Sunday, October 26, 2008

Celtic's Stephen McManu not interested in critics after Champions League defeat

Celtic powerfull defender Stephen McManus brushed aside the adverse media reaction which followed Tuesday's Champions League defeat by the mercyless Manchester United at Old Trafford.

The Scottish current champions lost 3-0 in a one-sided encounter that had most pundits - and many Hoops fans - discussing the gap that has appeared to have grown between the two clubs since they met at the same stage of the tournament two seasons ago.

Celtic, without an away win in the competition in 19 attempts, are bottom of Group E with one point and are now battling with Danish side Aalborg for a UEFA Cup spot rather than looking to qualify for the knockout stages for the third season in succession.

However, ahead of the Clydesdale Bank Premier League clash with Hibernian at Parkhead, the Scotland defender was in no mood for the Manchester post mortem to continue.

"We are not really interested in what's been written to be perfectly honest," he said.

"We are just interested in the game tomorrow.

"It's evident, it's obvious, you don't need people to tell you. So as far as we are concerned, the Manchester United game is done.

"In football you always look to the next game, we move on and we give respect to Hibs.

"Hibs have been playing reasonably well recently and they will be excited about coming to our place.

"It's going to be a very tough game but we are up for it."

Indeed, McManus will come up against former team-mate Derek Riordan who returned to Easter Road in the summer after failing to pin down a regular first team spot at Parkhead following his move to Celtic two years ago.

But the big Scotland defender insists Riordan will not be the only threat to the champions.

"Derek will play the best that he can for himself and his club, that's what you do in football", McManus said.

"He's a good finisher but Steven Fletcher is a good finisher, Colin Nish is a good finisher and Dean Shiels can pop up with a few goals, so they can score which is the hardest thing in football.

"But we are capable of scoring goals as well, so we look forward to it."

Chelsea FC had a hard time to beat italian Roma

It was a tough game indeed, but the victory might have been written for Chelsea by the Almighty. Luiz Felipe Scolari’s Chelsea defeated Roma 1-0 in the UEFA Champions League, held in the Stamford Bridge, London, on October 22.

The blues could have scored its first in the very second minute, had Nicolas Anelka not been flagged for offside. In the 3rd minute, De Rossi, the Roma striker missed the target. Luciano Spalletti, the Roma coach proved his dexterity in maintaining a hard line-up that really proved impregnable for the Blues to crack. In the 9th minute, Frank Lampard, the Chelsea striker made a fiery shot, but Doni, the Roma goalie made a brilliant save.

Philippe Mexès, the center back player of Roma committed a hard tackle, which earned him a yellow card in the 22nd minute. In the 24th minute, Lampard made a powerful but blind shot at the post. Florent Malouda, the left winger of the Blues was not spared by the Greek referee, Kyros Vassaras for showing excessive aggressiveness and was booked in the 30th minute. The first half ended with a blank scoreboard.

Both teams were keen for goals from the very beginning of the second half. Anelka and Salomon Kalou attempted at the target, but failed to score. In the 72nd minute, Jphn Terry, the Chelsea captain faced yellow card for tackling Francesco Totti, the Roma striker. Scolari put Di Santo as a substitute of Kalou in the 77th minute. Just after that, the Chelsea captain scored the victorious goal for the Blues after getting a brilliant pass from Lampard.

As the game was nearing its end, Menez and Tonetto were brought as the substitutes of Taddei and Riise by Spalletti in the 81st and 82nd minute, respectively. But they failed to score a single for Roma. In the 85th minute, Christian Panucci was booked with yellow card. Philippe Mexès, another center back of Roma made a shot, but missed the target. Petr Čech, the Chelsea goalie was at his best throughout the match. After three matches, Chelsea has scored seven points, while Roma has three points only.