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Monday, October 30, 2006

Vieira to miss Inter vs. Spartak

Inter of Milan will travel to the Russian capital for Tuesday's Champions League Group B showdown with Spartak Moscow without Patrick Vieira.

In fact, the talented midfielder sustained an ankle injury during Saturday's 4-3 derby win over AC Milan.

We must mention that Vieira, who will be sidelined for two weeks, had strong words with Inter's assistant coach Sinisa Mihajlovic after the clash.

The French footballer's request to be substituted midway through the second half, 30 minutes after damaging his ankle during a contest with Milan's Gattuso, was turned down by Inter.

Manager Roberto Mancini opted instead to replace forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who was also struggling with a minor knock.

"I am sorry that I couldn't replace Vieira," Mancini expressed. "I really thought he could finish the match. I needed him considering that Ibrahimovic couldn't make it.

"In the end, Vieira got upset with Sinisa. However, I want to thank him for what he did for the squad."

And while Vieira stays behind in Milan for treatment on the injury, Ibrahimovic will be available for Tuesday's encounter although Argentine Julio Cruz is likely to partner Hernan Crespo upfront.

"I have seen a lot of positives out of our win against Milan," said Mancini. "I am happy because the team has shown a lot of character.

"Now we are focused on our tricky game against Spartak."

The Nerazzurri welcome back Fabio Grosso, who missed their 2-1 home triumph against Spartak earlier this month through suspension, as they look for their first triumph on the road this current season.

It's important to notice that they trail six points behind group leaders Bayern Munich and are a single point behind Sporting Lisbon.

The Italians must brace themselves for a battle at the Luzhniki Stadium as Spartak, who lost at Inter two weeks ago, cannot afford a loss having only taken one point in three European games.

Should the Russian giants fail to take a positive result, and Sporting beat Bayern in the other group game, Spartak's hopes of progressing would vanish.

But a win on Tuesday would see them leapfrog their illustrious opponents and put them right back in contention.

Russian captain Yegor Titov has been unimpressed with the Italian champions this season and believes they have a genuine chance.

He told the Russian newspaper: "The current Inter team is not what it used to be in the past few years.

"I think there is no better time to play them and if we can't beat them this time we probably never will."

In fact, they will have to perform better than they did at the weekend though - on Saturday the Russian champions were held to a 1-1 draw by the Premier League's bottom team Shinnik Yaroslavl.

Chelsea want to beat Barcelona to assure the first place

The Champions League is setting up for one of the most important derbies in the last years: Barcelona against Chelsea. New goalkeeper Henrique Hilario will keep his place in goal for Chelsea's clash with the Spanish team at the Nou Camp.

We must mention that Hilario has conceded only one goal in four games since replacing injured keeper Petr Cech and saved a penalty against Sheffield United on Saturday. It's also good to know that Carlo Cudicini is fit after a spell out with concussion but boss Jose Mourinho has promised to keep faith in Hilario in the Nou Camp.

Chelsea's coach Mourinho will make a late decision on strikers Didier Drogba and Andriy Shevchenko who both trained with the team today. Drogba came off at Bramall Lane with a foot injury, and Shevchenko missed the match with a thigh strain.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Sir Alex Ferguson wants another title for Manchester United

When we talk about Sir Alex Ferguson, we must mention the word "success". He has won everything with Mancheste United. However, he wants to win at least one more Champions League for the Old Trafford team before he retires.

In fact, the old coach will have been manager of United for 20 years on November 6, and has already led the club to eight Premier League titles, five FA Cups, two League Cups and a European Cup Winners' Cup - as well as one Champions League triumph, against Bayern Munich in Barcelona in 1999.

Now at the age of 64, Ferguson admits: "It is a priority to do better in the European Cup and that will not change at this club because Europe is a motivation for us all the time.

"In my time at United, we should have done it better. In some years we have been unlucky, in others we have thrown it away and in others we were just not good enough.

"However, the bottom line is we should have had at least one more European Cup in my time at the club and hopefully we can do that before I ride off into the sunset."

We must remember that last season Manchester United failed to make it past the group stage, but three successive wins so far in the current campaign mean that just a point from Wednesday's trip to FC Copenhagen should be enough to earn a place in the knockout stage with two matches to spare.

So, Ferguson believes that spreading the goals around the team is the key to their improved performances and something that will help hem progress in Europe.

"We have great footballer we rely on in terms of goals, the most important being Louis Saha," said Ferguson. "I am sure Wayne [Rooney] will eventually go on to get us 15 and Cristiano Ronaldo is quite capable of reaching that figure too. But the real impact comes from the spread of goals in other areas.

"Obviously Paul Scholes' return to the squad is a bonus in that respect because historically, he has always given us an average of 10 a year. That was one of the things we missed last year when his season was cut down rapidly by injury.

"Hopefully, Ryan [Giggs] and Michael Carrick will make a contribution, as will the defenders, so we could have a healthy situation this year."

The manager also has Alan Smith back in the frame after the ex-Leeds star recovered from a serious leg injury.

Smith is now being seen as a forward again after being played in midfield last season.

"We tried Alan in central midfield last season because we were looking for someone with a certain type of aggression to replace Roy Keane," said Ferguson.

"However, now Scholes is back and we also have Carrick, Alan would have been behind players in the queue, so we felt it was better to use him in a position he is more acquainted with.

"In fact, there are no lingering doubts about him in terms of injury now. He just needs to work on his sharpness and timing. I am sure he will be fine."

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Chelsea got a sweet revenge over Barcelona

In a perfect night for Didier Drogba, he scored a brilliant goal to topple European champions Barcelona and put Jose Mourinho's squad in total control at the top of Group A.

As we all saw, the Ivorian is in incredible form and smashed home his ninth of the season, on the turn from the edge of the box. It was sweet revenge for Chelsea against the team who ended their own Champions League dream last season.

In fact, Chelsea have now won their first three matches of their European campaign and are in a strong position to go through to the knockout stages as group-winners.

As for Barcelona, with four points from three games, have a fight on their hands to qualify, with Chelsea their next rivals in the Camp Nou in two weeks.

IT's really good to notice that Hilario, in for injured keepers Petr Cech and Carlo Cudicini, kept a clean sheet on his debut and left the pitch clutching the match ball.

England captain John Terry and Ricardo Carvalho were immense in central defence but the keeper played his part with several saves, including a crucial late one from Deco. His first touch came two minutes and 20 seconds into the game when he dashed from his line to collect a loose ball. The home fans gave him a big warm cheer to let him know they were right behind him.

Then, Hilario saved Lionel Messi's angled drive in the 24th minute and turned a low shot from Xavi around the post on the half-hour.

Barcelona shaded first-half possession and, in their most fluent moments, cut through Chelsea but Ronaldinho had little impact on events. He chipped over in the 29th minute after escaping the excellent Boulahrouz and Hilario easily saved a tame free-kick from the Brazilian after the break. But that, and a couple of clever flicks, was about it from FIFA's World Player of the Year.

Gianluca Zambrotta stretched to stop Drogba's effort rolling into the net but was unable to get any distance on his clearance. It spilled back into the penalty area but bounced agonisingly half a yard behind Shevchenko.

German midfielder Michael Ballack squandered Chelsea's best chance of the first half when he rose unmarked to meet Frank Lampard's corner but planted his header over.

It was left to Drogba to open the scoring, less than two minutes after restart. The Ivorian got his ninth of the season and it was just as great as the stunner which beat Liverpool at Stamford Bridge, last month.

He controlled a pass from Cole, turned Carles Puyol and unleashed a fierce drive past Valdes. Drogba's strike opened the match up as Chelsea seized control and finished strongly. Shevchenko had a glorious opportunity to double the lead in the 55th minute but the Ukrainian can seem to do nothing right at the moment and shot over the gaping net.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

The Football Glory

Welcome to the Unofficial site of the UEFA Champions League. We are a group of fans who will deliver you the latest news of the most important football tournament in the World.

We hope you enjoy this site, full of goals, passion and honor. Follow the games of some of the most important teams like Real Madrid, Barcelona, Inter, Manchester United, Arsenal, Bayern Munich and more...

There's no excuse to be bored. The Champions League is here!