Manchester City, Arsenal Lose in Champions League; Real Beaten
Ajax beat Manchester City 3-1 to keep the English title holder winless in soccer’s Champions League, while the perfect records of Arsenal and Real Madrid ended in defeat.
Siem de Jong, Niklas Moisander and Christian Eriksen scored last night as Ajax dropped Manchester City to the bottom of Group D. Schalke scored twice in the final 14 minutes to win 2-0 at Arsenal, while Dortmund beat Real Madrid 2-1.
“They played better football,” City manager Roberto Mancini told Sky Sports. “I didn’t prepare the players well for this game and I take the fault for this defeat.”
Malaga and Porto both won to maintain their 100 percent records midway through the group stage of Europe’s elite club competition. Paris Saint-Germain, Olympiacos, and Zenit St. Petersburg also picked up victories.
Samir Nasri gave City the lead after 22 minutes in Amsterdam before de Jong tied the score just before halftime. Moisander then headed in a corner kick in the 57th minute and Eriksen clinched the win with a shot that deflected in off Gael Clichy 11 minutes later.
Mancini said it would now be “very difficult” for the English champion to advance to the round of 16. City has one point through three games, two behind third-place Ajax.
“We’re disappointed, we thought we would come here and get the three points but it wasn’t to be,” City defender Micah Richards told Sky Sports. “No disrespect to Ajax, but we expected to come here and win.”
Marcel Schmelzer’s second-half goal gave Dortmund the win over Real Madrid that moved it one point ahead of the record nine-time European champion atop the group with seven points.
Dortmund went ahead in the 64th minute as Real goalkeeper Iker Casillas punched a cross out to the edge of the penalty area, where Schmelzer sent a shot through a crowd of players into the bottom corner.
Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and Ibrahim Afellay scored at the Emirates Stadium as Schalke handed Arsenal its first group stage home loss since 2003 and moved to the top of Group B.
“We had some good defense, played close to each other, then we countered,” Huntelaar told Sky Sports. “Arsenal are a good team so we had to take our chances.”
Schalke had more attempts on target, though wasn’t able to break through until the 76th minute as Afellay headed the ball to Huntelaar between two defenders and the striker fired a shot past Vito Mannone. Afellay then clinched the win when he knocked in Jermaine Jones’s cross with four minutes remaining.
It was Arsenal’s second straight defeat after a 1-0 loss at Norwich in the Premier League. The Gunners managed just one shot on target, which came in second-half injury time.
“We are really disappointed,” said Arsenal captain Thomas Vermaelen. “We lost on Saturday and wanted to be better today but it was the same story. We didn’t create enough chances to score goals.”
Schalke, which won for the first time in six visits to England, has seven points, one more than Arsenal. Olympiacos is third after winning 2-1 at Montpellier on Kostas Mitroglou’s goal in stoppage time.
Malaga, making its first appearance in the Champions League, opened up a five-point lead atop Group C with a 1-0 home win over seven-time winner AC Milan.
Joaquin scored the goal in the 64th minute to give Malaga its third straight win. The Spanish club has yet to allow a goal in five Champions League games, including the qualifying round.
Zenit St. Petersburg beat Anderlecht 1-0 on Aleksandr Kerzhakov’s second-half penalty kick to go third in the group, one point behind Milan.
Jackson Martinez scored twice as Porto beat Dynamo Kiev 3-2 in Portugal to move to nine points in Group A. PSG remained three points back as goals from Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Jeremy Menez gave it a 2-0 win at Dinamo Zagreb.
The fourth round of group stage games will be played Nov. 6 and 7. The top two teams from each pool advance to the last 16.
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