News Archive

Champions League day 6

Barcelona joined Real Madrid and Sevilla in the knock-out stage after coming from behind to beat Dynamo Kiev 1-2. Guardiola's side needed to avoid a two goal defeat to go through, but with only two minutes on the clock they went behind when Milevskyi got his head to Shevchenko's free kick, and Valdés saw the ball squeeze under his body in to the net. Keeper Shovkovskyi almost gifted a goal to Messi soon afterwards, but with just over half an hour gone a quick passing move ended with Abidal crossing in for Xavi to slide the ball in to the net. The away goal virtually ended any hope of a surprise result, and with five minutes to go Messi ensured top spot in the group with a well struck free kick in off the crossbar.

Sevilla also finished top of their group after a 1-0 win over Glasgow Rangers. The Andalusians were the only Spanish team who were already qualified coming in to the last day, but Jiménez still put out a strong side. And within seven minutes they took the lead, Kanouté converting a penalty after Fernando Navarro was fouled by Whittaker inside the area. The Mali striker had an effort cleared off the line before that, and Navas and Renato both went close before the break. And Zokora too could have increased the lead when he shot against the post after the restart. Rangers' only real chance came near the end when Nacho Novo shot just wide. (09.12.09)

Real Madrid ended the group stage at the top of group C after beating Olympique Marseille 1-3 on Tuesday night. Only a big defeat would have cost them a place in the next round, but with only five minutes on the clock Cristiano Ronaldo thumped home a long free kick to open the scoring. Lucho González took advantage of a bad clearance to equalise soon afterwards, but Ronaldo headed against the post before the break, and Albiol restored the lead on the hour mark following a corner. Lucho could have equalised again when he fired a penalty against the bar after Casillas brought down Niang, but with ten minutes to go Mandanda and Diawara bumped in to each other trying to close down Ronaldo, and the Portuguese forward rolled the ball in to the empty net.

Meanwhile Real's neighbours Atlético Madrid lost 0-3 at home to Porto, but they still scraped through to the Europa League after APOEL failed to win at Chelsea. Within a couple of minutes they were behind when Bruno Alves headed a corner wide of Asenjo, and soon afterwards Falcao made it two after the keeper failed to hold on to Facile's long shot. And with a quarter of an hour to go Hulk finished things off with a powerful shot in off the crossbar to hand Atlético one of their biggest home defeats in Europe. For a short while APOEL were actually winning at Stamford Bridge, but in the end they drew 2-2, allowing Quique's side to qualify on the head-to-head rule. (08.12.09)