UEFA Champions League: Your Running Commentary

Real Madrid will look to strengthen their place in the UEFA Champions League’s Group of Death while also eliminating Manchester City when they face the English champions in today’s marquee match-up in group play.

Madrid trails Borussia Dortmund by a point with two matches remaining, but a win would help bolster their hold on a qualify place as Dortmund faces third-place Ajax in the other group match today.

Arsenal can move a step closer to the knockout round when they take on French champions Montpellier today. Currently in second place in Group B, Arsenal could top the group with a win and a Schalke loss to Olympiakos, but with the Germans at home today, the more likely scenario could see Arsenal booking their place in the Round of 16 with a win.

Sacha Kljestan and Anderlecht take on AC Milan today with the winner assured of being in second place in the group heading into the final match-day. Milan could qualify for the knockout round with a win, but Anderlecht won’t make that easy.

If you will be watching today’s UEFA Champions League action, please feel free to share your thoughts, opinions and some play-by-play in the comments section below.

Enjoy the action (Today’s UEFA Champions League Schedule is after the jump):

TODAY’S UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE SCHEDULE

Noon- Fox Soccer Channel- Zenit St. Petersburg vs. Malaga

2:45pm- Fox Soccer Channel- Manchester City vs. Real Madrid

2:45pm- Fox Soccer Plus- Arsenal vs. Montpellier

2:45pm- MSG Plus/Fox Sports Net- Anderlecht vs. AC Milan

2:45pm- DirecTV- Ajax vs. Borussia Dortmund

2:45pm- DirecTV- Dynamo Kiev vs. Paris St. Germain

2;45pm- DirecTV- Schalke 04 vs. Olympiakos

2:45p- DirecTV- Porto vs. Dinamo Zagreb

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40 Responses to UEFA Champions League: Your Running Commentary

  1. Nick says:

    The Gooch with a start and Malaga is up 2-0. Let’s hope he can force his way to the first 18.

  2. Nato says:

    What Yanks will be playing in the CL next season? Dempsey? Bradley? Gatt? Parkhurst? Howard?

  3. yikes says:

    Goochhhhhhhhh. Score a goal. Become a starter

  4. run says:

    Adriano of Shakhtar facing disciplinary action for yesterday’s nonsense.

  5. Dimidri says:

    I get that Malaga is way ahead in the group, but it is truly amazing that Gooch at 30 is starting in the Champion’s League.

    While I’ve always felt people wrongly hated on Jozy, Bradley, and Landon, I’ve always felt the hate spewed at Gooch is more vitriolic, as if he is the sole reason the US can’t play a 4-3-3.

    His story is incredible, from the seven countries he’s played in,(France, Belgium, England, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain), to the racism trial in Belgium, to his near-unprecedented move to AC Milan, to his fight with Zlatan, I just love the dude and hope he can play in 2014, even as a sub. People forget that he was the leading scorer for a high-scoring Sporting team last year before he got injured.

    • MidWest Ref says:

      Excellent post Dimidri. I believe that the 24 hour period from Charlie Davies getting into that terrible crash to Gooch twisting his knee god knows which direction in the last qualifyier was one of the worst 24 hour periods in US Soccer.

      Gooch has worked hard to come back from two bad knee injuries and plays for a Champions League club. That is fantastic for an American player.

      I was expecting 2 or 3 posts stating that Gooch was to blame for one or both of the goals in the 2-2 tie.

      • MidWest Ref says:

        Well we didn’t hit 2-3 posts, but thank you to Gio for letting us all know how bad Gooch is. Thanks Gio.

    • fortunate only says:

      Unprecedented move to AC Milan?

      You are aware that he signed on a free and didn’t do much to warrant an extension. Heck, he even offered to play for free after he was injured and missed the opportunity to prove his worth.

      • MidWest Ref says:

        Who cares if it was a free? The man got signed to warm the bench at AC Milan. It is completely unfair for you to say he didn’t warrant an extension. . . he was severely injured, which also led to his comment that he would stay for free.

        • Dimidri says:

          I can’t think of a bigger team an American field player had played for at that point. I’m more than willing to admit I’m wrong, but the only bigger teams that come to mind are Howard with United, Friedel with Liverpool (didn’t play). It was a huge deal when it happened, so yes, I would say it was unprecedented for an American field player to play on a top 15 team in the world.

  6. Gio says:

    Great clearance on the second goal gooch. Might as well give him the assist for that one

  7. Monty says:

    Jones is starting against Olympiakos.

  8. Jack says:

    Let me add to the Gooch props. He is arguably the most sucessful US player to have ever played in Europe in terms of the most silverware, Europa League and Champions League apperenaces, and just the amount and quality of leagues that he’s played in. The vitriol is that people want to Gooch to be able to pass like an attacking midfielder. That’s not his game, deal with it. Gooch passes as well as someone like Mertesacker for Arsenal; their common denominator being that both have size and shut down crosses into the box. For all the Gooch haters, I ask this: why doesn’t Bocanegra or Cameron or Goodson play for a team like Malaga. Gooch is a top shelf player and we should be happy that we have him. If you’re going to take smack about Gooch, you should be willing to let Gooch hit you in the ribs.

    • Monty says:

      Mertesacker is actually really good on the ball. That is one of the reasons why he is able to play on that level without any quickness at all is because his ability on the ball. For success in Europe I would put Bradley, Dempsey and Bocanegra over Onyewu over achievement because they became quality players in much stronger leagues. The majority of Onyewu’s success came in Belgium which isn’t one of the stronger leagues in Europe.

      • yikes says:

        Bocanegra started for a relegation fodder team like Fulham for years and apent 3years at mid table clubs in France. Gooch was on a crappy Norwegian side. Gooch flopped in England/Italy but was Great in Portufal\Belgium ranked 6th/10th in Euro leagues

      • yikes says:

        Bocanegra started for a relegation fodder team like Fulham for years and apent 3years at mid table clubs in France. Gooch was on a crappy Norwegian side. Gooch flopped in England/Italy but was Great in Portufal\Belgium ranked 6th/10th in Euro leagues

      • Dimidri says:

        That’s a fair point about most of his success coming in Belgium, although he was Best XI multiple times while he was there and obviously played well enough their to move to Milan. My initial point wasn’t necessarily that he is the greatest American in Europe of all time but that he’s been remarkably successful, especially considering the way he is usually characterized.

        • Jack says:

          My point is that if you look at certain criteria, specifically the more quantitative criteria (it’s hard to think stats like goals, assists, passing completion to evaluate defenders), Gooch IS argumentatively the most successful US player in Europe. When did he play in Norway? Belgium is just as good of a league as Sweden or Danemark or Norway. Standard at the time was probably better terms in Europe (played in Champions league and almost went to Europa league finals). Anyhow, what I’m trying to get across is that Gooch deserves mad props (especially given how many times he’s moved over the pass 10 years and how many new languages he’s had to learn). But naaa…..99% of US fans just like turd on Gooch and complain that he’s not Douglas or David Luiz on the ball.

    • MidWest Ref says:

      Who was the Californian who grew up with the Manchester United reserves then played at Dortmund? He finished his career with the Galaxy

      • Monty says:

        Kirovski but, he rarely played for Dortmund and was never really able to hold down a first team spot anywhere in Europe.

  9. Monty says:

    Good goal by Benzema. I have a feeling Madrid are going to score a few more.

  10. A says:

    What has happened to Milan?

    • Monty says:

      Berlusconi has being having some financial troubles so now Milan are also having some financial troubles. So they let a lot of their veterans leave on a free and sold their two best players. To replace all those players they signed cheap replacements.

  11. A says:

    Sacha doing De Jong’s role better than De Jong.

  12. malkin says:

    Interesting that we have 4 americans starting in champions league this week, and only 1 is a usmnt regular (and even he is consistently bashed)

  13. Wolfgang Depner says:

    Dortmund up 3-nil after 45 minutes at Ajax. Unless BVB experiences a Germany-like collapse, it will join Bayern as the second German team in the Round of 16. Schalke 04 can follow them today as well by winning. Currently, 0-0 after 45 auf Schalke against Piraeus.

  14. A says:

    Anderlecht being really, really hard done by the official.

    Mexes should be off by now, easily. And I understand wanting to keep the game flowing and not call much, but if a defender goes in hard on a tackle in the box, clearly misses the ball and takes out the attacking player it’s a penalty. No ifs, ands, or buts. You don’t have the discretion to wave it off. It’s a penalty.

  15. apw40 says:

    Mexes just scored a wonder goal with a bicycle kick from 20 yards out. Straight FIFA effort

  16. A says:

    Okay this match has been ruined by the official.

    Anderlecht player blows past Milan player who swings his leg out and takes him down. Ball then goes to Milan player who plays the ball forward to Pato who is offside by several yards. Defender catches up and clips Pato as he tries and cut. He’s 45 yards from goal with another defender a few yards behind and the official sends the Anderlecht player off.

    Misses the takedown. Misses the offside. Red card for denial of goal scoring opportunity–45 yards out from the goal.

    Announcer sound just at a loss and really disappointed as Mexes then scores and they bring up that he gave up a penalty earlier that wasn’t given to Anderlecht.

  17. A says:

    COME ON.

    Kljsetan goes all magic johnson and dimes a gorgeous through ball to the top of the 6 and the Anderlecht player manages to miss wide and high from there.

    • Chris G says:

      Yeah that made me scream. A rarity. Kljestan bossed this game in the 2nd half and I kind of feel bad for him. Anderlecht is a decent side otherwise but thier ability to create and finish in the final 3rd is pathetic. Watching them over this Champions League campaign has been frustrating every game.

  18. AZ says:

    Anybody see Jones’ assist for Schalke? I missed it.

  19. ex_sweeper says:

    Jermaine Jones gets the assist on Schalke’s goal. He’s on an impressive run lately. I’m starting to think that his crosses may be as important for the USMNT as his defense. And in spite of his record for getting yellow cards, he’s smart about when to foul. I looked it up – over the past five years, he has only received 4 second yellows and has never received a direct red card in over 200 appearances.

  20. ex_sweeper says:

    OT, but man, the ESPN live score service is going downhill fast! Between making mistakes (no, Sasha Klejstan did not get a red card today – he was still on the field to get an assist), unreliable updating, not tracking most of the leagues they “cover” in real time, and generally sucking in the level of detailed commentary they provide, I’m relying a lot more on Soccerway, BBC and other match-trackers for info.