Champions League

Shakhtar’s Brazilian Carnival Shocks Chelsea

October 24, 2012 — by Suman1


It was quite an exciting first half to Champions League Matchday 3 yesterday. We watched at Woodwork again, which was nicely mellow, with 3 different matches on their 3 screens–from left to right: Shakhtar-Chelsea, Juve-Nordaelland, and Barcelona-Celtic, with the house sound system tuned to the Barça match for the first half, and the Juve match for the 2nd.  (One Manchester United fan showed up too late to claim a TV, and so was reduced to streaming the match against Braga on his laptop.)

For a while it looked like we were headed towards upsets at the Camp Nou, at Old Trafford, and at Nordsjælland. But while the “big” club escaped in each of those matches (although Juve only with a point, thanks to a fantastic late goal by Vucinic), our attention was primarily on the Shakhtar-Chelsea match, and out in far eastern Ukraine the upset held. As the Mirror cheekily put it, it was “A Shaktar the system: Champions Chelsea outclassed and outplayed in Donetsk.

And although yesterday was good, today just might be better.  Of the eight remaining Matchday 3 fixtures, the ones to watch, IOHO, are Arsenal-Schalke, Málaga-Milan, and of course the two matches in the Group of Death—Ajax-Man City and Borussia Dortmund-Real Madrid this time around:

Today’s fixtures, screengrabbed from UEFA’s cool interactive tournament calendar

Euro 2012PreviewSchedule

Matchday 8: Ukraine-France & Sweden-England

June 15, 2012 — by Suman


The last day of the 2nd round of group stage games, with Group D in action today. Yesterday’s Group C matches were a contrast–a tight match between Italy and Croatia that ended in a 1-1 draw, followed by a blowout 4-0 win for Spain, eliminating Ireland.

On to today: France travels to far eastern Ukraine to take on the co-hosts (can Ukraine build on King Sheva’s fairytale first game, and continue his quixotic quest to the Kyiv final?); and Sweden plays in England in the Ukrainian capital (read Brian Philips’ new piece in Grantland–“Englands of the Mind: The sound. The fury. The mediocrity.” and BBC on Roy Hodgson – The Sweden Years; although the latter is available to UK users only, so instead read Hodgson’s own words about his Sweden years here)

The fixtures:

15 June 2012
Ukraine Ukraine France France
Referee: Björn Kuipers (NED) – Stadium: Donbass Arena, Donetsk (UKR)
Sweden Sweden England England
Referee: Damir Skomina (SVN) – Stadium: Olympic Stadium, Kyiv (UKR)

Hit us with some comments if/when you watch the matches:

Euro 2012Preview

Kicking Off Euro 2012!

June 8, 2012 — by Suman4


We’re belatedly kicking off our Euro 2012 coverage–belated since the tournament is kicking off later today (in a few minutes actually).  We’ve got a few preview posts up to help you get ready for the next 3+ weeks of international European football–31 matches* in 8 cities in two countries (Poland & Ukraine) over the next 23 days–starting with Poland-Greece and Russia-Czech today (6pmCET/12pmET in Warsaw and 8:45pmCET/2:45pmET in Wroclaw, respectively) and continuing until the final in Kiev on July 1.

  1. Calendars & Fixtures
  2. Team & Group Previews
  3. Many Miscellaneous Previews
  4. Ongoing Coverage
We’ll also put up ongoing coverage as the tournament progresses.  Ideally we’ll put up at least a daily wrapup and/or preview post–the previous day’s results, the day’s upcoming fixtures, a roundup of links, maybe even the occasional liveblog. But at the very least an open thread, with the hope of getting some commentary in the comments–which we haven’t really had since the World Cup two years ago (which happened to be our launch btw–happy 2yr birthday to us)
For today, here’s a Matchday 1 post.

*: 31 matches arising from 24 group stage matches (6*4: 6 matches arising from round-robin in each of the 4 groups of 4 teams apiece) plus 4 quarterfinal matches + 2 semifinal matches + the final. (Not sure if there’s a 3rd place match, but if so it doesn’t really count for anything, so I’m not counting it either). I do enjoy the occasional combinatorial exercise.