Must-see matches of the Champions League

October, 19, 2010

•  The marquee game of MatchDay 3 features the two clubs that have won the most European Cup titles, as nine-time champion Real Madrid hosts seven-time winner AC Milan. Madrid has struggled at home against Italian sides recently, losing its last three such matches. That streak includes AC Milan's 3-2 win in the group stage last season, the first time that Milan had ever won at Madrid in six tries.

•  Arsenal hosts Shakhtar Donetsk in one of the two matches between teams with six points. Thanks in large part to its 6-0 win over Braga, Arsenal leads the competition with nine goals so far, while Ukrainian side Shakhtar is one of six clubs yet to allow a goal. This match will be played at the Emirates, which is good news for the Gunners. Including qualifiers, they have lost at home only once in its last 25 Champions League games. That defeat? It was to Manchester United in the 2009 semifinals.

•  Chelsea travels to Spartak Moscow for the other match between group leaders with six points. Chelsea is winless in its last two EPL road matches, but that won't be why this trip might conjure up bad memories. Spartak's home, Luzhniki Stadium, was the site of Chelsea's most bitter defeat when the Blues lost the 2008 Champions League final to Manchester United on penalties.

•  Manchester United hosts Bursaspor in Group C play on Wednesday. The last time a Turkish side visited Old Trafford was a season ago, when Besiktas ended United's 24-match home Champions League unbeaten streak. However, United had already wrapped up a berth in the knockout stage at that point. Before that, the Red Devils' last home loss was to AC Milan in the round of 16 in 2005. The club's last home loss in the Group Stage was to Deportivo in 2001.

•  After winning its first two matches, Copenhagen leads Group D, two points ahead of 2009 champion Barcelona. But history doesn't favor Copenhagen at Camp Nou. Barcelona has never lost to a Danish club, going 5-0-1 with an 8-1 edge in goals. Conversely, Copenhagen is 0-3-3 in its six games against Spanish sides.



You must be signed in to post a comment

Already have an account?