UEFA Champions League action round-up – Inter and Mourinho in successful Champions League night-out shocker

For a second consecutive matchday, the spotlight was on the encounter between the European heavyweights Milan and Real Madrid, who played out a 1-1 draw at San Siro. Kaka returned to familiar turf to try and trouble his former employers. Although shackled well by Massimo Ambrosini throughout the game, he was involved in the Madrid goal. At the stroke of half-time, Kaka’s powerful shot from 30 yards out was parried by Dida, only to fall to Karim Benzema, who coolly dispatched the ball in back of the net. Five minutes later, Gianluca Zambrotta’s cross from the left appeared to strike Pepe’s elbow and the official pointed to the spot, from which Ronaldinho made no mistake. Neither side will be unhappy with the result as both Milan and Madrid sit on top of Group C with seven points each.

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Juventus headed to Israel on the back of a gut-wrenching 2-3 defeat at home to Napoli. On any other day, they would have dispatched Maccabi Haifa with ease. However, the Bianconeri have been plagued in recent times with injuries, erratic form and formation troubles. In spite of a lackluster display, they grinded out a 1-0 win. Towards the end of first half, Diego provided an excellent long ball to Martin Caceres on the right flank. Caceres’ cross picked out Mauro Camoranesi in the box whose shot found the net, albeit after a deflection. Another talking point of the game was Gianluigi Buffon’s incredible save from Vladimir Dvalishvili on the half-hour mark. Buffon’s incredible form seems to be the silver lining in dark clouds for the Old Lady.

Inter finally managed to taste victory in Europe this season, as they defeated Dynamo Kiev 2-1 in Ukraine. It appeared that the Nerrazzuri’s nemesis, Andriy Shevchenko, had come back to haunt them – with 21 minutes gone, the former Milan hitman chested down a flicked pass and fired a shot from outside the penalty box that deflected off Esteban Cambiasso and found back of the net. Inter created and wasted several chances thereafter, with Samuel Eto’o being the biggest culprit. La Beneamata’s efforts paid off late as Diego Milito equalized in 85th minute and Wesley Sneider scored the winner in 89th minute. The scoreless draw between Rubin Kazan and Barcelona propelled the Nerrazzuri from the bottom of the group to the top.

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Fiorentina are definitely making waves in this year’s Champions League. After dispatching Liverpool, they played out a thrilling 4-3 victory against Hungarian outfit Debrecen. The goal fest would continue in Florence as La Viola ran out 5-2 winners against same opposition. Adrian Mutu’s diving header in 14th minute set the tone for the game. Gergely Rudolf equalized for the Hungarians and the game was all square at half time. However, second half goals from Dario Dainelli, Riccardo Montolivo and Marco Marchionni, in a span of 10 minutes, sealed the result. A consolation goal from Adamo Coulibaly and Alberto Gilardino’s excellent header added to the entertainment value of the game. Fiorentina will progress to the knockout stages if they manage to defeat Lyon in the next encounter.

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