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Worrying Week for Italian Teams in Europe

It was a bad week for Italian teams in the Champions League, writes ESPN Soccernet Italy correspondent Roberto Gotta. None of the Serie A clubs in the competition managed to win their first-leg game, which was compounded by the fact that AS Roma and Inter Milan, the two best teams in Italy this season, played their first legs at home. That said, none of them lost either, which means some good performances could see Italy's powerhouses through to the next round.

Of the three, Inter is in the worst shape after conceding two goals at home to Valencia. The Mestalla is not an easy place to steal a win, and scoring two goals or more will prove a tough task to say the least. But Inter was also the only Italian team to score this week. Zero-zero draws for both Roma and AC Milan mean Roma must score and not lose when it travels to Lyon in 10 days and AC Milan must win when it hosts Scottish champ Celtic on March 7.

All in all, the worrying sign for the Italian clubs is that none of them looked worthy of a better result. Gotta says both Roma and Inter are quite capable of scoring away from home, but he worries that for AC Milan, who will be without the Cup-tied Ronaldo for the remainder of the competition, the burden of scoring goals may fall too heavily on Kaka with Filippo Inzaghi injured and Ricardo Oliveira and Alberto Gilardino showing frequent dips in form.

Read the whole story at ESPN Soccernet »

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