Manchester City could certainly have used three points against Borussia Dortmund at home in Wednesday's UEFA Champions League Group D match, but City were fortunate to walk away with their first point of the group stage.
Goalkeeper Joe Hart stopped several quality chances from Dortmund, but the German side took a 1-0 lead in the 61st minute with Marco Reus beating Hart after a giveaway. Dortmund had one big chance to make it a two goal lead late in the match, but Robert Lewandowski missed hitting a cross into an open net in the 75th minute.
That kept City alive, and they finally got an opportunity when a handball in the box gave them a penalty kick. Mario Balotelli, a late-game substitute, took the kick and buried it in the left corner of the net in the 90th minute, talking some kind of junk to Dortmund keeper Roman Weidenfeller as he grabbed the ball out of the net.
Here is a rundown of all of Wednesday's UEFA Champions League action:
REAL MADRID 4, AJAX 1
In other Group D action, Real Madrid overwhelmed Ajax 4-1 in Amsterdam, giving the Spanish giants the top spot in the group at six points. Dortmund has four, Man City one and Ajax 0.
Cristiano Ronaldo delivered a hat trick but his goal was upstaged by that of teammate Karim Benzema, who sent home a bicycle kick volley just after halftime.
ARSENAL 3, OLYMPIACOS 1
The Gunners turned a 1-1 halftime draw into a big win with goals from Lukas Podolski and Aaron Ramsey, moving them to six points and atop Group B. Gervinho opened the scoring for Arsenal in the 42nd minute.
SCHALKE 2, MONTPELLIER 2
The German side lost two points at home against Montpellier of France and moved to second place in Group B with four points. Montpellier has one with zero for Olympiacos.
Souleymane Camara scored the equalizer for Montpellier in the final minutes of play. Julian Draxler and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar scored goals for Schalke.
DYNAMO KIEV 2, DINAMO ZAGREB 0
Oleh Gusev headed in an early goal and Zagreb midfielder Josep Pivaric was charged with an own goal as Kiev earned its first three points of Group A play.
FC PORTO 1, PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN 0
The battle for first place in Group A went to the Portuguese side, which won at home thanks to an 83rd-minute winner from Colombian international James Rodriguez. Porto now sits at six points in the group with PSG at three tied with Dynamo Kiev.
AC MILAN 3, ZENIT 2
In Group C, AC Milan blew a 2-0 lead in St. Petersburg, but came out on the fortunate end thanks to an own-goal from Zenit's Tomas Hubocan in the 75th minute. The win moved the Italian side into second place at four points, while the Russian club remains at zero.
MALAGA 3, ANDERLECHT 0
Eliseu scored twice and Malaga remained the class of Group C with a second straight 3-0 win. This one came on the road in Brussels, as Malaga continued to surprise. Malaga stands at six points while Anderlecht has one.
American Sacha Kljestan came on as a sub at halftime for Anderecht.
What did you think of Tuesday's actions? Surprised to see Malaga roll? How about Porto at six points and Arsenal looking good? Did Manchester City need a win?
Share your thoughts below.
“Terrible call”? Not a chance. The ref could certainly have *not* called it–but it wasn’t like Subotic had his arms in front of his chest or something.
Not a harsh call, but the ref could have let it go. (That would perhaps have been the more controversial choice, though.)
Really dont know wat giroud has to do to score…he does all but scoring…nice little cameo frm his last nite though….
Fabergas as a finisher — I think sometimes he looked to score himself more than set up others. I also think that Caxorla is a much better short passer, while Fabergas is better at the medium length passer. They are different players, but I think that Carzola is the better player for Arsenal.
Eh… Fabregas was a better finisher, and his passing was just as good. Cazorla is a phenomenal player, though; don’t get me wrong. Also, Cesc didn’t play for Arsenal last year
I’m going to ask this again here, because I’m interested in what others think.
Cazorla > Fabergas?
Thinking about this a little more, I think that I feel safe saying that Cazorla is better for Arsenal than Fabergas was (especially last year). I may go further and say he’s better all around – although that is a more debatable proposition.
I will also say that he can turn Giroud into the leagues leading score if the guy ever finds his scoring touch. The balls Carzola plays to him are amazing.
His arm was in an unnatural position by being raised. Some are saying the ball hit his stomach/thigh first but on the replay it showed it was the arm first. You see defenders tucking their arms behind them to prevent a handball. I personally think he could of done the same. There wasn’t much reaction to the call from Subotic who’s never been afraid to share his feelings with a ref.
It’s a tough call. I’ve seen that waved off and I’ve seen that called. But by definition the ref made the right call.
I normally think Hart is grossly overrated, like many English players, but he was absolutely fantastic today. Dortmund shredded the Man City defense and time and time again Hart came up big. It wasn’t Dortmund inability to kill off a game but rather Hart legitimately stopping 3-4 sure goals. His ‘mates owe him big time. He earned them the draw.
Terrible call on that late PK for Man City. What exactly is Neven Subotic supposed to do there? Dortmund maybe should have killed them off earlier, and you always have to account for bad ref decisions in UEFA matches, but can’t help but feel for them.