by ‘Ifreke Inyang
There were more Champions League matches on Wednesday. And all across Europe, there were fascinating fixtures and compelling drama. Here are the five things we picked out from the games:
1. Manchester City have still not adapted to continental football
It would have been expected that Roberto Mancini’s men, would have learnt their lessons and known how to handle continental matches. But no, they were all over the park last night and the German champions totally outclassed the team that won the Premiership. It doesn’t help that Mancini makes some strange selections. Big credit must go to Joe Hart, who kept City in the game with several world class saves.
2. Borussia Dortmund lack experience in Europe
City would have been dead and buried, before Mario Balotelli casually stroked home his penalty. They were completely dominated by Dortmund, but Jurgen Klopp’s men, failed to kill the tie off. We were very impressed with their performance on the night. Marco Reus was lively and Mario Goetze could have easily scored four times. Robert Lewandoski missed an absolute sitter, but then, Hart was in sparkling form.
3. Arsenal suffered a hangover after their defeat to Chelsea
In the first half at the Emirates, Arsenal were totally at sea. There was no rhythm to their game and they could barely threaten Olympiakos. It was totally surprising that they went on to take the lead, a few minutes before the break through Gervinho. But no one was shocked that they conceded the equaliser two minutes later. Thanks to their much improved second half display, they were able to win the game. Steve Bould was brutally honest in his post-match analysis: “It was tough – they made it really tough for us and defended really well. We hit it off not bad, but then looked nervous. The result from the weekend drained us a little, we lost a little bit of confidence, but overall it is a fantastic result.”
4. PSG are yet to impress
Paris Saint-Germain are not exactly blowing everyone out of the water. A lot of football observers were quick to assert that Carlo Ancelotti’s men, will brush every opposition aside, thanks to an expensively assembled squad. But they were awfully off-colour last night against FC Porto. The Portuguese side seized the initiative and conducted wave after wave of attack. The scoreline would have been more emphatic, if not for profligate finishing. But one thing was sure: there is no rational reason to be scared of the Ligue 1 side.
5. Cristiano Ronaldo is still Cristiano Ronaldo
When he’s not sulking, Ronaldo can be a real handful. Despite the fact he missed an early chance against Ajax, the Real Madrid superstar still grabbed a stylish hat-trick – his second successive three-goal haul. The forward scored once in the first half and twice in three second half minutes to seal a comprehensive 4-1 win for Mourinho’s men.