21 November 2012

PSG 2 (Lavezzi 45, Lavezzi 52)

Lavezzi scored either side of half time to send PSG into the last 16 and make light of PSG's pathetic domestic form.

PSG may make some noise in the UCL next year but the last 16 is probably their limit this time round barring a lucky draw.

Attendance : 36,712
Assists : Ibrahimovic, Matuidi

PORTO 3 (Gonzalez 20, Moutinho 67 fk, Varela 85)

Gonzalez smashed Porto into the lead minutes after Sammir had rattled the inside of a post with a terrific shot. Luckless Dinamo also had a shot cleared off the line before Moutinho's free kick put them out of their misery. A brilliant back heel gave Varela a flattering third.

Porto are rubbish. Of the last 16 qualifiers they're about the same level as Milan and Arsenal.

Attendance : 27,603
Assists : Moutinho, Martinez (won fk), Moutinho

ARSENAL 2 (Wilshere 49, Podolski 63)

Wilshire poked home a deflected cross to score his first goal in two years. Podolski played a one-two with Giroud then met the Frenchman's return pass with a tremendous, swinging left foot volley.

Attendance : 59,670
Assists : n/a, Giroud

SCHALKE 1 (Fuchs 77)

Attendance : 52,254
Assist : Jones

ZENIT ST PETERSBURG 2 (Danny 49, Fayzulin 86)
MALAGA 2 (Buonanotte 8, Fernandez 9)

Santa Cruz stepped over Fernandez's centre and Buonanotte took full advantage of the confusion to open the scoring. Zenit goalkeeper Malafeev had a brain fart. He passed a goalkick to Santa Cruz and he centred for Fernandez, 2-0. Danny got the break of a lucky bounce to pull Zenit within a goal minutes into the second half. Danny stumbled over the ball a yard out but Fayzulin sparred his blushes by smashing in the hurried clearance.

Another failure for Zenit. Time for the tactically naive Spalletti to go.

Attendance : 18,347
Red Card : Bystrov 95 (Zenit)
Assists : Fernandez, Santa Cruz, Hubocan, n/a

ANDERLECHT 1 (De Sutter 78)
MILAN 3 (El Shaarawy 47, Mexes 71, Pato 91)

Milan's youngest players combined for the opening goal. De Sciglio, who is already a superb crosser of the ball, swung over a cross to El Shaarawy at the back post, he pulled down the ball with his left before shooting past Proto with his right. Nuytinck was sent off for tripping Pato and Mexes scored an astonishing goal from the resulting free kick. Montolivo overhit his cross, Mexes bounced the ball off his chest then took a couple of steps forward outside the box before leaping into the air and sending an overhead kick looping into the top left corner. It wasn't exactly a fluke - he has been trying to do that for some time. Yepes failed to defend a cross allowing De Sutter to setup a tense finish but Pato made sure Milan reached the last 16 with a tap in after El Shaarawy did all the hard work.

Attendance : 19,803
Red Card : Nuytinck 70 (Anderlecht)
Assists : De Sciglio, Montolivo, Iakovenko, El Shaarawy

AJAX 1 (Hoesen 86)
DORTMUND 4 (Reus 8, Gotze 36, Lewandowski 41, Lewandowski 67)

Gotze angled a pass around Moisander and Reus nutmegged Vermeer as he came off his line. Lovely goal. Gotze caught Vermeer by surprise with a quick shot at his near post. Lewandowski completed a first half thrashing when he tapped in a rebound. Lewandowski pulled down a Gotze cross before firing in from a tight angle. Hoesen scored via massive deflection off Subotic.

Dortmund have a similar philosophy to Ajax with the key difference of course being they play in a much stronger league. Unless Ajax and other Dutch sides can play in a secondary league and raise their level they haven't a prayer of ever winning the European Cup, ffp or no ffp.

Dortmund are looking good for first place. They've got away with playing a high line so far but then that's a tactic also employed by Real Madrid and Ajax. Against a team that defends deep Dortmund will struggle.

Attendance : 47,500
Assists : Gotze, Hummels, n/a, Gotze, n/a

MANCHESTER CITY 1 (Aguero 73 Pen)
REAL MADRID 1 (Benzema 10)

Flat track bully Benzema caught the Man City defence napping on a cross. An extremely soft penalty gave Man City hope but they failed to put Casillas' goal under further pressure. The only other highlight was Kompany strong-arming Ronaldo off the ball and then Ronaldo crying like the big girl he is.

Attendance : 45,740
Red Card : Arbeloa 73 (Real Madrid)
Assists : Aguero (won pen)