Section: Bundesliga

Champions League: Bayern Munich 6-1 FC Porto (agg 7-4)

Bayern use huge first half to demolish Porto to reach semifinals

Bayern Munich made light work of a 3-1 first-leg deficit as they battered Porto 6-1 to sail into the last four of the Champions League with a 7-4 margin on aggregate.

It was supposed to be a night that would test Bayern boss Pep Guardiola’s mettle after last week’s disappointing defeat in Portugal, but his charges made a mockery of such predictions with five goals in 26 minutes in the first half.

Thiago Alcantara, Jerome Boateng, Robert Lewandowski (two) and Thomas Muller caused the damage as they mercilessly tore their Primeira Division opponents apart with scintillating passing, breathtaking movement and ruthless finishing.

Porto went into this clash unbeaten in the competition so far and they were given a brief glimmer of hope when Jackson Martinez headed in, but their evening got worse still when Ivan Marcano was sent off late on and Xabi Alonso fired in the resulting free-kick.

The reigning Bundesliga champions, who were even missing key players such as injured duo Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery, now march on to their fourth consecutive Champions League semi-final after a fantastic night.

It was clear that Julen Lopetegui, who was a former team-mate of opposite number Guardiola at Barcelona in the 1990s, was happy for his Porto side to sit deep and try to protect their first-leg lead from the off.

But chinks appeared in Porto’s gameplan as early as the 10th minute when Lewandowski hit a post – and half an hour later they found themselves 5-0 down on the night.

Thiago, who scored Bayern’s consolation at the Estadio do Dragao last week, kicked off the rout by nipping in front of his marker at the near post to nod home from Juan Bernat’s superb cross after 14 minutes.

Amid the hostile environment of a raucous Allianz Arena Porto began to fall apart and Bayern levelled the contest on aggregate in the 22nd minute, with Boateng heading in his first goal of the season after Holger Badstuber nodded Thiago’s corner back across goal.

The Germany international’s effort had just enough pace to creep past Fabiano, but questions will have to be asked about the Porto keeper after he seemed slow to react.

The visitors could have no complaints about Bayern’s truly exquisite third, which completed a three-goal 13-minute salvo to totally turn the tie around.

First, Philipp Lahm showed his class with an inch-perfect cross on the volley, before Muller unselfishly flicked the ball onto Lewandowski’s head and the Polish striker made no mistake from close range.

Muller twisted the knife with a somewhat fortuitous, somewhat hilarious, fourth as his low shot from distance was deflected off Bruno Martins Indi and totally caught poor Fabiano off-guard as the ball trickled through his legs when he tried in vain to clear on the floor.

With Porto shell shocked, Lewandowski was hardly feeling charitable as he picked up the ball from Muller around the penalty spot and showed ice-cool composure to work an opening before firing it low past Fabiano with deadly accuracy.

Understandably the pace relented from the hosts after the interval, but they were still in complete control of proceedings before Martinez gave the visitors a glimmer of hope.

The striker, who has been linked with a summer move to the Premier League, caught Bayern’s under-worked backline out to head in Hector Herrera’s cross in the 73rd minute, even though replays showed he was clearly offside.

With that goal reducing the aggregate deficit to back to 6-4, Martinez went close with a shot from distance that had Manuel Neuer flustered before it went wide, but that was as close as Porto got to creating a tense finale.

Things got even worse for them when Marcano picked up a second yellow card for a wild lunge on Thiago with five minutes left and Alonso fired in the free-kick with aplomb to complete the scoring.

Read more at ESPN

Champions League: Bayer Leverkusen 1-0 Atletico Madrid

Hakan Calhanoglu gave Bayer Leverkusen victory in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie against last year’s finalists Atletico Madrid.

Calhanoglu scored the only goal on 57 minutes, firing into the top of the net after Karim Bellarabi’s backheel.

Atletico had midfielder Tiago sent off for a foul on Bellarabi – his second booking – and had a goal ruled out.

Fernando Torres thought he had scored with a header following a corner, but the ball had already gone out of play.

The result means the tie remains in the balance ahead of the second leg at Atletico’s Vicente Calderon on 17 March.

Leverkusen have won just one of their past five Bundesliga matches and none of their previous seven Champions League knockout games.

But the German side, who finished second to Monaco in Group C, started well and nearly took the lead on 14 minutes when Emir Spahic’s header was hacked off the line by Mario Mandzukic.

Spahic, who replaced suspended Turkey international Omer Toprak in Leverkusen’s defence, beat Miguel Moya again 11 minutes later, but his 25-yard drive struck the woodwork.

Atletico, who had lost just one of their previous nine away games in the competition, were outfought for much of the first half.

But Leverkusen goalkeeper Bernd Leno was forced to tip a cross off Antoine Griezmann’s head and then pull of a wonderful save from Tiago’s volley as the interval approached.

It was the hosts who took the lead, though, as Bellarabi drove into the area and backheeled the ball into the path of Calhanoglu, who smashed home.

Atletico boss Diego Simeone, who had to make two substitutions in the first half, responded by replacing Arda Turan with former Liverpool and Chelsea striker Torres.

The Spaniard had the ball in the Leverkusen net on 74 minutes, only for his close-range header to be ruled out.

And the visitors’ hopes of a comeback were all but ended when they were reduced to 10 men moments later, with Tiago shown his second yellow card after sliding in on Bellarabi.

Read more at BBC Sport

Champions League: Juventus 2-1 Borussia Dortmund

Juventus had to settle for a narrow first-leg lead after missing a several good chances against Borussia Dortmund in their Champions League last-16 tie.

Carlos Tevez put the Italians ahead after Roman Weidenfeller spilled at his feet, but Dortmund soon struck back.

Marco Reus exploited Giorgio Chiellini’s slip to scamper in and shoot home just three minutes later.

Alvaro Morata’s careful finish put Juve back in front and the hosts could have stretched away in the second half.

After the break, Tevez went close on three occasions, Chiellini rose unmarked to head over the top and Roberto Pereyra shot just wide.

But the Italians ultimately failed to exploit Dortmund’s fragility and will take only a one-goal advantage to Germany.

The win took the Serie A champions’ unbeaten home run to 47 games and they made the fast start that a simmering atmosphere at the Juventus Stadium demanded.

With defenders back in numbers there appeared little danger for Dortmund despite Morata escaping the attentions of his man on the left.

But the Spaniard’s well-hit shot and Dortmund goalkeeper Weidenfeller’s fumble presented Tevez with a simple finish five yards out.

A woeful run of domestic form left them bottom of the Bundesliga at the start of 2015 but Dortmund have kept faith with a pressing game and their energy soon delivered parity.

Chiellini lost his footing as he attempted to control a routine ball forward and Reus, who has recently agreed a contract extension with the Germans,  raced in on goal and coolly beat Gianluigi Buffon.

The visitors enjoyed more of the possession for the rest of the half but never looked secure at the back.

Leonardo Bonucci headed over from a good position for Juventus, and Dortmund were caught out again by a swift counter-attack just before the break as Morata was left free to side-foot home from six yards.

Dortmund continued to be undermined as Weidenfeller and his defence wobbled through to the end of the tie but, with an away goal secured, they will hope the Westfalenstadion can inspire them to the quarter-finals.

Read more at BBC Sport

Champions League: Schalke 0-2 Real Madrid

Cristiano Ronaldo, Marcelo help Real Madrid to victory over Schalke

Real Madrid are on course to make the Champions League quarterfinals after a 2-0 victory at Schalke in the first leg of their last-16 tie.

Schalke went into the game as huge underdogs, having lost 6-1 at home and 3-1 away when they met Madrid at the same stage in last year’s competition, but they had looked the more likely to make the breakthrough at the start of the match.

However, the home side found themselves trailing on 26 minutes when Cristiano Ronaldo was allowed the space to head home for his 58th goal in 58 Champions League appearances, the Portuguese ending a goal drought that had approached five hours.

Schalke’s prospects then receded further when former Madrid forward Klaas-Jan Huntelaar had to be substituted before the break with a leg injury.

However, Huntelaar’s replacement, Felix Platte, came close to an equaliser on his Champions League debut as he smashed a shot against the crossbar on 74 minutes, with Atsuto Uchida unable to beat Iker Casillas from the follow-up.

Soon afterwards, Madrid had extended their advantage, with Marcelo unleashing a stunning right-footed strike into the top corner.

Read more at ESPN

Champions League: Shakhtar Donetsk 0-0 Bayern Munich

Bayern Munich’s Xabi Alonso was sent off in his 100th Champions League game as his side played out a drab stalemate against Shakhtar Donetsk in Ukraine.

The former Liverpool midfielder fouled Taison to collect a second yellow card with around 25 minutes to play.

Earlier, Thomas Muller had pulled a shot wide when clean through for Bayern and he fired over before the break.

But neither side threatened after Alonso’s red in a tetchy game. They meet again in Munich on 11 March.

The sides shared 35 fouls and six yellow cards in addition to Alonso’s red, with attacks often cut short by tactical fouls when danger looked likely.

Shakhtar, champions in Ukraine, will be “heroes” if they overcome Bayern according to the manager Mircea Lucescu as his side are still playing home fixtures away from their Donbass Arena because of conflict in the area.

They have also not played a competitive game since December as the Ukraine Premier League – in which they sit second to Dynamo Kiev – is on its winter break.

Playing several hundred miles away from home in the western city of Lviv, they arrived to face a Bayern side who had hammered Hamburg 8-0 on Saturday but ended the night having restricted their visitors to few chances.

Though Muller sprang the offside trap from Arjen Robben’s pass in the first half, he could only pull his shot across the goalmouth from 10 yards and he then fired over from a Franck Ribery pull-back late in the first period.

Shakhtar, boasting the tournament’s top scorer in Luiz Adriano, played on the break but only got their talisman into the game sparingly and he left the field late on having completed just 44% of his 18 passes.

Alonso tangled with Shakhtar winger Taison when the Brazilian threatened a break away, prompting a second yellow card, but the Ukrainians failed to make their advantage count and both sides settled for a point.

They will reconvene in three weeks’ time in Munich, where Bayern have not lost since defeat against Real Madrid in the semi-final of this competition last season.

Read more at BBC Sport

Europa League: Wolfsburg 0-2 Everton

Everton are through to the Europa League knockout stage as Group H winners after victory at Wolfsburg.

A 1-1 draw in the other group game between Krasnodar and Lille meant the Toffees progressed regardless of the result in Germany.

Three points ensured top spot, however, as Romelu Lukaku powered home before half-time after Wolfsburg’s Ivan Perisic had a goal ruled out.

Kevin Mirallas sealed victory in the second half with a goal on the break.

Everton, four points ahead of Wolfsburg at the top of the group, progress to the last 32 with a game to spare as they look to secure a first European trophy since 1985.

Both sets of players went into the game unaware of the scoreline in the group’s other fixture, which kicked off one hour earlier.

Each side knew, however, that a win would guarantee qualification and that might have played its part in a frenetic start.

Wolfsburg, with eight wins from their last nine games, were immediately on the offensive as Perisic lashed into the side-netting while Aaron Hunt drew a full-stretch save out of Tim Howard.

Sylvain Distin hit the bar with a downward header between those chances but Wolfsburg should have been ahead midway through the half, when Perisic was wrongly ruled offside when he stabbed home from close range.

It was a let-off for Everton, and a crucial one, as they hit Wolfsburg on the break just before half-time.

Distin’s header aside, the visitors had barely threatened in the first 45 minutes but snatched the lead when Lukaku received a pass from Kevin Mirallas, outmuscled two defenders and ran through on goal before finishing calmly.

Knowing that defeat would leave them needing at least a draw in their final game against Lille, Wolfsburg again pressured the Everton defence in the second half.

The hosts were again denied when former Arsenal striker Nicklas Bendtner had a header ruled out for offside, but also Everton looked dangerous on the break – though Aiden McGeady somehow contrived to sidefoot over when presented with an open goal.

However, Everton wrapped up the win with another breakaway goal as Lukaku sent Mirallas away and the forward confidently slotted home.

Read more at BBC Sport

Champions League: Arsenal 2-0 Borussia Dortmund

Yaya Sanogo scored his first goal for Arsenal as they defeated Borussia Dortmund and ensured their passage into the Champions League knockout stage.

The 21-year-old broke his duck after 19 appearances when he finished off a one-two with Santi Cazorla with a low shot in the second minute.

Alexis Sanchez made it 2-0 after the break with a superb low curling shot.

Sanchez also had a shot pushed away, while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain struck the bar with a dipping volley.

Read more at BBC Sport

Champions League: Man City 3-2 Bayern Munich

Sergio Aguero hat trick hands Man City late win over Bayern Munich

Sergio Aguero struck twice in the closing minutes to complete a hat-trick and revive Manchester City’s Champions League hopes with a 3-2 win over 10-man Bayern Munich.

City’s challenge had looked all but over after Aguero’s early penalty was cancelled out by quickfire goals from Xabi Alonso and Robert Lewandowski before half-time.

But Aguero seized on a mistake from the otherwise brilliant Alonso to equalise with five minutes remaining and then broke through again after a Jerome Boateng error for a brilliant winner.

The victory was City’s first of the competition and brought them level with Roma and CSKA Moscow in Group E with a trip to the Italian capital to come next month.

City certainly did it the hard way after surrendering their early advantage.

Aguero struck from the spot after being brought down by Medhi Benatia, who was sent off for his challenge.

But they were unable to build on that advantage and it was left to the prolific Aguero to save them, the Argentinian doing so in style by taking his goal tally for the season to 17.

CSKA Moscow’s last-gasp draw against Roma had meant City could not be eliminated on the night and the atmosphere, flat in home European games this season, reflected that hope.

Read more at ESPN

Champions League: Schalke 0-5 Chelsea

Blues romp into knockout stages

Roberto Di Matteo played down the talk of a revenge mission as Chelsea visited Gelsenkirchen to take on his Schalke side – but it was embarrassment that greeted the Italian as the Blues eased into the knockout stages of the Champions League.

Current Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho insisted in the build-up to this clash that his side needed to keep up their good form to avoid blowing their place at the head of Group G and ending up playing in the Europa League.

But he need not have worried as his ruthless side blew Schalke away – dominating throughout and eventually running out clear 5-0 winners.

The Portuguese was also steadfast that he did not want to talk about Di Matteo’s achievements at Stamford Bridge but did question whether the side the 44-year-old led to European Cup success was a good one.

The two exchanged a cursory handshake before kick-off that lacked the warmth of a meeting of friends but that was in stark contrast to the travelling Chelsea fans, who sang Di Matteo’s name as the game got under way – and that was as good as it got for their former midfield favourite.

John Terry was suspended when Di Matteo oversaw Chelsea’s memorable European Cup success in 2012 but the two celebrated together in Munich like the captain had been one of those out on the pitch.

And it was Terry who quickly took the sting out of any kind of payback mission Di Matteo was mounting having been axed by Roman Abramovich just six months after the biggest night in the club’s history.

The 33-year-old rose to nod home a corner supplied by the impeccable Cesc Fabregas inside 60 seconds to silence the Veltins Arena.

Willian added a second and, when Jan Kirchhoff headed in an own goal two minutes before the break, the writing was on the wall.

Chelsea took their foot off the gas during times in the second half but switched on and decided to go for the kill with 15 minutes remaining, as substitutes Didier Drogba and Ramires got in on the goalscoring act.

Manchester United assistant manager Ryan Giggs said earlier this week that Mourinho’s side are “head and shoulders” above everyone else in the Premier League, and it shows on the continent too.

Uncertainty remains over the immediate futures of Manchester City, Liverpool and Arsenal in Europe’s elite club competition, but this win means the Blues are already assured of their place in the knockout rounds.

Chelsea stormed into a lead as Schalke goalkeeper Ralf Fahrmann did well to turn a Diego Costa effort behind for a corner in the opening minute, only to see Terry head home Cesc Fabregas’ set-piece.

The hosts were hemmed inside their own half for much of the opening exchanges and, when they did finally mount something of an attack, Kevin-Prince Boateng was robbed by Willian and only a smart challenge from Felipe Santana denied Costa a clear run on Fahrmann’s goal.

Schalke faired much better on their next foray forward and Eric Choupo-Moting was unlucky not to level as his shot hit Gary Cahill, looped over Thibaut Courtois and came back off the crossbar.

A lull in play allowed Chelsea’s fans to burst back into ‘One Di Matteo’ chants and this time the Italian gave them a wave of appreciation as his side continued to grow into the contest.

But they were two down before the game was 30 minutes old as Willian exchanged passes with Eden Hazard before firing a low shot which Fahrmann failed to keep out as the ball squirmed underneath him.

Schalke’s fans soon turned on their side as they were caught dawdling on the ball and Costa intercepted an under-hit back pass but was unable to keep his balance as he tried to round Fahrmann and was eventually crowded out.

Chelsea continued their domination as Fabregas’ cute ball over the defence allowed Oscar to volley at goal, with the busy Fahrmann able to push the ball behind.

But once again the respite was short-lived as Fabregas delivered another corner into the danger area and Kirchhoff mistimed his headed clearance under no pressure from a Chelsea shirt and it flashed into his own net to put the visitors well and truly in command.

The second half started in much the same vein as Costa robbed Santana of possession, only for the Brazilian defender to atone for his error by getting back to poke the ball away as the in-form Chelsea man looked to strike.

Di Matteo altered both his system and his personnel at the break and, although Schalke were able to keep better hold of the ball, it was Chelsea who were still carving out the better chances.

Branislav Ivanovic fired a well-struck volley wide having been found free inside the box by a clever Willian pass before Costa, still without a European goal for Chelsea, fluffed his lines when played in by Oscar.

That was the last piece of action for Costa as he was replaced by Drogba, the man who scored the decisive penalty in the final against Bayern Munich, shortly afterwards.

The experienced forward netted his first chance of the evening as both he and Willian beat the offside trap and the Brazilian unselfishly squared for Drogba to tap home.

Fellow substitute Ramires headed home just 73 seconds later as Drogba turned provider and Chelsea moved further ahead.

Chelsea decided enough was enough at five and saw out the remainder of the contest to leave Mourinho no doubt happy with progression and, in all likelihood, inwardly delighted at putting one over on Di Matteo.

Read more at ESPN

Europa League: Everton 4-0 Wolfsburg

Everton marked their return to Europe with a 4-1 Europa League victory over Wolfsburg at Goodison Park.

The Toffees’ last European campaign came back in 2009-10 when they advanced to the final 32, and they will be hopeful of at least reaching that stage this season after claiming all three points in their Group H opener.

They only had to wait for 15 minutes until their first goal with Ricardo Rodriguez turning Steven Naismith’s effort into his own net, while the second came on the stroke of half-time as Seamus Colemanconverted Leighton Baines’ delivery.

Baines struck the third from the penalty spot just after the break, before Kevin Mirallas added extra gloss to the scoreline with a neat finish at the death.

Tim Howard looked to have earned a well-deserved clean sheet after making a string of fine saves, only to be beaten by Rodriguez’s excellent set-piece, which proved to be the last kick of the game.

There is a long way to go given Everton’s tricky draw, which has also pitted them against Ligue 1 leaders Lille and Russian outfit Kuban Kranodar, but Roberto Martinez will take much encouragement from this performance.