Morbo Minute–European Round Up

I found time to watch a Champions League game on each MatchDay and was rewarded with six goals.  MatchDay 5 approaches with several mouthwatering and do or die ties (AC Milan v FCB, Lyon v Ajax, Manchester United v Benfica and Bayer v Chelsea), but here are the scores and comments on MatchDay 4.

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TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 1, 2011

Racing Genk                        1-1      Chelsea

Valencia                            3-1       Bayer Leverkusen

Valencia got off to a great start in this must win game with a goal inside of 12 seconds and for 20 minutes or so were in complete control, but Bayer eventually found their pressuring rhythm, and Valencia went off the rails in a hurry.  Kiessling scored after 31 minutes, and the hosts couldn’t quite get the slickness back of the opening period.  But then a surge of energy in the second period from Los Che generated a cheeky goal from Soldado.  After that, Uncle Mo switched to the Spanish side and the Germans ran out of gas.  A third goal came from Rami off a corner kick and Valencia earned three vital points.

They are currently third with 5 points, one point behind Bayer and three points behind Chelsea.  Next up is Genk at home.  Los Che will probably need all three points as they travel to Stamford Bridge on MatchDay 6.

On a sadder note, Valencia may have lost Banega for six weeks.

Arsenal                              0-0       Marseille

Borussia Dortmund       1-0       Olympiakos

Zenit St Petersburg       1-0       Shakhtar Donetsk

Apoel Nicosia                  2-1       FC Porto

BATE Borisov                   1-1       AC Milan

Viktoria Plzen                   0-4      Barcelona

FCB smacked around Viktoria Plzen but the Czech team was hard done by the ref. Plzen had a chance to take an early lead on a breakaway but VV held his ground and denied Petrzela.  Just minutes later, Messi skipped into the penalty area and was taken down by Cisovski.  The result was a PK and a straight red.  To be fair, the card was harsh. The keeper was coming to make a save, and I think a yellow would have been just.  After that, it was pretty much one way traffic with Messi getting a second before half time.  Cesc added a third before Messi finished his hat trick after rounding the keeper.

Total Barca wrapped up the game and commented on how Pep is working on developing depth in the squad.

Both AC Milan and FCB have qualified, and with the Rossoneri drawing, the Blaugrana are in control of the group.  A draw in a couple of weeks will all but assure them top spot in the group.

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 2011

Bayern Munich                  3-2      Napoli

Villarreal                           0-3      Manchester City

The Yellow Submarine are out of Europe.  Period.  Watch the highlights.  Shambolic defending plus injuries to key players made this a miserable campaign.  They must now pick themselves up and concentrate on improving their place in La Liga.

Internazionale                   2-1      Lille

Trabzonspor                       0-0       CSKA Moscow

Benfica                                   1-1       FC Basel

Manchester United           2-0       Otelul Galati

Ajax Amsterdam               4-0       Dinamo Zagreb

Lyon                                       0-2       Real Madrid

For 35’ Real Madrid pinned back Lyon and battered them.  Slowly the hosts worked themselves back into the game and really should have punished Los Blancos, who became complacent and sloppy. Lyon had several quality chances but left their finishing boots in the locker room.  CR7’s sick free kick in the first half and solid penalty in the second sealed the points.

Madridista Mac was relieved that the curse of Lyon was broken and had a couple interesting player notes from the game.

Real Madrid are through as group winners and now Lyon will have to beat Ajax at home in a couple of weeks to give themselves a chance to progress.

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Both Spanish teams are doing well in the Europa League.  Bilbao won away at Salzburg 1-0 with a goal from Ander, which keeps them top of the group.  A point at home in their next match against Slovan Bratislava ensures qualification to the next round.  All three points and then they will only need a draw in the last match day away to PSG.  As for Atletico, they crushed Udinese 4-0.  Two draws will see them through to the next round.  Their next match is away to Celtic before finishing against Rennes at the Calderon.

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