Shevchenko showed he has lost none of his predatory sharpness by turning in Andriy Yarmolenko’s inviting cross on 25 minutes. Then, Manchester City were enjoying their most promising period of the night when Gusev doubled the hosts’ lead 13 minutes from time. The Ukrainian team may never have won in England, but that will be of little concern ahead of the return match in seven days’ time.
Alan punished Sotiris Kyrgiakos’s trip on Mossoró after 18 minutes of an encounter which the hosts controlled before the break. Although Liverpool perked up in the second half, particularly after the introduction of club-record signing Andy Carroll, they seldom looked like scoring what would have been only their second away goal in the competition proper this term.
Both teams had their chances in an even game in Greece, but neither was able to make the decisive breakthrough and they will reconvene at the City of Manchester Stadium with the tie goalless. Roberto Mancini’s side, looking to repeat or better their 2008/09 team, when they reached the quarter-finals, will seek to finish the job on 24 February.
Luigi Delneri’s visitors took an early lead through Vincenzo Iaquinta’s long-range effort but Johnson levelled 26 minutes later. City lacked the spark to open up the visitors a second time, though, and Juventus almost grabbed all three points when Alessandro Del Piero’s late free-kick hit the crossbar with Joe Hart well beaten.
Juve’s opener came out of the blue. There seemed no danger when Iaquinta cut inside from the left some 30 metres from goal. He let fly a diagonal effort which clipped Kolo Touré’s head and flew past Joe Hart low to the goalkeeper’s left.
After an entertaining 2 days of Uefa Champions League action, attention shifts back to Europe’s second tier club competition the Europa League. Tonight Liverpool host Atletico Madriod while Hamburg SV travel to Craven Cottage to face Fulham. This will be a night of tense emotion as all clubs involved will be looking to make it through to the final.
Liverpool’s only realistic chance of ending the season with some silverware depends on the outcome of their return leg fixture against Ateletico Madrid at Anfield tonight.
With volcanic ash still spewing from the volcano in Iceland the skies over Europe are still cloudy, but airlines have run test flights and found no damage to their planes’ engines. This coupled with the ability to travel by train and ferry in Europe has caused UEFA to allow the matches in the Champion’s League on Tuesday and Thursday to go on as scheduled.
They are also trying to figure out what to do in the Europa League as they said in a statement:
When Valencia forward Juan Mata said that their Europa League tie against against fellow Spanish club Atletico Madrid would produce a significant number of goals, i was very skeptical. Considering the number of injuries and suspensions that both clubs faced a barren draw is what i had envisioned.
However, not only did the tie live up to its billing, it also set fans up for an interesting return leg fixture. A late David Villa goal salvaged a 2-2 draw for Valencia that gives the hope when they head to the Vicente Calderon stadium in a week’s time for the return leg fixture.
Tonight’s all Spanish Europa League quarter final fixture between 3rd place Valencia and 10th place Atletico Madrid should be an entertaining fixture considering the fact that both these teams are way off the pace in the La Liga title race.
Coming off yet another bad result over the weekend, Valencia will want to erase the memories of the 3-0 drubbing they received at the hands of Real Zaragoza. This is the second time in as many weeks that the club have lost 3-0 the first coming at the hands of Barcelona.
Attention shifts back to Europe’s second tier club competition with Fulham welcoming the Bianconeri to Craven Cottage for their return leg fixture of their last 16 tie. Juventus won this match 3-1 two weeks ago and they are in pole position to progress to the quarter finals.
Alessandro Del Piero was the mastermind of their victory and his performances have left Alberto Zaccheroni with no other option but to include him in his squad for tonight’s game. Juventus have had one of their worst seasons in a very long time. This has left the club fighting for a top four finish and a spot in the lucrative Champions League.
Let’s use our heads people!
There seems to be some confusion over what some people thought were harsh and uninformed comments about Fabio Capello. Listen, I know what a good Soccer mind is and that’s not at question. I know he won Serie A like 5000 times. I get it! Here’s the problem: What do we know now?
For example: Liverpool starts there Europa League campaign today. They saay they’re ready to breakout from this pathetic season. Do you believe them? I’m going with what I know…they’ll have a hard time.