Wednesday, 5 November 2008

CL - MD4: Wednesday Review

Real Madrid 0-2 JuventusJuventus have qualified for the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League after Alessandro Del Piero struck twice to defeat Real Madrid 2-0 in Spain, while Fiorentina's chances of qualification are fading after they failed to hold onto victory against Bayern Munich.

A superb goal in each half from captain Alessandro Del Piero gave Juventus a victory at Real Madrid which secured their place in the first knockout round with two matches to spare. Juve had not won on this ground in six visits yet with Madrid having failed to keep a clean sheet in their preceding nine games, chances were always likely to be forthcoming. So it proved as Del Piero took advantage of hesitant defending to curl in the opener early in the first half, before he ended the home team's challenge with a trademark free-kick midway through the second. A late shot centimetres past the post almost completed a memorable hat-trick for the No10, four days before his 34th birthday, though there was still much for the visitors to celebrate as they qualify for the last 16.

In the other Group H game, Zenit St Petersburg won their first ever Champions League game with a 2-0 win over BATE Borisov thanks to goals from Pavel Pogrebnyak and Danny.

Fiorentina 1-1 Bayern MunichFIORENTINA 1-1 BAYERN MUNICH
Tim Borowski's late leveller took Bayern Munich a step closer to the knockout stage but has left Fiorentina's hopes hanging by a thread after a 1-1 draw at the Stadio Artemio Franchi. Adrian Mutu's eleventh-minute volley put the Tuscans on course for their first victory in Group F, and they held Bayern at bay until 12 minutes from time when the pressure finally told with Borowski equalising. The outcome left Fiorentina needing wins in both of their remaining games and Bayern avoiding defeat against Lyon on the final matchday.

Lyon followed up their rousing victory at Steaua Bucharest a fortnight ago with a less flamboyant but equally important 2-0 success on home soil thanks to Juninho Pernambucano's superb free-kick and a late strike from Anthony Reveillere.

Ryan Giggs scored a late equaliser to earn Manchester United a point which moved the holders closer to the knockout stages and left Celtic still searching for their first victory in Group E. Scott McDonald had given the Scottish champions the lead after 13 minutes with a brilliant lob.

In the other game, a brilliant free-kick by Anders Due secured Aalborg's second point in Group E at the expense of high-flying Villarreal and kept the home club in contention. Villarreal were on course to take maximum plunder from their trip to Denmark when substitute Guille Franco gave them the lead for the second time after 75 minutes. But just as Giuseppe Rossi's opening goal had been cancelled out by Jeppe Curth soon after half-time, so the hosts summoned another equaliser, through Due, with the clock ticking down.

A Lucho volley two minutes into added time gave FC Porto a comeback victory at Dynamo Kiev which lifted the Portuguese champions above their opponents and into second place in Group G. Artem Milevskiy fired Dynamo in front midway through the first half yet Rolando headed Porto level in the 69th minute. Then, in a frantic finale, Dynamo hit the post, the visitors broke away to score with Lucho converting Lisandro's low cross, and the match-winner promptly saw a second yellow card for his celebrations.

In the other game, Fenerbahce kept their faint hopes of progress alive by frustrating Arsenal in a goalless draw in Group G in London.

[Tuesday 4 Nov] - [Wednesday 5 Nov]

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