Champions League roundup: Porto, Roma remain level, Monaco edges Villareal

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It wasn’t how you draw it up but Roma got off to the start they needed in Wednesday’s UEFA Champions League playoff against Porto. Unfortunately for the Italians, they couldn’t hold onto the lead and settled for a 1-1 draw.

An own goal in the 21st minute from Felipe gave Roma a 1-0 advantage before the half, but it was Thomas Vermaelen‘s red card four minutes prior to the halftime whistle that changed the complexion of the game.

Andres Silva leveled the match up just beyond the hour mark from the penalty spot, putting Porto in a solid position heading into the second leg.

In Spain, an early penalty decision handed visitors AS Monaco a lead after three minutes, and the French side ultimately held on for an important 2-1 win vs. Villareal.

Despite the deficit, Villareal pressed in front of its home crowd and Alexandre Pato netted the equalizer in the 36th minute. It was Bernardo Silva though, 19 minutes from time that scored the winner for the road side after the assist from Guido Carrillo.

Things started out exactly how Brendon Rodgers and co. wanted on Wednesday afternoon, but a late second-half push from the Scottish side eliminated a scare from Hapoel in their 5-2 win.

Tomas Rogic got things going for Celtic nine minutes into the match, before a brace from Leigh Griffiths prior to halftime gave the team a comfortable 3-0 advantage.

However, the Israeli side didn’t give up in the second stanza, bagging two goals in the 55th and 57th minutes, respectively.

Hapoel’s chances took a major hit in the dying minutes when Nir Biton and Scott Brown finished off the game with goals inside the final 16 minutes.

Here’s a look at how the rest of the first legs played out on Wednesday:

Ludogorets Razgrad 2-0 Viktoria Plzen

Dundalk 0-2 Legia Warsaw