This week’s action saw, on Tuesday, a somewhat emphatic win for Liverpool, cruising to a 8 (eight) – 0 victory over minnows Besiktas, extracting serious revenge for their humiliating loss in
To Anfield then, and the largest winning margin in Champions League history, where Yossi Benayoun bagged a hat-trick, Ryan Babel and Peter Crouch both picked up a brace each, and Steven Gerrard also netted for the Reds. It might sound stupid but to be honest
Flying back from
And north of the boarder we go, as Celtic delivered another impressive home performance to keep them in contention to qualify from this tricky group. Aiden McGeady’s deflected shot was the difference between the two sides, but the game’s main incident was a genuine attempt by Augustin Binya to break Scott Brown’s leg five minutes before time. Thankfully the plucky Scot was ok, but see yesterday’s STT coverage on this incident for more information. Why doesn’t this kind of stuff ever happen to unpleasant scumbags like Diouf or Konchesky? Elsewhere,
The night’s other matches took place in Group C, and were relatively without incident unfortunately. A lackluster game in
Moving onto Wednesday then, and a slightly less successful night for our three representatives. Arsenal were lucky to leave
And it’s in
After the humiliation of losing 7 – 0 a fortnight ago in
Rangers meanwhile faced the somewhat daunting prospect of playing Barcelona in Spain, and while keeping the Catalan giants from scoring for another 90 minutes was always going to be a tough task, the Scots by no means disgraced themselves. With Ronaldinho finally starting to tick again and Messi in the form he’s in these days, Rangers were on the backfoot from the kick-off, and going behind in under 10 minutes to an Henry tap-in made their priority damage control to avoid a disheartening rout. The result might not have been emphatic, but the performance certainly was, with Xavi and Iniesta expertly pulling the strings. Rangers’ chances of qualification took a further blow as Lyon again won last night to give them more then a sniff of finishing second in the group, sitting now just a point behind Rangers. In a thrilling game, the French champions finished 4 – 2 winners over Stuttgart, with Hatem Ben Arfa in particular having a superb game, topped off with a cracking 2 goal brace in the Stade de Gerland.
And finally to Group G, where the game of the round took place in the San Siro between Inter Milan and CSKA Moscow. The impressive Sneeze took an early 2 – 0 lead, following lovely goals by Brazilian forwards Jo and Wagner-Love, leaving the Italian side everything to do in the final hour of the game. Cambiasso and Ibramhimovic then each netted twice for Inter in a superb come-back full of pace and intent, with Crespo also playing his part with some neat touches. Fenerbahce are also poised to join Inter is progressing through to Round 2 after they beat PSV Eindhoven 2 – 0, with another decent performance from the promising Turkish side. An own goal by Dirk Marcellis and a cool finish from Semih Senturk within the first half an hour were enough for Fenerbahce, although Roberto Carlos did graze the post from about 40 yards with a free kick just before the break.
Goal of the Round – With many excellent goals again during the round, this was tough to call, but Zlatan Ibramhimovic’s sweet turn and pile-driving strike for his second at the San Siro takes it, simply because he usually struggles to even stand up.
Trick of the Round – Ronaldo’s beautiful running Cruyff-turn to set up his goal at Old Trafford sums up just how dangerous he can be. Ronaldinho busted an unreal Maradona spin at full speed that was almost as good though.
Player of the Round – He scored a hat-trick so I guess it has to be Yossi Benayoun, even if he was kind of just in the right place 3 times on Tuesday. To be honest though I’ve always liked him, and he never usually gets the props he deserves so big up the Israeli mandem.
Surprise Package of the Round – Liverpool; bouncing back admirably from an awful opening three games to get themselves finally moving in this season’s competition. With two finals in the last three years, expectation was understandably high, and given the superb new signings brought in by Benitez, you can’t help but feel that it’s only a matter of time before everything starts coming together for them…