Friday, 4 November 2016

Champions League Matchday Four Review

The Champions League group stage reached the business end in matchday four with the a number of teams confirming their place in the knockout stages at the earliest opportunity.

A
Paris Saint Germain secured qualification for the next stage as they defeated a Basel side who remain without a win.

Blaise Matuidi put the visitors ahead before Zuffi drew the hosts level on 76 minutes only for them to go down to ten men with the dismissal of Serey Die with six minutes to go. The visitors sealed the points and a 2-1 win with a late effort from Meunier. 

Arsenal sit top of the group as they also qualified for the next stage against winless Ludogorets.

The hosts raced into a surprise 2-0 lead inside 16 minutes as Barbosa and Keseru struck. The Gunners pulled one back four minutes later through Granit Xhaka before Olivier Giroud equalised to send the sides into the interval level at 2-2. The crucial strike for the visitors came with 87 minutes on the clock as Mesut Ozil sealed a 3-2 victory with an excellent effort.


B
Napoli sit top of the group after salvaging a point away to Besiktas. The Turks took the lead in the tightly run game on 79 minutes through Ricardo Quaresma but were pegged back within three minutes as Marek Hamsik levelled for 1-1 to ensure a share of the points.

Benfica sit second on goal difference after they secured a narrow 1-0 win over Dynamo Kiev.

The vital strike came just before half time as Salvio slotted in a penalty.



C
Borussia Monchengladbach and Celtic remain in the hunt to reach the next stage after they shared the points in a 1-1 draw.

The hosts opened the scoring on 33 minutes through Lars Stindl,the lead continued deep into the second half until a double blow for the Germans. Korb was sent off with Dembele
converting the resulting penalty to salvage a point.

Barcelona missed the chance to secure qualification to the next stage as they suffered a 3-1 defeat to Manchester City.

The Catalan side opened the scoring on 21 minutes through Lionel Messi but were pegged back six minutes before half time by Ilkay Gundogan's equaliser for 1-1. Kevin De Bruyne put City ahead just seven minutes after the interval before Gundogan's second effort secured a 3-1 win for the hosts as Pep Guardiola defeated his former side.


D
Atletico Madrid extended their 100% record to secure qualification with a 2-1 win over FC Rostov.

Antoine Griezmann put the hosts ahead on 27 minutes only to have his effort cancelled out by an equaliser within three minutes from Azmoun. However, the points were sealed for the hosts in the final minutes as Griezmann scored his second to secure a 2-1 win.

Bayern Munich also secured qualification for the next stage as they came from behind to win 2-1 at PSV Eindhoven.

The hosts opened the scoring inside 14 minutes through Arias before being pegged back by Robert Lewandowski's 34th minute penalty. Lewandowski sealed the win and qualification for the Germans with his second strike on 73 minutes.


E
Monaco sit top of the group after they claimed a 3-0 win over a CSKA Moscow side whose 'keeper Igor Akinfeev reached a record 41st consecutive game without a clean sheet.

An early opener from Germain inside 12 minutes was followed by a strike from Radamel Falcao on 28 minutes. The win was sealed before half time as Falcao struck his second goal five minutes before the interval.

Bayer Leverkusen acquired their first win of the group stage with a narrow 1-0 win over Tottenham whose Wembley woes continued.

The crucial strike came on 65 minutes as Kampl gave the Germans all three points.



F
Borussia Dortmund became the fifth team and last side to qualify for the next stage in matchday four as they claimed a 1-0 win over Sporting Lisbon.

The narrow win was secured early on as a 13th minute strike from Ramos proved to be enough to secure the points and extend the German's unbeaten run.

Real Madrid will have to wait to confirm a spot in the next stage after the came from behind to deny a famous win for Legia Warsaw.

The visitors made a perfect start as Gareth Bale fired them in front inside the first minute and with Karim Benzema doubling the lead on 35 minutes they looked comfortable. However, Legia had other ideas as Odjidja-Ofoe made it 2-1 into the interval before Radovic levelled at 2-2 just before the hour mark. The hosts looked to have secured a stunning win with an 83rd minute lead coming from Moulin but Madrid salvaged a 3-3 draw a minute later with Kovacic's leveller.


G
Leicester City missed the chance to secure a spot in the next stage as their 100% start ended with a 0-0 draw at FC Copenhagen.

Despite the draw, the Foxes claimed a famous record in becoming first side to open their debut campaign with four clean sheets.

FC Porto moved into second spot with a narrow 1-0 win over Club Brugge who are yet to claim a single point in the group. The winning goal came eight minutes before the interval as Silva struck for the hosts.


H
Juventus missed the chance to move top of the group as they were held 1-1 at home to Lyon.

The hosts led early on after Higuain's 13th minute opener from the penalty spot but were denied the win as Tolliso salvaged a point for the visitors on 85 minutes.

Sevilla sit two point clear atop the group after a comfortable 4-0 rout over Dinamo Zagreb.

Vietto got the hosts off the mark on 31 minutes before the visitors suffered a blow just before the interval with the dismissal of Stojanovic.

Escudero doubled the lead for the hosts on 66 minutes before Steven N'Zonzi sealed the win ten minutes from the end. The gloss on the win came three minutes from time as Ben Yedder struck.