Chelsea, Bayern Munich and Paris St-Germain went top of their Champions Leagues groups on Wednesday with valuable victories in the second round of matches.
Bayern won 1-0 win at CSKA Moscow, Chelsea prevailed by the same score at Sporting Lisbon and PSG edged Barcelona 3-2 in the most eventful match of the night.
Bayern’s goal in Moscow came in the 22nd minute when Thomas Mueller calmly converted a penalty after CSKA’s Mario Fernandes had recklessly pulled down Mario Goetze in the area.
The closest that CSKA came to equalising was when Roman Eremenko hit the Bayern post with a left-foot drive, five minutes before half-time. The Bundesliga champions managed to play out the second half without too many scares for goalkeeper Manuel Neuer.
“This was an important win for us, and I think we just about deserved it,” said World Cup-winning keeper Neuer. “To be honest, we should really have killed the game off with a second goal.”
Bayern are top of Group E with six points from two games. On four points are AS Roma after battling out a 1-1 draw at Manchester City, with the ageless Francesco Totti equalising an early goal from Sergio Aguero.
Now aged 38, Totti’s goal made him the oldest scorer in Champions history, taking over from Ryan Giggs of Manchester United.
“We didn’t play at our best but we had a fair few chances and could have nicked it. We never played at our tempo which teams find hard to deal with,” Manchester City midfielder James Milner said.
“Roma are well organised and we didn’t really do enough to win tonight.”
Meanwhile, Roma’s English defender Ashley Cole said: “It was a good performance after going 1-0 down so early in the game. We had belief that we could get a result. Maybe we should have won? I don’t know.
“We defended well. It’s still early, we came here to win and are a bit disappointed but it’s a good point for us.”
Meanwhile in Group G, Chelsea went top with four points by winning at Sporting, with Nemanja Matic heading in a free-kick from Cesc Fabregas in the 34th minute.
“Sporting are a good side and it was a big night for them. We had so many chances to kill it off, but it was just one of those nights where it didn’t quite go in for us,” Chelsea captain John Terry said.
“We had to come here and win tonight and we got it. It puts us top of the group and in control again.”
Chelsea are two points ahead of Schalke 04 and Maribor, who played out a 1-1 draw in Gelsenkirchen, with Schalke’s Klaas-Jan Huntelaar cancelling out the away goal from Damjan Bohar.
Meanwhile the fireworks were going off in Paris, where PSG edged Barcelona 3-2 in the competition’s most intriguing clash so far.
David Luiz gave PSG an early lead – the first goal Barca had conceded all season – in the Group F game only for Lionel Messi to quickly level for Barca.
Marco Verratti and Blaise Matuidi gave PSG a 3-1 lead, Neymar pulled a goal back for Barca – who came very close to snatching a draw at the end.
Barca’s veteran playmaker Xavi created Champions League history with a record-breaking 143rd appearance in the tournament.
“This was a wonderful night for French football,” PSG coach Laurent Blanc said.
“It was a cracking match, great entertainment, with two good sides attacking from start to finish.”
Meanwhile, Barca’s Javier Mascherano said: “We made too many mistakes in defence tonight … It’s practically impossible to leave with a good result if you give three goals away.”
PSG are top of the group with four points, one ahead of barca. Then come Ajax on two, after a 1-1 draw at bottom team APOEL.
Meanwhile, Porto went top of Group H with a late 2-2 draw at Shakhtar Donetsk, thanks to two late goals from Colombian supersub Jackson Martinez.
Porto have four points, BATE Borisov – who beat bottom team Athletic Bilbao 2-1 – have three, Shakhtar have two and Bilbao just one.
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