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A few quick Wednesday Champions League thoughts

  • It wasn’t as dramatic a night as Tuesday’s offering but the Group stage is now complete
  • After the worry that Arsenal and Chelsea were both going to have to make do with Europa League Football in the New Year they managed to overcome their respective hurdles with ease
  • An Oliver Giroud hat trick fired The Gunners into the Round Of 16 as Arsene Wenger’s men carried out one of their greatest European escapes
  • After containing the early Olympiakos pressure, Arsenal grew in confidence and got their opener at just the right time. They looked fired up in the second half and once Giroud bagged his second all they had to do was make sure they didn’t concede. They went one better than that and scored a 3rd
  • Chelsea were never in trouble once Marcano’s unfortunate Own Goal trickled over the line, if you’ve ever wondered what the Linesmen actually does behind the goal then last night proved they are actually useful
  • Willian scored his first non free kick goal of the season to secure the win and also more importantly top the group
  • Porto will probably regret not starting the game with a recognised Striker, it seems as if Manager Julen Lopetegui got his tactics wrong last night and will have to make do with the Europa League
  • Dynamo Kiev secured the place in the next round with a comfortable win over whipping boys Maccabi Tel-Aviv
  • Barcelona had the luxury of resting key players due to already qualifying but Lionel Messi was still on hand to put them in front against Bayer Leverkusen. Although it was a former Real Madrid in the way of Javier Hernandez who leveled things up
  • That point wasn’t enough for Leverkusen as Roma played out a bore draw at the Stadio Olimpico which was enough to see them through on the head to head. Roma will be glad that is used as the first tiebreaker considering they have a goal difference of -5
  • Dinamo Zagreb did well to keep the ruthless Bayern machine at bay for 45 minutes but a second half Robert Lewandowski brace was enough to see Bayern win in Croatia. It could have been more had Thomas Muller’s penalty not hit the post
  • Gary Neville’s managerial career didn’t get off to the best of starts after seeing a goal disallowed in the first half his Valencia side then lost 2-0 at the Mestalla
  • It was quite the baptism of fire considering he was getting booed and whistled at half time, welcome to La Liga
  • The biggest story must be that Gent have qualified for the Knockout Stage, not only that they are the first team from Belgium to do so
  • Their win at home to Zenit meant that Valencia’s result was irrelevant and also ruined Zenit’s chances of a perfect 100% record in the group phase

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