UEFA Champions League Video Highlights for Tuesday, September 29, 2009

September 30, 2009

Milan during a soccer training session in Marseille September 14, 2009
“It was another match day in the group stage of the UEFA Champions League. Several of the top clubs were in action including Arsenal, Liverpool, and FC Barcelona. There were a few surprises as Liverpool were shut out 0-2 at Fiorentina and Inter Milan could only manage a draw with Russian side Rubin Kazan. The other top clubs, Arsenal and FC Barcelona, both had 2-0 wins at home. Scottish club Rangers had a very disappointing loss at home to Sevilla FC, losing 1-4.” (The 90th Minute)

Inter shocked in Russia
“Inter Milan were held to a surprise draw at Rubin Kazan in the Champions League but the Italian champions will be relieved to be leaving Russia with a point after ending the game with 10 men. Rubin took the lead in the 11th minute thanks to Alejandro Dominguez but the hosts gifted Dejan Stankovic the equaliser on the half hour.” (ESPN)

Title dreams a long way off for Italy
“The debate has long raged over which is the most well-equipped country to mount a serious challenge on the Champions League title. Is it the English clubs (who have had the most recent success), Spain (with all the summer’s transfer business) or someone else? Well, this year, the calls have been heard loudest from Italy as the country attempts to overcome the loss of their finest players – Kaka and Zlatan Ibrahimovic – to La Liga.” (ESPN)

Miralem Pjanic – Lyon’s New Juninho
“If it is the number 7 shirt at Old Trafford or the number 10 in Argentina that holds special, mythical significance, then the equivalent at Olympique Lyonnais would surely be that of the number 8. For it was once worn by midfield maestro Juninho Pernambucano, the brilliant Brazilian whose style and craft, not to mention jaw-dropping free-kicks, wrote the slick playmaker’s name into Lyon legend. Think of Olympique Lyonnais now and you think of their relentless recent march to seven straight league championships in France. Before Juninho arrived in 2001 Lyon had never won the French title.” (Just Football)

Champions League: Reds beaten, Inter shocked
“Montenegrin teenager Stevan Jovetic struck twice in a 10-minute first-half spell to stun Liverpool in their Champions League Group E clash against Fiorentina. The 19-year-old grabbed his first after 27 minutes after being put clean through, and then he touched home his second from the near post 10 minutes later.” (ESPN)

Barcelona 2 – 0 Dynamo Kiev

September 30, 2009

“Holders Barcelona made it four points from two games in their Champions League group after confidently seeing off Dynamo Kiev at the Nou Camp. Lionel Messi put the Catalan giants on their way with the opening goal in the 26th minute before half-time substitute Pedro Rodriguez sealed a fairly comfortable victory with Barca’s second 14 minutes from time.” (ESPN)

Champoins League 2009-2010 QUALIFIERS
“FC BARCELONA defeated DYNAMO KIEV 2-0 in an interesting & entertaining match. Full credit & praise to Dynamo who went for the game until the end, they even had their chances with a goal being called off-side in the latter part of the 1ºhalf.” (Spanish Football)

FC Barcelona vs Dynamo Kiev Highlights
(All About FC Barcelona)

Liverpool pay heavy price for bad start against Fiorentina

September 30, 2009

“‘Welcome Reds — your story for us is a legend’, read the banner unfurled by the Fiorentina Ultras housed in the Curva Fiesole at the Stadio Artemio Franchi. If that message was one of respect for Liverpool’s past European triumphs, the one delivered by their victorious team was designed to damage the English club’s hopes of adding to their considerable achievements.” (TimesOnline)

Jovetic stars for Viola
“Liverpool’s Champions League hopes took a shattering blow as Fiorentina claimed an impressive victory in a delirious Stadio Artemio Franchi. This was their first away defeat in Europe since the semi-final defeat at Chelsea in April 2008, and only their ninth away reverse in 38 attempts in the competition under boss Rafael Benitez. Montenegro international Stevan Jovetic did the damage with a quick-fire double inside 10 first-half minutes.” (ESPN)

Viola expose Liverpool’s deficiencies
“Fernando Torres’ baby faced smile was replaced with a scowl as Liverpool failed to score for the first time in two and half years in the Champions League. Rafa Benitez looked suitably furious with the performance against Fiorentina as a Reds team that has looked so full of goals came to a grinding halt. Sorry to say this. But I did see it coming. Nevertheless, it’s time for a deeper analytical assessment of Liverpool as their season.”

Rafael Benítez promises ‘very different’ Liverpool for visit to Chelsea
“Rafael Benítez has promised it will be a ‘very different’ Liverpool side that faces Chelsea on Sunday before back-to-back Champions League meetings with the Group E leaders Lyon in the coming weeks. Liverpool must face Manchester United as well in a seven-match spell that includes the Chelsea game, the Lyon double-header and Arsenal away in the Carling Cup.” (Guardian)

Benitez disappointed with Gerrard and Torres
“Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez has revealed his disappointment over the Champions League displays of his top two stars, Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres.” (Independent)

As Stan Kroenke Ups Arsenal Share, Will Team be Americanized Before Arsenalized?

September 30, 2009

“During the summer, members of the Arsenal board and Arsene Wenger announced that the club’s stadium, The Emirates, would go under a process of redecoration three years after its opening. This process became known as “Arsenalisation” with many new features being added to the stadium.” (Bleacher Report)

Benítez minds the back as goals flow

September 29, 2009

“Liverpool FC manager Rafael Benítez has called on his free-scoring side to find the right balance between attack and defence as they travel to ACF Fiorentina looking for a second straight victory in Group E. The Reds have scored 16 times in their past four Premier League games but have also looked uncharacteristically vulnerable at the back, and Benítez would no doubt be delighted with the same 1-0 scoreline his side achieved against Debreceni VSC on Matchday 1 when they meet the Viola. After losing their first match at Olympique Lyonnais, Fiorentina coach Cesare Prandelli must now contend with an in-form Fernando Torres without his own star striker Alberto Gilardino, who is suspended.” (uefa)

Juventus-Bayern Munich: Five Questions for Bianconeri Glory at The Allianz
“For many fans, Juventus’ Champions League opener at home against French champions Bordeaux was a disappointing result to say the least. So many things that the team had been doing well weren’t executed whatsoever—the defense struggled, the strikers couldn’t score, and the midfield, who had been the anchor of the team, failed to impress. The result against Bordeaux started the current string of three draws in the last four matches. In that span, Juve have seen their perfect streak in Serie A snapped with a tie against Genoa a week ago and a so-so showing against Bologna this past Sunday.” (Bleacher Report)

Stimulating the Champions League
“Since introducing mini-leagues to replace the quarter-finals in 1991 and rebranding it the Champions League a year later, UEFA has tinkered endlessly with its premier club competition. Like an indecisive householder rearranging the front-room furniture, the suits in Switzerland have shifted group phases here and amended entry criteria there, changing beyond recognition a tournament that had gone untouched for the first 37 years of its existence.” (WSC)

Financial boost
“The European Club Association met recently in Geneva and the uefa.com Magazine caught up with some of the representatives to find out just how revenue generated by the UEFA Champions League is helping clubs, both large and small.” (uefa)

Testing times for Van Gaal at Bayern
“The Champions League game between Bayern Munich and Juventus on Wednesday may ultimately prove to be one of the defining moments of Louis van Gaal’s career. It’s a bold statement to make considering that the notoriously authoritarian and rather taciturn 58-year-old Dutch coach, who took over at the German giants at the start of July, guided Ajax to the 1995 Champions League title.” (BBC)

UEFA Champions League and My DVR
“Now that the football gods have decided to share their love with satellite broadcasting there is a glut of high-level football to be had from the safety of one’s own home or favorite watering hole. The problem is that time zones, work hours, and weekend plans tend to interfere with one’s ability to sit down and watch games.” (albion road)

“The top two teams from each UEFA Champions League group go into the first knockout round in the spring, with the third-placed clubs to enter the UEFA Europa League Round of 32.” (uefa)

The view from the press box

September 29, 2009

“At some point early in the second half, Cristiano Ronaldo sets off from just over the half-way line and shoots a quick glance left and right to see if there is anyone worth sending a pass to. Deciding, as he often does, that a solo gallop into enemy territory might be the better option, he accelerates alarmingly into a pack of blue-shirted Tenerife defenders, who are vaguely assembled around the centre of their own half of the pitch.” (ESPN)

Grafite poses threat to Man Utd

September 29, 2009

“Manchester United might find themselves up against a striker with a point to prove when they take on Wolfsburg in the Champions League on Wednesday. Grafite almost certainly woke up last Thursday morning hoping that it would be his day. Coach Dunga was about to name Brazil’s squad for the final two rounds of World Cup qualification, away to Bolivia and at home to Venezuela, and with a place in South Africa already booked, there were likely to be some experiments.” (BBC – Tim Vickery)