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Inter shocked while Manchester clubs each draw in Champions League play

(Inter, Getty)


It seemed like an easy three points for Inter Milan as they opened UEFA Champions League play against Turkish replacements Trabzonspor, but the 2010 European champions were shocked with a 1-0 defeat at home.

Inter couldn't convert a plethora of chances and were eventually made to pay with a well-taken goal from Ondrej Celustka with 15 minutes to play. Inter, which fell to a disappointing 4-3 loss to Palermo to open Serie A play, finds itself at the bottom of Group B.

Inter recorded seven shots on goal, but Trabzonspor goalkeeper, Tolga Zengin, was up to the task and notched a shutout. Celustka's goal came from the top of the box with the Czech defender's smashing home a rebound off the post. 

Manchester United managed to grab an away point despite fielding a weakened side as they drew 1-1 with Benfica in Portugal.

The ageless Ryan Giggs fired home a stunning equalizer just before halftime to cancel out an equally impressive opener from Oscar Cardozo. Both teams had several chances in the second half but in the end settled for a share of the spoils.

United manager Alex Ferguson should be happy with the draw after making eight changes from the side that squashed Bolton in anticipation of this weekend's clash with Chelsea.

United's noisy neighbors, Manchester City, opened their Champions League campaign with a thrilling 1-1 draw with Napoli in a game that saw a lot more offense than the scoreline suggests.

Both teams hit the woodwork early on with Napoli's Ezequiel Lavezzi's superb effort coming back off the crossbar in the 19th minute, and Yaya Toure seeing his shot careen of the crossbar just before halftime. The visiting Italians took a surprising lead with Edinson Cavani's goal in the 69th minute, but Aleksander Kolarov's curling free kick salvaged a draw for City.

Bayern Munich's quest to survive the so-called "Group of Death" is off to a good start with a 2-0 victory over Villarreal. Toni Kroos scored within the first 10 minutes, and Rafinha provided an insurance goal late on as the 2010 runners-up snatched a surprising road victory. Bayern, which is also top the Bundesliga, is showing signs of a resurgence after a last season's disappointment.

Real Madrid got off to a relatively easy victory in their Group D opener with a 1-0 victory over Dinamo Zagreb. Angel Di Maria finally broke through for Madrid in the 53rd minute with a shot into the top corner. Worryingly for Madrid will be the imminent suspension of Marcelo after he was shown a red card in the 73rd minute.

Madrid remain top of the group following Ajax and Lyon's listless 0-0 draw in Amsterdam. Ajax had the majority of possession but Lyon, which has advanced past the group stages in every tournament except 2003, never surrendered a goal.

CSKA Moscow battled back from a two-goal deficit to earn a point from Lille in France thanks to a brace from Seydou Doumbia. Moussa Sow and Benoit Pedretti put the French champions ahead within an hour but splendid goals from the Ivorian international earned a point for the Russians.

FC Basel outlasted Otelul Galati for a 2-1 victory in a match that saw both teams reduced to 10 men. Fabian Frei and Alexander Frei's penalty were enough to overcome Marius Pena's goal. Adrian Salageanu was sent off for Otelul, while Benjamin Huggel was ejected for Basel.

Wednesday's scoreboard

Group A

Manchester City 1, Napoli 1

Bayern Munich 2, Villareal 0

Group B

Trabzonspor 1, Inter Milan 0

CSKA Moscow 2, Lille 2

Group C

Benfica 1, Manchester United 1

FC Basel 2, Otelul Galati 1

Group D

Ajax 0, Lyon 0

Real Madrid 1, Dinamo Zagreb 0


What did you think of today's results? Shocked by Inter's upset? Confident both Manchester teams can still advance? Impressed with Real Madrid, or did you expect more?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Dear Mr. Boschini,

    If you’re going to call Manchester City “United’s noisy neighbors” at least put the “noisy neighbors” part in quotes. Sir Alex doesn’t like it when you steal his material.

  2. As a United fan, I wasn’t super suprised to see them tie, and it’s a favorable result considering this should be their hardest game in the group stage. Their line-up hardly included any players from the team that has been destroying everyone in the EPL. Obviously a win would have been great, but I’m not complaining. As for City, just because you have tons of money and great players, does not mean you are entitled to stroll through the group stages. Most experts think City will easily qualify to the next round, but I really don’t know why they think that, and this game proves it won’t be easy. And as for Inter, I’m guessing Sneijder would jump at the chance to join United if he could…

  3. Did you watch the madrid game because it wasn’t a relatively easy game for them.. Dinamo had good amounts of possession 11 corners and deserved a draw

  4. Edison Cavani, not Maggio, scored for Napoli.

    I’m a bit surprised at the ManU score, but so much by the City score. Repeatedly durin Mancini’s tenure City has exhibited a tendency to have difficulty in dealing with teams which possess a fast, potent, and multi-pronged attack. Napoli’s attacking trio of Hamsik, Cavani, and Levezzi, coupled with the wingback play of Maggio, is going to cause trouble for everyone in their group. City still hasn’t convinced me that they’ve ironed out their defensive culpabilities versus top teams, specifically their periodic lapses in concentration, Mancini’s tendency to shackle them in big matches by utilizing a more positionally disciplined tactic, and a general lack of speed. All of this was evident on the buildup to Cavani’s goal, as Napoli broke with numbers, even though two (Hamsik and Dzemali) were in their own half and had to burst by City’s midfielders. City’s defense was too narrow to deal with the width of the attack, and Napoli punished it with clinical passing and finishing. I expect City to lose in the return fixture.

  5. All three are quite surprising results… perhaps the two Manchester clubs are not quite as unstoppable as they have appeared to be so far.


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