Wednesday, September 30, 2015

It Happened in Europe: England has a better day, Benfica gets big road win

Group A
Shakhtar Donetsk 0-3 Paris St. Germain
A trip to Ukraine is always tricky, even for the giant clubs in the world, PSG handled this one well right from the start. Serge Aurier had the French champions up a goal in the seventh minute. Brazilian international David Luiz made it 2-0 in the 23rd. The root was complete in the first minute of decide half stoppage time when Darijo Srna add the third goal.

Malmo 0-2 Real Madrid
Cristiano Ronaldo, who can now run rampant on the Champions League goal scoring record with Messi out with a knee injury, put Real Madrid on top in the 29th minute. It was the superstar's 500th career goal for club and country. Number 501 came in the final minute of regular time to cap of a solid, if unspectacular, win for the Spanish giants.

Nothing special here. Real Madrid and PSG were both rejected to roll this group and that's exactly what's going on. They next two matches between then Erik determine who disagrees first and nothing more. Both will advance with ease.

Group B
CKSA Moscow 3-2 PSV Eindhoven
Eindhoven were looking to carry on their momentum from the big win against Manchester United, but they didn't get off to the best start. Ahmed Musa had Moscow ahead in the seventh minute. The lead was doubled in the 21st by striker Seydou Doumbia. Doumbia added a second from the penalty spot in the 36th to continue their dominance, Eindhoven pulled one back at the hour mark thanks to Maxime Lestienne. Right minutes later, Lestienne got the visitors with a goal, but it would not be enough to complete the comeback.

Manchester United 2-1 Wolfsburg
Four minutes is all it took for Wolfsburg to continue the Premier League's nightmares in Europe. It took that long for Daniel Caligiuri to make it 1-0 to the visitors. Juan Mata levelled from the spot in the 34th minute after Caligiuri handled the ball in the box. Anthony Martial turned the tide in the Red Devils' favor with a sliding goal in the 53rd. That goal would be enough for United to make England's Champions League look a bit better.

All four clubs here are tired with three points each. Needless to say this should be a fun watch going forward.

Group C
Atletico Madrid 1-2 Benfica
Atletico was putting all the pressure on their Portuguese guests, and they went in front in the 23rd thanks to Angel Correa. Nicolas Gaitan used an emphatic finish to tie the score in the 37th. A skillful touch and goal from Goncalo Guedes put the visitors up for good in the 51st.

Astana 2-2 Galatasaray
The Kazakhstani champions have their first ever Champions League group stage point, and the salvaged it in dramatic fashion. After the Turks went ahead with a Bilal kisa goal in the 31st minute, All the remaining goals came in the final fifteen minutes. Astana levelled in the 77th with an own goal of Galatasaray's Hakan Balta. Galatasaray struck back with an own goal of Astana's keeper Nenad Eric. The draw was earned in the penultimate minute when Roger Canas knocked one home to earn the home side the point.

Benfica scored a pretty big road victory against some tough opposition. They jump atop the group acc have the inside track for qualification for the knockout rounds. Atletico need to be sure to get wins in games against lowly Astana and Galatasaray, but they should advance in the end.

Group D
Juventus 2-0 Sevilla
Alvaro Morata was the man giving Juventus the lead with a headed finish in the 41st minute. Simone Zaza put it away in the Serie A champions'favor on the 87th minute.

Borussia Monchengladbach 1-2 Manchester City
After a scoreless first half, Gladbach went up thanks to some weak transition defending from Manchester City. In the 54th minute, Lars Stindl was allowed acres of space to take his shot and score for the German side. Manchester City then put it in overdrive to earn England's first truly big win of the campaign. Nicolas Otamendi scored in the 65th to tie it up and Sergio Aguero bagged the winner in the final minute.

Juventus simply took care of business while Manchester City got back on track to continue Monchengladbach's disappointing season. The Citizens can now feel safer having to battle Sevilla for that second qualifying spot.

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