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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Champions League Round Up : Brave Bavarians Sink Man City as Young Spares United Blushes

Two late first-half goals in eight minutes from Mario Gomez were enough for German giants Bayern Munich to cruise past money-rich Manchester City as the Champions League group stage matches entered match-day two.

The Citizens bossed their Bavarian opponents for the better half of the first period and David Silva should have been awarded a penalty when he was tripped in the box by former City defender Jerome Boateng.  Hungarian referee Viktor Kassai was in no moods and whisked claim away.

Edin Dzeko wasted a chance to put the away team ahead when he was put clear on goal but the Bosnian shot straight at Manuel Neuer in Bayern goal. Bayern turned around the game thereafter and were rewarded with a goal in the 38th minute.

Frank Ribery stormed down the left wing, cut inside and rifled a shot which City custodian Joe Hart could only parry into Thomas Muller’s path. The German international tried to convert the rebound at point blank range but Hart pulled off another save. However, the second rebound got onto Mario Gomez’s path and he made no mistake smashing the ball home to give the home team the lead.

Jupp Heyncke’s side doubled their lead eight minutes later. Muller swung a freekick which was headed on goal by centerback Daniel Van Buyten drawing a save from Joe Hart. But with no City defender in sight, Gomez pounced on the rebound to score his and Bayern’s second of the game.

The second half saw more drama off the field than on it. Edin Dzeko slammed his boots against the ground after being substituted and Carlos Tevez appeared to refuse playing but the Bavarians were a cohesive unit as they collected three vital points that not only put them in charge of the group but underlined their credentials as favourites to lift the Champions League trophy this season.

For Roberto Mancini and his City team, it will be back to the drawing board as they continue searching for their first win in the competition after drawing their first match 2-2 with Napoli. The Italians beat City’s next opponents Villarreal 2-0 courtesy of a 14th minute strike from Marek Hamsik and a penalty from Edinson Cavani three minutes which moved them second in the ‘group of death’ with four points.

Meanwhile Mauro Zarate was the hero as Serie A champions Inter Milan rebounded from a shock loss to Tranzonspor a fortnight ago to beat CSKA Moscow 3-2 at the Luzhniki Stadium. Brazilian Lucio volleyed in the first for the Nerazurri after only seven minutes and Giampaolo Pazzini doubled the lead in the 23rd minute but Alan Dzagoev riffled in a freekick to draw one back for the Russians just before the interval.

Vagner Love brought the teams level in the 77th minute but Zarate hit the winner just after the restart to make it two wins in two for new tactician Claudio Ranieri. In the other group match, Moussa Sow and Gustavo Colman were both on target as Lille shared the spoils with table-toppers Trabzonspor at the Huseyin Avni Aker stadium.

The third round of matches sees CSKA Moscow welcome Trabzonspor while Inter travel to Stade Lille-Metropolle to face Ligue 1 Champions Lille.

Ashley young saved Manchester United the blushes as his late header earned Sir Alex Ferguson’s side a 3-3 draw against unfancied FC Basel at Old Trafford. Danny Welbeck scored a brace in two minutes to give the Premier League champions a healthy 2-0 lead heading into half time.

Fabian Frei drew one back and his Frei namesake, Alexander, scored two more as the Swiss outfit surged 3-2 ahead and it looked like they would claim a famous win at the Theatre of Dreams. Young had different ideas though as he headed in the equalizer in the 90th minute from a Nani cross. Bruno Cesar scored the only goal for Benfica as they claimed a 1-0 away win over Romanian Champions Otelul Galati to move joint top with Basel.  

Real Madrid and Olympique Lyon took control of Group D with 3-0 and 2-0 wins over Ajax and Dinamo Zagreb respectively. Batefimbi Gomis lifted a sumptuous chip over Zagreb custodian Ivan Keleva to give the seven-time French champions the lead in the 23rd minute and Ivorian Bakari Kone secured the points for Remi Garde’s side mark three minutes before the interval.

Cristiano Ronaldo (25), Kaka (41) and Karim Benzema (49) secured Madrid the points at the Santiago Bernabeu to give Jose Mourinho’s side maximum points as they prepare for a more stretching double-header with Lyon. 

And That's thesteifmastertake!!