News Archive

Champions League day 5

Real Madrid are virtually sure of a place in the knock-out stage after a 1-0 win over FC Zurich on Wednesday evening. It was not a confident win though, and there whistles from sections of the home crowd at the end. For the second match in a row Higuaín got the only goal, running on to Kaká's through ball to beat Leoni midway through the first half. Kaká and Xabi Alonso brought good saves out of the keeper, and Marcelo hit the post before the break, but after the restart the pace slowed, and only the return of Cristian Ronaldo created any interest for the frustrated fans.

A lack-lustre performance by Atlético Madrid as well, although a 1-1 draw at APOEL Nicosia should at least be enough to see them tie up a berth in the Europa League. Quique Sánchez Flores's side got off to a bad start when ex-Cádiz striker "Mortadelo" Mirosavljevic turned in a cross from Alexandrou in the fifth minute. And even with a strong attacking line-up they were only able to beat Chiotis once, Simao firing a shot back in to the net after the keeper pushed out Agüero's cross on the hour mark. (25.11.09)

Relief for Barcelona after a 2-0 win over Inter Milan on Tuesday evening took them two points clear at the top of their group. With Messi and Ibrahimovic on the side-lines there was concern that a defeat could leave them out of the competition. But with ten minutes on the clock Piqué fired a shot past Julio César after Henry headed on Xavi's corner, and a quarter of an hour later Pedro made it two after connecting with Dani Alves's high cross. Guardiola's side only need a point in their last game in Kiev to go through, and a defeat would be enough if scores were in their favour.

Sevilla lost 1-0 to Unirea Urziceni in the other Tuesday night match involving a Spanish team, although it didn't matter too much as the Andalusians had already made sure of a place in the last sixteen. Brandán had a goal disallowed for the locals early on, but Kanouté and Negredo both hit the woodwork a few minutes later. However Dragutinovic somehow managed to steer Brandán's long free kick in to his own net on the stroke of half time. Varga had two or three chances to add to the result after the restart, but Perotti, Konko and Kuis Fabiano all could have equalised later on. (24.11.09)