November 4th, 2010
Champions League Results: The Excitement (& Bendy) Is Mounting
Benfica’s Javier Garcia has been reading his Kickette Manual. Chapter One: Meeting Yoann Gourcuff (Reuters/Daylife)
Like the Kickette Home Brew we’ve got festering in the broom cupboard for the Christmas party, this year’s Champions League is really starting to hot up. Please join us for a vintage round up of Match Day 4 fixtures. And if we suddenly stop posting for any reason over the next few days, bear with us. There’s some weirdy noises and smells coming from that end of the office. We’ve nominated an intern and prepared her for any eventuality. She’s going in. Bless her.
Love ‘em or hate ‘em, Chelsea’s imperious form in both the EPL and Europe makes it tough to see past them for either title. Carlo Ancelotti thinks so, anyway. The Blues qualified for the knockout stages of the Champions League last night with a 4-1 win over Spartak Moscow via goals from Anelka, Drogba and two from Branislav Ivanovic. You think they’re beatable, Kickettes?
Arsenal’s 5-1 thrashing of Shakhtar Donetsk at the Emirates a fortnight ago was tempered somewhat by defeat in the return leg; Wenger’s adorkable boys were beaten 2-1 in Ukraine, the winning goal scored by former Gunner Eduardo. Even Nicklas Bendtner’s avant garde tackling technique (left) failed to inspire, but if you’re reading Bendy, feel free to pop round to Kickette HQ to practice. Arsenal are top of Group H, but equal on points with Donetsk with two fixtures to play. (Getty Images/Zimbio)
Holders Inter Milan were unceremoniously dumped out of the competition by ‘The Gareth Bale Show’ (supporting cast members from the Spurs Theatre Group). After a first leg hat trick, Bale steered his side to a 3-1 victory at White Hart Lane, setting up goals for Peter Crouch and Roman Pavlyuchenko and has been hailed as ‘one of the finest left sided players in the world’ for his trouble. Our recent Sizzle Query on the Welsh Wonder prompted quite a response from you guys too. A great week all round then, Gaz!
Injuries to Nani and Darren Fletcher were the blots on an otherwise superb night for Manchester United. A 3-0 away win at Bursaspor took United to a comfortable three point lead at the top of Group C, only requiring one point from their two remaining games to qualify. On the plus side, two of their goals were scored by kidlings Obertan and Bebe, an ominous sign for anyone familiar with Alex Ferguson’s rebuilding techniques.
Jose Mourinho made a typically understated return to the San Siro for Real Madrid’s clash with AC Milan, a match that finished honours even at 2-2. Real dominated the game for periods of the first half but were unable to convert many of the chances they created, Gonzalo Higuain (left) finally netting just before half time.
Milan equalised and then took the lead via two from Philippe Inzaghi, but Pedro Leon scored a last gasp equaliser in stoppage time to ensure Madrid’s qualification. Cristiano Ronaldo spent much of the match either rolling around on his back or performing segments from Riverdance (0.31), but we’ve decided to forgive him on the grounds of… well, this. Dammit.
Schalke, having slipped into the relegation places in the Bundesliga, could not turn around their run of poor form for the CL, a 0-0 draw at Hapoel Tel-Aviv seeing them in second in Group B. Fortunately (for Schalke) despite a Spurs-esque comeback attempt, Lyon were on the wrong end of a 4-3 score line at Benfica so the French side remain top. Yoann Gourcuff (lead pic) scored for Lyon and unfortunately remained safely ensconced in his shorts for the remainder of the game.
Elsewhere, FC Twente beat Werder Bremen 2-0, Barcelona were held 1-1 at FC Copenhagen and Valencia all but ended Rangers hopes of qualification with a 3-0 victory at the Estadio Mestalla. Roma had a scary five minutes at the end of their game against Basle; a 3-0 lead slipping to a 3-2 result through late goals from Basle’s Frei and Shaquiri.
Another hat trick for Mario Gomez plus a late strike from Thomas Mueller against Cluj put Bayern Munich through to the knockout stages, while special mention must go to Marseille who achieved the biggest away win in Champions League history with a 7-0 drubbing of MSK Zilina. You’d think Andre-Pierre Gignac, who scored three of them, would be a bit more cheery, wouldn’t you?
Still, at least he popped his tummy out for pervies ladies. (Getty Images/Daylife)
Kickettes? Your thoughts?