The second batch of matches of the UEFA Champions League 2012/13 Group Stage took place this week, with matches across Europe on the evenings of Tuesday 2nd and Wednesday 3rd October 2012.
Some exciting matches were played on Tuesday evening, with giants Manchester United needing Robin van Persie to score his first – and second – European goals for the club in order to come from behind for a victory away at Cluj in Romania. United finished 2-1 away winners on a perfect 6 points in Group F following their opening round victory over Galatasaray.
Glasgow’s Celtic also won by an odd goal in a dramatic match against Spartak Moscow which was perhaps the pick of the bunch on Tuesday night. Celtic took an early away lead through Hooper on 12 minutes, but their hosts, Spartak, scored either side of half time through Emenike to turn the tie on its head. Celtic fans who had made the journey to Russia, however, were not to be disappointed as a 71st minute Kombarov own goal brought them back into the match, at 2-2, before Samaras sent them away delighted with three points by scoring in the final 90th minute to cap a topsy turvy tie.
Bayern Munich were perhaps the unwitting characters in the plot which saw BATE Borisov pick up their first European home win in patient style. BATE, the hosts, took an early lead, and withstood a lot of pressure from the German side before running out impressive 3-1 victors. On another night, Bayern might have got something from this match, but the home side’s superior finishing meant they were well worth their victory.
Holders Chelsea and perennial achievers Barcelona picked up good away wins, 4-0 and 2-0 against Nordsiaelland and Benfica respectively.
On Wednesday evening, another thriller from Russia with love saw the visiting side – this time AC Milan who travelled to Zenit St Petersburg – come away with a 3-2 victory. Milan had raced away to a 2-0 lead before the hosts pegged them back to 2-2 with a goal and an assist from Hulk proving enough to get them on level terms. However, an own goal on 75 minutes was sufficient to send the Italian side away with all three points.
The performances of the night came both came in Group D, from Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo and Manchester City’s goalkeeper, Joe Hart, who both created points for their teams in different ways. Ronaldo produced a terrific hat-trick of goals which were the difference between Ajax and Real, as the visiting Spanish aces picked up a 4-1 victory to maintain a 100% record in Champions League Group Stage. 100% records in UEFA Group Stages is fast becoming a habit for Jose Mourinho’s men. Joe Hart had to be right up to his brilliant best in Manchester to keep English Premier League Champions, Man City, in their home match with German champs Borussia Dortmund. The match finished 1-1 after a late Mario Balotelli penalty spared the host’s blushes. Manchester City must improve their current form if they are to progress from this immensely difficult group.
Other results on Wednesday night saw Arsenal continue their recently improved form to win 3-1 at home to Olympiacos, while Shalke and Montpellier played out an entertaining 2-2 draw in a week which saw at least one goal in every single one of the 16 fixtures.
Full UEFA Champions League Results for the second match week are detailed below.
UEFA Champions League 2012/13 Groups Stage Results – Match Week Two, 2/3 October 2012
|UEFA Champions League Results – Tue 2 Oct 2012|
|H||CFR Cluj||1-2||Man. United|
|UEFA Champions League Results – Wed 3 Oct 2012|
|A||Dynamo Kyiv||2-0||Dinamo Zagreb|