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UEFA Champions League: City equalize late, Real Madrid win comfortably

Manchester City grabbed a bit of a lucky equalizer off Borussia Dortmund when they won a penalty off a handball. Elsewhere, Real Madrid and Arsenal won, while Porto upset PSG.

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Tactical lessons from City vs. BVB

One of Manchester City and Borussia Dortmund will almost certainly fail to advance from the group stages of the UEFA Champions League this year. Their direct encounters will decide the shape of Group D.

With one game down, it's BVB who have the advantage, although thanks to a late (and controversial) penalty call, it's only a slender one. How did Dortmund end up outplaying the defending Premier League champions?


Dynamo Kiev beat Dinamo Zagreb easily

Dynamo Kiev grabbed all three points at home against a Dinamo Zagreb side that looked a bit out of their depth.


Porto dominates PSG in a 1-0 victory

James Rodríguez's wonderful strike in the 83rd minute gives Porto a well deserved three points over a poor Paris Saint-Germain.


Málaga rolls over Anderlecht 3-0

Los Boquerones dominate Anderlecht in Belgium behind a brace from Eliseu


Late penalty gives City draw with BVB

Borussia Dortmund outplayed Manchester City, but the home side stole a draw thanks to Joe Hart, Robert Lewandowski, and a penalty.


Ronaldo nets hat trick, Madrid cruise 4-1

Real Madrid went to Amsterdam and smoked Ajax 4-1 thanks to a Cristiano Ronaldo hat trick.


Porto and PSG are scoreless at halftime

There's no score at halftime in the Estádio do Dragão between FC Porto and PSG. FC Porto were the aggressor in the first half, but their wastefulness in front of goal could come back to haunt them.

Porto going things going early as James Rodríguez tested Salvatore Sirigu in the third minute, but it was João Moutinho's near miss a couple minutes later that was the best opportunity. Marco Verratti's speed on the outside caused PSG some issues and also elicited a poor tackle in the 5th minute from Thiago Silva that referee Howard Webb deemed a yellow card offense.

Zlatan Ibrahimović looked sure to score in the 20th minute after being set-up in the center of the box by Jérémy Ménez. Zlatan's shot went for the top left corner, but was deftly swatted away by Porto's goalkeeper Helton.

Other than that moment of near greatness, Porto were dominate playing most of the game in PSG's half and coming close on several occasions. The fact it's scoreless at halftime is a compliment to Sirigu and an indictment of Porto's less than precise finishing.

PSG is too good for Porto to not take advantage of all these chances. We'll have to see what happens in the second half.


Manchester City vs. Borussia Dortmund: Lineups

Borussia Dortmund's lineup features one minor surprise, though it shouldn't be too stunning that Jürgen Klopp has opted for athleticism over experience. Captain Sebastian Kehl will start the match on the bench, and Sven Bender will start in his place.

Manchester City are going with a back four, and have given another start to promising young central defender Matija Nastasić. He obviously has a great future in front of him, but he'll have his hands full tracking the runs of Dortmund's three attacking midfield players. The good news for him is that he'll have plenty of help from the shiny new defensive midfielder in front of him and the world class defender next to him.

Manchester City starting lineup (4-2-2-2): Joe Hart; Gaël Clichy, Vincent Kompany, Matija Nastasić, Pablo Zabaleta; Javi Garcia; Yaya Toure; David Silva, Samir Nasri; Sergio Agüero, Edin Džeko

Borussia Dortmund lineup (4-2-3-1): Roman Weidenfeller; Marcel Schmelzer, Mats Hummels, Neven Subotić, Łukasz Piszczek; Sven Bender, İlkay Gündoğan; Mario Götze, Marco Reus, Jakub Błaszczykowski; Robert Lewandowski


FC Porto vs. Paris Saint-Germain: Lineups

The two favorites in Group A meet for the first time tonight in Portugal. A win by either side will give them a leg up on winning the group, but no matter what happens, these should be the two teams that advance to the knockout round.

Porto manager Vítor Pereira has made only one change to the lineup he used in their win over Zagreb two weeks ago, replacing Steven Defour with Fernando in the midfield.

Carlo Ancelotti's PSG lineup looks a bit different from their 4-1 victory over Dynamo Kiev. The formation remains the same, but there are a few changes. Javier Pastore starts on the bench, replaced by Nenê. In the defense, Alex and Christophe Jallet are on the bench, with Mamadou Sakho and Gregory Van der Wiel getting the start instead. Up front, it's the one man awesome show of Zlatan Ibrahimović...ZLATAN.

FC Porto (4-3-3): Helton; Danilo, Maicon, Alex Sandro, Nicolás Otamendi; Lucho González, João Moutinho, Fernando, James Rodríguez, Silvestre Varela, Jackson Martínez.

PSG (4-3-2-1): Salvatore Sirigu; Thiago Silva, Mamadou Sakho, Maxwell, Gregory van der Wiel; Nenê, Blaise Matuidi, Clément Chantôme, Marco Verratti, Jérémy Ménez, Zlatan Ibrahimović.


Anderlecht vs. Málaga: Lineups

Anderlecht's John van den Brom has rolled our a somewhat wonky lineup that's either a 4-2-3-1 or a 3-5-2. I'm leaning towards the first since that was the formation van den Brom used in their first Champions League match. It appears Biglia and Kouyate will play a double pivot in the defensive midfield with Jovanovic, Kanu, Bruno behind Mbokani up front. Then again, it could be a 4-3-1-2 with Jovanović and Mbokani up top...we all now have headaches.

For American fans, Sacha Kljestan is on the bench.

As for Málaga, it's a more consistent formation with Javier Saviola the lone striker, with the trip of Isco, Eliseu and Joaquín in support. The only change from their 3-0 win over Zenit is Sánchez replacing Francisco Portillo in the midfield.

Anderlecht (4-3-1-2): Silvio Proto; Olivier Deschacht, Bram Nuytinck, Cheikhou Kouyaté, Marcin Wasilewski; Lucas Biglia, Guillaume Gillet, Kanu, Massimo Bruno, Milan Jovanović, Dieumeric Mbokani.

Malaga (4-2-3-1): Willy Caballero; Weligton, Martín Demichelis, Nacho Monreal, Sergio Sánchez; Igancio Camacho, Manuel Iturra, Joaquín Sánchez, Eliseu, Isco; Javier Saviola.


Zenit help Milan defeat them 3-2

Zenit made numerous mistakes during an otherwise decent performance, helping Milan to a victory.


Arsenal vs. Olympiacos: Lineups

Arsenal are looking to go on top of UEFA Champions League Group B with what should be a relatively straightforward home clash against Olympiacos. The Greeks had a relatively strong campaign last time out, but they've already lost to Schalke (in the Piraeus, no less), and they won't be expecting any points from their trip to London. The Gunners, meanwhile, will want to rebound from their weekend loss as quickly as possible.

Arsenal starting lineup (4-2-3-1): Vito Mannone, Kieran Gibbs, Thomas Vermaelen, Laurent Koscielny, Carl Jenkinson; Francis Coquelin, Mikel Arteta; Lukas Podolski, Santi Cazorla, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain; Gervinho.

Substitutes from: James Shea, André Santos, Johan Djourou, Theo Walcott, Aaron Ramsey, Andrei Arshavin, Olivier Giroud

Olympiacos starting lineup (4-2-3-1): Balázs Megyeri; Jose Holebas, Pablo Contreras, Paulo Machado, Giannis Maniatis; David Fuster, Kostas Manolas; Leandro Greco, Drissa Diakite, Dimitrios Siovas; Kostas Mitroglou.

Substitutes from: Roy Carroll, Francois Modesto, Charalampos Lykogiannis, Ariel Ibagaza, Djamel Abdoun, Marko Pantelic, Diogo.


Zenit St Petersburg vs. AC Milan: Lineups

Zenit St Petersburg spent big money in the summer transfer window to help hulk up their lineup just for the Champions League. It didn't help in the first round of matches as the Russians got hammered by Malaga. As for Milan, their troubles are well documented and even though they drew against Anderlecht, it's not the kind of results they are used to. Hence the importance of today's match.

Zenit have both their big summer signings in the lineup with Hulk up top and Axel Witsel back after missing the Malaga match due to an injury. The midfield remains thin with Sergei Semak unavailable and Igor Densiov in the dog club's dog house.

Milan's Stephan El Shaarawy has been on a good run of form in the past few matches and they'll need him to have a big match if they hope to keep their hopes of advancing to the knockout round alive. Midfielder Antonio Nocerino and second leading scorer Giampaolo Pazzini are on the bench.

Zenit St Petersburg (4-3-3): Vyacheslav Malafeev; Aleksandr Anyukov, Domenico Criscito, Nicolas Lombaerts, Tomáš Hubočan; Roman Shirokov, Axel Witsel, Vladimir Bystrov; Viktor Fayzulin, Aleksandr Kerzhakov, Hulk.

AC Milan (4-2-3-1): Christian Abbiati; Cristián Zapata, Ignazio Abate, Daniele Bonera, Luca Antonini; Riccardo Montolivo, Nigel De Jong; Urby Emanuelson, Kevin-Prince Boateng, Stephan El Shaarawy; Bojan Krkić.


Dynamo, Dinamo probably fighting for Europa

Dynamo Kiev are back in the Champions League with new manager Oleg Blokhin, and will be hoping to get their Champions League campaign back on track against Dinamo Zagreb tonight.


In-form Anderlecht, Malaga sides clash

If either Anderlecht or Malaga manages to take all three points on Wednesday, they'll establish themselves as surprising group favorites.


Expect Madrid to roll over Ajax

Ajax have a solid young team, but they're also dealing with a serious injury problem and a mediocre run of form. Real Madrid should be able to take all three points.


Milan, Zenit both need positive result

AC Milan and Zenit St. Petersburg both struggled on the first matchday of Champions League play and need to improve on Wednesday.


City versus BVB? Expect fantasticness

Manchester City and Borussia Dortmund are two world class teams engaged in a battle to the death to emerge from Group D. In other words, yes please.


Schalke-Montpellier probably a win for the Germans

This really isn't that interesting. Schalke are good; Montpellier are less good. There's a lot of 'yeah but's that don't really make sense. Schalke have this.


Porto need win over PSG to keep things interesting

FC Porto face Paris Saint-Germain for the first time since 2004, with both sides looking to finish top of Group A.


Arsenal should fight off Olympiakos challenge

Arsenal look to build on their victory over Montpellier as they take on Olympiakos in Group B.

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