FT: Basel 0 – 1 Schalke 04; FT: Steaua Bucuresti 0 – 4 Chelsea
Brazil midfielder Ramires scored twice as Chelsea got their Champions’ League Group E campaign back on track with a convincing 4-0 win over Steaua Bucharest at the National Arena on Tuesday.
Slick-passing Chelsea dominated from start to finish and could have won by a bigger margin. The visitors went ahead in the 20th minute when Ramires lifted the ball over the goalkeeper from three metres and they made it 2-0 with an own goal from Daniel Georgievski just before halftime. Ramires made it 3-0 with a thumping finish soon after the interval after the dangerous Andre Schurrle surged down the left and found Oscar who teed up his fellow countryman. Frank Lampard completed the rout with a low shot into the corner from 18 metres after good work by substitute Willian on 90 minutes.
Chelsea has three points from two games in the group while Steaua are bottom on zero.
For Basel and Schalke 04, both sides enjoyed a winning start to their Champions League campaigns and came into this contest knowing that another victory would strengthen their position in Group E. However, a Julian Draxler’s stunning second-half strike was enough to give Schalke a 1-0 win over Basel. The game was delayed early in the first half for just over five minutes due to a Greenpeace protest against Gazprom, sponsors of the competition and of the German side.
The win leaves Jens Keller’s side top of the group, having not lost away in Europe in 12 games.
FT: Arsenal 2 – 0 SSC Napoli; FT: Borussia Dortmund 3 – 0 Marseille
Napoli’s unbeaten start to the season was ended last night in London after Mesut Ozil bewitched the Italian side to conjure up a 2-0 win for Arsenal. The Germany midfielder scored the opening goal, his first for Arsenal, with a superb left-foot effort from the edge of the penalty area after eight minutes and set up Olivier Giroud for Arsenal’s second after fifteen minutes. Any lingering doubts that the former Real Madrid player was worth the 43 million pounds ($60 million) that Arsene Wenger paid for him in August were swept away in a magical first-half display of precision passing, great movement and feints, and Aaron Ramsey played his full part as the sorcerer’s apprentice.
Arsenal’s second win after their 2-1 success in Marseille put them on six points in Group F alongside Borussia Dortmund, who beat Marseille 3-0 on Tuesday. Robert Lewandowski who bagged a double and Marco Reus were the men on target as last term’s beaten finalists got their first-ever win in the competition against the French side.
Arsenal and Dortmund meet in the next two rounds of games.
FT: Zenit Petersburg 0 – 0 Austria Wien; FT: FC Porto 1 – 2 Atletico Madrid
Atletico Madrid ended Porto’s eight-match unbeaten run at home in the UEFA Champions League with a 2-1 win on Tuesday. The Portuguese champions found it difficult to get through their visitors’ defence for much of the match, but Jackson Martinez did gave them the lead with an excellent header. Chelsea were the last side to defeat Porto at Estadio Dragao in November 2009 and that run came to an end in the second half as Diego Godin and Arda Turan hit the goals to complete Atletico’s first away win against Portuguese opposition in eight attempts.
In the other group game, Axel Witsel was shown a contentious red card as Zenit St Petersburg were held 0-0 against Austria Vienna in the UEFA Champions League. In a game of few clear-cut chances, the Belgian was shown his marching orders in the 44th minute at the Stadion Petrovskij after Zenit had dominated the first half but Vienna couldn’t take advantage.
FT: Ajax 1 – 1 AC Milan; FT: Celtic 0 – 1 Barcelona
Fabregas breaks Celtic hearts as Barca laboured to a 1-0 win in ther Group H Champions League game against 10-man Celtic in Glasgow on Tuesday. The only goal came after 76 minutes when Neymar swept the ball out to substitute Alexis Sanchez on the right and his back-post cross was headed home by the unmarked Cesc Fabregas. By then Celtic were down to 10 men having had Scott Brown dismissed just before the hour mark for catching Neymar in the back with his boot after the Brazilian went down in a challenge.
In an absorbing contest of artistry against industry at an electric Parkhead stadium, Barcelona, as expected, dominated possession but created little in a match of few chances.
The win gives Barcelona a maximum six points from two games and leaves Celtic still looking for their first point.
In Holland, Ajax brought a run of three successive defeats in the UEFA Champions League to an end as they drew 1-1 with Milan in Amsterdam. The Eredivisie side dominated large parts of the Group H encounter on Tuesday and was unlucky not to have taken all three points after scoring in the 90th minute, but a stoppage time penalty from Mario Balotelli earned the visitors a point.