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Champions League review: Tuesday 06th November 2012

AC Milan boss Massimilliano Allegri is under pressure after his side drew 1-1 with Malaga at the San Siro

Tuesday’s Champions League games produced 22 goals and a host of talking points. Group D produced some of the biggest talking points.

Manchester City had to come back from two goals down to claim a 2-2 draw with Ajax at the Etihad Stadium.

The away side made a dream start, as Siem de Jong opened the scoring after just 10 minutes from an acute angle. It got even better for the visitors on 17th minute with De Jong heading home his second from a Christian Eriksen corner kick.

City were back in the game on 22 minutes, midfielder Yaya Toure controlling superbly on his chest before firing past Kenneth Vermeer in the Ajax goal. Sergio Aguero was denied an equaliser, as the referee’s assistant ruled out his low effort.

The Argentinian did equalise in the 74th minute though. The striker outpaced Ajax defender Toby Alderweireld, before firing past Vermeer from the edge of the box. In injury-time City striker Mario Balotelli had a penalty claim turned down, but the referee decided to blow the final whistle instead of pointing to the spot.

The draw leaves City with just two points from their four games and their hopes of qualification for the knockout stages hanging by a thread.

Elsewhere in Group D, Real Madrid and Dortmund drew 2-2 at the Bernabeu. The Germany champions struck first through a superb Marco Reus effort, before Real hit back through a header from centre-back Pepe.

Dortmund were back in the lead just before the break, Mario Gotze’s lifted effort taking a deflection off Alvaro Arbeloa and beating Iker Casillas in the Real goal. Real pressed for an equaliser and it arrived in the 89th minute.

German midfielder Mesut Ozil produced a superb free-kick from 20 yards to level the scores. The draw leaves the two teams in pole position to qualify from the group, but Ajax are still in contention to qualify for the knockout stages.

In Group A, PSG defeated Dinamo Zagreb 4-0 at the Parc Des Princes. The home side took the lead through Brazilian defender Alex. Second half goals from Blaise Matuidi, Jeremy Menez and Guillaume Hourau gave the French side a comfortable victory.

Elsewhere in the group Dinamo Kiev and FC Porto drew 0-0 in the Ukrainian capital. The result means that the Portuguese club booked their place in the knockout stages.

Group B saw Schalke and Arsenal draw 2-2 in Gelsenkirchen. Arsenal took the lead on 16 minutes, as Theo Walcott scored from close range after Olivier Giroud had caused problems in the Schalke defence.

The Gunners were two goals up on 26 minutes. Lukas Podolski’s cross was headed home by Giroud. Schalke were back in the game just before the interval, striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar firing past Vito Mannone after a neat lay-off from Lewis Holtby.

The German side looked threatening in the second half and the inevitable equaliser arrived in the 67th minute, Schalke winger Jefferson Farfan’s effort from the far post hitting Thomas Vermaelen before beating Mannone in the Gunners goal.

In the other Group B game Olympiakos defeated Montpellier 3-1 in Athens. The Greek champions took the lead in the fourth minute through Paulo Machado. The French champions were back on level terms through a 67th minute Younes Belhanda penalty.

However, Olympiakos won the game in the last ten minutes with goals from Leandro Greco and Kostas Mitroglou.  The win means that the Greek side are still in contention for qualification for the knockout stages.

In Group C, Spanish side Malaga confirmed their place in the knockout stages with a 1-1 draw at Italian giants AC Milan. The visitors took the lead in the 40th minute through Eliseu. It looked like Malaga were going home with maximum points until Brazilian striker Alexandre Pato headed home in the 73rd minute.

In the other game Anderlecht defeated Russian champions Zenit 1-0 at the Constant Vanden Stock Arena. The only goal of the game came in the 17th minute, through a superb chipped effort from striker Dieumerci Mbokani.

The results mean that AC Milan, Anderlecht and Zenit can all still qualify for the knockout stages, with Malaga already through.

Can Italian giants AC Milan qualify for the knockout stages?

Wed 7 November, 2012
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