UEFA Champions League Tuesday Wrap-Up
The favorites fared well on the second matchday of the UEFA Champions League—with one notable exception.
BATE Borisov, the unheralded upstarts from Belarus, pulled off a second consecutive European upset, knocking off German giants Bayern Munich at home. It was the shock of the season so far, but elsewhere in Europe's premier club competition, the favorites generally played to form.
Chelsea, Manchester United and Barcelona all won on a busy day of Champions League action. Keep reading for all the details.
Nordsjaelland 0-4 Chelsea
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images
Scorers: Chelsea—Juan Mata 33', 82'; David Luiz 79'; Ramires 89'
Recap: David Luiz's excellent free kick opened the floodgates, as Chelsea turned a tight game into a laugher with three goals in the final 11 minutes. Mata scored twice, giving him three goals in as many games, while Frank Lampard returned to the starting lineup and captained Chelsea as John Terry was rested.
Free-kick stunner: Luiz's free kick, which bounced off the near post and into the net, was a stunner. It can be viewed here.
Where it leaves them: Chelsea, the defending Champions League winners, top Group E with four points and a plus-four goal differential. Nordsjaelland sit on the bottom of the group with no points after two matches.
Up next: Chelsea play at Shakhtar Donetsk on Oct. 23, while Nordsjaelland host Italian champions Juventus.
5 - This is the fifth time Chelsea have hit 4+ goals in an away Champions League match.Patience.— Opta(@OptaJoe) October 2, 2012
Juventus 1-1 Shakhtar Donetsk
Claudio Villa/Getty Images
Scorers: Juventus—Leonardo Bonucci 25'; Shakhtar—Alex Teixeira 23'
Recap: Juventus drew for the second time in as many Champions League outings and fell to third place in Group E after Shakhtar largely had the better of play in Turin. The Ukrainians took the lead on the counter, but their advantage lasted only two minutes thanks to Bonucci's thumping finish from a corner.
Where it leaves them: Shakhtar sit level on points with Chelsea atop the group, while Juventus are third with two points.
Up next: Juventus play at Nordsjaelland on Oct. 23, while Shakhtar host Chelsea.
8 - With their 8th draw in a row (1-1 vs Shakhtar) in European competitions, excl. qualifiers, Juventus set a new all-time record. Undecided— Opta (@OptaFranz) October 2, 2012
BATE Borisov 3-1 Bayern Munich
Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images
Scorers: BATE—Aleksandr Pavlov 23', Vitali Rodionov 78', Renan Bressan 90+4; Bayern—Franck Ribery 90+1
Recap: BATE Borisov pulled off the shock of the group stage—and their second straight victory—with a deserved 3-1 home win over German giants Bayern Munich. The Belarusian champs hit Bayern repeatedly on the counter, including Renan Bressan's victory-clinching goal late in injury time. It was Bayern's first loss of the season in any competition.
Stat time: BATE had just 38 percent of possession, but produced only four fewer on-target shots (six) than Bayern (10).
Quotable: "We always believed that we could win this match,'' said BATE's Aleksandr Hleb (Associated Press via Sports Illustrated). "We were confident even after we conceded the late goal.''
Up next: BATE host Valencia on Oct. 23, while Bayern play at Lille.
Bonus Twitter stat (from before the match):
Valencia 2-0 Lille
Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images
Scorers: Valencia—Jonas 38', 75'
Recap: Jonas scored in each half as Valencia earned their first points of the Champions League campaign and heaped more misery on Lille. Dimitri Payet wasted a clear chance near the end of the first half for Lille, and the French club outshot Valencia, 12-7.
Where it leaves them: Valencia are second in Group F with three points and a better goal differential than Bayern Munich. Lille are last with no points.
Up next: Valencia travel to Belarus to face surprising BATE Borisov on Oct. 23, while Lille host Bayern.
12 - Dimitri Payet has had the most attempts without scoring in the Champions League this season: 12 shots, 0 goal. Disillusion.— Opta (@OptaJean) October 2, 2012
Spartak Moscow 2-3 Celtic
Scorers: Spartak—Emmanuel Emenike 41', 48'; Celtic—Gary Hooper 12', Dmitri Kombarov (own goal) 71', Georgios Samaras 90'
Recap: Celtic lost an early lead before pulling off a comeback of their own to beat Spartak Moscow, 3-2, away in a dramatic Group G match. Emenike scored on either side of halftime, as Spartak erased Celtic's early 1-0 lead, but a red card for Juan Insaurralde turned the game for Celtic in the 63rd minute.
Quotable: “I am probably the proudest man in Europe tonight,” said Celtic manager Neil Lennon (via Daily Telegraph). “I cannot speak highly enough of the players. They were magnificent.
Where it leaves them: Celtic are second in Group G, two points behind Barcelona. Spartak are last with no points through two matches.
Up next: Celtic play at Barcelona on Oct. 23, while Spartak host Benfica.
Twitter stat (from before the match):
0 - Excluding qualifiers, Celtic have won none of their last 26 away games in Europe (W0 D6 L20). Travails.— Opta(@OptaJoe) October 2, 2012
Benfica 0-2 Barcelona
Scorers: Barcelona—Alexis Sanchez 5', Cesc Fabregas 55'
Recap: Lionel Messi set up both goals, as Barcelona recorded a comfortable road win in Portugal over Iberian neighbors Benfica. Barca received bad news late in the match, though, as defender Carles Puyol injured his arm in a scary-looking incident. The injury can be seen in the video at left.
Quotable: "Barcelona has a level of quality...that a team like Benfica doesn't have,'' Benfica coach Jorge Jesus said (Associated Press via Sports Illustrated). "They were very efficient at taking their chances. That's what made the difference."
Where it leaves them: Barcelona top Group G with six points. Benfica are third with one point.
Up next: Barcelona host Celtic on Oct. 23, while Benfica travel to Spartak Moscow.
FINAL- Benfica 0, Barcelona 2. Here's a stat: Xavi led Barcelona with 115 completed passes. Matic led Benfica with 20. TWENTY! #Domination— Ives Galarcep (@SoccerByIves) October 2, 2012
CFR-Cluj 1-2 Manchester United
Julian Finney/Getty Images
Scorers: Cluj—Pantelis Kapetanos 14'; Manchester United—Robin van Persie 29', 49'
Recap: Robin van Persie scored in each half, and Wayne Rooney supplied both goals in a successful appearance as a central playmaker, as Manchester United made it two wins from two matches in Group H. Cluj briefly led through Kapetanos, but United controlled 67 percent of possession.
RvP classic: Van Persie's second goal was vintage. The Dutchman controlled Rooney's high pass and turned it home with one deft touch. View the goal here.
Quotable: Speaking at halftime, United manager Sir Alex Ferguson said (via The Guardian): "We are doing most things correct in terms of passing, but losing that goal the way we did is a shocker. An absolute shocker."
Where it leaves them: United lead Group H with six points from two matches. Cluj are second with three points.
Up next: United host Braga on Oct. 23, while Cluj travel to Galatasaray.
Bonus Twitter stat:
Galatasaray 0-2 Braga
Photo: AFP/Getty Images
Scorers: Braga—Ruben Micael 27', Alan 90'+4'
Recap: Braga recovered from a surprisingly poor Champions League start with a road victory over Galatasaray in Group H. The Turkish champs pressed throughout the second half, but missed numerous chances, with Burak Yilmaz especially wasteful.
Where it leaves them: Braga, after being upset by Cluj on Matchday 1, are third in Group H with three points. Gala are last with no points through two matches.
Up next: Braga play at Manchester United on Oct. 23, while Gala host Cluj.