UEFA Champions League 2011, Matchday 5: Bayer Come Back To Stun Chelsea; Barcelona And Arsenal Win

Didier Drogba put Chelsea in front, but two goals late on saw Bayer Leverkusen come back to win and take the top spot in Group E, while Lionel Messi and Robin van Persie fired Barcelona and Arsenal to wins

  • Live
19 Total Updates since November 22, 2011
  • Important 13
  • Updates 10
  • Articles 9
  • All Updates 19

Sven Bender Injury: Borussia Dortmund Midfielder Reportedly Breaks Jaw Against Arsenal

In the middle of Borussia Dortmund's UEFA Champions League clash against Arsenal, Der BVB's star holding midfielder was forced out of the game early with a facial injury. It didn't look good at the time, but apparently it's even worse than it first looked on the field. According to BVB manager Jurgen Klopp, speaking after the game, Bender has a broken jaw and the injury will require surgery. Bender will not be able to travel to Germany with his injury, and will have surgery in London.

Both Bender and teammate Mario Götze - who luckily just had a minor knock - had to come out of the game prematurely. Without arguably their two best players on the pitch, Dortmund struggled against Arsenal and allowed two goals in a 2-1 loss. Der BVB are still alive in Champions League, thanks to Olympiacos' defeat of Marseille, but will need a minor miracle to qualify for the next round without Bender in midfield. 

There is no timetable for his return at this point, but don't expect to see Bender on the pitch this weekend in the derby against Schalke 04 or in Dortmund's final Champions League match against Marseille.

Continue

AC Milan Vs. Barcelona, 2011 UEFA Champions League: Full Time, Lionel Messi Guides Cules To Three Points

FC Barcelona are going through to the UEFA Champions League knockout stages as a top seed, thanks to their 3-2 final score victory over AC Milan on Wednesday evening. Lionel Messi was the clear man of the match, scoring on a penalty and setting up the other two goals with a couple of spectacular assists. 

RelatedVideo of Lionel Messi's assist to Xavi on Barcelona's game-winning goal

The first goal came in the 13th minute, and is being credited as an own goal to Mark Van Bommel. After Thiago dribbled the ball out of the corner to start the move, Messi played a brilliant ball towards the back post, beating Christian Abbiati. Van Bommel and Xavi both made stabs at the ball, with Van Bommel apparently getting the last touch.

Milan found an equalizer quickly, thanks to Zlatan Ibrahimovic and some poor defending. Carles Puyol and Javier Mascherano found themselves completely beaten in the 20th minute, when Clarence Seedorf crossed to Ibrahimovic, who applied the finish. 

Barcelona would win a penalty less than ten minutes later to re-take the lead, but the referee made two errors on the decision. The Blaugranas definitely deserved a spot kick, but the official incorrectly identified Alessandro Nesta as the man who brought down Xavi Hernandez in the box, when Alberto Aquilani was the man who committed the tackle. He then showed Nesta a yellow card, despite the fact that Aquilani clearly denied Xavi a clear goal-scoring opportunity.

Messi stepped up to take the penalty and converted, but it was called back for an illegal take. While running up to the ball, Messi stopped completely and was shown a yellow card for doing so. He took the second try quickly and legally, scoring to put Barcelona up 2-1 and give them the lead going to halftime.

Max Allegri brought on Pato for Robinho at halftime, and that move paid off with a 54th minute assist. However, that's being a bit kind to Pato, as Kevin-Prince Boateng's goal was a magnificent individual effort and Pato hardly deserved to be credited with an assist. While running onto a Pato header, Boateng took a fantastic first touch before firing a brilliant half volley past Victor Valdes at the near post, bringing his team back into the game.

It was not to be, though, as Messi's brilliance would deny Milan points. In the 63rd minute, he played a jaw-dropping through ball through four defenders to Xavi, who finished the chance. The goal was an absolute back breaker for Milan, who seemed to lose their energy after it went in. Barcelona went on to coast to victory, clinching first place in Group H.

We'll have live coverage of every Champions League match in our UEFA Champions League Wednesday, Matchday 5 StoryStream. For more on the entire world of football, head over to SB Nation Soccer.

Continue

Arsenal Vs. Borussia Dortmund, 2011 UEFA Champions League: 2-1 Win Puts Arsenal Through To The Next Round

Arsenal will be celebrating tonight -- their 2-1 win over Borussia Dortmund has seen them clinch their spot in the Round of 16, with one game to spare. It was Robin Van Persie, of course, that scored both goals, although the terrific play of Alex Song deserves some credit as well. Dortmund, meanwhile, have been eliminated from the Champions League, while a 1-0 win for Olympiacos over Marseille throws second place in Group F up in the air.

Although the visitors started off brightly, Shinji Kagawa testing Wojciech Szczesny in the first minute, Dortmund's ship was sinking by the 30th minute. Sven Bender, an absolute rock in midfield, had his cheek torn apart by the boot of Thomas Vermaelen and was forced to leave the match on a stretcher. Minutes later, one of the brightest sparks in the BVB attack, Mario Götze, hobbled off, his leg hurting from an altercation with Song. For the final 15 minutes of the half, the visitors looked utterly deflated.

After the restart, Dortmund again started well, with Kagawa forcing Szczesny into a save once again. But instead it was Van Persie who scored the first goal at the Emirates, although it barely dampened the noise of the visiting support. Song shimmied and twisted his way through three defenders before sending a beautiful floating ball to the Dutch forward, who headed it just inside the near post and into the back of the net.

For the next 30 minutes or so, the match looked much like you might expect between Arsenal and BVB: a series of neat little passing triangles and nothing much in front of goal. With the way Jürgen Klopp was smiling and laughing on the sidelines, he seemed to have accepted his team's fate, and, considering he had but one substitute available to him, that was likely for the best.

Just to make absolutely sure that Arsenal would take the win and move on to the next round, Van Persie netted another, a little flick from a Vermaelen header. In the end the insurance was needed, as Kagawa scored in added time, a result of poor defending by substitute Johan Djourou. The whistle blew almost immediately after, leaving Dortmund to concentrate on winning the Bundesliga title.

Continue

Arsenal Vs. Borussia Dortmund, 2011 UEFA Champions League: Robin Van Persie Gives Arsenal The Lead

Arsenal are on their way to the next round of the Champions League, thanks to a goal by (who else) Robin Van Persie. The buildup was beautiful, though, with Alex Song's fancy feet dancing around three Borussia Dortmund defenders before delivering a floating ball in for Van Persie's header.

The match looks near impossible for Dortmund now, and they might be set to just give up and concentrate on the Bundesliga. A win was necessary to keep their Champions League hopes alive, but without Sven Bender, who had a fierce altercation with the boot of Thomas Vermaelen, and Mario Götze, who left the match with an apparent leg injury, a win is likely out of their reach. Shinji Kagawa continues to trouble the Arsenal defense, sending in a decent shot right at the start of the second half, but aside from the Japanese international, Dortmund appear out of answers.

But hey, at least their fans are still singing.

Continue

AC Milan Vs. Barcelona, 2011 UEFA Champions League: Halftime, Blaugranas Lead In Thriller

Just like their first meeting in the UEFA Champions League, AC Milan and Barcelona are putting on a show. This match has completely lived up to the billing, as Barcelona leads by a score of 2-1 at halftime in a thriller. Barcelona have been aggressive going forward, but Milan are defending well despite allowing two goals and have looked dangerous on the counter.

Barcelona's first goal was scored in the 13th minute, and there's a bit of contention over whether or not it was an own goal. In any event, it was a well-made goal and hardly embarrassing for Milan. Thiago Alcantara, in for Andres Iniesta, was the man who started the move by winning a race for a loose ball at the corner flag, then dribbled his way out of trouble to start the attack. Lionel Messi put the final ball into the box from the edge of the penalty area, with either Xavi Hernandez or Mark Van Bommel getting the final touch.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic equalized quickly, and it was apparent on the goal that Barcelona is playing players out of position. Carles Puyol, playing right back, failed to stop Clarence Seedorf from getting a cross into the box. Javier Mascherano, a natural defensive midfielder playing in defense, failed to track Ibrahimovic's run and the former Barcelona man scored easily.

Barca would re-take the lead, though not without controversy. They were granted a penalty when Alberto Aquilani took down Xavi in the penalty area, but the referee wrongly yellow carded Alessandro Nesta. Not only did he card the wrong man, but the foul was a denial of a clear goal-scoring opportunity and Aquilani probably should have been shown red. Lionel Messi converted his first attempt at the penalty, but it was called back and he was yellow carded for completely stopping his motion during the kick. Messi converted his second attempt with no hesitation, firing his team back in front.

Continue

Mario Götze Injury: Borussia Dortmund Midfielder Limps Off With Apparent Leg Injury

It's all falling apart for Borussia Dortmund in their Champions League match against Arsenal. Just moments after Sven Bender had to be stretchered off after an accidental kick to the face by Thomas Vermaelen, the visitors received another blow: their best attacking player, Mario Götze, was forced off with an apparent leg injury after a collision with Alex Song. The young German has five goals in eleven league appearances for Dortmund, and after scoring the winner against Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich at the weekend, Götze looked fired up and ready to score his first Champions League goal of the season.

Instead, he's off, grimacing in pain, with Ivan Perisic taking his place. Since the 30th minute substitution, Dortmund have looked utterly deflated. They were already fighting an uphill battle, needing a win in London to give them any hope of moving on to the next round, but without their two best players, they look devoid of answers.

Continue

Sven Bender Injury: Borussia Dortmund Midfielder Stretchered Off In Match Against Arsenal

25 minutes have passed in the Arsenal - Borussia Dortmund match, but the visitors have already taken a hit, quite literally. Midfielder Sven Bender received an accidental kick in the face from Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen. Anyone who's ever looked at the face of Vermaelen knows there's no recovering from that in a hurry. The stretcher was brought on for Bender and Moritz Leitner came on in his place.

Losing Bender is quite a blow for Dortmund, considering his role in midfield. He's the one that does the mopping up, making sure the attackers rarely ever have to defend. Considering the Germans need a win in London tonight to retain even a possibility of moving out of Group F, early injuries are the last thing they need. With Arsenal already applying plenty of pressure in the first thirty minutes, it seems it will be only a matter of time before the Gunners take the lead.

Continue

UEFA Champions League 2011, BATE Borisov Vs. Viktoria Plzen: Full Time, Plzen Likely Into Europa League

Czech champions Viktoria Plzen appear to be through to the knockout stages of the UEFA Europa League, thanks to their 1-0 UEFA Champions League victory over BATE Borisov on Wednesday night. Thanks to a nasty draw that put Plzen and BATE in a group with AC Milan and Barcelona, they were always fighting for third place. Plzen have that all but locked up with a win in this match unless BATE can pull off a miracle and defeat Barcelona.

The lone goal was a great one, and well deserved for Plzen after a very well-played first half. Milan Petrzela, arguably the man of the match, provided the assist with a run to the byline and a cutback towards the penalty spot. BATE's defenders were caught flat-footed and Marek Bakos was left wide open for a tap-in in the 42nd minute.

The second half wasn't nearly as well-played as the first, with Plzen playing to hold onto their lead and BATE struggling to break them down. The side from Belarus failed to put together attacks and constantly looked disconnected, despite Plzen's back line looking disorganized. Their manager will likely be very disappointed with their inability to score, and they're now almost certainly out of Europe.

We'll have live coverage of every Champions League match in our UEFA Champions League Wednesday, Matchday 5 StoryStream. For more on the entire world of football, head over to SB Nation Soccer.

Continue

Arsenal Vs. Borussia Dortmund, 2011 UEFA Champions League: Lineups

It's Borussia Dortmund's last chance to make a dent in the UEFA Champions League, but thanks to a string of poor performances in the competition so far they're going to have to go to the Emirates Stadium and pick up all three points if they want any hope of qualifying from Group F. They'll be riding high after vanquishing Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena last weekend, however, and the defending Bundesliga champions are very capable of getting a result in London. It'll be up to Arsenal to play a strong enough game to stop them, because if the Gunner do lose, things get very very messy.

Arsenal (4-3-3): Wojciech Szczesny; Andre Santos, Thomas Vermaelen, Per Mertesacker, Laurent Koscielny; Alex Song, Aaron Ramsey, Mikel Arteta; Gervinho, Robin van Persie, Theo Walcott.

Borussia Dortmund (4-2-3-1): Roman Weidenfeller, Marcel Schmelzer, Felipe Santana, Mats Hummels, Lukasz Pszczek; Sebastian Kehl, Sven Bender; Kevin Grosskruetz, Shinji Kagawa, Mario Goetze; Robert Lewandowski

Continue

AC Milan Vs. Barcelona, 2011 UEFA Champions League: Lineups

The lineups are in for the UEFA Champions League encounter between AC Milan and Barcelona, and there are a few surprises. Max Allegri and Pep Guardiola are managers known more for their ideas with player selection than decisions with formations, and that holds true this evening. Carles Puyol will play right back for Barcelona, while it's up in the air who plays where along their forward line. Allegri has selected an interesting looking midfield, including the surprisingly fit Kevin-Prince Boateng, while Robinho keeps his place over Pato. Here are the lineups.

Barcelona Lineup (4-3-3): Valdes; Abidal, Mascherano, Busquets, Puyol; Keita, Xavi, Thiago; Villa, Fabregas, Messi

AC Milan Lineup (4-4-2 Diamond): Abbiati; Zambrotta, Nesta, Silva, Abate; Van Bommel, Seedorf, Aquilani, Boateng; Ibrahimovic, Robinho   

Could this perhaps mark a return to Messi playing predominantly on the right? It's hard to imagine Cesc Fabregas as a wide player. Or perhaps this isn't a 4-3-3 at all and Pep's just having a laugh. 

AC Milan vs. Barcelona kicks off at 2:45 pm ET and we'll have live coverage in our UEFA Champions League Wednesday, Matchday 5 StoryStream. For more on the two teams, check out Barcelona blog Barca Blaugranes and The AC Milan Offside. For more on the entire world of football, head over to SB Nation Soccer.

Continue

AC Milan Vs. Barcelona, 2011 UEFA Champions League Matchday 5 Preview: Iniesta, Boateng Absences Massive

AC Milan and Barcelona fight for the top spot in Group H of the UEFA Champions League

Continue

UEFA Champions League 2011, Shakhtar Donetsk Vs. FC Porto: Preview, Time And TV Schedule

Europa League holders, FC Porto, are looking to make amends following their Portuguese Cup exit, while the Ukrainian giants, Shakhtar Donetsk, are seeking their first victory in the competition.

Continue

UEFA Champions League 2011, Marseille Vs. Olympiacos, Matchday 5 Preview: Marseille At The Brink Of Qualification

Olympique de Marseille will be almost qualified to the next round of the Champions League if it's able to beat their Greek guest, Olympiakos, on Wednesday night at Stade Vélodrome.

Continue
X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.