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Rediff.com  » Sports » Champions League: Plucky Arsenal beat Bayern; Rakitic stars for Barca

Champions League: Plucky Arsenal beat Bayern; Rakitic stars for Barca

Last updated on: October 21, 2015 14:03 IST

Olivier Giroud scores the first goal for Arsenal during their Champions League group match against Bayern Munich at the Emirates in London on Tuesday

Olivier Giroud scores the first goal for Arsenal during their Champions League group match against Bayern Munich at the Emirates in London on Tuesday. Photograph: Dylan Martinez Livepic/Reuters

Arsenal bounced back off the ropes to land two late sucker-punches and score an unlikely 2-0 win over Bayern Munich after the Germans had dominated an outstanding Champions League match on Tuesday.

Olivier Giroud came off the bench after 74 minutes and headed the opener three minutes later while Mesut Ozil scored with virtually the last kick of the game against his World Cup-winning team mate Manuel Neuer to hand Arsenal a memorable victory.

Their first win in Group F after two defeats rekindled their chances of reaching the last 16 and ended Bayern's run of 12 successive wins in all competitions.

"It was important to reproduce our Premier League form tonight and we did that. We got the balance right between defence and attack," Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger told reporters.

The victory means Bayern and Olympiakos have six points apiece, Dinamo Zagreb and Arsenal three each with Arsenal travelling to Munich and Olympiakos at home to Dinamo next.

Barca's Rakitic hits double in BATE win

Barcelona's Ivan Rakitic (right) celebrates with teammate Jordi Alba after scoring against BATE Borisov during their Champions League Group E match at the Borisov Arena stadium outside Minsk, in Belarus, on Tuesday 

Barcelona's Ivan Rakitic (right) celebrates with teammate Jordi Alba after scoring against BATE Borisov during their Champions League Group E match at the Borisov Arena stadium outside Minsk, in Belarus, on Tuesday. Vasily Fedosenko/Reuters

Two goals from Ivan Rakitic gave Barcelona a comfortable 2-0 victory away to BATE Borisov on Tuesday and consolidated their position at the top of Champions League Group E.

Rakitic, who came on following an injury to Sergi Roberto after just 17 minutes, hit a sublime strike into the top corner having been set up by Neymar at the start of the second half.

A livewire Neymar led Barca in the absence of the injured Lionel Messi but while they had plenty of possession they lacked a cutting edge in the first half.

Neymar was again the provider after 64 minutes for Rakitic who sealed the win with a clinical finish past keeper Sergey Chernik.

Barca laid siege to the BATE defence in the opening minutes, starting with a strike from Neymar from the left of the area saved by Chernik.

Luis Suarez had a header tipped over and then Munir El Haddadi, preferred to Sandro Ramirez in attack, should have scored but his shot was too weak and the keeper blocked it.

Barca continued to push forward but too often their final pass was poor while BATE offered little danger at the other end.

 

Chelsea thwarted by woodwork in draw with Kiev

Chelsea's John Terry in action during the UEFA Champions League Group G match against NSK Olimpiyskyi Stadium, Kiev, on Tuesday

IMAGE: Chelsea's John Terry in action during the UEFA Champions League Group G match against NSK Olimpiyskyi Stadium, Kiev, on Tuesday. Photograph: John Sibley Livepic/Action Images via Reuters

Chelsea struck the woodwork twice but could not find a breakthrough in an entertaining 0-0 Champions League draw at Dynamo Kiev on Tuesday that left everything to play for in Group G.

 Within the context of Premier League champions Chelsea's poor start to the season, a goalless draw in the Ukraine can be considered a positive result and Jose Mourinho's side certainly did enough to earn all three points.

Eden Hazard, restored to the starting lineup, struck the post early on while Willian crashed a free kick against the underside of the bar after the restart as the visitors crafted by far the better openings.

Kiev, who tested Chelsea keeper Asmir Begovic on occasions in the second half, have five points in Group G, one ahead of Mourinho's side and two behind leaders Porto who beat Maccabi Tel Aviv 2-0.

Porto’s Casillas scripts record in win

Porto's Yacine Brahimi (left)) fights for the ball with Maccabi Tel Aviv's Ben Harush during their Champions League group G match at Dragao Stadium in Porto, on Tuesday

IMAGE: Porto's Yacine Brahimi (left)) fights for the ball with Maccabi Tel Aviv's Ben Harush during their Champions League group G match at Dragao Stadium in Porto, on Tuesday. Photograph: Miguel Vidal/Reuters

Two first-half goals gave Porto a 2-0 win over Champions League Group G outsiders Maccabi Tel Aviv on Tuesday that put the Portuguese side in the box seat to qualify for the last 16.

Goals from Vincent Aboubakar in the 37th minute and Yacine Brahimi in the 41st helped the hosts go two points clear at the top while Dynamo Kiev held Chelsea to a goalless draw in the night's other match.

Porto allowed Maccabi plenty of possession and space but that was never going to be enough for the Israelis as the superior speed and skill of the home team kept them in control.

Porto's former Real Madrid keeper Iker Casillas set a new record for the most clean sheets in the Champions League with his 51st shutout, moving one ahead of ex-Juventus and Manchester United keeper Edwin van der Sar.

Zenit stay perfect after Lyon win

Zenit St Petersburg stepped closer to reaching the knockout stages of the Champions League after making it three wins out of three in Group H following a 3-1 win against Lyon.

Zenit did not take long to take advantage of a lacklustre start by the visitors. A fine pass by Oleg Shatov in the third minute was played in Artem Dzyuba, who had time to take a touch before stroking the ball past Anthony Lopez to score his 11th goal in as many games for club and country.

Andre Villas-Boas's side were dominant and should have extended their lead. Dzyuba had a great chance to score his second following good work by Shatov and Hulk, but he slipped at the vital moment and his shot ballooned over the bar.

Whatever Hubert Fournier said to his team at half time worked, as they were rejuvenated. The French outfit drew level four minutes after the break as Alexandre Lacazette brilliantly deflected Christophe Jallet's cross past Mikhail Kerzhakov.

Lyon looked to be dominating but Hulk scored a stunning goal in the 56th minute to put the hosts back in front. The Brazilian forward picked the ball up on the halfway line and advanced towards the Lyon goal before unleashing an outstanding left foot shot which swerved past Lopez to score his third goal in as many Champions League games this season.

Zenit stay top of Group H with nine points from three games, while Lyon have just a point. The two sides meet again in France on Nov. 4 in a game Lyon have to win to keep their qualification hopes alive.   

Own goals gift Valencia 2-1 home win over Ghent

Valencia's players celebrate after they scored a goal against Gent during their Champions league Group H match at the Mestalla stadium in Valencia

Valencia made it two wins out of three in Champions League Group H when own goals from the luckless Lasse Nielsen and Stefan Mitrovic gifted the La Liga side a 2-1 victory over Belgian champions Ghent on Tuesday.

After losing 3-2 at home to Zenit St Petersburg in their opening game, Valencia revived their bid for a place in the round of 16 when a Sofiane Feghouli effort secured a 1-0 success in Lyon last month.

The Algeria international was again decisive at a rainy Mestalla, vying with Nielsen to be first to a Joao Cancelo centre and forcing the Dane to put the ball into his own net in the 15th minute.

Valencia almost doubled their lead 10 minutes later but Santi Mina and Dani Parejo were denied by a superb double save from goalkeeper Matz Sels.

The visitors levelled five minutes before the break when Thomas Foket chested the ball down in the penalty area and smashed a superb angled shot high past Jaume Domenech in the home goal.

Valencia struggled to exert control in the second half, with the fans at the Mestalla becoming increasingly frustrated until a Jose Gaya cross-shot ricocheted into the net off the unfortunate Mitrovic 18 minutes from time.

Zenit lead on a maximum nine points after they won 3-1 at home to Lyon, with Ghent and Lyon each on one point.

Leverkusen rescue 4-4 draw against Roma in rollercoaster

Bayer Leverkusen squandered a two-goal lead but scored twice in the final six minutes to rescue a 4-4 draw against AS Roma in a rollercoaster Champions League Group E match on Tuesday.

The hosts opened up a two-goal lead in the first 19 minutes of the hugely entertaining encounter, through Mexico forward Javier Hernandez.

Roma raced back with two goals from Daniele De Rossi and doubled the tally in the second half before another twist in the game produced two late strikes for Leverkusen, with Kevin Kampl scoring in the 84th and Admir Mehmedi 112 seconds later, to rescue a point.

Leverkusen remain second on four points with Roma, still without a win, bottom on two. Barcelona are top on seven after beating BATE Borisov 2-0.

Ideye gives Olympiakos 1-0 win at Dinamo

Olympiakos Piraeus boosted their hopes of reaching the Champions League knockout stages after an Ideye Brown goal helped them to a 1-0 Group F win at Dinamo Zagreb on Tuesday.

The result left Olympiakos level with Bayern Munich at the top of the section with six points from three games after the German side suffered a 2-0 setback at Arsenal.

Dinamo and Arsenal have three points each.

Nigerian Ideye scored the 79th-minute winner with a superb finish from a tight angle, redeeming himself for an astonishing miss earlier in the second half. 

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