UCL Match Day 4: a night of draws for top clubs
A day of draws for the bigger clubs like Arsenal, Milan and Real but for the Blue part of Manchester, it was the most crucial result of all.
Manchester City are all but eliminated from the 2012-13 UEFA Champions League despite producing a stirring fightback against Ajax to draw 2-2. From 2-0 down, City fought back, goals from Yaya Toure and Kun Aguero. However that was not enough to avenge the 3-1 loss at Amsterdam Arena few weeks ago.
Siem De Jong had put the 4 times Champions League winners ahead by two goals within the first quarter and sleek passing from Ajax was evident through the match. City had started the match on a lively note and they responded pretty well after going two goals down, Yaya Toure getting back one in the first half itself.
Introduction of Super Mario in the second half had added some spice but the City’s saviour again proved to be Aguero as he equalized with 15 minutes to play. He also had two goals disallowed for offside, one right at the death where the City fans believed their team did make another great comeback win. Joe Hart had to keep to make a string of good saves in the second half and the last one was the most important to keep Eriksen out right at the end.
Which gives them at least a slim chance of advancing to the next stage. City are left with two points from four games and they need to win their next two games with a good goal difference and hope the results of the games goes their way.
The other game I was simultaneously following was Schalke Vs Arsenal, where Arsenal lost a two-goal lead just like Ajax. However for a team of Arsenal’s calibre, it’s something you just don’t expect. Perhaps they are going through a rough patch after their poor performance with Manchester United on Saturday. Theo Walcott and French international Olivier Giroud scored for the Gunners while Dutch international Klass-Jan Huntelaar scored in injury time of first half & Jefferson Farfan in the second half, for the Germans. Schalke and Arsenal are the pole position to qualify from their group with 8 & 7 points respectively from 4 games.
Elsewhere both Milan and Real Madrid played out a draw which helped both the teams in with touching distance for qualifying for the next round. The only wins of the day came from the French team PSG who hammered Dinamo Zagreb 4-0 with Ibrahimovic being the star not scoring goals but assisting all the four goals. Elsewhere, Olympiakos defeated Montpellier 3-1, Anderlecht’s beat Zenit St Petersburg 1-0 and Porto played out a goalless draw with Dynamo Kiev.
Porto and Malaga were the only teams to qualify today for the next round.
From tomorrow’s 8 matches we will have to wait and see, which teams qualify for the next round. We heard Sir Alex in his press conference saying he hopes his team qualifies so he can Rio Ferdinand a break. It would also be interesting to see how many goals Barcelona score at Celtic Park.