Inter Milan won their first European title since 1965, and their first Champions League title after
a fully deserved 2-0 victory against Bayern Munich at Madrid's Santiago Barnabeu
Stadium.Personally, I watched the match in a farm in eastern Venezuela, not wanting to miss what
was one of the matches of the year, but expectedly disappointing.
With three goals the Croatian and Bayern striker Ivica Olic was crucial in giving an excellent
Bayern Munich team the spot in this season's Champions League final in Madrid. Still, he was not
the only star in the victory: the German side was far superior to an Olympique side that seemed
nervous and overwhelmed by the importance of the match.
So the Barcelona tie is only a matter of hours away now and I can't wait.
I'll be watching the game with a Sp*rs fan so if we don't win a torrent of abuse will be coming
my way and we all know that's never good. We still don't know if Cesc will make the game, all other
injury news apart from that is positive even William Gallas has made the squad so hopefully the
injury gods are giving us lots of healing vibes.
I have been hoping to find some football in Venezuela. Notwithstanding that I am not normally able
to watch Champions League, since it is in working hours, for instance I was able to watch second
half of Inter's splendid victory against Chelsea. It is not often that I support the Italian teams,
but this time it was awesome to see them outplay a Chelsea side that with the years has lost its
All due respect to Real Madrid, which I have never liked. But the royal Spaniards have a tendency
to blow themselves up after one good match: their incredible 3-2 victory against Sevilla last
weekend, had caused them to predict another large victory over Olympique Lyon. The French had been
the far better team in the first match in Lyon, although they only won 1-0.
Fiorentina has in my view been one of the best teams to watch in this season's Champions League; I
have never followed them closely, but they have been great to watch, in particular the young
Montenegrin Stevan Jovetic. It was therefore disappointing that they have just been eliminated in
the Champions League after defeating Bayern Munich 3-2 at home.
I have always liked Olympique Lyon, and over the last years I have always thought that they would
get closer to glory in the Champions League, but so far wrongly. Now the team is surely not what
they used to be: the did not win last season's French championship, and are currently only 4th in
the French league.
The draw for the Champions League first knock-out round in February 2010 ahs taken place with the
following teams set to face one another:VfB Stuttgart-FC Barcelona: Surely challenging for the
Germans against a Catalan side that is getting into gear.Inter-Chelsea: A thrilling match where
Jose Mourinho will face his former team, while Carlo Ancelotti will face his former arch-rivals.
Last night's Champions League last round of the group stages saw some very impressive performances
(for good and for bad):1) Bayern Munich had their back against the wall in what would normally seem
a very difficult away game against Juventus, where the Germans needed a victory. Initially, they
went down 1-0 on a goal by David Trezeguet, and it all seemed lost; but Bayern Munich never gives
Liverpool had to defeat Olympique Lyon away after losing 1-2 at home in the previous round. But
last night the English team only managed a 1-1 draw, and with 4 points it is now almost impossible
that Liverpool progresses to the next round: Livepool must win their remaining two matches and
Fiorentina must not win any of their remaining two matches (of which the last one is between
Anyone who may read this blog may know that I don't often have anything nice to say about Italian
teams. However, as strange as it may sound, now I do: in the Champions League I watched Fiorentina
play Liverpool last night, and was very impressed by the Italians, who in the first half of the
match in particular were far superior to the great English side.
When Michel Platini's plan for clubs to spend only what they earn take effect, then prize money is
going to get extra important. So now's the time for clubs to start thinking about income, and what
better cash cow is there than the the UEFA Champions League? Jan beat me to this on Bundesliga
Offside yesterday, [.
. Chelsea won their Champions League opener against FC Porto through a lone goal scored by Nicolas
Anelka. The game began in emphatic fashion as the Blues began in front of their fans, while the
Portuguese side managed to bring the physical side of their game to the fore. It took some time for
the west London [.
One of the best but also frustrating things about football is that it is just like life: it is fun,
but can be sad, happy, unfair, annoying; sometimes the ones that play most beautiful win, but other
times, cynicism, cunningness, intelligence or mere spirit win a match.FC Barcelona have been an
example of beauty and skill over the past seasons, but tonight they got eliminated by a better
FC Barcelona has been tamed: the seemingly invincible Catalonians will be facing their biggest
challenge ever when they face Inter Milan in Barcelona next week, after losing 3-1 in Milan
tonight. Although the Italian's second and third goal were very controversial (an apaprent foul
against Messi and a clear offside of Diego Milito), it could not take away the fact that Inter were
much better than
Four-playMuch talk of 1999 and all that in Peter Drury's typically myopic and hysterical commentary
on Bayern Munich's win over Manchester United last night.Speaking of which this is only the second
year since 1999 when the four semi finalists have been drawn from four different countries.Back in
1998/99 the teams were United and Bayern playing Juventus and Dynamo Kiev.
Another Champion's League night and another English team crashes out. Best league in the world or
not, it won't be an English club winning the right to lose to Barcelona in Madrid next
month.Barcelona. What a team. Lionel Messi. What a player. Think he'd get a decent haircut but he
might just win the World Cup for Diego Maradonna's Argentina.
Yesterday FC Barcelona and Inter Milan qualified for the 2009-10 Champions League semifinals. Today
the other two semifinalists were to be found.I have for years said that one should look out for
Olympique Lyon, but they have never made it beyond the quarterfinals. But today, they made history;
after winning 3-1 at home, a 1-0 defeat to Girondins Bordeaux was enough to put them in the
Lionel Messi is in my opinion the greatest footballer to ever grace the game. At the Nou Camp he
scored four goals to dump us out of Europe, demoralised, knackered, starstruck and probably injured
just to add the cherry on top of the cake.
The starting team was the strongest it could be considering all the injuries.
So the weekends histrionics are over, another last ditch winner from Nicklas Bendtner moved us
within a point of United and three points of Chelsea at the top.
There's only so many last minute winners you can score; there team spirit seems fantastic, the
determined and never say die attitude is commendable beyond description, but when the injured list
page has had to be turned over and continued everything is not looking quite so rosy.
Another home game, another win, another game with over three goals. Nearly three months into the
season and we have not scored less than three goals in a home game in any competition, it shows
just how strong we have been at home this season and any team visiting the Grove will be aware of
this record and aware of how strong the squad we have is.
Yesterday I asked for the team to show how good they can be, and they did. The 2-0 scoreline
does Olympiakos a favour, they were under the cosh for 99% of the game and the movement, speed and
creativity you get from Arsenal at their very best lit up Ashburton Grove last night. The 60 odd
thousand people in the stadium got a real glimpse of football at its most beautiful.
Last night was all rather stressful wasn't it? I couldn't quite believe it when within 5 minutes
we were two goals down, the row z allergy continued to spread and it cost us the first goal,
Eduardo trying a suicidal backheel to Cesc, it failed, they scored.
Its hectic at TGB HQ this week so its another late update.
Tonight the Champions League group stages kick off with our first game away at Standard Liege
and it looks like we may be kicking off with a weakened side. Robin van Persie is missing, as is
Almunia, Nasri, Walcott and Denilson not making the trip.
It seems hard to imagine now, having seen them dumped out of Europe with a match to spare, that
Rangers' Champion's League group was actually interpreted as a cause for optimism when the draw was
made. Not looking quite so easy now.It was, in fact, a group of modest talents but one that still
proved too much for Rangers to handle.
4-1, 4-1. Not only Walter Smith's most likely formation for tonight but also the defeats Rangers
have suffered in their last two European games. The perceived wisdom is that it's a formation that
works better away from home. As it's the formation that will be in use against Unirea Urziceni
you've really got to hope that's the case.
21 games. Each with its own background, its own unique circumstances. The cumulative effect is a
European nightmare for Scottish football. Since July we've appeared about as comfortable on the
continent as Norman Tebbit at a Eurovision convention.21 games. In blogs, phone ins, forums and
newspapers fans scream for change.
Although you'd never find a UEFA marketing man who'd admit it, the Champion's League is not always
about glamour and glitz.Sometimes it's dull and dismal. Ibrox might well be sprinkled with some of
that old magic dust tonight but at first glance the meeting of Rangers and Romanian champions
Unirea Urziceni has all the allure of a wet weekend in Cowdenbeath.