OK, Champions League fans -- this is when things get tasty. This is when those who complain that "things were better in the old European Cup, when it was only champions who were admitted" ought to be taken out back and ...
Or at least they need to be reminded that 20 years ago, the last 16 included Lillestroem, Gornik Zabrze and Omonia Nicosia and that, to become European champion that year, PSV Eindhoven beat just two teams -- Galatasaray and Rapid Vienna -- while scoring just two goals in its last five matches.
Is that what we want? People complain that the old European Cup was more inclusive and, to some degree, they may have a point. But in a post-
In any case, UEFA handed down its draw for the Champions League round of 16 on Friday. Here's my rundown.
The parallels between these two clubs run deep, and Celtic has shown the ability to make life very, very difficult for the big boys (it certainly deserved better against AC Milan last season). The edge, nevertheless, has to go to Barça, though if
It's been a tough year for OL, both domestically (despite being top of the table, Lyon has hardly impressed) and in Europe. But by the time this game rolls around, things could be rather different, particularly if
Schalke is another team that has struggled domestically. It's almost as if it's suffering a hangover from losing the title in the dying moments of the 2006-07 season. With
Roma plays some of the most entertaining attacking soccer you'll see this season -- which means it's capable of rousing victories but also dramatic collapses (witness last year's 7-1 rout at the hands of Manchester United). The difference is that, this year, there's more depth, and
The fact that the Gunners look better without
It's great to see another fourth seed (Olympiakos is the other one) get this far. Fenerbahçe manager