Tuesday, November 24, 2015

It Happened in Europe: Barcelona, Bayern emphatically win their groups

Group E
Barcelona 6-0 Roma
Barcalona got their big guns involced early. Luis Suarez got the first goal for them in the 15th minute and Lionel Messi, in his first Champions League game since returning from a knee injury, scored the second three minutes later. In the 44th minute, Suarez scored his second to make the first half blowout official. The rout continued in the second half with a Gerard Pique goal in the 56th minute. Additional second half goals from Messi and Adriano piled onto the lead before Eden Dzeko scored at the final whistle to give Roma a consolation goal.

BATE 1-1 Bayer Leverkusen
Bate got off to a nice strong start in this one. Mikhail Gordechyuk put them in front in the second minute. They were able to defend the lead for over an hour before Leverkusen was able to snag their equalizer.  Admir Mehmedi was able to put one across in the 68th minute to save a point for the Germans on their trip to Belarus.

Barcelona ave their 13 points win the group with ease while the final qualification spot is still wide open. Roma and Leverkusen each sit with five points while BATE is right behind with four. Leverkusen has to host Barcelona, making their task a bit tougher even though Barca has nothing to play for. Roma hosts BATE, portrait giving them the advantage.

Group F
Arsenal 3-0 DInamo Zagrab
The winner here still would still have a prayer of advancing to the round of 16, the loser would be done. Mesut Ozil would provide Arsenal the leg up on survival by heading home an Olivier Giroud cross in the 29th minute. Four minutes later, Alexis Sanchez broke his six game scoreless streak to make it 2-0 to the Arsenal. A second from Sanchez in the 69th minute sealed the deal on Arsenal's second win of the campaign.

Bayern Munich 4-0 Olympiacos
A point would have been enough to see Bayern through, but we all know they never settle for only what they need.  They scored twice in the first 20 minuites to set the tone nice and early. Douglas Costa started it in the eighth minute and Robert Lewandowski, who does nothing but score goals, doubled the lead in the 16th. Thomas Muller made it three all of four minutes later. A fourth came in the Kingsley Coman in the 69th.

Arsenal's win means they are still alive in the race for second. It will come down to their match with Olympiacos is two weeks to determine who moves on. Zagreb is out of it and Bayern Munich wins the group with 12 points and the tiebreaker over the Greeks. An Arsenal win by more tab a goal means they would move on. Anything eke sees Olympiacos through.

Group G
Maccabi Tel-Aviv 0-4 Chelsea
Chelsea was in pretty good shape heading into Israel with the chance to clinch a spot ion the round of 16. Gary Cahill, of all people, gave them the lead in the 20th minute to help out that cause. Tel-Aviv's small chances took an even bigger hit when Tal Ben-Haim was sent off for a reckless foul in the 40th minute. Chelsea was able to take off with the man advantage in the second half. Willian and Oscar scored on the 73rd and 77th minutes and Kurt Zouma added the fourth in stoppage time to complete the win.

Porto 0-2 Dynamo Kiev
Andriy Yarmalenko scored from the spot on 35 minutes to put Kiev in front. Derlis Gonzalez found the second in the 65th and Kiev had a huge win in Portugal.

The group is now wide open. Tel-Aviv is the only club pot if the hunt for first place. Chelsea currently leads with ten points while Porto acc Kiev each have eight. Chelsea gets to host Porto on the final match day while Kiev welcomes the goalless Israelis to Ukraine. I suck at predictions, but I say Chelsea wins the group and Kiev comes in second.

Group H
Lyon 1-2 Gent
Jordan Ferri gave Lyon a much needed lead in the 7th minute. That lead would hold until Danijel Milicevic equalized for Gent in the 32nd minute with a wonderful free kick. That score would hold until the final minute. Kalifa Coulibaly bagged Gent's winner at ghee death of the match to spoil Lyon's slim hopes of moving on.

Zenit St. Petersburg 2-0 Valencia
A goal after nearly a quarter hour from Oleg Shatov got St. Petersburg started here. They continued to run the show for the rest of the match and got their insurance foal in the 74th from Arten Dzyuba. That would seal the deal as they were able to keep Valencia off the scoreboard and earn the home three points.

Zenit remains perfect and cleanly wins the group. The big Gent win gives them seven points, one higher than Valencia. The Belgians host Zenit on the final day while Valencia has Lyon at home. Should be a fun time, but I like Valencia to leap frog into second when all is said and done.

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