Category Archives: UEFA Champions League

Major League Cup

Paris Saint-Germain to partially close stadium in next European match

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European football governing body UEFA has told Paris St-Germain to partially close their stadium for their next European match as punishment for fan disturbances during their Champions League last 16 tie with Real Madrid.

PSG lost the match 2-1 earlier this month, which saw defending champions Real progress to the quarter-finals with a 5-2 aggregate victory.

The result also meant that the club has now gone out at the last 16 phase of Europe’s most prestigious club competition for two seasons in a row, which in turn led to disgruntled behaviour amongst their fans.

The match official of the game, German referee Felix Brych, had to stop the game on two occasions due to the excessive amount of smoke on the pitch from the flares, harming the visibility of officials and players during the 2-1 loss to Real.

PSG’s Ultra supporters were also said to have set off flares near the hotel Real were staying at in the French capital the night before the game, prompting a complaint from the Spanish side to UEFA. However, the organization made no reference to this in its statement.

UEFA said on Thursday that the Ligue 1 club has been ordered to shut down the entire North Stand of the Parc des Princes in their next European fixture, with the club also being fined £37,000 by the organization.

Among the charges that led to those sanctions were the setting off of fireworks, the use of a laser pointer and the blocking of stairways. There was also an initial charge of lack of body searches, although UEFA said it had been dropped.

PSG’s Ligue 1 rivals, Olympique de Marseille, were also banned from selling tickets to their fans for their next European away match, which will be at RB Leipzig in the Europa League quarter-finals on April 5, after crowd trouble at their match away to Athletic Bilbao last week.

Antonio Conte: Lionel Messi made the difference for Barca

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Chelsea coach Antonio Conte believed that Lionel Messi made the difference for FC Barcelona as the Catalan team knocked the Blues out of the Champions League with 3-0 home win (4-1 on aggregate).

After a 1-1 draw in the first leg, Conte saw his team fell behind after just 128 seconds as Messi shot through the legs of Thibaut Courtois from a tight angle.

The Argentine then set up Ousmane Dembele to hammer home, before collecting his 100th Champions League goal — after a mistake by Cesar Azpilicueta — took the hosts out of sight.

Marcos Alonso, who nearly scored with a free-kick was then denied a penalty after a challenge by Gerard Pique as Barcelona joined La Liga rivals Real Madrid and Sevilla in Friday’s quarter-final draw.

Conte, who sought out Messi at the final whistle to express admiration at his display as they made their , said: “I have to praise the commitment of my players, and be proud because they gave everything. But Messi made the difference and, when you have the opportunity to make a great compliment to Messi, it’s right to praise a super, super, super top player.”

“A player who is able to score 60 goals in every season. Not only for one season. We are talking about an extraordinary player, the best in the world.”

The former Italian International coach also believed that his team was also unfortunate to exit the Champions League after striking the woodwork four times in the two legs.

“We were a bit unlucky because we created many chances to score,” he added. “I think there was a penalty on Marcos Alonso [after a challenge from Gerard Piqué] at the start of the second half and, if you make it 2-1, you can put a bit of pressure on Barcelona. At the end, I repeat: I must be pleased with the commitment of my players. I saw great work from my players.”

Besiktas charged by UEFA after cat wanders into pitch

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Besiktas have been charged by Uefa after a cat was allowed to run on to the pitch during their Champions League defeat by Bayern Munich on Wednesday.

Bayern won 3-1 on the night and 8-1 on aggregate to progress to the quarter-finals, with fans of the German club humorously voting the cat as their man of the match.

The match was stopped early in the second half after the animal jumped from an advertising hoarding and ran to near a corner flag, just off the playing area, before leaping back into the stand.

The exact charge alleges “insufficient organisation” and was among three issued against the Turkish club by UEFA, and the case will be heard by UEFA’s disciplinary body on 31 May.

The other two relate to the throwing of objects and blocked stairways during Bayern’s 3-1 win, which took the German club through 8-1 on aggregate.

It was not the only UEFA issued in the Champions League this week, with Roma being charged for time-wasting by a ballboy who was pushed over an advertising board by Shakhtar Donetsk’s Facundo Ferreira. The player shoved the ballboy in response to a delay in returning the ball late in Roma’s 1-0 Champions League win on Tuesday.

Players clashed after the incident and Ferreira was booked, although the player apologised on Shakhtar’s Twitter account after the game.

Roma went through on away goals (2-2 on aggregate).

UEFA added that the case related to disciplinary rules governing ethical conduct and sportsmanship by club staff, with Roma also charged for fans lighting and throwing fireworks.

Manchester United out of Champions League after home loss to Sevilla

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Manchester United were knocked out of the Champions League last-16 after putting on an abysmal performance on home ground that ended in a 2-1 home defeat by Sevilla.

Sevilla substitute Wissam Ben Yedder scored both goals for the La Liga team with a shot from inside the area just two minutes after coming on, and heading in at the back post from a corner.

After posing little threat in the goalless first leg, United again looked second best against the La Liga side at Old Trafford, although Marouane Fellaini’s thumping effort did draw Sergio Rico into a save, and the away goalkeeper was tested again when he kept out Jesse Lingard’s low strike.

Although Romelu Lukaku lashed home from close range with seven minutes remaining, but it proved to be merely a consolation as they would need two more goals to progress after Ben Yedder’s brace by the away-goal rule — in which a draw would have still meant defeat.

The sound of the final whistle meant that Manchester United would exit the competition alongside Tottenham, but Premier League leaders Manchester City and Liverpool progressed to Friday’s quarter-final draw. Defending Premier League champions Chelsea could also join them if they beat Barcelona on Wednesday.

Sevilla would also set a new record as, with three draws and one defeat, they had never won a Champions League game in England, until this match at Old Trafford.

They were also the better side across both legs and thoroughly deserved the plaudits, with manager Vincenzo Montella and his substitutes running on to the pitch at the final whistle to celebrate with the players.

Ben Yedder will be grabbing the headlines for his well-taken goals and he could even have sealed a hat-trick as Manchester United defense essentially fell apart and allowed the Frenchman to run clear, although he shot went straight at David de Gea.

“We were just excellent, very good,” said Montella. “A lot of those players played the game of their lives. In spite of the fact we didn’t create chances in the first half, we were good, very good, up until the final third, and we gave United very little chance near our goal.”