Match Day One: ReviewBy: Marco | September 17th, 2010
So, the first week of the 2010 Champions League has passed, and already I find myself apologizing to the masses. Apologizing for the delay on this post and the lack of excitement leading up to the advent of the 2010/2011 Champions League Season. Work has been busy, but that is no excuse. So without further delay, let’s recap Week One
Twente 2-2 Internazionale
Bremen 2-2 Tottenham
A couple of thoughts on the defending champions and their group. Primarily I was under the impression that this group would be a toss up between Bremen and Tottenham for second place, while Inter would likely cruise to an easy group win. Based on the events of match day one, I stand corrected. New comers Twente look to be the real deal. Not only did the Dutch side match the European Champions toe to toe, but the game was actually exciting… something which sincerely lacked during the Mourinho era.
Lyon 1-0 Schalke
Benfica 2-0 H. Tel-Aviv
Group B seems to be going according to script. Although I do expect a better showing from Schalke on Match Day 2, Lyon should be easy shoe ins for the group win, while it’s a toss up between the Benfica and Schalke – I’m siding with Schalke to overcome a match day one defeat and redeem second place in the group.
Manchester United 0-0 Rangers
Bursapor 0-4 Valencia
The Scottish titans looked impressive in the first bout against Manchester, while, Valencia make Bursapor aware that their Champions League endeavours will only last until the end of November. Seems straight forward no? Unlikely, although I expect Ferguson and the Reds to carry forward into the next round, Rangers may throw a wrench into the gears of the Spanish Armada. Although, perhaps it is United who could be surprised by Valencia and the Scotts, by heading for the showers even before 2011 gets underway.
Barcelona 5-1 Panathinaikos
Kobenhavn 1-0 Rubin
What did you expect? Even the manager of Panathinaikos expected Barcelona to come out with some staggering pace on match day one. That being said, Barcelona needed to redeem their weekend La Liga fallout. The surprise here, at least for me, was that Rubin couldn’t beat the Danish team, I expected more, but got less…. Thoughts?
Bayern Munich 2-0 Roma
CFR Cluj 2-1 Basel
So, we finally arrive at a match I saw, to say I expected more from Roma is an understatement. The 2010 Champions League runners-up toyed with an overly defensive Roma. Totti’s reaction to the coaches tactics were well administered following the match. That being said, I fully expect Munich and Roma to advance from this group. Although, Cluj may have something else to say and can take the fight to Roma in their tie.
Marseille 0-1 Spartak Moskva
Zilina 1-4 Chelsea
The fact that the Russian league is well underway may have some barring on why Spartak was able to defeat Marseille at the Vellodrome on match day one. Either way, for me, this is the surprise of the week. Chelsea’s defeat of Zilina was routine and Ancellotti may be positioning himself for a run at ol’big ears.
Real Madrid 2-0 Ajax
Milan 2-0 Auxerre
Mourinho makes his debut with Madrid, but Ibra scores two great goals for Milan. This group is just getting underway.
Arsenal 6-0 Braga
Shakhtar Donetsk 1-0 Partizan
In what might be the most obvious group of the tournament thus far, Wenger doesn’t have his work cut out for him. Although I don’t condone putting down other teams, this group does seem pretty straight forward.
So we’re off. The Champions League 2010/2011 season is now officially underway… I will return in a couple of days with an introduction and preview to match day 2… in the meantime, please feel free to sit down and discuss below some of the key moments of Match day One.