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In this week’s review section, minnows on the brink, how to reach a final and not make friends, and Leeds humbled at home. You can listen to these and other stories on our weekly podcast and can find explanations of key vocabulary in bold below, or highlighted in blue.
It’s been good news for one of the smaller teams in the Champions League, Cypriot champions, Apoel Nicosia, who lead their group with eight points after four games. They have exactly the same record as Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal. Apoel entered the competition in the second qualifying round stage, meaning they had to win three games before getting to the group stages. Draws away at Porto and Shakhtar Donetzk, and victories over Porto and Zenit St. Petersburg at home leave the minnows close to getting through to the round of 16. It would be refreshing to see them make it, and it would be a great achievement of they did.
Al Sadd, from Qatar, are in the Asian Champions League final. Normally that would be cause to be in the good section of our review. However, the team from Doha have not made many friends on their way to the showpiece event held in Korea this Saturday. They were allowed into the competition only because of the disqualification of teams from Vietnam, and they got through to the semi finals only after Sepahan from Iran were also disqualified for fielding an ineligible player. Then their players unsportingly scored in the semis after the opposing team, Suwon from Korean, put the ball out to allow players to be treated for injury but did not receive the ball back – instead Al Sadd went on the attack and scored. A huge fight ensued and their progress to the final has left a bitter taste for many. The Qatari team have won so many enemies that they are now dubbed Al Badd.
An ugly loss for English Championship team, Leeds United as they were hammered 5-0 in front of their own fans at Elland Road. The west Yorkshire club were humiliated by the Tangerines. The former manager of Blackpool, Simon Grayson, could only watch helplessly as his old side raced to 3-0 after 30 minutes. Add to that a red card for Leeds’ player Tom Lees and the former Blackpool keeper, Rachubka, now of course between the posts at Leeds, being booed by his own fans and substituted at half time and it was a miserable night for all Leeds supporters.
away: a game played at the opposing team’s ground
showpiece: Big game, the most important game in a tournament
disqualification: this happens when a team (or player) is thrown out of a competition or league; they have broken the rules and cannot continue to participate
ineligible: not qualified, without the correct permission
put the ball out: kick the ball off the pitch (usually to allow a player to receive treatment for an injury)
The Tangerines: Blackpool’s nickname
Elland Road: The home ground of Leeds United Football Club
(be) between the posts: be the goalkeeper