Real flirt with Champions League drama as Valencia exits
30 November 2007, Madrid - A poor pair of results for Spanish teams in the Champions League on Wednesday night left Real Madrid clinging to its qualifying berth for the knockout phase and Valencia definitively out of soccer's elite club competition.
30 November 2007
Madrid - A poor pair of results for Spanish teams in the Champions League on Wednesday night left Real Madrid clinging to its qualifying berth for the knockout phase and Valencia definitively out of soccer's elite club competition.
Real lost 3-2 against Werder Bremen to worsen the club's record in matches on German soil - the nine-time European champion has won only one of 22 games there. Real must now avoid defeat in its final game against Italy's Lazio on December 11 to be sure of at least second place. Valencia needed a win at home to Schalke, but could only manage a goalless tie, Ronald Koeman's team hindered by the red card shown to midfielder David Albelda after just half an hour.
Valencia therefore stays bottom of Group B, and only has a slight chance of earning the consolation of UEFA Cup qualification by finishing above Schalke in third place, the Spanish club's final game being a visit to runaway group leader Chelsea.
"It's not down to bad luck, referees or anything. The other three teams have been better and it's a big blow," admitted striker David Villa after Wednesday's match. "We have to go to London and win for pride," he added.
For Real, defensive weaknesses spoiled some good work when in possession of the ball, Robinho's fine goal and a strike by Ruud van Nistelrooy nullified by fast and purposeful Werder counterattacks. "We made it easy for them," lamented Real coach Bernd Schuster.
Elsewhere Spain's Fernando Torres scored twice as Liverpool beat Group A leader Porto. Lisbon's Benfica is out after only tying against AC Milan.
[Copyright EL PAÍS, SL. 2007]
Subject: Spanish news