Real outclass Milan as Chelsea, Arsenal impress
Real Madrid cruised to a 2-0 win over AC Milan in the clash of the Champions League heavyweights on Tuesday, while English powerhouses Chelsea and Arsenal both recorded impressive victories.sports Updated: Oct 20, 2010 12:38 IST
Real Madrid cruised to a 2-0 win over AC Milan in the clash of the Champions League heavyweights on Tuesday, while English powerhouses Chelsea and Arsenal both recorded impressive victories.
The match at the Santiago Bernabeu pitted together two teams with 16 European Cups between them, but Milan were no match for nine-time champions Real, who went three points clear in Group G.
After a start full of intent from Jose Mourinho's men, the damage was done in the space of one first-half minute.
Cristiano Ronaldo broke the deadlock in the 13th minute with a free-kick that went straight through Milan's defensive wall.
With the visitors reeling, seconds later Ronaldo burst into the Milan box before squaring to Mesut Ozil, whose shot took a huge deflection that left goalkeeper Marco Amelia helplessly flatfooted.
Andrea Pirlo came close to pulling one back for Milan but his vicious free-kick was brilliantly tipped onto the crossbar by Iker Casillas, while Real spurned a host of chances to press home their advantage.
In the other group game, Ajax survived the 55th-minute dismissal of centre-back Andre Ooijer to record a 2-1 win at home to Auxerre that took them level on points with Milan.
Chelsea took a firm grip on Group F by ending Spartak Moscow's unbeaten start to the group phase with an impressive 2-0 win on a freezing night in the Russian capital.
Russian international Yuri Zhirkov, formerly of Spartak's city rivals CSKA Moscow, broke the deadlock in the 23rd minute with a stunning half-volley from outside the box that looped into the top-right corner.
Nicolas Anelka notched the second two minutes from the break, to give the Blues victory on their first visit to the Luzhniki Stadium since their agonising defeat on penalties to Manchester United in the competition's 2007-08 final.
"We have to stay focused for the next game," warned Chelsea coach Carlo Ancelotti, whose side now have a three-point lead in the group.
"We want to arrive in first place. This is our aim and we have the possibility to do this, but we don't need to rest players. The Champions League is important for all the games."
Marseille recorded their first victory in the group after a Souleymane Diawara header early in the second half brought them a 1-0 win at home to Slovakians MSK Zilina.
Arsenal, like Chelsea, were up against previously unbeaten opposition and they slipped through the gears to register a crushing 5-1 win over Ukrainians Shakhtar Donetsk at the Emirates.
Alex Song set the Gunners on their way in the 19th minute after goalkeeper Andriy Pyatov spilled a corner, with France international Samir Nasri smashing home his sixth goal in six games just before the break to make it 2-0.
Cesc Fabregas celebrated his return to the side after injury with a 60th-minute penalty, before goals from Jack Wilshere, his first in the competition, and Marouane Chamakh added gloss to an imperious performance.
Even Shakhtar's late consolation was cheered by the home fans, scored as it was by returning Arsenal old boy Eduardo.
Arsenal top Group H by three points from Shakhtar, with Sporting Braga a further three points back after a 2-0 win at home to Partizan Belgrade.
Skipper Cadu was hero and villain for CFR Cluj in the Romanians' 3-2 defeat at Bayern Munich, cancelling out his 28th-minute opener with a 32nd-minute own goal as last season's beaten finalists maintained their 100 percent record.
Basel produced the shock of the night in the Group E game with a 3-1 win at struggling Roma.
First Published: Oct 20, 2010 12:34 IST