PARIS -- Chelsea opened the defence of its Champions League title by throwing away a commanding lead to draw 2-2 against Italian champion Juventus, while Barcelona needed two late goals from superstar Lionel Messi to win 3-2 against Spartak Moscow. Brazilian midfielder Oscar marked his first start for Chelsea with two long-range goals, but Arturo Vidal pulled a goal back close to halftime and substitute Fabio Quagliarella equalized late on. "We are disappointed and a little bit deflated to get in a great position to win the game and come away with only a draw," Chelsea manager Roberto di Matteo said. "We should have closed the game." Oscar scored his first when he received a short pass from Eden Hazard and arrowed in a shot that took a looping deflection off Leonardo Bonucci and flew past goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon. His second goal less than two minutes later had no element of luck about it, beating Andrea Pirlo to the ball and executing a flick before curling a delightful effort into the top corner from just outside the area. "Its great to see we have a player like him in our ranks," Di Matteo said. Shakhtar Donetsks comfortable 2-0 win against Danish debutant Nordsjaelland took the Ukrainian side top of Group E, with Armenian forward Henrik Mkhitaryan scoring in each half with excellent finishes. In Group G, four-time champion Barcelona had Messi to thank as the Argentina forward took his season tally to 10 goals in seven games courtesy of a devastating 10-minute spell at Camp Nou. "To talk about Messi is to talk about excellence in football," Spartak coach Unai Emery said. "It is very tough to stop him." Cristian Tello opened the scoring for Barca in the 14th minute, before Dani Alves own goal in the 29th and Romulos strike in the 59th gave the visitors an unexpected advantage. But Messi, who scored 14 goals in last seasons campaign, tapped in Tellos pass in the 71st and headed in Alexis Sanchezs cross in the 80th to keep Barcelona undefeated in their last 17 home games in Europe. Last April, Messis failure to finish in the semifinal against Chelsea left him distraught and cost Barcelona a place in the final. For a while, Spartak looked like giving him more cause for disappointment, but he dug deep to give Tito Vilanova an enjoyable European debut as Barcelona coach since taking over from Pep Guardiola. "I think this game will do us good. It is easy to think that since we are Barcelona we will win with ease," said Vilanova, who helped Barcelona win the trophy in 2009 and 11 as Guardiolas assistant. "We were able to come back and win and that shows that the team still has the desire to win." In the other group match, there was far less excitement as Celtic created little at Parkhead in a 0-0 draw with Benfica. Manchester United made a good start following midfielder Michael Carricks seventh-minute goal, but failed to impress in a 1-0 win against Galatasaray. Portugal winger Nani missed a second-half penalty as United struggled to get going at Old Trafford. The Turkish side can consider itself unlucky, hitting the goal-frame three times, having two penalty appeals rejected and forcing a couple of good saves from David de Gea. "I think we expected a tough game. Galatasaray have a lot of experience," United manager Alex Ferguson said. "There was a lack of concentration at times and its unusual for us to be as frivolous with the ball." Ferguson was keen to avoid a repeat of last years embarrassment in which United fielded below-strength teams against reputedly weaker opposition and tumbled out at the group stage, but he still made six changes from Saturdays 4-0 win against Wigan. Although Shinji Kagawa and Robin van Persie returned to boost the attack, it was Carrick who settled the early nerves. He was tripped by Fernando Muslera as he rounded the Galatasaray goalkeeper, but still slotted the ball into the net while trying to regain his feet. Ferguson has been rotating his keepers this season, but can thank De Gea for a superb double save late on from Burak Yilmaz and Emre Colak. Romanian side CFR Cluj moved top of Group H after winning 2-0 at Braga from two first-half goals by Brazilian midfielder Rafael Bastos, who was once rejected by the Portuguese side. Bayern Munich, last seasons runner-up, missed a late penalty in its 2-1 win against Valencia in Group F. Bayern midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger opened the scoring in the 38th minute and teammate Toni Kroos powerful long-range strike gave the home side some breathing space. "Of course its always dangerous when its 1-0. The second goal was very important for us," Schweinsteiger said. Valencia substitute Nelson Valdez set up some late drama with an injury-time header, and there was still time for Bayern forward Mario Mandzukic to miss a penalty on his Champions League debut. Belarusian champion BATE Borisov won 3-1 at Lille in the other Group F match, stunning Lille through a slick display of counterattacking with former Arsenal midfielder Aleksandr Hleb pulling the strings. Midfielder Aleksandr Volodko, striker Vitali Rodionov and midfielder Edgar Olekhnovich scored in the first half. Center back Aurelien Chedjou pulled a goal back on the hour mark for the dispirited home side, which failed to progress from the group stage last season. wholesale jerseys China . -- New England Revolution midfielder Zak Boggs is retiring and will accept a Fulbright Scholarship to study medical sciences at Englands Leicester University beginning this fall. Cheap Jerseys . Former captain Mike Richards and former standout Jeff Carter are still playing for the Los Angeles Kings weeks after the Flyers were eliminated in the post-season. The duo will be on the same line when the Kings play Game 1 of the Stanley Cup finals Wednesday night in New Jersey. . The nine-time All-Star guard will not opt out of the final year of his contract, and will play for the Nuggets during the 2008-09 season, the Denver Post reported Saturday. Cheap Jerseys China . If the Americans are to repeat as gold medal winners, they will have earned it. While the field still needs to be filled out thanks to the last-chance play-in tournament set for July in Venezuela; the United States find themselves in the more difficult of the two groups. Cheap Jerseys from china . Torontos victory seemed almost beside the point after the night Steve Delabar and Moises Sierra had. Delabar struck out a club-record four batters in a single inning, while Sierra hit the first home run of his major-league career in an extra-innings 3-2 win over the Chicago White Sox.After Canadas embarrassing 8-1 defeat to Honduras in World Cup qualifying, Canadian soccer is in desperate need of some tough love. So here it comes. We, as a nation, do a terrible job of developing soccer players. From the time young players in Canada begin kicking a soccer ball, they encounter a player development system that is a broken, fractured mess. They often have unqualified, volunteer coaches, poor (if any) training facilities, an over-emphasis on winning over skill development and programs that are set up by adults who have no idea how to develop young soccer players. Players who actually make it out alive and go on to represent our Mens and Womens National teams do so IN SPITE of our player development system, not because of it. The knee-jerk reaction after a humiliating loss is to blame the individuals involved - the players and the coach. "They were all awful! Get rid of them all! Fire the CSA!" This is typical of armchair critics. Its also the easiest, and least productive, kind of analysis. It achieves nothing, other than for the critic to let off steam. Instead, lets look for a solution. Rather than blaming the players and the coach, why dont we instead find a way to fix the pathetic development system that is producing such a shallow pool of talented players? Here is where we begin. This is tough love, remember. You probably arent going to like this. We need to mandate change. Our governing bodies, from the CSA to the Provincial Soccer Associations, are terrified of the word mandate, because it carries with it an implied loss of revenue. Their worry is this: If the governing bodies mandate change - even if it is for the good of the game in Canada (like the CSAs LTPD program) – members across the country will rebel against the change. Their worry is that the work required from members to meet the mandated changes will lead to a drop-off in registrations. This will then lead to a massive loss of revenue (through lost registration dollars) for Districts, Provincial Associations and ultimately, the CSA. Well, folks, its time for the tail to stop wagging the dog. We need the changes of LTPD to be mandated across the country. That includes the minimum coaching, training and competition standards contained within LTPD. We need a national curriculum that can be distributed to every club and academy in the country, so that coaches know what they should be teaching players, and at what stage of the players development they should be taught. We need standards-based, high-performance youth leagues established in every province, so that we can have the correct environment in which to train our best players, coaches and referees. These leagues can, and will, eventually lead to a regionalized, nation-wide development league, similar to Major Junior Hockey. We cant create that league until we have developed the players who are going to populate it. We need to shift our District and Regional programs towards talent identification, so that no young player will miss an opportunity to fulfill their potential because it was never identified. We can then shift our Provincial team programs towards being project-based; where our best players get periodically selected to participate in international training camps and competitions. Our National team programs will then have a broader bbase of players from which to choose, as every Province will have its own unique – yet clearly defined – development pathway for players.dddddddddddd. The larger Provinces will always produce the most players as they have bigger player pools, but every Province can, and should, contribute. Now, bring on the critics and naysayers. Coaching courses too expensive? I suggest the CSA finds a corporate partner to underwrite the costs, so that coaches, who are willing to learn, dont have to pay out of their own pocket to do so. The CSA has done a tremendous job of developing corporate partnerships in recent years - here is a vital area that desperately needs funding. Want to be the corporate partner that saved Canadian soccer? Here is your chance to play a big part. The CSA doesnt have the resources, both human and financial, to write a national curriculum? Ask for help! Every knowledgeable, intelligent coach I know across the country is disgusted and embarrassed that we lost 8-1 to Honduras. If I asked them to participate in writing a national curriculum, theyd do it – for free. These arent unqualified coaches offering to lend a hand – they each hold multiple National A licenses and cumulatively, hundreds of years of experience coaching at every level of the game. Are the standards to be involved in a high-performance youth league too high for your club or academy? Maybe your place in the development pathway shouldnt be at the high-performance level? Perhaps your place in the pathway is at the recreational level. Perhaps this awareness will give your club or academy the impetus needed to make changes in order to meet those high standards, so that one day it can become a high-performance club? Every problem has a solution, if you are only willing to stop making excuses. Speaking of excuses, spare me the argument that our problems are unique to the mens program, and that our womens program is, in fact, in great shape. It isnt. Despite an incredible performance against France that clinched an Olympic bronze medal for our Womens National team, we are falling further and further behind the top nations in the womens game. Why? Because in Canada, we develop female players in exactly the same way as we develop male players! The difference is, there are only around 15 nations in the world that invest significant resources into their womens programs. Some of them – France, Japan, North Korea – are making tremendous strides forward in their technical and tactical development of players. We are not, because we continue to play the same broken record of player development over and over again. We are no better on the womens side than we are on the mens – there are just less teams competing. After the humiliation our entire program suffered against Honduras, it is easy to place blame on individuals like coaches or players. I can do it, you can do it – anyone can do it. What is far more difficult is finding solutions to problems that are systematic. Failure to qualify for yet another World Cup is a massive disappointment for Canada, but it should, once and for all, force everyone involved with the game in our country to realize that we have a serious problem. Thats right. We have a serious problem. Now, lets stop complaining about it and do something to fix it. ' ' '

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