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Rediff.com  » Sports » Champions League Roundup: Juve's dramatic fightback; Arsenal draw

Champions League Roundup: Juve's dramatic fightback; Arsenal draw

Last updated on: November 05, 2014 19:03 IST

Andrea Pirlo

Juventus's Andrea Pirlo celebrates after scoring against Olympiakos during their Champions League match. Photograph: Giorgio Perottino/Reuters

Juventus scored twice in a minute as they came from behind to clinch a dramatic 3-2 win over Olympiakos after Andrea Pirlo had celebrated his 100th Champions League appearance by scoring from a characteristically effortless free kick on Tuesday.

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Pirlo's heir apparent Paul Pogba scored the winner as Juve revived their campaign in Group A although they could regret a stoppage time penalty miss by Arturo Vidal which would have given them the better head-to-head record against the Greek champions.

As it was, Olympiakos, who had Juventus in real trouble when they took a 2-1 lead through Congolese midfielder Delvin N'Dinga in the second half, will come out on top if the two sides finish level on points thanks to their 1-0 win two weeks ago.

Olympiakos goalkeeper Roberto gave away an unlucky own goal to make it 2-2 but then turned hero again as he somehow managed to turn Vidal's ferocious effort onto the bar.

Both teams have six points from four games, three behind leaders Atletico Madrid.

Pirlo, 35, and slowly re-finding his best form, chalked up his 100th appearance in the competition, a run which began when he came on as a substitute for Brazilian striker Ronaldo for Inter Milan against Real Madrid in 1998.

He made most of his appearances during a 10-year spell with AC Milan, winning the trophy in 2003 and 2007 although he also played in the 2005 final when his side famously squandered a 3-0 lead to Liverpool

The bearded playmaker celebrated in style as he effortlessly curled in a free kick in the 21st minute to give Juventus the start they needed after successive defeats to Atletico Madrid and Olympiakos.

Anderlecht stage thrilling escape act at Arsenal

Anderlecht's Aleksandar Mitrovic, centre, celebrates

Anderlecht's Aleksandar Mitrovic, centre, celebrates after scoring a third goal past Arsenal's goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny. Photograph: Stefan Wermuth/Reuters

A remarkable late collapse scuppered Arsenal's hopes of qualifying early for the Champions League last 16 as Aleksandar Mitrovic's 90th-minute goal earned Anderlecht a deserved 3-3 draw in Group D on Tuesday.

A win would have ensured a place in the knockout rounds for the 15th season in succession and Arsenal appeared home and dry with fine goals by Alexis Sanchez and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain building on Mikel Arteta's 25th-minute penalty.

But Anderlecht, deprived of three points a fortnight ago when Arsenal struck twice late on for a 2-1 victory, produced a late sting on a rainy night in north London, scoring three times in the last 29 minutes to keep alive their remote hopes of progressing.

Anthony Vanden Borre began the salvage job in the 61st minute before he converted a penalty to induce jitters in the home crowd. Substitute Mitrovic's late header then completed an astonishing comeback for Besnik Hasi's youthful side.

After seeing the door to the knockout rounds slammed shut, Arsenal can now realistically only hope for the runners-up spot as they have seven points to the 12 of Borussia Dortmund with two games remaining.

Belgians Anderlecht have two and Galatasaray prop up the table with one.

No Gala for Turks as Dortmund power through

Marco Reus of Dortmund, right, celebrates

Marco Reus of Dortmund, right, celebrates. Photograph: Daniel Kopatsch/Getty Images

Borussia Dortmund shrugged off their dismal domestic form to sweep past Galatasaray 4-1 on Tuesday and cruise into the last 16 of the Champions League with two matches to spare.

Germany international Marco Reus, on the transfer wish-list of several leading European clubs, slotted in the first goal after 39 minutes.

Central defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos, who also hit the woodwork, and Ciro Immobile netted in the second half before Semih Kaya added an own goal with four minutes left as Dortmund made it four wins from four games in Group D.

Galatasaray pulled one back through Hakan Balta's header in the 70th minute but could do little to counter Dortmund's attacking punch.

Dortmund, who have plunged into the relegation zone in the Bundesliga, have 12 points in Group D, five ahead of Arsenal who drew 3-3 with Anderlecht (two points) on Tuesday. Galatasaray are bottom on one point.

Atletico sink Malmo thanks to Koke, Raul Garcia

Koke of Club Atletico de Madrid in action

Koke of Club Atletico de Madrid in action. Photograph: Denis Doyle/Getty Images

Atletico Madrid's Koke and Raul Garcia secured a 2-0 victory at Malmo for the Group A leaders in their Champions League clash on Tuesday after the Swedes spurned several excellent chances.

Having soaked up considerable pressure, Koke broke the deadlock for last season's runners-up on the half-hour, sweeping Juanfran's low cross from the right into the net with the inside of his heel after a swift counter-attack.

Raul Garcia killed the game in the 78th minute, firing home Filip Helander's botched clearance.

"Obviously, it's important to play nice football but what makes me proud is when we win," he told reporters. "That is what I want to give the fans, the team, the supporters - victories."

Atletico lead the standings with nine points from four games followed by Olympiakos Piraeus and Juventus on six points after the Italians beat the visiting Greek side 3-2 on Tuesday. Malmo's defeat leaves them bottom with three points.

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