Tuesday night's Champions League action proved to be particularly painful for fans of two English teams, with Arsenal and Liverpool failing to convince as sides who capable of mixing it when the tournament reaches the knockout stages after Christmas.
Arsenal in particular were woeful, quite inexplicably managing to let a 3-0 lead slip at home to Anderlecht. The Gunners took that huge advantage into the final 30 minutes at the Emirates and somehow still failed to collect all three points, with Aleksandar Mitrovic heading home a superb equaliser in stoppage time.
Liverpool meanwhile were valiant in a losing effort against the holders Real Madrid, on a night featuring 27 goals in eight matches.
Malmö FF (SWE) - Atletico de Madrid (SPA) 0-2
- Swedbank Stadium is a wonderful place for football, and despite its relatively limited capacity, the atmosphere is touchable. Malmö FF showed their fans what they are capable of, but they lacked the edge that Atletico Madrid had. The game could easily have gone either way, and even though the Swedes lost, they deserve an ovation.
Juventus (ITA) - Olympiacos (GRE) 3-2
- With an Olympiacos win in this game, the qualifying teams from this group would pretty much already have been settled. It certainly looked to end that way when N'Dinga made it 2-1 in favor of the Greeks, but a very unlucky own goal equalized before Pogba deilvered the tie-breaker. Theoretically, all four teams still have the chance to qualify, and with Atletico Madrid in a very favorable position, it looks like it'll be a race for the second place between Juventus and Olympiacos.
Real Madrid CF (SPA) - Liverpool FC (ENG) 1-0
- After getting run over on Anfield, losing to Real Madrid on Santiago Bernabeu with 1-0 doesn't seem so bad. A loss is a loss, though, and while Los Blancos are already qualified for the next stage, Liverpool have lost even more ground in the battle for the second place.
FC Basel (SUI) - PFC Ludogorets Razgrad (BUL) 4-0
- Ludogorets could not keep up their short-term reputation of shaking superior opponents. Basel had no issues fending off the Bulgarians this time. Just as the final score would suggest, there was class differencial. The Swiss had the upper hand in every desirable statistic, and they are now ahead of Liverpool in the group.
FC Zenit (RUS) - Bayer 04 Leverkusen (GER) 1-2
- After yesterday's victory, Leverkusen are as good as qualified. For Zenit, the defeat means that their chance at qualification is equal to those of the two remaining teams in the group, Monaco and Benfica. This group will surely have a thrilling finale.
SL Benfica (POR) - AS Monaco FC (FRA) 1-0
- Both Benfica and Monaco have had major problems producing goals throughout the tournament. Before this game, both of the teams had scored 1 goal each in 3 games, and this match would not be a scoring spree either. The only goal of the game came in minute 82, when Talisca found the net and kept Benfica's hopes of advancement alive.
Arsenal FC (ENG) - RSC Anderlecht (BEL) 3-3
- The match started in a predictable way, with Arsenal dictating the pace. They scored 3 times, and everyone thought that Anderlecht's 2014/2015 UCL campaign had come to an end. Anything can happen in football, though, and Arsenal certainly got reminded of that fact when Mitrovic equalized the game in the 90th minute. Arsenal are still in a great position to advance, but Anderlecht's comback was spectacular nonetheless.
Borussia Dortmund (GER) - Galatasaray AS (TUR) 4-1
- It is an enigma how Dortmund can play so ridicolously well in Europe - week in and week out - and simultaneously be placing second to last in the Bundesliga. Not only did Galatasaray get steamrolled by the Germans this time aswell - they are now eliminated from the tournament entirely. Dortmund, on the other hand, secured their qualification with this win.
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