Once again the Champions League provided a thrilling round of action. Champions League hospitality guests were treated to a fantastic night at Old Trafford as Manchester United got their first win over Wolfsburg, but Arsenal suffered a second consecutive defeat as they fell to Olympiakos.
It was a tale of two cities in the Champions League – joy for Manchester and tears for London. Manchester United beat Wolfsburg at Old Trafford 2-1 and Manchester City took Borussia Monchengladbach away by the same score.
But Chelsea FC went down at Porto and Arsenal disastrously lost at home to Olympiakos. United saw off a dangerous and skillful Wolfsburg side with a Mata penalty and Chris Smalling winner.
Wolfsburg snatched an early goal and you feared for United as they missed some glorious openings, with Wayne Rooney of all people culpable for spurning a ‘sitter’.
Memphis too failed to convert while on the counter Wolfsburg threatened to grab a second.
But United got one back at the right time just before half time – a gift from their opponents as goal scorer Caliguiri turning hero to villain with a silly handball. And then Smalling pounced after a spot of Mata magic.
Manchester United Champions League hospitality guests were delighted with the result and will be hoping their side can now go on to qualify from the group.
It was despair for London with both Chelsea and Arsenal losing. The Stamford Bridge side improved on their dismal Premier League form but are not the Chelsea of last season, when they thrilled guests Chelsea FC Champions League hospitality packages.
Nevertheless, with one win and one defeat so far, they still look likely to qualify.
Jose Mourinho blamed “two ridiculous mistakes” for Chelsea’s defeat at Porto – where it all started for the Portuguese, gaining his first Champions League title there. But he insisted that the overall performance of the team was “good”.
Porto had plenty of chances and deserved the victory, but Chelsea could have sneaked it, being denied a blatant handball in the penalty box. Goals from Andre Andre and Maicon were enough to seal it. The excellent Willian replied. Maicon’s goal from a corner particularly peeved Mourinho.
Mourinho, highly critical of his players this term, had dropped Eden Hazard and Nemanja Matic to the bench, while Oscar, Loic Remy and Falcao were not even included in the squad.