World Soccer views and news
Live blogging the Champions League
The Champions League is back and our reporters are currently wringing out their wet things (Mitch Phillips at Chelsea)/basking in the evening sunshine by the River Manzanares (Iain Rogers at Atletico) and undergoing all climactic variations in between.
Tonight’s first tranche of eight matches includes a repeat of the very first Champions League final, with AC Milan visiting Marseille, plus the European debut of Cristiano Ronaldo and Kaka for Real Madrid, with the Spaniards visiting Zurich.
We also have Manchester United at Besiktas, Wolfsburg hosting CSKA, Atletico at home to APOEL, Bayern Munich visiting Maccabi Haifa and Juventus against Bordeaux.
We’ll have every goal as they go in here, plus a few bits of commentary from me, and our reporters if the comms hold up, along the way.
I really appreciate comments, so please give your views in the comment section below. And can you name the player in the photo…?
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FC Zurich 2 Real Madrid 5: Cristiano Ronaldo responded to some less than flattering chants among the home fans by scoring from a free kick from the edge of the area. 1-0 in the 27th minute and Real Madrid are on their way to, well, Madrid. Seven minutes later and it’s 2-0 Real. This time Raul, who tapped in Gonzalo Higuain’s shot and is closing in on that record for goals in the European Cup. Let me have a rifle through the stats book… But in the mean time, Higuain has bagged the third himself. Too easy for Real… or is it?
The crowd livens up again with a 64th minute penalty from Xavier Margairaz and a minute later Silvan Aegerter makes it 2-3. Game on? Well, it got nervy for Real bu another free kick from Ronaldo sealed matters, with Guti’s effort in the 95th minute the cake icing.
Marseille 1 Milan 2: First goal of the 2009-10 edition of the Champions League goes to Milan, and Filippo Inzaghi. A superb cross from Seedorf for Inzaghi, left unmarked at far post, and he taps in from close range. 1-0 to the Italians in the 27th minute. Marseille level four minutes after the restart through the former Manchester United and Real Madrid defender Gabriel Heinze, who heads home a Benoit Cheyrou free kick. 2-1 to Milan with another Inzaghi goal with 16 minutes left on the clock.
Wolfsburg 3 CSKA 1: Wolfsburg have taken to the Champions League like a duck to water. The Brazilian Grafite, a much underrated player I remember well from my time in Germany, scored the first two goals, the first after 35 minutes, the second a penalty five minutes later. Alan Dzagoev pulls one back with 13 minutes to go. But Grafite completes his hat-trick three minutes from time and surely this is over now!
Chelsea 1 Porto 0: Don’t know what happened to my earlier udpate. Chelsea are ahead in the second half after Nicoals Anelka saw his first effort stopepd and then managed to fire on from a tricky angle.
Juventus 1 Bordeaux 1: Vincenzo Iaquinta puts Juventus up in the 63rd minute but Jaroslav Plasil evens things up with 15 minutes to go.
Maccabi Haifa 0 Bayern Munich 3: It’s raining goals now. The Germans are away thanks to a goal from Daniel van Buyten. Most of these matches going to form now and Bayern duly wrap up the win with two late goals from Thomas Mueller. Not a bad week for Mueller, who also scored two as Bayern beat Dortmund 5-1 in the Bundesliga on Saturday.
Besiktas 0 Manchester United 1. United are finally awake. It was a powerful shot by Nani that led to the goal in the 77th minute. The keeper parried it and Paul Scholes nodded in off the post, from a reasonable way out. Good header that.
The only match to finish goalless is Atletico Madrid v APOEL.
PHOTO: A mystery Chelsea player at training in Cobham, south of London, September 14, 2009. REUTERS/Eddie Keogh