Tuesday, 21 October 2008

CL - MD3: Tuesday Review

Juventus 2-1 Real MadridA stunning Alessandro Del Piero goal helped Juventus secure a 2-1 victory over Real Madrid on Matchday 3 of the UEFA Champions League group stage, but Fiorentina were beaten 3-0 at Bayern Munich.

Goals early in either half from Alessandro Del Piero and Amauri sent Juventus to the top of Group H as they rolled back the years with an impressive win against Real Madrid in Turin. Del Piero was the architect of Juventus's 1-0 win against Zenit St. Petersburg last month and repeated the feat tonight, opening the scoring after five minutes with a spectacular strike. Amauri's header deservedly stretched Juve's lead just after the restart before the Spanish champions woke up, gaining a foothold through Ruud van Nistelrooy's 66th-minute header, though the hosts held fast at the back to ease the pressure on coach Claudio Ranieri.

'You're in our soul, immense and unique' read a banner in the Curva Filadelfia Sud as the Bianconeri fans lent their support to a side struggling in Serie A. The message was particularly resonant as the stadium observed a one-minute silence in remembrance of two fans who lost their lives following a coach accident in northern Italy en route to the match, where 26 persons from the Neuchatel Juventus supporters' club and other Switzerland-based Juve fans were also injured.

In the other game Fatih Tekke's goal ten minutes from time denied BATE Borisov a maiden victory in the Champions League group stage and earned Zenit their first point in the group. BATE took the lead thanks to half-time substitute Pavel Nekhaychik's cool finish after 52 minutes but Zenit, who had earlier struck the woodwork twice and passed up a host of other opportunities, finally drew level when Tekke.

Bayern Munich 3-0 FiorentinaBAYERN MUNICH 3-0 FIORENTINA
Luca Toni came back to haunt Fiorentina as he helped orchestrate a 3-0 Champions League victory for Bayern Munich against his former employers. Though he failed to get on the scoresheet, Toni had a hand in both of Bayern's first-half goals as Miroslav Klose and Bastian Schweinsteiger put the home side in command. Ze Roberto curled in a third late on as the German champions maintained their unbeaten start to Group F and cemented their hold on top spot in the section ahead of their reunion with the Viola in two weeks' time.

Cesare Prandelli's side are now three points behind Lyon, who kick-started their campaign after two goals apiece from Karim Benzema and substitute Fred helped them to a pulsating away victory against Steaua Bucharest. The French champions were two goals behind after eleven minutes as Arthuro and Dorin Goian put the hosts ahead. They were level by the 33rd minute, however, thanks to Benzema and Kader Keita and though Ovidiu Petre headed a third for Steaua just before the interval the second half was all Lyon. Fred equalised and two minutes later Benzema finally edged the visitors' noses in front though Steaua's challenge did not end until Fred scored again in added time.

In Group E, Dimitar Berbatov struck twice as Manchester United moved a step closer to the last 16 with a comprehensive 3-0 victory against Celtic. Once Bulgaria forward Berbatov had broken the deadlock on the half-hour there was an air of inevitability about the outcome of this one-sided Anglo-Scottish contest. Berbatov added his second after the interval, before Wayne Rooney rounded off the scoring with 14 minutes remaining.

Villarreal are level on points with the reigning champions after they emerged triumphant from a nine-goal thriller against Aalborg. The second-half power-play, led by substitute Joseba Llorente's hat-trick, will not erase a wonderful counterattack display by the Danish champions who nevertheless left empty handed. Two headers and a clever chip from Marek Saganowski, Thomas Enevoldsen and Andreas Johansson respectively first gave AaB the lead, then squared the match and finally restored late hope at 4-3. But replies from Giuseppe Rossi, Joan Capdevila, that devastating hat-trick from Llorente and a header from Robert Pires completed the Villarreal fightback.

In Group G, Arsenal ended Fenerbahce's 15-match unbeaten home European run in stunning style after early strikes by Emmanuel Adebayor and Theo Walcott gave them an advantage they never relinquished. A Mikael Silvestre own goal did not stop Arsenal's momentum thanks to Abou Diaby's strike. That was all in the first 22 minutes, and despite some frantic Fenerbah├že efforts, Alexandre Song made it 4-1 early in the second half. Although Daniel Guiza pulled another back, 17-year-old Aaron Ramsey had the last word and Arsenal look in control in the group.

Dynamo Kiev continued their vast improvement in the Champions League as a fabulous first-half free-kick from Olexandr Aliyev condemned Porto to only their second home defeat in 22 matches in the competition.

[Tuesday 21 Oct] - [Wednesday 22 Oct]

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