NextGen’s September action was concluded last night and while no English clubs were in action the results were mixed in terms of their hopes of progression.
In Liverpool’s Group 5 Inter Milan took on Borussia Dortmund in a game that saw the reigning champions take on tournament newcomers. Dortmund have a reputation in recent years of fledging great talent and while that remains true they seemed a long way off their Italian counter-parts; who dominated possession in this fixture. The final score was 1-0, and like the 3-2 win over Liverpool the score-line didn’t tell the tale of the tape as Inter resoundly defeated the German outfit, with Ghanaian midfield maestro Alfred Duncan pulling the strings throughout the tie.
It was a delightful strike from Marco Benassi that decided the tie, a goal you can see here…
The German side were also reduced to ten-men late on when Frederic Ruwe committed a dangerous tackle on Alfred Duncan, and was duly given his marching orders.
The result will not perturb Liverpool to much as they will fancy their chances of joining Inter in the second round with victories over Dortmund and Rosenberg.
Things are not looking so good for Aston Villa as PSV Eindhoven completed something of a shock by beating Sporting Lisbon at De Herdgang in Holland by one goal to nil. In a toughly fought contest it was a solitary goal with quarter of an hour remaining that sealed victory for the Dutch side when Rai Vloet slotted home from the edge of the box to condemn Sporting to their first defeat of the competition.
It leaves both PSV and Sporting on six points at the head of the Group with Villa trailing behind with three; but judging by the form of Sporting until this blip it would take a brave man to bet on Villa usurping either the Lisbon or Eindhoven club and qualifying for the next round.
The last game of the night was a drab affair as Marseille and Olympiakos played out a bore draw, 0-0 at the Marcel Cerdan. It leaves both teams top of Group 6 on four points, but with pre-competition favourites Athletic Bilbao and Arsenal having a game in hand and sitting just one point behind.
The next fixtures in the series are as follows, with a lot of English clubs in action …
3rd October 2012
Wolfsburg v Barcelona
CSKA Moscow v Chelsea
Celtic v PSV Eindhoven
4th October 2012
Fenerbahce v Manchester City
Arsenal v Olympiakos
image: © batrax