Feb 14, 2008

Trotters Top Atleti, Lanus Lift Argies Copa Lib Spirits

Senegalese forward El Hadji Diouf scored minutes after Atletico Madrid substitute Sergio Aguero was red-carded for spitting to send Bolton Wanderers to a 1-0 home victory in the first leg of their UEFA Cup match-up. It was probably the biggest surprise on the day, though arguments could also be made for Bayern's 2-2 tie at Aberdeen, which comes a day after I basically called all SPL teams crap. (While we're at it, Atletico was in my ranking of the world's top 25 soccer clubs last week, so I either don't know what I'm talking about or these games were one-offs. Or both).

In the Copa Libertadores, Lanus got a a pair of second half goals to gain three points from their group stage opener against Danubio. I saw most of this game and felt the Argentine side deserved the victory (even though the third goal looked offside. The Argie commentators even appeared to admit as much, though I couldn't understand them very well. This isn't a slight on the Argentine accent; I can't understand the other Spanish accents much better). Lanus hit the post shortly before half-time and minutes before the goal had the Danubio keeper rob them with a brilliant save from point blank range. In fact, watching this game it's easy to see why Lanus were the Apertura champs last year; solid defensively, good pace and technique in midfield; they pass very well, do an excellent job moving the ball around and generally seem in sync. The finishing could have been better tonight, but from what I saw they were clearly the better team on the field. The Montevideo club did score a lovely free kick goal though. I recommend scouring YouTube for it (I have and couldn't find it but it might be up by now). After losses by San Lorenzo, Estudiantes and River Plate, Lanus' victory was the first for an Argentine side in this year's tournament. In the day's other game, Cienciano del Cusco topped Nacional Montevideo.

Nothing else terribly interesting to report from the UEFA Cup but figure Hamburg SV, Tottenham Hotspur and Fiorentina to be through after booking away victories today (admittedly against clubs they should not be having any problems with). Joining them is Everton, the only team from yesterday to win on the road. So Everton will in all likelihood live to play at least another round in Europe. They may even be the best team in the field, who knows?

1 comment:

  1. Here is a recap of the Lanus vs Danubio game: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FLPox3wV2HQ