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
United, Bayern, Porto and Juve top groups
by Ian Plenderleith, December 11th, 2008 7AM
Subscribe to Soccer America Daily

MOST READ

MOST COMMENTED

[UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE]It must be nearly Christmas -- the Champions League group phase is finally over. With the qualifiers in Groups E to H already decided a fortnight ago, Wednesday night's action served only to determine who would be group winners, and the fate of two remaining UEFA Cup slots. Excited? We could hardly bare to watch.
 
How important is it to win the group? It means your round of 16 two-legged game will be against a second-place team, but as those include Inter Milan, Arsenal, Chelsea and Real Madrid, it hardly guarantees an easy passage to the quarterfinal. This might explain why a number of coaches with teams competing for top spot fielded less than first-choice lineups. With qualification already assured, why go flat out for top spot when the advantage is, at best, questionable?
 
So anyway, here's what happened. Champions League perennials Manchester United won Group E, despite being held at home by Aalborg in a 2-2 tie, because Villarreal lost, 2-0, at already eliminated Celtic. To hear the commentators on ESPN2, you'd have thought it was the soccer shock of the century that the Danish champion dared to score not once, but twice, at the hallowed "theater of dreams." Of possible interest -- neither U.S. striker Jozy Altidore nor N.J.-born Giuseppe Rossi were on the Villarreal roster.
 
In Group F, Bayern Munich won, 3-2, at Lyon to take the group after taking a 3-0 halftime lead through two goals from Miroslav Klose and one from Franck Ribery. Lyon came back after the interval through goals from Sidney Govou and Karim Benzema. Fiorentina clinched third place and the UEFA Cup slot by winning 1-0 at Steaua Bucharest on a header from in-form striker Albert Gilardino, his fourth of the CL campaign to go with his 11 Serie A goals.
 
In Group G, Porto avenged its 4-0 defeat to Arsenal in September with a 2-0 home victory to overtake the north London team and top the standings. Bruno Alvesand Lisandro Lopez scored either side of halftime. Kiev edged Fenerbahce 1-0 thanks to a goal from Finnish midfielder Roman Eremenko, ensuring itself a place in the UEFA Cup round of 32.
 
Finally, in Group H Juventus clinched top spot in swashbuckling Italian style with a 0-0 draw at home to Belarusian champion BATE Borisov. Real Madrid won its first game of the Juande Ramosera with a 3-0 home win over Zenit St. Petersburg, ensuring that Ramos keeps his job at least until the weekend.
 
The draw for the round of 16 will take place Dec. 19. The first legs of the home-and-away ties will take place February 24-25, the return games will be two weeks later on March 10-11.
 
RESULTS:
Group E
Manchester United 2 (Tevez, Rooney) Aalborg 2 (Jakobsen, Curth).
Celtic 2 (Maloney, McGeady) Villarreal 0.
Standings: Man. United (10 points), Villarreal (9), Aalborg (6), Celtic (5).
 
Group F
Steaua Bucharest 0 Fiorentina 1 (Gilardino).
Lyon 2 (Govou, Benzema) Bayern Munich 3 (Klose 2, Ribery).
Standings:Bayern (14 points), Lyon (11), Fiorentina (6), Steaua Bucharest (1).
 
Group G
Dynamo Kiev 1 (Eremenko) Fenerbahce 0.
Porto 2 (Bruno Alves, Lisandro Lopez) Arsenal 0.
Standings:FC Porto (12 points), Arsenal (11), Kiev (8), Fenerbahce (2)
 
Group H
Real Madrid 3 (Raul 2, Robben) Zenit St. Petersburg 0.
Juventus 0 BATE 0.
Standings: Juventus (12 points), Real Madrid (12), Zenit St. Petersburg (5), BATE (3)
 
Round of 16 lineup:
(First-seed group winners) Manchester United, Juventus, Panathinaikos, Porto, Bayern Munich, Roma, Liverpool, Barcelona.
(Second-seed runners-up) Villareal, Atletico Madrid, Inter Milan, Real Madrid, Arsenal, Lyon, Sporting Lisbon, Chelsea.

Note:Teams from the same domestic leagues can not be drawn against each other until the quarterfinal stage.

 

 



No comments yet.

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




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
U.S. Abroad: Another convincing win for Pulisic's Borussia Dortmund    
Borussia Dortmund completed its second perfect week in a row when it beat Freiburg, 3-1, to ...
NWSL: Reign and Flash fight for final playoff berth    
The Seattle Reign, winner of the 2014 and 2015 NWSL Shield as regular-season champion, still has ...
NWSL: Edwards to retire after three pro titles    
Orlando Pride midfielder Becky Edwards, 28, will retire after Saturday's Pride game against FC Kansas City ...
This week in men's college soccer    
No. 1 Syracuse is off to its best start in school history -- starting out 8-0-0 ...
MLS Countdown: Lions and Kreis face crucial test at RFK    
A Saturday game between D.C. United and Orlando City matches teams with identical 7-9-13 records and ...
NASL owners remain 'undaunted' amid turmoil    
In response to reports of its potential unraveling, the six-year-old North American Soccer League issued a ...
What They're Saying: Eddie Rodger    
"They didn't just burn bridges with the local soccer community, they nuked them. It's disgraceful. They ...
MLS Moves: Pomykal will wear No. 19 in Rhine's memory    
Five years after former FC Dallas midfielder Bobby Rhine died suddenly and the team unofficially retired ...
What They're Saying: Jose Mourinho    
"I know that some football Einsteins -- football is full of Einsteins -- I know that ...
Video Pick: The Dancing Announcer of Leipzig    
Leipzig stadium announcer Tim Thoelke takes the field and adds some flair to the lineup announcement ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives