The European Cup competitions are already underway, with qualifying rounds for both the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Cup being contested this week. The rounds are played over two legs, home and away, over the course of two weeks.
This week, Standard Liege battled Liverpool to a 0-0 draw in Belgium. Oguchi Onyewu was suspended for the game (with cards carrying over from last season's European competition), but Liege gave last season's semifinalists quite a scare. Only goalkeeping heroics from Pepe Reina preserved the draw for Liverpool, as the Spanish goalkeeper made numerous good saves to repel the Liege attack. The 2nd leg of the tie is set for Aug. 27 at Anfield.
In UEFA Cup qualifying Dan Califf and FC Midtjylland defated Manchester City, 1-0, today at the City of Manchester Stadium. A first half goal from Danny Olsen was enough for FCM's defense, which held Man City scoreless on its own ground. On Aug. 28 the tie will conclude in Denmark, with the winner progressing into the First Round proper of the UEFA Cup.
Also in the UEFA Cup, Carlos Bocanegra and Rennes were pegged back, 2-1, against Stabaek in Norway. Despite the loss, a late goal from the French side makes the one goal deficit much more palatable - with the away goals rule in effect, Rennes only need a 1-0 win at home to progress in the Cup.