Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Champions League Update

Arsenal take on Dynamo Zagreb today in the 2nd leg of their Champions League 3rd qualifying round after winning 3-0 away two weeks ago. So all they need to do today is avoid a 1-4 loss and they are into the Champions League proper (0-3 would mean extra time). Basically Arsenal are Ivory Soap to get it done: 99 and 44/100% probability.

It is the first night game at Emirates Stadium - too bad it is not on TV. Setanta again went with Benfica-Austria Vienna.

Yesterday Liverpool made it through 3-2 on aggregate against Israeli side Maccabi Haifa after drawing 1-1 in their "away" leg which was played in Kiev.

Also, AC Milan made it through. Each time that they progress in this tournament there will be more and more moaning about their punishment in the Italian scandal being reduced and them being allowed to play in the CL after first being banned, and rightfully so. It would be embarrassing for Italian soccer and UEFA if Milan were to make it to the final and/or win the whole thing. That wouldn't be anything new for Italian soccer, it is embarassing enough as is. Oh, and whereas every other season is either delayed or threatened with a delay because they cannot get their TV rights sorted out, this season is looking like it will be delayed becuase Juventus is appealing their reduced punishment for the 37th time - their latest line of argument being that they cannot be relegated because they have contributed so much to the rich history of Italian soccer. This after the start of the season has already been moved back two weeks. What a joke Italian soccer is.

Normally I pull for Inter because they are not Juve or Milan. This season I would have loved to ignore Serie A altogether, but thanks to PV4 going to Inter I will pay attention to it somewhat I'm sure. At least he didn't go to ManUtd; I would have weeped openly if I had to see him in a Red Devils kit.

The draw for the Champions League Group Stages is tomorrow at 9 a.m. PST and can be seen live on UEFAs website.

***Update 2.14 p.m. PST***

Arsenal 2-1 Dynamo Zagreb.
Arsenal advance 5-1 on aggregate.

Even better: Chel$ea came from ahead to lose to Boro. Joy.

Bring on the CL draw.

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