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Shocks galore in UCL


This mornings UEFA Champions League produced a number of shocks as Liverpool and AC Milan lost to Marseille and Celtic respectively.

The other shock result was the Olympiakos win over Werder Bremen away in Bremen. This was Olympiakos' first away win in the Champions League in 32 matches. Its also impressive that they came from behind to snatch the historic 3-1 win. On any other day I think this would have been the greatest result.

I expected Liverpool to win against Marseille but I was surprised to see them outclassed in their own backyard. Marseille looked so comfortable you would have thought they were the home team and now Liverpool have some work to do with just one point in two matches.

I know Celtic are very good at home and rarely lose at home in Europe but I expected the defending champions to at least get a draw but Celtic scored a last minute winner to get all three points. It was also good to see Scott McDonald score his first champions league goal.

After the recent problems at Stamford Bridge coupled with Valencia's current good form in La Liga, I expected Valencia to get all three points against Chelsea or at worst a draw but Chelsea came with all three points to now head that group on four points.

Another home team to lose was Benfica who lost by an odd goal to Shakhtar Donetsk. Infact if you look at it in terms of home teams winning Celtic were the only home team to win this morning as Besiktas also lost to Porto.

The shock losses should make the back to back matches interesting in matchday 3 and 4 as teams try to recover lost ground in order to secure their places in the knockout round.

As a result of these surprising results, I could only muster just one point on TipsChallenge and this was for the match between Rosenborg and Schalke 04 where I managed to predict a Schalke win but not the exact result and I think nobody fared any better as there was not much movement in the Challenge league standings.

From an Australian television coverage point of view, it was interesting to see that ESPN and SBS chose to show the same matches on both days. Its so frustrating to see two channels showing the same match when there are seven other matches to show. I expected at least ESPN to show something different and I think there must be Viewer's choice in the champions league so that fans can watch whichever match they would like to follow.

mbareboy
....those results are testimony to the description of soccer, the most beautiful game. Perhaps the mid-tier teams are catching up with the big boys, makes the group competition more interesting, we are used to seeing the usual suspects going through. With Jose filtering out Real and Milan as the only teams he can go to, Milan looks like a good possibility but whether he can continue the legacy of good technical soccer there is another matter.

Rafa doesn't know what to do with his huge arsenal of players and he is paying the high price for it, changing combinations per game is not ideal. He should look at Barca, with so many good players they stick to a core 11.

The Gunners on a roll......lets see whether the dance will last

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Wes
You are right that its good to see the favourites lose for once. The competition sometimes can be so predictable that it becomes boring but these results have just served to show its not as predictable as some may think.

The results don't seem to be coming for Milan and that's where Jose is likely to land I think. Real for a change look very stable and I think they will stick with their coach for this whole season because they are getting results even when they are playing poorly. After watching the Lazio match, I think they should probably won that one.

I agree with you on Rafa. By now you would assume that he knows the best players to pick but he is constantly changing and therefore the team never seems to be stable at all. Maybe after this defeat he will go for stable side because he knows it will a disaster if his team does not go through to the qualifying stages.

You never know it could be the Gunner's year. But remember it was only Steaua Bucuresti !
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stan
Liverpool's problem lies with too much reliance on Gerrard and Benitez knows that Gerrard must be firing on all cylinders in order for Liverpool to sparkle. He didn't and they failed. However, its not all doom and gloom because Liverpool did not lose to Porto in the first match and there is Besiktas still to come.

The constant changes in the squad doesn't help. I don't think he is deliberately trying to be new version of tinkerman but on the contrary he is trying to keep everybody in the squad happy by making everybody play here and there. Maybe he promised them all game time and so he is trying to meet his part of the promise.
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Wes
You could be right Stan on the need to get everybody get game time but I would rather have a fairly stable team or a core team with very few changes.
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