Monday, August 14, 2006

Euro Club Roundup #3

Roundup #3 sees the beginning of Bundesliga play, 3rd round UEFA Cup qualifying, and Champions League qualifying. Less rumors and more action. Liverpool had a quality week and Valencia had a downer.

AS Roma

After returning from loan to the Hotspurs, Mido desires to leave and return to the EPL.
Real Madrid is eyeing three Roma defenders.
A friendly between two of the Euro teams I am supporting, Roma and Valencia, resulted in a 2 – 0 defeat for Roma. However, the only match report I can find is in Spanish.


Substitute Okoronkwo’s injury time strike gave Hertha a 1 – 0 win in the home leg of its UEFA Cup qualifying match with the Georgian side Ameri.
In its Bundesliga opener, the Old Lady, Hertha, managed a 0 – 0 draw with VfL Wolfsburg. It wasn’t a pretty performance with Wolfsburg dominating but Hertha did hold firm.


The Reds had the most active week of the four clubs with several matches and the publication of skipper Steven Gerrard’s autobiography.

Liverpool squeezed by the Israeli side, Maccabi Haifa, in the home leg of the Champions League qualifier 2 -1. New additions Mark Gonzalez and Craig Bellamy scored for the Reds. Gonzalez’ winner came in the 88th minute after coming on for Gerrard. Haifa may have been motivated by the UEFA decision to prohibit the home leg from occurring in Israel.

On Sunday, Liverpool scored a psychological victory by beating Chelsea 2 -1 in the Community Shield match. The Community Shield sets last season’s FA Cup and Premiership champions against each other. Peter Crouch scored the game winner on a header in the 80th minute. John Arne Riise, a rumored target of Chelsea, scored the opener in the 9th. Andriy Shevchenko equalized for the Blues right before half. Michael Ballack was booked in the 6th minute and hobbled off the match in the 26th with a muscle injury. This match sets the table for what promises to be a very interesting EPL battle between Chelsea and Liverpool. Chelsea boss, Jose Mourinho, has repeatedly stated that Liverpool doesn’t have what it takes to win the EPL title and a war of words between the managers has been ongoing. After the match, Mourinho and Rafa Benitez didn’t shake hands but did offer some praise.

Skipper Steven Gerrard’s autobiography came out recently and he had much to say. He said England was overconfident in the WC. Also, he finds Cristiano Ronaldo to be disgraceful for his actions in the WC. He also wants to be a Red for life and hopefully can manage the team some day.


The Ches suffered a surprise defeat 0-1 to Red Bull Salzburg on the away leg of the Champions League qualifying match. This puts considerable pressure on Valencia to win, otherwise it faces an ignominious early exit to the Champions League.

Valencia did defeat Serie A foe AS Roma in a friendly this week 2-0.

The Roberto Ayala drama continues as he threatens to holdout unless he is transferred to Villareal. Valencia, on the other hand, has filed disciplinary action against Ayala for his criticisms of the club.


Nicole said...

See, it's Gerrard himself that made me consider Liverpool. I love that he's such a homer! I mean, to be so committed to one team, regardless of the money he's been offered to go elsewhere... well you don't see that in pro sports anymore.

The Fan's Attic said...

yeah, he's old school. tough as nails, too. i just wish he had been named captain of england.