Yesterday I posted about my dislike for the Champions League group stage seeding system. I was expecting a pretty lame affair tonight. Straight forward games for the big teams, the cannon fodder rolling over. Naturally, there were a few surprises so i may have to reach for a small slice of humble pie.
First things first. Going over my predictions from last night, I went 4-4. I got Utd, Chelsea, Barca and Valencia but struck out on the other 4 games. Sure, Cluj went 1-0 up on Utd but I'm sure no one really expected that to last. Utd did what they always do in such a situation. Up a gear from 1st to 2nd and do just enough to win. On paper, Benfica - Barca should have been closer but I predicted a comfortable win for Barca and so it proved. The problem I have with teams like Benfica is that their lure is based on successes of 40 years ago. Sure, they were great when Eusebio was around but now they're just another side who'll get knocked out this competition before things get serious. Probably two more notable results tonight were BATE and Celtic. Two games I got completely wrong. In my defense, Celtic never win away from home in europe. Ever. So I guess they have me to thank for betting against them tonight. I'd rather not help them out but nevermind.
One thing to note from the games tonight as well was Carles Puyol's horrendous injury. Looks like a dislocated or broken arm and seeing it on TV was pretty tough viewing. Hopefully he won't be kept out for long. Animo Puyol.
As for tomorrow's games, I'm planning on making predictions for the rest of the competition to see if I can get a positive record out of it. So far I'm .500. These are my shots at improvement for tomorrow:
Zenit - Milan (draw)
Man City - Dortmund (draw)
Ajax - Real Madrid (Madrid to win)
Dynamo Kyiv - Dynamo Zagreb (Kyiv to win)
Porto - PSG (PSG to win)
Shalke - Montpellier (Shalke to win)
Arsenal - Olympiacos (Arsenal to win)
Anderlecht - Malaga (draw)