Thursday, March 11, 2010

Lyon Knock out Real Madrid and Bayern Edge past Fiorentina plus Europa League results

And epic first week to the second leg of the Champions League round of 16, epic matches that showcase some fantastic young talents. Not only this, but the first leg of Europa League round of 16 ended with some interesting results...

Europa League 1st leg results:

Juventus get a 3-1 win against Fulham, but Roy Hodgson's side has a crucial away goal.

Panathinaikos slip up at home against Standard Liege, losing 3-1 at home.

Valencia and Werder Bremen fought out a 1-1 draw which had Valencia play without Banega for over 30 minutes after the promising young midfielder was sent off.

Hamburger have little trouble against Anderlecht winning 3-1 at home thanks to Mathijsen, Van Nilsterooy, and Jarolim.

Rubin Kazan and Wolfsburg drew 1-1 as did Benfica and Olympique Marseille.

Atletico Madrid and Sporting Lisbon battled out a 0-0 draw, Sporting had two men sent off and Atletico failed to capitalize.

Liverpool fall poorly against Lille losing 1-0, the reds will hope they can win back at Anfield, very similar to the Real Madrid - Lyon tie in the Champions League...

Champions League 2nd leg results:

Real Madrid - Lyon: Aggregate 1-2

Probably one of the greatest upsets in French Champions League history, Lyon was able to nab a 1-0 win back in France, but going to the Santiago Bernabeu is a much different thing. Real Madrid dominated the first half, a fiery Ronaldo along with a quick Higuain put Lyon on their heels, just 6 minutes in Guti plays a fantastic pass to Ronaldo who steams his way past a defender to slot it through Lloris' legs at a tight angle. It seems like it would be target practice for Real, but after many wasted opportunities and selfish decisions (Higuain hits the post on a completely open net etc.), Real Madrid only went in one up after the first half. Claude Puel decided to make two key substitutions at the half, putting Kallstrom and Gonalons for Makoun and Boumsong, these two gave an attacking spark to the Lyon side that was slowly growing in confidence. Govou misses a good chance in front of Casillas, but eventually, in the 75th minute, Lisandro Lopez flicks up a ball in the 18 for Pjanic to volley into the goal. Real Madrid break down completely for the rest of the match, players are greedy and Kaka' is eventually taken off much to his anger. Lyon break down Real Madrid a couple times and find themselves 1 on 1 against Casillas, but they don't need to score, wasting fantastic opportunities to humiliate Real further, the two teams draw 1-1 at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Fiorentina - Bayern Munich: Aggregate 4-4 Bayern through on away goals

After the refereeing injustices that Fiorentina suffered in the Allianz Arena, the Italian team was ready to make an impact at home, it took Fiorentina 28 minutes to make the breakthrough, Vargas leaps onto a ball out on the left wing and blasts it past Butt letting the Viola take the lead. In the second half, Jovetic helps lengthen the lead by sliding it past Butt after a clever back-heel from Gilardino, but Bayern react with a low shot by Van Bommel heavily affected by the windy conditions in Florence. Jovetic scores again after a loose ball in Bayern's area was badly cleared, but Fiorentina's hopes were halted by a phenomenal shot by Robben, after dribbling past two defenders, the Dutchman cuts in and blasts the ball into the top left corner. Even though Bayern lost, they were equal in score letting the Germans go through on away goals.

Arsenal - Porto: Aggregate 6-2

What should've been a shaky evening for Arsenal without Fabregas and Gallas turned out to be an homage to Wenger's beautiful football, all of Arsenal's players were fantastic, working to demolish a mediocre Porto side. Arshavin was deadly along the wing, providing Bendtner with fantastic service twice, which the striker tucked away quickly putting the gunners two up by halftime. Then the Nasri show began, the young Frenchman playing in Fabregas' role goes on a fantastic slalom dribbling past three Porto players before tucking the ball into the far corner at an impossible angle. Soon after Eboue followed after rounding Helton and passing the ball in the net, and finally Bendtner grabbed his first hat trick in his senior career after slotting a penalty into the back of the net, making the final score 5-0 for the gunners.

Manchester United - AC Milan: Aggregate 7-2

It seemed inevitable that Manchester United would breeze past AC milan, but the careless meandering fashion which the English champions accomplished the feat was amazing, it took a Rooney double to put the game to bed, a fantastic header and a good finish. Ji Sung Park then slotted one home right before Rooney was replaced by Berbatov, the Englishman did what he needed to do, and Sir Alex Ferguson wanted to make sure he kept his wonder-boy far from any possible injuries. AC Milan had some possession of the ball, but United let them have it where there was no danger, and eventually the fourth came, a diving header from Fletcher completed the great United night which brought memories of the 7-1 thrashing against Roma.

What do you think of this week's action, Beckham's return, and next week's Champions League action? Comment below!


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