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 Champions League 2012-13
Yogi
Posted: Aug 8 2012, 03:00 PM


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The preliminary rounds are going on in the Champions League, a couple of notable teams have already been eliminated as Dynamo Kyiv knocked out Feyenoord in their home and away series while FC Copenhagen eliminated Club Bruges and Cyprus' AEL Limassol beat Partizan Belgrade. Bigger clubs should join the prelim rounds in the next stage.
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TonyDE
Posted: Aug 10 2012, 07:05 AM


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UEFA Champions League playoff draw. The

first legs take place on Aug 21/22 with the returns a week

later.

FC Basel (Switzerland) v CFR Cluj (Romania)

Helsingborgs (Sweden) v Celtic (Scotland)

BATE Borisov (Belarus) v Hapoel Kiryat Shmona FC (Israel)

Limassol (Cyprus) v Anderlecht (Belgium)

Dinamo Zagreb (Croatia) v Maribor (Slovenia)

Braga (Portugal) v Udinese (Italy)

Spartak Moscow (Russia) v Fenerbahce (Turkey)

Malaga (Spain) v Panathinaikos (Greece)

Borussia Moenchengladbach (Germany) v Dynamo Kyiv (Ukraine)

Lille (France) v FC Copenhagen (Denmark)
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Onslow
Posted: Aug 21 2012, 02:41 PM


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The first leg matches started tonight and will continue tomorrow, and these were the results:

Spartak Moscow 2-1 Fenerbahce
Borussia Monchengladbach 1-3 Dinamo Kiev
FC Basel 1-2 CFR Cluj
FC Copenhagen 1-0 Lille
Helsingborgs 0-2 Celtic

Big road victories for Kiev, Cluj and Celtic who each took big strides towards the group stages. Kiev's away win by 2 goals in Germany being especially noteworthy. Spartak Moscow and Copenhagen each won but only by a goal so those 2nd legs are very wide open still. The remaining first leg matches to be played tomorrow.
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Sammy Maudlin
Posted: Aug 22 2012, 04:29 PM


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Onslow posted Tuesday's first leg results in this prelim stage, here are Wednesday's scores:

AEL Limassol 2-1 Anderlecht
BATE Borisov 2-0 Hapoel Kiryat Shmona
Braga 1-1 Udinese
Dinamo Zagreb 2-1 NK Maribor
Malaga 2-0 Panathinaikos

After 3 wins for visiting teams on Tuesday, there were none on Wednesday. But by the same token, no big margin wins for the hoem sides either, so these matches remain up for grabs. Both BATE Borisov and Malaga each won by 2 goals so they may be feeling good about themselves but they are not in the group stages just yet. Udinese, which drew in Portugal with Braga, thanks to an Antonio DiNatale goal, are probably in the best shape going to leg 2 of all of Wednesday's visiting teams in leg 1.
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Merengue
Posted: Aug 28 2012, 01:49 PM


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2nd leg results,

Anderlecht (Belgium) - AEL Limassol (Cyprus) 2-0 (halftime: 0-0)

First leg: AEL Limassol - Anderlecht 2-1. Anderlecht win 3-2 on aggregate.

Hapoel Ironi Kiryat Shmona (Israel) - BATE Borisov (Belarus) 1-1 (halftime: 0-0)

First leg: BATE Borisov - Hapoel Ironi Kiryat Shmona 2-0. BATE Borisov win 3-1 on aggregate.

Maribor (Slovenia) - Dinamo Zagreb (Croatia) 0-1 (halftime: 0-1)

First leg: Dinamo Zagreb - Maribor 2-1. Dinamo Zagreb win 3-1 on aggregate.

Panathinaikos (Greece) - Malaga (Spain) 0-0 (halftime: 0-0)

First leg: Malaga - Panathinaikos 2-0. Malaga win 2-0 on aggregate.

Udinese (Italy) - Braga (Portugal) 1-1 (halftime: 1-0, 90 mins: 1-1, penalty shootout: 4-5)

First leg: Braga - Udinese 1-1. Braga win 5-4 on penalties after 2-2 on aggregate.


The one minor surprise, Braga eliminates Udinese on penalties. Malaga even with their financial troubles have qualified and will receive an economic boost from their very first Champions League group appearance. BATE Borisov are becoming habitual participants now and they had a group of players who formed the core of Belarus' Olympic squad.


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enganche
Posted: Aug 29 2012, 07:38 PM


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It took extra time but Lille advanced past Copenhagen. Borussia Monchengladbach and Fenerbahce each made it interetsing but could not make up their first leg deficitis versus Dynamo Kiev and Spartak Moscow. Celtic and CFR Cluj of Romania also advanced to the group stage. Thursday will be the draw.


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Prefiero morir de pie que vivir arrodillado
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robdog
  Posted: Aug 30 2012, 10:47 AM


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Well the draw has been set. Some very interesting groups here. I am not so sure my Blues can retain the European Cup, but it will be fun to have the Bull's eye on the chest. Funny article from a delusional gooner blaming Messi for CFC's UCL success wink.gif I am still laughing after reading this article. Oh how all of the hatas are feeling atm in Time, while I am still on Cloud 11
user posted image

BTW, my Blue Mecca is only a few weeks away & I will be among the Thousands singing Carefree wink.gif


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Onslow
Posted: Aug 30 2012, 12:15 PM


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The complete draw:

Group A: Porto, Dynamo Kiev, Paris St-Germain, Dinamo Zagreb

Group B: Arsenal, Schalke, Olympiakos, Montpellier

Group C: Milan, Zenit St Petersburg, Anderlecht, Malaga

Group D: Real Madrid, Manchester City, Ajax, Borussia Dortmund

Group E: Chelsea, Shakhtar Donetsk, Juventus, Nordsjaelland

Group F: Bayern Munich, Valencia, Lille, Bate Borisov

Group G: Barcelona, Benfica, Spartak Moscow, Celtic

Group H: Manchester United, Braga, Galatasaray, Cluj

Wow Group D is as difficult a group as I can ever recall in this competition. The current champions of Spain, England, Germany and the Netherlands. I feel for Ajax who on paper are the weakest link, if there is one, amongst the four. Both Manchester City and Borussia Dortmund have great recent domestic pedigrees but their European record in recent years has not been that good. Still both are good sides as naturally are Real Madrid. Should be some group.

Group E with holders Chelsea, Juventus and a usually difficult Shakhtar Donetsk looks like it will be competitive.

To me Manchester United in Group H got the best draw, none of Braga, Galatasaray or Cluj should really trouble them.
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Penya
Posted: Aug 30 2012, 12:58 PM


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Like Onslow I too think Group D is a real killer. You do have to feel sorry for Ajax who I think would have a good chance at claiming 2nd in almost any of the other groups. But not this one. Of course with my loyalties, I would really enjoy seeing Manchester City and Borussia Dortmund qualify ahead of Real Madrid!

Not a bad group for Barcelona, they will be heavy favorites to qualify with the other three clubs, Benfica, Spartak and Celtic pretty evenly matched in the fight for 2nd. The same applies to Group B with Arsenal the favorites and the rest dueling for 2nd. Groups F and H look the most accessible to me.
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TonyDE
Posted: Aug 30 2012, 01:51 PM


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No disagreements from me, Group D is beyond difficult. E looks pretty tough too, most of the others are competitive, especially for 2nd place. While Group H looks very well set up for Manchester United. Then again we thought that last year too and both Benfica and Basle finished above them!
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galicia
Posted: Aug 31 2012, 08:35 AM


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Following the Champions League Draw, a vote was taken to select the 2011/12 UEFA Best Player in Europe. Andrés Iniesta edged Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo in a narrow vote (19-17-17). You can see the official UEFA report here.

I am personally pleased with the vote. No doubt Messi and Ronaldo are the two best players in the world, but I am happy a member of the Spanish national team, which has had an unprecedented streak of success, has finally received an individual award recognizing his play. Considering that this year neither Messi nor Ronaldo won the Champions League, Iniesta's Euro Cup appears to be the top accomplishment among these three.

There is a bit of a controversy brewing in Spain because of the vote. UEFA awarded a vote to a journalist from the geographic area associated to each affiliated FA. It turns out that the Spanish journalist was a fellow named Francisco Justicia, from Marca. He voted for Ronaldo. (The link, in Spanish, is here.) I personally don't have a problem with the vote because I can easily see how somebody's honest opinion is that Ronaldo was the best player this year. However, many think that Marca's Real Madrid blinders led to this choice.

Cheers

Pedro
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Merengue
Posted: Aug 31 2012, 12:41 PM


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I too am happy for Iniesta and I think with this UEFA win he will have a chance at also winning the FIFA Player of the Year/Ballon d'Or.

Haha, not surprised to read some trying to dig up dirt on a Marca jornalist voting for Ronaldo but as galicia writes there are legitimate reasons for voting for him.

Real Madrid not given any favors in this Champions League draw. Not an easy game there but doesn't it seem that Real Madrid and Ajax get drawn together almost every year?


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Manzanares
Posted: Sep 1 2012, 12:29 PM


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Marca with a pro Real Madrid bias? I've never heard of such a thing! biggrin.gif

Would not surprise me any if that played some role in their journalist selecting Ronado as top UEFA player. But I too am really happy for Iniesta and like Merengue I do hope this is a sign that he does have a legitimate shot at winning the world player of the year at the end of this calendar year. He deserves it. Messi is phenomenal, nobody disputes that, but he can't win it every yera, especially in a year when Iniesta was so integral a part in making Spain make history by winning its third straight major national team competition.

Back to the group stages, no dispute from me about the Group of Death, like everybody else states, it is D. But there are plenty of groups which look to me to be competitive. And beware of Russian/Ukrainian clubs like Zenit, Spartak, Shakhtar and Dynamo. They will not be easy to beat.
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Simon
Posted: Sep 3 2012, 07:50 AM


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Robdog, good article you posted. It's nicely written and made me laugh too. And I can definitely see why a Chelsea fan would enjoy reading it!

I was pleased of course to see the group that City are in. The 10 points they got last season would have qualified them from pretty much any other group in any other year, but was no good in last season's 'group of death', and this year's group is even harder. But I'm not going to get my hopes up yet. I'm resigned to the fact that City aren't going anywhere, and I expect they'll still be playing CL football in the spring.

Onslow, I've rumbled you mate. I distinctly recall you saying United's group was easy last season, and look what happened! So I'm not impressed with your repeat performance this season! wink.gif
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Yogi
Posted: Sep 3 2012, 07:07 PM


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Apparently the transfer window in Russia has another week to go and Zenit spends 80 million euros ($100 million) on Hulk from Porto and Axel Witsel from Benfica. Two good players but wow did Zenit overpay for them. Luciano Spaletti has had domestic success with Zenit but now he will have the pressure to do something in Europe too. So Group C with Zenit, Milan, Anderlecht and Malaga just got much more interesting. Meanwhile both Porto and Benfica have been strengthened financially but weakened for now on the field.
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