European clubs returned to top flight football mid-week play as the Champions league returned after the international break with world cup qualifiers. A night filled with sour grapes for hosts, to blue haven for visiting teams; Sportunes brings to you how the events went down on match day 3 of season 2013/14 Champions League...
AC MILAN 1-1 BARCELONA
This game turned out to be a night for South American War Horses as Milan had the Luxury of getting the early lead in the encounter through the beautiful samba connection of fan favourite and club cult hero Ricardo Kaka assisting former Galatico Robinho; making the fans roar; but visitors dint have to wait to long as Mr. Barcelona himself; Leo Messi,got the 2011 champions league winners back in proceedings mid-way into the first half with a good leveller courtesy of an assist from the boots of Andres Iniesta.
Due to the Profligacy of both sides has the game wore on; Neither Milan nor the Nou Camp giants were able to add to their goals that had been exchanged earlier in the game.
*Lionel Messi is 8goals off equaling the all time UCL goalscorers;with Raul Gonzalez topping the all time scoring chart with 71 goals; Messi has 63goals.
ARSENAL 1-2 BORUSSIA DORTMUND
It was a long cold night for Birthday celebrant Arsene Wenger as Visitors Borussia Dortmund stunned the Emirates Faithful's;stopping their high-flying start in the group stage and also this season.
A sixteenth minute shot from Armenia's Henrik Mkhitaryan passing Arsenal's Szcezzny stunned the host as the German's took an early lead; before Arsenal's Olivier giroud pulled the Gunners level with 10mins left to be played in the first half. Arsenal took charge of were they left off in the second half;but were not able to crack a well organised Dortmund side who had other plans with suspended coach Jurgen Klopp bringing on Gabonese international Patrick Aubameyang into the Furry of the game ;replacing Jakub Blaszczkowski. This change sparked up the signal iduna park outfit's attack as the substitute started the run up to a fine finish from polish striker Robert Lewandowski. A couple of last minutes substitution by Arsenal's Birthday boy, couldn't prevent the gate crashing the German's had done. As even the club's record signing mesut ozil was just a passerby through the whole affair. Seems the 'body guard' presence of Mathieu Flamini was deeply missed.
*Arsenal have lost their last three home games in the UCL to German club opposition consecutively in (Schalke 04,Bayern Munich & of recent Borussia Dortmund)
SCHALKE 04 0-3 CHELSEA.
Torres Hits Brace! This was the full description of a good performance from the spanish striker of the blues as they took out German hosts schalke 04 who were quite tricky in their game play creating tight moments for the visitors. A fifth minute goal opener from torres assisted by cult hero frank lampard stung the hosts;but Schalke did try to recover in latter stages of the half with shots from Kevin Prince Boateng which Petr Cech was quick to his responsibilities as goalie. Chelsea dint double their lead until mid-second half when Oscar took advantage of schalke's 04 loss of possession of the ball;teeing up Torres,getting him his second of the night which brought delight to manager Jose Mourinho as Eden Hazard capped up a decent performance with a third goal for the blues to seal up three points.
*Eden Hazard's goal was his first ever UCL goal in his football career.
CELTIC 2-1 AJAX AMSTERDAM
Goals either side of half-time from James Forrest and Beram Kayal gave Celtic their first victory in this year's UCL season.
Although,it was tough going at times for Neil Lennon's men, with Christian Poulsen striking the post for the visitors before Forrest converted from the spot thanks to Stefano Denswil's 43rd-minute foul on Anthony Stokes.
Beram Kayal's speculative deflected drive early in the second period sent the home crowd into raptures,while Thulani Serero spurned Ajax's best two chances and drew a rash tackle from substitute Nir Biton that meant Celtic finished with 10 men before Lasse Schone netted an emphatic consolation as the game's final act.
FC PORTO 0-1 ZENITH ST. PETERSBURG
Visitor's Zenit St Petersburg left it late as they scraped a 1-0 UEFA Champions League victory at 10-man Porto.
Aleksandr Kerzhakov's 86th-minute header was enough for the Russian Club,who laboured to take advantage of Porto even while playing much of the game with a man down.
The hosts found themselves reduced to 10 after six minutes of the clash as Hector Herrera saw yellow twice in the space of a minute.
However,Zenit failed to make the extra man count for much of the game and,apart from a pair of chances from ex- Fc porto forward Hulk in the second half,which rarely threatened the host's goalkeeper Helton.
Porto more than held their own after the early setback, and twice hit the woodwork in a tie they arguably deserved to win. But the deadlock was finally broken four minutes from time as Kerzhakov sealed the three points for Luciano Spalletti's men.
The victory lifts Zenit to second in the pool,leapfrogging Porto in the process.
In other encounter's; Leandro Tatu's last-gasp equaliser earned Steaua Bucharest their first point of the UEFA Champions League campaign in a 1-1 draw with swiss club Fc Basel after a sublime strike by Marcelo Diaz opened the scoring for Basel shortly after half-time.
Atletico Madrid maintained their perfect start in the Champions League with a comfortable 3-0 win over Austria Vienna.
Diego Costa,who is making Los Rojiblancos forget about former marksman Radamel Falcao and also currently being the subject of a row between Brazil and Spain over his international eligibility,got a brace after Raul Garcia had given Diego Simeone's side the lead in the eighth minute.
The result leaves Atletico top of the group with maximum points and with one foot in the round of 16,while host Vienna continue their woe,having just one point and no goals to their name in their maiden Champions League campaign.
Napoli beat Marseille on home soil to leave the French side six points adrift of the three other teams in Group F. Playing with speed and purpose, Rafael Benítez's men took a deserved lead via Callejón before the interval and made light of a spirited response when substitute Zapata curled in on 67 minutes. André Ayew registered late for the hosts, but Napoli held on to go level with Arsenal FC and Borussia Dortmund, with OM yet to pick up a point.