UEFA Champions League Play-offs : First leg results – Liverpool, CSKA Moscow win; Copenhagen lose

Qarabag FK 1 – 0 FC Copenhagen

APOEL Nicosia 2 – 0 Slavia Prague

Hoffenheim 1 – 2 Liverpool

Sporting CP 0 – 0 FC FCSB

Young Boys 0 – 1 CSKA Moscow

  • Hoffenheim 1 – 2 Liverpool

Liverpool will take a one-goal advantage back to Anfield for the second leg of their Champions League play-off tie with Hoffenheim after Trent Alexander-Arnold’s free-kick and an own goal earned them a hard-fought victory in Germany.

The 18-year-old fired in a 30-yard free-kick in the 35th minute after Simon Mignolet had earlier saved a tame penalty from former Leicester forward Andrej Kramaric.

James Milner’s cross was then deflected into his own net by Havard Nordtveit in the second half, but substitute Mark Uth gave Hoffenheim a lifeline with an 87th-minute strike.

Benjamin Hubner could have even levelled the tie ahead of the return leg at Anfield on August 23, but missed a free header from close range in injury-time.

    • APOEL Nicosia 2 – 0 Slavia Prague
  • Apoel raced out of the blocks and were out of sight within 10 minutes thanks to goals from Igor de Camargo and Efstathios Aloneftis.

    Former Belgium striker De Camargo flicked home Lorenzo Ebecilio’s corner at the near post after only two minutes.

    The Cypriot outfit, who were knocked out by FC Copenhagen at this stage last term, then doubled that advantage when Aloneftis superbly chipped the ball over Slavia goalkeeper Jan Lastuvka from 18 yards.

    • Young Boys 0 – 1 CSKA Moscow

    CSKA Moscow were fortunate to win their first leg against Young Boys.

    The hosts were undone by a 91st-minute own goal from Kasim Adams that will send them back to Moscow needing to overturn a 1-0 deficit next week.

    Adams was under no pressure when he headed the ball up in the air, then headed it again while trying to give it to his goalkeeper, but it looped over David von Ballmoos and into the net.

    • Qarabag FK 1 – 0 FC Copenhagen

    Azerbaijani club Qarabag FK moved closer to a first appearance in the Champions League group stage by beating FC Copenhagen 1-0 in the first leg.

    Mahir Madatov scored in the 26th minute at the Tofig Bahramov Republican stadium in Baku, bundling home a rebound after Dino Ndlovu’s long-range shot hit the post.

    This is the fourth time Qarabag have made it into Champions League qualifying, though they have never progressed beyond the third round.

    Copenhagen have advanced from two of their six appearances in the playoffs, in 2010 and last year.

    The second leg takes place on Aug. 23 in Denmark.

    • Sporting CP 0 – 0 FC FCSB

    Romanian side FCSB, formerly known as Steaua Bucharest, managed a 0-0 draw with Sporting in Lisbon despite going down to 10 men late on after Mihai Pintilii was sent off.

    UEFA Champions League Final:  Record-breaking Ronaldo strikes twice to fire Real Madrid to Champions League glory

    Cristiano Ronaldo struck twice as Real Madrid retained their Champions League crown and heaped more final heartbreak on Juventus with a 4-1 win in Cardiff.

    In a gripping final, Real took the lead when Ronaldo finished off a flowing counter-attack (20) but Juventus hit back seven minutes later through a skilful overhead kick from Mario Mandzukic that will go down in history as one the greatest goals in Champions League history.

    Casemiro fired Zinedine Zidane’s side into the lead on 61 minutes and Ronaldo struck again three minutes later, before Marco Asensio wrapped it up in stoppage time to condemn Juve -who had substitute Juan Cuadrado sent off for two yellow cards late on – to a fifth straight defeat in the showpiece European final (1997, 1998, 2003, 2015, 2017).

    Victory for the La Liga giants means they have become the first side to defend the Champions League since its revamp in 1992 and wins them an historic 12th European major title.

    This fixture matched up a well-drilled Juventus defence that had conceded just three goals in this season’s competition against a ruthless Real attacking outfit that scored in all of their 12 Champions League matches this season.

    Cristiano Ronaldo underlined his status as the Champions League’s greatest goal-scorer with his decisive double taking his tally to 105 career Champions League goals.

    • To put that goal haul into perspective, Barcelona’s Lionel Messi has scored 94 times in the competition and the legendary Raul is way back on 71 in third.
    • No other player has more than 56.

    Most Champions League goals

    Player Goals

    Cristiano Ronaldo 105

    Lionel Messi 94

    Raul 71

    Ruud van Nistelrooy 56

    Karim Benzema 51

    • Ronaldo’s opener against Juventus also meant he became the first player in history to net in three different Champions League finals, adding to his strikes for United in 2008 and Real in 2014.

    • It’s worth noting Ronaldo had to wait 26 matches before scoring his first Champions League goal – he’s scored 90 in 88 appearances since leaving Manchester United for Real Madrid.

    • Ronaldo’s second of the game then took him clear of Messi at the top of the scoring standings for this competition. His 12 goals in the 2016/17 Champions League mean he has finished top scorer in Europe’s elite club contest five years running.

    Champions League top scorer 2016/17

    Player  Club  Goals

    Cristiano Ronaldo  Real Madrid  12

    Lionel Messi  Barcelona  11

    Edinson Cavani  PSG  8

    Robert Lewandowski  Bayern Munich  8

    Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang  Borussia Dortmund   7

    • Ronaldo scores brings up another landmark and his second against Juventus was also his 600th for club and country.

    UcL: Semi-finals second leg -result – Isco’s strike sends Real Madrid to UCL final despite Atletico defeat

    Atletico Madrid 2 – 1 Real Madrid (Aggregate 2 – 4)

    ​Defending champions Real Madrid held off a spirited Atletico Madrid to set up a meeting with Juventus in next month’s Champions League final in Cardiff, despite losing 2-1 to Atletico Madrid.

    Atletico Madrid, who were playing their last European game at the Vicente Calderon, were tasked with overturning Real’s commanding 3-0  semi-final lead from the first leg, and blew the tie wide open with two goals in the first 16 minutes through a Saul Niguez header and Antoine Griezmann penalty.

    However, a sublime moment of skill from Karim Benzema saw him set up Toni Kroos just before half-time, and though the German’s effort was superbly kept out by Jan Oblak, Isco was there to follow up with the rebound and leave Atletico needing three more without reply.

    Chances were scarcer for both teams after the break, although home substitute Kevin Gameiro missed two presentable chances to give Atletico a glimmer of hope.

    The result means Real have now got the better of their city rivals for a fourth successive season in Europe.

    Real will be attempting to become the first team to win the Champions League twice in a row, will meet Juventus at the Principality Stadium on Saturday, 3 June.

    Stalemate in Eindoven; City bounce back with brilliant peformance

    Manchester City took command of their round of 16 Champions League tie against Dynamo Kiev by earning a 3-1 first leg lead in the Ukraine.
    The Premier League title hopefuls produced a brilliant opening 45 minutes, and were rewarded with goals from Sergio Aguero and David Silva.
    The second half was a tighter affair, and the hosts pulled one back through a deflected Vitaliy Buyalsky effort, but City held firm and added a late third courtesy of Yaya Toure that leaves them in total control going back to the Etihad.
    City’s whole-hearted performance, amid snow flurries on a cold night, made light of their recent poor form and the controversy over their team selection at Chelsea on Sunday.
    City’s success also came in the face of a difficult atmosphere. The stadium was not full but the home fans were highly vocal and it was little wonder the club were so pleased UEFA lifted the order to have the game played behind closed doors.

    Atletico Madrid ground out a disciplined 0-0 draw at PSV Eindhoven in the first leg of their Champions League round of 16 tie, although they probably thought they should have won it.
    The La Liga side had by far the best of the encounter and PSV spent a quarter of the game with ten men following the second half dismissal of Gaston Pereiro for a second bookable offence.
    However, Atletico will still consider themselves strong favourites to progress.
    PSV were a surprise last-16 package after knocking out Manchester United at the competition’s group stages.
    But Atleti predictably proved a far tougher nut to crack, with Diego Simeone’s 2014 finalists having forged a reputation as one of the best defensive units in Europe.
    Atleti had conceded only three goals in six games in winning their Champions League group and goalkeeper Jan Oblak had just one save to make in keeping yet another clean sheet for the Spaniards.

    Juve draw as Bayern squander two goal lead; Messi’s brace leave Arsenal with mountain to climb

    Arsenal are on the verge of being knocked out of the Champions League after Lionel Messi scored two goals to guide Barcelona to a 2-0 win at the Emirates Stadium in the last-16 first leg tie.
    The holders had plenty of possession but did not have a shot on target in the first half – only for Messi to tuck away his first real chance with 20 minutes remaining before scoring a late penalty to secure a 2-0 win.
    Arsenal had a couple of decent chances of their own but have it all to do in the return leg at the Nou Camp on March 16 if they are to go beyond the round of 16 for the first time since 2010.

    Juventus came from two goals down to earn a 2-2 draw in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie with Bayern Munich.
    Goals from Thomas Muller and Arjen Robben either side of half-time looked to have put Bayern in control of the tie.
    But Paulo Dybala pulled one back and substitute Stefano Sturaro equalised to ensure Juventus will go into March 16’s second leg with optimism.
    The pre-match team news focused on both team’s defences, with Juve switching to a back four in the absence of Giorgio Chiellini while injury-hit Bayern paired the inexperienced Joshua Kimmich with the versatile David Alaba in the centre. Full-back Philipp Lahm made his 100th Champions League appearance.

    UEFA Champions League Group Stage XI

    UEFA.com has announced its Champions League XI for the 2015-16 group stage, with no representatives from European champions Barcelona.

    Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain have the most representatives with two apiece, with Thomas Muller and David Alaba making the cut for the German champions and Kevin Trapp and Thiago Silva included from the French side.

    Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo, who was the leading scorer in the group stage with 11 goals and also contributed three assists, is included alongside Muller (five goals, two assists) and Hulk, whose three goals and four assists helped Zenit St Petersburg top Group H.

    There is no place for Barca forwards Luis Suarez (five goals, two assists), Lionel Messi (three goals, one assist) or Neymar (two goals, four assists), while Bayern’s Robert Lewandowski (seven goals, no assists), Zenit’s Artem Dzyuba (six goals, two assists) and Arsenal’s Olivier Giroud (five goals, no assists) also miss out.

    In midfield, Willian (five goals, one assist) is included after playing a key role for Chelsea as they took top spot in Group G, while Raheem Sterling (three goals, one assist) makes the cut after Manchester City edged out Juventus to finish first in Group D.

    Sven Kums (one goal, two assists) is also recognised for his contribution to Gent’s successful start in the competition as they finished ahead of Valencia to take second place in Group H.

    PSG keeper Trapp and centre-back Thiago Silva make the XI after Laurent Blanc’s men conceded just one goal in the group stage, while Alaba, Juventus’ Andrea Brazagli and Atletico Madrid’s Diego Godin are selected after their sides conceded three apiece.

    GK: Kevin Trapp (PSG)
    DF: Andrea Barzagli (Juventus)
    DF: Thiago Silva (PSG)
    DF: Diego Godín (Atletico)
    DF: David Alaba (Bayern)
    MF: Sven Kums (Gent)
    MF: Willian (Chelsea)
    MF: Raheem Sterling (Manchester City)
    FW: Thomas Muller (Bayern)
    FW: Hulk (Zenit)
    FW: Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid)

    UEFA Champions League: Round 16 Draw

    Champions League draw was made in Nyon on Monday
    Arsenal have been drawn against holders Barcelona in the last-16 of the Champions League, while Chelsea face PSG for the third consecutive season.

    Manchester City meanwhile, have been drawn against Dynamo Kiev in a tie for which the game in Ukraine must be played behind closed doors.

    Roma versus Real Madrid and Juventus, last year’s beaten finalists, against Bayern Munich are two of the standout matches in the draw.

    The winners of each group, including Chelsea and Man City, are at home in the second legs, while Arsenal will host their first leg.

    Barca eliminated Arsene Wenger’s side in successive years in 2010 and 2011 and denied the Gunners the trophy with two late goals in the 2006 final at the Stade de France.

    The Gunners, who reached the last 16 with a memorable victory at Olympiacos in their final group game, knew they could have faced Barca or 10-times winners Real Madrid.
    Their task will be a daunting one and Barca, having beaten Manchester City at this stage for the last two seasons, are clear favourites.

    PSG, who are 17 points clear at the top of the French league, beat Chelsea on away goals at this stage last season, while the Blues beat them on the same rule in the quarter-finals the previous year.

    Man City will be pleased to have avoided the dangerous PSG as they bid to reach the quarter-finals for the first time but their fans may be frustrated about the Kiev situation.
    The Ukrainian club were ordered to play two games behind closed doors last month as punishment for offences that included racial abuse of players by supporters during their group game against Chelsea.
    City fans already boo the Champions League anthem in protest against UEFA, chiefly because their fans were not allowed to travel to a game at CSKA Moscow last season. That situation was slightly different, however, as some fans had already made visa, travel and accommodation arrangements before the ruling was made.
    Kiev beat City in the 2010-11 Europa League last 16, with Mario Balotelli sent off for the English side.

    The draw for the quarter-finals will be held on 18 March with the semi-final line-up drawn on 15 April.

    Gent v Wolfsburg
    Roma v Real Madrid
    Paris St-Germain v Chelsea
    Arsenal v Barcelona
    Juventus v Bayern Munich
    PSV Eindhoven v Atletico Madrid
    Benfica v Zenit
    Dynamo Kiev v Manchester City

    First legs to be played February 16/17 and 23/24.

    Second legs to be played March 8/9 and 15/16.