Wednesday, 28 September 2011

City and United struggle in Europe

Manchester City and Manchester United may be leading the domestic charge, but both are struggling to find their feet in the European Champions League.

City, for all their extravagant spending, have only a single point from two games, and United are not much better off, with two points. Both sit third in their group.

City had a rough night, losing 2-0 to a resurgent Bayern Munich and with some controversy as Carlos Tevez appeared to refuse to go on as substitute (he has since claimed: "There was some confusion on the bench and I believe my position may have been misunderstood"). City now need two good results against bottom-placed Villareal to stand any chance of progressing.

United were stunned last night as Basel came from two goals behind to lead Manchester United at Old Trafford. Ashley Young scored an injury-time equaliser to save United from an embarrassing (not to say damaging) home defeat. With both Benfica and Basel two points ahead of Manchester United, the Reds need to gain two wins against Romanian club SC Otelul Galati to keep their hopes of progressing to the knock-out stages alive.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

City and United take to the European stage

Both Chelsea and Arsenal got off to satisfactory starts in the Champions league groups last night.

Chelsea eased to a 2-0 home win over Bayer Leverkusen, courtesy of goals from David Luiz and Juan Mata - both made by Fernando Torres.

Arsenal were frustrated by a late equaliser by their hosts Borussia Dortmund, but Arsene Wenger will at least be pleased that they didn't fall to the sucker punch of an even later winner. The team - in re-development - showed some signs of resilience and an away draw at this stage is a good start.

Tonight it's the turn of England's Manchester giants - United and City - who have both started the league season at a sprint.

Manchester City will revel in their bow in the Champions League, with the visit of Napoli and an expectant crowd. Stand by for some "Poznans" when (rather than if) City score.

As for United, 18 goals in their first four league games, have raised expectations to unsustainable heights - surely? A trip to Benfica this evening may serve to demonstrate how much they have progressed since their humbling by Barcelona in last season's final in May.

It should be an exciting night!