Game week 5 preview

Monday 25th November

19:00: Arsenal v Marseille

Tuesday 26th November

09:00: Zenit St. Petersburg v Atlético Madrid
11:00: Porto v Austria Wien
14:00: Steaua Bucuresti v Schalke
14:00: Basel v Chelsea
14:30: Borussia Dortmund v Napoli
15:00: Celtic v AC Milan

Wednesday 27th November

09:00: CSKA Moscow v Bayern Munich
13:00: Shakhtar Donetsk v Real Sociedad
13:30: Juventus v Copenhagen
13:30: PSG v Olympiacos
15:00: Real Madrid v Galatasaray
15:00: Manchester City v Viktoria Plzen
18:00: Ajax v Barcelona

Thursday 28th November

18:00: Anderlecht v Benfica

Exclusive interview: Juventus’ Vlad Marin

The second exclusive interview on our blog looks profiles Juventus and Romania U19 lift sided player Vlad Marin.

Although only 18 years old, Vlad Marin has had eventful career so far. It has taken him from Italy to England and then back to Italy. The Romanian now plays his club football with Turin giants Juventus and has featured for the club in the UEFA Youth League.

The past year has not been very settled though. Marin made the move from Lazio to Manchester City in June 2012 for a reported €400,000.

However after a year marred by work permit issues, he has now returned to Italy to sign for Juventus.

As well as featuring for his club, Marin has also featured for his country. The 18 year old was selected for Romania U19’s three U19 European Championships qualifying matches in October. The left back played all in three matches to help his side to top their qualifying group.

Marin talked to the UYL blog before game week 4 earlier in the month.

How much have you enjoyed playing in the UEFA Youth League so far?

It has been great! I was very excited when I knew about this competition! We have had a good atmosphere in every game that we have played! I’m looking forward to the next game now!

Your time at Manchester City was cut short because of work permit issues, were you disappointed you did not get to stay in England longer?

Yes, last year was very difficult for me. I was very disappointed when I left England but now I’m back at home, in Italy at one of the biggest clubs in the world!

How does playing for Juventus in the UEFA Youth League compare with playing for Romania U19?

It is not very different playing for my country or for Juventus. In both teams we go out on the pitch to win games.  Of course we play in different ways but I feel confident with both teams.

Who are the players to watch out for in the Juventus U19 team?

At this age, I think the team spirit is more important than and not [individual] players.

Your next game is at home to Real Madrid, who beat you 6-2 last time. Do you think you can defeat Madrid on the 5th November?

They showed us that they are a very good team. As I said before if we go on the pitch with a good mentality and a strong team spirit we can beat them of course!

Unfortunately, Marin did not feature in Juventus’ crunch match against Real Madrid and his side lost 2-0. The result left the Italian side in third place in Group B, two points off second place Kobenhavn but with the Danish side next in the UEFA Youth League, they still have a good chance of qualification.

If Marin is available for Juventus’ next match he will undoubtedly be crucial to their plans of qualification and will hopefully be able to show the potential that Roberto Mancini thought he had when he agreed to sign the Romanian.

Game week 4 review

Game week 4 has come to an end. Sixteen matches split over two days has seen plenty of goals and has also seen some sides progress into the next round.

Tuesday 5th November

Viktoira Plzeň 1-4 Bayern Munich
Shakhtar Donetsk 2-2 Bayer Leverkusen
Juventus 0-2 Real Madrid
Real Sociedad 0-2 Manchester United
Manchester City 1-2 CSKA Moscow
Kobenhavn 2-2 Galatasaray
Ajax 2-1 Celtic
Barcelona 1-1 AC Milan

Wednesday 5th November

Zenit St. Petersburg 1-2 Porto
Atlético Madrid 2-1 Austria Wien
PSG 1-1 Anderlecht
Basel 1-3 Steaua Bucuresti
Napoli 2-0 Marseille
Chelsea 1-0 Schalke
Borussia Dortmund 2-2 Arsenal
Olympiakos 0-1 Benfica

 

Game of the week – Shakhtar Donetsk 2-2 Bayer Leverkusen 

This match gets the honour of being selected game of the week due to the sheer drama the final few minutes offered. Winning 2-0 at half time, Shakhtar looked like they had the win in the bag – but Leverkusen had other ideas.

In 91st minute, Maximilian Wagener pulled one back for the visitors and in the fourth minute of stoppage time, substitute Björn Rother scored a dramatic equaliser to win a point for the German side.

Performance of the week – Simon Seferings (Bayern Munich)

18 year old striker Simon Seferings was crucial in Bayern Munich’s 4-1 away win against Viktoria Plzeň. Within 11 minutes he had scored twice to put his side in a comfortable position. He wasn’t happy with two goals though, as in the 71st minute he scored his third and completed his hat trick. They were the forward’s first goals in the UEFA Youth League.

Goal of the week – Lewis Baker (Chelsea)

It may not have been the most sensational goal of the week but Lewis Baker’s superb free kick was crucial in deciding the outcome of his side’s match. His goal was the only goal of the game as Chelsea defeated Schalke. What made it even better was that the win secured his side’s qualification into the knockout stages with two games to spare.

You can see the goal in the tweet below!

 

Game week 4 Preview

Tomorrow sees the UEFA Youth League burst back into life for game week four. Sixteen matches split over two days sees Europe’s best under 19 footballers in action once again. All times are GMT.

Tuesday 5th November

10:30: Viktoria Plzen v Bayern Munich
13:00: Shakhtar Donetsk v Bayer Leverkusen
13:30: Juventus v Real Madrid
14:00: Real Sociedad v Manchester United
15:00: Manchester City v CSKA Moscow
16:00: Kobenhavn v Galatasaray
16:00: Ajax v Celtic
16:45: Barcelona v AC Milan

Wednesday 12th November

09:00: Zenit St. Petersburg v Porto
11:00: Atlético Madrid v Austria Wien
13:30: PSG v Anderlecht
14:00: Basel v Steaua Bucuresti
14:00: Napoli v Marseille
15:00: Chelsea v Schalke
15:00: Borussia Dortmund v Arsenal
17:00: Olympiakos v Benfica

Game of the week

The match of the week is surely Manchester City against CSKA Moscow. Both sides currently lead Group D with seven points and with the two sides drawing 1-1 last time out, this game could be crucial on deciding who will win the group.

Key question – Will Milan and Juventus be able to recover from their 6-2 losses to Barcelona and Real Madrid respectively? 

With game week four playing out the reverse fixtures of game week three, both Italian sides have their shot at revenge against their Spanish tormentors. It doesn’t look promising for Milan though as they travel to Barcelona after their 6-2 loss came at home.

Hot shots: Game week 3

Hot shots is a new feature on the UYL blog. It will look at the top scorers in the competition after each game week.

Currently leading goal scoring charts are two players joint on five goals. Both Marcos Lopes of Manchester City and Juanjo Narváez have scored five goals in their first three matches. Incredibly, they both also have the same minutes to goal ratios.

Name: Marcos Lopes
Age: 17
Nationality: Portugal
Position: Midfielder
Appearances: 3
Goals: 5
Minutes per goal: 52

Marcos Lopes, known as Rony to his friends, has enjoyed a fantastic start to his career in the UEFA Youth League. He has been crucial in Manchester City’s unbeaten start to the tournament, helping them to two wins and a draw.

In his first game in the UYL, Lopes scored a double as City defeated Viktoria Plzen 4-1 away from home. He then scored a hat trick in his side’s very impressive 6-0 victory over Bayern Munich.

His goals won’t come as a suprise to City fans though. He scored within minutes of his first team debut last year in a 3-0 win over Watford in the FA Cup. He also has a superb goal scoring record at youth level with Portugal.

This season, Lopes has also appeared for Man City’s first team, he played 70 minutes in a 5-0 Capital One Cup win over Wigan.


Name: Juanjo Narváez
Age: 18
Nationality: Colombia
Position: Forward
Appearances: 3
Goals: 5
Minutes per goal: 52

Juanjo Narváez began his career with Deportivo Pasto in his homeland of Colombia. He made his league debut in the country’s second tier in April 2011 when he was just 16.

After numerous appearances in the league and cup with Deportivo, Real Madrid snapped up the striker on first day of 2013.

Since then he has started well for Madrid U19s. He scored on his debut in the UYL as Real secured a credible 1-1 draw away to Galatasaray.

A month later, he was rewarded with a sub appearance for Real Madrid C team, in their 2-0 league win over Real Union in Spain’s third tier.

However, he really impressed the Real Madrid faithful with his performance against Juventus in game week 3. The 18 year old showed an incredible poacher’s instinct to score four goals in Madrid’s 6-2 demolition of Juve, showing the potential that convinced Real to sign him at the start of the year.

Game week 3 review

Game week 3 is over. Sixteen matches between Europe’s finest under 19 teams complete. Let’s take a look back at the results and the talking points.

Tuesday 22nd Ocotber

Austria Wien 3-3 Atletico Madrid
Porto 2-2 Zenit St. Petersburg
Schalke 0-2 Chelsea
Steaua Bucuresti 1-1 Basel
Marseille 2-1 Napoli
AC Milan 2-6 Barcelona
Celtic 4-1 Ajax

Wednesday 23rd October

CSKA Moscow 1-1 Manchester City
Bayer Leverkusen 1-2 Shakhtar Donetsk
Galatasaray 0-1 Kobenhavn
Manchester United 0-1 Real Sociedad
Bayern Munich 4-0 Viktoria Plzen
Real Madrid 6-2 Juventus
Benfica 0-0 Olympiakos
Arsenal 0-0 Borussia Dortmund

Thursday 24th October

Anderlecht 0-1 PSG

Game of the week – Real Madrid 6-2 Juventus

There are only two games that could possibly win the honour of game of the week and they are to two 6-2 wins by Spanish giants Barcelona and Real Madrid over AC Milan and Juventus respectively.

Junajo Narvaez

However, there can only be one winner and that has to Madrid’s 6-2 win over Juventus. Both games had eight goals but what sets the game apart is the Juanjo Narváez’s performance. The 18 year old Colombian scored four goals and showed a real poacher’s instinct.

Performance of the week – Marseille 

There’s no doubt who this award goes to. 1-0 down after just ten minutes at home to Napoli, things went from bad to worse and then unthinkable for Marseille as two of their players were sent off by the 38th minute. First Jeremy Roland was shown a  straight red in the 27th minute and then eleven minutes later, Michel Araai was given his marching orders for two bookable offences.

Despite this, the French side staged an unlikely comeback when Gabriel Dubois equalised with eight minutes to go and then Fode Guirassy scored a winner two minutes from time to give Marseille a 2-1 win.

Goal of the week – Fran Rodriguez (Real Madrid)

The third and probably the best out of Madrid’s six goals against Juventus. Fran Rodriguez’s strike was truly superb. When the 18 year defender picked up the ball from around 25 yards out, he let go with a screamer that flew past the hopeless Juventus ‘keeper. Watch the goal here – https://vine.co/v/hpzne5tHYOq.

Exclusive Interview: Manchester City’s Angus Gunn

To open the UYL blog, we have an exclusive interview with Manchester City and England U18’s goalkeeper Angus Gunn.

Son of the Norwich City goalkeeping legend, Bryan Gunn, Angus joined City in July 2011 from the Canaries. Since then, he has appeared in all three of the sides’ matches in this year’s UEFA Youth League so far, conceding just two goals.

Gunn has also made appearances at various England youth levels. The 17 year old was called up to the England U18 squad for a friendly earlier this month against Hungary. Before that, he made six appearances for the U17 squad and four for the U16 side.

The shot-stopper talked to UYL blog about the competition so far and his future ambitions.

What have you made of the three UEFA Youth League matches you have played in so far?

I’ve loved the UEFA Youth League so far, it’s been a great experience for all of our team. We have done very well so far and I hope that can continue.

Your 6-0 win over Bayern Munich was very impressive, what did Patrick Viera have to say after the game?

It was a very good game from all of our team. We done our homework and we knew what we had to do to win. After the game Patrick just told us we played the perfect game, scoring six goals and keeping a clean sheet. We were all ecstatic.

Do you believe that your side has the quality to go all the way in this year’s competition?

I think it’s hard to say at this stage, but I think we definitely have the team spirit and the quality to go on and win the trophy. We have to just take every game as it comes and not get ahead of ourselves.

Who are the players to watch out for most in your team?

I think we have a very strong team in every area of the pitch. Obviously Marco Lopes has had a great start to the competition scoring 5 goals. I think if we can keep it tight at the back we know we will score goals.

How does the standard compare to when you have played for England U17s? 

It is a quite similar experience to playing international football because every team plays in a different way and you have to adapt to that. Also you get to know faces of other players from around Europe [who] you have played against before.

What are your current ambitions and where do you see yourself moving on from the UEFA Youth League?

My current ambitions are obviously to try and win the UEFA Youth League with Man City. I can also play in the competition next year so I hope to learn a lot from this year also. In the future I dream of playing in the main competition with all the best players. When we go and watch the first team and you see them walk out to the Champions League anthem, it gives you goosebumps and I dream of experiencing that one day.

Manchester City have certainly started life well in Group D of the UEFA Youth League. Two wins and a draw currently puts them top of their group on goal difference above CSKA Moscow, largely thanks to that impressive six goal drubbing of Bayern Munich.

There is a long way to go but City are already one of the early favourites to be triumphant in this year’s competition. And although there are likes of Barcelona and Real Madrid to get past, if Gunn keeps up his solid start to the tournament, the Citizens will be in for great chance of success.