BATE Upsets Bayern in Champions League; Chelsea, Man. United Win
BATE Borisov beat Bayern Munich 3-1 in soccer’s Champions League as Chelsea, Manchester United and Barcelona won away.
Aleksandr Pavlov, Vitali Rodionov and Renan Bressan scored last night as Belarusian champion BATE posted its first home victory in the group stage of Europe’s elite club competition.
“They fought till they dropped, especially when we applied pressure,” Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes said in comments on his team’s website.
Juan Mata’s two goals led last season’s winner Chelsea to a 4-0 win at Nordsjaelland, while Robin van Persie scored twice in Manchester United’s 2-1 win at Cluj. Barcelona, seeking its fourth European Cup in eight seasons, defeated Benfica 2-0.
Celtic got its first road win in the competition at the 21st attempt with a 3-2 victory at Spartak Moscow, while Valencia and Braga also won as the second round of group stage games got under way. Juventus and Shakhtar Donetsk tied 1-1.
Among tonight’s eight games, Manchester City hosts Dortmund in a matchup of English and German champions, Real Madrid visits Ajax as two former winners meet, and Olympiacos visits Arsenal.
BATE is the surprise Group F leader after its second straight 3-1 win. Pavlov put the home team ahead midway through the first half and Rodionov made it 2-0 in the 78th minute.
Franck Ribery scored in stoppage time for Bayern, last season’s runner-up to Chelsea, before Bressan sealed the win just before the final whistle.
Jonas scored a goal in each half as Valencia beat Lille 2-0 to move into a tie with Bayern for second place in the group.
Chelsea broke open a close game with three goals in the final 11 minutes against Danish champion Nordsjaelland, with David Luiz and Ramires also finding the back of the net either side of Mata’s second goal.
“They were a bit of an unknown and we had to bide our time,” Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard told Sky Sports. “We put the hard work in and all the goals came at the end.”
Mata opened the scoring in the 33rd minute by guiding in Lampard’s pass. Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech kept the Blues in front in the second half by pushing Joshua John’s shot off the crossbar, with Ashley Cole blocking Mikkel Beckmann’s rebound.
Luiz doubled the lead moments later off a free kick and Mata scored his second three minutes later. Ramires added a goal in the final minute.
The win leaves the Blues even atop Group E with Shakhtar Donetsk on four points. Alex Teixeira scored for Shakhtar, with Leonardo Bonucci answering for Juventus.
Van Persie’s Double
Manchester United fell behind at Romanian champion Cluj to a Pantelis Kapetanos goal after 14 minutes.
United drew even in the 29th minute as Van Persie, starting up front with Wayne Rooney for the first time, guided a free kick from his strike partner over goalkeeper Mario Felgueiras with his shoulder.
The two combined for the winner four minutes after halftime as Van Persie steered a pass off the right from Rooney into the bottom corner of the net. United goalkeeper David De Gea then preserved the victory when he pushed away a header from Rafael Bastos in the closing minutes.
“We know it was a silly goal to give away but thankfully we managed to get back in the game and win,” Rooney told ITV.
United leads Group H with the maximum six points, three more than Braga and Cluj. Braga also won away at Galatasaray 2-0 on goals from Ruben Micael and Alan.
Barcelona also made it two straight wins to open the competition by beating Benfica 2-0 in Portugal. Alexis Sanchez and Cesc Fabregas got the goals off assists from Lionel Messi.
Barcelona defender Carles Puyol, 34, left the field on a stretcher with a dislocated elbow about 15 minutes from the end of the game. Puyol sustained the injury when he fell after jumping for a header from a corner kick.
Celtic is second in Group G with four points after Georgios Samaras scored in the final minute to give the Scottish league leader its first away win in the Champions League.
Gary Hooper put Celtic ahead after 12 minutes before Emmanuel Emmenike scored twice for the home side.
Spartak’s Juan Insaurralde received a red card in the 63rd minute and Celtic tied the score eight minutes later as James Forrest’s shot was saved by goalkeeper Sergei Pesyakov and the rebound deflected off defender Dmitri Kombarov into the net for an own goal.