Friday, May 25, 2018

Champions League Wednesday round-up

Midfielder Christian Eriksen played a crucial role in Ajax’s 3-1 victory over Manchester City in the Champions League

As usual last night’s Champions League action was exhilarating.

One of the biggest shocks of the night came at the Amsterdam Arena, where English champions Manchester City were defeated 3-1 by Dutch champions Ajax.

The visitors took the lead in the 22nd minute, midfielder Samir Nasri curling an effort past Kenneth Vermeer.

Just before the interval Ajax were back on level terms.

Young full-back Ricardo van Rhijn’s cross was fired home by Siem de Jong from just inside the area.

The game started to be slip away from City in the 57th minute as Finish centre-back Niklas Moisander headed home a Christian Eriksen corner kick.

Eriksen clinched the victory in the 68th minute, waltzing through the City defence before seeing his shot deflect in off Gael Clichy and wrong-foot Joe Hart in the City goal.

The defeat was made even worse by the fact that group rivals Dortmund defeated group favourites Real Madrid. The German champions took the lead in the 36th minute, Polish striker Robert Lewandowski lashing an effort past Iker Casillas in the Real goal.

Real equalised just two minutes later Cristiano Ronaldo racing through the Dortmund defence before lobbing the ball over the on-rushing Roman Weidenfeller. Dortmund took the lead in the 64th minute full-back Marcel Schmelzer scoring after a poor mistake by Casillas.

Premier League Arsenal suffered a surprise 2-0 home defeat to Bundesliga side Schalke. Schalke took a deserved lead in the 76th minute as Klaas-Jan Huntelaar beat the Arsenal defence and found a finish past Vito Mannone.

The away side secured all three points in the 86th minute. Schalke produced a superb counter-attack Jefferson Farfan finding midfielder Ibrahim Afellay, who fired into an empty net.

Elsewhere in Group B Greek champions Olympiakos achieved a rare European away victory, winning 2-1 at French champions Montpellier. The home side took the lead in the 49th minute through a superb half-volley from Gaetan Charbonnier.

The visitors got back on level terms in the 73rd minute, through defender Vassilis Torosidis. Olympiakos stole maximum points in stoppage-time courtesy of a goal from striker Kostas Mitroglou.

Porto made it nine points from three games with a 3-2 victory over Dynamo Kiev. The home took the lead in the 15th minute through a superb effort from Silvestre Varela. Kiev equalised in the 21st minute through an Oleg Gusev header.

Porto was back in the lead on 36 minutes through Colombian striker Jackson Martinez. The visitors drew level in the 72nd minute, striker Ideye Brown scoring a superb volley. The Portuguese side won the game in 78th minute, Martinez tapping in from Lucho’s cross.

Paris Saint Germain defeated Dinamo Zagreb 2-0 in Zagreb. The French giants took the lead in the 32nd minute, Zlatan Ibrahimovic sliding home the opener. PSG were two goals up just before half-time, as Jeremy Menez’s shot squirmed past Ivan Kelava in the Kiev goal.

Malaga continued their impressive start to their Champions League campaign by beating Italian giants AC Milan 1-0. Milan had the better of the first half and missed numerous opportunities.

However, winger Joaquin missed a penalty for the home side. The former-Betis star made up for that miss in the 64th minute by beating the defence before rolling the ball past Marco Amelia in the Milan goal.

Russian champions Zenit St Petersburg recorded a 1-0 victory over Anderlecht in the early kick-off. The only goal of the game came in the 72nd minute, as Russian international striker Aleksandr Kerzhakov sent the Anderlecht keeper the wrong way with the spot kick.

Can Manchester City quality for the knockout stages of the Champions League?


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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