Matchweek three of the UEFA Champions League 2013/14 Group Stage fixtures concluded on the evening of Wednesday 23 October 2013. Eight entertaining matches produced an impressive 25 goals.
- Bayer 04 Leverkusen 4-0 Shakhtar Donetsk
- Man Utd 1-0 Real Sociedad
Leverkusen collected three points following a strong home win over Shakhtar Donetsk. Kiessling got the hosts off to a great start with a headed goal on 22 minutes. Three second half goals from Rolfes (pen, 50), Sam (57) and another Kiessling strike after a goalkeeping error on 72 minutes gave the scoreline an impressive sheen.
It took Manchester United just 2 minutes to get their noses in front at Old Trafford – which was in good voice with an experimental “singing section” in place at the ground. A Wayne Rooney shot struck the post, before rebounding into the net off defender Iñigo Martínez. Despite plenty of possession and chances, particularly for the lively Rooney, United failed to add to their tally, but were still workmanlike in picking up three points against a Sociedad side who have still to score a point in this season’s Champions League.
United remain top of the table on seven points, one point ahead of Leverkusen. Shakhtar are still on the hunt on four points, but must gather their thoughts following this away drubbing. Sociedad look to be out of the running already at the half way stage.
Group A UEFA Champions League 2013/13 Table, Wed 23 Oct 2013
|2||Bayer 04 Leverkusen||3||2||0||1||8||5||3||6|
- Galatasaray 3-1 FC Copenhagen
- Real Madrid 2-1 Juventus
It took Galatasaray just an opening half of 45 minutes to all but destroy FC Copenhagen in their Group B encounter at Ali Sami Yen Spor Kompleksi. First half goals from Felipe Melo (10), Wesley Sneijder (38) and Didier Drogba (45+1) put them firmly in the driving seat at half time. Copenhagen did pull a late goal back through Claudemir on 88 minutes, but this was scant consolation for their trip to Turkey.
Real Madrid remain firmly in control of Group B and retained their 100% record in the process, after they defeated Juventus 2-1 at Estadio Santiago Bernabéu. Cristiano Ronaldo (2, pen 29) scored twice either side of a Juventus reply from Llorente (22) to give Real all three points in what was otherwise a relatively even encounter. Juventus hopes of recovering from the 2-1 half-time scoreline were dealt a severe blow early in the second half when Chiellini picked up a red card for a foul on Ronaldo, who seemed to be, once more, at the heart of everything Real achieved on the night.
Group B UEFA Champions League 2013/13 Table, Wed 23 Oct 2013
- Benfica 1-1 Olympiakos
- RSC Anderlecht 0-5 Paris Saint Germain
Benfica and Olympiacos shared the evening’s only draw, finishing with a 1-1 scoreline in Portugal. Visiting Olympiacos struck first with a 29th minute goal from Domínguez, but, despite just edging things on the evening, failed to make that slender lead count, and were eventually pegged back by an 83rd minute Óscar Cardozo finish. Visiting goalkeeper Roberto will be disappointed not to have dealt better with the corner which led to the goal – particularly given his otherwise excellent performance.
Anderlecht found visiting PSG just too good, as Zlatan Ibrahimović scored a remarkable four goals in the Paris team’s 5-0 away win. The Swede scored two very similar opening goals from centred passes coming from Gregory van der Wiel on 17 and 22 minutes, before smashing home a stunning strike from 25-30 yards which flew into the top-left corner to seal a 36 minute hat-trick. A defensive mistake led to a simple Cavani goal on 52 minutes before Ibrahimović added his fourth, and PSG’s fifth on the night, with another fine finish into the bottom left corner from inside the area.
Group C UEFA Champions League 2013/13 Table, Wed 23 Oct 2013
|1||Paris Saint Germain||3||3||0||0||12||1||11||9|
- CSKA Moscow 1-2 Man City
- Bayern Munich 5-0 Viktoria Plzen
The night’s early kick-off in Russia between CSKA and Manchester City was an excellent curtain raiser for the evening’s entertainment, as the fixture saw visiting City come back from a goal behind to record a 2-1 away win.
CSKA took the lead after 32 minutes when Tošić scored a well-taken chip past City’s keeper, Joe Hart, but Sergio Aguero quickly equalised when he reacted earliest to a David Silva cross before controlling and stabbing home from 6 yards on 34 minutes. It was Aguero who grabbed the second – and winning – goal when he was brave to head home a 50:50 cross with Igor Akinfeev rushing out of the CSKA goal. The goalkeeper’s questionable decision to lead with his feet contributed to Aguero’s success. City will be thankful that their stopper, Hart, was in fine form to deny CSKA a point with a good reaction save from close range.
Holding Champs, Bayern Munich, set down a good marker and retained their 100% record with a strong 5-0 home win over Viktoria Plzen. A brace from Frank Ribery (pen 25, 61) added to strikes from Alaba (37) Schweinsteiger (64) and Götze (90+1) on another red letter day at Fußball Arena München. The pick of the bunch was Ribery’s cheekily taken second goal, which saw the French star turn in the box, showing quick feet, before lobbing the ball with the outside of his right boot into the goal. Plzen have now conceded 11 goals in three matches in this super-difficult group.
Bayern and City are currently in the qualification places at the half way stage, though CSKA have shown plenty to indicate that they are capable of the three points which currently separate them from those positions.
Group D UEFA Champions League 2013/13 Table, Wed 23 Oct 2013
UEFA Champions League 2013/14: Results, Wednesday 23 October
- Group A – Bayer 04 Leverkusen 4-0 Shakhtar Donetsk
- Group A – Man Utd 1-0 Real Sociedad
- Group B – Galatasaray 3-1 FC Copenhagen
- Group B – Real Madrid 2-1 Juventus
- Group C – Benfica 1-1 Olympiakos
- Group C – RSC Anderlecht 0-5 Paris Saint Germain
- Group D – CSKA Moscow 1-2 Man City
- Group D – Bayern Munich 5-0 Viktoria Plzen