Oguchi Onyewu and Brad Guzan saw their UEFA Cup dreams dashed while David Beckham saw his chances of making a permanent move to AC Milan dented as all three watched their team suffer disappointed results on Thursday.
Milan blew a two-goal lead at home against Werder Bremen as Peruvian striker Claudio Pizarro struck for two second-half goals to give Bremen a 2-2 draw, and a series victory on away goals to send the Italian power packing.
Onyewu's fate seemed sealed a week ago when Standard Liege suffered a 3-0 first-leg loss to Portuguese club Braga. Liege could only muster a 1-1 draw at home to see their European campaign ended.
Guzan got what could be his last club start for some time as he and an Aston Villa squad of mostly reserve players fell to CSKA Moscow, 2-0, to lose on aggregate. Fellow American Eric Lichaj made the bench for Villa, but did not play.
Here is how the rest of today's UEFA Cup action shook out:
CSKA Moscow 2, Aston Villa 0 (CSKA wins series, 3-1)
Manchester City 2, FC Copenhagen 1 (Manchester City wins series, 4-3)
FC Metalist Kharkiv 2, Sampdoria 0 (FC Metalist Kharkiv wins series, 3-0)
Standard Liege 1, Braga 1 (Braga wins series, 4-1)
Hamburg 1, NEC Nijmegen 0 (Hamburg wins series, 4-0)
Udinese 2, Lech Poznan 1 (Udinese wins series, 4-3)
Twente Enschede 0, Marseille 1 (Marseille won series on penalty kicks)
VFB Stuttgart 1, Zenit St. Petersburg 2 (Zenit St. Petersburg wins series, 4-2)
VfL Wolfsburg 1, Paris St. Germain 3 (Paris St. Germain wins series, 5-1)
St. Etienne 2, Olympiakos 1 (St. Etienne wins series, 5-2)
Galatasaray 4, Bordeaux 3 (Galatasaray wins series, 4-3)
Deportivo La Coruna 1, AaB 3 (AaB wins series, 6-1)
AC Milan 2, Werder Bremen 2 (Werder Bremen wins series, 3-3, on away goals)
Tottenham 1, Shakhtar Donetsk 1(Shakhtar Donetsk wins series, 3-1)
Ajax Amsterdam 1, Fiorentina 1 (Ajax Amsterdam wins series, 2-1)
Valencia 2, Dynamo Kiev 2 (Dynamo Kiev wins series, 3-3, on away goals)
Here are the match-ups for the Round of 16 (home and home dates, with the first leg to be held on March 12th):
Werder Bremen vs. St. Etienne
CSKA Moscow vs. Shakhtad Donetsk
Udinese vs. Zenit St. Petersburg
Paris St. Germain vs. Braga
Dynamo Kiev vs. Metalist Kharkiv
Manchester City vs. Aab Aalborg
Marseille vs. Ajax Amsterdam
Hamburg vs. Galatasaray
What did you think of today's results? Disappointed to see Onyewu and Guzan eliminated? Surprised to see Milan out? Which Round of 16 match-up are you most looking forward to?
Share your thoughts below.
I’d love my favorite Dynamo Kiev to win as well… but they have work to do…
A Dynamo vs CSK or Zenit in the final would be great!
Gene_SF, I think you are correct that 2-d tier teams’ financial situation won’t let them buy the best players and they can’t keep their own strongest players for long, but about unpredictability? Not this year: look who’s through and who is out. Could’ve anybody predicted that Milan, Valencia and Villa will be out already, and 3 Ukrainian teams and 2 Russian will go on? Next year we’ll see if this was just a fluke.
To Steve C: CSKA Moscow and Shaktar Donetsk are from 2 different countries Russia and Ukraine: there are no rules to ever separate them.
Question to everybody: who is the favorite now to win? Werder Bremen?
I’d love to see Dynamo Kyiv to win.
It would be interesting to see all these Russian and Ukrainian matchups in the UEFA Cup.
As a more general observation, I’d be interested to see if whoever wins the UEFA Cup this year can make a decent run in the CL next year.
Last year’s winner crashed out quickly, probably owing much to the prolonged Arshavin transfer saga. This year, teams like Dynamo K, CSKA, and Shakhtar had decent CL group play, but could not quite make it.
I suspect $$ and player loss prevents most of the 2-d tier teams of making a breakthrough. May be European leagues do need a salary cap of some sort, or at least some reasonable limitation on the # of foreign players. In the alternative, bring back the European Cup Winners’ tournament. My point is that these European tournaments lack some unpredictability in terms of who is going to win.
So much for AC MILAN being the favorites to win the cup!
I guess they don’t need becks anymore! Price tag just dropped, the MLS might just be glad to get three million for this guy afterall.
I’m pretty sure that the UEFA Cup draw stays constant after the group stage. teams from the same country don’t meet in the round of 32, but after that they have to eventually.
UCL does redraw after the first knockout round, but that is a step farther than the UEFA Cup, being a round of 16. teams from the same nation can meet in the quarters, although there is reseeding.
Agreed Justin O. Never heard of UEFA pairing two teams from the same country like that… in the Champs league they always try to avoid it.
You also got CSKA vs. Shaktar. Maybe they’re biased against Eastern European footie? =D
Kiev v Kharkiv? A shame they didn’t split up the Ukrainian clubs.
Uh, Zach, this is the UEFA Cup, not the Champions League.
when did man u, chelsea, barcelona, villareal, arsenal, liverpool, bayern munich, all lose out? I thought all of these teams were supposed to be the best….What happened to the EPL being top dog.. Man city does not stand a chance.
LEBENSLANG GRUN WEISS!
i love it.
Even if we come crashing to St Etienne (which i feel we certainly will), it was nice to beat AC (well, ‘beat’ AC)
Do you know why Jozy is not even making the bench at Xerex
three Ukrainian Teams in the Final 16! Yeah!
Also, the time horizon on Beckham being a decent player is pretty short. Milan was already a long shot for the Serie A title. With UEFA Cup out of the way, what motive does Milan have to pay up to get him for the rest of the season? Why not just wait and get him on a free transfer later, since there’s really nothing at stake the rest of the season…
Haha Milan and Becks
I wouldn’t say crashing out of uefa is much of a revenue loss for Milan, it’s more an issue of not having the match glut to need more players. No point in paying for someone you won’t be able to get time for. They are pretty much out of the scudetto race, and only a couple points clear of another trip to UEFA. I think they’ll regret the whole beckham circus they have conjured up.
I guess for Aston Villa it is more important to make it to European competition (for next year), than stay in European competition this year.
How pathetic is AC Milan. How pathetic they have become. I wish them all the worst after this Beckham fiasco. That’s karma for you.
I wouldn’t be surprised if they fail to qualify for Champions League next season as well.
It’s too bad that Guzan and Oneywu team’s were eliminated. Oneywu is arguably one of the best and most experienced players on the USMNT. As for Guzan I hope he gets more opportunities to start for Aston Villa since he and Brad Freidel make America proud by being on that team. I don’t feel sorry for becks since it serves him right for trying to bail out on MLS.
By not advancing, AC Milan will lose a lot of revenue. Thus, it would be harder to justify the expense of paying the $6-10 million which he would cost them.
Furthermore, after crashing out of the under-achiever cup, they should probably be reconsidering their interest in Beckham. Their squad really is too old considering their reputation and aspirations. It would make sense to set their eyes on someone just as glamorous, but maybe better and younger. Even with Becks the stadium was less than half full.
Off topic, but I need to say something about this Beckham situation. I haven’t said a word about it, but now I am fed up. If I were the Galaxy, I either get $10 million from Milan, or Beckham buys out his own contract for $10 million. If neither happens, I say let him come back, and then leave in November. If he stays, threaten to let his @ss rot on the bench. The league has already recouped the money they spent on him, so there is no loss there. The Galaxy have ALL the leverage here. Beckham wants to play in the World Cup. If he rots away on the bench in LA, the likelihood of him playing at the WC drops significantly. If the Galaxy does play him, Beckham would need to work his ass off to stay in shape and impress Capello. Yes, if the Gals let him rot on the bench, they are wasting the $400k they could spend on someone else, but they can’t be much worse than last year right. I know what I’m saying is very spiteful, but he has a contract, so he should honor it, or buy out of it. The Galaxy has every right to demand as much as they can for him. MLS doesn’t need Beckham, it never did. Did it raise the profile of the league somewhat? Sure, and it also made the league some money. But all in all, it has been pretty much pointless.
I always thought that Beckham was a class guy, the way he handled the benching at Madrid, and how he works his @ss of for club (1st half of last year) and country. However, his handling of this situation has tempered those feelings.
“Unbelievable. The ref awards a penalty for Frings handling the ball. About seven years too late.
Posted by: FuÃŸballer | February 26, 2009 at 07:27 PM”
You just brought back painful memories…but I also got a good laugh out of it.
Both Spanish teams out 🙁
I was disappointed to see Marcus Tracy not make the bench today for Aalborg after dressing for the first leg. With the 6-1 aggregate advantage secured in the first half (plus away goal rule), he would have had a chance to show what he can do on a big stage. But I suppose he has to earn his stripes first (Lichaj has been earning them for a while).
What happened to Deportivo la Coruna?! Going down 6-1 aggregate to AaB? Man… I never would’ve seen that coming.
Can you explain more about why the loss jeopardizes Beckham’s chances of staying at Milan?
Dutch league football isn’t what it used to be.
The league needs a europe wide salary cap
Unbelievable. The ref awards a penalty for Frings handling the ball. About seven years too late.
dos Santos scored a sick goal for Spurs today.
The Galatasary Bordeaux game was great.