MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 19: Michael Carrick of Manchester United celebrates as he scores their first goal during the UEFA Champions League Group H match between Manchester United and Galatasaray at Old Trafford on September 19, 2012 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

UEFA Champions League: Manchester United, Barcelona Win At Home

Barcelona fought back from a goal down to beat Spartak Moscow 3-2, while Manchester United led throughout their 1-0 win over Galatasaray.

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14 Total Updates since September 19, 2012
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Manchester United Vs. Galatasaray, 2012 UEFA Champions League: Final Score 1-0 Thanks To ... Michael Carrick?

Manchester United grabbed three points, got Darren Fletcher back from a year-plus long illness and got a spectacular goal from Michael Carrick on Wednesday night. They failed to finish off other clear chances and probably let Galatasaray get too close to scoring for Alex Ferguson's liking, but they'll walk away from the match happy with a 1-0 win, even if the performance wasn't the greatest.

Carrick's unlikely goal came in excessively unlikely fashion in the 7th minute. Robin van Persie started the move with a pass to Carrick, who found Shinji Kagawa and surged forward. Kagawa played a perfect return pass to Carrick, who danced around Fernando Muslera with some stunning skill that made him look a bit like van Persie. After going around the Galatasaray keeper, he finished his first Champions League goal in three years.

United could have finished the game off in the 53rd minute when they were granted a penalty kick, but Nani missed from the spot. He took a long stutter-step on his run-up and didn't fool Muslera, who saved easily. That miss made for some nervy moments in the second half, but United had little problem holding on for a win.

Fletcher's return came 11 minutes from the end of the match, and he entered to a fantastic standing ovation. Even though Carrick's goal was an excellent one, it was the clear highlight of the match.

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Shakhtar Donetsk Vs. FC Nortdsjaelland, UEFA Champions League: FInal Score 2-0, Easy Win For Hosts

A year after crashing out of the Champion's League with just one win, Shakhtar Donetsk was out to start off this competition right and Henrikh Mkhitaryan made sure that they would. He scored two goals to lead the hosts past FC Nordsjaelland in a composed and professional performance by Shakhtar.

The first half wasn't particularly entertaining as both teams struggled to create chances, but Shakhtar were certainly the better side as pushed Nordsjaelland back and forced the visitors into panicked long balls up field. The best chance of the early going came through Willian, who got free on a header in the 17th minute, but Jesper Hansen saved it with ease.

Late in the half, the action finally picked up. Minutes after Nicolai Stockholm's long shot proved that Nordsjaelland was capable of attacking, Mkhitaryan got a shot away that forced Hansen into a good save on the other end. That sparked Shakhtar and just before halftime Mkhitaryan got another chance that he buried to put the hosts in front.

Once ahead, Shakhtar poured on the pressure. They started the second half by freeing up Darijo Srna for a shot, but Hansen was there to save it. Hansen then managed to recover and save Tomas Buschman's rebound try for another fine save. Mkhitaryan then forced him into another save and Willian called upon him too, hitting a wicked shot that he knocked away.

Finally, Shakhtar got the goal that they came so close to getting all half when Mkhitaryan beat Hansen for a second time in the 76th minute. That put a bow on the match and earned Shakhtar a deserved three points that has them on their way to avenging last year's disappointment.

We have coverage of every match in our UEFA Champions League Wednesday StoryStream. For more on the entire world of football, follow @SBNationSoccer on Twitter.

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Braga Vs. CFR Cluj, UEFA Champions League: Final Score 2-0, Cluj Earn Shock Win

CFR Cluj got their Champions League campaign off to a swashbuckling start by beating Braga 2-0 in Portugal. It wasn't a result anyone was expecting -- nor would you think that they'd be able to pull it off again -- but the Romanians were sublime on the counterattack and some superb word from goalkeeper Mario Felgueiras kept the hosts at bay.

Braga were the dominant force early on, but as they pressed for a goal they opened up at the back, and Cluj were on hand to take full advantage of that. Modou Sougou broke down the left wing and raced towards Beto's goal, eventually squaring for Rafael Bastos. The striker's shot from the edge of the area was perfectly placed, leaving the goalkeeper no chance and Cluj up by one.

It was the same story for the whole second half. Braga attack, somehow fail to score, and then let Cluj break. Just after the half hour mark, Pantelis Kapetanos had a golden opportunity to make it 2-0 on another counterattack, but put the ball just wide of Beto's left post. No matter -- Bastos was on hand again to slot home on yet another fast break, doubling Cluj's lead and providing them with all the cushion they needed to see the game out.

They'd have to weather a storm from their hosts to escape with the three points, however. Braga ended up tallying a whopping 38 shots, with ten on target. Granted, many of those shots were from well outside the box, but it was still something of an onslaught, and full credit to Felgueiras for battening down the hatches and holding them at bay. This result could make Group H pretty interesting.

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Bayern Munich Vs. Valencia, UEFA Champions League: Final Score 2-1, Bayern Win Easily

Bastian Schweinsteiger and Toni Kroos scored a goal each to see Bayern Munich to a 2-1 victory over Valencia in the first match of Group F play. Nelson Valdez grabbed a late goal for Valencia, but it was not enough as they fall for their 9th defeat in Germany all time.

Valencia was missing midfielders Fernando Gago, Pablo Piatti, and David Albelda for the match, and it showed immediately after kickoff. Bayern dominated possession amassing 66%, and they didn't allow Valencia a single shot in the entire half.

For all of their dominance, Bayern struggled to find the final pass to unlock the Valencia defense. Franck Ribery was active early and often terrorizing Valencia right back João Pereira. The interchanging of Ribery, Kroos, and Arjen Robben worked well to confuse Valencia's defenders.

Bayern's best opportunity early on came in the 20th minute when Kroos ripped a left footed shot that Diego Alves had to make a diving save on to keep the match scoreless. Kroos had the freedom to press forward as often as he wanted with Javi Martinez and Schweinsteiger behind him in the holding roles.

The hosts were finally awarded for their dominant first half in the 28th minute. Ribery made another outstanding run down the left side before finding Robben just outside the penalty area on the right side. Robben slotted a pass to his outside to Schweinsteiger, and his shot struck Aly Cissokho before hitting the back of the net to make it 1-0.

Valencia came out in the second half with more bite in their game and finally tested Manuel Neuer in the 52nd minute, but the goalkeeper easily saved.

Bayern quickly regained the upper hand and began pressing forward looking for another goal. Kroos tested Alves again, but his shot was turned over the bar. Valencia almost caught them out when Sofiane Feghouli beat Dante on a ball over the top, but Jerome Boateng was there to knock the ball out for a corner that was eventually cleared.

Kroos' right foot finally struck gold in the 78th minute. Holger Badstuber, playing at left back tonight, fed Kroos, and the midfielder took one touch to settle before sending a shot across to the far post beating Alves. The goal was coming for Kroos tonight as he kept peppering the Valencia goal and testing Alves.

Valencia knocked in a consolation goal in the 90th minute when Valdez headed in a corner from Tino Costa. Bayern came back down the pitch quickly, and Robben drew a penalty and second yellow on Adil Rami. Mario Mandzukic's penalty was poor and easily saved by Alves. The referee blew the whistle for full time moments later.

Bayern will travel to Belarus to take on BATE Borisov in Matchday 2 on October 2, while Valencia will host French side Lille.

For more on the hosts, check out Bayern Munich blog Bavarian Football Works. We'll have coverage of every match in our UEFA Champions League Wednesday StoryStream. For more on the entire world of football, follow @SBNationSoccer on Twitter.

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Bayern Munich Vs. Valencia, 2012 UEFA Champions League: Preview And Schedule

Bayern Munich would be tested if Valencia had fit midfielders. Too bad they don't.

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Barcelona Vs. Spartak Moscow, 2012 UEFA Champions League: Preview And Schedule

Barcelona hosts Spartak Moscow at the Camp Nou in their opening Group G match of the UEFA Champions League.

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Celtic Vs. Benfica, 2012 UEFA Champions League: Preview And Schedule

Celtic and Benfica will face each other in an intriguing match, with both sides under-strength and looking to win.

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Manchester United Vs. Galatasaray, 2012 UEFA Champions League: Preview And Schedule

Manchester United have a fresh and fit squad to take on Galatasaray, but are still likely to have one eye on their weekend fixture at Anfield.

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Chelsea Vs. Juventus, 2012 UEFA Champions League: Preview And Schedule

Two-time European champions Juventus have returned to the Champions League. They play Chelsea in the biggest game of Wednesday's slate.

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