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Arsenal handed Champions League lifeline, as bigs guns stroll through

Reuters photo
Reuters photo

Tuesday night saw several interesting matches in the first phase of Match Day 5 of the UEFA Champions League. Most of the bigger clubs had easy wins, including Arsenal, who now have a slim chance of making it to the Round of 16.

Arsenal 3-0 Dinamo Zagreb
A brace from Alexis Sanchez and a sublime goal from Mesut Ozil gave Arsenal a win they needed to keep up their last-16 hopes. In more good news, Aaron Ramsey returned from injury and started in the bench in a game where nothing went wrong for the reigning FA Cup champions. Arsenal outran Dinamo in every aspect of the game, and it felt the Croatian side had little attacking options as Petr Cech stood unchallenged.

FC Barcelona 6-1 AS Roma
Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi celebrated his return to the starting eleven with a brace that helped the Catalan giants demolish AS Roma in an embarrassingly one-sided match. The MSN trio of Messi, Suarez and Neymar Jr. jelled flawlessly as usual, leaving the Roma defence with no answers. Suarez scored two goals, too, while Gerard Pique and Adriano Correia completed the rout for Barcelona. Edin Dzeko scored a consolation goal for Roma in injury time.

Bayern Munich 4-0 Olympiakos
As expected and predicted by most of the footballing world, Bayern sustained their blistering brand of football, easily walking away with a 4-0 win against Olympiakos in the Allianz Arena. Douglas Costa, Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Muller scored three goals in 12 minutes in the first half and put the game to bed. However, Bayern’s good night was marred by Badstuber’s sending off in the second half for bringing down Ideye. later, Coman scored the fourth for Bayern to extend the humiliation.

M.Tel Aviv 0-4 Chelsea FC
Jose Mourinho’s side made it look easy as they beat the Israeli club Maccabi Tel Aviv by a thumping margin. Gary Cahill, Willian, Oscar and Jacob Zouma went on the score sheet, leaving Chelsea needing only a draw draw to guarantee qualification to the knockout phase.

Bate Borisov 1-1 Bayer Leverkusen
The Group H clash in Belarus saw Bate striker Mikhail Gordechuik score before anyone could blink, giving the home side an early lead, just two minutes into the game. An equaliser was always on the horizon as Leverkusen controlled with genuine vigour. However, their finishing lacked any conviction, spurning chance after chance, before Admir Melmedi scored to level the game.

Zenit 2-0 Valencia CF
Zenit St. Petersburg made it five out of five after a comfortable home win against Spanish outfit Valencia. Andre Villas Boas’ side continued their comfortable run in the group stage with a first half goal from Oleg Shator and goal midway through the second half by Dzyuza, which confirmed Zenit’s qualification to the knockout phase.

Lyon 1-2 KAA Gent
A late goal from Coulibaly, deep into injury time gave Gent a crucial comeback win against Lyon. Ferri scored inside seven minutes to give an early lead to Lyon, only to be cancelled out by Gent’s Milicevic. The late comeback goal puts Gent on the verge of progression to the last 16, while Lyon linger at the bottom of the group with just one point.

FC Porto 0-2 Dynamo Kyiv
FC Dynamo Kyiv beat home team FC Porto, handing the Portuguese side their first defeat of the season, and splitting the group wide open in the race to the knockout phase. Andriy Yarmolenko scored from the spot and in the second half, former Real Madrid captain and goalkeeper Iker Casillas failed to read a weak shot from Gonzalez. Thereon, the Kyiv defence reared firm and safeguarded the lead.

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