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Pattaya Daily News

25 November 2009 :: 15:11:05 pm 5861

Liverpool Crash Out Of Champions League Despite Narrow Win

Champions League action resumed on Tuesday night with Arsenal booking their place in the final rounds, following a convincing 2-0 win over Standard Liege. On the other side of the continent Liverpool were sent crashing out of this year’s competition despite winning their match against Debrecen in Budapest.
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Group E

Debrecen v Liverpool (0-1)

Liverpool were the outright favourites to overcome a distinctly inexperienced Debrecen team and did not fail to please. A hard and fast tempo was set by the Liverpool team who where efficiently lead by world-class box to box midfielder Steven Gerrard, who seems to have returned to full fitness following his recent injury.

The only goal of the match came from French striker David N’Gog who seemed to revel in the spotlight after being handed a rare starting birth by manager Rafa Benitez. Liverpool controlled possession throughout the match and could have had a glut more goals had it not been for some impressive goalkeeping efforts by Vukasin Poleksic. Despite the win Liverpool exit this year’s competition n at the group stage following Fiorentina’s 1-0 win over Lyon in Italy earlier in the night.

Fiorentina v Lyon (1-0)

Fiorentina won the battle of the Stadio Artemio Franchi against French League heavyweights Lyon, not only securing their place in the final rounds of the competition but also resigning English giants Liverpool to the lesser Europa League competition.

Fiorentina perhaps had the better opportunities with the ball in what was truly a closely fought battle between two hard working teams. The only goal of the match came through a Juan Manuel Vargas penalty following a clumsy challenge in the box by Lyon’s Aly Cissokho. Lyon were already guaranteed a spot in the final 16 prior to the match however Fiorentina have now taken the lead in the group ahead of their upcoming away trip to Anfield.

Group F

Barcelona v Inter Milan (2-0)

Barcelona won with ease at home against a surprisingly lacklustre Inter side. In such a surprisingly close group Barcelona have now taken the lead ahead of Russian side Rubin Kazan who are tied on 6 points with Inter Milan.

The match saw two first-half goals from defender Gerard Pique and attacking winger Pedro Rodriguez respectively. Barcelona enjoyed the lion’s share of possession and seemed to overcome Jose Mourinho’s Inter side with relative ease. Barcelona were without the likes of superstars Lionel Messi and Zlatan Ibrahimovic who had to be content with bench spots as a result of them both carrying niggling injuries.

Rubin Kazan v Dynamo Kyiv (0-0)

A boring nil-all draw was played out in Kazan, with temperatures hovering just above zero and heavy sleet affecting the quality of football on show.

There were a few chances produced by both teams in the match but ultimately the game was only notable for the distinct lack of quality football on show. The draw keeps both teams in with a chance of progressing to the final 16 in a surprisingly close group.

Group G

Unirea Urziceni v Sevilla (1-0)

Romanian champions Unirea Urziceni are proving to be a real surprise packet in the 2009 Champions League Tournament, upsetting group favourites Sevilla to leap into second place in the group.

The only goal of the match came late in the first-half through an Ivica Dragutinovic own goal. Unirea Urziceni were content to sit back and absorb the attacking raids of the Sevilla team who looked to press on for an equaliser, but to no avail. Following the result in Glasgow Unirea Urziceni now move into second place in the group with a match against third placed Stuttgart to decide their Champions League fate.

Rangers v VfB Stuttgart (0-2)

Rangers needed to win at home against Stuttgart if they were to have any hope of progressing out of the group stage; however it was not to be as they succumbed to a convincing defeat at the hands of the Germans.

Sebastian Rudy scored the first goal on 16 minutes following an Alexander Hleb cross, whilst scorer turned provider in the 59th minute allowing Zdravko Kuzmanovic to head home the winner. With Sevilla already assured a place in the final 16 it is all eyes on the German v Romanian encounter next week to see who will progress into the lucrative final stages of the Champions League.

Group H

Arsenal v Standard Liege (2-0)

Arsene Wenger’s men put in a commanding performance at the Emirates to see off the challenge of their Belgian opponents. For much of the match it seemed that the Gunners team did not even leave 3rd gear.

The goals both came in the first-half, the first of which came from a deft glancing shot by Samir Nasri following a well timed long ball by Thomas Vermaelen. Brazilian midfielder Denilson ensured the victory with a typical 30 yard screamer on the stroke of half-time. Arsenal could well have made it 3-0 with Cesc Fabregas, Emmanuel Eboue and Theo Walcott all going close in the second period. The win puts Arsenal through from the group stages allowing Wenger to give his key men a much needed rest in the final game, to be played next week.

AZ Alkmaar v Olympiacos (0-0)

Chances were few and far between on a blustery night in northern Holland. With nothing to choose between the two teams in the first half, the Dutch side came out fighting after the interval, needing a win to keep their Champions League dreams alive.

AZ Alkmaar could not convert their possession into goals, and Olympiacos held on, needing just a point from their final game with Standard Liege to assure progression into the coveted round of 16.

Reporter : Harry Roberts   Photo : Internet   Category : Sports News

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