Wednesday, 22 October 2008

CL - MD3: Wednesday Review

Inter 1-0 Anorthosis FamagustaAn Adriano header proved vital as Inter secured a narrow victory over Anorthosis Famagusta on Matchday 3 of the UEFA Champions League while Roma's battling performance away from home wasn't enough at Chelsea.

Inter went three points clear at the Group B summit after overcoming Anorthosis Famagusta thanks to Adriano's second Champions League goal of the campaign. Adriano had scored a timely goal to seal Inter's 2-0 opening-night triumph against Panathinaikos and repeated the feat against a determined Anorthosis side. Just when it seemed the Cypriot outfit had managed to weather the first-half storm, Adriano struck, his header proving enough to earn a narrow win as the Nerazzurri's class told.

Hugo Almeida's late equaliser for Werder Bremen denied Panathinaikos a first victory in Group B. Striker Vangelis Mantzios appeared to have revived Panathinaikos's challenge by netting a superb double to overturn Per Mertesacker's opener for Bremen. But Almeida scored the third headed goal of the night seven minutes from time to frustrate local ambitions and earn the German club a third successive draw.

Chelsea 1-0 RomaCHELSEA 1-0 ROMA
Chelsea strengthened their hold on Group A when a header from John Terry 13 minutes from time finally broke the resistance of a Roma side who had battled hard and intelligently to keep the English side at bay in London. Terry rose to guide in Frank Lampard's corner just when it seemed that the Romans had earned a point. There were precious few clear-cut chances in the game, with the Roma closing down the spaces and defending well every time the ball came in from the flanks. Luciano Spalletti's side remain on three points – four behind Chelsea ahead of the return fixture in a fortnight – but will take comfort from a performance that was a considerable improvement after a run of poor results in Serie A.

CFR Cluj tasted defeat in the Champions League for the first time after an own goal from their captain Cadu kick-started Bordeaux's Group A campaign. Italian coach Maurizio Trombetta's team arrived in south-west France with four points from two games, and appeared capable of continuing the run, easily stifling Bordeaux in the first half. The French outfit improved after the break, though, sealing their first points in the group when Cadu deflected an innocuous-looking cross from Yoann Gourcuff, who's on loan from AC Milan, past a helpless Eduard Stancioiu nine minutes into the second period. Eugen Trica was sent off in the last minute for the Romanians.

Basel wore the red and blue but there was no mistaking Barcelona in Switzerland, the Spanish giants totally outclassing their Group C rivals to record a 5-0 win and march ever closer to the knockout stage with a 100% start. Barcelona's win looked inevitable as soon as Lionel Messi had struck for them with only four minutes gone. Sergi Busquets doubled the advantage eleven minutes later before teenager Bojan Krkic added a third. The visitors made an even better start to the second half than to the first, as Bojan scored his second goal and Xavi Hernandez notched the team's fifth within three minutes of the restart.

Liedson struck with 14 minutes left to give Sporting Lisbon a priceless victory in Group C's other game against Ukrainian outfit Shakhtar Donetsk.

A late equaliser from Simao denied Liverpool a third successive victory and earned Atletico Madrid a point which kept the Spanish side joint top of Group D. The visitors began the brighter and took an early advantage when Robbie Keane raced clear of the home defence to score. It looked like that solitary strike would be enough, but the home side stuck to their task and finally gained their reward with seven minutes left.

PSV Eindhoven breathed new life into their Champions League campaign as two second-half headers from Danny Koevermans secured a crucial victory against fellow Group D strugglers Marseille in the Netherlands.

[Tuesday 21 Oct] - [Wednesday 22 Oct]

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