December 9th, 2010
Champions League Results: Your Handy Eighty Page Guide
Arsenal bubbas in a three seater stroller? If only… (Getty Images/Zimbio)
At last. We do find games in the Champions League group stages exciting, we really do. But we don’t apologise for offering forth a squeal of joy now they are over and the draw for the knock outs is about to take place. This is where the real pain begins, people.
Please enjoy a nice cup of vodka tea and possibly some sandwiches while you browse through our group qualifiers report in order to prepare yourselves.
The surprise package of the group stages, Tottenham Hotspur finished at the top of Group A with the most goals so far in the competition, eighteen. Their 3-3 away draw at FC Twente means that they will avoid the likes of Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich in Friday’s draw, good news for fans of their attacking brand of football. Anyone fancy a punt on Gareth Bale and Co for the final?
Fellow Group A qualifiers and current European Champions Inter Milan have slightly less to be cheery about; they limped into the final sixteen after receiving a 3-0 slapping at the hands of Werder Bremen. If it’s any consolation, Davide Santon looked very nice in his tights (above left) while this was happening.
Despite last weekend’s win over champions Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga, Schalke 04’s relatively poor run of league form has left them drifting lifelessly around the bottom of the table. Not in Europe, though. Oh no. A 2-1 away win over Benfica (left) sees the German side finish top of Group B with thirteen points. We’re pleased, if only because it means we get to carry on perving on Raul and Huntelaar. We’re very shallow, y’know. (Reuters/Daylife)
Qualifying in second spot with ten points are Lyon, who drew 2-2 with Hapoel Tel Aviv.
Manchester United and Valencia’s 1-1 draw on Tuesday put both sides comfortably through, although we can’t say the whole thing excited us terribly. Other Group C candidates Rangers and Bursaspor barely threatened with six and one point(s) respectively.
However, the game wasn’t a complete washout; Nani displayed some quite astonishing muscle definition (left) which we spent some time considering. You might like to, as well. (Getty Images/Daylife)
A similar situation unfolded in Group D, where Barcelona and FC Copehagen qualified comfortably over stragglers Rubin Kazan and Panathinaikos. In fact, the only surprise was that Lionel Messi failed to score, the goals in Barca’s 2-0 win over Rubin coming from Victor Vazquez (left) and debutante Andreu Fontas. (AP Photo/Daylife)
In other news, FC Copenhagen beat Panathinkaikos 3-1.
Like Schalke, Bayern Munich are enduring a patchy run of form in the Bundesliga, but qualified group leaders with a hefty fifteen points after a 3-0 win over Basle. Meanwhile, Marco Borriello’s (left) goal gave Roma a 1-1 draw with Cluj, sufficient to propel the Italian side in second. (AP Photo/Daylife)
Quite frankly, we’re just relieved that there will be more Borri available for our perusal in the knock out stages. The competition would have been dead to us, otherwise.
Is it contagious? Crap form in the league, great form in Europe? Well, despite qualifying comfortably with fifteen points, Chelsea fans might have something to say about that, their sides’ 1-0 defeat away at Marseille making their run in all competitions a miserable two wins in eight games. Please enjoy this photo of Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti (left). While you still can. (AP Photo/Daylife)
In other news Marseille also qualified, leaving Spartak Moscow and MSK Zilina languishing in their wake.
Qualifying with the highest points total across the groups, Real Madrid did not feel the need to ease up on Auxerre, a hat trick for Karim Benzema (left) and a spare one from Cristiano Ronaldo nailing home their 4-0 win. (Getty Images/Daylife)
Auxerre subsequently finished bottom of the group whilst AC Milan squeaked into second, despite losing 2-0 to Ajax.
Arsenal’s propensity for throwing easy points down the toilet could come back to bite them; their 3-1 victory over Partizan Belgrade wasn’t sufficient to see them win the group. Second place leaves them open to possible knock out matches against Barcelona, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich or Schalke. This prospect does not appear to be worrying Robin Van Persie though, post match he stated he expressed a preference to play the Spanish sides in the latter stages. As do we, RVP, as do we.
The group was won by Shakhtar Donetsk, who beat Braga 2-0 with late goals from Razvan Rat (um.. left) and Luiz Adriano. (Reuters/Daylife)
Pleased it’s all coming to fruition, Kickettes? Or frustrated by your team’s performance? Let us know.