Daily Archives: April 7, 2016

Europa League: Liverpool head to head with Borussia Dortmund


Yet those expecting an outpouring of emotion from the Liverpool manager – who between 2008 and 2015 guided Dortmund to one of the most successful periods in their history – were left disappointed.

Putting the sentiment of the occasion to one side, Klopp was sober in his assessment of the size of the task facing the visitors in Thursday’s UEFA Europa League quarter-final first leg. “We’ve said Borussia Dortmund are favourites in this competition and I don’t think there’s anybody that really disagrees with that,” he said. “If we are not good [on Thursday] then it will be easy for Borussia Dortmund.”

Indeed, since Klopp’s departure last summer, successor Thomas Tuchel has revitalised last season’s seventh-placed Bundesliga team, turning BVB into one of Europe’s most feared outfits. Still unbeaten in 2016, the Schwarzgelben – currently second in Germany – underlined their strength with home and away wins over both Porto and Tottenham Hotspur in the knockout rounds.

“Dortmund have a cool way of playing, courageous going forward and aggressive, so it won’t be easy but we’re well prepared,” said Klopp. “If it was easy [to beat Dortmund], one or two teams might have discovered it earlier.”

The return of Klopp, however, presents a new challenge for Tuchel’s men both off and on the pitch. While Tuchel was quick to downplay the off-field significance of his predecessor’s homecoming – “it’s not the first time I’ve welcomed Jürgen back to his old club” – the city of Dortmund seems delighted to have one of its favourite adopted sons back where he made his name.

“[Klopp was] a great coach, perfect for Dortmund,” said Ilias, a Greek who has lived in Dortmund for 27 years and works in a city-centre restaurant. “Everyone loves Klopp. My favourite memory is that game against Málaga in the Champions League [2012/13 quarter-finals] – it was phenomenal.”

Three seasons on and Klopp will tread a familiar path to lead a young, vibrant set of players out at the BVB Stadion Dortmund for a European last-eight tie. This time, though, he heads a Liverpool side showing early signs of embracing the counter-pressing style pioneered by his BVB teams.

As midfielder Gonzalo Castro – one of four players in this Dortmund squad not to have played under Klopp – warned in the pre-match press conference, it is a style that could damage BVB’s hopes of lifting this trophy for the first time. “Plenty of people know how Klopp likes to play and how he played at Dortmund. They’ll attempt to press us early: ball and man.”

Tuchel echoed that caution, saying: “Liverpool have got stronger over the last few weeks, in large part due to Jürgen’s input. They’re very difficult to play against – they defend very high and have outstanding individual quality, particularly going forward.

“Jürgen is a very, very competitive kind of coach, one of the most competitive guys I know. From the moment the whistle blows he wants to win.”

Or as Klopp put it: “During the game nobody has to think about how I feel. Ever since the beginning of our lives we have played against our best friends and have always wanted to beat them.”


Pressure mounts at Piraeus port between officials, volunteers


While government authorities were trying to convince migrants and refugees stranded at Piraeus port to move to other shelters around the country Wednesday, harbor officials there lashed out at volunteers for allegedly encouraging refugees to demand the opening of European Union borders, despite last month’s deal between Brussels and Ankara to deport migrants back to Turkey.

In a statement issued Wednesday, the Piraeus Port Authority alleged that there are people there “that are obstructing the plan to transfer refugees and migrants to organized shelters” and urged judicial authorities to intervene so the law is upheld.

“The time has arrived for the law to be strictly enforced against those who are taking advantage of the desperation and vulnerability of refugees and migrants,” the statement said. Rights groups have slammed the EU agreement with Ankara as a contravention of international law. Amnesty International has also lambasted the deal, saying that Turkey is not a safe country for refugees.

According to the latest official figures, there are 4,720 refugees and migrants – most of them families – stranded in deplorable conditions at Piraeus port.

The government’s migration spokesman, Giorgos Kyritsis, Wednesday reiterated that the aim is to evacuate the migrants from the port to other shelters by Easter Sunday.

However, according to some reports, the government has allegedly not done enough to inform refugees and volunteers on how the former’s transfer will be implemented, making a bad situation even worse.

“I came here to help. Someone must guide me. I can’t just ask the refugees what they need,” one female volunteer from Spain told Kathimerini.

Meanwhile, further deportations of refugees under the EU deal may be delayed by up to two weeks until the required infrastructure is in place, according to Alternate Foreign Minister for European Affairs Nikos Xydakis, to deal with the growing number of migrants applying for asylum.

Xydakis admitted Wednesday that few migrants will return to Turkey over the next couple of weeks following the initial deportation of 202 on Monday.

“We knew there would be a lag, an intermediate period before the program takes off, of at least two weeks to get through the first batch of applications,” he said, adding that some deportations may take place Friday.

He also said that Greece still does not have enough personnel on the ground to process the increased volume of asylum applications. He added that despite the hundreds of security experts provided by EU border agency Frontex, only some 20 EU legal experts have arrived in Greece so far.

“This is the weakness of the whole procedure. It is easier to deploy police officers than experts in refugee law, interpreters, debriefers, but they are coming” he said.

“In two weeks we can get through 400 to 500 applications,” Xydakis said.

According to the latest statistics, migrant flows into Greece saw a sharp decline yesterday as no arrivals were recorded on the islands of the northern Aegean (Lesvos, Chios and Samos) for the first time in months.


A piece of Melbourne in Thessaloniki


A proposal has been put forward to name a street or town square after Melbourne

Continually looking for ways to strengthen the sister-city relationship, a proposal has been made to name a street, or better yet, a town square after Melbourne in Thessaloniki.

The suggestion was formally made by president of the Thessaloniki Association ‘The White Tower’, Paul Mavroudis, in a letter to the governor of Thessaloniki Vasilios Georgiou.

Greek composer and director Constantine Athirides has already expressed his support for the idea.

The creator of the acclaimed play Alexander the Great Rock Opera was welcomed by the association Down Under last month, where he gave an insightful presentation on his work, granting attendees the chance to view a promo video of the opera and partake in discussion about the story and portrayal of Alexander the Great.

Taken by his overwhelmingly positive experience at the association, Athirides formally thanked organisers in a letter on his return to Greece, adding that he “had the chance to witness first hand the strength and dynamism of the Macedonian diaspora”.

The idea was put forward to help honour the 32nd anniversary of the sister-city relationship.

Members have already organised a stellar program for 2016 to mark the occasion, including a festival set to take place later this year on November 27.

source:Neos Kosmos

Larger / SmallerNight Mode Voluntary administration hits Hunter businesses of iron and steel company Arrium


RALLY CRY: About 500 people hit the streets of Whyalla on Tuesday in support of the town’s embattled steelworks, which in turn feeds the OneSteel rolling mills in Newcastle. Picture: Louis Mayfield, Whyalla News.

WHYALLA steelworks might the public face of embattled iron and steel company Arrium but it has at least 1200 Hunter employees facing an uncertain future after the company and more than 70 of its subsidiaries went into voluntary administration on Thursday morning.

Financial administrators Grant Thornton took control of the company after its board and its bankers could not agree on a solution for the $4 billion in debts that the company accumulated – much of it in building up an iron ore business that became a big loss-maker in the wake of plummeting commodity prices.

As well as its South Australian businesses, Arrium owns and operates a range of steel assets in and around Newcastle, which between them still employ more than 1200 people, even after years of steady workforce reductions.

Arrium assets include the OneSteel still mills at Mayfield, employing an estimated 700 people, and the Comsteel and Moly-Cop businesses at Waratah, with a workforce of about 500.

The administrators said the Moly-Cop business had not been put into administration “and should be largely unaffected”.

But it was unclear how this would play out in Newcastle, given the shared work site with Comsteel, which is one of the companies in administration. Arrium also owns a metal recycling plant at Hexham, a steel reinforcing business at Bennetts Green and a Metalcentre retail outlet at Cardiff. The administrators said it would be “business as usual” for the time being at the affected businesses.

Arrium’s financial woes have been well-known for a long time, but the situation escalated this week when the company’s 35-bank lending syndicate rejected a $1.2 billion rescue package proposed by the company and a US “vulture fund” specialising in lending to distressed companies.

On Thursday morning, Arrium said four representatives of international insolvency specialist firm Grant Thornton had been appointed to act as voluntary administrators for each of the “relevant companies” in the Arrium group.

“As previously announced, Arrium has been in discussions with its lenders (banks and noteholders) following the lenders’ rejection of the recapitalisation plan . . . involving GSO Capital Partners LP (on behalf of funds managed by it and its affiliates) that was announced on 22 February 2016,” Arrium said.
“These discussions have now ceased. After considering the available alternatives, in the current circumstances it has become clear to the board of Arrium that it has, unfortunately, been left with no option other than to place the relevant companies into voluntary administration in order to protect the interests of stakeholders.”

The statement included a list of the 74 companies affected, including various OneSteel entities and Comsteel Pty Limited.

Arrium made no mention of Moly-Cop – which makes grinding balls for the mining industry – in its stock exchange announcement but Grant Thornton said “the Australian and global Moly-Cop business is not affected by the appointment”.

Arrium had tried unsuccessfully to sell Moly-Cop late last year, and Grant Thornton was working on “an appropriate strategy” for that business globally.

As well as the $2.8 billion owed to banks, Arrium reportedly owes $1 billion to its trade creditors and has obligations to its employees totalling $500 million, as well as responsibility for various environmental clean-ups, led by the Whyalla steel plant.

Arrium began life as OneSteel in 2000 as part of BHP’s push to get out of the steel industry. Its push into iron ore was originally applauded by analysts and investors, but when the commodities boom ended, the cost of the company’s rapid expansion was apparent.

Analysts say Arrium has a number of good businesses and while the Newcastle rolling mills are fed entirely from Whyalla, they could obtain steel from Arrium’s Sydney electric arc steel-making furnace if Whyalla was to shut.

Grant Thornton promised “a thorough and impartial investigation” of Arrium’s problems. A first creditors’ meeting would be held within eight business days. Arrium shares are suspended from trade at 2.2 cents, down from their 2008 peak of $5.91.

RALLY CRY: About 500 people hit the streets of Whyalla on Tuesday in support of the town’s embattled steelworks, which in turn feeds the OneSteel rolling mills in Newcastle. Picture: Louis Mayfield, Whyalla News.


Lambis Englezos attends Newcastle Combined Schools ANZAC Service, commemorating 100 years since Battle of Fromelles


LAMBIS Englezos, whose research uncovered unmarked war graves in France containing the bodies of 250 soldiers, has been a guest of honour at the Newcastle Combined Schools ANZAC Service.

Retired teacher Mr Englezos joined relatives of Hunter men who fought in Fromelles and 1400 students from 40 Catholic, independent and state schools at the 61st annual service, which was held in the Civic Theatre.

“I have never seen anything like this before,” Mr Englezos said of the service, which focused on the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Fromelles, which took place on the night of July 19, 1916.

The battle was the worst night in the country’s military history and involved 5533 Australian casualties, including 2000 dead and 1336 missing.

“There’s a beautiful creative energy behind all of this. It’s a wonderful initiative to encourage youth to commemorate and remember the service and sacrifice made for this country.”

Artistic director Michelle Gosper said the 60 minute event included elements of a traditional ANZAC service, including laying tributes, a lone piper playing a lament, The Ode of Remembrance, the Last Post, a minute of silence, the Reveille and the national anthem.

But it also included a moving drama performance and musical numbers, The Mothers Song and Fromelles.

“Not many young people have experience with these events and this is a great way for them to learn about the war through stories told in a dramatic and engaging way,” Ms Gosper said.

The service also focused on the story of Mr Englezos, who visited Fromelles in 2002 and realised there was a discrepancy between the lists of the missing and the numbers of unidentified soldiers in surrounding cemeteries. He said his theory the Germans had buried a number of soldiers in unmarked mass graves at Pheasant Wood was met with “active discouragement from official authorities”, but proved to be correct. Of the 250 soldiers found, 144 have been identified, including 11 Hunter men.

Service attendee Reginald Coghlan, 91, praised the event as “marvellous” and “respectful”. He said it brought to life the experience of his late father Edward Joseph Coghlan of Mayfield, who survived Fromelles.


Manchester City claim share of spoils in Paris 2-2 thriller


Fernandinho struck 18 minutes from time as a first leg featuring a saved penalty, freak goals and no little excitement ended all-square.

Fernandinho forced in an equaliser 18 minutes from time as Manchester City’s first taste of the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals delivered a night to savour.

Paris Saint-Germain enjoyed the better of proceedings but were never able to cement their dominance: Joe Hart’s early penalty save from Zlatan Ibrahimović was an apt snap-shot. Ibrahimović later got on the scoresheet with a freak goal to cancel out Kevin De Bruyne’s opener, then Adrien Rabiot made it 2-1. But Fernandinho’s riposte ensured City have the edge.

The first leg was breathless, with David Luiz’s yellow card inside 14 seconds a precursor to the frenetic action that followed. Ibrahimović’s 14th-minute penalty miss really lit the blue touch paper, yet even before that only good work from Frenchman Eliaquim Mangala denied Blaise Matuidi when he was put through.

Next came the penalty, Bacary Sagna adjudged to have caught Luiz. Hart, a pre-match doubt, guessed right and Ibrahimović was denied. The determination to make amends was palpable; the striker was suddenly everywhere. One header was comfortably stopped though Hart was helpless when PSG’s No10 curled narrowly over soon after.

De Bruyne soon delivered a sucker punch, however, finishing off a flowing counter after Matuidi was robbed in possession, but there was no refusing Ibrahimović. When Hart rolled a kick out to Fernando on the edge of the area, the Brazilian was seemingly unaware of the lurking threat, with his unsighted pass cannoning off the Swede and into the net.

There was no let-up after the break and Rabiot, once on City’s books, completed the comeback with a tap-in before the hour. Still Paris came, Ibrahimović looping a header onto the bar, and for a while City were just about holding on. Fernandinho was the key for the visitors, though, and proved as formidable in attack as in defence when he forced in a scrappy goal to reward a battling display.

Analysis from Chris Burke at the Parc des Princes

Key player: Fernandinho
A harrying presence in midfield, the Brazilian international was already catching the eye before his contribution to City’s opener, when he carried the ball upfield and waited for the perfect moment to release De Bruyne. Whereas fellow anchor Fernando struggled, Fernandinho brought the Premier League side level on 72 minutes, sniffing the chance to latch onto a loose ball in the box.

Ibrahimović leaves his mark … eventually
Having scored four times against Hart when Sweden beat England 4-2 in November 2012, Ibrahimović was hoping to cause the fit-again City goalkeeper more pain. It was Hart, though, who struck the early blow in their duel with his penalty stop before Ibrahimović nodded straight at him and fired over when clean through. However, the big Swede was not to be denied a fifth consecutive UEFA Champions League outing with a goal, even if his strike was one of the more bizarre from his collection.

Carelessness costs both teams
After a blistering start, City settled into an impressive game plan at the Parc des Princes, with their disciplined midfield keeping Paris at bay and eyeing opportunities to zip forward on the counter. That mature approach brought the visitors their breakthrough, but three minutes later the match was level, Fernando caught napping. As slips go, it could hardly have been more costly – but Paris returned the favour with some lax defending for Fernandinho’s equaliser. It leaves this tie beautifully poised.


Champion’s League:Wolfsburg 2-0 Real Madrid


First-half goals from Ricardo Rodriguez and Maximilian Arnold earned the quarter-final debutants a win that leaves Madrid with plenty of work to do.

Wolfsburg’s first UEFA Champions League knockout campaign could yet extend into the semi-finals as first-half goals from Ricardo Rodriguez and Maximilian Arnold earned a memorable victory against Real Madrid in the quarter-final first leg.

Madrid were on a six-game winning run and duly began in confident mood, Cristiano Ronaldo having an effort chalked out for offside before Karim Benzema burst through in the 14th minute. Diego Benaglio’s outstretched boot came to Wolfsburg’s rescue, Gareth Bale slicing the rebound wide.

The home side made the most of the let-off. Eighteen minutes in André Schürrle was felled by Danilo and Rodriguez stepped up to convert the penalty, ending Keylor Navas’ 738-minute run without conceding in the UEFA Champions League.

With his side behind for the first time in this season’s competition, the Madrid goalkeeper was beaten again seven minutes later. Julian Draxler found Bruno Henrique on the right and Arnold got ahead of Sergio Ramos to sidefoot in at the near post, putting Wolfsburg well on the way to making it five wins from five home games this season.

Karim Benzema headed wide as a stunned Madrid sought a response, Benaglio dealing smartly with a subsequent Toni Kroos effort. Madrid’s hopes were further knocked when Benzema limped off before the break, and they continued to struggle to create clear openings.

Indeed, Wolfsburg might have made it three as they broke out following a brief flurry of Madrid pressure, Henrique leading the counterattack. The Brazilian found Schürrle on the right with only Navas to beat; the shot flashed over.

Madrid came again and Isco cleverly found Ronaldo with the outside of his right foot; the Portuguese looked certain to add to his 13 goals in this season’s competition but Benaglio blocked. At the other end, Navas plunged to his left to keep out Max Kruse’s effort to keep alive Madrid’s hopes, but Wolfsburg will travel to Spain full of hope.

Key player: Maximilian Arnold
Arnold may have had his tongue in his cheek when suggesting “6-0” would be the ideal result for Wolfsburg to take to Madrid for the second leg, yet there were times when the hosts looked like running away with the game. The 21-year-old’s first UEFA Champions League goal put Die Wölfe 2-0 ahead said that facing Madrid represented a dream come true. He can now dream of a place in the semi-finals after his pace and direct running tormented Madrid.

Hecking hailed
Unrecognisable from the team beaten 3-0 by Bayer Leverkusen last weekend, Wolfsburg produced another inspired home performance in the UEFA Champions League, a stage Die Wölfe have more often than not excelled on this term. Orchestrating with intensity from the sidelines, Dieter Hecking – who gave a competition debut to Bruno Henrique and recalled Naldo to his starting lineup after injury – looked exhausted at the end. The coach’s ‘contain and counterattack’ plan worked to perfection and bewildered Madrid, who must find solutions for next Tuesday’s return.

BBC blunted
A frustrating night for Madrid’s front three of Karim Benzema, Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo, the French forward going off with a first-half injury. A hard week on the training pitch beckons as they seek to find ways of unlocking Wolfsburg’s tight defence.


Worldwide executions highest since 1989: Amnesty


Islamabad – The total number of known executions worldwide rose by more than half last year to 1 634, the highest figure recorded since 1989, Amnesty International said on Wednesday as Pakistan sent three more men to the gallows.

The surge was largely fuelled by Iran, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, the London-based human rights organisation said in its annual report on death sentences and executions worldwide.

The 1 634 figure does not include China, which is thought to have killed thousands of its own citizens.

Death penalty data is “treated as a state secret” by Beijing, Amnesty said, as it is by Vietnam and Belarus.


Recorded executions were up by 54% on 2014’s figure of 1 061.

Just three countries – Iran, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia – were responsible for 89% of the total of 1 634.

“The rise in executions last year is profoundly disturbing,” said Amnesty secretary general Salil Shetty.

“Not for the last 25 years have so many people been put to death by states around the world.

“Iran, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have all put people to death at unprecedented levels, often after grossly unfair trials. This slaughter must end.”

Pakistan lifted a six-year moratorium on the death penalty following a school massacre by Taliban insurgents in December 2014.

Initially it brought back hanging just for terrorist killings, but later extended it to all capital crimes.

It hanged three convicted murderers including a pair of brothers on Wednesday, a senior prisons official told AFP.

“Over the past year, Pakistan has vaulted to the number three spot for recorded state executions in the world – a shameful position no one should aspire to,” Champa Patel, director of Amnesty’s South Asia office, told AFP, adding the majority were not convicted of terror offences.

Pakistan executed 326 people in 2015 while Saudi Arabia put 158 people to death.

Majority of countries abolitionist

Iran’s execution of at least 977 people is at odds with its opening up to the West after striking a deal with world powers last year on its nuclear ambitions, Amnesty said.

“Western countries are starting to build commercial ties and trade missions,” said James Lynch, Amnesty’s Middle East and North Africa deputy director.

“However, human rights has been absolutely left in the margins,” he told AFP. “That risks undermining all these efforts.”

For the first time ever, the majority of the world’s countries have abolished the death penalty for all crimes.

Fiji, Madagascar, Republic of Congo and Suriname fully abolished the death penalty in 2015, taking the total number of countries to do so to 102.

In China, Amnesty said there were signs that the number of executions had decreased in recent years but it could not verify this.

In August nine crimes were removed from the list of offences punishable by death, bringing the total down to 43.

“Executing several thousand people a year is really very serious and China knows it would be the black sheep of the international community if it was to release the numbers,” Nicholas Bequelin, Amnesty’s East Asia regional director, told AFP.

People were executed in 25 countries in 2015 by beheading, hanging, lethal injection or shooting.

Amnesty said its reports indicated that four people in Iran and at least five in Pakistan were executed for crimes committed when they were aged under 18.

Worldwide, people were sentenced to death or executed for murder, drug-related offences, corruption, armed robbery, adultery, aggravated rape, rape, apostasy, kidnapping and insulting the prophet of Islam.

A total of 28 people were executed in the United States.

Forms of treason, including “acts against national security”, “collaboration” with a foreign entity, “espionage”, “questioning the leader’s policies”, participation in “insurrectional movement” were among those offences worldwide punished with death sentences.

Amnesty recorded a drop in the number of death sentences imposed in 2015 compared to 2014, but said this was partly due to difficulties in corroborating data.

At least 1 998 people were sentenced to death in 61 countries.

At least 20 292 people worldwide were under sentence of death at the end of 2015.


Ισόπαλες Παρί και Σίτι, η Βόλφσμπουργκ σόκαρε τη Ρεάλ


Ένα πολύ όμορφο ματς αντάξιο των ρόστερ που διαθέτουν έδωσαν Παρί Σεν Ζερμέν και Μάντσεστερ Σίτι με τις δύο ομάδες να έρχονται ισόπαλες 2-2 στο «Παρκ Ντε Πρενς» και να αφήνουν ανοιχτούς λογαριασμούς για τον επαναληπτικό του «Ετιχάντ». Από την άλλη πλευρά την έκπληξη της βραδιάς -και όχι μόνο- πραγματοποίησε η Βόλφσμπουργκ κερδίζοντας με 2-0 τη Ρεάλ Μαδρίτης στη Γερμανία. Πλέον η «βασίλισσα» καλείται να βάλει τρία γκολ στο «Σαντιάγκο Μπερναμπέου» για να πάρει την πρόκριση. Ας δούμε αναλυτικά…

Παρί Σεν Ζερμέν – Μάντσετσερ Σίτι 2-2

Σκόρερ των γηπεδούχων οι Ιμπραϊμοβιτς (41΄), Ραμπιό (59΄), ενώ τα γκολ της Σίτι πέτυχαν οι Ντε Μπράιν (38΄), Φερναντίνιο (72΄).

Στο 14ο λεπτό ο Σανιά ανέτρεψε τον Νταβίντ Λουϊς στην περιοχή της Σίτι. Πέναλτι το οποίο ανέλαβε να εκτελέσει ο Ζλάταν Ιμπραϊμοβιτς, όμως ο Χαρτ έπεσε στην δεξιά του γωνία και απέκρουσε. Στο 38΄ οι φιλοξενούμενοι άνοιξαν το σκορ με τον Φερναντίνιο να τροφοδοτεί τον Ντε Μπράιν και τον Βέλγο να πετυχαινει το 0-1.

Η ομάδα του Μάντσεστερ όφειλε να κρατήσει το προβάδισμα μέχρι το ημίχρονο. Ή τουλάχιστον να μην το απωλέσει από μια τόσο μεγάλη ανοησία σαν κι αυτή του Φερνάντο στο 41΄. Ο Βραζιλιάνος πήρε την πάσα του Χαρτ στη γραμμή της περιοχής και προσπάθησε να πασάρει απέναντι με… μεγαλοπρέπεια που δεν ταίριαζε στην περίσταση. Ο Ιμπραϊμοβιτς έβαλε την κόντρα και η μπάλα κατέληξε στα δίχτυα σ΄ένα από τα πιο παράξενα γκολ στην Ιστορία του Champions League.

Η Παρί κυριάρχησε στο β΄ ημίχρονο και έφτασε στο δεύτερο γκολ με τον Ραμπιό στο 59΄. Ο Γάλλος διεθνής απλώς «έσπρωξε» τη μπάλα σε κενή εστία, αφού δεν έγινε αντιληπτό από τους διαιτητές ότι ο Ιμπραϊμοβιτς συμμετείχε στη φάση από θέση οφσάιντ. Μόλις τρία λεπτά μετά, ο Ιμπραϊμοβιτς με κεφαλιά έστειλε τη μπάλα στο δοκάρι.

Στο 72΄ η τύχη χαμογέλασε στη Μάντσεστερ Σίτι, «αποζημιώνοντάς» τη για τη φάση του πρώτου ημιχρόνου. Ο Φερναντίνιο βρέθηκε στην περιοχή και σούταρε χωρίς να τρέφει ιδιαίτερες… φιλοδοξίες, αφού τον δρόμο του έφραζε ο Τιάγκο Σίλβα. Ομως από την κόντρα στον αρχηγό της Παρί, η μπάλα άλλαξε πορεία και κατέληξε… βασανιστικά στα δίχτυα του Τραπ.

Διαιτητής: Μίοντραγκ Μάζιτς (Σερβία)

Κίτρινες: Νταβίντ Λουϊς και Ματουϊντί (χάνουν τη ρεβάνς) – Κλισί, Φερνάντο, Μανγκαλά, Χεσούς Νάβας

ΠΑΡΙ ΣΕΝ ΖΕΡΜΕΝ (Λοράν Μπλαν): Τραπ, Οριέ (78΄ Φαν ντερ Βιλ), Τιάγκο Σίλβα, Νταβίντ Λουίς, Μάξουελ, Τιάγκο Μότα, Ραμπιό (78΄ Λούκας), Ματουϊντί, Ντι Μαρία, Καβάνι, Ιμπραχίμοβιτς.

ΜΑΝΤΣΕΣΤΕΡ ΣΙΤΙ (Μανουέλ Πελεγκρίνι): Χαρτ, Σανιά, Μανγκαλά, Οταμέντι, Κλισί, Φερναρντίνιο, Φερνάντο, Νάβας, Ντε Μπράιν (77΄ Ντελφ), Σίλβα (89΄ Μπονί), Αγουέρο (90+3΄ Κολάροφ).

Βόλφσμπουργκ – Ρεάλ Μαδρίτης 2-0

Στο 18΄ ο Ντανίλο ανέτρεψε τον Σούρλε παραχωρώντας πέναλτι και δίνοντας τη μεγάλη ευκαιρία στους γηπεδούχους να ανοίξουν το σκορ. Οπερ και εγένετο, με τον Ρικάρντο Ροντρίγκεζ να ευστοχεί από τη βούλα, υποχρεώνοντας τον Κέιλορ Νάβας να μαζέψει τη μπάλα από τα δίχτυα του μετά από 738 λεπτά στο Champions League.

Επτά λεπτά αργότερα, στο 25΄, η σέντρα του Ενρίκε βρήκε στην κίνηση τον Αρνολντ ο οποίος έγραψε το 2-0.

Η Ρεάλ είχε έναν Γολγοθά θα ανεβεί, καθώς ποτέ στην ιστορία της στη διοργάνωση, δεν είχε καταφέρει να ανακάμψει όταν βρέθηκε πίσω στο σκορ με διαφορά δύο γκολ. Δεν «βλεπόταν» η «Βασίλισσα» απόψε και η εικόνα της δεν είχε την παραμικρή σχέση με αυτήν που της χάρισε τη νίκη στο «Καμπ Νου» στο «Κλάσικο» του περασμένου Σαββάτου.

Κι όταν στο 73΄ ο Μπενάλιο «έβγαλε» το τετ-α-τετ με τον Κριστιάνο Ρονάλντο, η Βόλφσμπουργκ άρχισε να πιστεύει περισσότερο στην έκπληξη. Μια ομάδα που ποτέ δεν έχει συμμετάσχει ποτέ σε ημιτελικούς Ευρωπαϊκής διοργάνωσης, βρίσκεται ενώπιον της μεγαλύτερης πρόκλησης της Ιστορίας της, μαζί με το Πρωτάθλημα Γερμανίας που κατέκτησε το 2009.

Πρέπει όμως να διαφυλάξει αυτό το σκορ στις 12 Απριλίου στο «Σαντιάγκο Μπερναμπέου» και η αποστολή της δεν είναι καθόλου εύκολη.

Διαιτητής: Τζανλούκα Ρόκι (Ιταλία)

Κίτρινες: Μπενάλιο, Βιεϊρίνια, Λουϊς Γκουστάβο, Αρνολντ – Μπέιλ

ΒΟΛΦΣΜΠΟΥΡΓΚ (Ντίτερ Χέκινγκ): Μπενάλιο, Βιεϊρίνια, Νάλντο, Ντάντε, Ρικάρντο Ροντρίγκεθ, Γκιλαβονγκί, Λουίζ Γκουστάβο, Άρνολντ, Μπρούνο Ενρίκε (80΄ Τρας), Ντράξλερ (90+3΄ Σάφερ), Σέρλε.

ΡΕΑΛ ΜΑΔΡΙΤΗΣ (Ζινεντίν Ζιντάν): Κέιλορ Νάβας, Ντανίλο, Πέπε, Σέρχιο Ράμος, Μαρσέλο, Καζεμίρο, Μόντριτς (64΄ Ισκο), Κρόος (85΄ Χάμες Ροντρίγκες), Μπέιλ, Κριστιάνο Ρονάλντο, Μπενζεμά (41΄ Χεσέ).

Συνοπτικά το πρόγραμμα των προημιτελικών, με ώρα έναρξης στις 21:45:

Μπάγερν Μονάχου (Γερμανία)-Μπενφίκα (Πορτογαλία) 1-0
Μπαρτσελόνα (Ισπανία)-Ατλέτικο Μαδρίτης (Ισπανία) 2-1

Παρί Σεν Ζερμέν (Γαλλία)-Μάντσεστερ Σίτι (Αγγλία) 2-2
Βόλφσμπουργκ (Γερμανία)-Ρεάλ Μαδρίτης (Ισπανία) 2-0

*Οι ρεβάνς θα διεξαχθούν στις 12 και 13 Απριλίου