Champions League 2009-10

Champions League

Gold, grace and farewells

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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.

Great Bayern Munich, disappointing Olympique Lyon

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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.

On my knees

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I have been praising Messi for a few years now, but this year he is awesome, and tonight, with his four goals against Arsenal in the Champions League quarterfinal, I am on my knees.Thank you Messi.

Arsenal v Barcelona – It can be done, with or without Cesc

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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.

No life in Caracas

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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

Thank you Olympique Lyon

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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.

Sad for Fiorentina

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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.

How about Olympique Lyon and Wayne Rooney?

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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.

Champions League knock-out draw

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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.

Impressive

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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 up,

Champions League 2009-2010 4th round group stages

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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 Liverpool and

AZ 1-1 Arsenal: A draw might just do the team good in the long run

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I didn't get to see much of the game last night and I have hardly had a chance to sit down today and watch the full highlights so this blog may again be fairly short.

We drew 1-1 away at AZ Alkmaar of Holland but should really have won the game and closed it out, as it happens we conceded from yet another set piece and had to settle for a share of the spoils.

Outstanding Fiorentina

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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.

We ground out the win at the weekend, now for the convincing performance

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Apologies for my absence over the past few days, my server has been somewhat temperamental.

It is a bit late to tell you about the game on Saturday night but you can see my summary here on my Sunday column:

Yesterdays win was fantastic in my book, we were made to show a few characteristics that have been beyond the side in the last few seasons.

UEFA Champions League 2009/10 Prize Money

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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 1-0 FC Porto: Nicolas Anelka Bags The Winner

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. 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 [.

FC Barcelona

Just like life

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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 Inter

Super Inter

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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

A Random Champion's League Review

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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.

Lionel Who?

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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.

The semifinals

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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

Arsenal

Barcelona 4-1 Arsenal (6-3): Watch, admire and learn

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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.

It seems the luck is starting to run dry – Barcelona v Arsenal

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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.

Champions League in Mérida

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After travelling for a day from Caracas by land, I arreived to the city of Mérida in the Venezuelan Andes last Wednesday. As I was set to go to the mountains the following day I had a full day in this cozy city, where my mission was clear: find a place to watch the CL quarterfinal between Arsenal and FC Barcelona.

Arsenal 2-2 Barcelona: It was incredible, but costly

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Whats the point in writing a match report? Everyone has seen the game and what a game it was.

The first thing to say is I'm so proud to be an Arsenal fan, the team were dead and buried, at 2-0 down I said 'we're gonna get beat at least 3-0, its typical, failure against a top side again!

AZ obliterated/Kroenke/3 points at Wolves please

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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.

Arsenal batter down the Greek barn door

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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 leaves more questions than answers

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Afternoon all, its another manic one today.

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.

Who would bet against Eduardo bagging goals tonight?

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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.

Rangers

Over And Out

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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.

Champion's League Chumps?

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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 Steps To Failure

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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.

Bargain Basement Battle

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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.