By AARON CRANFORD
Wednesday’s fixing of UEFA Champions League action offered viewers two upsets with AS Monaco taking down Arsenal, 3-1, in London and Bayern Leverkusen knocking off Atletico Madrid, 1-0.
With a lively supporters’ group cheering on the French side throughout, Geoffrey Kondogbia scored the opener at the Emirates in the 38th minute by hitting a missile from the center of the field, which deflected off of Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker and flew by David Ospina and into the net.
Monaco extended their lead in the beginning of the second half after Dimitar Berbatov smashed in the second past Ospina. Arsenal found their lifeline with a beautiful outside-the-box curler from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in the 91st minute. But minutes later he lost the ball and Berbatov’s substitute, Yannick Ferreira-Carrasco, fled down the field and banged in the third goal for Monaco.
In Bayarena, Germany, Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Hakan Calhanoglu scored the game winner in a tough affair where 10 yellow cards were dished out with Atletico midfielder Tiago receiving two throughout the evening and being sent off.
The win was not without controversy, however, as Atletico appeared to score a goal of their own via Fernando Torres, but the corner kick that preceded the finish was deemed to have gone out of play.
The 2014 UEFA Champions League runner-up did not play up to their recent standards, having only 34% possession and only two shots on frame. Leverkusen played physical and committed 25 fouls, which made the match tough for the La Liga side, but the German club will be happy to take the first-leg advantage.
Meanwhile, Arsenal and Atletico, the two favorites entering Wednesday’s matches, will have to wait almost a month before they have the chance to turn things around.
What do you think of these results? Think Arsenal will turn it around in the second leg? See Atletico making a comeback at home?
Share your thoughts below.