UCL Talk

With the 1st legs now finished, we take a look at who is best placed to make Lisbon in May.

Just one goal was scored over both games and that came courtesy of Karim Benzema as Real Madrid beat Bayern Munich 1-0 at the Bernabeu and will now travel to Munchen with the lead. If Real Madrid do make it to the final and win, it will be Carlo Ancelotti’s third Champions League win as a coach, twice with AC Milan and what would be once with Real Madrid. As reported by Sky Sports News, Pep will not be to disappointed not to have won yet would have at the very least liked to have registered an away goal but will be confident of a turn around in the Allianz arena.

La Liga leaders Atletico now travel to Stamford Bridge and after failing to score at home in the Vicente Calderon, they will hope that Diego Costa et al can provide Los Colchoneros with an away goal. Before the Chelsea game only Barcelona and Real had managed to stop Atleti scoring at the Calderon this season.

Jose Mourinho will be happy with the 0-0 draw away in Spain, but at what cost? Both Cech and Terry came off injured, the former will now miss the rest of the season with a dislocated shoulder whilst Terry will only play again should Chelsea make the Champions League final.

The 2nd legs will be very tight indeed; each side knows how close they are to the final of Europe’s elite tournament and will be extra careful not to make any mistakes.

It’s tough to call who I think will make the final. It would be great to see Atletico lift the trophy with the big ears, nobody would have predicted that at the start of the season and it could well top off a double winning season for them. Chelsea could well win three European trophies on the bounce, taking their tally to two UCL trophies, with a Europa League sandwiched in between. Real will be hoping to win their 10th title and their first since 2002; long over due with all who are associated with the Los Blancos.

And to holders Bayern Munich, could they be the first team to retain the Champions League?  AC Milan, Juventus and Manchester United have all made the final the year after winning it; they all failed to retain. History then suggests Bayern will fail in their quest to retain the Champions League trophy, but there has always got to be a first… right?

Tell us what you think in the comments below!

21st October 2013 – NEWZ as it happens

Vincent Kompany and Mathieu Flamini will both be absent from their sides Champions League games due to injury

Patrice Evra has hinted at an exit from Manchester United once his contract is up

The draw for the UEFA World Cup play off draw has taken place and the following ties are

Greece vs Romania

Iceland vs Croatia

Portugal vs Sweden

Ukraine vs France

Brazil 2014

 

This morning’s headlines.

Patrice Evra to explain his comments about former France international Bixente Lizarazu

Stefan Effenberg has hit out at Munich boss Pep Guardiola, following his apparent refusal to allow Arjen Robben

Wenger says do not rule out Manchester United. The Champions are currently 8 points adrift of League leaders Arsenal, and have only won three in the League from the first eight games.

Walcott has suffered a minor injury set back and will be out for a further two weeks.

Robert Lewandowski still undecided on his next move

The Lewandowski transfer saga takes yet another twist. Whilst many outlets were reporting that he planned to sign for Bayern Munich, in a pre-contract this January, Lewandowski has moved to dismiss those rumours. Quoted on Sky Sports, Lewandowski said “I will sign a contract this January, but not once did I say I was signing for Bayern”.

He continued by saying that he planned to play in the Premier League one day, and that he would be looking forward to that experience. With Lewandowski’s contract due to run out in the Summer of 2014, Dortmund maybe willing to listen to offers for the striker this January so that they don’t lose him on a free transfer.

So where will he end up? Will he indeed sign for Bayern Munich or will we see him plying his trade in one of the Manchester colours?

Lewandowski is still undecided on where his future lies

Lewandowski is still undecided on where his future lies

Whether a deal is concluded this January of next summer, one thing is for certain, he will not be in the yellow of Borussia Dortmund.

Willy Sagnol – October 2nd

One heck of a right back for both club and country, Willy Sagnol was a true professional. It’s a shame that his Achilles heel was infact his Achilles heel, that eventually saw him retire early.

Sagnol started his professional career at Saint Etienne in 1995, playing 10 times that season, before becoming a regular the next season, appearing in the league 36 times. His performances that season, secured a move to newly crowned Ligue 1 Champions AS Monaco. In moving to Monaco, Sagnol got his chance to test his abilities in the Champions League. All in all Sagnol spent three seasons at Monaco winning two Trophees des Champions and in his final season the Ligue 1.

Bundesliga comes calling.

Come the summer of 2000, clubs from around Europe began sniffing around the young right back. Bayern Munich were the club that managed to secure his signing, and Sagnol moved across the border and into Bavaria. It didn’t take long for Sagnol to become a regular fixture at right back for Bayern, also on occasion being asked to play as an attacking wing back. His first season with Bayern ended in great success, winning both the Bundesliga and UEFA Champions League. Sagnol would go on to win plenty more trophies with the German giants, including another four Bundesliga titles, four DFB-Pokals, two LIGA Pokals and a Intercontinental Cup.

It was during the year of 2000, that Sagnol made his debut for the French National squad. Initially he found it difficult to displace stalwart Lillian Thuram at right back. He spent a lot of time sitting on the bench for Les Bleus, until Lillian Thuram moved into centre back. Sagnol did win two tournaments with France, both Confederations Cups, and was a runner-up in the infamous 2006 World Cup Final, mainly rememebered for the Zidane/Materazzi incident.

Sagnol eventually retired in 2009 because of a continuous Achilles heel injury. It drew to a premature close a very successful end to a career for the man from Saint-Etienne

Sagnol (left) up against Spain's Fernando Torres at the 2006 World Cup in Germany

Sagnol (left) up against Spain’s Fernando Torres at the 2006 World Cup in Germany