Juventus 1-0 Maccabi Haifa: Giorgio Chiellini Header The Difference In Turin

•October 21, 2009 • Leave a Comment


The Bianconeri ended their poor run of form.

Juventus earned their first win of the 2009/10 Champions League season with a 1-0 victory over ten-man Maccabi Haifa in Turin.

Giorgio Chiellini scored the only goal of the game with a close-range header on 46 minutes, but Juve will have goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon to thank for the win after he produced a couple of world class saves, one of them miraculous.

The Bianconeri came into this clash on a terrible run of five games without a win in all competitions, and were locked in third place in Group A, two points above the point-less Greens.

Juve coach Ciro Ferrara unleashed Sebastian Giovinco and Diego from the start for the time this season as the pint-sized duo supported lone striker David Trezeguet. Hasan Salihamidizc, Alex Del Piero and Claudio Marchisio were all out injured.

Maccabi Haifa were minus the services of young teenage talent Eyal Golasa, as well as Biram Kayal (suspended), captain Yaniv Katan, and Amir Edri.

The visitors were desperately close to taking the lead in the first minute as Vladimir Dvalishvili was all alone six yards out, but Gianluigi Buffon produced a miracle save to claw the ball out.

There was controversy on seven minutes as Trezeguet was dragged back as he ran through on goal, but the referee awarded a free kick and not a penalty. Nir Davidovitch palmed away Fabio Grosso’s set-piece.

Juventus started to take control and Trezeguet flicked the ball inches wide on 19 minutes from Grosso’s cross. Momo Sissoko then lashed off-target after good Giovinco work.
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Stuttgart 1-3 Sevilla: Efficient Andalucians Put Slack Hosts To The Sword

•October 21, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Sebastian Squillaci It was a lesson in defending and finishing.

Sevilla taught Stuttgart the value of taking one’s chances as a Sebastien Squillaci double and a Jesus Navas strike saw the Spanish outfit oust their German opponents.

It was the hosts that started the brighter with Julian Schieber and Cacau looking threatening up front and the Schwaben had the ball in the net when Zdravko Kuzmanovic scored from outside the box but an offside Schieber had interferred with Varas’ view and the goal was disallowed.

Then Sevilla began to show their class with some slick passing and fluid movement and Luis Fabiano and Jesus Navas began to shine. 

Although the Germans were probably still on top in the early stages Squaillaci popped up to head home from Adriano’s cross after a quick short corner after just 23 minutes.

The goal was against the run of play and heads could have dropped for the struggling Bundesliga side but Markus Babbel’s men continued to play some good football and Aliaksandr Hleb fired an effort from distance before Kuzmanovic and Schieber kept a shaky Javi Varas busy.
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Liverpool 1-2 Lyon: Stoppage Time Delgado Strike Stuns Anfield

•October 21, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Gerrard of Liverpool

Reds’ Champions League future hangs in balance.

A stoppage time goal from Cesar Delgado condemned Liverpool to their fourth consecutive defeat in all competitions as they were beaten 2-1 by Lyon at Anfield.

Yossi Benayoun goal had given the home side the lead, but a second half equaliser from Maxime Gonalonssaw the Reds pegged back.

Manager Rafael Benitez’s woes were further compounded by the loss of Steven Gerrard, who pulled up with an injury during the first half.

Liverpool had the ball in the net after 15 minutes through Dirk Kuyt, as he nodded home Steven Gerrard’s curled delivery, but the Dutchman was adjudged to have pushed Jeremy Toulalan as he tussled for space.

The Reds had looked to put their recent poor results behind them even earlier on, as Gerrard received a pass from Yossi Benayoun, but saw his side-footed effort deflected wide for a corner.

It took just 25 minutes for Gerrard to be replaced by Fabio Aurelio though, as the midfielder, responsible for so much of what makes Liverpool tick, was substituted due to what appeared to be a recurrence of his recent groin trouble.

It was almost another nightmare start for the Reds, as the lively Aly Cissokho beat debutant Martin Kelly and crossed for Lisandro Lopez, whose header was kept out at point-blank range by Pepe Reina’s frame.
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AZ Alkmaar 1-1 Arsenal: Gunners Rocked By AZ Late-Show

•October 21, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Arsnal & AZ Al Kamar The Gunners were pegged back deep into injury time after Cesc Fabregas looked to have earned them a comfortable win.

Arsenal were without several big names for their first ever competitive clash against Dutch side AZ Alkmaarthis evening, Theo Walcott and Thomas Rosicky adding to manager Arsene Wenger’s already sizeable list of enforced absentees.

Gael Clichy did make a return from injury at left-back, but the returning Manuel Almunia had to make do with a place on the bench as Vito Mannone retained his place in the Arsenal goal.

Arsenal scored the first ever goal at AZ’s DSB Stadium in a 2006 friendly, but despite currently lying bottom of Group H with just a point to their name, the Dutch side have been defeated just once in 34 home competitive European games.

They looked to be heading for their second until three minutes into injury time when
Mendes da Silva drew things level for AZ, in a game in which Arsenal rarely looked anything other than comfortable after a Cesc Fabregas tap-in gave them the lead thirty-six minutes in.

Arsenal’s own Dutchman Robin van Persie should have scored early on after he was given far too much time in the box having been set up by Abou Diaby, but AZ goalkeeper Sergio Romero was there to make the crucial save.
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Inter 2-2 Dynamo Kiev: Classy Dynamo Full Of Eastern Promise

•October 21, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Inter & Dinamo Kiev

Another disappointing performance in the Champions League from Jose Mourinho’s increasingly schizophrenic side.

Jose Mourinho’s side couldn’t have come into this game in better health. Not only did they notch up their most convincing win of the campaign so far with the 5-0 hammering of Genoa away from home at the weekend, but the coach was able to name an almost full strength side, Diego Milito the only absentee.

For Dynamo, veteran goalkeeper Oleksander Shovkovski failed to recover from a muscle injury and Stanislav Bogush deputised between the posts.

After the first 45 minutes, the few Inter fans that had bothered to turn up must have been thinking their Champions League failings had become a curse.

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Barcelona 1-2 Rubin Kazan: Russians Pull Off One Of Champions League’s Biggest Shocks

•October 21, 2009 • Leave a Comment


The Russians came, the Russians saw and the Russians have successfully conquered the cauldron that is the Camp Nou.

Little known Rubin Kazan have created one of the biggest shocks in Champions League history when they stunned a seemingly indestructible Barcelona side 2-1 at the CampNou.

Aleksandr Ryazantsev gave the visitors an astonishing lead just two minutes into the game, but Barca’s incessant pressure paid off when they levelled through Zlatan Ibrahimovic two minutes into the second period. But Karadeniz Gokdeniz would have the last laugh when he smashed in the winning goal 15 minutes from time.

Rubin surprised mighty Inter two weeks ago when they took an early lead against the Serie A champions and the Russians went on to recreate their shock against the reigning Champions League winners.

Just 120 seconds into the contest, Aleksandr Ryazantsev pounced on a stray pass by Rafa Marquez and arrowed in a 30-yard thunderbolt past a hapless Victor Valdes.

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Rangers 1-4 Unirea Urziceni: ‘Gers destroyed in Champions League embarassment

•October 21, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Rangers Romanians romp to easy Ibrox win.

Unirea Urziceni went from European minnows to Group G contenders as they destroyed a sorry Rangers side at Ibrox.

The Scots had been in poor form all season, despite topping their domestic league table, however any hope that they would finally get things together against the Romanians – who’s town is less than half the attendance tonight – was blown away in a second half blitz from Dan Petrescu’s men.

The ‘Gers had taken an early lead, and missed a penalty, but were blown away by a side they had been expected to beat comfortably.

Rangers manager Walter Smith will now find himself under severe pressure, with the light blue’s European dreams hanging by a thread.

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