFA Champions League Matchday 3 fixture with extreme caution. Coming from a 0-4 home loss to Inter Milan this week-end, the Giallorossi were counting on returning iconic captain Francesco Totti to sound the charge on the Stamford Bridge fort (or at least, avoid getting killed in the process), hoping for a point or three to re-invigorate a fairly mediocre season so far.

Alas for the visitors, John Terry had other plans.

Indeed, in a match with very tight defending and not many scoring chances, had it not been for the Blues’ captain victorious headed effort in the 77th, it would be tempting to use the words “tactical solidity” and “great determination” when describing Roma’s performance Wednesday. Instead, the main consideration to be made is that much like their season debut, the Giallorossi are cruelly lacking goalscoring power. Chelsea, whose keeper Petr Cech spent the evening essentially sipping tea and eating cookies, can on the other hand be satisfied with their 7-point leader status.

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Juventus 2-1 Real Madrid: Del Piero & Amauri Return Juve’s Pride. Wins Too. (UEFA Champions League 2008-09)

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2008

Like a phoenix rising from its ashes, Juventus was reborn Tuesday. With two majestic strokes of the paintbrush, one by Del Piero to erase a never-ending streak of injuries, another by Amauri to wipe five consecutive winless matches clean, the Bianconeri imposed a lesson of great will & determination on their Real Madrid rivals.

It was a match where the Old Lady’s “old guard” (Del Piero, Nedved) mixed with its new heroes, the magnificent likes of Chiellini, Sissoko, and Amauri (dominating their respective parts of the field) and after which manager Claudio Ranieri can finally breathe a sigh of relief. As Juventus continue their journey through darkness (Marchisio & Legrottaglie joined the injury list tonight), their victory against Real Madrid will provide some very bright headlights.

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Bayern Munich 3-0 Fiorentina: Viola Doing the Shooting… But Not the Scoring (UEFA Champions League 2008-09)

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2008

If there’s one thing that Tuesday night taught Fiorentina, it’s that by having 22 shots on target and still failing to score against Bayern Munich, you will at some point get punished. The German giants might very well be struggling in the Bundesliga at the moment, they are still a team loaded with world class players who this evening made full use of their superiority with regards to experience and cynicism.

Midway into the UCL group stage, things are now looking very difficult for Prandelli’s boys, stuck into third spot 3 points behind Lyon and 5 behind Bayern. The road leading to the playoff round has just transformed into a rocky, slippery, icy mountain path.

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