Champions League Review – Matchday 2

05/10/2012 no comments »
Champions League Review – Matchday 2

Group A

Dynamo Kiev 2 – 0 Dinamo Zagreb

The Ukrainians got out played against PSG last week but got back to winning ways with a convincing win against Zagreb. Kiev dominated from start to finish at the Olympic Stadium with two first half goals from Oleh Husyey and an own goal sealed the win for the home side. Zagreb now linger at the bottom of the table with not a single point while this win puts Kiev back in the hunt for qualification from the group.

Porto 1 – 0 Paris Saint-Germain

This was a very open game from the start although it was the home side that dictated the tempo and had the majority of chances. Porto dominated through, yet they had to wait until seven minutes from time to secure the 3 points thanks to a superb finish from Rodriguez. Zlatan Ibrahimovic had two clear chances for the visitors but failed to make his mark on either of them which proved to be costly. Victory for the home side was thoroughly deserved against a disinterested PSG side that are stuck on three points while Porto leapfrog them to sit on top of the table with 6 points; although both teams will still be favoured to progress from this group.

Group B

Arsenal 3 – 1 Olympiakos Piraeus

The Gunners have taken another step towards the knockout stages of the competition keeping up their 100% record with a 3-1 home victory against Olympiakos. In the first half Arsenal took the lead through Gervinho on the 42nd minute, all be it against the run of play but that lead barely lasted 5 minutes as Olympiakos equalised deservedly through Konstantinos Mitroglou on the stroke of half time. The second half soon brightened up with goals from Podolski and Ramsey giving Arsene Wengers side the three points, even with Arsene not allowed in the dressing room at half time due to his touchline ban. This leaves Arsenal top of the table and surprisingly Olympiakos bottom although they have proved to be no whipping boys and there will be plenty more to come from them

Schalke 04 2 – 2 Montpellier

Schalke were left to rue a succession of missed chances, as Montpellier came back from the dead to salvage a 2-2 draw. Karim Ait Fana opened the scoring early for the visitors but Julian Draxler restored parity for the hosts after a suberb run taking it round the keeper and slotting it into an empty net. Another superb run from the German prodigy, Draxler, saw him halted in his tracks and gain a penalty which Huntelaar converted to give the home side the initiative. Schalke looked to be taking the 3 points until on the 90th minute Camara received the ball on the edge of the box and fired a stinging shot into the net of Lars Unnerstall. It was a free flowing contest at the Veltins Arena with both sides not afraid of playing attacking football and the spoils were shared in the end.

Group C

Zenit Saint Petersburg 2 – 3 AC Milan

A 5 goal thriller at the Petrovsky Stadium saw the struggling Italian outfit AC notch their first win in the Champions’ League group C. Two goals in the first 16 minutes gave the visitors the lead put Hulk narrowed that lead late in the second half while Shirokov levelled the scores early in the second period. Milan managed to snatch a precious win in the 79th minute through an unfortunate own goal by Tomas Hubocan which handed Zenit their first home defeat in a UEFA competition since September 2008.

Anderlecht 0 – 3 Malaga

Malaga made it two wins from two in Group C with a fantastic 3-0 victory over an outclassed Anderlecht side at the Constant Canden Stock Stadium. The Liga outfit will now have their eyes firmly fixed on the AC Milan fixture after racking up another stylish victory courtesy of a double from Eliseu and a Joaquin penalty.

Group D

Manchester City 1 -1 Borussia Dortmund

Roberto Mancini’s side continues to show no sign of improvement to an increasingly desperate Champions League record against an excellent Borussia Dortmund. The Bundesliga champions proved to be too much as City needed an 89th minute Mario Balotelli penalty to draw 1-1 at the Etihad stadium. The Dortmund goal came from Rodwell losing possession and Marco Reus pounced on it and lifted the ball past Joe Hart. Balotelli had only been on the pitch 8 minutes before calmly slotting home a penalty after a master class performance from Joe Hart kept the English Champions in the game.

Ajax 1 – 4 Real Madrid

The La Liga champions recorded a comfortable victory away from home at the Amsterdam Arena. Ronaldo, the former Manchester United star gave all Madrid fans a reason to smile with his “perfect” hat-trick to plant them firmly at the top of the “group of death”. Benzema scored the goal of the game with a stunning bicycle kick which came from a poor free kick from Ajax which resulted in a Madrid counter attack. Real Madrid lead group D with 6 points and will face Dortmund in their next fixture.

Group E

FC Nordsjælland 0 – 4 Chelsea

A very flattering score line for the reigning champions as they scored 3 goals in the last 11 minutes to take all three points. Two extended periods of pressure from the Danish side could, and perhaps should, have led to a different game. A powerful free kick from David Luiz, a brace from Juan Mata and a simple tap in for Ramires wrapped up Chelsea’s first game of their title defence.

Juventus 1 – 1 Shakthtar Donetsk

After gaining a late draw last week at Chelsea, Juventus once again came from behind to earn their second draw in Group E. The visitors took the lead on the 23rd minute but the Bianconeri soon cancelled that out 3 minutes later with a goal through Leonardo Bonucci. This draw leaves the group wide open with only 4 points separating top and bottom.

Group F

Valencia 2 – 0 Lille

Two goals either side of half time from Brazilian Jonas helped Pellegrino’s men ease to a 2-0 victory at the Mestalla stadium. Valenica took control for most of the game and in particular, Fernando Gago and Jonas stood out for the hosts. Any chance of the French team getting anything from the game was halted on the 86th minute when Captain Mathieu Debuchy was given his marching orders for a second bookable offence.

BATE Borisov 3 – 1 Bayern Munich

Bayern Munich had a 100% win record this season, winning 9 games out of 9, but they saw that shattered by the hosts who made it two out of two in their European campaign. It was one of those nights for Bayern as the failed to take the lead on several occasions and then fell behind from a strike by Pavlov. The visitors dominated and were piling on the pressure but only left the door open for BATE counter attacks, which they took advantage of as they scored a second and a third. Bayern did pull one back to make it 2-1 but it was all too little too late for The Bavarians.

Group G

Spartak Moskow 2 -3 Celtic

The Bhoys have won their first game away from home in the Champions League since 1986 thanks to a dramatic late winner from Samaras. Gary Hooper gave Celtic the lead but two simple tap-ins from Emmanuel Emenike put the home side in front. The balance of the game soon changed when Spartak’s Juan Insaurralde was sent off for a challenge on Hooper. An own goal by Kombarov levelled the scores followed by a header from Samaras late in the game sent Celtic back to Scotland with an overdue 3 points away from home.

Benfica 0 – 2 Barcelona

A goal in the first half from Alexis Sanchez and a goal in the second half from Cesc Fabregas were enough for Barcelona as they strolled to a victory over Benfica in Lisbon although a late injury to Carlos Puyol put a dampener on the evening. Barca has now picked up the maximum 6 points while Benfica lie in third with one win and one defeat.

Group H

CFR Cluj 1 – 2 Manchester United

The English side had to fight from behind to grab the win against the Romanian champions with Robin Van Persie netting a brace. Manchester United once again made it hard for themselves in a game that they really should have won comfortably. They found themselves 1-0 down through Kapetonas who swept the ball low and past David De Gea in the United net. Cluj then sat back with the lead as Manchester pounded them in search of something from the game. It didn’t take long as just shy of the half hour mark Van Persie pulled the Red Devils level. In the second half Van Persie got his second with a delightful flick over keeper Felgueiras.

Galatasaray 0 -2 Sporting Braga

The Turkish side now lies at the bottom of the table with not a single point after their second defeat in Group H. Ruben Micael’s close range strike after 27 minutes and a breakaway Alan goal in stoppage time secure victory for Braga over Galatasaray in the Ali Sami Yen Stadium.

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