Football Article

Tuesday's Uefa Champions League Developments

Napoli took a giant leap towards the Round of 16 inflicting pain on Manchester City, while Benfica, Lille and Inter Milan all celebrated good nights.edinson cavani napoli italy goal naples

Group A

Pos Team GD Pts
1 Bayern Munich +7 13
2 Napoli +2 8
3 Manchester City +1 7
4 Villarreal -10 0

Bayern Munich 3 (Ribery 3’, 69’, Gomez 23’) def Villarreal 1 (de Guzman 50’)

Franck Ribery was the star of the show with a double as Bayern clinched top spot in this group with a 3-1 win over pointless Villarreal. Mario Gomez scored yet again, after Anatoliy Tymoschuk’s long-range effort hit the post, while Jonathan de Guzman hit a fine volley for the visitors.

Bayern boss Jupp Heynckes said: “It was important that we could decide the group before the last matchday. It was a convincing clean sweep by us. What I did not like so much was conceding a goal after the break. Because of that we had to up the ante once more.”

Napoli 2 (Cavani 18’, 49’) def Manchester City 1 (Balotelli 33’)

Napoli moved into the boxseat to progress in Group A, with a 2-1 home victory over Manchester City with topscorer Edinson Cavani the hero with a brace. Napoli go to Villarreal on the final matchday, while City host group winners Bayern who may opt to rest a few players.

Napoli boss Walter Mazzarri said: “Manchester City are a great side and were in fantastic form. It was difficult even to think about a victory against them on the eve of the game. “Playing like we did tonight all the time is impossible. In games like tonight’s you can find energy” that you cannot even think you have.”

Group Bmoussa sow lille

Pos Team GD Pts
1 Inter Milan 2 10
2 Trabzonspor -2 6
3 Lille 0 5
4 CSKA Moscow 0 5

CSKA Moscow 0 def by Lille 2 (Berezoutski og 49’, Sow 64’)

The French champions moved into a good position in this group despite their slow start, with a 2-0 victory in the Russian capital. CSKA defender Vasili Berezoutski netted an own goal shortly after the break, before Moussa Sow rounded out a good performance by Lille.

Lille boss Rudi Garcia said: “Our second half was very good and this is a win which changes everything. We knew we could be out tonight but we also knew that we could definitely be in. We know what we have to do now. We said we had to learn quickly and tonight the boys showed they had learned from our first four matches including the first game against CSKA.”

Trabzonspor 1 (Altintop 23’) drew with Inter Milan 1 (Alvarez 18’)

Inter went through to the next phase following Lille’s win in Russia, but their 1-1 draw in Turkey seals top spot in this group. Ricardo Alvarez scored his first ever Champions League but that brought Trabzonspor to life. Halil Altintop levelled, while Adrian Mierzejewski hit the post late.

Inter boss Claudio Ranieri said: “We seem to play better in the Champions League compared to Serie A. Now I hope we can also improve domestically but Trabzonspor fans can rest assured that we will be taking the last game against CSKA seriously. We want to close out the campaign in style at San Siro.”

Group Cpablo aimar benfica

Pos Team GD Pts
1 Benfica +3 9
2 Manchester United +4 9
3 FC Basel 0 8
4 Otelul Galati -7 0

*Manchester United 2 (Berbatov 30’, Fletcher 59’) drew with Benfica 2 (Jones og 3’, Aimar 61’)

Last season’s runners-up failed to seal their qualification for the next phase of the Champions League after a 2-2 home draw with Benfica, who are through. Phil Jones’ early own goal had United with work to do, but Dimitar Berbatov and Darren Fletcher brought them ahead, only for Pablo Aimar to poke home to get the precious point for the Portuguese to progress.

United boss Sir Alex Ferguson said: “Basel is going to be a hard game. The chips are down but I have every confidence in my team. We might not get top spot but what we need to do is win in a good style in Switzerland.”

Otelul Galati 2 (Giurgiu 75’, Antal 81’) def by FC Basel 3 (A. Frei 10’, 14’, Streller 37’)

Indeed, Basel will host United in the final matchday for a place in the Last 16, after their 3-2 win in Romanian. Basel were cruising at half-time thanks to Alexander Frei’s brace and Marco Streller’s goal before the hosts rallied but fell short.

Basel boss Heiko Vogel said: “Despite having to win against Manchester United now, it is simply great that there will be this duel at St. Jakob-Park. That’s what we have been working torwards. I congratulate my team. I am of course not completely pleased with today’s game, but I have already said that.”

Group Dkarim benzema real madrid

Pos Team GD Pts
1 Real Madrid +14 15
2 Ajax Amsterdam +3 8
3 Olympique Lyon -4 5
4 Dinamo Zagreb -13 0

Real Madrid 6 (Benzema 2’, 66’, Callejon 6’, 49’, Higuain 9’, Ozil 20’) def Dinamo Zagreb 2 (Beciraj 81’, Tomecak 90’)

The Spanish giants cruised past a Dinamo Zagreb side who have appeared out of their weight division in this Champions League group. Real Madrid were four up by the 20 minute mark, with Karim Benzema, Jose Callejon, Gonzalo Higuain and Mesut Ozil netting early. There was no way back as Real wrapped up top spot.

Real boss Jose Mourinho said: “It was a perfect night on which some players have been able to relax and others enjoy themselves. To come here having already qualified meant we were able to give minutes to people who deserve it and have worked for it. Next we play Atlético Madrid and fortunately some of our players have been able to rest.”

Olympique Lyon 0 drew with Ajax Amsterdam 0

Dutch champions Ajax firmed for the round of 16 after frustrating Lyon in France to a goalless draw. With both legs ending 0-0, Lyon now must win well against Dinamo Zagreb and hope Ajax lose by several at home to Real Madrid. That’s not entirely improbable, given Dinamo are pointless and Real are perfect so far.

Lyon boss Remi Garde said: “Now, our two heavy losses to Madrid mean that goal difference is a problem. I’d have liked to see us play the first half the way we did the second. We managed to push them back further and further, and injected more pace into our moves. We made people believe we could win and created a lot of chances too. I have told the players not to have any regrets.”

Ben somerford
Sports Pundit staff writer
@bensomerford

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