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Champions League soccer has started up again, and last week showed great matches that foreshadowed how great the championship will get once we get into the knockout stages. Here is a quick recap of the matches played last week’s Tuesday.
CSKA Moscow 2:3 Inter Milan
Inter Milan fill in a second place in Group B after winning their second match in the group stages against CSKA Moscow. Lucio foreshadowed how the match was going to end when he put the ball in the back of the net six minutes into the first half. Giampaolo Pazzini added another goal to Inter Milan’s side in the 23rd minute, while CSKA Moscow showed no signs of catching up.
However, CSKA Moscow was able to put a goal on the scoreboard just before the end of the first half, thanks to a shot from Alan Dzagoev. The second half of the match was a hard fought battle until the 77th minute, when Vagner Love was able to tie up the match for CSKA Moscow at two goals apiece.
Although the tying goal seemed to give a shimmer of hope to the Russians, Inter Milan’s Mauro Zarate was able to score a minute later, securing Inter Milan the victory.
Bayern Munich 2:0 Manchester City
Bayern Munich was able to stay top of the lead in Group A after a two goal win against Manchester City. Mario Gomez scored two goals in seven minutes for Bayern Munich at the end of the first half, and the German side was able to hold the lead against a strong-sided Manchester City.
The English side was unable to control their discipline throughout the match, which led to stoppage of play that slowed the momentum of any Manchester City attack. The constant stoppage of play left the second half of the match uneventful.
Napoli 2:0 Villarreal
Napoli was able to convert two goals in the first 20 minutes and secure the win at home against a strong Villarreal team. Marik Hamsik was able to put a shot in the back of the net after 14 minutes of what seemed a close match.
Three minutes later, after a foul committed in the box by Villarreal player Gonzalo, Edinson Cavani was able to score on the penalty shot to double Napoli’s lead. The rest of the match was a struggle, with Villarreal trying desperately to capitalize on their attacking attempts and Napoli holding the fort down in defense.
Real Madrid 3:0 Ajax
Real Madrid continues to lead their group after getting a second win against Ajax. Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo was first to score within 25 minutes of the first half. The rest of the first half was an equal battle; however, Real Madrid would capitalize on another scoring chance four minutes before the end of the first half off the boot of Kaká.
This gave Real Madrid a two goal lead going into the second half. The final goal of the match came only four minutes into the second half, when Karim Benzema put the ball in the back of the net and secured the win for the Spanish side.
Ajax played strongly throughout the match, but was unable to capitalize on scoring chances. The Dutch team is still in the running to place for the knockout stages as long as they can pull themselves out of this scoreless draught.
Trabzonspor 1:1 Lille
Trabzonspor made their way to the top of their group by obtaining a necessary point in their draw against the French Lille. The Turkish team did not get off to a good start, with Lille’s Moussa Sow scoring the first goal in the 30th minute of the match. Trabzonspor and Lille continued to battle throughout the first half, but both teams were able to put the ball in the net.
The tying goal came after a foul by a Lille defender in their penalty box, leading to a penalty kick. Trabzonspor’s Gustavo Colman stepped up and put the ball passed the Lille goalkeeper in the 75th minute. After another 15 minutes of good soccer, no one on either side was able to capitalize on their scoring chances, leading to the 1-1 draw.
Manchester United 3:3 FC Basel
The match between Manchester United and FC Basel was one of the most exciting matches of last week’s Champions League matchups. With Manchester United needing a win and FC Basel hoping to secure their spot at the top of the group, both teams put on a show for the fans.
Manchester United’s Danny Welbeck came out flying in the first half, scoring two goals in the 16th and 17th minute. With the tension starting to show on many of the FC Basel squad, the first half ended with FC Basel trailing by two goals. However, FC Basel’s Fabian Frei was able to score in the 58th minute.
Two minutes later, FC Basel striker Alexander Frei tied up the match after putting a shot passed Manchester United’s David De Gea. Alexander Frei would then come back 16 minutes later to score again, giving FC Basel the 3-2 lead.
With Manchester United frantically trying to recuperate and secure a point, the English were finally able to break down the Swiss defense and score in injury time off the boot of Ashley Young.
Lyon 2:0 Dinamo Zagreb
Lyon were able to get their first win of the Champions League season to bump them up to second place in their group, while Dinamo Zagreb lose for a second time to put them at the bottom of the group.
Lyon seemed to be the stronger side throughout the match, coming close on several attacking chances. The French side was able to capitalize on a scoring chance in the 23rd minute off the boot of Bafetimbi Gomis, giving them the lead. The second and final goal of the match was scored by Lyon’s Bakary Kone in the 42nd minute.
Dinamo Zagreb did not have many opportunities to score during the match; but when they did, the Croatian side was unable to get a good handle of the ball in order to get it passed the Lyon goalkeeper.
Otelul Galati 0:1 Benfica
The Romanian team Otelul Galati had a hard time trying to break down the Benfica defense, being unable to get many scoring chances by the visibly stronger side. Both teams went back and forth on the attack, testing each other, until Bruno César was able to find a weak point and get a goal in the 40th minute for Benfica.
Otelul Galati and Benfica seemed evenly matched going into the game, but the Portuguese side was able to hold their ground and secure the win that brings them to second place of the group.
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