Champions League

News, commentary, tickets, pre and post match reaction alongside opinion about the world’s best tournament, the Champions League

Champions League

Champions League Draw Preview

The Champions League draw takes place at noon today EST. The English clubs are all in pot one, featuring the competition’s top seeds, and cannot play each other in this round. The posts are:

POT ONE
Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool, Barcelona, Arsenal, Lyon, Inter Milan, Real Madrid

POT TWO
Bayern Munich, PSV Eindhoven, Villarreal, Roma, FC Porto, Werder Bremen, Sporting Lisbon, Juventus

POT THREE
Marseille, Zenit St Petersburg, Steaua Bucharest, Panathinaikos, Bordeaux, Celtic, Basel, Fenerbahce

POT FOUR
Shakhtar Donetsk, Fiorentina, Atletico Madrid, Dynamo Kiev, CFR Cluj, Aalborg, Anorthosis Famagusta, Bate Borisov

Champions League Match Days:

Barcelona, Champions League, News, Serie A

Edu Could See Action This Weekend + Champions League News

Former Toronto FC midfielder Maurice Edu will likely be in the squad for Rangers on Sunday when the club faces rival Celtic in Glasgow.  If Edu arrives in the city on time, manager Walter Smith sees no reason why the US international would not factor into the Old Firm match.  Rangers spent £2.6m on Edu who agreed to a five-year deal.  He recently competed for the United States in a World Cup qualifier against Guatemala.  The 22-year-old also competed in the Olympic tournament in China.

In UEFA Champions League news:

Juventus, Barcelona, and Greek-power Panathinaikos all qualified for the group stage of the tournament. 

Champions League

Small Clubs Make Run at Champions League Group Stage

The second leg of the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round will conclude this week and several small clubs from throughout Europe are in position to qualify for the group stage.  A closer look follows.

Anorthosis Famagusta FC: The Cypriot squad defeated Greek power Olympiacos CFP by a score of 3-0 in the first leg.  If Anorthosis holds on, the club will be the first from Cyprus to qualify for the group stage of the UEFA Champions League.  The squad is captained by 35-year-old midfielder Nicos Nicolaou.  The Cypriot international has been with the club since 2001.

Arsenal, Champions League, Premier League

Nasri Lifts Arsenal to Win

Samir Nasri did not disappoint in his first match against Premiership neophytes West Bromwich Albion.  Beset by key injuries, Arsenal faded in the second half of the 2007-2008 campaign.  Several new additions this summer will hopefully allow supporters to forget about the likes of Mathieu Flamini, Alexander Hleb and Gilberto Silva as the Gunners make a run at the title.

The 21-year-old Frenchman struck early at the Emirates Stadium to the delight of the home crowd.  The left midfielder, who came over from Marseille for 12 million pounds, joins midfielders Amaury Bischoff and Aaron Ramsey as the additions to Arsène Wenger’s youthful squad.  Mexican international Carlos Vela also returns after spending time on loan in Spain most recently with Osasuna.

Champions League, Liverpool

Liverpool Struggle With Standard Liege

Liverpool’s Champions League ambitions were dented Wednesday with a far from impressive 0-0 draw in Belgium against Standard Liege. If it wasn’t for a penalty save by Jose Reina and a missed goal by the Norwegian ref Tom Henning Ovrebo, Liverpool coach Rafa Benitez would be telling his U.S. owners that the £20m that they would get for qualifying for the Champions League group stages was in serious doubt.

Liverpool gave Italian full-back Andrea Dossena and £20million new boy Robbie Keane their competitive Liverpool debuts, but the much-vaunted Fernando Torres and Keane was practically non-existent all game.
The Liverpool defense was unusually rocky and the Belgian champions could easily have won this game 3-0 if it was not for Reina.

Arsenal, Champions League

Arsenal Kids Beat FC Twente

A very young and inexperienced Arsenal team beat FC Twente in Holland 2-0 in their Champions League third round qualifier on Wednesday. Second half goals from captain William Gallas and Emmanuel Adebayor have Arsenal well positioned for the second leg at the Emirates Stadium on August 27th.

Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger was without Cesc Fábregas, Abou Diaby and Amaury Bischoff because of injury and Alex Song because of his presence at the Olympic Games. Injures to midfielders Tomas Rosicky and Samir Nasri further complicated things.

Champions League

Juventus Returns To Champions League In Style

Juventus marked its return to the European Champions League after an enforced two-year absence with a stylish 4-0 win over Slovakia’s Artmedia on Wednesday night.

Goals from Camoranesi, Del Piero, Chiellini and Legrottaglie made the return  leg in Slovakia all but academic for the Italian giants.

At Turin, Juventus got goals from Mauro. The club was relegated to Italy’s Serie B following the 2005-6 season for its role in a match-fixing scandal, then finished third in Serie A last season.

“The return to European Cup play is important, and the boys really wanted this win,” Juventus coach Claudio Ranieri said. “This is an important win, but we have to be sure to concentrate for the return game.”

Champions League

Arsenal vs FC Twente Top Champions League Qualifies

It’s Arsene Wenger vs the Wolly with the Brolly aka Steve McLaren as Arsenal will take on former the England boss and his FC Twente team in the Champions League third qualifying round. The ties will be played on August 12/13 and August 26/27. This will be a tough match up FC Twente as Arsenal were Champions League finalists in 2006 and quarter-finalists last season.

Champions League

Champions League Disaster For Rangers

Glasgow Rangers Champions League hopes are at best 50-50 after a very unimpressive 0-0 draw at home to Lithuanian side FBK Kaunas in their Champions League qualifying second-round, first-leg tie. The difference in fitness really showed in this game as Rangers struggled with match fitness, as they only recently returned for pre-season while the sharper Kaunas have played 15 league games already.

Yes Rangers were missing captain Barry Ferguson and last season’s top player Carlos Cuellar from the line-up but there should have been enough quality in the Rangers line-up to win the home leg.

Champions League

Thank You Andy Gray

I was just thinking last week that in order to get more people interested in watching soccer that U.S. Networks should add a European color commentator or play-by-play person in order to provide a quality broadcast.

The majority of the MLS announces are so bad that often I have to turn of the sound just to enjoy the game.

So imagine how happy I was to turn on Euro 2008 on ESPN and heard Sky Sports Commentator and studio analyst Andy Gray. Gray is a former Scotland National Team player and he has worked for Britain’s Sky Sports since 1990. He is one of Sky’s top commentators, and is a regular on Sky’s Premier League and England National Team broadcasts.