Match Day Three brought with it the now expedted combination of goals, excitement, magnifficent team and individual performances, and others who really could have done better.
Every team in the competition has now played two group games, and we are now half way to finding out which four sides will progress to the knock out stages.
We start the round up of last nights games in Group A, where Andrew Kelly took his division 5 promotion hopefuls Villarreal to the Bernebeau to face the might of Roy Keane’s Real Madrid.
Group A – Real Madrid v Villarreal Att: 15,856
It didnt take long for the deadlock to be broken. As early as the 9th minute, Villarreal gave away a corner in a dangerous spot just outside the area, which was expertly dispatched by Robert Lewandowski.
Just 11 minutes later, the Welsh Wizard, Gareth Bale madfe it 2 – 0 to the home side. It wasnt all one way traffic though, a couple of minutes after Bale scored, Villarreal went on the offensive, and Moreno saw his effort miss by inches.
On 38, the game was effectively over as a contest. Neymar slotting home to make it 3-0 to Real, and that’s how it stayed until HT.
Real came out in the second half, and immidiately showed they were in no mood to take the foot off the throttle. Marcello making it 4 – 0 just 4 minutes after the restart.
Lewandowski finished the game off with his 2nd, and Madrid’s 5th just before the end. Truthfully, Keane’s side may have had 8 or 9 on another night, but he will be concerned as Villarreal had their chances, and a better team could well have made the home side pay.
Group B – Barcelona v Levante Att: 18,231
The biggest attendance of the night was at the Nou Camp, as Barcelona took on Parfitt’s Levante. The crowd were looking to be entertained, and from a home perspective, they certainly were. Although to be fair to the visitors, it could have been one each after 5 mins. Messi spurned a decent opportunity for Barca, whlst Beausejour was equally guilty at the other end.
Messi finally got a chance which he converted on 25mins. De Bruyne teeing up the little Argentine magician to secure the for Barca.
The game was becoming steadily more and more one sided, with Barcelona collectuvely, and Messi individually, pulling the strings. The pressure finally told just before half time, Isreal Juminez continuing his nightmare in the Del Burro, with an OG to add to the red card he picked up in the clubs opening game at Bilbao last week.
2 – 0 Barca at HT, and 3 – 0 just after, Pique scoring on 49mins. That was how it remained until the end, although Neuer in the Barcelona goal was forced to stop Clinton N’Jie’s spot kick 5 minutes from time.
Group C – Sevilla v Porto Att: 12,898
Probably the tightest game of the night came in Seville, as Porto came to town.
The game certainly started with a bang though, Brehami putting the visitors 1 up after only 3 minutes, his dipping effort beating the keeper all ends up.
It really should have been 2 – 0 soon after, but Beto saved from the spot, and Lukaku joined N’Jie in missing a penalty last night.
The next real piece of action didnt come until the hour mark though. Banega picking up a red card for his second bookable offence. The first bookable offence was conceding the penalty in the first half.
The 10 of Porto were able to see the game out though, and despite a couple of minor scares, were never in any real danger. In fact, if Romelu Lukaku had been a bit more clinical, they may even have extended their lead.
Group D – Espanyol v Celta Vigo Att: 7002
The final game in last nights fixture list saw Espanyol entertain Celta Vigo. Only 7002 hardy sould braved it, but those that did go witnessed a lively affair with a couple of goald, a couple of bookings, and a red card. All that can really be asked for in 90 minutes.
The first of the goals arrived on 16 minutes, and went to the visitors. Iago Aspas was slipped in by Nolito, and smashed it home for the visitors. The game remained 1 – 0 to the break.
Just before the hour mark, the experienced Tomas Rosicky almost had Doug Earle’s side level. His clever free kick striking the frame of the goal before going out.
Just a couple of minutes later, the home side were left to rue that missed opportunity, with Etienne Capoue making it 2-0 to Celta.
As the game petered out, Nolito recieved his marching orders for a second yellow, and in all honesty the visitors looked the most likely to add to the score sheet.
2-0 is how it finished though, and Ryan Chisholm was last seen consulting the Stephen Beddows guide to half hearted excuses.
Team of the week
The team of the week for match day three is a a bit of a Barcelona / Real Madrid love in, although given that both sides put in such convincing performances, albeit against lower league sides, this will come as no real surprise.
Beto – Porto
Juanfran – Real Madrid (2nd TOTW appearance)
Marcello – Real Madrid (2nd TOTW appearance)
Pique – Barcelona
Godin – Real Madrid (2nd TOTW appearance)
Kroos – Barcelona
Neymar – Real Madrid (2nd TOTW appearance)
Rosicky – Espanyol
Messi – Barcelona (2nd TOTW appearance)
Klose – Espanyol
Bale – Real Madrid (2nd TOTW appearance)