Champions' league recap

The first week of the UEFA Champions' League elimination round is over, and I am stoked, to say the least! Several good matchups in the first elimination round leading to very entertaining matches, and even some surprise results. Here's my thoughts...

Roma v. Lyon - Roma didn't help themselves with a 0-0 draw at Olimpico on Thursday vs. Olympique Lyonnais. A home goal would have been the preferred way to go into France in 2 weeks. At this point, I'd say Roma are sitting ducks to be eliminated in the first knockout round.

Barcelona vs. Liverpool - A tale of 2 teams, one on its way up in the Premeirship with new ownership and talks of acquiring Juventus's Davide Trezguet for next season, bolstering the already dangerous offense, and the other club in the midst of turmoil in the media with talk of in-fighting and the manager on his way out after this season. Barca started the game off right, with a fortuitous goal by Deco, but the defending and overall play turned sloppy as Liverpool scored twice to shock the defending champs at Camp Nou. If there is any club that can pull off an away win at Anfield, though, it would be Barca. However, they have to bring it together and play like a team. Furthermore, we have to see Ronaldinho's presence on the pitch, and even though he played the entire match, he never really got going.

Porto vs. Chelsea - Porto will have reason to be upset with the final scoreline in this one as Jose Mourinho visits his old club and comes away with a crucial away goal. Porto played very well, but shots never managed to find the net after the original goal was scored. It was good to see Petr Cech back in goal after the head injury that has kept him out for most of the season. He was safe enough when called upon, and even though he conceded the one goal, should be very happy with his performance.

Losc Lille Metropole vs. Manchester United - An unfortunate turn of events in this one, as confusion reigned on the pitch during a Ryan Giggs free kick, he booted one into the back of the net as the Lille players were caught unaware that play had even started.

Who will win it all? I still say ManU has a great chance to hoist the trophy. However, this could be the year Lyon sees it through and wins it all. My dark horse is PSV Eindhoven, as they looked like a good squad against a lacklustre Arsenal.

The most impressive player of this first leg, in my opinion, was Heurelho Gomes, goalkeeper from PSV, who was a wall against some potent Arsenal shots on goal. Also impressive was Petr Cech, who settled down nicely after allowing the first and only goal at Stadio de Dragao in Porto.

-Christopher J. Brigham