8 December 2009

ZURICH 1 (Gajic 29)
MILAN 1 (Ronaldinho 64 Pen)

Gajic gave Zurich the lead with a superb free kick. Borriello took a tumble in the box and Ronaldinho converted the penalty.

Attendance : 22,000
Assists : Gajic (won fk), Borriello (won pen)

MARSEILLE 1 (Lucho 11)
REAL MADRID 3 (Ronaldo 5 fk, Albiol 60, Ronaldo 80)

Ronaldo gave Real Madrid the lead with a fantastic free kick. Lucho punished Albiol for making a pathetic clearance to score a quick equaliser. A van der Vaart corner hit Ronaldo, possibly on the arm though it was clearly un-intentional and Albiol volleyed into the bottom right corner. Casillas fouled Niang to concede a penalty. He should have been sent off but, as usual with most goalkeepers, he got away with a yellow card. To make matters worse for Marseille Lucho blasted the spot kick against the underside of the crossbar. Mandanda rushed off his line to cut out a Diarra through ball, taking out Diawara and Ronaldo in the process, Ronaldo jumped to his feet and tapped into an empty net.

Jamie Redknapp claimed Ronaldo invented his free kick technique and other players like Drogba and JUNINHO have copied. No it was Juninho who invented the technique you stupid twat.

Attendance : 55,000
Assists : VDV (won fk), n/a, Ronaldo, n/a

25 November 2009

REAL MADRID 1 (Higuain 21)

As long as Real Madrid don't get thrashed in their final game they're through. Ronaldo was back.

Attendance : 75,000
Assist : Kaka'

MILAN 1 (Borriello 10)
MARSEILLE 1 (Lucho 16)

Borriello turned Heinze inside out as he cut in from the left, Mandanda came off his line to narrow the angle so Borriello brought the ball onto his left foot and fired through Mandanda's legs. Oddo slipped under pressure from Niang, Niang crossed just before as Nesta was about to make a challenge, Dida couldn't get enough on the ball and Lucho blasted into an empty net. Oddo was substituted minutes later and developed a sudden thigh strain in a pathetic attempt to hide his embarrassment, twat.

Although Milan created more chances, once Ronaldinho got going, Marseille hit the woodwork twice and should have had a penalty for one of the most blatant pieces of shirt pulling you are likely to see, from Abate who was otherwise excellent in defence, even though he is a winger. Milan go through to the last 16 with a win. A draw will be enough if Marseille fail to beat Real Madrid.

If Zurich fail to cause another upset Marseille have to beat Real Madrid by more than 3 clear goals to go through. It's not happening.

Attendance : 47,000
Assists : Pato, n/a

3 November 2009

MILAN 1 (Ronaldinho 35 Pen)
REAL MADRID 1 (Benzema 29)

Benzema tapped Real Madrid into the lead after Dida failed to hold a Kaka' effort. Ronaldinho almost ripped a hole in the net when converting a penalty awarded for handball. For the second successive game Milan had a goal disallowed for nothing. At one stage in a disappointing second half three players who have scored 150 Champions League goals between them - Inzaghi, Raul and RVN were on the pitch. Inzaghi shanked a Pato centre yards from goal while Raul drew a great save from Dida.

Both teams put on a clinic of tackling in the first half especially.

Attendance : 85,000
Assists : n/a, n/a

MARSEILLE 6 (Aegerter 3 og, Abriel 11, Niang 51, Hilton 80, Cheyrou 87, Brandao 90)
ZURICH 1 (Alphonse 31)

Alphonse headed a free kick past his own goalkeeper. 8 minutes later Abriel stood over another free kick and this time it bounced unopposed into the Zurich net. Alphonse finished off a great passing move with a brilliant shot on the turn. Niang played a one-two with Kone on the edge of the box, held off a defender and lobbed over Leoni. A flurry of late goals turned this into a rout. Hilton banged in #4 after Zurich once again failed to defend a free kick. Cheyrou scored the pick of the goals with a stunning 25 yard drive and man mountain Brandao tapped in Niang's centre to complete Zurich's misery.

Attendance : 58,000
Assists : n/a, Niang (won fk), Kone, n/a, Valbuena, Niang

21 October 2009

REAL MADRID 2 (Raul 19, Drenthe 76)
MILAN 3 (Pirlo 62, Pato 68, Pato 88)

This was of course no ordinary Champions League group tie, pitting the greatest club sides in the history of European football against each other and they served up a classic which wasn't exactly high on quality but high on drama.

Real should have been awarded an early penalty after Zambrotta chopped down Benzema. Dida further eroded his once proud reputation with the type of goalkeeping error only he seems to make. He caught Granero's speculative shot, bounced the ball onto the turf, then bounced it off his knee, out of his hands and Raul pounced. Zambrotta hurled a throw-in back to Pirlo who was standing 35 yards from goal, he took a few steps infield before unleashing a sensational right foot shot which whistled past Casillas via the inside of his left post. Ambrosini intercepted from Ramos and lofted a longball between Real's centre backs, Casillas flew off his line, got nowhere near the ball and Pato tapped into an empty net. Raul played a corner out to the edge of the box and Drenthe's left foot shot crept inside Dida's left post. Pirlo spun away from a Diarra challenge before attempting another shot, the ball deflected off a Real Madrid defender, Pato killed it stone dead with his left before firing off a shot with his right straight at Casillas. Thiago Silva headed in from the resulting corner but the goal was disallowed for no reason whatsoever amid furious protests in which Ronaldinho pushed Raul in the face. Pato skipped away from a Drenthe sliding tackled as he turned onto a pass out of defence, he was eventually tackled and the ball broke to Ronaldinho who eased a pass out wide to Seedorf, Seedorf baited Ramos, Pepe stepped forward in support and as he was about to make a tackle Seedorf floated a cross over to the unmarked Pato at the back post and he pushed a volley over Casillas to complete a stunning victory.

Real Madrid will not come across many teams who are not overawed at the prospect of playing at the Bernebeu or encounter a midfield that, IF allowed, can pass the ball for fun. Real Madrid won't win anything with Xabi Alonso and Lassana Diarra as their central midfield pairing. The older, bigger Diarra is/was a much better player.

Attendance : 73,500
Assists : n/a, Zambrotta (throw-in), Ambrosini, Seedorf

MARSEILLE 1 (Heinze 69)

Attendance : 24,800
Red Card : Bonnart 90 (Marseille)
Assist : Lucho

30 September 2009

ZURICH 1 (Tihinen 10)

Tihinen gave the Swiss a shock lead with a brilliant strike. He ran across the Milan penalty area as Gajic's swung in a corner and met the ball with a mid-air back heel volley which pierced the gap between Storari and Nesta who was guarding a post.

As I'm expected to comment on this result I will. It's no real surprise, the Marseille match was a false dawn. I said before this years competition kicked off Milan won't make it past the group stages. Leonardo is out of his depth but Galliani is the one to blame for the clubs malaise. His years of mismanagement have caught up with a vengeance. Van Basten is, once again, linked with the Milan bench and even is there are doubts about his coaching ability he'll purge the squad and will have considerably more pull with Berlusconi than any other coach since Sacchi. Sometimes you have to go backwards in order to go forwards.

Attendance : 45,981
Assist : Gajic (ck)

REAL MADRID 3 (Ronaldo 58, Kaka' 61 Pen, Ronaldo 64)

Real went route one to break the deadlock. Pepe punted a ball upfield from his own half, Ronaldo chased it down and as Mandanda came off his line and jumped, presumably to put him off, Ronaldo calmly passed the ball into an empty net. Diawara was sent off for a dangerous, high speed sliding tackle on Ronaldo in the box, clear penalty despite what anyone else says. Kaka' converted and three minutes later linked up with Benzema on the edge of the Marseille penalty area to lay on a second for the World's most expensive player.

Attendance : 73,000
Red Card : Diawara 60 (Marseille)
Assists : Pepe, Ronaldo (won pen), Benzema

15 September 2009

ZURICH 2 (Margairaz 64 Pen, Aegerter 65)
REAL MADRID 5 (Ronaldo 27 fk, Raul 34, Higuain 46, Ronaldo 89 fk, Guti 94)

Ronaldo's stunning free kick began a late first half flurry of goals. His towering header helped set up Real's second, Higuain centred for Raul to slide in his 67th European goal. Raul brilliantly laid off a Xabi Alonso ball inside a defender to the youngster who muscled his way past Zurich's captain before angling his shot wide of the 'keeper. Margairaz pulled a goal back thanks to a dubious penalty decision and a minute later the Swiss were suddenly back in the game after Aegerter beat Casillas with a superb near post header. Ronaldo's 35 yard free kick went straight through the hands of the Zurich goalkeeper and Guti added a fifth with a delicious lob on the counter.

Attendance : 24,000
Assists : Ronaldo (won fk), Higuain, Raul, Alphonse (won pen), Vonlanthen (ck), Guti (won fk), Kaka'

MARSEILLE 1 (Heinze 49)
MILAN 2 (Inzaghi 28, Inzaghi 74)

A glorious pass from Seedorf found Inzaghi unmarked at the back post and he shot past Marseille goalkeeper Mandanda to give Milan an unexpected lead. Milan's notoriously poor set piece defending cost them the equaliser but once again, in a second half dominated by the home side, Inzaghi came to the rescue when he pulled away from a defender to stab home another fantastic Seedorf pass, European goal #68.

Flamini should have been sent off for a disgraceful two footed jumping foul on Mbia. I would expect a two game ban unless UEFA have suddenly gone cold on video evidence.

Attendance : 59,000
Assists : Seedorf, Cheyrou (fk), Seedorf