Wednesday, 26 November 2008

CL - MD5: Wednesday Review

CFR Cluj 1-3 RomaRoma recorded a potentially decisive 3-1 win at Cluj to take control of their UEFA Champions League group while Inter have qualified for the last 16 despite a shock 1-0 home defeat to Panathinaikos.

Matteo Brighi scored twice in a clinical 3-1 victory in Transylvania to take Roma within touching distance of the last 16 and extinguish any lingering chance Cluj had of progressing. Brighi opened the scoring with his first Champions League goal before Francesco Totti doubled Roma's lead with a wonderful free-kick. Any notions that CFR would buckle were dispelled seven minutes later when Yssouf Kone headed in from close range, but Brighi struck again after 64 minutes to put the result beyond doubt. The win took Luciano Spalletti's Roma into first place in Group A and now need just a draw in their final game at home to Bordeaux to secure qualification, while a win will give them top spot.

Alou Diarra's late goal for Bordeaux secured a share of the spoils against ten-man Chelsea in the other game. The visitors opened the scoring through Nicolas Anelka before having Frank Lampard sent off late on.

Inter 0-1 PanathinaikosINTER 0-1 PANATHINAIKOS
Inter reached the knockout phase of the Champions League despite losing at home to Panathinaikos to Jose Sarriegi's second-half strike. The Greek visitors, who survived a frantic spell of late Inter pressure unscathed, also lived to fight another day having moved into second place in Group B, after Sarriegi turned in from close range following a corner. The win put Panathinaikos a point behind the Serie A champions and was accompanied by a 2-2 draw between Anorthosis Famagusta and Werder Bremen.

Anorthosis Famagusta's hopes of consolidating second spot in Group B evaporated in the face of a late Werder Bremen fightback as the hosts let slip a two-goal lead in Nicosia. Quick-fire strikes midway through the second half from Nikos Nikolaou and Savio seemed to have taken Anorthosis another step towards the knockout rounds. Yet their chances of a second home victory were undone by a Bremen revival that produced goals for Diego and Hugo Almeida. The draw, combined with Panathinaikos's win, left Anorthosis third in the group.

Barcelona continued their Champions League goal spree as they confirmed themselves as Group C winners with an impressive victory at Sporting Lisbon. With both sides having secured progress, first place was at stake in Lisbon and first-half strikes from Thierry Henry and Gerard Pique were followed by a Lionel Messi effort early in the second period as Barca took command. Miguel Veloso and Liedson briefly threatened to haul Sporting back into contention but Marco Caneira's own goal swiftly made it 4-2 and substitute Bojan Krkic added a fifth from the penalty spot.

Shakhtar Donetsk will compete in the UEFA Cup having clinched third place in Group C with a comfortable 5-0 defeat of FC Basel. Jadson was the Ukrainian side's hero with a hat-trick, breaking the deadlock in the 32nd minute. Willian's superb solo effort made it 2-0 early in the second half and Jadson scored twice in quick succession to kill of any lingering Basel hopes, substitute Yevgen Seleznov adding a fifth to complete Shakhtar's win.

First-half goals from Simao and Maxi Rodriguez were enough to earn Atletico Madrid a place in the knockout rounds, leaving PSV Eindhoven to fight for third in Group D and a UEFA Cup place. The result never really looked in doubt as the home side raced into a 2-0 lead, Simao breaking the deadlock on 14 minutes and then supplying the corner that led to Maxi's second just before the half-hour. PSV re-emerged a different team after half-time, and an early Danny Koevermans strike brought them back into a game they had to win to keep their hopes of qualification alive, but they never really threatened an equaliser.

Steven Gerrard headed the only goal against Marseille to send Liverpool into the last 16 in Group D's other game.

[Tuesday 25 Nov] - [Wednesday 26 Nov]

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