Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 21st 2014 Contents A60
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Tuesday, October 21, 2014
MANCHESTER---This was supposed
to be the season Manchester City
finally made a sustained push in the
It s not working out that way for
the English champions.
City is the most high-profile team
in early trouble in Europe s elite club
competition after picking up just one
point from its first two group games.
It means City manager Manuel Pel-
legrini is already treating today s trip
to CSKA Moscow, the first of a dou-
ble-header against the Russian side,
like "a final."
There are no such problems for
Champions League heavyweights Real
Madrid, Bayern Munich and Borussia
Dortmund, who all have a maximum
six points heading into the third round
of group matches.
The standout fixture in Matchday
3 is Liverpool versus Madrid tomor-
row---a match between clubs who have
won Europe s biggest prize a combined
Here are some things to know about
the upcoming Champions League
Since an influx of Abu Dhabi cash
in 2008, Man City has won every tro-
phy going in English football, including
the Premier League title twice. Success
in Europe is proving much harder to
In three seasons in the Champions
League, City has twice failed to get
out of its group and was eliminated
in the first round of the knockout
stage the other time.
So far this campaign, City has lost
1-0 to Bayern Munich and was dis-
appointing in a 1-1 home draw with
Roma that left the English champions
facing an uphill struggle in Group E.
"We have two games against CSKA
Moscow (and) we need win to win
both of them," Pellegrini said. "The
best way is to treat every game as a
final, try to win it and then win the
The match will be played in front
of no fans as punishment for CSKA
for racist incidents by its supporters.
City midfielder Yaya Toure was a target
of racist abuse by CSKA fans last sea-
Roma hosts Bayern in the other
match in City s group, with its striker
and captain Francesco Totti enjoying
a new lease of life as he helps the
team challenge on two fronts this sea-
Totti became the oldest scorer in
the Champions League s 22-year his-
tory in the last round of fixtures, when
he netted the equalizer against City
three days after his 38th birthday.
The forward is also closing in on
Silvio Piola s all-time Serie A top
scoring record of 274 goals. He scored
penalties in each of his last two games
to take his tally to 237.
Roma was without several of its
star players in a 3-0 victory over Chie-
vo Verona on Saturday, with Juan
Iturbe and Gervinho expected to
return against 2013 champion Bay-
Lionel Messi has the chance to
become the all-time leading scorer
in both the Champions League and
the Spanish league this week.
Cristiano Ronaldo might, though,
beat him to the milestone in Europe.
Records are falling fast for the
world s top two players, and both will
again take aim at Raul Gonzalez s all-
time mark of 71 goals in the Cham-
Ronaldo has scored 70 goals in the
competition--- including one in a qual-
ifying round. Messi has 68 goals, and
will get the first shot at Raul s record
today when Barcelona hosts Ajax in
Ronaldo will have to wait one more
day for Madrid s visit to Liverpool in
Group B, in which he has scored in
both his games so far.
Ronaldo is having a superb start to
the season. The Ballon d Or holder
established the best scoring start to
a Spanish league season on Saturday
when he scored his 14th and 15th
goals through the first eight rounds.
Messi can overshadow that feat
next weekend when Barcelona visits
Madrid in La Liga. The Argentina for-
ward needs one goal to match Telmo
Zarra s all-time leading tally of 251
goals that has stood since 1955.
Paris Saint-Germain s 3-2 win over
Barcelona on Matchday 2 gave the
French champions some breathing
space atop Group F.
They might need it, given their
Ahead of the trip to play Apoel
Nicosia in Cyprus today, PSG coach
Laurent Blanc could be without his
entire back four of Thiago Silva (ham-
string), David Luiz (thigh), Marquinhos
(thigh) and Lucas Digne (knee), while
key midfielder Blaise Matuidi has a
hip injury. Winger Ezequiel Lavezzi
(hamstring) is also out.
Blanc s biggest dilemma, however,
is over Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
The Sweden star has missed seven
straight games---five in the league for
PSG and two with Sweden---as he
tries to shake of a nagging heel injury.
With Edinson Cavani suspended
for PSG s crucial league game against
title rival Bordeaux next weekend,
Blanc may be better off resting Ibrahi-
movic against Apoel---even if he is fit
to play---rather than rushing him back.
City looks to escape trouble in Champions League
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