Liverpool 1 – Atletico Madrid 1 (Champions League, November 4, 2008) (Longer highlights here.) Liverpool started brightly against Atletico, coming close to scoring after Xabi Alonso’s 60-yard pass was perfectly collected by Robbie Keane before seeing his shot go narrowly wide. But it was the Spaniards who took the lead at Anfield, Antonio Lopez controlled a pass brilliantly down the line, and his cross was converted by Maxi Rodriguez. After the break Daniel Agger came close to restoring parity for the Reds but his header beat Atletico keeper Leo Franco but also the bar. Steven Gerrard played a fine one-two with Keane but the skipper’s effort was off target. But just as it looked like Liverpool were going to lose back-to-back games, Steven Gerrard won the Reds a (soft) penalty which he dispatched into the Kop.
Roma 3 – Chelsea 1 (Champions League, November 4, 2008) (Longer highlights here and extended highlights here.) Christian Panucci continued his fine scoring record this season by giving Roma the lead in their must-win game at home to Chelsea, sending the Olimpico wild turning home Cicinho’s cross. Scolari threw on Drogba at the break, but it was Roma who flew out the traps as Mirko Vucinic smashed home a 20-yard beauty for 2-nil. Chelsea’s defense, which had only conceded four goals all season, were then ripped to pieces by Roma’s third, Vucinic skinned Obi Mikel before expertly beating Cech to send the locals crazy. John Terry (handball) pulled a goal back for Chelsea with 15 minutes to go, but the Blues were dealt a cruel blowÂ when the ref made a poor decision to send off Deco.
Anorthosis Famagusta 3 – Inter Milan 3 (Champions League, November 4, 2008) Inter had an early chance away in Anorthosis, Zlatan forcing a smart save from Beqaj after only two minutes. Mourinho’s charges continued their early pressure by taking the lead, Ibrahimovic’s 35-yard free-kick was poorly dealt with by Beqaj between the sticks and Mario Balotelli was on hand to tap home the rebound. All Inter’s early running was undone on the half hour as Burdisso had a total brain loss dealing with a harmless long ball, the defender guided his header past the advancing Cesar allowing Cedric Bardon the simple task of rolling the ball home. Marco Materazzi regained the lead for Inter, the defender won a strong header from a corner to score. But a crazy opening 45 ended all square, Cambiasso’s attempted headed clearance hit the head of Georgios Panagi and the ball ended up in the net. (First half highlights here.) A game littered with mistakes then saw the hosts take the lead, Burdisso once again was at fault allowing Frousos to score. But Inter found an equaliser through Julio Cruz, who headed home Balotelli’s free-kick.
Barcelona 1 – Basel 1 (Champions League, November 4, 2008) Barca had to wait a surprising hour before breaking the deadlock with pointless Basel, Lionel Messi played a fabulous one-two with Thierry Henry before slotting the ball into the bottom corner. But the Swiss minnows picked up an amazing, unlikely draw when Derdiyok volleyed home a cross to level.
Marseille 3 – PSV 0 (Champions League, November 4, 2008) Marseille scored after half an hour against PSV, Bacary Kone was released through the middle and the striker rounded the keeper to score. The Dutch outfit fell apart in the second half, Mamadou Niang met Kone’s inch-perfect cross on the volley for the second. And Niang sealed the win with the third in the 72nd minute, clinically scoring after being put through from Ben Afra’s pass.
Werder Bremen 0 – Panathinaikos 3 (Champions League, November 4, 2008) (Longer highlights here.) Having taken the lead away at Werder Bremen through Mantzios’ fine strike, Panathinaikos scored a stunning second goal to humble the Germans, Giorgos Karagounis collected a throw-in on the left hand side and smacked a wonderful shot into the far corner. (A Steve McManaman versus Arsenal take-off?) The Greeks completed a fine away win thanks to Pasanen’s own goal seven minutes from time.
CFR Cluj 1 – Bordeaux 2 (Champions League, November 4, 2008) Yoann Gourcuff opened the scoring in the 6th minute with a scrappy right foot shot past EduardÂ Stancioiu. Cluj equalised three minutes later when Ricardo Dani planted a fine header, but Bordeaux scored the eventual winner in the 38th when Geraldo Wendel curled a sweet free-kick around the Cluj wall from the edge of theÂ area.