AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis

Champions League wrap: Onward for 7 dreamers

Leave a comment

Seven of eight potential knockout round berths were sewn up Tuesday on Matchday 5 of the UEFA Champions League group stage.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]


Bayern Munich 5-1 Benfica

The old guard was roaring for Bayern, as the first of Robert Lewandowski’s two goals was his 50th Champions League goal for Bayern. He joined Arjen Robben in recording a double, and Franck Ribery also scored in the win.

Benfica will head to the Europa League.

AEK Athens 0-2 Ajax

Ajax is back in the knockout rounds after a Dusan Tadic double gave them an away win and second place in the group after of a Dec. 12 visit from leaders Bayern.

Group E
Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
Bayern Munich 5 4 1 0 12 2 10 2-1-0 2-0-0 13
Ajax 5 3 2 0 8 2 6 2-0-0 1-2-0 11
Benfica 5 1 1 3 5 11 -6 0-1-1 1-0-2 4
AEK Athens 5 0 0 5 2 12 -10 0-0-3 0-0-2 0

Lyon 2-2 Manchester CityRECAP

End-to-end action in France, where Pep Guardiola‘s men twice trailed to Maxwel Cornet goals (the first one a stunner). But Aymeric Laporte and Sergio Aguero headed home equalizers off set pieces as Man City avoided a series sweep and advanced to the knockout rounds along with their hosts.

Hoffenheim 2-3 Shakhtar Donetsk

Taison’s second goal of the match marched Shakhtar Donetsk into third place in the group as Hoffenheim’s rally from a 2-0 deficit wasn’t enough in the end. Ismaily and Taison scored a minute apart in the first half, but Andrej Kramaric had it 2-1 two minutes later and Steven Zuber leveled the score before halftime.

Group F
Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
Manchester City 5 3 1 1 14 5 9 1-0-1 2-1-0 10
Lyon 5 1 4 0 11 10 1 0-3-0 1-1-0 7
Shakhtar Donetsk 5 1 2 2 7 15 -8 0-1-1 1-1-1 5
1899 Hoffenheim 5 0 3 2 10 12 -2 0-1-2 0-2-0 3

CSKA Moscow 1-2 Viktoria Plzen

Nikola Vlasic‘s 10th minute penalty was all the hosts could muster, as Roman Prochazka and Lukas Hejda scored second half goals to keep Viktoria’s Europa League hopes alive.

Roma 0-2 Real Madrid

CSKA’s loss was Roma’s and Real’s gain, as both clubs knew they had qualified for the knockout rounds before they kicked off in Italy. Gareth Bale scored just after halftime then helped Lucas Vazquez put the match to bed in the 59th minute.

Group G
Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
Real Madrid 5 4 0 1 12 2 10 2-0-0 2-0-1 12
Roma 5 3 0 2 10 6 4 2-0-1 1-0-1 9
Viktoria Plzen 5 1 1 3 5 15 -10 0-1-1 1-0-2 4
CSKA Moscow 5 1 1 3 5 9 -4 1-0-2 0-1-1 4

Juventus 1-0 Valencia

Mario Mandzukic’s 59th minute goal made sure Valencia dropped the points necessary to open the door for Manchester United.

Manchester United 1-0 Young BoysRECAP

David De Gea made a spectacular reaction save minutes before Marouane Fellaini saved United blushes and clinched a spot in the next round for the Red Devils.

Group H
Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away  

PTS

Juventus 5 4 0 1 8 2 6 2-0-1 2-0-0 12
Manchester United 5 3 1 1 6 2 4 1-1-1 2-0-0 10
València 5 1 2 2 4 5 -1 1-0-1 0-2-1 5
Young Boys 5 0 1 4 2 11 -9 0-1-1 0-0-3 1

UCL wrap: Real Madrid shocked in Russia

AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin
1 Comment

There were just two blowouts amongst the eight UEFA Champions League matches on Tuesday’s docket, with an Edin Dzeko hat trick leading AS Roma past Viktoria Plzen and Paulo Dybala scoring three for Juventus versus Young Boys.

[ MORE: Champions League standings ]

The rest of the matches had more than a few eyebrows raised, with Bayern Munich and Manchester United held by Ajax and Valencia respectively, and Real Madrid failing to find the back of the net in a loss to CSKA Moscow.

CSKA Moscow 1-0 Real Madrid

Everton loanee Nikola Vlasic scored in the second minute, two weeks after recording a goal and an assist in the tournament opener at Viktoria Plzen, as Real Madrid continues to struggle in the post-Cristiano Ronaldo era.

Manchester United 0-0 ValenciaRECAP

There was very little to like from the hosts, who worked hard but found precious few chances in a scoreless struggle at Old Trafford.

Hoffenheim 1-2 Manchester CityRECAP

Ishak Belfodil’s first minute goal sounded alarm bells for the Premier League champions, who fell to Lyon at home in the first match of the group stage.

Leroy Sane set up Sergio Aguero for an equalizer within six minutes, and City eased into control of the match. It would take until the 87th minute, however, for David Silva to win it for Pep Guardiola‘s men.

Juventus 3-0 Young Boys

Paulo Dybala’s evenly-distributed hat trick (5′, 33′, 69′) was complete by the time of Mohamed Aly Camara’s red card for the Swiss visitors (78′).

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Bayern Munich 1-1 Ajax

Arjen Robben cued up Mats Hummels for a fourth minute opener, but 20-year-old Noussair Mazraoui leveled the score line for Ajax in the 22nd minute.

AEK Athens 2-3 Benfica

The first half’s 2-0 score line to the favored visitors didn’t provide a lot of hope for neutrals, as Haris Seferovic and Grimaldo scored in the first 15 minutes for Benfica, but a red card for Ruben Dias in first half stoppage sure did the trick.

Viktor Klonaridis pulled the hosts within one after halftime and scored his second in the 63rd minute to prime the pump for a dramatic final half hour.

Alfa Semedo, however, scored a late winner for the 10-man visitors.

Lyon 2-2 Shakhtar Donetsk

Junior Moraes’s first half goal was joined by another nine minutes into the second frame, but it was far from curtains for the French hosts. Moussa Dembele and Leo Dubois scored twice in three minutes to push Lyon into a deadlock at Groupama Stadium.

Roma 5-0 Viktoria Plzen

Edin Dzeko’s hat trick, the opener coming in the third minute, was more than enough for i Lupi to rebound from its loss to Real Madrid. Cenzig Under and Justin Kluivert proved Roma’s kids are more than alright with second half goals.

UCL wrap: Real rocks Roma, Vlasic finishes CSKA comeback

AP Photo/Manu Fernandez
Leave a comment

What a day in the UEFA Champions League!

CSKA Moscow came from two down to get a draw, Paul Pogba put on a one-man show in Switzerland, Cristiano Ronaldo was sent off in Spain, and Manchester City slumped to a home loss.

[ MORE: Champions League standings ]

And, oh yeah, Real Madrid scored a pair of show-stopping goals in a 3-0 win over Roma that left few worries about life post-Ronaldo.

Young Boys 0-3 Manchester United RECAP

Paul Pogba scored a brace, the first a sensational dribble and drive, as Jose Mourinho’s men had little trouble in Switzerland. The second half saw the Frenchman assist Anthony Martial to help the Red Devils cruise home.

Shakhtar Donetsk 2-2 Hoffenheim

Hoffenheim led twice, the second time through Havard Nordtveit, but would only take a point home from Ukraine thanks to an 81st minute goal from 21-year-old Brazilian attacker Maycon de Andrade Barberan.

[ LIVE: Champions League scores ]

Benfica 0-2 Bayern Munich

Robert Lewandowski scored in the 10th minute and Renato Sanches after halftime as Bayern eased to a win at the Estadio da Luz.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Viktoria Plzen 2-2 CSKA Moscow

Czech midfielder Michael Krmencík scored twice to give the hosts a first-half lead, but Fyodor Chalov finished a 49th minute chance to pull one back for the Russian visitors. And it was a precursor to another CSKA goal, the leveler coming from Everton loanee Nikola Vlasic and his penalty kick in the fifth minute of stoppage time.

Real Madrid 3-0 AS Roma

We need your help deciding whether Real Madrid’s first or third goal was more spellbinding, please.

Gareth Bale scored a second half goal, but it’s impossible to discuss this game without mentioning the delightful free kick goal from Isco and Mariano Diaz’s outstanding stoppage time belter. My goodness.

Valencia 0-2 Juventus

Cristiano Ronaldo was sent off in controversial fashion, but Miralem Pjanic scored twice from the penalty spot to help 10-man Juve to the win. Wojciech Szczesny stopped a stoppage time penalty to preserve the shutout for The Old Lady.

Ajax 3-0 AEK Athens

Left back Nicolas Tagliafico sandwiched a pair of goals around Donny van de Beek’s 77th minute marker as Ajax scooped up an easy win against Greek opposition.

Manchester City 1-2 LyonRECAP

The French visitors took advantage of sloppy midfield play and an awful clearing attempt from Fabian Delph to build a 2-0 lead, and Bernardo Silva‘s goal from a Leroy Sane feed was all City could muster in its comeback bid.

Vlasic, N’Koudou seal loan deals; Ospina gets Napoli medical

Photo by Dave Thompson/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Two Premier League players are departing their clubs for loan stints elsewhere in Europe, and a third is a medical away from leaving London.

Arsenal goalkeeper David Ospina is reportedly undergoing a medical ahead of a move to Serie A powers Napoli.

[ MORE: Premier League Club Power Rankings, Week 1 ]

The Colombian will have a chance to start after a long-term injury to Napoli’s No. 1, Alex Meret, who was bought from Udinese for nearly $40 million this summer. Pepe Reina left Napoli in the offseason.

The club’s goalkeeping corps also includes ex-Waftford player Orestis Karnezis and 22-year-old Nikita Contini.

Everton’s Nikola Vlasic is leaving Goodison Park for a season with CSKA Moscow. Vlasic, 20, played 19 times for the Toffees last season, scoring twice.

Also on the move is Tottenham’s Georges-Kevin N’Koudou. The 23-year-old Frenchman is headed to the Bundesliga with Mainz after going on loan to Burnley last season.

Of the three, only Ospina is probable to leave his parent club after the season, with Napoli holding an option to buy the player.

8 players score, plus an OG, in Everton’s 22-0 preseason rout

Photo credit: @Everton
2 Comments

Marco Silva took charge of his first preseason game as Everton manager on Saturday, and it’s practically impossible to imagine how it could have gone any better.

[ MORE: Hazard hints at Chelsea exit, has “preferred destination” in mind ]

A 23-0 victory would have been more impressive, but only marginally more so than the 22-0 that Silva’s Toffees actually achieved against Austrian fifth-division side ATV Irdning. Kevin Mirallas, who came off the bench at halftime, scored five goals himself, and the scoreboard on the club’s stream essentially ran out of room before the halftime whistle.

Cenk Tosun and Oumar Niasse‘s tallies were only slightly less gaudy, as the Turkish and Senegalese internationals each bagged hauls of four. Ademola Lookman‘s hat trick appears paltry in comparison, as does the brace of Nikola Vlasic and the individual tallies of Leighton Baines and Mason Holgate. And Irdning own goal completes the scoring at 22.

[ MORE: Chelsea reveal new manager Sarri, midfielder Jorginho ]

Everton will take on League Two side Bury on Wednesday, at which point they’re (presumably) expected to get some vital preseason work in, and to be held under the 20-goal mark.