Boateng, Huntelaar maintain German hold over English sides
Paris: Jerome Boateng’s late goal and a second-half equaliser from Klaas-Jan Huntelaar completed a good week for German clubs against their counterparts from England in the opening round of Champions League group games.
Boateng’s first ever goal in the competition was a memorable one as it sealed a 1-0 win for Bayern Munich against his former club Manchester City in Group E yesterday, the defender unleashing a fierce drive to at last beat Joe Hart as the teams met in the group stage for the third time in four seasons.
Meanwhile, Huntelaar’s strike allowed Schalke 04 to earn a deserved 1-1 draw with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in Group G after Cesc Fabregas had been slightly fortunate to see his first goal for his club stand.
Bayern and Schalke’s strong showings against English opposition followed on from Borussia Dortmund’s dominant performance on Tuesday in beating Arsenal 2-0.
Elsewhere Bayern coach Pep Guardiola’s former club Barcelona eked out a 1-0 home win over resilient Cypriot side APOEL Nicosia with Gerard Pique getting the only goal in a match probably better remembered for legendary midfielder Xavi Hernandez equalling compatriot Raul’s Champions League all-time appearance record of 142.
The side likely to be their main rivals to top Group F, Paris Saint-Germain, dropped points with a 1-1 draw away at Ajax.
PSG wasted a host of chances when they were 1-0 up — Edinson Cavani’s 28th goal in his 50th appearance for the French champions giving them the lead — and paid the price when Danish international Lasse Schoene levelled with a delightful free-kick.
Two other games ended in draws – Athletic Bilbao’s first game at this stage in 16 years saw them hold Ukrainian side Shakhtar Donetsk 0-0 in Group H.
Former Manchester United winger Nani got on the scoresheet for Sporting Lisbon but Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho will have not seen anything to fear too much from his group rivals as Slovenian champions Maribor fought back to grab a 1-1 draw.