Tag Archives: Inter Milan

Another Exciting and Dramatic Night in the UEFA Champions League

The Champions league continued to entertain on Tuesday night with an eight goal thriller, a comeback and some smaller clubs proving hard nuts to crack.

There is only one place to start, and that is Stamford Bridge where Chelsea hosted last year’s semi-finalists, Ajax. Chelsea won the corresponding fixture two weeks ago in Amsterdam meaning the two teams were level at the top of the group and a win for either side would mean they were in control of their own destiny with regards to qualification.

The match started as it would carry on with 2 goals in the opening 4 minutes. Ajax got the first when they won a free-kick and Quincy Promes’ quality delivery caught Tammy Abraham napping as he diverted the cross into his own net. Chelsea’s response was immediate with Christian Pulisic bursting into the box and drawing a late challenge from Veltman which allowed Jorginho the chance to score from the spot, and he didn’t pass up the opportunity.

The game continued to flow entertainingly with Hakim Ziyech providing the quality to take the game away from the hosts. It was his magnificent cross from the right that caught out Azpilicueta and allowed Promes to dart in and finish from close range to make it 2-1.

Ziyech’s left boot did further damage just before the break as Ajax extended their advantage, although there was a touch of luck about the goal. His delivery from near the corner flag caught out Chelsea keeper, Kepa Arrizabalaga, and the ball bounced back off the post and into the net via the unfortunate goalkeeper’s face.

Things got worse for the Blues when Ziyech found Van de Beek in the area and the classy midfielder found the bottom corner with a clever finish to make it 4-1 and seemingly put the game beyond Chelsea.

Tammy Abraham made up for his error by getting one back before the match entered a crazy period which swung it towards Chelsea.

Daley Blind was shown a second yellow card for fouling Abraham, the referee had played advantage before showing the red card, in the pursuing advantage Veltman was judged to have handballed a Callum Hudson-Odoi’s shot and a penalty was awarded.

To make matters worse for Ajax, Veltman had already been booked and was shown a red. Jorginho rolled in his second penalty of the night and suddenly Chelsea went from being 4-1 down to 8 minutes later being just one goal behind and playing against 9 men for the last 20 minutes.

It was not long before they levelled the match as Reece James hammered home from a corner and Chelsea would have backed themselves to win the match

Azpilicueta thought he had done just that but VAR dampened the celebrations by spotting a handball from Abraham in the build-up.

A crazy night at Stamford Bridge, that had everything ends as a 4-4 draw and the other result in the group, a 4-1 win for Valencia over Lille, means 3 teams are tied on 7 points.

Reece James celebrating his equaliser

Another dramatic match was played out in Dortmund as Borussia Dortmund played Inter Milan.

Barcelona had dropped points earlier in the day by only drawing at home to Slavia Prague meaning the winner of this one would close the gap on Barca to a single point.

Inter Milan controlled the first half and were 2-0 up at half-time thanks to goals from Lautaro Martínez and Matías Vecino.

This however was to be a story of two halfs, Dortmund came out like a completely different team after the break and 6 minutes into it had got one back through Achraf Hakimi, who incredibly had scored all of Dortmund’s goals in the campaign.

Paco Alcácer came on after 64 minutes and with his first touch set up Julian Brandt whose right footed shot from the left side of the box equalised for Dortmund.

They continued to push and Jadon Sancho played a delightful through ball to that man again, Achraf Hakim and the right-back scored yet again to complete the turnaround.

Qualification from this group is still wide open with 2 matchdays remaining with 4 points separating Barca in 1st and Inter in 3rd with Barca still to play both Dortmund and Inter.

Elsewhere, Liverpool were given a scare at home to Genk but overcame it to go top of Group E after Napoli were held by Red Bull Salzburg.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain scored in a second consecutive Champions League game as Liverpool won 2-1 but they were made to work for their victory.

Oxlade-Chamberlain scored another superb goal in the Champions League to ultimately seal a vital three points for the holders.

However, it was far from a walk in Stanley Park, with a thunderous Mbwana Samatta header leveling things up in the first half after an instinctive finish from Georginio Wijnaldum for Liverpool’s 14th-minute opener.

Genk could well have left Anfield with a point, but Liverpool had Alisson Becker to thank for some wonderful late saves.

Other Results

  • Zenit 0-2 RB Leipzig
  • Lyon 3-1 Benfica

Three signings Burnley should make to secure a European spot

The surprise package of the 17/18 season so far has been Burnley. Sean Dyche’s side sit in 7th place, five points off the last Europa League spot currently held by Arsenal. This transfer window could be pivotal if the Clarets are to finish in a European spot, so who should they target?

Theo Walcott- While it may seems unlikely Walcott would join Burnley, it seems very likely Walcott will leave the Emirates in this window. With a World Cup on the horizon, if he harbours any hopes of being on the plane to Moscow, a move to a team chasing European football where he would be guaranteed to start may be something he should consider. This transfer would highlight Burnley’s intent, and if Walcott could find his feet this move could be beneficial to all parties.

Yuto Nagatomo- Burnley remain a little bit light in the left back position, and Nagatomo would provide good competition for Stephen Ward. The Japanese international has a lot of experience with Inter Milan, winning a Coppa Italia and playing in Europe for the Nerazzurri. Nagatomo is an attacking fullback, capable of playing at wing-back and has interested both West Brom and Newcastle already this season. But with Burnley challenging at the other end of the table, they may be a more appealing offer for the 31 year old.

Jack Grealish- The young winger has shown glimpses of why he was one of the hottest talents in the country a few years ago, and it may be time he stepped up to the Premier League and was given a more important role than bit part role he played with Aston Villa. The 22 year old can play out wide or in a central role, and would be able to offer the Clarets a more creative spark in a team that is largely well structured but lacks a player who can create something out of nothing. Grealish could be the final piece in the jigsaw for Burnley, and could help take them to the next level.

 

One more defeat and he’s gone?

Its hard to believe that after just 3 games into the new Premier League campaign we are talking about the first possible managerial casualty. 

Crystal Palace have made the worse possible start to the new season as they have lost all 3 of their opening fixtures, and have yet to score a league goal.

Manager Frank De Boer was announced as the successor to Sam Allardyce who stepped down from his post at Selhurst Park back in June. Upon the Dutchman’s appointment there was a sense of optimism around ‘The Eagles’ that they could go on and have a very good season, under the former Ajax and Inter Milan manager.

Bringing in players such as Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Timothy Fosu Mensah on loan, as well as completing a €9m move for AFC Ajax defender Jairo Reidewald had given the fans further belief that the club were heading in the right direction and De Boer was the man to steer them away from a team that just stayed up every year, and turn them into a solid mid table outfit.

After an opening day thumping by newly promoted Huddersfield Town 3-0 at home, and this backed up with two further defeats to Liverpool and Swansea City respectively, the Dutchman has found himself under huge pressure so early on in his tenure.

Nothing short of 3 points away at Turf Moor this weekend would be good enough for the club, who desperately need to find some kind of form otherwise they could find themselves embroiled in a relegation battle and worse than that for De Boer he could very well found himself out of a job come Monday morning.

Crystal Palace fans should the club stick by Frank De Boer? Is it to soon to sack a manager? Let us know in the comments section…