Matchday 2 of the Uefa Champions League provided some remarkable results as well as a few disappointments for some of the clubs. I’ll start with the Winners. Of course the biggest winners on the day were Inter Milan, Tottenham, Schalke.
Making their debut in the tournament, nobody expected Tottenham to produce such a stelar display. In fact, they were considered the underdogs in Group A. Harry Redknapp has however, erased that titled when he led his team to a convincing 4-1 win over Dutch Champions FC Twente.
A very delighted Redknapp also expressed caution as he downplayed the tag of being favourites to progress to the next round. “We got off to a great start second half, got the two quick goals and I just felt we got a little bit sloppy for a little spell, people running with the ball instead of passing early,” he told Sky Sports.
“It’s a good start, but there’s still a long way to go, there’s still a lot of tough games. We’ve got two games, Inter home and away two tough games.”
It did not matter that Tottenham were awarded 3 penalties. The most important thing was that they grabbed all the points on offer.
Other big winners of the night were defending champions Inter Milan. It seems that Rafa Benitez could be building a very fashionable side this season especially after restoring striker Samuel Eto’o to his favoured central forward position.
The Cameroonian grabbed a hat rick to make him the top scorer in the tournament with 4 goals. Speaking after the match, Eto’o blasted former coach Jose Mourinho for what he called making him a ‘defender’.
“I’m happy to win as a striker after winning as a defender last season,” Eto’o said. “This is a victory for the whole team, though. The side played very well, even if we had important players missing, and the youngsters really impressed.”Inter demolished Weder Bremen 4-0 at the San Siro.
In Germany, Schalke beat Benfica 2-0 with former Real Madrid team mates Raul and Huntelaar playing important parts in the win. Huntelaar grabbed a goal to make it his first for the German side in this tournament.
Speaking to Uefa.com immediately after the match, this is what Raul had to say:
“It was an important victory for us and even more so after the defeat in the first match against Lyon,”
“We have two home matches left and this win today gives us renewed belief ahead of the next match against Hapoel Tel-Aviv.
We played well against a strong Benfica team and it’s the first step towards reaching the next round.
Just as there were winners, there were also losers on the day. Leading the pack is Spanish giants FC Barcelona, Real Madrid and Milan.
Barcelona were held to a 1-1 draw away to Rubin Kazan in what was expected to be a clean victory for the Catalan giants. Of course Kazan caused the biggest upset of the tournament last season when they beat Barca at home in the Group Stages of the tournament, however, this was a different team with a very lethal striker David Villa.
Play maker Iniesta believed that had the game gone on longer, the results would have been different.
“We gave the impression in the second half that the longer it went on the more likely it was that we’d get a second,” said Iniesta, “whereas maybe in the first we were lacking that belief due to the fact we were up against a very strong defence.”
Meanwhile, Real laboured to a slender 1-0 win to take them top of Group G as fellow challengers for Group supremacy Milan drew with a very impressive Ajax side making it harder for them to finish top.
Match day 3 will be played on the 19th and 20th of October.
Photo credit: from champions league