The UEFA Champions League is back and how!!!!. With new avtar, Round of 16 matches were played over the period of two weeks which meant more matches were available for viewing and some of the matches were just perfect for the advertisement of what I feel is the best football competition in the world.
Of course, the entire focus was on the two gigantic Anglo-Italian clashes. The first one featured the champions of England Manchester United and star studded “Rossoneries” AC Milan at San Siro,Milan. This game was very special for both Manchester United players and fans,as certain Devid Beckham was on the opposite side of them. The Old Trafford Legend played for Manchester United well over a decade and still has a special place in every Red Devil’s heart. The game was pretty entertaining, especially with AC Milan having the likes of Pato,Ronaldinho in their ranks. Ronaldinho was terrific in the first half, displaying fantastic abilities with the ball and glimpses of why once he was reagarded as the best player in the world. AC Milan dominated most of the first half, creating some fantastic goal scoring chances. No wonder they took the lead with a deflected goal through Ronaldinho volley but as the game progressed,United started taking control of the game and equalized before half time through a scrappy Paul Scholes goal. In the second half,it was complete Manchester United. They were compact in defense and lethal on counter attacks. Though Clarence Seedorf scored for Milan late in the half, a Wayne Rooney double ensured a 3-2 victory for Red Devils. Had Milan would have taken their chances it would have been a different result altogether. Advantage United….
The second Anglo-Italian Clash was between current English Premier League leaders Chelsea and Italian champions Inter Milan at San Siro,Milan. This game saw Chelsea face their beloved ex-mangaer “The Special One” Jose Mourinho. It was Jose who did lead The Blues to their first domestic league title after in 50 years and followed that with another one in the next season, before getting sacked in 2007 because of the failure to win Champions League. This was always going to be a tight fixture considering the compactness of both the teams. Inter scored very early in the game through Argentine international Diego Milito. Inter were hardly threatned in that first half by Chelsea and deservedly went into the half time with one goal advantage. In the second half,Chelsea increased the tempo of their game and put together a breathtaking move to equalize through Salomon Kalou. But Nerazzurries responded in a terrific fashion to regain the lead with the help of an Esteban Cambiasso goal and win the tie 2-1. I think Inter can salvage a draw in the reverse fixture at Stamphord Bridge and go through.
Arsenal, probably had the easiest of the ties yet they lost in Porto. For me, it was one of the worst games I have ever seen. There were mistakes,mistakes and more mistakes.Arsenal keeper Lucasz Fabianski had the game to forget.It was his mistakes that led to both Porto goals.But it was Sol Campbell header which gave The Gunners a crucial away goal and made their task a bit easier for the second leg. Gunners to reach Quarterfinals…
Elsewhere, Lyon stunned the star studded Real Madrid with a 1-0 victory at Stade Gerland,Lyon. The Galacticos were stifled by the stubborn defence of french champions.I think the second leg, could be a very nervy night at Santiago Barnabeau. Bordeauax defeated Greek champions Olympiakos in Athens and are red hot favourites to go through with the form that they are in. Fiorentina though lost against Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena in Munich, take with them a crucial away goal back to Florence. Rest assure they wont be thinking anything other than victory aganinst the Bavarians. Its really astonishing to see ,how great teams get good results even not being at their best. Barcelona despite being pretty ordinary got a draw and an away goal against Stuttgart. Stuttgart should expect some footballing lessons in the second leg at Noucamp.
TIE TO WATCH OUT FOR THE SECOND LEG: Chelsea vs Inter Milan