Monday, May 21, 2018

Champions League Tuesday round-up

Brazilian midfielder Alex Teixeira celebrates his opening goal in his club’s 2-1 victory over Chelsea

Last night’s Champions League clashes saw some big surprises and heaps of goals.

One of the biggest stories of the night was Shakhtar Donetsk’s 2-1 defeat of European champions Chelsea at the Donbass Arena.

It didn’t take long for the home side to get in front, as flamboyant midfielder Alex Teixeira gave the Ukrainian champions a dream start after three minutes.

Compatriot Fernandinho doubled Shakhtar’s lead early in the second half.

The Brazilian scoring was completed with two minutes left, as Chelsea’s Samba star Oscar found the net.

However, the goal came too late to inspire a comeback from the Premier League leaders.

Elsewhere Barcelona broke Celtic hearts with a 94th minute winner in a 2-1 win at the Nou Camp. The Scottish champions took the lead in the 18th through a deflected Georgios Samaras header.

Barca were on level terms just before the break, midfielder Andres Iniesta firing past Fraser Forster in the Celtic goal, after a one-two with Xavi. Celtic defended gallantly, but their resistance was finally broken in the 94th minute.

Adriano fired in a superb delivery across the face of the Celtic goal and Jordi Alba slide the ball past Forster at the far post. It was a cruel blow for Celtic, but their players have to be proud of their performance.

Manchester United came back from two goals down against Braga at Old Trafford to win 3-2. The visitors raced into a shock two goal lead after just 20 minutes, Brazilian striker Alan hitting a brace.

United were back in it in the 25th minute, as Javier Hernandez headed home from Shinji Kagawa’s cross. Centre-back Jonny Evans equalised for the Red Devils from close-range in the 62nd minute.

With just 15 minutes remaining the comeback was complete; as Hernandez fired home his second of the match from Tom Cleverley’s superb cross. United will be relieved to have claimed maximum points, but questions will once again be asked about their defending.

Elsewhere, Juventus could only draw 1-1 at Danish champions Nordsjaelland. The Danish champions took the lead in the 50th minute courtesy of a Mikkel Beckmann free-kick. Juventus left it late to level the scores up though.

Montenegro international Mirko Vucinic fired home the equaliser in the 81st minute. The draw leaves the Italian champions with just three points from as many games.

Spartak Moscow kept their qualification hopes alive with a 2-1 victory over Benfica at the Luzhniki Stadium. The hosts took the lead through a good finish from midfielder Rafael Carioca after just three minutes.

The visitors were back on level terms in the 33rd minute through a header from striker Rodrigo Lima. However Spartak’s winner arrived just before half-time, as defender Jardel put past his own keeper.

Valencia claimed a 3-0 away victory at Belarusian champions Bate. Striker Robert Soldado opened the scoring from the penalty spot in first half injury-time. The striker added further efforts in the 55th and 69th minutes to complete his hat-trick and secure a comfortable win for Los Ches.

In the same group Bayern Munich secured a 1-0 victory at Lille. Bayern were awarded a penalty in the 20th minute, as Lucas Digne brought down Phillip Lahm in the penalty area. German international Thomas Muller made no mistake with the spot-kick.

Turkish side Galatasaray and Romanian champions Cluj drew 1-1 in Istanbul. Cluj took a 19th minute lead, as Gala defender Dany Nounkeu put past his own keeper.  Brazilian midfielder Felipe Melo missed a first half penalty for the home side.

Galatasaray did find an equaliser in the 77th minute through striker Burak Yilmaz though. The home side pushed for a winner but couldn’t find a way to goal. The draw leaves Galatasaray bottom of Group G.

Which result was the most shocking in last night’s Champions League games?


David Nugent

David is a freelance football writer with nearly a decade of experience writing about the beautiful game. The experienced writer has written for over a dozen websites and also an international soccer magazine offline.
Arguably his best work has come as an editorial writer for Soccernews, sharing his good, bad and ugly opinions on the world’s favourite sport. During David’s writing career he has written editorials, betting previews, match previews, banter, news and opinion pieces.



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