Champions League action was back on tonight with Groups E through to H competing in their fourth group stage matches around Europe.
It was a huge night for Belgian club Racing Genk in Group E as Jelle Vossen scored their first-ever Champions League goal in the surprise 1-1 draw with Chelsea who were disadvantaged by David Luiz’ 40th minute penalty miss. In the other Group E match, Valencia’s Jonas scored the second fastest goal ever in the competition inside 11 seconds as the Spaniards ended six matches in the Champions League without a win with a 3-1 result at home over Bayer Leverkusen.
In Group F, Arsenal and Marseille stayed one and two in the group despite a scoreless draw in London whilst Borussia Dortmund recorded their first win of the group stage with a 1-0 home result over Olympiakos.
Cypriot outfit APOEL Nicosia are one step closer to qualifying for the knockout phase with a late winner over FC Porto. Ailton’s 42nd minute penalty put them ahead before Hulk converted from the spot to give Porto hope but Gustavo Manduca scored in the final minute of regular time to keep APOEL on top of the Group G table, one point clear of Zenit St Petersburg who beat Shakhtar Donetsk 1-0 in Russia.
And in Group H, Barcelona moved through to the knockout stages as they chase back-to-back titles with a 4-0 away win over Viktoria Plzen. Lionel Messi scored a hat-trick to bring up his 200th goal for Barcelona in Pep Guardiola’s 200th game as manager and the match also produced a first Champions League goal in a Barca shirt for Cesc Fabregas.
2011/12 Champions League scores – group stage
Genk (BEL): 1 (Jelle Vossen 61’)
Chelsea (ENG): 1 (Ramires 25’, missed penalty: David Luiz 40’)
Cristal Arena, Genk – 22,584
Arsenal (ENG): 0
Marseille (FRA): 0
Emirates Stadium, London – 59,961
Borussia Dortmund (GER): 1 (Kevin Grosskreutz 7’)
Olympiakos (GRE): 0
Signal-Iduna Park, Dortmund –
APOEL Nicosia (CYP): 2 (Ailton Almeida (p) 42’, Gustavo Manduca 90’)
FC Porto (POR): 1 (Hulk (p) 89’)
GSP Stadium, Nicosia
Zenit St Petersburg (RUS): 1 (Nicolas Lombaerts 45+1’)
Shakhtar Donetsk (UKR): 0
Petrovsky Stadium, St Petersburg – 21,405