Friday, 5 October 2012

UEFA Champions League and Europa League Round-Up Week 2:

Hello and welcome to my latest blog post, which is a round-up of week 2 from the UEFA Champions and Europa League Group Stage Matches.

Without further ado:




UEFA Champions League:

Tuesday:

Group E: 

Nordsjaelland 0 Chelsea 4

This match was played in Denmark, as Champions League debutantants Nordsjaelland hosted defending champions Chelsea.

Juan Mata scored a double as Chelsea won 4-0.
Defender David Luiz scored a 'Ronaldo like' free-kick, and Ramires also scored for The Blues in the last 10 minutes of the match. 


1-0: Chelsea winger Juan Mata slots the ball past the goal to make it 1-0 against Nordsjaelland.
Bend it like Ronaldo: Defender David Luiz scores a free-kick to give Chelsea a 2-0 lead in the 79th minute.
Point to the sky: Luiz celebrates his rare goal for Chelsea in the Champions League.
Game over: Chelsea winger Ramires celebrates his goal with fellow Brazillian midfielder Oscar




Juventus 1 Shaktar Donetsk 1 

Group F:

BATE Borisov 3 Bayern Munich 1

Belarusian side BATE provided the footballing world with a massive shock, beating the UEFA Champions League runners-up from last season by 3 goals to 1 at home. 

Pavlov, Rodionov and Bressan all scored for BATE, while French winger Frank Ribery scored a consolation goal for Bayern in the 90th minute.

Valencia 2 Lille 0

Striker Jonas scored twice for Valencia, as he gave his side a 2-0 win at home against French club Lille, who are currently struggling to play like they did last season WITHOUT Eden Hazard.

Lille also had left-back Mathieu Debuchy sent off after two bookable offences either side of the half.

Group G:

Spartak Moscow 2 Celtic 3

Celtic pulled off somewhat of a surprise win over Russian side Spartak Moscow, away from home.

Gary Hooper, an own goal and Samaras all scored for Celtic.

Barcelona 2 Benfica 0

Striker David Villa and midfielder Cesc Fabregas both scored for Barcelona as they continued their 100% form in the Champions League so far.

Group H:

FC Cluj 1 Manchester United 2

Striker Robin van Persie scored a double for Manchester United, as they fought back from a goal behind to beat Cluj 2-1 in Romania.

Galatasaray 0 Braga 2

Wednesday:


Group A:

Dynamo Kiev 2 Dinamo Zagreb 0

This match was played at the Olympic Stadium in Ukraine as both Dynamos went head-to-head.

Dynamo Kiev went ahead in the 3rd minute after Gusev's header fell into the net nicely. 

Kiev doubled their lead, in the 33rd minute with an own goal from a Zagreb defender. 
A cross came into the box, and the ball hit his foot and went into the net.

This was how the match finished, with Kiev taking all three points at home.

FACT: This was Dinamo Zagreb's 8th consecutive loss in the Champions League.

FACT: Dynamo Kiev won their first match of the group stages.

FC Porto 1 PSG 0

This match was played at the Dragao Stadium, as Porto continued life without Hulk. 

The first half chances were balanced with Ibrahimovic having a few chances on goal.

In the second half, Porto took more cahcnes, with Rodriguez and Varela both coming close.

This was before James Roddriguez broke the deadlock with a lovely finesse shot into the bottom corner of the net. 

Unstoppable shot, and surprisingly they beat PSG 1-0 at home.

Group A Table:
1st: Porto, 6 pts
2nd: PSG, 3pts
3rd: Dynamo Kiev, 3pts
4th: Dinamo Zagreb, 0pts 

Matchday 3:
 
Dinamo Zagreb vs PSG
Porto vs Dynamo Kiev

Group B:

Arsenal 3 Olympiakos 1

This match was played at The Emirates Stadium, as Arsenal hosted Greek side Olympiakos in their second group match.

Midfielder Santi Cazorla came close to giving Arsenal the lead after a free-kick was saved by the Olympiakos goalkeeper.

Olympiakos missed a couple of chances with a header from close range being the closest, before Arsenal forward Gervinho made them pay in the 41st minute after a pass by Arteta hit the ball low out of the keeper's reach.

Clinical: Arsenal forward Gervinho broke the deadlock in the 42nd minute to give The Gunners the lead.
Gervinho celebrates, and has scored 6 goals already which is 2 more than the WHOLE of last season.

Olympiakos were desperate not to go into half-time trailing, after holding possession for almost all of the half, and they were rewarded after striker Mitrologu scored a header from a cross inside the box in the 45th minute.

Caught napping: Mitrologu heads Olympiakos' equaliser just before half-time to make it 1-1.
Deserved: Mitrologu celebrates his goal with his team-mates after a good half for Olympiakos.

In the second half, Arsenal were hungry to win the match - especially being at home. Cazorla came close after Gervinho's low cross into the box trickled past the post.

Podolski gave Arsenal the lead again in the 56th minute, after Gervinho's ball into the box was hit low and hard underneath the goalkeeper's legs into th net.

56th minute goal: Arsenal striker Lukas Podolski scores a low, hard shot past the keeper to make it 2-1.
2 goals for me: Podolski celebrates his second goal in the CL for Arsenal - from 2 matches.

Arsenal killed the match off in the last minute, with a dangerous counter attack finished off nicely by Welsh midfielder Aaron Ramsey with a cheeky chip over the goalkeeper's head. 


Arsenal's young midfielder Aaron Ramsey secures all three points for The Gunners with a last-minute strike
First of many? Ramsey wheels away to celebrate his lovely chip against Olympiakos at The Emirates


Schalke 2 Montpellier 2

This match was played at the Vetlins Arena, as Schalke hosted Montpellier.

Montpellier broke the deadlock with Fana scoring a perfectly curled finesse shot past the goalkeeper from 20 yards out.

Schalke equalised in the 26th minute, after a counter attack was finished by youngster Julian Draxler who went round the goalkeeper before cooly tapping the ball into the back of the net. 

Draxler skillfully went past five Montpellier players before getting fouled inside the penalty box by defender Bocaly.

He was consequently sent off, before striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar scored from the penalty spot to make it 2-1 in the 53rd minute.

Montpellier luckily sneaked a point, after Camara had a low shot in the last minute that was not saved by the goalkeeper.


Group B Table:

1st: Arsenal, 6pts 
2nd: Schalke, 4pts
3rd: Montpellier, 1pt
4th: Olympiakos, 0pts

Matchday 3:

Arsenal vs Schalke

Montpellier vs Olympiakos

Group C:

Zenit St Petersburg 2 AC Milan 3

This match was played at Petrovsky Stadium in Russia.

AC Milan midfielder Emmanuelson took a free-kick, before the ball took a deflection and swerved past the goalkeeper into the net to give Milan the lead away from home in the 13th minute.

Young midfielder Stephan El Shaarawy made it 2-0 in the 16th minute, after a solo run was capped off by a nice finish low into the corner of the net.

Hulk had two shots, a free-kick and a blasting strike, but AC Milan goalkeeper Cristian Abbiati was equal to both.

Hulk then finished a chance in the 45th minute, with a powerful shot low past Abbiati to give Zenit hope of an equaliser.

Zenit DID find the equaliser, in the 49th minute, with Shirokov scoring a header at the far post with Abbiati off his line.

AC milan regained the lead, with striker Giampaolo Pazzini hitting the ball from a low cross into the box which was helped on by a defending mistake which went down as an own goal by Hubocan.

This was how the match finished - AC Milan 3 Zenit 2.

Anderlecht 0 Malaga 3

This match was played at the Constant Vanden Stock Stadium in Belgium, as Anderlecht hosted Spainish side Malaga.

Malaga started the match well with two shots from Javier Saviola and Joaquin saved by the goalkeeper.

Malaga broke the deadlock with a deadly shot from 25 yards out by Eliseu.

In the second half, Joaquin made it 2-0 in the 56th minute from the penalty spot.

Eliseu scored his second goal of the night, with a lovely finesse over the goalkeeper's head in the 64th minute.

Group C Table:

1st: Malaga, 6pts
2nd: AC Milan, 4pts
3rd: Anderlecht, 1pt
4th: Zenit, 0pts

Matchday 3:

Zenit vs Anderlecht

Malaga vs AC Milan


Group D:
Ajax 1 Real Madrid 4 

This match was played at the Amsterdam Arena, as Dutch champions Ajax hosted Spanish champions Real Madrid. 

Real Madrid broke the deadlock in the 42nd minute, after a pacy run by striker Karim Benzema down the wing was tapped into the net by Ronaldo from 7 yards out. 

Kaka's lovely cross fell to Benzema who scored with an overhead kick in the 48th minute.

Cristiano Ronaldo made it 3-1 in the 79th minute with some lovely build-up play by Benzema, after a great shot from outside the box swerved past the goalkeeper into the net.

Ronaldo scored his hat-trick, 2 minutes later with a delicate chip over the goalkeeper's head beautifully.

The match finished 4-1.

Manchester City 1 Borussia Dortmund 1

This match was played at The Ethiad Stadium, as EPL champions Manchester City hosted German Bundesliga champions Borussia Dortmund.

Lewandowski passed the ball to Mario Gotze, whose shot was saved well by England no.1 Joe Hart before hitting the post.

Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero forced Borussia Dortmund goalkeeper Weidenfeller into an acrobatic save with a curling effort.

Dortmund continued the pressure with Gotze having one shot saved well by Joe Hart, before another hit the cross bar.

In the second half, defensive midifelder Jack Rodwell past the ball towards a team-mate, but new winger Marco Reus was there to take advantage and shoot the ball past Hart.
Hart parried the ball, but his and was not strong enough to cleasr the ball out.

Aguero had a shot blocked by defender Neven Subotic, and the referee blow the whistle for handball.
At first, it looked like a stonewall penalty, but after replays it was harsh.

Mario Balotelli stepped up to take the penalty, and even though there was some mind games by Weidenfeller, Balotelli cooly slotted the ball past the goalkeeper into the net.

Mind games: Balotelli and Weidenfeller exchange words, with mind games to try and put Balotelli off scoring.


Didn't work: Balotelli scores against Dortmund in the 90th minute to make it 1-1.
Stop talking: Balotelli exchanges gestures with Weidenfeller after beating him from the penalty spot.
Loyal support: Bourssia Dortmund fans are in numbers in Manchester.


Group D Table: 

1st: Real Madrid, 6pts
2nd: Dortmund, 4pts
3rd: Manchester City, 1pt
4th: Ajax, 0pts

Matchday 3:

Ajax vs Manchester City
Dortmund vs Real Madrid





UEFA Europa League Round-Up:

(MORE TO FOLLOW SOON)