Feb 13, 2008

Wednesday Wrap: Libertadores Pain Continues For Argies; No Real Upsets In UEFA Cup

It's three games and three losses for Argentine clubs in the 2008 Copa Libertadores, as River Plate went down to Peru's Universidad San Martin this afternoon. River Plate lost to a college team? Nah, they're just called that. The Lima side are full-on professionals. Yesterday, Estudiantes and San Lorenzo came up short in their opening games in the group stage and today River were put to the sword, 2-0, with the second goal scored by a 33 year-old Argentine journeyman named Jose Luis Diaz (the same thing happened yesterday). I'm not sure where today's upset ranks, but San Martin were probably the weakest team in what some have called the Group of Death of this tournament (the other teams are Mexico City's Club America and Santiago's Universidad Catolica). The Argies have plenty of chances to get it right though; Arsenal, Boca Juniors and Lanus are all in the group stage as well, with the latter playing tomorrow (they host Uruguay's Danubio).

So upsets galore in Latin America, but what about Europe? In the "old continent" things went pretty much as expected. I'm not going to regurgitate the results because you can do that yourself. The closest thing to a surprise was Zenit St. Petersburg's 1-0 victory over Villareal, but the Spanish side can make that up in the return leg, which they host. Another Russian team, Spartak Moscow, on the other hand went down harder than I would have anticipated, losing 3-0 to Champions League rejects Olympique Marseille. L'OM are fifth in Ligue Un, but the Muscovites are in the middle of their off-season, having not played a competitive game in months (which may explain the magnitude of their loss today, but what about St. Petersburg then?). I was not shocked to see Rangers play Panathinaikos to a scoreless tie at Ibrox; the Athens club lead the Greek Super League, which I have long said is under-rated (unlike the SPL, which has two decent teams and a bunch of crap ones).

Finally, in Serie A play AC Milan came back to earn a tie against Livorno. If the two squandered points aren't pain enough, there was also a gruesome injury to Ronaldo that may end the Brazilian's career once and for all. He's fallen a long way but this may be all she wrote.


  1. Everton are a good shout for the Uefa Cup I reckon. They brushed aside SK Brannw with ease on Wed and were in total control. That's six games won on the bounce now in Europe so they're looking good, anyone think they can do it?

  2. I feel famn bad for Ronnie, i was really hoping that he would reach top form in Milan. A formidable striker who could have gone on to be even better... 31 and two WC under his belt! I guess injuries are what make s the difference between a Pele/Maradona and an injury stricken Ronaldo...