Valencia Delay Chelsea’s Last 16 Spot After Thrilling Draw

Chelsea’s Belgian striker Michy Batshuayi (C) vies with Valencia’s Spanish defender Jose Luis Gaya Pena (L) and Valencia’s Brazilian defender Gabriel Paulista (R) during the UEFA Champions League Group H football match between Valencia CF and Chelsea FC at the Mestalla stadium in Valencia on November 27, 2019.
JOSE JORDAN / AFP

 

Daniel Wass’s late equaliser denied Chelsea a place in the last 16 of the Champions League as a profligate Valencia fought back for a 2-2 draw that maintains both sides’ chances of reaching the knockout stages.

A wide-open game swung the visitors’ way after Carles Soler’s opener for Valencia as Mateo Kovacic and Christian Pulisic put Chelsea in pole position to avenge their 1-0 defeat on home soil to the Spaniards on matchday one.

However, after Kepa Arrizabalaga had saved Dani Parejo’s penalty, Wass’s cross flummoxed the Spanish international to give Valencia a lifeline.

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Both sides are tied on eight points at the top of Group H but could be overtaken by Ajax who travel to Lille later on Wednesday.

Victory at home to Lille in two weeks’ time will ensure Frank Lampard’s men make the last 16 and they were thankful for five huge misses from the hosts to escape with a point on a night that could also prove costly as top-scorer Tammy Abraham was stretchered off at half-time.

Maxi Gomez was the principal villain for Valencia as the Uruguayan twice failed to find the net with the goal at his mercy in the first half.

When Valencia did finally break the deadlock there was a hint of fortune in the finish as the ball ricocheted off Soler’s legs, but had enough power to beat Kepa.

Defeat would have left Lampard’s men on the brink of elimination, but they responded immediately after falling behind as Kovacic produced his first goal for the club at the perfect time with a fine low strike.

The Croatian should have had a second moments later after brilliant work by Pulisic but pulled his shot too close to Jasper Cillessen’s near post and the Dutch ‘keeper saved.

Abraham was then left wincing in pain and holding his left hip as he was trampled on inside the area and eventually had to be stretchered down the tunnel after both sides had already made their way to the dressing room at half-time.

Despite the loss of their key marksman, Chelsea took the lead five minutes into the second period when Pulisic kept up his fine scoring form by prodding home Kurt Zouma’s knockdown.

Following a lengthy VAR check for offside, the goal was given, but Valencia were furious there was not a check for a potential foul by Zouma in the build-up.

The hosts still only had themselves to blame for not getting all three points as Rodrigo chipped over with the goal gaping after Kepa scampered from his goal to clear and was caught in no man’s land.

Kepa made amends 25 minutes from time with a brilliant save from Parejo’s penalty after Jorginho was harshly penalised for a foul on Jose Luis Gaya.

The drama did not end there, though, as Wass’s overhit cross smashed off the far post and into the Chelsea net eight minutes from time.

And Valencia should have gone onto win it as in seven minutes of stoppage time Rodrigo curled wide before somehow prodding wide from Gaya’s cross with the whole goal to aim at.

AFP

UEFA Champions League Results – Collated

 

UEFA Champions League results on Wednesday:

Group E

At Genk, Belgium

Genk (BEL) 0 Napoli (ITA) 0

At Liverpool, England

Liverpool (ENG) 4 (Mane 9, Robertson 25, Salah 36, 69) Red Bull Salzburg (AUT) 3 (Hwang Hee-Chan 39, Minamino 56, Haaland 60)

Group F

At Prague

Slavia Prague (CZE) 0 Borussia Dortmund (GER) 2 (Hakimi 35, 89)

At Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona (ESP) 2 (Suarez 58, 84) Inter Milan (ITA) 1 (Martinez 2)

Group G

At Leipzig, Germany

RB Leipzig (GER) 0 Lyon (FRA) 2 (Depay 11, Terrier 65)

At Saint Petersburg, Russia

Zenit Saint Petersburg (RUS) 3 (Dzyuba 21, Dias 70-og, Azmoun 78) Benfica (POR) 1 (De Tomas 85)

Group H

At Lille, France

Lille (FRA) 1 (Osimhen 33) Chelsea (ENG) 2 (Abraham 22, Willian 78)

At Valencia, Spain

Valencia (ESP) 0 Ajax (NED) 3 (Ziyech 8, Promes 34, van de Beek 67)

Played Tuesday

Group A

At Madrid

Real Madrid (ESP) 2 (Ramos 55, Casemiro 85) Club Brugge (BEL) 2 (Dennis 9, 39)

At Istanbul, Turkey

Galatasaray (TUR) 0 Paris Saint-Germain (FRA) 1 (Icardi 52)

Group B

At Belgrade

Red Star Belgrade (SRB) 3 (Vulic 63, Milunovic 87, Boakye 90) Olympiakos (GRE) 1 (Semedo 37)

At London

Tottenham (ENG) 2 (Son 12, Kane 61-pen) Bayern Munich (GER) 7 (Kimmich 15, Lewandowski 45, 87, Gnabry 53, 55, 83, 88)

Group C

At Milan, Italy

Atalanta (ITA) 1 (Zapata 28) Shakhtar Donetsk (UKR) 2 (Moraes 41, Solomon 90+5)

At Manchester, England

Manchester City (ENG) 2 (Sterling 66, Foden 90+5) Dinamo Zagreb (CRO) 0

Group D

At Turin, Italy

Juventus (ITA) 3 (Higuain 17, Bernardeschi 62, Ronaldo 89) Bayer Leverkusen (GER) 0

At Moscow

Lokomotiv Moscow (RUS) 0 Atletico Madrid (ESP) 2 (Felix 48, Partey 58).

Champions League: Simeone Expects Tough Game Against Madrid

Diego Simeone, Atletico, RostavAtletico Madrid coach, Diego Simeone says he expects a neck-and-neck game and hopes to take advantage of the spaces that Real Madrid concede when they visit the Santiago Bernabeu for the first leg of the UEFA Champions League semi-finals.

Simeone said the away-goal rule should be reviewed because the away team in the second leg may have 30 more minutes with the extra-time to score a goal that counts as double.

Over the years, Atletico, under their charismatic Argentine coach, have seen off the giants of the European game past and present, beating Ac Milan, Chelsea, Juventus, Bayern Munich and twice knocking out Barcelona, but they have repeatedly fallen to their neighbours.

Atletico have shaken off their inferiority complex against Real Madrid in every other competition under the 47-year-old, beating them twice in the King’s Cup and winning four of their last eight league derbies, but not in the UEFA Champions League.

Dortmund Bomb Suspect Aimed To Profit From Shares – Police

Courtesy: ewn.co.za

German Police have arrested a man suspected of detonating three bombs that targeted the Borussia Dortmund football team bus last week, ahead of their UEFA champions league tie against A.S Monaco

Prosecutors said his aim was to send the club’s shares plummeting and making a profit on an investment.

The 28-year old man is a dual German and Russian national, identified as Sergei V, and had bought options on Borussia Dortmund’s stock bvb.de, before the attack.

The club shares rose at 1.8 per cent on April 12, the day after the attack, and are up about two per cent so far this year.

Juventus Edge Barcelona From Champions League After Goalless Draw

Juventus Edge Barcelona From Champions League After Goalless Draw
Courtesy: fcbarcelona.com

Spanish Giants, Barcelona have crashed out of the UEFA Champions League, following a goalless draw with Juventus at the Camp Nou.

It was a sad Wednesday night for the Catalans, as the attacking combo of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar failed to help them progress to the next round of the competition.

After losing 3-0 to the visiting Italians in the first leg, fans believed the team would replicate the greatest fightback it staged earlier against Paris Saint-Germain in the round-of-16.

Juventus, however, frustrated efforts made by their hosts, as they produced an exceptional defensive performance to reach the semi-finals of the Champions League.

Monaco Humble Dortmund 3-1 To Advance In Champions League

Courtesy: indianexpress

Monaco on Wednesday beat Borussia Dortmund 3-1 to book a place in the semi-final of the UEFA Champions League.

The League One side took the lead with Kylian Mbappe’s three-minute goal, while Radamel Falcao doubled the score 14 minutes later.

In the second half, Marco Reus netted the consolation for the German side, before Valere Germain sealed the win for the hosts nine minutes before the match ended.

Elsewhere, Barcelona could not replicate the greatest fightback they staged earlier against Paris Saint-Germain in the round-of-16.

This led to the Spanish giants’ exit from the Champions League, after a goalless draw with Juventus at the Camp Nou.

The attacking combo of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar failed to help the Catalans progress to the next round of the competition.

 

Bale To Miss Gijon Match

Courtesy: article.wn.com

Gareth Bale has been ruled out of Real Madrid’s La Liga clash with Sporting Gijon on Saturday.

The Welshman picked up a muscular problem during Wednesday’s UEFA Champions League victory against Bayern Munich and had to be substituted.

It has now been confirmed that the 27-year-old has an issue with his right soleous muscle that could be connected to the ankle injury that was operated on in November 2016.

Mascherano Warns Barcelona Against Juventus Attackers

Courtesy: marca.com

Barcelona defender, Javier Mascherano, has cautioned his teammates against Juventus pair, Gonzalo Higuain and Paulo Dybala, ahead of Tuesday night’s UEFA Champions League quarter-final first leg tie.

Juventus will meet Barcelona for the first time since the 2015 Champions League final, when an early Ivan Rakitic strike left Massimiliano Allegri’s men with a mountain to climb before they succumbed 3­-1 in Berlin.

Barcelona will be without Sergio Busquets due to suspension, meaning Mascherano could be given a rare outing in the midfield holding role.

Neymar, as well as Rakitic and Gerard Pique, who returned to the team following a suspension against Malaga, are all one booking away from a suspension that would rule them out of the return leg.

Arsenal Boost Champions League Hope With West Ham Victory

Champions League: Arsenal Boost Chances With West Ham VictoryArsenal on Wednesday night boosted their UEFA Champions League hope with a deserved 3-0 victory over West Ham.

The Gunners were able to increase their possibility of top-four finish at the Emirates with goals from Mesut Oezil, Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud.

Reacting to the victory, Ozil said the North Londoners have not forgotten how to win.

With the victory, Arsenal have moved to fifth position on the Premier League table with 54 points.

Wenger Admits Top Four Finish Not Easy

Arsenal Wenger Admits Top Four Finish Not EasyArsenal Manager, Arsene Wenger, has admitted that it will be difficult to finish top four in the English Premier League this season.

Following a two-all draw with Manchester City at the Emirates over the weekend, Wenger said the task is “not as easy as it looks”.

The Frenchman has led the Gunners to a top-four spot and the UEFA Champions League qualification for the past 20 seasons.

However, Arsenal are currently in sixth place, seven points off the Premier League’s leading quartet with 10 games left.

Leicester Face Atletico Madrid In Champions League Quarter-Finals

Leicester Face Atletico Madrid In Champions League Quarter-Finals
Courtesy: uefa.com

Leicester City have been drawn against Spanish side, Atletico Madrid in their maiden UEFA Champions League quarter-final.

The Premier League champions progressed to the last eight by beating Spanish title-chasers, Sevilla 3-2 on aggregate.

Leicester will play the first leg against last year’s beaten finalists away from home on April 12, with the return leg on April 18.

Title holders Real Madrid also face Bayern Munich, while Barcelona take on Juventus, and Borussia Dortmund paired with Monaco.

Wenger Blames Referee For Arsenal’s Huge Defeat

Wenger Says Title Not Over For ArsenalCoach Arsene Wenger has blamed centre referee, Anastasios Sidiropoulos for Arsenal’s big loss to Bayern Munich on Tuesday night.

The Frenchman accused the referee of awarding an unjust penalty in favour of the German side and sending defender Laurent Koscielny off the pitch during the UEFA Champions League tie at the Emirates.

The loss was the Gunners’ fifth defeat in seven games and their biggest home defeat since 1998.

Bayern Munich inflicted an embarrassing 5-1 defeat on 10-man Arsenal to qualify for the next round of the Champions League 10-2 on aggregate.

Elsewhere, defending champions Real Madrid also came from behind to defeat Napoli 3-1 in San Paolo.