2012/13 Champions Leaque Day2 Round-up
A brief round-up from Wednesday’s Champions League action from around Europe:
Bayern Munich v Valencia (2-1):
Bayern Munich produced a dominant performance here on Wednesday in their Champions League opener to beat Spanish opponents Valencia 2-1 in what was a repeat of the 2001 Champions League final which Bayern had won on penalties. Bastian Schweinsteiger gave Munich the lead in the 38th minute and then Toni Kroos doubled the advantage after 76 minutes for the 2012 finalists. Nelson Valdez pulled a goal back a minute into injury time.
Braga v CFR Cluj-Napoca (0-2):
Two of Braga’s former players returned to haunt them as CFR Cluj claimed the spoils with a 2-0 win in the Champions League group stages. A classy brace from Brazilian striker Rafael Bastos sealed victory in the first half with Mario Felgueiras in sparkling form between the sticks to keep his former employers at arm’s length. Braga controlled possession throughout at the Estadio AXA but finished the night bottom of Group H, while Cluj top the mini-league having scored one more goal than Manchester United, who beat Galatasaray 1-0.
Celtic v Benfica (0-0):
Celtic failed to get their Champions League campaign off to a flying start as they were held to a goalless draw by Group G rivals Benfica at Parkhead on Wednesday. After an absence of four years the Hoops had been desperate to announce their arrival back in the competition with a win. But they had to settle for a point against the Lisbon side in a match where clear cut chances were few and far between.
Chelsea v Juventus (2-2):
Juventus stunned Champions League holders Chelsea as Fabio Quagliarella’s late strike rescued a dramatic 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge and ruined Oscar’s command performance for the Blues on Wednesday. Oscar marked his first start for Chelsea with an impressive brace that included a stunning solo effort to fire Roberto Di Matteo’s side into a 2-0 lead before half-time in their Group E opener. But the Brazil midfielder’s heroics were in vain thanks to a gutsy recovery from the Italian champions, who reduced the deficit before the break through Arturo Vidal and salvaged a point with 10 minutes left thanks to Quagliarella’s clinical finish.
Lille v BATE Borisov (1-3):
A remarkable three-goal salvo in the first half gave BATE Borisov a first-ever Champions League win on Wednesday, 3-1 at Lille, to leave the French club facing a huge task to rescue their campaign already. Aleksandr Volodko, Vitali Rodionov and Edgar Olekhnovich all found the net for the Belarussian visitors, who had failed to win in 12 previous attempts in the group stage of the competition. And while Aurelien Chedjou reduced the deficit for the home side in the second half, their subsequent pressure failed to produce another goal and their first group-stage game in their impressive new stadium turned out to be something of a damp squib.
Man Utd v Galatasaray (1-0):
Michael Carrick’s first European goal in three years saw Manchester United start their Champions League campaign with a 1-0 victory over Galatasary at Old Trafford on Wednesday. It was far from the convincing performance that manager Sir Alex Ferguson had asked of his players as their Turkish opponents twice hit the woodwork and failed with two very strong penalty claims. United also missed a penalty for the third consecutive game, with Nani failing with a second half effort which would have brought United some much-needed breathing space.
Shakhtar Donetsk v FC Nordsjaelland (2-0):
A double from Armenian midfielder Henrik Mkhitaryan gave Ukrainian giants Shakhtar Donetsk a 2-0 win over Danish Champions League debutants Nordsjaelland here on Wednesday in their opening Group E match. Mkhitaryan’s double — one in each half — took his tally this season to 11 goals in 14 games in league and Champions League.
Barcelona v Spartak Moscow (3-2):
Barcelona had to come from behind to get their Champions League campaign off to a winning start as two goals from Lionel Messi helped them beat Spartak Moscow 3-2 at the Camp Nou.