6 December 2006


Capello fielded the reserves and what a sorry excuse some of them where. Mejia should have cleared a free kick but only succeeded in deflecting Belkevich's cross against Shatskikh's boot and he steered the ball over Diego. Milevski played in Shatskikh with a clever back heel and he scored at the second time of asking after Diego saved his initial shot. Beckham struck the woodwork with a great shot from distance. Ronaldo, looking considerably slimmer than he has in years, scored after Javi, who came on for the stupidly named De la Red, headed on a Beckham corner. He converted what looked to be a dubious penalty to claim a rare brace in this competition.

Real Madrid's potential last 16 opponents : Chelsea, Bayern Munich, Liverpool, Manchester United, Porto, Milan

Fingers crossed for drawing Man United so Van Nistelrooy can knock them out of the tournament. Regardless of who Real draw unless it's Chelsea they have an excellent chance of making the last 8.

Attendance : 33,000
Assists : n/a, n/a, Javi, Ronaldo (won pen)


Dica bounced a cross off his chest before hooking a low volley into the net. Diarra headed in the equaliser from Kallstrom's corner.

Lyon's potential last 16 opponents : Barcelona, Inter, PSV, Roma, Celtic, Arsenal

Even if Lyon draw Barca I still expect them to progress. It's in the quarter-finals where their problems may start.

Attendance : 40,000
Assists : Paraschiv, Kallstrom (ck)

21 November 2006


Cernat gave Kyiv the lead with a poor free kick, I say poor because the ball sailed over the wall and bounced into the middle of a packed penalty area and everyone, including the 'keeper, misjudged the bounce. Dica scored an amazing equaliser, a sudden change of direction took him away from a defender and from the edge of the box he struck the ball as you would a free kick, sending it curling into the top corner of Shovkovskyi's net.

Dica wouldn't be a bad signing for a mid sized club in one of the top leagues.

Attendance : 20,000
Assists : ? (won fk), Nicolita


Cannavaro was appealing for offside as Carew collected a pass 40 yards from goal, he dived in early as Carew accelerated towards goal leaving the giant striker with a gaping hole down the middle of Real's defence and he finished with a precise shot inside a post. Another simple pass exposed Cannavaro but Tiago failed to take advantage. Casillas rushed off his line to attack a Juninho free kick but completely missed the ball as Malouda was volleying it into the net. Van Nistelrooy flicked on a Reyes corner and Diarra powered a header into the net. Tiago should have cleared a Bobby Carlos cross but was out jumped by Cassano, Raul threw himself at the ball, his header rebounded off the inside of the left post and rolled across the line towards the opposite post where Van Nistelrooy smashed in. Abidal tried a dragback on the edge of his own box with disastrous results and as Van Nistelrooy burst into the box, Cris blocked his shot but the Dutchman went down as is he had been fouled (best dive he's ever done) and the ref pointed to the spot. Coupet guessed right and made a fantastic save.

Both teams are through and the supposed European Footballer of the Year elect, Cannavaro, is playing worse for Real than he did while at Inter.

Attendance : 78,677
Assists : n/a, Juninho (fk), Van Nistelrooy, n/a

1 November 2006


Attendance : 41,000
Assist : Govou


Attendance : 69,000
Assist : n/a

17 October 2006


Ramos powered Real into the lead with a bullet header from a Guti corner. Raul tapped in the second after Carlos ruined a brilliant move with a point blank save from Van Nistelrooy. Robinho chased down a Guti longball before cutting inside Klemi one Steaua's left then whipped the ball inside the right post, great finish. Badea punished bad defending from Emerson and Cannavaro to pull a goal back but Real continued to attack and after Raul missed a sitter Van Nistelrooy finished off the home side with an outrageous close range lob. Fat boy Ronaldo, now reduced to being Van Nistelrooy's substitute, missed a chance to score a fifth. The other Galactico, Beckham, got 20 minutes in the second half.

Attendance : 20,000
Assists : Guti (ck), n/a, Guti, n/a, Diarra


Juninho gave Lyon the lead with a gorgeous free kick. Kim Kallstrom jumped in the air to pull down a cross and ran through Gavrancic's cynical foul before beating the 'keeper at his near post. Malouda headed in a Juninho corner.

Attendance : 24,000
Assists : Malouda (won fk), Clerc, Juninho (ck)

26 September 2006


Shovkovskiy, Dynamo Kyiv's eternal weak link, fumbled a low centre from Bobby Carlos into the path of RVN, 1-0. Raul punished abysmal marking from a free kick to make it 2-0 with an excellent header. In first half injury time Reyes smashed in a left foot volley. Milevski tapped in a rebound after Casillas failed to hold Correa's stinging drive. Gavrancic under-hit a back-pass but didn't notice Raul lurking and he intercepted, danced around Shovkovskiy and tapped into an empty net. The incompetent Graham Poll sent off Shovkovskiy after RVN made the most of a clumsy challenge to win a penalty. He was substituted, for Ronaldo, shortly after converting and there was little danger of tubby adding to his abysmal tally in this competition. Ramos should have been sent off for blasting an elbow into the reserve 'keepers face but Poll, predictably, only showed a yellow.

Attendance : 80,000
Red Card : Shovkovskiy 68 (Dynamo Kyiv)
Assists : n/a, Reyes, Diarra, n/a, n/a, RVN (won pen)


Juninho slammed a free kick against the back of midfielder Paraschiv prompting Fernandes off his line but having grabbed the ball he dropped it leaving Fred with a tap-in. The excellent Tiago, who ironically since leaving Chelsea has developed into, arguably, a World Class midfielder, doubled the five time, five time, five time, five time, five time French champions lead with a thumping header. Lyon made a mess of a short corner but regained possession due to Benzema's persistence and Juninho played him in with a firm back heel and the youngster rolled the ball into the bottom corner.

Either Benzema has grew since I saw him last season or I'm confusing him with Benarfa.

Attendance : 26,500
Assists : n/a, Juninho (fk), Juninho

13 September 2006


Ghionea headed former champions Steaua into the lead from Cristocea's corner, via a post. A nice dummy from the referee allowed Rebrov to burst into the box onto a Rincon pass and he smashed the ball into the roof of the net. The ridiculous Nesu, who looks like Harpo Marx (what do you mean you don't know who he is?) hurled a throw in to Dica and Badea headed his first time cross into the net, against via a post. Dica made it 1-3 with a brilliant free kick and completed a surprisingly one sided rout when a ball over the top of a high defence sent him through on goal.

Attendance : 27,000
Assists : Cristocea (ck), Rincon, Dica, Badea (won fk), Thereau


Appalling defending by Real Madrid's new centre back pairing of Cannavaro and Ramos allowed Fred to run onto Juninho's longball out of defence, forcing Casillas off his line but the Brazilian striker sent the ball sailing over his head into an empty net. The absolutely superb Malouda sent Abidal down the left flank and he passed the ball to Fred who was looking to play a one-two with Govou, Govou took a couple of steps forward before feigning to shoot, sending that detestable cheat Bobby Carlos crashing to the ground, Govou clipped a pass forward to Tiago, who had ghosted in from the right, before steering the ball into the bottom left corner. Superb goal.

But for some poor finishing and Casillas Lyon could and should have won this by at least four goals. Cannavaro has been abysmal post World Cup and Capello still has a lot of work to do. In recent years Lyon have had a habit of looking like World beaters during the group stages, things tend to go wrong for them in the spring.

Attendance : 35,814
Assists : Juninho, Govou