AB BASSON

The excitement of the UEFA Champions league was as expected on match day four as teams from across Europe looked to book their place in the next round of the competition.

English Premier League champions Manchester City hosted Dutch champions Ajax Amsterdam in a crucial group D match. City had to win to realistically keep their dreams of progressing to the knockout round of the competition alive, after bowing out at the same stage last year. City failed to impress on the night, going down by 2 goals in the first 20 minutes through a double from Ajax captain Siem de Jong. City fought back to level up the game through goals from Yaya Toure and Sergio Agüero.  City still have a slim chance of progressing if other results go their way.

In the other group D encounter, Mesut ?zilmanaged a late goal to secure a 2-2 draw against Borussia Dortmund.

Defending champions Chelsea took on Shakhtar Donetsk at Stamford Bridge after losing to the Ukrainian side in Donetsk. Shakhtar came from behind twice and looked to have grabbed a valuable point away from home until Victor Moses scored the last kick of the game to secure a 3-2 victory on the night.

Manchester United secured their place in the knockout round with a victory over Portuguese side Braga. United beat Braga 3-1, with Van Persie, Rooney and Hernandez scoring for United in the last ten minutes of the game.

In Germany, Arsenal held on to draw against Schalke 04. The English team opened the scoring through Theo Walcott and doubled soon after through a diving header from French striker Oliver Giroud. Klaas Jan Huntelaar scored for Schalke  just before halftime to make the score 2-1. Farfán levelled matters after the break to end the game at 2-2 to keep his side on top of group B.

In the shock result of the week, four-time winners FC Barcelona went down 2-1 to Scottish champions Celtic in Glasgow. Celtic opened the scoring through Kenyan Victor Wanyama. Eighteen-year-old Champions League debutant Tony Watt sealed the memorable victory for the Scottish outfit in the 83rd minute. A late goal from Lionel Messi was not enough for Barcelona, as they suffered their first away group game defeat in the Champions League in 6 years.

In other games Juventus cruised to a comfortable 4-0 victory over Nordsjælland, German heavyweights Bayern Munich crushed Lille 6-1 at home, with ex-Chelsea player Claudio Pizarro scoring three goals for the German side. Big-spending Paris Saint-Germainhad an easy victory against Dinamo Zagreb, withZlatanIbrahimovi?continuing his impressive form by creating all four goals.

The next round of the competition will take place on the 20 and 21 November. In the two most exciting fixtures, Italian championsJuventus entertain defending champions Chelsea at home in a must-win encounter for both teams. andSpanish champions Real Madrid face Manchester City, City has to win to stay in the tournament.

Image: www.xusuus.com

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