In a group that features Porto, Shaktar Donetsk, and Zenit St. Petersburg, APOEL Nicosia are supposed to be the whipping boys. The Cypriots were having none of that in their opening match of the 2011 UEFA Champions League campaign, turning a 1-0 deficit at home against Zenit into a 2-1 win that turns Group G on its head with their first ever victory in the group stages.
Zenit struck shortly after the break when Konstantin Zyryanov, fed by Danny, slid home past APOEL goalkeeper Dionisis Chiotis, but a reply from the hosts was soon to follow, with Gustavo Manduca taking advantage of some sloppy play in the back to smash home the equaliser. It got better for APOEL, however - two minutes after their first goal Ailton Almeida found the back of Vyacheslav Malafeev's net as well, which was followed shortly by the dismissal of Zenit centre back Bruno Alves for a foul on the goalscorer, Alves picking up his second yellow card in the process.
The Russians spent the rest of the match trying to reverse the deficit, but nothing was happening for them, and they ended up suffering ignominious defeat in Cyprus. This result puts them in severe peril of not qualifying for the knockout rounds, because now all Shaktar and Porto need to do is not lose to Zenit and beat APOEL, and they're probably through. Oopsies.