UEFA Champions League 2016/17 – Matchweek Four Review

The international break approaches next week and clubs around the continent are juggling a busy set of fixtures with the fourth round of group matches in the UEFA Champions League. Many sides are set up to advance to the knockout rounds, while others will see their journey end earlier than planned.

We review key highlights and results from around the week’s matches.

LUDOGORETS RAZGRAD 2 / ARSENAL 3 – VASIL LEVSKI NATIONAL STADIUM

Arsenal and manager Arsene Wenger clinched progression into the knockout round with an entertaining 3-2 victory at Ludogorets Razgrad in Bulgaria on Tuesday.

The first half was a thrilling 45 minutes that saw a strong display from the hosts. Ludogorets took a surprising early lead through Jonathan Cafu (12’) and Claudiu Keseru (15’), with Arsenal answering with goals from Granit Xhaka (20’) and Olivier Giroud (42’) to draw level at halftime.

The second half took a slower pace until the final minutes. Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil stole the show with a dramatic late winner in the 88th minute. Weaving his way past the Ludogorets defence and goalkeeper Milan Borjan, a wonderful sequence of quality and skill powered the Gunners into the next round.

Arsenal and Paris Saint-Germain are at the top of Group A with ten points each.

MANCHESTER CITY 3 / BARCELONA 1 – ETIHAD STADIUM

Manchester City secured one of their finest European moments on Tuesday evening with a 3-1 home victory over Barcelona. The result has cut Barcelona’s lead over City in Group C to only two points.

Lionel Messi gave the Blaugrana a 1-0 lead with a goal in the 21st minute, but former manager Pep Guardiola and his City side were up to the immense challenge.

A brace from Ilkay Gundogan (39’, 74’) and an incredible free-kick strike from Kevin De Bruyne (51’) sealed the victory for the hosts.

Manchester City will travel to Borussia Monchengladbach on November 23rd, while Barcelona will visit Celtic on the same night.

ATLETICO MADRID 2 / FC ROSTOV 1 – ESTADIO VICENTE CALDERON

Antoine Griezmann was the hero late in the match, as Atletico Madrid secured their place in the next round with a 2-1 home victory over FC Rostov. The result keeps Atletico’s perfect Champions League record intact this season and keeps a three point advantage over Bayern Munich in Group D.

A breathtaking volley from Griezmann in the 29th minute opened the scoring. The visitors answered only moments later with a goal from Serdar Azmoun (30’) to keep the score 1-1 at halftime.

The match seemed destined to end in a draw until Atletico’s talented forward struck again, as Griezmann scored his second goal of the night deep into stoppage time.

PSV EINDHOVEN 1 / BAYERN MUNICH 2 – PHILIPS STADION

PSV Eindhoven hung on for long stretches, but were dominated throughout as Bayern Munich secured a 2-1 away victory on Tuesday. The result clinches a berth in the next round for the Bundesliga champions.

The home side took an early lead with a goal from midfielder Santiago Arias (14′), but Bayern controlled much of the proceedings. A Robert Lewandowski brace (34’, 74’) and over seventy percent of possession were enough for manager Carlo Ancelotti’s side to see out the win.

Bayern Munich will face FC Rostov in Russia on November 23rd, while Atletico Madrid will host PSV Eindhoven later that same evening.

AS MONACO 3 / CSKA MOSCOW 0 – STADE LOUIS II

AS Monaco stayed on top of the Group E standings with a dominant 3-0 home victory over CSKA Moscow on Wednesday. The result gives the Ligue 1 club eight points from four matches.

Monaco’s strikers took full control in the first half. Valere Germain gave the hosts the early advantage (13’) and Colombian international Radamel Falcao scored twice (29’, 41’) for a 3-0 halftime lead.

Coupled with Tottenham’s loss, Monaco now have a two-point lead over second-place Bayer Leverkusen.

SCORES AROUND THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

TUESDAY NOVEMBER 1ST

BORUSSIA MONCHENGLADBACH 1 / CELTIC 1

BESIKTAS 1 / NAPOLI 1

FC BASEL 1 / PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN 2

SL BENFICA 1 / DYNAMO KYIV 0

WEDNESDAY NOVEMBER 2ND

JUVENTUS 1 / OLYMPIQUE LYONNAIS 1

SEVILLA FC 4 / DINAMO ZAGREB 0

FC PORTO 1 / CLUB BRUGGE 0

FC COPENHAGEN 0 / LEICESTER CITY 0

LEGIA WARSAW 3 / REAL MADRID CF 3

BORUSSIA DORTMUND 1 / SPORTING CP 0

TOTTENHAM 0 / BAYER LEVERKUSEN 1


Roy Emanuel, TFN Deputy Editor and US Correspondent on 02/11/2016 at 22:03

Follow Roy on Twitter @roy13a

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