Saturday, 24 October 2015

Champions League Matchday Three Review

It is hard to believe that the Champions League group stage is already at the halfway mark with Matchday three completed and what a storming round it was with one game featuring eight goals alone while English quartet featured in two wins and two draws.

E
Tuesday night saw groups E-H take the focus and a stunning eight goal thriller between Bayer Leverkusen and AS Roma was the clear highlight. Javier Hernandez put the hosts 2-0 ahead inside 20 minutes with a fourth minute penalty followed by a 19th minute strike but a brace from De Rossi in the 29th and 37th minutes levelled the game at 2-2.

Roma completed the comeback and went in front on 54 minutes through Falque before Pjanic looked to have sealed the points on 73 minutes for 4-2 but Bayer had other ideas and salvaged a draw in the final six minutes with goals from Kampl and Mehmedi as the game ended 4-4. Barcelona continued their good form as they sealed a 2-0 win away to BATE Borisov with a second half brace from Ivan Rakitic on 48 and 64 minutes proved to enough as they remained unbeaten on seven points from a possible nine.


F
Arsenal hosted Bayern Munich looking to build on a mixed start to the campaign and they more than boost their campaign as they secured a 2-0 win against the much favoured Germans with a second half double. Olivier Giroud opened the scoring on 77 minutes with Mesut Ozil completing the victory in the 90th minute.

Olympiakos continued their good run with a narrow 1-0 win away to Dinamo Zagreb with the crucial strike coming in the 79th minute from Brown Ideye.


G
After a win and a draw from their first two games, Chelsea travelled to face Dynamo Kiev with hopes of boosting their campaign but their hopes were dented as they were only able to secure a 0-0 against the Ukranians.

FC Porto continued their unbeaten start with a 2-0 win at home to Maccabi Tel-Aviv and the hosts secured the points in the final minutes of the first half as Aboubakar and Brahimi struck on 37 and 41 minutes which left visitors still awaiting their first point of the campaign.


H

Zenit St Petersburg made it three wins in a row as they cruised to a 3-1 win at home to Olympique Lyonnais and they made a stunning start by scoring inside two minutes through Dzyuba. Lacazette equalised for the visitors four minutes into the second half but Zenit powered on with a strike from Hulk on 56 minutes before Danny confirmed the win on 82 minutes.

Gent looked to secure their first win of the stage as they travelled to face Valencia but fell behind early on to a Feghouli strike on 15 minutes. They levelled just before half-time as Foket struck but were denied even a single point as an unfortunate own goal from Mitrovic on 72 minutes sealed the points for Valencia.


A
Wednesday night saw the remaining groups A-D take the focus with the meeting between Paris St Germain and Real Madrid in group A being the most anticipated

The tie was a classic as expected but one which saw the defences dominate rather than the attackers as the teams shared the points in a 0-0 draw.

Malmo looked to kick-start their campaign as they hosted Shakthar Donetsk and it was the hosts who claimed the points as Rosenborg struck the crucial goal after only 17 minutes in a 1-0 win.  



B
Wolfsburg looked to bounce back from their first defeat as they hosted PSV Eindhoven with the visitors looking to avoid back-to-back defeats. However, it was the hosts who claimed the three points as they secured a 2-0 win with two second half strikes as Dost and Kruse scored in the 46th and 57th minutes.

After claiming their first win in their last game, Manchester United looked for consecutive wins as they travelled to face CSKA Moscow who also hoped to continue their success. However, both sides had to settle for a point each in a 1-1 draw which saw the hosts strike first with a 15th minute opener from Doumbia but United salvaged the draw in the second half as in-form Anthony Martial scored in the 65th minute.


C
Atletico Madrid's mixed start saw them earn four points from two tough games and as they hosted FC Astana, their hopes of a second win were high given the visitors had only taken one point from a possible six. The hosts raced into a 2-0 lead inside 30 minutes with goals from Niguez and Oliver before Martinez added a third on 65 minutes to strengthen their position and they rout was completed late on by an unfortunate own goal from Dedechko for a 4-0 final scoreline.

Benfica made a perfect start to the stage with two wins and looked to make it three as they travelled to face a Galatasaray side searching for their first triumph. The visitors made a superb start by taking the lead inside three minutes through Gaitan but they were pegged back on 19 minutes by a penalty from Inan before Lukas Podolski sealed the win with a 33rd minute strike for 2-1.

D

Juventus hosted Borussia Monchengladbach looking to claim a third successive win while the Germans looked to claim their first points of the stage so far. The two sides battled in a 0-0 draw which the visitors will be happier with having got their first point.

After claiming their first win in the previous Matchday, Manchester City hosted Sevilla with hopes of back-to-back wins while the visitors looked to avoid suffering consecutive defeats. Sevilla stunned the Etihad crowd with the opening goal on the half-hour as Yevhen Konoplyanka struck but the hosts were level within six minutes as Rami scored an own goal. The game looked certain to end as a 1-1 draw but City had other ideas in the 90th minute as Kevin De Bruyne slotted in to seal a 2-1 win.