UEFA Cup Euro round up – Italian sides struggle in Last 32

Wednesday February 18 2009

Sampdoria 0-1 Metalist Kharkiv

Serie A strugglers Sampdoria were shocked by Ukrainian team Metalist Kharkiv, losing 1-0 at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris on Wednesday.

In a sluggish game often played out in the midfield, Dennis Oliynyk headed in to score deep into first-half stoppage time to take a precious one goal lead for the return leg in Ukraine.


In an even first-half, Luca Castellazzi denied Metalist’s Jackson Coelha from 25 yards and Sampdoria’s Marco Padalino’s powerful effort flew over the bar. Metalist should have taken the lead midway through the half when Valentyn Slyusar missed from just six yards for the Ukrainians.

Sampdoria, clearly missing the cup-tied Giampaolo Pazzini, then conceded when Oliynk headed in Olexander Rykun’s cross from the left-hand side. Doria responded after the break, Claudio Bellucci’s effort blocked by Papa Gueye but were fortunate not to fall even further behind when Castellazzi saved well from Oliynk.

Despite the Italian hosts piling on the pressure, Metalist held on to end Sampdoria’s unbeaten home record in the competition this season.

Werder Bremen 1-1 Milan

Milan claimed a valuable away draw in the first leg of their Last 32 clash with Werder Bremen.

Without Kaka, Gennaro Gattuso , Alessandro Nesta and with David Beckham starting on the bench, Bremen started the stronger of the two sides and could have been ahead with just a minute on the clock when Alexandros Tziolis shot wide.

Hugo Almeida had further chances to put the Bundesliga side ahead before Milan’s Clarence Seedorf was denied by the on-rushing Werder Bremen goalkeeper, Tim Weisse.


Milan goalkeeper Dida was also in action, saving well from Clemens Fritz’s long-range effort, before Milan grabbed the lead courtesy of Filippo Inzaghi in the 36th minute.

Bremen came back strongly, and had it not been for some fine goalkeeping from Dida, Brazilian Diego may have equalised for the German hosts. Almeida had further chances for the home side but they were somewhat fortunate when Inzaghi broke free, only to be denied by the crossbar with 20 minutes remaining.

Bremen finally scored when Diego beat Dida with a low drive, six minutes from time, and could have snatched a win when Massimo Ambrosini headed against his own crossbar in injury-time.

Thursday February 19, 2009

Lez Poznan 2-2 Udinese

Udinese will be feeling disappointed having let a two-goal lead slip at Polish leaders, Lez Poznan on Thursday night.

Fabio Quagliarella had put the Italians ahead before an own goal by Poznan defender Manuel Arboleda doubled the Bianconeri’s advantage.


The game was played out at the Miejski Stadium in snowy and cold conditions, making it hard for either team for find a rhythm in the opening exchanges. Early opportunities fell to Udinese, with Quagliarella and Gokhan Inler both denied by Poznan goalkeeper Ivan Turina.

The first-half ended 0-0 but Udinese stunned their hosts with two goals shortly after the interval. Quagliarella finished well from Gaetano D’Agostino’s free-kick on 50 minutes to put the Italians ahead before Arboleda was unfortunate to bundle the ball into his own goal following Ivan Turina’s save from Inler.

Stung by a two-goal deficit the Polish hosts were unfortunate when Semir Stilic hit the post, and Robert Lewandowski struck the crossbar.

However, Poznan hit back at Udinese with just minutes to go. Hernan Rengifo pulled a goal back, for his 4th Uefa Cup goal this season, before Arboleda atoned for his own goal with a header that leaves the tie all-square going into the return leg in Italy.

Fiorentina 0-1 Ajax

Last season’s semi-finalists Fiorentina were shocked by Dutch strugglers Ajax in a tight affair in Italy, as la Viola lost for the first time in five games.

Kennedy Bakircioglu scored the only goal of the game after an hour to give Marco Van Basten’s side a crucial away goal going into the second leg.


Claudio Prandelli’s men will be reeling from the defeat, having had the majority of the chances right from the start. Adrian Mutu twice troubled the Ajax defence in the opening ten minutes. He shot tamely at Maarten Stekelenburg after three minutes before finding the net shortly after. Sadly for the Tuscans, the goal was chalked off for offside.

Ricardo Montolivo was the next player guilty of missing a good chance for the Italians. Rounding Stekelenburg, the Italian international failed to convert from a tight-angle.

Mutu and Alberto Gilardino were guilty of further misses and the scores remained level, with Ajax offering little in attack.

However, the Dutch visitors stunned the home side when an intricate team move ended with Swedish striker Kennedy Bakircioglu firing powerfully home from ten yards. Sebastian Frey then kept Fiorentina’s cup hopes alive with a fine save from Luis Suarez before Zdravko Kuzmanovic and Gilardino again, missed chances to level the match and the tie.

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