Arsenal, Man Utd win; Juve held
London, October 1:
Dimitar Berbatov scored his first two goals for Manchester United in a 3-0 Champions League victory at Aalborg on Tuesday, and Real Madrid rode their luck in a 2-1 victory at Zenit St Petersburg.
Although Juventus came back from two goals down to draw 2-2 at BATE Borisov, they fell two points behind Madrid. But Arsenal outplayed FC Porto 4-0 to jump above the Portuguese champions to the top of Group G. Bayern Munich rallied for a 1-1 draw with Lyon to stay at the top of Group F by two points. Fiorentina and Steaua Bucharest drew 0-0.
After failing to score and win their first Group E game against Villarreal, defending champions United badly needed a victory at Aalborg. Wayne Rooney ran onto a pass from Ryan Giggs to give United a 22nd-minute lead. Then Berbatov punished an appalling blunder by Aalborg captain Thomas Augustinussen, who played a back-pass straight to him for an easy shot home. Berbatov sent Cristiano Ronaldo’s cross into the net for the third goal in the 80th. Influential midfielder Paul Scholes, however, was ruled out for 10 weeks with knee ligament damage.
Villarreal edged Celtic 1-0 to join United on four points in the group, the only goal coming from Marcos Senna’s free kick in the 67th minute. Celtic and Aalborg have one point each.
Nine-time champion Real Madrid made it a maximum six points from two games by beating Zenit St Petersburg, last season’s UEFA Cup winner. Madrid was fortunate to go ahead in the sixth minute when Tomas Hubocan sliced a cross into his own net. Miguel Danny turned home a cross from Andrei Arshavin for the equaliser in the 25th minute but Ruud van Nistelrooy regained the lead for the Spanish champions in the 31st. Arshavin hit the post in the 78th and Zenit missed several more chances.
Goals by Sergei Kryvets and Igor Stasevich in the first 23 minutes threatened an upset by BATE Borisov against Juventus. But Vincenzo Iaquinta hit back with goals in the 29th and 45th minutes. Juventus have four points while BATE have one and Zenit none.
Robin van Persie and Emmanuel Adebayor scored two goals each as Arsenal went above Porto to the top of Group G. Van Persie scored the first and then Adebayor headed home Van Persie’s corner in the 40th. Van Persie got the third with a low, left-foot shot in the 48th and Adebayor added the fourth with a 71st-minute penalty.
Fenerbahce and Dynamo Kiev drew 0-0, so Arsenal lead the standings with four points. Porto are next with three points, while Dynamo have two and Fenerbahce one. An own-goal by Martin Demichelis, who deflected in a 40-yard free kick by Juninho, gave Lyon a 26th-minute lead at Bayern Munich, but the Bundesliga champions came back through Ze Roberto’s header in the 52nd.