Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Champions League Update

The UEFA Champions League kicked off today with 8 games. Here's a quick recap in case you missed it:

CHELSEA 2 BAYER LEVERKUSEN 0 - David Luiz and Juan Mata scored goals for the Blues as they opened up group play by picking up 3 points. The two sides played a scoreless first half before Luiz broke the tie midway through the second half. Fernando Torres set up both Chelsea goals while 19 year old keeper Bernd Leno made 10 saves in a losing effort.
Photo Credit: zimbio.com

VALENCIA 0 KRC GENK 0 - Valencia outshot their Belgian opponents 22-7, but couldn't find the back of the net as they played to a scoreless draw. Adil Rami nearly put Valencia ahead in the second half, but his overhead kick struck the cross bar. László Köteles made 4 saves to pick up the shutout for Genk.

ARSENAL 1 BORUSSIA DORTMUND 1 - Robin Van Persie scored late in the first half to give Arsenal the lead on the road, but Ivan Perisic connected on a volley in the 88th minute to equalize and salvage a draw for the reigning German champs.
Photo Credit: zimbio.com

MARSEILLES 1 OLYMPIAKOS 0 - Despite starting league play in France a disappointing 0-2-3, Marseilles started off Champions League play with a big 1-0 win on the road against Olympiakos. Loïc Remy nearly gave Marseilles the lead in the first half, but his shot struck the woodwork. Argentinian midfielder Lucho González broke the scoreless tie in the 51st minute.

APOEL NICOSIA 2 ZENIT ST PETERSBURG 1 - The winners of the Cypriot First Division pulled off a surprising, but well deserved, win over their Russian opponents after scoring a pair of goals in a 3 minute span late in the second half to erase an early 1-0 lead. Gustavo Manduca scored the game-tying goal in the 73rd minute and Aílton Almeida netted the game winner a little while later. Konstantin Zyryanov scored the lone goal for St. Petersburg.

FC PORTO 2 SHAKHTAR DONETSK 1 - The Ukrainian Champs were one of the big surprises of last year's tournament winning Group H and then knocking out AS Roma in the Round of 16 before running into the buzzsaw that is Barcelona in the quarterfinals. Luck doesn't appear to be with them this year though as they blew an early 1-0 lead in Portugal and fell to the Portuguese champs. Hulk missed an early penalty, but made up for it with a brilliant goal off a free kick and Kléber netted the game winner in the 51st minute. Luiz Adriano scored for Donetsk who finished the game with 9 players.

BARCELONA 2 AC MILAN 2 - Pato scored just 23 seconds into the game and Thiago Silva scored in the 92nd minute as AC Milan shocked the defending champs with a 2-2 draw at Camp Nou. Barcelona dominated the match in terms of time of possesion (75%) and outshot their Italian opponents 22-6, but didn't start or finish strong and were forced to settle for just a point. Pedro and David Villa scored for Barcelona.
Photo Credit: zimbio.com

VIKTORIA PLZEN 1 BATE BORISOV 1 - Paired up with Barcelona and AC Milan in Group H, neither team has high hopes of advancing beyond Group Play, and both missed a valuable opportunity to pick up points here. Plzen, from the Czech Republic, took the lead just before halftime on a goal from Marek Bakos, but the champs from Belarus equalized midway through the second half on a goal by Renan Bressan.

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