UCL Wednesday Night Preview: Champions Held, Mixed Results For English Clubs Games




28 goals were scored in Wednesday's Champions League games. 8 more than Tuesday's. Joy Sports reviews the games:


Alessandro Florenzi's extraordinary 64-yard shot earned Roma a draw with Champions League holders Barcelona.

Barcelona opened the scoring through Luis Suarez, who headed in at the far post after Ivan Rakitic's deflected cross found the unmarked Uruguayan.

With Barca on top but far from their fluid best, Roma hit back in remarkable fashion.

Florenzi raced down the right flank and, spotting Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen off his line, unleashed a stunning shot from a wide area just inside Barcelona's half that flew over the German's head and crashed in off the post.

Roma, who lost Wojiceh Szezcesny to a hand injury early in the second half, could have been awarded a 68th minute penalty when Edin Dzeko was dragged to the ground, but Barcelona survived the calls.

Lionel Messi went close with a dipping effort on his 100th Champions League appearance as Barcelona pushed for a second, but Roma picked up a point in their opening game as they look to advance to the knockout stages of the competition for the first time in five seasons.

Valencia's hopes of a winning Champions League return after a two-year absence were dashed when Hulk struck twice for Zenit St Petersburg in a 3-2 victory for the Russian champions in their Group H opener on Wednesday.

Valencia, the 2000 and 2001 runners-up who finished fourth in La Liga last season, came through qualification by beating Monaco 4-3 over two legs but were brought abruptly down to earth in the first half at their Mestalla stadium by a pair of thunderous Hulk efforts.

The Brazil forward opened the scoring in the ninth minute when he sped clear on the left and cracked a shot across goalkeeper Jaume Domenech into the far corner.

His second shortly before halftime was even better as he picked up the ball outside the penalty area and smashed it high into the net.

Valencia fullback Joao Cancelo, who hit the post in the second minute, pulled a goal back for the home side 10 minutes into the second half and forward Andre Gomes levelled 17 minutes from time when he netted from a tight angle.

Zenit's Belgium midfielder Axel Witsel grabbed what proved to be the winning goal for the visitors three minutes later with a powerful low strike.

Zenit's victory meant their coach Andre Villas-Boas won the battle of the Portuguese coaches as Valencia are managed by Nuno, with whom Villas-Boas worked at Porto under current Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho.

In Wednesday's other Group H game, Olympique Lyonnais and Ghent drew 1-1 in Belgium.

Hakan Calhanoglu struck twice as Bayer Leverkusen crushed BATE Borisov 4-1 in their Champions League Group E opener on Wednesday, with newcomer Javier Hernandez also on target in their confidence-boosting win.

Nicknamed 'Chicharito' (Little Pea), the diminutive Mexico striker, who joined from Manchester United last month to replace Son Heung-min who left for Tottenham Hotspur, scored the Germans' third goal, sliding his low shot under keeper Sergei Chernik.

Admir Mehmedi and Calhanoglu had earlier scored for Leverkusen either side of Nemanja Milunovic' equaliser before Calhanoglu scored from the penalty spot in the 76th minute.

Other games:
Gent 1-1 Lyon (Danijel Milicevic; Christophe Jallet)

Dynamo Kiev 2-2 Porto (Oleg Gusev, Vitaly Buyalsky; Vincent Aboubakr,x2)

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Story by Naijadopest/Joy Sports
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