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Midweek round up - Wednesday 11th December.

Midweek Round up.
Midweek player round up from Sophie Beresford.










Champions League
Ryan Giggs made his 149th Champions League appearance for Manchester United in their 1-0 home win over Shakhtar Donetsk. BBC Sport described his performance as 'cumbersome'...I'd like to see anyone at BBC Sport play better than Ryan Giggs. Man Utd won their group and are in the last 16 so let's hope Giggs plays at least once so he can reach 150.
 
Gareth Bale was unable to take his goal tally to ten for the season for Real Madrid when he missed from three yards out, but he's had flu so I'll let him off. Cristiano Ronaldo's return from injury meant that Real had no problems achieving a 2-0 away win over FC Copenhagen. Real Madrid finished nine points clear of second-placed Galatasaray, who go through at the expense of Juventus.
 
Aaron Ramsey was on the bench for Arsenal's group game at Napoli - as was probably only sensible given that Ramsey has been carrying a groin injury, but he's not a player you'd want to leave out when you're hoping to win the group and even second place isn't guaranteed. Arsenal lost 2-0 at Napoli, but they still go through to the next stage at Napoli's expense. As Arsenal finished second in their group, one of many nightmare scenarios could see them face Gareth Bale's Real Madrid.
 
Adam Matthews was told he wouldn't play again in 2013 after suffering a collarbone injury in early October, but he returned for Celtic's match against Barcelona at the Nou Camp. Matthews played at left back for Celtic in place of the suspended Emilio Izaguirre - but Matthews' return was the only piece of good news for Celtic fans. The match finished 6-1 to the hosts. Matthews and Joe Ledley were guilty of slack passing, though Celtic manager Neil Lennon made a point of saying that Matthews was one of the few players who 'showed something' - not forgetting that he wasn't in his usual position and might not have been fully match-fit.
 
Europa League
Neil Taylor got a welcome start for Swansea City when they visited FC St Gallen in the Europa League.

Regular left back Ben Davies was on the bench, along with Ashley Williams, who was a 65th minute substitute. There was also a first-ever appearance on the bench for young goalkeeper Oliver Davies.  St Gallen had no chance of progressing to the next stage, but they fought for a victory nevertheless and had the ball in the net early in the second half. This was ruled out due to a foul on Taylor, but St Gallen finally took a deserved lead on 80 minutes. Swansea's flight was delayed for more than six hours following fog and technical issues, which might well have contributed to the 1-0 defeat, but Swansea still qualify in second place and go through to the knockout stages.
 
Johnstone's Paint Trophy
In the Northern Section First Round, Craig Morgan and Mark Bradley both started for Rotherham United in their 2-1 away defeat to League Two's Fleetwood Town. Bradley, who returned from a groin injury last weekend, was substituted at half-time.
 
In the Sothern Section First Round, David Pipe returned to Newport County's starting line-up alongside Andrew Hughes, who was replaced by Michael Flynn at half-time. Unfortunately, Newport exited their second Cup competition in a matter of days as visiting team Peterborough United won 3-0.
 
Michael Doughty had the chance to put Stevenage ahead in the third minute against Swindon Town, but he was unable to take it, and the match finished 1-1. Sam Wedgbury replaced Doughty in stoppage time before the match went to penalties, with Swindon claiming a 3-1 spot-kick victory on their home turf.
round by SophieB.

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Posted: Saturday 14th December 2013
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