Sunday, 16 March 2014

The 2013-2014 EFCL season

-----The end-of-season classification-----

01 (28-12-10) 96 GER Bayern München
02 (28-10-12) 94 SPA Real Madrid
03 (27-10-13) 91 ENG Liverpool FC
04 (24-15-11) 87 SPA FC Barcelona
05 (20-24-06) 84 ENG Chelsea London
06 (23-14-13) 83 ENG Manchester United
07 (20-23-08) 80 ESP Valencia CF
08 (21-16-13) 79 GER Borussia Dortmund
09 (21-14-15) 77 ITA Internazionale Milano
10 (18-17-15) 71 ENG Arsenal London
11 (18-17-15) 71 ITA AS Roma
12 (18-15-17) 69 ITA Juventus Torino
12 (15-24-11) 69 ITA AC Milan
14 (15-18-17) 63 FRA Olympique Lyonnais
15 (13-23-14) 62 NET Ajax Amsterdam
16 (14-19-17) 61 POR FC Porto
17 (14-17-19) 59 POR Benfica Lisboa
18 (14-17-19) 59 GER Bayer Leverkusen
19 (14-16-20) 58 NET PSV Eindhoven
20 (10-26-14) 56 TUR Galatasaray Istanbul
21 (12-17-21) 53 GRE Panathinaikos Athinai
22 (13-13-24) 52 GRE Olympiacos Pirea
23 (11-11-28) 44 BEL Anderlecht Bruxelles
24 (07-20-21) 43 FRA Olympique Marseille
25 (08-16-26) 40 UKR Dynamo Kyiv
26 (06-21-23) 39 NOR Rosenborg Trondheim

-----Game 102-----

Incoming game: 2014-05-17 NCu - Bayern 2 Dortmund 0
(Arjen Robben, Thomas Müller)

Remaining game: 2014-04-12 NLe - Bayern 0 Dortmund 3
(Henrik Mkhitarian, Marco reus, Jonas Hoffman)

Outgoing game: 2013-11-24 NLe - Bayern 3 Dortmund 0
(Mario Götze, Arjen Robben, Thomas Müller)

And that's the end of the EFCL season, finishing, as it started, with a game between Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund. Last year they were playing the Champions League final, this time it was "just" the German cup, but with this result Bayern retain the domestic double, and despite surrendering their European crown to a team from Madrid, this result means that they finish the 2013-14 season as EFCL winners on 96 points, two above Real Madrid and five above Liverpool.

-----Game 101-----

Incoming game: 2014-05-11 NLe - Roma 0 Juventus 1
(Pablo Osvaldo)

Remaining game: 2014-01-21 NCu - Roma 1 Juventus 0
(Gervinho)

Outgoing game: 2014-01-05 NLe - Juventus 3 Roma 0
(Arturo Vidal, Leonardo Bonucci, Mirko Vucinic)

A league double for Juve over Roma is completed, and Juve win Serie A leaving Roma in second, but in the EFCL Roma finish two points above the Turinese.

-----Game 100-----

Incoming game: 2014-05-10 NLe - Porto 2 Benfica 1
(Ricardo Pereira, Jackson Martínez; Enzo Pérez)

Remaining game: 2014-04-27 NLC - Porto 0 Benfica 0

Outgoing game: 2014-04-16 NCu - Benfica 3 Porto 1
(Eduardo Salvio, Enzo Pérez, André Gomes; Silvestre Varela)

A storm of classicos in Portugal saw the big two play three times in less than a month, in three different competitions. After the smoke clears, Benfica are the real-life winners, but in EFCL terms Porto have the last laugh, with a six-point swing that takes the Dragons above the Eagles for the year, 61 points to 59 for 16th place.

-----Games 97, 98, 99-----

Incoming game: 2014-05-04 NLe - Real Madrid 2 Valencia 2 
(Sergio Ramos, Cristiano Ronaldo; Jeremy Mathieu, Daniel Parejo)

Remaining game: 2013-12-22 NLe - Valencia 2 Real Madrid 3 
(Pablo Piatti, Jérémy Mathieu; Ángel Di María, Cristiano Ronaldo, Jesé Rodríguez)

Outgoing game: 2013-01-23 NLe - Real Madrid 1 Valencia 1 
(Karim Benzema, Ricardo Costa)

--

Incoming game: 2014-05-04 NLe - Milan 1 Inter 0 
(Nigel de Jong)

Remaining game: 2013-12-22 NLe - Inter 1 Milan 0 
(Rodrigo Palacio)

Outgoing game: 2013-02-24 NLe - Inter 1 Milan 1 
(Stephan El Shaarawy; Schelotto)

--

Incoming game: 2014-05-04 NLe - Marseille 4 Lyon 2 
(Souleymane Diawara, Florian Thauvin, André-Pierre Gignac 2; Arnold Mvuemba, Bafétimbi Gomis)

Remaining game: 2014-01-15 NLC- Lyon 2 Marseille 1 
(Yoann Gourcuff, Bafétimbi Gomis; André-Pierre Gignac)

Outgoing game: 2013-12-15 NLe - Lyon 2 Marseille 2 
(Alexandre Lacazette, Bafétimbi Gomis; André-Pierre Gignac, Florian Thauvin)
 
Very important result in Spain, as this draw makes Real Madrid lose most of their probabilities of winning the Spanish league and also all the probabilities to top the EFCL at the end of the season. This is Real's last EFCL-eligible game of 2013-14, and they won't be able to add any more points to the 94 they currently have, two fewer than Bayern. In Italy, Milan win the city derby, to go level on EFCL points with new league champions Juventus (Inter remain 9th despite the lost point). None of these Italian giants will play in Europe next season, though. In France, Marseille obtain a much-needed victory, both in EFCL terms, to flee from the bottom of the table, and in the French league to seek European football next season too.

-----Game 96-----

Incoming game: 2014-05-01 ESF - Juventus 0 Benfica 0

Remaining game: 2014-04-24 ESF- Benfica 2 Juventus 1
(Ezequiel Garay, Rodrigo Lima; Carlos Tévez)

Outgoing game: 1993-03-16 UQF - Juventus 3 Benfica 0
(Jürgen Kohler, Roberto Baggio, Fabrizio Ravanelli)

Benfica go through to the Europa League final, which will be played at, of all places, Juventus's own stadium, while the Champions League final is played at, of all places, Benfica's own stadium. Juve are 12th and Benfica 15th.

-----Game 95-----

Incoming game: 2014-04-29 CSF - Bayern 0 Real Madrid 4
(Sergio Ramos 2, Cristiano Ronaldo 2)

Remaining game: 2014-04-23 CSF - Bayern 1 Real Madrid 0
(Karim Benzema)

Outgoing game: 2012-04-25 CSF - Real Madrid 2 Bayern 1
(Cristiano Ronaldo 2; Arjen Robben)

A great victory for Real Madrid confirming the whites in second place in the EFCL table and through to the Champions Lague final. The day after this match, Atlético Madrid eliminated Chelsea in the other semifinal, so this year's final won't be EFCL-eligible, as Atlético are not members (and, having played just 37 Champions League matches since 1992, they are still only half-way of the 70 required for EFCL entry)

-----Game 94-----

Incoming game: 2014-04-27 NLC - Porto 0 Benfica 0

Remaining game: 2014-04-16 NCu - Benfica 3 Porto 1
(Eduardo Salvio, Enzo Pérez, André Gomes; Silvestre Varela)

Outgoing game: 2014-03-26 NCu - Porto 1 Benfica 0
(Jackson Martínez)

Fourth time in four 2014 months that these two teams have met, now in the League Cup. Benfica won on penalties, but for EFCL purposes that's just a draw for both teams. Benfica also leapfrog their compatriots into 16th place to complete a clean sweep over them: they win the league, beat Porto in both domestic cup competition, go further in Europe (both teams dropped from the Champions League to the Europa League) and go above them in the EFCL.

-----Game 93-----

Incoming game: 2014-04-27 NLe - Liverpool 0 Chelsea 2
(Demba Ba, Willian)

Outgoing game: 2013-12-29 NLe - Chelsea 2 Liverpool 1
(Eden Hazard, Samuel Eto’o; Martin Skrtel)

Remaining game: 2013-04-21 NLe - Liverpool 2 Chelsea 2
(Daniel Sturridge, Luis Suárez; Óscar, Eden Hazard)

Liverpool's steamroller to a long-awaited league title is derailed by a cagey Chelsea hitting twice on the counter. In the EFCL table, both teams remain where they are, Liverpool 3rd and Chelsea 6th.

-----Game 92-----

Incoming game: 2014-04-26 NLe - Leverkusen 2 Dortmund 2
(Lars Bender, Gonzalo Castro; Oliver Kirch, Marco Reus)

Remaining game: 2013-12-08 NLe - Dortmund 0 Leverkusen 1
(Son Heung-Min)

Outgoing game: 2013-02-05 NLe - Leverkusen 2 Dortmund 3
(Stefan Reinartz 2; Marco Reus, Jakub Blasczykowski, Robert Lewandowski)

Dortmund go down to 9th on 76 points, Leverkusen go up to 18th on 59.

-----Game 91-----

Incoming game: 2014-04-25 NLe - Roma 2 Milan 0
(Miralem Pjanic, Gervinho)

Remaining game: 2013-12-16 NLe - Milan 2 Roma 2
(Cristián Zapata, Sulley Muntari; Mattia Destro, Kevin Strootman)

Outgoing game: 2013-05-12 NLe - Milan 0 Roma 0

Roma go up to 11th on 71 points, Milan remain 13th on 67.

-----Game 90-----

Incoming game: 2014-04-24 ESF - Benfica 2 Juventus 1
(Ezequiel Garay, Rodrigo Lima; Carlos Tévez)

Remaining game: 1993-03-16 UQF - Juventus 3 Benfica 0
(Jürgen Kohler, Roberto Baggio, Fabrizio Ravanelli)

Outgoing game: 1993-03-04 UQF - Benfica 2 Juventus 1
(Vítor Paneira 2; Gianluca Vialli)

The Europa League pitches in with a EFCL-eligible semifinal. Nineteen years later, the same result, a 2-1 win for Benfica, so no changes in the table.

-----Game 89-----

Incoming game: 2014-04-23 CSF - Bayern 1 Real Madrid 0
(Karim Benzema)

Remaining game:  2012-04-25 CSF - Real Madrid 2 Bayern 1
(Cristiano Ronaldo 2; Arjen Robben)

Outgoing game: 2012-04-17 CSF - Bayern 2 Real Madrid 1
(Franck Ribéry, Mario Gómez; Mesut Özil)

What a great week for Real Madrid in the EFCL. With this victory, coming in for a defeat in Munich two years before, the Spanish side come within two points of Bayern in the table. However, Real are defending a victory in the return leg of this semifinal, so this might me short-lived. Watch this space.

-----Games 87, 88-----

Incoming game: 2014-04-16 NCF - Real Madrid 2 Barcelona 1
(Ángel Di María, Gareth Bale; Marc Bartra)

Remaining game: 2014-03-23 NLe - Real Madrid 3 Barcelona 4
(Karim Benzema 2, Cristiano Ronaldo; Andrés Iniesta, Lionel Messi 3)

Outgoing game: 2013-10-26 NLe - Barcelona 2 Real Madrid 1
(Neymar, Alexis Sánchez; Jesé Rodríguez)

--

Incoming game: 2014-04-16 NCu - Benfica 3 Porto 1
(Eduardo Salvio, Enzo Pérez, André Gomes; Silvestre Varela)

Remaining game: 2014-03-26 NCu - Porto 1 Benfica 0
(Jackson Martínez)

Outgoing game: 2014-01-12 NLe - Benfica 2 Porto 0
(Rodrigo Lima, Ezequiel Garay)

What a Copa del Rey final and what a goal by Gareth Bale to win it and take Real ahead of Barça in the EFCL table. Across the border in Portugal, Benfica eliminate Porto in the semifinals of the Cup, but both teams remain where they are in the table.

-----Game 86-----

Incoming game:  2014-04-12 NLe - Bayern 0 Dortmund 3
(Henrik Mkhitarian, Marco Reus, Jonas Hoffmann)

Remaining game: 2013-11-24 NLe - Dortmund 0 Bayern 3
(Mario Götze, Arjen Robben, Thomas Müller)

Outgoing game: 2013-07-27 NSC - Bayern 2 Dortmund 4
(Marco Reus, Daniel van Buyten og, Ilkay Gundogan, Marco Reus; Arjen Robben 2)

Having won the Bundesliga in record time, Bayern then relaxed and lost two league games in quick succession, including this one. A pity in EFCL terms, as a win in this game would have taken the Bavarians above the 100-point mark. As it is, both teams remain where they are and they could still meet in the German cup final, if they win their semifinals next week.

-----Game 85-----

Incoming game: 2014-04-10 EQF - Juventus 2 Lyon 1
(Andrea Pirlo, Samuel Umtiti og; Jeremy Briand)

Remaining game: 2014-04-03 EQF - Lyon 0 Juventus 1
(Leonardo Bonucci)

And a new set of results is completed: Juventus 6 points, Lyon 0 points. Harsh, but it happens. Juve are all but Italian champions once again, and it looks like Lyon won't be in the Champions League next season (maybe not in European football at all), so revenge might take a while.

-----Game 84-----

Incoming game: 2014-04-10 CQF - Bayern 3 Manchester United 1
(Mario Mandzukic, Thomas Müller, Arjen Robben; Patrice Evra)

Remaining game: 2014-04-01 CQF - Manchester United 1 Bayern 1
(Nemanja Vidic; Bastian Schweinsteiger)

Outgoing game: 2010-04-07 CQF - Manchester United 3 Bayern 2
(Darron Gibson, Nani 2; Ivica Olic, Arjen Robben)

With this victory, Bayern reach 99 EFCL points and extend their lead at the top of the table to 7 points over Liverpool. It's not only winning games, it's winning them against teams you had lost the outgoing game to. United lose three points, but they remain 5th, 16 points off the pace. Bayern, 4 points, United 1 point.

-----Game 83-----

Incoming game: 2014-04-08 CQF - Dortmund 2 Real Madrid 0
(Marco Reus 2)

Remaining game: 2014-04-02 CQF- Real Madrid 3 Dortmund 0
(Gareth Bale, Isco, Cristiano Ronaldo)

Outgoing game: 2013-04-30 CSF - Real Madrid 2 Dortmund 0
(Karim Benzema, Sergio Ramos)

And this is a good example of one of the weaknesses of the EFCL: in an actual league system, Real Madrid would not accept a 2-0 defeat away to a mid-table team, but in the Champions League quarter-finals, when 3-0 ahead, Real were happy to take that defeat, because there were no points at stake, just a place in the semifinals. In EFCL terms, though, this reverses last week's gains: Real lose three points and one place (to Barcelona, of all teams), to go down to 4th, while Dortmund go back up to 7th. Until they meet again, it's Real Madrid 3 points, Dortmund 3 points.

-----Game 82-----

Incoming game: 2014-04-03 EQF Lyon 0 Juventus 1
(Leonardo Bonucci)

It's always nice when other European competitions apart from the Champions League pitch in with a tie or two, and in this case the Europa League serves up a first-ever meeting between two teams, which is even nicer. After being eliminated from the Champions League by Galatasaray, this year's Europa League final will be in Turin, and Juventus take a big stride towards the semifinals with this away victory in France. Per EFCL rules, this result comes in for a 0-0 placeholder, meaning that Juve gain two points and Lyon lose one. Juve also overtake Milan in the EFCL table and tie with Roma on 69 points for 11th place.

-----Game 81-----

Incoming game: 2014-04-02 CQF - Real Madrid 3 Dortmund 0
(Gareth Bale, Isco, Cristiano Ronaldo)

Remaining game: 2013-04-30 CSF - Real Madrid 2 Dortmund 0
(Karim Benzema, Sergio Ramos)

Outgoing game: 2013-04-24 CSF - Dortmund 4 Real Madrid 1
(Robert Lewandowski 4; Cristiano Ronaldo)

Boy, are Real relieved to see that 4-1 defeat leave the EFCL table. And it's a 6-point swing with a vengeance, too, as the Spanish side are now the one with the three-goal victory, and they overtake Barcelona for thrid place, only one point behind Liverpool and five behind Bayern. Dortmund lose two places in the table, to joint 8th.

-----Game 80-----

Incoming game: 2014-04-01 CQF - Manchester United 1 Bayern 1
(Nemanja Vidic; Bastian Schweinsteiger)

Remaining game: 2010-04-07 CQF - Manchester United 3 Bayern 2
(Darron Gibson, Nani 2; Ivica Olic, Arjen Robben)

Outgoing game: 2010-03-30 CQF - Bayern 2 Manchester United 1
(Franck Ribéry, Ivica Olic; Wayne Rooney)

Bayern went into this game as big favourites, but they just came out with a draw, which in EFCL terms makes them lose two points, while United gain one. Bayern still lead the table by four points over Liverpool, while United remain 5th.

-----Game 79-----

Incoming game: 2014-03-26 NCu - Porto 1 Benfica 0  (Jackson Martínez)

Remaining game: 2014-01-12 NLe - Benfica 2 Porto 0
(Rodrigo Lima, Ezequiel Garay)

Outgoing game: 2013-05-05 NLe - Porto 2 Benfica 1
(Kelvin de Oliveira, Maxi Pereira; Rodrigo Lima)

The two Portuguese teams in the EFCL have been drawn together in the semifinals of the national cup competition, which is a two-legged affair, so these teams will face each other four times this season... and they could still meet in the Europa League. No changes in the EFCL table, with Porto renewing their outgoing victory.

-----Game 78-----

Incoming game: 2014-03-23 NLe - Real Madrid 3 Barcelona 4
(Karim Benzema 2, Cristiano Ronaldo; Andrés Iniesta, Lionel Messi 3)

Remaining game: 2013-10-26 NLe - Barcelona 2 Real Madrid 1
(Neymar, Alexis Sánchez; Jesé Rodríguez)

Outgoing game: 2013-03-02 NLe - Real Madrid 2 Barcelona 1
(Karim Benzema, Sergio Ramos; Lionel Messi)

Tremendous drama both in the Spanish Liga and in the much more important EFCL: with this victory Barcelona achieve the league double over Real, climb up to only a point behind the Madrid team in Spain and overtake the Blancos in the EFCL table, to take 3rd place in a 6-point turnaround: Barça go from 87 to 90 points and Real down from 91 to 88. 2-2 at the break, the game featured three penalties in the second half, two of them for Barça to score the last two goals of the game, to complete a Leo Messi hat-trick, who became the top scorer ever in Spanish Clásicos. Barça led 1-0, Real led 2-1 and 3-2 before the dramatic finale.

-----Game 77-----

Incoming game: 2014-03-22 NLe - Chelsea 6 Arsenal 0
(Samuel Eto'o, Andre Schürrle, Eden Hazard, Óscar 2, Mohamed Salah)

Remaining game: 2013-12-23 NLe - Arsenal 0 Chelsea 0

Outgoing game: 2013-10-29 NLC - Arsenal 0 Chelsea 2
(César Azpilicueta, Juan Mata)

In EFCL terms, this is just a like-for-like result, but in the Premier League this is a huge victory for Chelsea on Arsène Wenger's 1000th game as Arsenal manager. The game featured two early goals and a mistaken-identity sending-off, as Kieran Gibbs was red-carded for a handball committed by teammate Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

-----Game 76-----

Incoming game: 2014-03-19 C8F - Manchester United 3 Olympiacos 0
(Robin van Persie 3)

Remaining game: 2014-02-25 C8F - Olympiacos 2 Manchester United  0
(Alejandro Domínguez, Joel Campbell)

Outgoing game: 2002-10-23 CGS - Olympiacos 2 Manchester United 3
(Lambros Choutos, Predrag Djordjevic; Laurent Blanc, Juan Verón, Paul Scholes)

A real shot in the arm for Manchester United, whose only chance to return to the Champions League next year is to win it this time, due to their bad season in the Engish league. After losing 2-0 in Greece, a Van Persie treble turned the tie around and put United in the last eight. But in EFCL terms it is United 3 points, Olympiacos 3 points over the two games.

-----Game 75-----

Incoming game: 2014-03-18 C8F - Chelsea 2 Galatasaray 0
(Samuel Eto'o, Gary Cahill)

Remaining game: 2014-02-26 C8F - Galatasaray 1 Chelsea 1
(Aurelien Chedjou; Fernando Torres)

Outgoing game: 1999-10-20 CGS - Galatasaray 0 Chelsea 5
(Tore Andre Flo 2, Gianfranco Zola, Dennis Wise, Gabriele Ambrosetti)

Didier Drogba returned to Stamford Bridge for the first time since he won Chelsea the Champions League two years previously, but the London club delivered a typically controlled performance and qualified for the 2014 quarter-finals without much trouble. Chelsea 4 points, Galatasaray 1 point.

----Game 74-----

Incoming game: 2014-03-16 NLe - Manchester United 0 Liverpool 3
(Steven Gerrard 2, Luis Suárez)

Remaining game: 2013-09-25 LCu - Manchester United 1 Liverpool 0
(Javier Hernández)

Outgoing game: 2013-09-01 NLe - Liverpool 1 Manchester United 0
(Daniel Sturridge)

Liverpool do the league double over United, but in EFCL terms there's the small matter of a league cup game in between both, so it remains at one victory for each. United had three penalties given against them (the last one for a Daniel Sturridge dive, promptly missed by Steven Gerrard, who also thus missed on an Old Trafford hat-trick) before Suárez finished the rout.

-----Game 73-----

Incoming game: 2014-03-15 NLe - Bayern 2 Leverkusen 1
(Mario Mandzukic, Bastian Schweinsteiger; Stefan Kiessling)

Remaining game: 2013-10-05 NLe - Leverkusen 1 Bayern 1
(Sidney Sam; Toni Kroos)

Outgoing game: 2013-03-16 NLe - Leverkusen 1 Bayern 2
(Simon Rolfes; Mario Gómez, Philip Wollscheid og)

Nothing new here: a 2-1 draw in for another, and Bayern continue their triumphal march in the Bundesliga (W23 D2 L0, 23 points ahead) and the EFCL.

-----Game72-----

Incoming game: 2014-03-11 C8F - Bayern 1 Arsenal 1
(Bastian Schweinsteiger; Lukas Podolski)

Remaining game: 2014-02-19 C8F - Arsenal 0 Bayern 2
(Toni Kroos, Thomas Müller)

Ougoing game: 2013-03-13 C8F - Bayern 0 Arsenal 2
(Olivier Giroud, Laurent Koscielny)

Bayern earn a point to total 98 and extend their lead at the top of the EFCL to 6 points over second-placed Liverpool. It was none other than former Bayern boy Lukas Podolski who kept the German side from getting to the 100-point mark when he scored his equaliser. Arsenal lose two and remain 10th on 71 points. Until they meet again, Bayern 4 points, Arsenal 1 point.

-----Games 70, 71-----

Incoming game: 2014-03-02 NLe - Olympiacos 0 Panathinaikos 3
(Danijel Pranjic, Marcus Berg, Mehdi Abeid)

Remainig game: 2013-11-02 NLe - Panathinaikos 0 Olympiacos 1
(Konstantinos Mitroglou)

Outgoing game: 2013-04-14 NLe - Olympiacos 1 Panathinaikos 1
(Konstantinos Mitroglou; Luciano Figueroa)

--

Incoming game: 2014-03-02 NLe - Milan 0 Juventus 2
(Fernando Llorente, Carlos Tévez)

Remaining game: 2013-10-06 NLe - Juventus 3 Milan 2
(Andrea Pirlo, Sebastian Giovinco, Giorgio Chiellini; Sulley Muntari 2)

Outgoing game: 2013-04-21 NLe - Milan 0 Juventus 1
(Arturo Vidal)

With this unexpectadly clear victory Panathinaikos not only stop Olympiacos from winning the Greek league in record time, but in EFCL terms they go above their rivals in the table, 53 points to 52. Olympiacos had gone ahead after their fine victory over Manchester United in the Champions League a few days before, but now they have to give the bragging rights back. Meanwhile, in Italy Juventus successfully defend their current victory against Milan (they have got the measure of the Rossoneri lately) and go 9 points ahead of the pack as leaders of Serie A.

-----Game 69-----

Incoming game: 2014-03-01 NLe - Roma 0 Internazionale 0

Remaining game: 2013-10-05 NLe - Internazionale 0 Roma 3
(Francesco Totti 2, Alessandro Florenzi)

Outgoing game: 2013-04-17 NCu - Internazionale 2 Roma 3
(Jonathan Moreira, Ricardo Álvarez; Mattia Destro 2, Vassilis Torosidis)

A tense but forgettable 0-0 draw in which Inter earn an EFCL point and Roma lose two, but they both remain where they are on the table, 9th and 11th respectively.

-----Game 68-----

Incoming game: 2014-02-27 U16 - Valencia 0 Dynamo Kiev 0

Remaining game: 2014-02-20 U16 - Dynamo Kiev 0 Valencia 2
(Eduardo Vargas, Domagoj Vida og)

Outgoing game: 2009-02-26 U16 - Valencia 2 Dynamo Kiev 2
(Carlos Marchena, Asier del Horno; Artem Kravets)

Valencia hold on for a draw and qualify for the last 16 of the Europa League. The tie ends up in the same way it turned out five years earlier: Valencia 4 points, Dynamo 1 point.

-----Game 67-----

Incoming game: 2014-02-26 C8F - Galatasaray 1 Chelsea 1
(Aurelien Chedjou; Fernando Torres)

Remaining game: 1999-10-20 CGS - Galatasaray 0 Chelsea 5
(Tore Andre Flo 2, Gianfranco Zola, Dennis Wise, Gabriele Ambrosetti)

Outgoing game: 1999-09-29 CGS - Chelsea 1 Galatasaray 0
(Dan Petrescu)

Fifteen years after their last meeting, Chelsea lose two points and Galatasaray gain one, but they both remain where they are in the EFCL table (6th and 20th). This draw is Chelsea's 25th and Gala's 26th out of 50 EFCL-eligible games, which makes these two kings of the draws, together with Milan, also on 26.

-----Game 66-----

Incoming game: 2014-02-25 C8F - Olympiacos 2 Manchester United 0
(Alejandro Domínguez, Joel Campbell)

Remaining game: 2002-10-23 CGS - Olympiacos 2 Manchester United 3
(Lambros Choutos, Predrag Djordjevic; Laurent Blanc, Juan Verón, Paul Scholes)

Outgoing game: 2002-10-01 CGS - Manchester United 4 Olympiacos 0
(Juan Verón, Ryan Giggs 2, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer)

What a difference from the tie 12 years ago (Ryan Giggs is still around, though). Olympiacos give themselves a good chance of reaching the quarter-finals of the Champions League, and (what matters most), with today's victory, they go above Panathinaikos in the EFCL (53 points to 51), so they conquer Greek bragging rights to go with their domestic dominance. United, leaders of the EFCL before this blog went live, now surrender 4th place to Barcelona and fall 12 points below Bayern.

-----Game 65-----

Incoming game: 2014-02-20 U16 - Dynamo Kiev 0 Valencia 2
(Eduardo Vargas, Domagoj Vida og)

Remaining game: 2009-02-26 U16 - Valencia 2 Dynamo Kiev 2
(Carlos Marchena, Asier del Horno; Artem Kravets)

Outgoing game: 2009-02-18 U16 - Dynamo Kiev 1 Valencia 1
(Raúl Albiol og; David Silva)

Most of the time the EFCL matches are played in domestic competition or in the Champions League, but it's always nice when the Europa League pitches in with a tie. In this case, Valencia and Dynamo meet eight years after the last time, when the Ukrainians qualified on away goals after two draws. This match was played in Nicosia (Cyprus) because of the civil unrest in Kiev (at exactly the same hour, another Europa League match in Dnipropetrovsk between Dnipro and Tottenham did go ahead in Ukraine, though). Valencia got an important "away" victory, including an own goal in injury time, which is kind of karmic, as the last time Dynamo played home to Valencia, Raúl Albiol scored against his own team. Valencia earn two points in the EFCL, but they remain 8th, and Dynamo also remain where they are, 25th out of 26, only one poin off the foot of the table. If the Ukrainians lose the return at the Mestalla, they will share bottom place with perennial table-proppers Rosenborg.

-----Game 64-----

Incoming game: 2014-02-19 C8F - Arsenal 0 Bayern 2
(Toni Kroos, Thomas Müller)

Remaining game: 2013-03-13 C8F - Bayern 0 Arsenal 2
(Olivier Giroud, Laurent Koscielny)

Outgoing game: 2013-02-19 C8F - Arsenal 1 Bayern 3
(Lukas Podolski;  Toni Kroos, Thomas Müller, Mario Mandzukic)

Fourth consecutive appearance by Arsenal in the EFCL, producing the same result as exactly 365 days before: a home defeat to Bayern Munich. In this game, though, both teams missed a penalty (Mesut Özil and David Alaba) and Arsenal had their goalkeeper, Wojciech Szczesny, sent off. Both teams remain 10th and 1st, respectively, and Bayern have a chance to add to their points tally if they avoid defeat in the return match.

-----Game 63-----

Incoming game: 2014-02-16 NCu - Arsenal 2 Liverpool 1
(Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Lukas Podolski; Steven Gerrard)

Remaining game: 2014-02-08 NLe - Liverpool 5 Arsenal 1
(Martin Skrtel 2, Raheem Sterling 2, Daniel Sturridge; Mikel Arteta)

Outgoing game: 2013-11-02 NLe - Arsenal 2 Liverpool 0
(Santiago Cazorla, Aaron Ramsey)

Third consecutive appearance by Arsenal in the EFCL in the space of 8 days. And against Liverpool, too, whom they played the previous week in the League and now in the FA Cup. The Gunners' victory comes in to substitute for their league win back in November, so everything remains the same in the table: Liverpool 2nd, Arsenal 10th.

-----Game 62-----

Incoming game: 2014-02-12 NLe - Arsenal 0 Manchester United 0

Remaining game: 2013-11-09 NLe - Manchester United 1 Arsenal 0
(Robin van Persie)

Outgoing game: 2013-04-28 NLe - Arsenal 1 Manchester United 1
(Theo Walcott; Robin van Persie)

Everything remains as it was, as this 0-0 draw comes in for a 1-1 draw from the previous year. United stay 4th and Arsenal 10th.

-----Game 61-----

Incoming game: 2014-02-08 NLe - Liverpool 5 Arsenal 1
(Martin Skrtel 2, Raheem Sterling 2, Daniel Sturridge; Mikel Arteta)

Remaining game: 2013-11-02 NLe - Arsenal 2 Liverpool 0
(Santiago Cazorla, Aaron Ramsey)

Outgoing game: 2013-01-30 NLe - Arsenal 2 Liverpool 2
(Luis Suárez, Jordan Henderson; Olivier Giroud, Theo Walcott)

For a team that hasn't been in the Champions League for years, Liverpool are really punching above their weight in the EFCL. With this victory over Arsenal, they gain two valuable points and overtake Real Madrid to go second on 92 points, five behind leaders Bayern. The Gunners lose a point, but remain 10th.

-----Game 60-----

Incoming game: 2014-02-02 NLe - Juventus 3 Inter 1
(Stephan Lichtsteiner, Andrea Pirlo, Arturo Vidal; Rolando)

Remaining game: 2013-09-14 NLe - Inter 1 Juventus 1
(Mauro Icardi; Arturo Vidal)

Outgoing game: 2013-03-31 NLe - Inter 1 Juventus 2
(Rodrigo Palacio; Fabio Quagliarella, Alessandro Matri)

Juventus continue their unstoppable march in Serie A with a victory in the Derby d'Italia, but in EFCL terms, things remain as they are, as the new result comes in for another Juve victory from a year ago. Inter remain 9th, Juve 13th.

-----Game 59-----

Incoming game: 2014-02-01 NLe - Barcelona 2 Valencia 3
(Alexis Sánchez, Lionel Messi; Pablo Piatti, Daniel Parejo, Francisco Alcacer)

Remaining game: 2013-09-01 NLe - Valencia 2 Barcelona 3
(Hélder Postiga 2; Lionel Messi 3)

Outgoing game: 2013-02-03 NLe - Valencia 1 Barcelona 1
(Éver Banega, Lionel Messi)

An extraordinary surprise as Valencia, this season a struggling mid-table team, win away at Barça for only the 12th time in 79 league attempts. In the process, this result blows the Spanish title race wide open and makes Barcelona lose two points in the EFCL, sending the Catalans down to fifth in the table. Valencia gain a place, up to 8th, on 78 points.

-----Game 58-----

Incoming game: 2014-01-21 NCu - Roma 1 Juventus 0
(Gervinho)

Remaining game: 2014-01-05 NLe - Juventus 3 Roma 0
(Arturo Vidal, Leonardo Bonucci, Mirko Vucinic)

Outgoing game: 2013-02-16 NLe - Roma 1 Juventus 0
(Francesco Totti)

Second time in 16 days for these two to square off against each other and, as before, the new result is the same as the outgoing match's (in this case identical, a 1-0 victory for Roma). Anyway, none of these two games will last the season, as they will be substituted by the return leg of this domestic cup tie and a Serie A match in the spring.

-----Games 56, 57-----

Incoming game: 2014-01-19 NLe - Chelsea 3 Manchester United 1
(Samuel Eto'o 3; Javier Hernández)

Remaining game: 2013-08-26 NLe - Manchester United 0 Chelsea 0

Outgoing game: 2013-05-06 NLe - Manchester United 0 Chelsea 1
(Juan Mata)

--

Incoming game: 2014-01-19 NLe - Ajax 1 PSV 0
(Kolbein Sigthorsson)

Remaining game: 2013-09-22 NLe - PSV 4 Ajax 0
(Tim Matavz, Jetro Willems, Oscar Hiljemark, Ji-sung Park)

Outgoing game: 2013-04-14 NLe - PSV 2 Aja 3
(Lens 2; Fischer, Eriksen, Boerrigter)

Chelsea and Ajax's victories come in for two wins from last spring, so things remain as they were in the table: United joint 4th, Chelsea 6th, Ajax 15th, PSV 18th.

-----Game 55-----

Incoming game: 2014-01-15 NLC - Lyon 2 Marseille 1
(Yoann Gourcuff, Bafétimbi Gomis; André-Pierre Gignac)

Remaining game: 2013-12-15 NLe - Lyon 2 Marseille 2
(Alexandre Lacazette, Bafétimbi Gomis; André-Pierre Gignac, Florian Thauvin)

Outgoing game: 2013-03-11 NLe - Lyon 0 Marseille 0

A League Cup fixture gives Lyon the chance to get a couple of points to remain 14th on 66, while Marseille now share the penultimate place with Dynamo Kiev, just two points ahead of perennial table-proppers Rosenborg.

-----Game 54-----

Incoming game: 2014-01-12 NLe - Benfica 2 Porto 0
(Rodrigo Lima, Ezequiel Garay)

Remaining game: 2013-05-05 NLe - Porto 2 Benfica 1
(Kelvin de Oliveira, Maxi Pereira; Rodrigo Lima)

Outgoing game: 2013-01-13 NLe - Benfica 2 Porto 2
(Nemanja Matic, Walter Gaitán; Eliaquim Mangala, Jackson Martínez)

After this game, both Portuguese teams have 60 points and share 16th place.

-----Game 53-----

Incoming game: 2014-01-05 NLe - Juventus 3 Roma 0
(Arturo Vidal, Leonardo Bonucci, Mirko Vucinic)

Remaining game: 2013-02-16 NLe - Roma 1 Juventus 0
(Francesco Totti)

Outgoing game: 2012-09-30 NLe - Juventus 4 Roma 1
(Andrea Pirlo, Arturo Vidal, Alessandro Matri, Sebastian Giovinco; Pablo Osvaldo)

First EFCL game of 2014. Juventus substitute a heavy defeat of Roma for another, so both teams remain where they are, Roma 11th and Juve 13th, four points apart. It was Roma's first Serie A defeat of the season, and the result confirms Juve as the big favourites to win the title. Roma had two men sent of when 2-0 down.

-----Game 52-----

Incoming game: 2013-12-29 NLe - Chelsea 2 Liverpool 1
(Eden Hazard, Samuel Eto’o; Martin Skrtel)

Remaining game: 2013-04-21 NLe - Liverpool 2 Chelsea 2
(Daniel Sturridge, Luis Suárez; Óscar, Eden Hazard)

Outgoing game: 2012-11-11 NLe - Chelsea 1 Liverpool 1
(John Terry; Luis Suárez)

Last EFCL-eligible game of 2013. Liverpool lose one point and go down to third in the table, leaving Real Madrid alone in second. Chelsea gain again the two points they lost against Arsenal a week earlier, and remain sixth.

-----Game 51-----

Incoming game: 2013-12-23 NLe - Arsenal 0 Chelsea 0

Remaining game: 2013-10-29 NLC - Arsenal 0 Chelsea 2
(César Azpilicueta; Juan Mata)

Outgoing game: 2013-01-20 NLe - Chelsea 2 Arsenal 1
(Juan Mata, Frank Lampard; Theo Walcott)

Arsenal lose the leadership of the Premier League to Liverpool on goal difference, but in EFCL terms, this is a positive result, as they earn one point to remain in 10th place. Chelsea lose two points, going down to 82, but remaining in 6th place, with 25 games drawn or not played.

-----Games 49, 50-----

Incoming game: 2013-12-22 NLe - Valencia 2 Real Madrid 3  
(Pablo Piatti, Jérémy Mathieu; Ángel Di María, Cristiano Ronaldo, Jesé Rodríguez)

Remaining game: 2013-01-23 NCu - Real Madrid 1 Valencia 1  
(Karim Benzema, Ricardo Costa)

Outgoing game: 2013-01-20 NLe - Valencia 0 Real Madrid 5  
(Gonzalo Higuaín, Ángel Di María 2, Cristiano Ronaldo 2)

--

Incoming game: 2013-12-22 NLe - Inter 1 Milan 0  
(Rodrigo Palacio)

Remaining game : 2013-02-24 NLe - Inter 1 Milan 1  
(Stephan El Shaarawy; Ezequiel Schelotto)

Outgoing game: 2012-10-07 NLe - Milan 0 Inter 1  
(Walter Samuel)

No changes in the EFCL table after these two matches. Real Madrid and Inter confirm victories against Valencia and Milan respectively. Madrid are 2nd, Inter 8th, Valencia 9th and Milan 12th.

-----Game 48-----

Incoming game: 2013-12-16 NLe - Milan 2 Roma 2
(Cristián Zapata, Sulley Muntari; Mattia Destro, Kevin Strootman)

Remaining game: 2013-05-12 NLe - Milan 0 Roma 0

Outgoing game: 2012-12-12 NLe - Roma 4 Milan 2
(Nicolás Burdisso, Pablo Osvaldo, Erik Lamela 2; Giampaolo Pazzini, Bojan Krkic)

Roma 11th on 71 points, Milan 12th on 68 and Juventus 13th on 67. That's the Italian-populated middle of the EFCL table after this game. And, since you ask, the fourth in the quartet, Inter, are 8th on 77.

-----Game 47-----

Incoming game: 2013-12-15 NLe - Lyon 2 Marseille 2
(Alexandre Lacazette, Bafétimbi Gomis; André-Pierre Gignac, Florian Thauvin)

Remaining game: 2013-03-11 NLe - Lyon 0 Marseille 0

Outgoing game: 2012-11-28 NLe - Marseille 1 Lyon 4
(Loïc Remy; Bafétimbi Gomis 3, Steed Malbranque)

Lyon's debut in the EFCL this season, and unless we get lucky with the Europa League, this will be one of only two EFCL matches they will play this year (domestic cups apart). Marseille earn a much-needed point after their disastrous Champions League campaign (6 defeats in 6 games, four of them EFCL-eligible), to go third from bottom, while Lyon lose two points but no places in the table (14th).

-----Games 44, 45, 46-----

Incoming game: 2013-12-11 CGS - Galatasaray 1 Juventus 0
(Wesley Sneijder)

Remaining game: 2013-10-02 CGS - Juventus 2 Galatasaray 2
(Arturo Vidal, Fabio Quagliarella; Didier Drogba, Umut Bulut)

Outgoing game: 2003-12-02 CGS - Galatasaray 2 Juventus 0
(Hakan Sükür 2)

--

Incoming game: 2013-12-11 CGS - Marseille 1 Dortmund 2
(Souleymane Diawara; Robert Lewandowski, Kevin Grosskreutz)

Remaining game: 2013-10-01 CGS - Dortmund 3 Marseille 0  (Robert Lewandowski 2, Marco Reus)

Outgoing game: 2011-12-06 CGS - Dortmund 2 Marseille 3
(Jakub Blaszczykowski, Mats Hummels; Loïc Rémy, André Ayew, Mathieu Valbuena)

--

Incoming game: 2013-12-11 CGS - Milan 0 Ajax 0

Remaining game: 2013-10-01 CGS - Ajax 1 Milan 1
(Stefano Denswil; Mario Balotelli)

Outgoing game: 2010 12 08 CGS - Milan 0 Ajax 2
(Demi De Zeeuw, Toby Alderweireld)

---

Last day of the group stage in the 2013-14 Champions League. Galatasaray's game against Juventus was poised as a straight elimination match: whoever won would qualify for the Champions League round of 16, and in the case of a draw, the Italians would go through. After half an hour, a freak snowstorn over Istanbul had the game postponed until the following day at 2 PM. In the 85th minute, former Inter Milan player Sneijder scored and sent Juve out of the competition. As far as the EFCL is concerned, though, this is just a repeat result. In France, Dortmund needed a win to qualify, whereas already-eliminated Marseille were playing only to avoid the ignominy of ending the Champions League group stage with 0 points from 6 games. They couldn't do it, and to make matters worse, they lose one of the seven victories they had in the EFCL. Thus, they bacome the team with the least wins in the table (tied with Rosenborg), and only three points off sharing the foot of the table with the Norwegians. Dortmund gain three points, but they remain 7th. Over in Italy, Milan only needed a draw to qualify, whereas Ajax needed a win, and the rossoneri, having lost Riccardo Montolivo to a first-half red card, held on to the 0-0 which avoided what could have been a historic Italian whitewash on the day when Juve and Napoli were eliminated. Milan, besides, join Juventus on 67 points in 12th place in the EFCL.

-----Game 43-----

Incoming game: 2013-12-10 CGS - Olympiacos 3 Anderlecht 1
(Javier Saviola 2, Alejandro Domínguez; Sacha Kljestan)

Remaining game: 2013-10-02 CGS - Anderlecht 0 Olympiacos 3
(Konstantinos Mitroglou 3)

Outgoing game: 1974-11-06 C8F - Olympiacos 3 Anderlecht 0

Olympiacos retain their double over Anderlecht after a strangely eventful game in which the Belgian side received three red cards and had three penalties given against them, the last of which was conceded by the goalkeeper who had saved the first two (and was then sent off himself). Both teams remain 22nd and 23rd in the EFCL, and Olympiacos even qualify for the round of 16 of the Champions League.

-----Game 42-----

Incoming game: 2013-12-08 NLe - Dortmund 0 Leverkusen 1
(Son Heung-Min)

Remaining game: 2013-02-05 NLe - Leverkusen 2 Dortmund 3
(Stefan Reinartz 2; Marco Reus, Jakub Blasczykowski, Robert Lewandowski)

Outgoing game: 2012-09-15 NLe - Dortmund 3 Leverkusen 0
(Mats Hummels, Jakub Blasczykowski, Robert Lewandowski)

Second straight defeat (both at home) for Dortmund against domestic opposition, but despite losing three points in the EFCL, they remain 7th, on 78 points. Leverkusen gain three points and go up to joint 17th.

-----Games 39, 40, 41-----

Incoming game: 2013-11-27 CGS - Leverkusen 0 Manchester United 5
(Luis Antonio Valencia, Emir Spahic og, Jonny Evans, Chris Smalling, Nani)

Remaining game: 2013-09-17 CGS - Manchester United 4 Leverkusen 2
(Wayne Rooney 2, Robin van Persie, Luis Antonio Valencia; Siomn Rolfes, Ömer Toprak)

Outgoing game: 2002-11-13 CGS - Manchester United 2 Leverkusen 0
(Juan Verón, Ruud van Nistelrooy)

--

Incoming game: 2013-11-27 CGS - Real Madrid 4 Galatasaray 1
(Gareth Bale, Álvaro Arbeloa, David Di María, Isco; Umut Bulut)

Remaining game: 2013-09-17 CGS - Galatasaray 1 Real Madrid 6
(Umut Bulut; Isco, Cristiano Ronaldo 3, Karim Benzema 2)

Outgoing game: 2013-04-09 CQF - Galatasaray 3 Real Madrid 2
(Emmanuel Eboué, Wesley Sneijder, Didier Drogba; Cristiano Ronaldo)

--

Incoming game : 2013-11-27 CGS - Anderlecht 2 Benfica 3
(Chancel Mbemba Mangulu, Massimo Bruno; Nemanja Matic, Chancel Mbemba Mangulu og, Rodrigo)

Remaining game: 2013-09-17 CGS - Benfica 2 Anderlecht 0
(Filip Djuricic, Luisao)

Outgoing game: 2004-08-24 CQR - Anderlecht 3 Benfica 0
(Aruna Dindane 2, Nenad Jestrovic)

A busy Champions League midweek in the EFCL culminates with Real Madrid climbing up to joint second with Liverpool (on 91 points), after they replace last March's defeat against Galatasaray with a 4-1 home victory in which all the goals were scored with Madrid down to ten men due to Sergio Ramos being sent off. Manchester United also won, but they just confirm a win against Leverkusen from back in 2002. Finally, Anderlecht deepen their unwanted record as the team with the most defeats in the EFCL (28), although in points they still have two teams below them. Galatasaray and Benfica swap points tallies (55 to 58).

-----Games 37, 38-----

Incoming game: 2013-11-27 CGS - Arsenal 2 Marseille 0
(Jack Wilshere 2)

Remaining game: 2013-09-18 CGS - Marseille 1 Arsenal 2
(Jordan Ayew; Theo Walcott, Aaron Ramsey)

Outgoing game: 2011-10-19 CGS - Marseille 0 Arsenal 1
(Aaron Ramsey)

--

Incoming game: 2013-11-26 CGS - Ajax 2 Barcelona 1
(Thulani Serero, Danny Hoesen; Xavi Hernández)

Remaining game: 2013-09-18 CGS - Barcelona 4 Ajax 0
(Lionel Messi 3, Gerard Piqué)

Helped by the fact that Marseille were already mathenatically out of the Champions League group stage and therefore decided to play an under-strength XI, Arsenal complete a double against them (6 points to 0). No movement in the EFCL table for any of them, though: the English team remain 10th, the French 24th. Meanwhile, over in the Netherlands, I find it a bit of poetic justice that Barcelona's first-ever official visit to Ajax has produced a victory for the local team. These two have taken too long to meet competitively, and given Ajax's huge influence on Barça's style, this is the kind of result that wouldn't be considered a surprise in the 70s or 90s. Until they meet again: Barcelona 3 points, Ajax 3 points. Ajax gain two points and remain 15th, but Barcelona's lost point sees them now having to share 3rd place on 88 points with Manchester United and... Real Madrid.

-----Game 36-----

Incoming game: 2013-11-24 NLe - Dortmund 0 Bayern 3
(Mario Götze, Arjen Robben, Thomas Müller)

Remaining game: 2013-07-27 NSC - Bayern 2 Dortmund 4
(Arjen Robben 2; Marco Reus 2, Daniel van Buyten og, Ilkay Gündogan)

Outgoing game: 2013-05-25 CLF - Bayern 2 Dortmund 1
(Mario Mandzukic, Arjen Robben; Ilkay Gündogan)

Just six months, and the 2013 Champions League Final result is already out of the EFCL. Bayern and Dortmund play each other for the fifth time in the calendar year, each of them in a different competition (12-13 Bundesliga, German Cup, Champions League, German Supercup, 13-14 Bundesliga), and Bayern retain their victory from May with the help of former Dortmund player Götze. Bayern remain top of the EFCL, Dortmund stay 7th.

-----Game 35-----

Incoming game: 2013-11-09 NLe - Manchester United 1 Arsenal 0
(Robin van Persie)

Remaining game: 2013-04-28 NLe - Arsenal 1 Manchester United 1
(Theo Walcott; Robin van Persie)

Outgoing game: 2012-11-03 NLe - Manchester United 2 Arsenal 1
(Robin van Persie, Patrice Evra, Santiago Cazorla)

Robin van Persie can't stop scoring aginst his former team, and his goal today maintained the status quo. United retain their victory from twelve months previously, and with it their 4th place in the table on 88 points. Arsenal, who still lead the Premiership, but have never done particularly well in the EFCL, stay in 10th place on 73 points.

-----Games 33, 34-----

Incoming game : 2013-11-06 CGS - Dortmund 0 Arsenal 1
(Aaron Ramsey)

Remaining game: 2013-10-22 CGS - Arsenal 1 Dortmund 2
(Olivier Giroud; Henrik Mkhitarian, Robert Lewandowski)

Outgoing game: 2011-11-23 CGS - Arsenal 2 Dortmund 1
(Robin van Persie 2; Shinji Kagawa)

--

Incoming game: 2013-11-06 CGS - Barcelona 3 Milan 1
(Lionel Messi 2, Sergio Busquets; Gerard Piqué og)

Remaining game: 2013-10-22 CGS - Milan 1 Barcelona 1
(Robinho; Lionel Messi)

Outgoing game: 2013-03-12 C8F - Barcelona 4 Milan 0
(Lionel Messi 2, David Villa, Jordi Alba)

Two more matches and no changes in the EFCL table. Both Arsenal and Barcelona successfully defended victories against Dortmund and Milan respectively. Arsenal 3 points - Dortmund 3 points, and Barcelona 4 points - Milan 1 point, the latter after playing each other for the fourth time in 2013.

-----Games 31, 32-----

Incoming game: 2013-11-05 CGS - Juventus 2 Real Madrid 2
(Arturo Vidal, Fernando Llorente; Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale)

Remaining game: 2013-10-23 CGS - Real Madrid 2 Juventus 1
(Cristiano Ronaldo 2; Fernando Llorente)

Outgoing game: 2008-11-05 CGS - Real Madrid 0 Juventus 2
(Alessandro Del Piero 2)

--

Incoming game: 2013-11-05 CGS - Olympiacos 1 Benfica 0
(Konstantinos Manolas)

Remaining game: 2013-10-23 CGS - Benfica 1 Olympiacos 1
(Óscar Cardozo; Alejandro Domínguez)

Outgoing game: 2008-11-27 UGS - Olympiacos 5 Benfica 1
(Hugo Galletti, Hristos Patsatzoglou, Diogo 2, Fernando Belluschi; David Luiz)

Real Madrid could have overtaken Barcelona and Manchester United into third had they won, but with the point gained through this draw, they are now joint fourth with United on 88 points. Juventus lose two points, down to 67, but they manage not to lose any places in the table. Until they meet again, this match-up reads: Real Madrid 4 points - Juventus 1 point. In the other EFCL game of the day, Olympiacos retain their victory over Benfica, even if not with the brilliance of 2008. Both teams remain where they are, 22nd and 19th respectively. Olympiacos 4 points - Benfica 1 point.

-----Games 29, 30-----

Incoming game: 2013-11-02 NLe - Panathinaikos 0 Olympiacos 1
(Konstantinos Mitroglou)

Remaining game: 2013-04-14 NLe - Olympiacos 1 Panathinaikos 1
(Konstantinos Mitroglou; Luciano Figueroa)

Outgoing game: 2012-12-09 NLe - Panathinaikos 2 Olympiacos 2
(Charalampos Mavrias, Toché; Rafik Djebbour 2)

--

Incoming game : 2013-11-02 NLe - Arsenal 2 Liverpool 0
(Santiago Cazorla, Aaron Ramsey)

Remaining game: 2013-01-30 NLe - Arsenal 2 Liverpool 2
(Luis Suárez, Jordan Henderson; Olivier Giroud, Theo Walcott)

Outgoing game: 2012-09-02 NLe - Liverpool 0 Arsenal 2
(Lukas Podolski, Santiago Cazorla)

In the Greek league Olympiacos have very much got the upper hand over their Athens rivals, but in the EFCL Panathinaikos are ahead by the slenderest of margins (51 points to 50), even after losing one point in stoppage time as a result of this game. They both retain their places in the table, 21st and 22nd respectively. In England, Arsenal and Liverpool got a like-for-like result, so they both remain where they were too (10th and 2nd respectively)

-----Game 28-----

Incoming game: 2013-10-29 NLC - Arsenal 0 Chelsea 2
(César Azpilicueta; Juan Mata)

Remaining game: 2013-01-20 NLe - Chelsea 2 Arsenal 1
(Juan Mata, Frank Lampard; Theo Walcott)

Outgoing game: 2012-09-30 NLe - Arsenal 1 Chelsea 2
(Gervinho; Fernando Torres, Juan Mata)

This match will be rendered irrelevant as far as the EFCL is concerned before the season ends, as both teams will play each other at least twice more in the next few months. The new result from the English League Cup doesn't change anything in the EFCL table either, as Chelsea's victory is a like-for-like result.

-----Game 27-----

Incoming game: 2013-10-26 NLe - Barcelona 2 Real Madrid 1
(Neymar, Alexis Sánchez; Jesé Rodríguez)

Remaining game: 2013-03-02 NLe - Real Madrid 2 Barcelona 1
(Karim Benzema, Sergio Ramos; Lionel Messi)

Outgoing game: 2013-02-26 NCu - Barcelona 1 Real Madrid 3
(Jordi Alba; Cristiano Ronaldo 2, Raphaël Varane)

Spain's first clásico of the season restores parity between the two Spanish giants, and now they have a victory each. Two current wins for Real Madrid are a rarity lately, and Barça have put a remedy to that. The consequences of this result are quite profound, as Barcelona climb from 5th to 3rd on 89 points, Real slip down from 3rd to 5th on 87, while Manchester United remain 4th in between the two on 88.

-----Games 25, 26-----

Incoming game:  2013-10-23 CGS - Real Madrid 2 Juventus 1
(Cristiano Ronaldo 2; Fernando Llorente)

Remaining game: 2008-11-05 CGS - Real Madrid 0 Juventus 2
(Alessandro Del Piero 2)

Outgoing game: 2008-10-21 CGS - Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1
(Alessandro Del Piero, Amauri; Ruud van Nistelrooy)

---

Incoming game: 2013-10-23 CGS - Benfica 1 Olympicos 1
(Óscar Cardozo; Alejandro Domínguez)

Remaning game: 2008-11-27 UGS - Olympiacos 5 Benfica 1
(Hugo Galletti, Hristos Patsatzoglou, Diogo 2, Fernando Belluschi; David Luiz)

Outgoing game: Ben 3 Oly 0  C8F - 1983-11-02

Real Madrid climb up to third in the EFCL table, on 90 points, overtaking manchester United, with their victory over Juventus, coming in for a 2008 defeat. In two weeks' time Juventus have to defend another win from five years ago, so Real could claim three more points and go up to second. Meanwhile, Juve remain 12th despite losing three points (they are on 69 now). At the bottom third of the table, Benfica' defence of a 1983 win was marred by the copious rain and their game against Olympiacos ended in a draw. The Portuguese team remain 19th, now on 55 points, and Olympiacos gain a valuable point (48 total) to overtake Anderlecht on to 22nd place.

-----Games 23, 24-----

Incoming game: 2013-10-22 CGS - Arsenal 1 Dortmund 2
(Olivier Giroud; Henrik Mkhitarian, Robert Lewandowski)

Remaining game: 2011-11-23 CGS - Arsenal 2 Dortmund 1
(Robin van Persie 2; Shinji Kagawa)

Outgoing game: 2011-09-13 CGS - Dortmund 1 Arsenal 1
(Ivan Perisic; Robin van Persie)

--

Incoming game: 2013-10-22 CGS - Milan 1 Barcelona 1
(Robinho; Lionel Messi)

Remaining game: 2013-03-12 C8F - Barcelona 4 Milan 0
(Lionel Messi 2, David Villa, Jordi Alba)

Outgoing game: 2013-02-20 C8F - Mil 2 Bar 0
(Kevin-Prince Boateng, Sulley Muntari)

Dortmund keep up their good form by collecting a couple of points away to Arsenal (79 to 81), although they don't improve their 7th place in the table. Arsenal lose a point (74 to 73) to remain 10th, equal with Roma now. On the lately-almost-yearly Milan v Barça fixture, the Spanish side exchange a defeat for a draw (staying 5th on 86 points), so they pick up a point, while the Italians lose two and they're 13th tied with Lyon on 66 points.

-----Game 22-----

Incoming game: 2013-10-06 NLe - Juventus 3 Milan 2
(Andrea Pirlo, Sebastian Giovinco, Giorgio Chiellini; Sulley Muntari 2)

Remaining game: 2013-04-21 NLe - Milan 0 Juventus 1
(Arturo Vidal)

Outgoing game: 2013-01-09 NCu - Juventus 2 Milan 1
(Sebastian Giovinco, Mirko Vucinic; Stephan El Shaarawy)

Juventus beat Milan for the third time in this calendar year, so both teams remain where they are, 12th and 13th in the EFCL on 72 and 68 points respectively. In Serie A, Juve are now 11 points ahead after only 7 matches.

-----Games 20 and 21-----

Incoming game: 2013-10-05 NLe - Leverkusen 1 Bayern 1
(Sidney Sam; Toni Kroos)

Remaining game: 2013-03-16 NLe - Leverkusen 1 Bayern 2
(Simon Rolfes; Mario Gómez, Philip Wollscheid og)

Outgoing game: 2012-10-29 NLe - Bayern 1 Leverkusen 2
(Mario Mandzukic; Stefan Kiessling, Sidney Sam)

--

Incoming game: 2013-10-05 NLe - Inter 0 Roma 3
(Francesco Totti 2, Alessandro Florenzi)

Remaining game: 2013-04-17 NCu - Inter 2 Roma 3
(Jonathan Moreira, Ricardo Álvarez; Mattia Destro 2, Vassilis Torosidis)

Outgoing game: 2013-01-23 NCu - Roma 2 Inter 1
(Alessandro Florenzi, Mattia Destro; Rodrigo Palacio)

Bayern extend their lead at the top of the EFCL to six points (97 total) after gaining a point against Leverkusen, and they go top of the Bundesliga, too. Over in Italy, Roma are on fire at the moment, having won all of their first seven Serie A games of the season. However, today's victory came in for another one back in January, so Inter remain 8th on 77 points and Roma 11th on 73.

-----Games 18 and 19-----

Incoming game: 2013-10-02 CGS - Juventus 2 Galatasaray 2
(Arturo Vidal, Fabio Quagliarella; Didier Drogba, Umut Bulut)

Remaining game: 2003-12-02 CGS - Galatasaray 2 Juventus 0
(Hakan Sükür 2)

Outgoing game: 2003-09-17 CGS - Juventus 2 Galatasaray 1
(Alessandro del Piero; Hakan Sükür)

---

Incoming game: 2013-10-02 CGS - Anderlecht 0 Olympiacos 3
(Konstantinos Mitroglou 3)

Remaining game: 1974-11-06 C8F - Olympiacos 3 Anderlecht 0

Outgoing game: 1974-10-23 C8F - Anderlecht 5 Olympiacos 1

Plenty of movement today in the EFCL. Juventus lose two points (74 to 72) and two places (joint 10th to 12th), while Galatasaray earn a point (57 to 58) and go up a place (joint 18th to joint 17th with PSV). In the other game, a dramatic turnaround in fortunes as Anderlecht say goodbye to their best EFCL result, a 5-1 win from 1974 and see it replaced with a 0-3 defeat, courtesy of a Mitroglou hat-trick. This means a six-point turnaround in which both teams are now tied on 47 points, when they had started the day 50 and 43 in favour of the Belgian side. Olympiacos leave the bottom three too, to the detriment of Marseille.

-----Games 16 and 17-----

Incoming game: 2013-10-01 CGS - Ajax 1 Milan 1
(Stefano Denswil; Mario Balotelli)

Remaining game: 2013-12-08 CGS - Milan 0 Ajax 2
(Demi De Zeeuw, Toby Alderweireld)

Outgoing game: 2010-09-28 CGS - Ajax 1 Milan 1
(Mounir El Hamdaoui; Zlatan Ibrahimovic)

--

Incoming game: 2013-10-01 CGS - Dortmund 3 Marseille 0
(Robert Lewandowski 2, Marco Reus)

Remaining game: 2011-12-06 CGS - Dortmund 2 Marseille 3
(Jakub Blaszczykowski, Mats Hummels; Loïc Rémy, André Ayew, Mathieu Valbuena)

Outgoing game: 2011-09-28 CGS - Marseille 3 Dortmund 0
(André Ayew 2, Loïc Rémy)

Ajax are a bit of a bogey side for Milan (let's remember that 1994 Champions League final), and today the Italian team failed to beat the Dutch again. The 1-1 draw (with a dodgy injury-time penalty from Mario Balotelli) comes in for an identical result from 2010, so both teams remain as they are. Over in Germany, Dortmund continue their ascendancy, overturning a 3-0 defeat from two years ago into a 3-0 victory, and leapfrogging Inter and Valencia to go 7th in the table. Marseille, for their part, are falling into relegation places (if we had such a thing), and they'll soon have to defend another win against Dortmund. After this defeat, Marseille are equal 23rd, and only bottom club Rosenborg have won fewer games.

-----Game 15-----

Incoming game: 2013-09-25 LCu - Manchester United 1 Liverpool 0
(Javier Hernández)

Remaining game: 2013-09-01 NLe - Liverpool 1 Manchester United 0
(Daniel Sturridge)

Outgoing game: 2013-01-13 NLe - Manchester United 2 Liverpool 1
(Robin van Persie, Nemanja Vidic; Daniel Sturridge)

Just 24 days after their league meeting, United and Liverpool play in the League Cup (I'm old-fashioned, I'll call it that), which guarantees that Liverpool's win on September 1 won't make it to the end of the season before being replaced in the EFCL table. United retain their victory from January at Old Trafford, so no changes. If they had won, Liverpool could have gone just two points behind leaders Bayern Munich, but they remain second five behind, while United are third a further three back.

-----Game 14-----

Incoming game: 2013-09-22 NLe - PSV 4 Ajax 0
(Tim Matavz, Jetro Willems, Oscar Hiljemark, Ji-sung Park)

Remaining game: 2013-04-14 NLe - PSV 2 Ajax 3
(Lens 2; Fischer, Eriksen, Boerrigter)

Outgoing game: 2012-12-01 NLe - Ajax 3 PSV 1
(De Jong, Hoesen, Fischer; Lens)

With both teams fresh from disappointing European defeats (particularly PSV, beaten at home by Ludogorets, from Bulgaria in the Europa League), the Dutch derby ends in a six-point turnaround for PSV, who go from 55 to 58 points and up three places no less (from 20th to 17th), while Ajax remain where they are (15th) despite losing three points (65 to 62).

-----Games 12, 13-----

Incoming game: 2013-09-18 CGS - Marseille 1 Arsenal 2
(Jordan Ayew; Theo Walcott, Aaron Ramsey)

Remaining game: 2011-10-19 CGS - Marseille 0 Arsenal 1
(Aaron Ramsey)

Outgoing game: 2011-11-01 CGS - Arsenal 0 Marseille 0

---

Incoming game : 2013-09-18 CGS - Barcelona 4 Ajax 0
(Lionel Messi 3, Gerard Piqué)

Remaining game: Not played yet

Arsenal gain two points with the victory-in-for-a-draw in Marseille (from 72 to 74), while the French team lose one (from 67 to 66). And in the other game of the evening, Ajax pay their long-awaited visit to the Nou Camp. A pity we could never see these two clubs facing each other in the 70s or 90s, when Ajax would have put up a much better fight than four goals conceded and a missed penalty. Because non-played matches count as 0-0 draws in the EFCL, Barcelona gain two points (83 to 85) while Ajax lose one (66 to 65). Barcelona then overtake Chelsea for 5th place, Ajax fall one place to 16th, Arsenal go up to equal 10th with Juventus, and Marseille stay in 23rd place.

-----Games 9, 10, 11-----

Incoming game: 2013-09-17 CGS - Benfica 2 Anderlecht 0
(Filip Djuricic, Luisao)

Remaining game: 2004-08-24 CQR - Anderlecht 3 Benfica 0
(Aruna Dindane 2, Nenad Jestrovic)

Outgoing game: 2004-08-10 CQR - Benfica 1 Anderlecht 0
(Zlatko Zahovic)

-----

Incoming game: 2013-09-17 CGS - Galatasaray 1 Real Madrid 6
(Umut Bulut; Isco, Cristiano Ronaldo 3, Karim Benzema 2)

Remaining game: 2013-04-09 CQF - Galatasaray 3 Real Madrid 2
(Emmanuel Eboué, Wesley Sneijder, Didier Drogba; Cristiano Ronaldo)

Outgoing game: 2013-04-03 CQF - Real Madrid 3 Galatasaray 0
(Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema, Claudio Higuaín)

-----

Incoming game: 2013-09-17 CGS - Manchester United 4 Bayer Leverkusen 2
(Wayne Rooney 2, Robin van Persie, Luis Antonio Valencia; Simon Rolfes, Ömer Toprak)

Remaining game: 2002-11-13 CGS - Manchester United 2 Bayer Leverkusen 0
(Juan Sebastián Verón, Ruud van Nistelrooy)

Outgoing game: 2002-09-24 CGS - Bayer Leverkusen 1 Manchester United 2
(Dimitar Berbatov; Ruud van Nistelrooy 2)

First Champions League matchday of the season, featuring three EFCL-eligible matches, all of them featuring like-for-like results, with victories for Benfica, Real Madrid and Manchester United against Anderlecht, Galatasaray and Bayer Leverkusen respectively. This means that the results are fresher, but no-one moves in the table. In the outgoing games, we say goodbye to a goal for Leverkusen by Dimitar Barbatov, who later went on to play for United.

-----Game 8-----

Incoming game: 2013-09-14 NLe - Inter 1 Juventus 1
(Mauro Icardi; Arturo Vidal)

Remaining game: 2013-03-31 NLe - Inter 1 Juventus 2 -31
(Rodrigo Palacio; Fabio Quagliarella, Alessandro Matri)

Outgoing game: 2012-11-03 NLe - Juventus 1 Inter 3
(Arturo Vidal; Diego Milito 2, Rodrigo Palacio)

Juventus gain a point (from 73 to 74) and Inter lose two (from 79 to 77), buth both remain where they were in the table: 10th and 7th respectively

-----Game 7-----

Incoming game: 2013-09-01 NLe - Valencia 2 Barcelona 3
(Hélder Postiga 2; Lionel Messi 3)

Remaining game: 2013-02-03 NLe - Valencia 1 Barcelona 1
(Éver Banega, Lionel Messi)

Outgoing game: 2012-09-02 NLe - Barcelona 1 Valencia 0
(Adriano)

First domestic Spanish league clash of the season, and a like-for-like result: a Barcelona victory substituting for another 364 days earlier. Barcelona remain 6th on 83 points and Valencia 8th on 76.

-----Game 6-----

Incoming game: 2013-09-01 NLe - Liverpool 1 Manchester United 0
(Daniel Sturridge)

Remaining game: 2013-01-13 NLe - Manchester United 2 Liverpool 1
(Robin van Persie, Nemanja Vidic; Daniel Sturridge)

Outgoing game: 2012-09-23 NLe - Liverpool 1 Manchester United 2
(Steven Gerrard; Rafael da Silva, Robin van Persie)

Liverpool are the only EFCL English club without European games this season, but their domestic commitments will give them plenty of matches. Here they confirm their great start to the season with a victory over United coming in for a defeat a year earlier, which is the outcome that hurts the most for the loser. So dramatic is the turnaround that United go from 91 points to 88 while Liverpool go from 88 to 91, and stand now second in the EFCL table, five points behind Bayern.

-----Game 5-----

Incoming game: 2013-08-30 ESC - Bayern 2 Chelsea 2
(Franck Ribéry, Javi Martínez; Fernando Torres, Eden Hazard)

Remaining game: 2012-05-19 CFi - Chelsea 1 Bayern 1  
(Didier Drogba; Thomas Müller)

Outgoing game: 2005-04-12 CQF - Bayern 3 Chelsea 2  
(Claudio Pizarro, Paolo Guerrero, Mehmet Scholl; Frank Lampard, Didier Drogba)

Well, well, this is a bit of a curious case: both of the EFCL-current games between these two teams have been single-match European finals decided on penalties after an extra-time draw (the 2012 Champions League Final and the 2013 European Super Cup). Because the result after 120 minutes is a draw, the reward, as far as the EFCL is concerned, ia a point for each team, no matter who won the penalty shootout. The distinction is important, because having won one shootout each, you could think they could claim three points each. Nope. They go home with some silverware, but just one EFCL point per game. Current outcome for these two: "Bayern 2 points, Chelsea 2 points". Additionally, because the outgoing match was a Bayern victory from 2005, the German team keep losing points in the EFCL table, and after two games this season (and it's not even September yet) their tally has gone from 99 points to 96. Still top of the pile, though, 5 points above Manchester United. Chelsea gain a point and have now 84, in 5th place outright from 5th shared with Barcelona.

-----Game 4-----

Incoming game : 2013-08-28 CPR - Milan 3 PSV 0 
(Kevin-Prince Boateng 2, Mario Balotelli)

Remaining game: 2013-08-21 CPR - PSV 1 Milan 1 
(Tim Matavz; Stephan El Shaarawy)

Outgoing game: 2005-11-01 CGS - PSV 1 Milan 0  
(Jefferson Farfán)

Qualification for the Champions League proper and a victory that overturns an outgoing defeat. Great night for Milan, who gain three EFCL points (from 65 to 68) and climb two places in the table, from 15th to 13th. PSV are "relegated" to the Europa League, where they could still play EFCL-eligible games this season. In the meantime, they lose three points (58 to 55) and no less than three places in the table (from 17th to 20th). For 8 years, since 2005, PSV had 4 points against Milan in their bag, which can be considered punching above their weight, but now the situation reverses and the outcome of this double header reads "Milan 4 points, PSV 1 point", until they meet again.


-----Game 3-----

Incoming game: 2013-08-26 NLe - Chelsea 0 Manchester United 0 

Remaining game: 2013-05-06 NLe - Manchester United 0 Chelsea 1
(Juan Mata)

Outgoing game: 2013-04-01 NCu - Chelsea 1 Manchester United 0
(Demba Ba)

A 0-0 draw it may have been, but in EFCL terms the result benefits United, as the outgoing match was a Chelsea FA Cup victory from less than five months earlier. This means that David Moyes starts off in the EFCL improving Sir Alex Ferguson's United legacy (gaining one point, from 90 to 91, remaining in second place in the table, 7 points behind Bayern), and José Mourinho, Chelsea's new-old manager, loses ground, going from 85 points to 83, joint fifth with Barcelona. "Chelsea 4 points, Manchester United 1 point".

-----Game 2-----

Incoming game: 2013-08-21 CPR - PSV 1 Milan 1
(Tim Matavz; Stephan El Shaarawy)

Remaining game : 2005-11-01 CGS - PSV 1 Milan 0 
(Jefferson Farfán)

Outgoing game: 2005-10-19 CGS - Milan 0 PSV 0 

It's not very often that we get EFCL-eligible games in the Champions League qualifiers, but sometimes it happens. In 2005 this tie was a CL semifinal, won by AC Milan. The last time these two former European Champions met, only a few months later, during the following season's group stage, PSV Eindhoven made the most of it, with a win and a draw, so in 2013 this was a great opportunity for the Italian giants, favourites in this tie, to shoot up the table. It wasn't to be after the first match, where a 1-1 draw came in for a 2005 0-0 draw, so everything stays as it was. Watch this space for the return game soon.

-----Game 1-----

Incoming game: 2013-07-27 NSC - Dortmund 4 Bayern 2
(Reus 2, van Buyten og, Gundogan; Arjen Robben 2)

Remaining game: 2013-05-25 CLF - Bayern 2 Dortmund 1 
(Mandzukic, Robben; Gundogan)

Outgoing game: 2013-05-04 NLe - Dortmund 1 Bayern 1 
(Grosskreutz; Gómez)

First EFCL-eligible game of the 2013-14 season, the German Supercup, curtain-raiser to the German season, pitching league-and-cup champions Bayern Munich, featuring new manager Josep Guardiola, against league runners-up Borussia Dortmund (not to mention being a repeat of the 2013 Champions League final). As it always happens with national Supercups, this result won’t last the season, but in the meantime, as the outgoing match was a 1-1 draw in a league match, it reduces Bayern’s lead at the top of the EFCL from nine to eight points (from a total of 99 to 98), while Dortmund gain two points (from 74 to 76) and go from 9th to joint 8th on the same points as Valencia. Bayern and Dortmund were playing each other here for the fourth time in half a year, each of them in a different competition (German league, German cup, Champions League and German Supercup). Curiously too, this is the only Supercup match eligible for this season, as no other country had two EFCL teams playing season openers against each other. "Bayern 3 points, Dortmund 3 points"

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