My Soccer World

Football: United, Arsenal And Real Target Last 16

Posted on: November 24, 2008

PARIS: Holders Manchester United, Arsenal and Real Madrid are out to seal their last 16 Champions League berths with a game to spare on Tuesday.

Juventus, Barcelona and Sporting Lisbon are already through to the knockout stages and United seek to join this trio in Spain against fellow Group E

leaders Villarreal.

Sir Alex Ferguson’s champions can only be frustrated by a combination of a Villarreal win and defeat for Celtic against Aalborg in Denmark.

A draw would suit both United and Villarreal as one more point sees each progress.

United are without injured striker Dimitar Berbatov and there is also a major question mark over Cristiano Ronaldo who limped off with a leg injury during the goalless draw with Aston Villa on Saturday.

Ferguson told MUTV: “His leg’s in a mess, to be honest with you. He’ll be doubtful for Tuesday, I’m sure of that.”

Villarreal have not had the best of preparations for United’s visit losing 3-0 to Real Valladolid in La Liga on Saturday.Coach Manuel Pellegrini reflected on what he labelled “a black night” for his team:

“These types of defeats always hurt you, but you have to know how to lift yourselves,” he said.

“The important thing is to return to performing well and think about qualifying for the next round of the Champions League.

“You need to accept the defeat, learn from it and recover.”

Sitting on a meagre two points Celtic’s best hopes appear to be ensuring third spot in the table and a ticket to the UEFA Cup.

Arsenal are in need of some much needed respite after enduring a stormy weekend which saw captain William Gallas dropped for speaking out against his teammates and a worrying 3-0 loss to Manchester City.

And Arsene Wenger’s side may well find it if they put their troubles behind them and see off Dynamo Kiev with the three points up for grabs at the Emirates Stadium enough to see them through to the next round.

Group G’s other game sees former winners FC Porto, two points behind the Gunners, in Istanbul to play bottom of the table Fenerbahce.

Perennial French league champions Lyon slipped up at Paris Saint Germain on Saturday but Claude Le Puel’s men will secure their safe passage out of Group F if they avoid a similar fate at Fiorentina.

The French outfit will surely have to do without defender Anthony Reveillere who picked up a left knee injury at the Parc des Princes where captain Juninho was sent off.

Le Puel said of this rare defeat: “Our team spirit wasn’t rewarded.

“The players gave everything they had. We have to keep and use this spirit. Now we are focusing on a different competition.

We’ll have to wait and see who is available for the match against Fiorentina.”

Lyon may head the standings on goal difference from Bayern Munich but due to their head-to-head record the German big hitters can only be denied a last 16 berth on Tuesday if they fall to minnows Steaua Bucharest and Fiorentina beat Lyon.

Real Madrid have been crowned European kings nine times but a tenth title looks far from assured given their back-to-back defeats to Juventus.

That’s left the Spaniards in second in Group H on six points, four behind the already qualified Italians, but they can sail on with success over BATE Borisov as long as Juve don’t fall at Zenit St Petersburg. – AFP/vm

Channel News Asia

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Football: United, Arsenal And Real Target Last 16

Posted on: November 24, 2008

PARIS: Holders Manchester United, Arsenal and Real Madrid are out to seal their last 16 Champions League berths with a game to spare on Tuesday.

Juventus, Barcelona and Sporting Lisbon are already through to the knockout stages and United seek to join this trio in Spain against fellow Group E

leaders Villarreal.

Sir Alex Ferguson’s champions can only be frustrated by a combination of a Villarreal win and defeat for Celtic against Aalborg in Denmark.

A draw would suit both United and Villarreal as one more point sees each progress.

United are without injured striker Dimitar Berbatov and there is also a major question mark over Cristiano Ronaldo who limped off with a leg injury during the goalless draw with Aston Villa on Saturday.

Ferguson told MUTV: “His leg’s in a mess, to be honest with you. He’ll be doubtful for Tuesday, I’m sure of that.”

Villarreal have not had the best of preparations for United’s visit losing 3-0 to Real Valladolid in La Liga on Saturday.Coach Manuel Pellegrini reflected on what he labelled “a black night” for his team:

“These types of defeats always hurt you, but you have to know how to lift yourselves,” he said.

“The important thing is to return to performing well and think about qualifying for the next round of the Champions League.

“You need to accept the defeat, learn from it and recover.”

Sitting on a meagre two points Celtic’s best hopes appear to be ensuring third spot in the table and a ticket to the UEFA Cup.

Arsenal are in need of some much needed respite after enduring a stormy weekend which saw captain William Gallas dropped for speaking out against his teammates and a worrying 3-0 loss to Manchester City.

And Arsene Wenger’s side may well find it if they put their troubles behind them and see off Dynamo Kiev with the three points up for grabs at the Emirates Stadium enough to see them through to the next round.

Group G’s other game sees former winners FC Porto, two points behind the Gunners, in Istanbul to play bottom of the table Fenerbahce.

Perennial French league champions Lyon slipped up at Paris Saint Germain on Saturday but Claude Le Puel’s men will secure their safe passage out of Group F if they avoid a similar fate at Fiorentina.

The French outfit will surely have to do without defender Anthony Reveillere who picked up a left knee injury at the Parc des Princes where captain Juninho was sent off.

Le Puel said of this rare defeat: “Our team spirit wasn’t rewarded.

“The players gave everything they had. We have to keep and use this spirit. Now we are focusing on a different competition.

We’ll have to wait and see who is available for the match against Fiorentina.”

Lyon may head the standings on goal difference from Bayern Munich but due to their head-to-head record the German big hitters can only be denied a last 16 berth on Tuesday if they fall to minnows Steaua Bucharest and Fiorentina beat Lyon.

Real Madrid have been crowned European kings nine times but a tenth title looks far from assured given their back-to-back defeats to Juventus.

That’s left the Spaniards in second in Group H on six points, four behind the already qualified Italians, but they can sail on with success over BATE Borisov as long as Juve don’t fall at Zenit St Petersburg. – AFP/vm

Channel News Asia

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