Join Now  | 
Home About Contact Us Privacy & Security Advertise
Soccer America Daily Soccer World Daily Special Edition Around The Net Soccer Business Insider College Soccer Reporter Youth Soccer Reporter Soccer on TV Soccer America Classifieds Game Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalk Soccer America Confidential Youth Soccer Insider World Cup Watch
RSS Feeds Archives Manage Subscriptions Subscribe
Order Current Issue Subscribe Manage My Subscription Renew My Subscription Gift Subscription
My Account Join Now
Tournament Calendar Camps & Academies Soccer Glossary Classifieds
Basel battered by Barcelona
by Ian Plenderleith, October 23rd, 2008 7AM
Subscribe to Soccer America Daily



[UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE] After Tuesday night's fireworks in Champions League group play (36 goals in eight games), Wednesday was always going to have a hard time keeping up in terms of entertainment. Only Barcelona sparkled, knocking five past Basel, while four other teams -- including Chelsea and Inter Milan -- won by a single goal.

Chelsea's winner against Roma 12 minutes from time said much about the tight, lackluster game that preceded it, despite the forecast by Chelsea manager Luiz Felipe Scolari that the two sides would produce beautiful soccer. Defender John Terry glanced in a header straight from a corner kick, causing Scolari to reminisce about the times as Portugal's national team coach when Terry, playing for England, caused him fear by moving up to the attack. "Now I'm here and I tell Terry to go up there," Scolari said. "He got to the ball and it was a big moment for us."

The group's other game was also decided by a single goal, a horrific moment for CFR Cluj defender Cadu as his attempt to clear a shot ended in him slicing it past his own goalkeeper, Eduard Stancioui, who had been poised to catch the original strike. The defender almost got a second for the home team when he botched another clearance, but this time Stancioui was able to tip the ball over the bar. "Bordeaux Accepte Le Cadu" punned L'Equipe in its headline -- 'Bordeaux accepts the gift' (substituting Cadu for "cadeau").

In Group B, Inter made hard work of Anorthosis Famagusta in producing the night's third 1-0 margin, Adriano heading in just before halftime. "We know that the real Champions League begins after the group stage when there are those 12 or 13 teams in the running to win it," said Inter coach Jose Mourinho, barely suppressing a yawn as his team moved three points clear at the top. "For now, we just have to make as few mistakes as possible."

Werder Bremen took its third tie in three games, drawing 2-2 at Panathinaikos, though the German side was lucky not to have its first goal canceled out when defender Per Mertesacker clearly controlled a cross with his arm before thumping it in. Panathinaikos then grabbed the initiative, taking the lead through two headers from Evangelos Matzios and smacking the crossbar before Hugo Almeida leveled late for Werder. "We made a lot of mistakes, but we also did some good things," said Werder coach Thomas Schaaf. Which is about what you'd expect from a 2-2 scoreline.

In Group C, Barcelona disposed of Swiss champion FC Basel in short time, going 3-0 up by halfway through the first half. Lionel Messi's opener on Daniel Alves' chipped pass was the pick of the bunch, though 18-year-old Bojan Perez's brace of was a two-pack of fine finishing that helped take the final score to 5-0. "There are no easy games," claimed Barca coach Pep Guardiola, apparently with a straight face. "Only when we give the maximum are victories like this possible." In the group's other game, Sporting Lisbon edged hosts Shakhtar Donetsk on an opportunistic goal from Brazilian striker Liedson to put them three points behind Barcelona in second, and three ahead of Shakhtar.

Liverpool should have been more than 1-0 up at halftime away at Atletico Madrid, but Robbie Keane completely missed a perfect cross delivered to him right in front of goal by Steven Gerrard, despite having earlier given his side the lead with a strong finish from another Gerrard assist. In the second half Atletico came back strongly, having a clearly legitimate goal canceled for offside before Simao slotted in a late equalizer from a Diego Forlan pass.

Both teams are on seven points, four ahead of PSV, which broke its duck with a 2-0 home win over Olympique Marseille on a pair of late headers from Danny Koevermans. Marseille coach Eric Gerets threw in the towel, declaring, "The Champions League is over! I can't even begin to comprehend our second half. There was a world of difference between the two teams in terms of will, fitness and courage." It's the first time a French team has reached the halfway point of the CL group stage without picking up a single point, a stat unlikely to improve his temper.

Group A
Bordeaux 1 (Cadu OG) CFR Cluj 0
Chelsea 1 (Terry) Roma 0
Standings: Chelsea (7 points), Cluj (4), Roma (3), Bordeaux(3),

Group B
Inter Milan 1 (Adriano) Anorthosis Famagusta 0
Panathinaikos 2 (Mantzios 2) Werder Bremen 2 (Mertesacker, Hugo Almeida)
Standings: Inter (7 points), Anorthosis (4), Bremen (3), Panathinaikos (1).

Group C
Basel 0 Barcelona 5 (Messi, Busquets, Bojan 2, Xavi)
Shakhtar Donetsk 0 Sporting Lisbon 1 (Silva Liedson)
Standings: Barcelona (9 points), Sporting (6), Shakhtar (3), Basel (0),

Group D
Atletico Madrid 1 (Simao) Liverpool 1 (Keane)
PSV 2 (Koevermans 2) Marseille 0
Standings: Atletico (7 points), Liverpool (7 points), PSV (3), Marseille (0)



No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now



Recent Soccer America Daily
LA schedules announced for NSCAA and MLS events    
Los Angeles will be the place to be for soccer in January. It will for the ...
Calendar: 2016-17 MLS offseason    
Major League Soccer won't waste time getting down to the business of preparing for the 2017 ...
What They're Saying: Franz Beckenbauer    
"Carlos Alberto was like a brother to me, one of my best friends." -- Former German ...
MLS: Pending Barnetta exit adds incentive for Union    
Of the 12 playoff qualifiers, Philadelphia compiled the fewest points (42) and drew a daunting match ...
What They're Saying: Sacramento planning and design commissioner Cornelious Burke    
"This project in my opinion is a game changer." -- Sacramento planning and design commissioner Cornelious ...
USL Expansion: Tampa Bay and Ottawa leave NASL    
As the USL and MLS grow, the NASL shrinks. From its membership of 12 teams for ...
MLS Moves: Jahn's goals net him new contract in Columbus    
A rough season for Crew SC did yield some hope for the future, and as part ...
MLS Playoffs: Teams limp into Knockout Round    
Between them, the LA Galaxy and Real Salt Lake have made 11 MLS Cup appearances and ...
Video Pick: Carlos Alberto's wonder goal    
Carlos Alberto, who died at age 72 on Tuesday, scored one of the greatest World Cup ...
Video Pick: Sweet solo strike from Leipzig    
One of the reasons newly promoted RB Leipzig is only two points behind Bundesliga leader Bayern ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives