Champions League Matchday 1

Club Brugge vs. Juventus 1:2 (0:0)
Goal scorers: Yulu-Matondo 85′ – Nedved 66′, Trezeguet 75′.

In an amazing match that was completely one sided with Juventus having a great number of 100% chances but simply couldn’t break Club Brugge’s excellent goalkeeper Stijn Stijnen who with the performance he presented this evening fully deserves to stand between the posts instead of Croat goalkeeper Tomislav Butina on the Belgium’s team next match. The bare fact that the Italian giant had even 11 shots on goal and 26 in total while the home side made 7 out of which one was aiming the goal which even entered says it all.

The opening was very hard on the home side, Pavel Nedved had two excellent chances and then Trezeguet shot directly in the goalkeeper from just a few meters range when he was standing alone in front of Stijnen. Simply the 24 year old goalkeeper didn’t even have a time to catch a new breath but he defended his sheet well and kept it untouched until the 66th minute.

Then six minutes after an hour of the game, Zlatan Ibrahimovic was fouled outside the area, and Nedved took out a free kick that gone past the wall and drilled in the right side of the goal for the long waited 0:1 goal. The young Swedish international had a 100% chance as well when he came in the box from the right and waited just like four meters away from Stijnen but he also as Trezeguet struck the ball directly on the goalkeeper and that made him miss a great opportunity to sign his name in the score sheet.

Less than ten minutes later Trezeguet finally struck the back of the net and made it 0:2. The Frenchman received a pass by Mauro Camoranesi in 75th minute and beaten Stijnen with a well taken lob shot after a diagonal run. Right away Ibrahimovic who had most of the chances in this duel could have increased the Old Lady’s advantage but again the Belgium goalkeeper was a too big obstacle to go around and score.

Five minutes before the end Club Brugge succeeded to get their consolation goal (1:2) when Yulu-Matondo headed the ball past Christian Abbiati after connecting on Jonothan Blondel loose ball.

Line ups

Club Brugge: Stijnen, de Cock, Maertens, Spilar, Valgaeren (de Oliveira 74′), Vanaudenaerde, Englebert, Vermant (Leko 84′), Portillo (Blondel 52′), Balaban, Yulu-Matondo.

Juventus: Abbiati, Cannavaro, Kovac, Zambrotta, Blasi, Camoranesi (Giannichedda 89′), Emerson, Nedved, Vieira, Ibrahimovic, Trezeguet (Zalayeta 89′).

Rapid Vienna vs. Bayern Munchen 0:1 (0:0)
Goal scorer: Guerrero 60′.

This is a kind of a match that could have gone either way. While Rapid had the best of counter-attacks especially at the end of the first half, Bayern Munchen had most of the ball possession and far more shots on the goal.

Moments before the half time break Rapid’s captain Steffen Hofmann if quicker could have slotted the ball home but he failed to reach the cross and Oliver Kahn was safe. The same thing happened just before the referee announced the end of the first half, but this time the spotlight was over Marek Kincl who picked up a cross from Axel Lawaree but the Czech only blasted the ball over the crossbar.

Fifteen minutes in the second half Bayern ball possession finally paid of and the Peruvian striker Jose Paolo Guerrero struck the only goal of the match when he picked up a rebound from Roy Makaay’s header and shipped the ball past Helge Payer for 0:1.

Rapid could have scored the equalizer and they had the best opportunity to do so eight minutes before the final whistle when the referee awarded them a penalty because of a foul over Muhammet Akagunduz as the home side defender Jozef Valachovic missed the entire goal.

After the match Bayern’s chief in charge Felix Magath said that he feared for three points until the very last minute while his colleague on the home side bench Josef Hickersberger admitted that despite the missed penalty the Germans deserved to win.

Line ups

Rapid Vienna: Payer, Adamski, Dober, Valachovic, Bejbl, Hlinka, Hofmann, Ivanschitz (Dollinger 84′), Korsos (Korsos 65′), Kincl, Lawaree (Lawaree 74′).

Bayern Munchen: Kahn, Ismael, Lizarazu (Demichelis 52′), Lucio, Sagnol, Hargreaves, Scholl, Schweinsteiger (Deisler 83′), Ze Roberto, Makaay, Pizarro (Guerrero 52′).

Sparta Praha vs. Ajax Amsterdam 1:1 (0:0)

Although the Dutch giant completely controlled this match and had more than the game, with 72% of the ball possession and even 26 shots on Jaromir Blazek’s goal the home side held of their enemy’s and even got into the lead in 66th min after what they even had a chance to keep all three points but a late goal by Wesley Sneijder earned a point for Daniel Blind’s crew, deserved or not, they took it back to Amsterdame.

The match started with Aajax having most of the chances, Sneijder was the first to put Blazek on a test but the Czech’s goalkeeper was on top of his tasks what he proven on seven more occasions throughout the match but they are not important right now, as the only thing that counts are goals.

And the first goal fell in 66th minute when the Czech substitute Miroslav Matusovic fired a shot from way outside the box and drilled the ball in the left top corner of Hans Vonk’s goal after he picked up a lose ball. This of course cut Ajax in half and the Dutch tried to kick back but everything they have did didn’t give any result until the very last minute.

Then from out of Blue Wesley Sneijder got provided with a ball from Ryan Babel in 91st min struck the ball into the top left corner to beat Jaromir Blazek for 1:1 that ensured his side one point what seems great for the Dutch now despite the fact that with the chances they had it was obvious that Ajax could have bagged all three.

Line ups

Sparta Prague: Blazek, Kadlec, Lukas, Petras, Pospech, Kisel, Poborsky, Polacek (Dosek 79′), Sivok, Zelenka, Slepicka (Matusovic 49′).

Ajax Amsterdam: Vonk, Emanuelson, Grygera, Trablesi, Babel, Galasek (Heitinga 90′), Lindenbergh, Maduro, Pienaar (Rosales 81′), Sneijder, Rosenberg (Charisteas 76′).

Arsenal vs. FC Thun 2:1 (0:0)
Goal scorers: Gilberto Silva 51′, Bergkamp 91′ – Ferreira 53′.

Despite the fact that Arsenal had the control of this game they were on verge of sharing points with the Swiss representative until the very last minute when “grandpa” Denis Bergkamp who entered the game from the bench took things in his own hands (read feet) and scored the second goal for the Gunners.

And the man (boy) who will be marked as the guilty one for this match not going more smoothly will be the Dutch troublemaker Robin Van Persie who completely unnecessary earned a red card in 45th min for a highly raised foot and arguing with the referee and by that cost the English giant with his appearance in at least next two or three matches, and with Thierry Henry out Arsen Wenger wont take that so lightly.

Still even with one man down Arsenal succeeded to score first, Jose Antonio Reyes took out a corner kick in the 52nd minute and Gilberto Silva rose above everyone to head the ball in the net of Thun’s goalkeeper Eldin Jakupovic for 1:0.

But it didn’t take the guests a long time to level the score because just one minute later Kolo Toure made and error and presented Thun’s Nelson Ferreira with a ball which the 23 year old Portuguese youngster gladly accepted and shipped the ball over him and Arsenal’s goalkeeper Manuel Almunia to level the result on 1:1.

Until the game the home side of course did everything possible to repair the score in their advantage but only thanks to Bergkamp they made it and won all three points. The Dutch veteran won the ball at the edge of the penalty area from Ljubo Milicevic and struck it past Jakupovic to regain his team’s advantage for Arsenal to win all three points.

Line ups

Arsenal: Almunia, Campbell, Cole, Lauren, Toure, Fabregas (Bergkamp 73′), Ljungberg (Hleb 81′), Pires, Reyes (Abeyie 81′), Silva, van Persie.

Thun: Jakupovic, Ferreira, Goncalves, Hodzic, Milicevic, Orman, Aegerter, Bernardi, Gerber (Vieira 72′), Pimenta (Souza 57′), Lustrinelli (Faye 87′).

Udinese vs. Panathinaikos 3:0 (1:0)
Goal scorer: Iaquinta 28′, 73′, 76′.

This was a historic game for Udinese and of course the hat-trick scorer Vicenzo Iaquinta who marked his team’s first UEFA Champions League appearance with a great hat-trick with what he earned Udine their first win in the most elite European club competition.

Although Panathinaikos started the match better the Italian representative picked up pace after 20th min when they realized that the Greeks and Champions League aren’t some forbidden taboo but that football is being played in this competition as well, and from then on it took them just eight minutes to beat Mario Galinovic.

So it was Vicenzo Iaquinta who rose above the rest to connect to Damiano Zenoni’s cross and head the ball perfectly from 10 meter distance that beat the Croatian goalkeeper and handed Udinese a 1:0 lead.

For those who don’t know what kind of a team Panathinaikos have, here’s a little info. It’s not just another anonymous team that by some mistake qualified for the Champions League. The Greeks came a long way to make a crew of well experienced players such as Igor Biscan, Ezequiel Gonzalez, Mikael Nilsson, Giannis Goumas and unlucky for them they weren’t able to field Fabio Conceicao and Emanuel Olisadebe or maybe the result would have been different.

But it wasn’t and in the second half Udinese struck two more goals and put an end to all Panathinaiko’s hopes to make a good result in Italy. Of course both times the scorer was the excellent Iaquinta who netter 13 goals in the past season and 11 in one before.

First the 25 year old escaped the offside trap in 73rd minute and made his way around the goalkeeper to slot his second and then three minutes later after accepting a ball with his back towards Galinovic’s goal what of course forced him to twist around and ship the ball in the bottom corner to sign in his hat-trick from a very strange and low goal-scoring profile situation.

Of course Udinese coach Serse Cosmi now feels like he’s on top of his words and the words that his win exceeded all his expectations confirmed it.

Line ups

Udinese: De Sanctis, Candela, Felipe, De Souza, Natali, Ali Muntari, Obodo (Pinzi 68′), Vidigal, Zenoni, Iaquinta, Di Natale (Di Michele 80′).

Panathinaikos: Galinovic, Goumas, Kotsios, Morris, Nilsson, Seric, Biscan, Charalambides (Gekas 70′), Gonzalez, Torghelle, Wooter (Leontiou 76′).

Werder Bremen vs. Barcelona 0:2 (0:1)

This was a very exciting match to watch and play. Both teams preformed a very attacking style of football and it was only a matter of luck and “touch” who will take away all three points, and although the home side tried their best and had a load full of chances fate has been on the side of the Catalonian giant and all three points gone to Barcelona.

The home side conceded the first goal after thirteen minutes of the game when Deco, Ronaldinho and Samuel Eto’o combined in Werder’s box that ended up in Cameroonian sending the ball to Portuguese international at the edge of the box from where the former FC Porto playmaker’s effort was slightly deflected by Petri Pasanen but enough to fool Andreas Reinke and earn Barcelona their leading goal.

After this the Werder was a better side with Ivan Klasnic, Nelson Valdez, Torsten Frings having series of chances plus Johan Micoud hitting the post but Barca did not only hit the post too through Deco, they even scored the second goal after the referee pointed out to the spot kick because of Christian Schulz who made a foul over Leo Messi.

The taker was Ronaldinho and the Brazilian didn’t give a chance to Reinke but fired a fierce shot in the left side that the German had no chance of defending even if he was on the right place the ball would probably just pick him up and drag him in how powerful it was.

At the end Werder probably earned a draw at least but hey in football you don’t always get what you deserve…

Line ups

Werder Bremen: Reinke, Naldo, Pasanen, Schulz, Baumann (Jensen 63′), Borowski, Frings, Micoud, Owomoyela, Klasnic, Valdez (Hunt 83′).

Barcelona: Valdes, Belletti (Edmilso 45′), Marquez, Oleguer, Puyol, Deco, Giuly (Messi 66′), van Bronckhorst, Xavi (van Bommel 79′), Eto’o, Ronaldinho.

Villarreal vs. Manchester United 0:0

With two teams like Villarreal and Manchester United facing one another someone would think like a rain of goals would drop in that clash but both goalkeepers remained unbeaten despite the fact that the English representative was with one man down from 64th minute because of a stupid move by Wayne Rooney who applauded sarcastically to the referee when the man in black shown him a yellow card, what earned him a second booking that meant automatic early shower for the English youngster.

As for the match itself it was more or less leveled. But lets start from the beginning, Villarreal’s chief Manuel Pellegrini started the match in 4-4-2 formation with Kromkamp and Arruabarrena having the tasks to work on defensive flanks take the ball from midfield to attack where they would let it loose to Hector or Sorin to employ either Forland or Guayre, meanwhile Sir Alex Ferguson started the game with a clear 4-4-2 formation with Rooney and Van Nistelrooy up fornt.

Already in the 6th minute Manchester United had a serious chance to score, when Ronaldo crossed the ball at the far post where it was welcomed by Scholes who unleashed a solid effort but the ball was blocked by Villarreals midfielder Josico. The English side threatened Barbosa’s goal in 18th min when Mikael Silvestre headed the ball towards the net after a corner kick in 18th min but Villarreal’s goalkeeper was equal to the challenge and preserved his cleen sheet.

By the end of the first half there were a couple of chances on both ends. In 37th min one Villareal had an excellent attempt through their flankmen Arruabarrena who fired a volley shot from just eight meters distance but Edwin van der Sar put up a terrific display and made a save. After that Manchester almost struck the opener through Ronaldo’s free kick that was inches away to get in the goal of the crossbar but gone narrowly wide and then in 41st min the home side cleared Ferdinand’s header of the goal line.

After the interval Juan Pablo Sorin slid the ball to Forlan perfectly on the left flank but former United’s striker failed to make use of it and his shot went wide. From then on Manchester had a few chances but the Red Devils gone silent from the moment Rooney got sent off.

In 77th min Senna made a run down the right side of the penalty area and employed Sorin with a low cross but the experienced Argentinean’s attempt was well held by van der Sar. And finally in 89th min Senna fired a shot that deflected of Ferdinand and if Villarreal was more fortunate the ball would finish in the goal instead of it clipping the crossbar before finding safety in the corner.

Overall this can be considered a failure for the home side who almost had a man more on the pitch for half an hour but didn’t manage to do nothing with that advantage.

Benfica vs. Lille 1:0 (0:0
Goal scorer: Miccoli 92′.

The Dutch coach Ronald Koeman was very lucky this evening as the whole army of Benfica fans was set to deliver him a series of insults with the game coming to its end but then out of the blue the loaned Italian striker from Juventus, Fabrizio Miccoli, appeared in Lille’s box and scored the winning goal for the Portuguese Champion.

“This was very lucky, but we deserved it after having more control in the second half during which we created a lot more opportunities than our guests,” said Koeman who also added that his team has gained good confidence with this win which he hope they will boost up already in the next league game and improve their table status.

On the other side Lille’s coach Claude Puel stated that he has nothing to blame on his players, that they played very well and showed that the “small guys” can do a lot of damage as well.
The only goal of the match was scored in the second minute of the stoppage time when ran onto Pedro Mantorras cross and somehow placed a head shot that beat Tony Silva for 1:0 home side win. After the game was finished the Italian forward said that he never scored a more difficult goal in his career.

Line ups

Benfica: Moreira, Leo, Luisao, Nelson, Rocha (Beraldo 45′), Fernandes, Geovanni (Mantorras 80′), Petit (Karagounis 67′), Simao, Nuno Gomes, Miccoli.

Lille: Sylva, Chalme, Plestan, Schmitz, Tafforeau, Bodmer, Cabaye, Dernis (Lichtsteiner 84′), Gygax (Debuchy 45′), Makoun, Moussilou (Odemwingie 71′).