Big Wins For Struggling Sides In Champions League
Posted by hiphopmama on November 25, 2008
Arsenal and Real Madrid, both struggling of late, secured much needed 1-0 wins today in their Champions League matches. Madrid has only been “struggling” according to the stratospheric standards of the renowned club, and they were coming off a weekend victory over Recreativo. Arsenal, on the other hand, have been flailing by any reasonable measure, losing to seemingly everyone and gifting goals to teams by the handful. Wenger finally made the hard decision to strip William Gallas of the captaincy, handing it over the Cesc Fabregas for the first time today against Dynamo Kiev.
Both teams played solid if unspectacular games, controlling possession and doing just enough to win and secure their places in the next round. Madrid went up early on a goal by captain Raul in the 7th minute off a cross from Drenthe, who fueled the Real attack all game. Madrid saw a number of other good chances miss the mark, including another from Raul and a fantastic opportunity for Saviola, but they kept BATE off the scoreboard and got the win.
Arsenal had to wait till the 86th minute for substitute Nicklas Bendtner to score the game winner after lots of skillful, effective build-up play from a young side under heavy scrutiny of late. Fabregas led the Gunners from midfield in his first start as captain, and the change from Gallas – who also played – seemed to have a positive effect on the team, who played with energy throughout. Bendtner made me look like an ass by winning the game for Arsenal after I saw him getting off the bench and muttered to myself, “Oh no, don’t bring HIM in.” He took his time getting his shirt on before entering the game and then ripped it off after scoring his goal, apparently very pleased with his physique in front of plenty of shirtless Arsenal fans at the Emirates. The goal eventually came off a quickly taken free kick from midfield by Fabregas, as Bendtner steadied himself against his defender and fired home the winner.
It was a good day of Champions League play for me, as Arsenal and Real Madrid both won and moved on, while Juventus and Manchester United were both held to 0-0 draws (the second time in four days for ManU). Tomorrow can be just as good if Chelsea and Barça win while Inter and Liverpool both lose (or at least draw). And yes, I am pulling for both Real Madrid and Barcelona. Spain all the way, even though they are racist bastards.