It’s been a while since fans of English soccer were able to read this: It was a big day in Champions League for the Premier League. The circuit that’s seen their clubs struggle in recent tournaments posted a combined 6-0 in their two Tuesday matches, with Chelsea rebounding from opening round embarrassment while Arsenal posted one of the most impressive results of the young tournament.
[MORE: Dominance then control see Arsenal down Napoli, 2-0.]
We talked about Arsenal in a previous post, but for Chelsea, this was the first truly Mourinho-esque performance since their former boss returned this summer. On the road against an inferior opponent, Chelsea dominating from the beginning, the benefits of which truly emerged near the half-hour mark, after Ramires had already put them up one. Spending much of the half ripping apart Steaua’s right side, Chelsea doubled their lead just before intermission through a Daniel Georgievski own goal. Ramires and a Frank Lampard special in the second half gave the Blues a 4-0 win.
Borussia Dortmund were also on the right side of a route, downing Marseille 3-0, with Atlético Madrid putting up the day’s other impressive result, coming back from an early Jackson Martínez goal to post the first Champions League road win at Porto since 2009. Diego Godín and Arda Turan goals kept the Colchoneros unbeaten on the year, earning Diego Simeone’s side a 2-1 win at the Dragão.
In the day’s other games, Barcelona and Schalke got road wins while Austria Wien and AC Milan earned valuable road draws. Barcelona’s result was noteworthy not only for its close nature, a Cesc Fabregas second half goal against 10 men the game’s only score, but also for the lopsided possession number: 82-18 in Barça’s favor.
Here are all the numbers, courtesy Opta and WhoScored.com:
||Zenit St. Petersburg-Austria Wein [FINAL]
PRAGUE (AP) Czech champion Viktoria Plzen is close to signing Austrian midfielder Andreas Ivanschitz.
Plzen says Ivanschitz agreed terms for a contract lasting 1 + seasons and will sign it when the team returns from a training camp in Spain. Ivanschitz has already joined the squad at the Oliva Nova resort, the club says.
Ivanschitz helped the Seattle Sounders win their first MLS Cup in December.
[ NEW HOMES: Fonte | Berahino ]
No financial details were given.
The 33-year-old Ivanschitz also played for Rapid Vienna and Red Bull Salzburg in Austria, Mainz in the Bundesliga, Levante in Spain and Panathinaikos in Athens.
Ivanschitz played 69 games for Austria in 2003-14, scoring 12 goals.
Joel Matip is going to get to play for Liverpool during AFCON after all.
The center back had turned down the chance to represent Cameroon at the Africa Cup of Nations, and Liverpool was forced to apply to FIFA for a waiver.
[ PL PREVIEW: Swansea vs. Liverpool ]
Matip suffered an ankle injury in December, adding to his desire to stay at Anfield. He declared himself internationally retired and was one of six Cameroon players who refused call-ups for AFCON.
He last played for the Reds on Dec. 11, and can be selected by Jurgen Klopp against Swansea City on Saturday.
MANCHESTER, England (AP) Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney says he raised 1.2 million pounds ($1.5 million) from a friendly game against former club Everton last year.
That represents the profits, after operational costs, from August’s sellout match at Old Trafford and goes toward the Wayne Rooney Foundation’s target of raising 5 million pounds for children’s charities.
[ NEW HOMES: Fonte | Berahino ]
Rooney said: “I’d like to thank all the fans who came to the testimonial and made it such a special night. They’ve raised a huge amount of money for children who are disadvantaged and it will make a real difference to their lives.”
Rooney is one goal from breaking Manchester United’s scoring record, with the striker currently tied with Bobby Charlton on 249 goals.
Rooney joined United from Everton in 2004.
Robert Lewandowski picked up where he left off.
The Polish striker scored twice for Bayern Munich, once in stoppage time, as the Bavarians improved their Bundesliga lead to six points after toppling Freiburg 2-1 on Friday.
[ MORE: Bundesliga second half preview ]
And what a winner it was, Lewandowski taking a Douglas Costa cross with two juggling touches before hitting an offspeed bouncer inside the post.
It was the league’s first match following the winter/holiday break, giving Bayern a cushion before RB Leipzig takes the pitch against Eintracht Frankfurt in a Top Five tilt on Saturday.
Lewandowski moves closer to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on the goal scoring chart. His 13th and 14th goals have him two back of Borussia Dortmund’s striker, as Lewandowski pursues a third Golden Boot in four seasons.
Full Weekend Schedule
Freiburg 1-2 Bayern Munich — Friday
Augsburg vs. Hoffenheim — Saturday
Schalke vs. Ingolstadt — Saturday
Darmstadt vs. Borussia Monchengladbach — Saturday
Werder Bremen vs. Borussia Dortmund — Saturday
Wolfsburg vs. Hamburger SV — Saturday
RB Leipzig vs. Eintracht Frankfurt — Saturday
Bayer Leverkusen vs. Hertha Berlin — Sunday
Mainz vs. Koln — Sunday