UEFA Champions League halftime snapshot: Zlatan’s early hat trick; Real Madrid up on Juventus
On Tuesday, a Premier League club opened the day’s scoring after only five minutes. On Wednesday, it took less than two for Manchester United to get on the board, with a ball won high in the Real Sociedad end leading to an own goal, Wayne Rooney’s post-rattling shot bouncing in off Inigo Martínez. When Real Madrid opened their account against Juventus through Cristiano Ronaldo, the second day of round three had fully surpassed Tuesday’s start.
Five minutes later, the news got worst for Juventus, with former bianconeri Felipe Melo hammering home a Dany Nounkeu cross in Istanbul, giving Galatasaray a lead on Copenhagen. After getting a result out of Turin, Gala’s positioned themselves as a real threat to Juve. The day’s early goals had the Turkish champions ready to assume second place in Group B.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic then opened the scoring in Brussels, and Stefan Kießling did the same in Leverkusen before Juventus, having assumed control of their match in Spain, scored a beautifully worked goal. Iker Casillas had pushed an athletic header from Paul Pogba off the line, but the ball rolled into the path of Fernando Llorente, giving the Spanish international an easy equalizer. Was Antonio Conte’s move to a 4-4-2 set to pay off?
Before we knew, Zlatan had scored again - two goals in six minutes. Franck Ribéry had converted from the spot in Munich, and Giorgio Chiellini had pulled down Sergio Ramos in the Juve area. Cristiano Ronaldo finished high into the Juventus net, rendering all the Old Lady’s good work useless.
Near the half-hour-mark of the day’s matches, Olympiacos had a key goal in Lisbon, Alejandro Dominguez sending a defender sliding before finishing into the far side of Artur Moraes’s goal. Within 30 minutes of kickoff, each of today’s matches (including the day’s opener in Moscow) had at least one goal.
Before the first halves were done, David Alaba had doubled Bayern Munich’s lead. Wesley Sneijder had done the same for Galatasaray, and Zlatan completes his hat-trick. Galatasaray finished the match’s first half festivities with a goal from Didier Drogba, the second Emmanuel Eboue had managed to set up.
It all continues the early theme of this year’s Champions League: Goals. We’ve already seen 17 today, and with these third day matches, pushing us toward a second 30-goal day of the tournament.
Here are all the halftime numbers, courtesy of Opta and WhoScored.com:
|A||Manchester United-Real Sociedad||1-0||7-5||1-1||62-38|
|A||Bayer Leverkusen-Shakhtar Donetsk||1-0||7-4||2-0||55-45|
|D||CSKA Moscow-Manchester City (Final)||1-2||9-20||5-9||40-60|
|D||Bayern Munich-Viktoria Plzen||2-0||21-1||12-0||78-22|