The fourth round of the UEFA Champions League dished up a few surprises as a number of the big teams failed to get all three points.
Roma 3-0 Chelsea
Chelsea continue to keenly feel the absence of star defensive midfielder N’Golo Kante as they succumbed to a 3-0 defeat to Roma. Chelsea’s form has been unconvincing of late and ZiFM Sport football analyst Alois Bunjira even alluded to it in last nights show.
“If they go with the form they have been producing (their current form) to Rome they’ll get walloped!” Alois Bunjira
An example of Chelsea’s defending!
You can listen to the full segment here:
Alois went from football analyst turned prophet as Chelsea put up a defensive horror show in a forgettable performance. The blues only solace is knowing that their destiny is in their hands, as victory in their next fixture witll guarantee a place in the Round of 16.
Atlético Madrid 1-1 Qarabag FK
Atlético shot themselves in the foot as they drew with against what many considered to be the bottom side of their group.
Qarabağ, a displaced Azerbaijani club making its first-ever appearance in the Champions League, gave their more seasoned opponents a run for their money and now Atlético suddenly find themselves of the verge of elimination from the champions league.Barring a minor miracle, Antoine Griezmann and co will likely be playing Europa League football in the next half a the season.
Celtic 1-2 Bayern Munich
At the risk of sounding like a broken record by revisiting one of Brendan Rogers favourite phrases, Celtic showed plenty of character in their defeat to Bayern Munich. The Scottish champions may have been eliminated for Europe’s premier competition but they certainly showed their mettle by battling Bayern for as long as they did.
Celtic deserved at least a point here. The upshot, though, is one Rodgers and his players would have taken at the start of Group B: they remain in pole position for a Europa League last-32 place after Christmas.
Olympiacos 0-0 Barcelona
Olympiacos did really well to hold Barcelona to a goalless draw but thats not the major talking point of this match. The game twice descended into farce when spectators were allowed to run on to the pitch and head straight for Lionel Messi.
¿What the hell is going on here?
In the second half one fan even had time to take a ‘selfie’ with the Argentine, while in the first period a spectator wandered around to the touchline where Messi was poised to take a corner, hugged him and planted a kiss on his cheek before trotting off back to the stand behind the goal.
Olympiacos have some serious security questions to address! Apart from that, this game highlighted Luis Suarez’ recent struggles in front of goal. Given the way Barcelona has been playing lately it has been something of a moot point, but he’ll need to hit top form if Barcelona are to challenge on all fronts.
FC Basel 1-2 CSKA Moscow
CSKA Moscow scored twice in the second half to beat Basel 2-1 as the Russians gave themselves a Champions League lifeline and frustrated their opponents’ hopes of booking an early spot in the last 16.
Luca Zuffi’s gave the Swiss side the lead in the first half, but Alan Dzagoev came off the bench to level matters in the 65th minute, before Pontus Wernbloom struck 11 minutes from time to complete a superb comeback.
Second-place Basel are now level on six points with CSKA, with both teams six adrift of Group A leaders Manchester United.
Paris St. Germain 5-0 Anderlecht
A bit of history was made in this match. Left back Layvin Kurzawa became the first defender to score a Champions League hat-trick as Paris St-Germain thrashed Anderlecht to confirm their place in the last 16.
Kurzawa had only scored 17 career goals before kick-off but weighed in with three goals in the second half. Neymar and Marco Verratti also scored superb goals as PSG easily qualified for the knockout stage.
Dani Alves and Neymar dressed up for Halloween!
The victory set the mood for PSG’s jovial Halloween party later that night!
Manchester United 2-0 Benfica
Manchester United are on the verge of reaching the Champions League knockout stage for the first time in four years after beating Benfica.
Former Benfica midfielder Nemanja Matic’s powerful effort struck the foot of the post, but ricocheted into the net off the goalkeeper, who had dived to save the shot. Full-back Daley Blind added a second from the penalty spot to ensure that Jose Mourinho got all three points. Was this a convincing victory? No. But Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho knows that results matter, so he nor his team will care how they got the victory.
Sporting CP 1-1 Juventus
Gonzalo Higuain scored a late equalizer as Juventus drew with Sporting Lisbon 1-1 to remain ahead of the Portuguese club in Group D of the Champions League.
The draw kept the Italian club in second place with seven points, three in front of Sporting and three behind leaders Barcelona with two matches remaining. Juventus, had a chance of securing a knockout spot with a win, but now they still have to fight to earn one of the two qualifying berths from the group.