Champions League Round-Up: Matchday 3

This week saw round three of the Champions League group stage take place. Holders Bayern Munich look dangerous this year and aim to make it back to back titles under their new coach Pep Guardiola.

With teams battling it out for qualification to the knockout phase and for the 3rd place Europa league spot this competition is certainly heating up as this week saw some big fixtures.

Group A

Manchester United entertained Real Sociedad in a must win game for David Moyes. United took the lead within the first two minutes as Rooney danced around defenders and saw his strike cannon off the post and back out to defender Inigo Martinez who fumbled the ball into his own net. La Real nearly equalised through a free kick before half time but that was the height of their challenge. United had a few chances in the second half but never pushed on. The game ended 1-0.

Elsewhere in Group A, Bayer Leverkusen hammered Shakhtar Donetsk 4-0 to move into second in the group. Rolf, Sam and two from Kiesling rounded up the hammering. United remain top of Group A with Sociedad wedged to the bottom.



Group B

Champions Bayern Munich brushed past Austrian side Viktoria Plzen in a 5-0 win with goals from Franck Ribery, David Alaba, Mario Goetze and Bastian Schweinsteiger.

In the other game of the group, Manchester City travelled to CSKA Moscow. Former Manchester United player Zoran Tosic opened the scoring against the run of play before Sergio Aguero netted twice for the visitors to run out 2-1 winners. Yaya Toure was allegedly the victim of racist chanting which is currently being investigated. Bayern Munich and Manchester City sit in the qualifying spots for the moment and it doesn't look likely to change.


Group C

The French champions Paris St-Germain put on a master class display in Brussels as they hammered a below par Anderlecht team 5-0. Four goals ,including two goal of the season contenders from Zlatan Ibrahimovic saw PSG take command of Group C. Elsewhere in Portugal Olympiakos  were denied late a first win in Portugal by Cardoza. Benfica and Olympiakos will have to battle it out for second place.



Group D

In the match of the night, a classic fixture of Juventus and Real Madrid was sure to be a good one. Ronaldo opened the scoring gliding by Buffon and chipping into the net from a tight angle. Paul Pogba saw his header brushed out by Casillas soon after and the rebound was bundled in by Fernando Llorente.

Chiellini later mauled Ramos to the ground and Ronaldo struck a penalty cooly past Buffon. The game finished 2-1 as the pace of the game took a belting as Chiellini was given a straight red card for elbowing Ronaldo. Replays show that Ronaldo was overreacting to a face brush. The loss saw Juventus fall to third as Galatasaray beat FC Copenhagen 3-1. Goals from Melo, Sneidjer and Drogba meant that Roberto Mancini recorded his first CL win as the Turkish sides boss.


Group E


Chelsea earned a huge win on the road against German outfit Schalke. Two goals from Torres and one from Hazard saw Mourinho's team march to the top of the group. Elsewhere Basel who beat Chelsea in the opening game were held to a 1-1 draw at Steaua Bucharest. Basel remain two points behind leaders Chelsea and Schalke.


Group F

Borussia Dortmund visited the Emirates on Tuesday where Mkhitaryan opened the scoring for the away side. Arsenal found their rhythm late in the first half equalising through Giroud who took advantage of some shoddy Dortmund defending. Just before the heavens opened on the North London site, Robert Lewandowski struck for the visitors which left them tied with Arsenal on six points. Elsewhere in the group Napoli beat a struggling Marseille side which leave all three teams deadlocked on six points and Marseille heading out.


Group G

Atletico Madrid continued their 100% record with a 3-0 mauling of Austria Vienna. Diego Costa doubled up to ensure the Spanish outfit remained top. Hulk and his Zenit team broke the hearts of Porto with a 1-0 win. The two teams will battle it out in the next fixture for second spot.


Group H

In the tie of the round Barcelona took on AC Milan. Kaka and Robinho combined for the opener which was cancelled out with Messi proving why he is the very best. Also in Group H Celtic Park rocked as the Bhoys beat Ajax 2-0 to register their first points and jump into the Europa League place. Forrest and Kayal striking to the delight of Celtic.

Ken Haughton

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