Arsenal Go Through While Chelsea Stumble At Leverkusen




Chelsea, like their English counterparts Manchester United and City, were left with work to do on the last Matchday as an injury time winner by Manuel Friedrich helped Bayern Leverkusen leapfrog Chelsea and take the top spot in Group E. While the rest of the English clubs were stuttering, there were no such problems for Arsenal as the Gunners ensured the top spot in Group F was theirs after a 2-1 win against Borussia Dortmund. APOEL was the other club to go through on a day that also saw Barcelona come out on top in a fierce encounter at the San Siro.

UEFA Champions League: Arsenal go through while Chelsea stumble at Leverkusen

UEFA Champions League: Arsenal go through while Chelsea stumble at Leverkusen

Chelsea’s poor domestic form carried onto Europe as well as Leverkusen put an end to their unbeaten streak in the group as they came from behind to post a 2-1 victory at the Bay Arena. Drogba put the Blues in front three minutes after the break but Eren Derdiyok drew the home side level before Friedrich’s header in injury time put the former champions into the knockout stages. In the other match of the group Valencia ran out 7-0 winners against Racing Genk thus drawing them level on points with Chelsea. Valencia travel to Stamford Bridge in two weeks time knowing that a point with any scoreline except 0-0 will send them through thus knocking out Chelsea.

Robin Van Persie’s rich vein of form continued as a brace ensured that Arsenal went through to the knockout phase with a game in hand and also ensured them the top spot from the group. Olympiakos’ victory at Marseille moved them to 6 points, one behind Marseille and one more than Dortmund, thus keeping all three teams in contention for the second spot. While Marseille travel to Dortmund knowing that a win will take them through, Dortmund need to beat the French side by atleast 3 goals and hope Arsenal do them a favour at Olympiakos.

APOEL created history as they became the first Cypriot team to qualify for the knockout stages after a goalless draw at Zenit St. Petersburg. APOEL travelled to Russia knowing that a point would ensure their qualification and though Zenit dominated the possession and the game, APOEL hung on to get the well deserved point.  Meanwhile goals from Hulk and Razvan Rat in Ukraine left FC Porto hot on the heels of Zenit with 8 points which makes the clash between Porto and Zenit on Matchday 6 a winner take-it-all contest.

The big clash on Matchday 5 lived up to its billing as AC Milan came second to the European champions in an enthralling contest at the San Siro. Van Bommel’s own goal gave the visitors the lead before old Barca man Ibramahovic cancelled out the lead. Messi restored Barcelona’s lead with a penalty before Boateng brought Milan back level with a swerving shot past Valdes. But the European champions raised their game to a different level altogether and Xavi’s 63rd minute goal ensured Milan had to settle for the second spot in Group H.

Group E

Bayer Leverkusen (GER) 2 Chelsea (ENG) 1

Valencia (ESP) 7 RC Genk (BEL) 0

Group F

Marseille (FRA) 0 Olympiakos (GRE) 1

Arsenal (ENG) 2 Borussia Dortmund (GER) 1

Group G

Zenit Saint Petersburg (RUS) 0 APOEL Nicosia (CYP) 0

Shakhtar Donetsk (UKR) 0 Porto (POR) 2

Group H

AC Milan (ITA) 2 Barcelona (ESP) 3

BATE Borisov (BLR) 0 Viktoria Plzen (CZE) 1

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Monish Menon

Author:

Hi, I am Monish Menon from Hyderabad and currently working at Franklin Templeton Investments as a Compliance Business Analyst. Sport has always been my passion since I was a kid and I invest all my non-existent free time by watching, playing, writing and analyzing various sporting events across the world. Apart from being a diehard Manchester United fan and a Ferrari supporter, I believe that Roger Federer is still the best tennis player and Sachin Tendulkar is God. I play club cricket and I also am a part of my organization’s cricket and football squad. Being such a sports fanatic, writing about it is something that came naturally to me and I am glad that I got an opportunity through thesportsmirror.com to share my thoughts with the rest of the world. For other articles written by me, you can visit my blog at www.monishmenon.wordpress.com

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