Friday, February 15, 2008

UEFA Cup recap

Its back!

In case you weren’t paying attention, which I doubt you were, the UEFA Cup returned this past Thursday for the knockout stages. Personally, I LOVE this competition. Unlike the Champions League, it doesn’t have any pretension at being a "champion competition", – honestly, two clubs from Ukraine?!? – but accepts its role as a minor-league tournament.

That said the matchups are always unique and unpredictable. Unlike the CL where you know who’s going to win an Arsenal-Slavia Prague match, a Bolton-Bayern tie is (somehow) a total crapshoot. And how often does a Grecian club defeat an English one? (sorry Rovers fans)

Like most two-legged knockout competitions, the initial home team usually has some advantage. And after the first leg, that truism held up. The home teams went 8-4-4, but Aberdeen’s 2-2 draw with Bayern is essentially a loss. Its also worth noting how poorly the “cold-weather" teams (i.e. those in Scandinavia and Russia) did, as their seasons haven’t even started yet.

Below are the results with video via Footytube and elsewhere:

(Home team in Caps)

ZENIT ST. PETERSBURG 1 – 0 Villareal

GALATASARAY 0 – 0 Bayer Leverkusen

AEK ATHENS 1 – 1 Getafe

Everton 2 – 0 BRANN

WERDER BREMEN 3 – 0 Sporting Braga

MARSEILLE 3 – 0 Spartak Moscow

ANDERLECHT 2 – 1 Bordeaux

PSV EINDHOVEN 2 – 0 Helsingborg

RANGERS 0 – 0 Panathinaikos


ABERDEEN 2 – 2 Bayern Munich

Hamburg 3 – 1 ZÜRICH

Fiorentina 1 – 0 ROSENBORG

Tottenham 2 – 1 SLAVIA PRAGUE

BOLTON 1 – 0 Atlético Madrid

BENFICA 1 – 0 Nuremberg