If you are not a member yet, you can sign up here

News Archive

Champions League, day six

With all three Spanish sides already sure of a place in the knockout stage there was little to play for on day six. However Valencia still had to face Manchester United in Old Trafford to decide the winner of their group, and the Ches put up a good fight before falling short after a 1-1 draw. Pablo Hernández put Emery's side one up at the break, but Anderson levelled it after the restart. Barcelona were already confirmed as the top team in their group, and Guardiola put out a line up packed with reserves and youngsters against Rubin Kazan. Even so they ran out 2-0 winners, with B team players Fontás and Víctor Vázquez getting the goals. On Wednesday Mourinho also changed much of his Real Madrid starting eleven against Auxerre, but they too had few problems beating the French side 4-0. Benzema took advantage to score a hat-trick, with Cristiano Ronaldo getting one in between. (08.12.10)

Real Madrid 4 - Auxerre 0

Real Madrid ended the group stage with five wins and a draw after beating Auxerre 4-0 in the last group game. Mourinho made several changes, giving the much criticised Benzema a run out in the centre forward spot. And the French striker took full advantage, scoring his side's 300th Champions League goal after Cristiano Ronaldo set him up in the eleventh minute. Ronaldo headed wide and Granero put Sorin to the test later in the first half, but Dudek also had to be on his toes to keep out Mignot and Oliech before picking up a knock and handing over to Adán on the stroke of half time. Ronaldo got his name on the scoresheet after picking up Marcelo's pass soon after the restart, and Benzema added two more later on to complete his hat-trick and send a message to his coach that he doesn't have to look elsewhere for a replacement for the injured Higuaín. (08.12.10)

Manchester United 1 - Valencia 1

Valencia qualify as second in their group after drawing 1-1 at Manchester United in their last group game. The Ches needed to win to overtake the English side in the table, and they started well when Chori Domínguez won the ball off Carrick and set up Pablo Hernández to beat Amos and open the scoring. Before that though Guaita had had to make a couple of good saves from Berbatov and Park, and soon after Pablo's goal Rooney rattled the crossbar with a shot from outside of the area. Berbatov headed wide and Guaita made a couple more stops from the Bulgarian striker and Nani after the restart, but with just under an hour gone the keeper could only push up a long shot from Park, and Anderson nipped in to equalise. After that though Valencia held on for an honourable draw, which if nothing else added €400,000 to their empty coffers. (07.12.10)

Barcelona 2 - Rubin Kazan 0

Barcelona had nothing to play for at all except for prize money and pride, and Guardiola only included first choice players Piqué and Busquets in his starting line up against Rubin Kazan. Surprisingly Barça had not been able to beat the Russian side in their three previous meetings, and Ansaldi almost caught out Pinto early on with a cross which nearly sneaked in on the near post. Injuries to Jeffren and Bojan further changed the coach's plans, and it was not until six minutes in to the second half that they took the lead, a shot from Fontàs deflecting off the hand of Kaleshin past his own keeper. Guardiola brought Messi on for the last half hour to amuse the crowd, and he came close to scoring a couple of times with shots from outside of the area. But it was another youngster Víctor Vázquez who wrapped things up, running on to Adriano's pass to beat Ryzhikov for a second time with seven minutes to go. (07.12.10)