Posted on October 31, 2006
Barcelona, Spain (Sports Network) – Chelsea forward Didier Drogba has turned into a Barca-killer in 2006 UEFA Champions League Group play.
In two games against his team’s arch-rival Barcelona – the defending European Champion – the Ivory Coast international has two goals, a game-winner and a game equalizer in the 90th minute. The latter came in Tuesday’s 2-2 tie between the two Group A squads.
The equalizer came after Barca seemed to take control of the game with a goal by Eidur Gudjohnsen in the 58th minute.
Drogba slid the ball under Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes’ arm in injury time to drop the Spanish squad to third place in the group, two behind Werder Bremen. The German squad moved two points ahead of the European champions in their bid to emerge from Champions League Group A alongside Chelsea with a 3-0 win over Levski Sofia.
Anderson Deco got Barcelona on the board first in the game – seemingly by himself. Deco took control of the ball in the midfield and dribbled down the right sideline before taking a low hard shot past Chelsea goalkeeper Henrique Hilaro, far post.
Chelsea tied the score in the 52nd minute on a Frank Lampard goal about six minutes before Gudjohnsen put the home squad up 2-1.
In Group B action, an injury-ridden Bayern Munich squad punched their tickets to the Champions League final 16, as the German group battled to a scoreless stalemate with visiting Sporting Club de Portugal on Tuesday.
The share of points was enough to guarantee the hosts a spot in the knockout stage, on a back and forth game that saw no real advantage for either squad. Roy Makaay had a great chance for the Bundesliga outfit in the 73rd minute on a Santa Cruz ball sent clear ahead, leaving the striker one-on-one with Sporting’s goalkeeper Ricardo. Makaay sent his strike over the bar, keeping the draw intact.
Three minutes later, Sporting had its chance, but Joao Moutinho could only ding the crossbar off a free-kick on the other end. The Portuguese squad remains five points away from the Group B-leading Bayern and drops to third place, as International Milano came out of Matchday 4 with a 1-0 win over Spartak Moscow.
The goal less duel means that Sporting will be in a must-win situation in its Matchday 5 contest against Internazionale Milano, as the Lisbon club will enter the game one point behind Inter.
In Group C action, Liverpool used two goals from Luis Garcia to defeat Bordeaux 3-0 and punch its ticket into the next round. PSV also secured its spot in the elimination round with a 2-0 win over Galatasaray.
In Group D play, the second and third-place teams of Roma and Olympiakos, fought to a 1-1 draw in Stadio Olimpico. The result keeps Roma a solid five points ahead of Olympiakos.
The 2-2 finish between top-squad Valencia and Shakhtar Donetsk gave the Russian group redemption of the October 18 Champions League loss at the hands of the Spanish club. Valencia holds onto first with 10 points, while Shakhtar puts itself in a last-place tie with Olympiakos, each with two apiece.