News Archive

Champions League - day 6

A very watered-down last round of games in the Champions League, with the fate of all four Spanish sides already decided two weeks or more ago. Real Madrid had already tied up first place in their group and Solari, like Valverde, gave a run out to some of his lesser used players against the already eliminated CSKA Moscow. However the move back-fired, the Russian side running out 0-3 winners to hand Madrid their biggest ever home defeat in Europe. Although Akinfeev was the busiest man on the park early on, Chalov and Schennikov scored twice with the visitors’ first shots at goal in the run up to half time. Asensio had hit the bar before that as well, but after the restart the CSKA’s keeper was hardly troubled, and Sigurdsson completed the humiliation with twenty minutes or so to go. As it happened, the only La Liga team to win this week were the only ones who hadn’t qualified for the knock-out stage, Valencia beating Manchester United 2-1 to at least ensure they are seeded for the Europa League. Carlos Soler opened the scoring on the quarter hour mark, and played a pass through for Jones to turn the ball into his own net under pressure from Batsuyashi at the start of the second half. With Juventus losing at Young Boys, a win would have given Mourinho’s side top spot in the group, but although Rashford headed one back, it was too late to change the result. (12.12.18)

Atlético Madrid could only draw 0-0 at Club Brugge on Tuesday evening, and with Borussia Dortmund beating Monaco in the other group game, Simeone’s side have to settle for second spot, behind the Germans on goal difference. Despite missing several injured and suspended players, the visitors started well, Thomas and in particular Griezmann bringing good saves out of Horvath before the break. Oblak also had work to do though, especially from a Luan Peres header after the restart, and in the end the game petered out to a draw. Brugge go into the Europa League as third in the group, but Atleti miss out on that top spot, and will now have to face a group champion in the first knock-out round. Barcelona were already sure of first place in their group though, and coach Valverde left several of his key players out of his starting line-up against Tottenham. With only seven minutes gone Dembélé ran through from his own half to open the scoring, and Coutinho hit the post once in each half. The Premier League side were playing for the second qualifying spot though, and Cillessen had to make important saves from Son, Eriksen and Lucas Moura. And with five minutes to go Moura got on the end of Kane’s cross to make it 1-1, a result which, with Inter Milan being held to a similar result at home to PSV, meant that Pochettino’s side will be joining Barça in next Monday’s draw. (11.12.18)