September 25, 2006
Champions League Matchday 2 Preview: Part One
Real Madrid v. Dynamo Kiev – The Galaticos took all three points on Mahamadou Diarra’s headed goal against Real Betis. They did not play all that well, but they should easily take the three points against an underperforming Dynamo side.
Diogo Rincon’s penalty did not stand up at the end of Dynamo’s game against Vorskla this weekend. A win would have taken them top of the Vyscha Liga above Shakhtar. A point for them would be an enormous result for the Ukrainian side.
Steaua Bucharest v. Lyon – Steaua find themselves top of the group after the first round of matches after their display of clinical finishing in Kiev. They came from behind to beat Gloria Bistrita, but they still find themselves trailing city rivals Dinamo, who still have a 100 percent record through nine games, by seven points. Still, they have a realistic shot at taking all three points against the French champions.
A brace from Fred capped off an impressive result for Lyon as they beat Lille 4-1 at the Stade Gerland. The win took them to the top of the table with a three point gap on Marseille. After beating Real Madrid in their group opener, Lyon will look to win the group outright.
Benfica v. Manchester United – Benfica’s struggles continued on the weekend as they were held to a draw by Superliga surprise package Pacos this weekend. They may find themselves playing for a draw against the Red Devils.
Wayne Rooney was finding himself dispossessed by Bobby Convey of all people during their 1-1 draw with newly-promoted Reading. After winning their first four league matches, the entire team seems to be out of form with the exception of Cristiano Ronaldo. Revenge against the team that knocked them out of Europe entirely last season may be enough of a motivation to see United win their second game in Champions League play.
Celtic v. FC Kobenhavn – Thomas Gravesen and Kenny Miller were the goalscorers in Celtic’s triumph in Saturday’s Old Firm derby. A great performance at Old Trafford may not be replicated by the Scottish champions, and the signs are there for an upset.
FCK went top of the SAS-Ligaen this weekend after their 2-1 win over Midtjylland. Having done extremely well to get a point against Benfica in their first ever Champions League match, they may be looking to secure a win at Celtic Park.
Arsenal v. Porto – Arsenal finally looked like a title contender against a stubborn Sheffield United side on Saturday. William Gallas opened the scoring as he capped off an excellent team move. Will the Gunners be able to open the scoring in their new stadium in Champions League play for the first time?
Three second half goals were enough to see Porto past Beira Mar on Friday night, and they continue to top the Superliga table four matches in. After their stalemate against CSKA, they will be looking for at least another point to keep them in contention for group lead.
CSKA Moscow v. Hamburg SV – The Red Army side fell 2-1 in a Moscow derby to Lokomotiv on Saturday which cut their lead in the Russian Premier League to a single point. The Russian champions may see this match as a good opportunity to pick up three points against one of the supposedly stronger sides in the group.
Hamburg were engaged in an entertaining 1-1 draw with Werder Bremen on the weekend with Bastian Reinhardt scoring their goal. That still does not take away from the fact that their only win this season was in the quarterfinal round of the German League Cup in late July. A win might be asking too much for the 14th placed side in the Bundesliga.
AEK Athens v. Anderlecht – The hosts of the final are not enjoying the start to their campaign. Destruction in Milan has been compounded by poor league form which sees them sit tenth in the Greek League. Anderlecht present them with the perfect opportunity to get their season back on track.
Anderlecht escaped with a 1-1 draw with the G14’s favorite minnow, Charleroi in Friday action. Results on Saturday saw the Belgian champions drop to second in the Jupiler League, but this may be the year that they break through and finish third or even second in a Champions League group.
Lille v. Milan – A poor performance in Lyon now sees the northern side in ninth place in Ligue 1. Matters are made worse by the visit of an in-form Milan side. A point at best for the French side.
Milan were unfortunate to not find the net against Livorno in Sunday Serie A action, but they can be considered contenders in the race for the Scudetto again. The Rossoneri should take the three points easily.
Real Madrid 2-0 Dynamo Kiev
Steaua 1-1 Lyon
Benfica 0-1 Man Utd
Celtic 1-1 FCK
Arsenal 2-1 Porto
CSKA 1-0 HSV
AEK 0-0 Anderlecht
Lille 0-3 Milan