UEFA Champions League: Tuesday Highlights
2009-12-09 - Added by
ExtraFootie's Raj Mannick seeks laser eye surgery after staring unblinkingly at a mesmerizing night in the UEFA Champions League, including a vintage Michael Owen hat-trick, more goals for Ronaldo, and a humiliating exit for Juventus.
Game of the Night - Huge game down at the Stadio Olimpico di Turin with Italian giants Juventus battling the German behemoth Bayern Munich for a winner-takes-all place in the knockouts.
Juve took the lead when David Trezeguet volleyed in early on, but amazingly Bayern's goalkeeper Hans-Jorg Butt leveled the game from the penalty spot ten minutes later.
Second-half goals from Ivica Olic, Mario Gomez, and Anatoliy Tymoschuk condemned the Serie A side to their heaviest home defeat in European football and sends Louis van Gaal's team storming into the last 16.
Performance of the Night - Porto romped to a convincing victory over lowly Atletico Madrid in the Spanish capital to confirm their status as a team to avoid in the draw for the knockouts. Early goals from Bruno Alves and Falcao, as well as a late effort from the incredible Hulk, aptly emphasized the Portuguese champion's dominant performance.
Upset of the Night - Cypriot minnows Apoel Nicosia stunned the Stamford Bridge faithful as they left West London with a deserved point after a 2-2 draw with a Chelsea side boasting several first-team regulars. Messrs Lampard, Terry, and Drogba did their best to help their team return to winning ways after losing their last two games, but a late Nenad Mirosavljevic goal made the Blues pay for failing to kill the game off in the second-half.
Macin Zewlakow gave the Cypriot champions an early lead, but strikes from Michael Essien and Didier Drogba seemingly won it for Chelsea, before a sloppy mistake by John Obi Mikel allowed Mirosavljevic to slot home and give the wonderfully vocal traveling fans something to cheer about.
Player of the Night - Manchester United striker Michael Owen showed the watching world exactly why Sir Alex Ferguson was willing to splash £0m on him in the summer as he scored a stunning hat-trick to confirm the Red Devils' place at the top of Group B, as they overcame Wolsfburg 3-1 in Germany.
Owen's first was a typical poacher's header, his second was put on a plate for him by the spaghetti-legged Gabriel Obertan, but the third took us back to Le Coup de Monde 1998 as the soon-to-be-30-year-old Englishman showed genuine pace to latch onto a through ball, dart across the chasing defender, and dink the ball over the hapless keeper.
Donkey of the Night - AC Milan's passage through to the next phase was made all the easier when FC Zurich's donkey of a defender Alain Rochat saw red for bringing down Borriello in the box. Ronaldinho converted the resulting spot-kick to earn Milan a 1-1 draw and condemn Rochat to Donkeydom (that's the fictional Kingdom where the who's who of footballing donkeys reside. Anyone looking for Titus Bramble, now you know where to find him!)
Goal of the Night - Real Madrid diva and world superstar Cristiano Ronaldo continued his unbelievable scoring record with a phenomenal 35-yard free-kick that cannoned off his majestic right peg, whizzed past the shoddy wall, before flying beyond Mandanda in the Marseille goal and bursting the onion bag. Wow, just... wow!
Talking Point of the Night - Never mind Bayern Munich trouncing Juve in Italy, or CR9 bagging another brace, tonight was all about former England striker Michael Owen sending a message to Three Lions boss Fabio Capello about as subtle as a stamp to the Italians' forehead reading "I've still got it - take me to South Africa".
On this evidence, few could deny Capello's "tormentor" a place in the World Cup squad given Owen's big-game experience and knack for pinching goals.
Team of the Night (4-4-2) - Butt (Bayern Munich), Alves (Porto), Pepe (Real Madrid), Jurietti (Bordeaux), Lahm (Bayern Munich), Schweinsteiger (Bayern Munich), Essien (Chelsea), Van Bommel (Bayern Munich), Ronaldo (Real Madrid) Olic (Bayern Munich), Owen (Manchester United)