Champions League

Arsenal and Athletic Bilbao advance, Ludogorets fairy tale ending

Alexis Sanchez scores his first goal for Arsenal at the perfect moment. Athletic Bilbao and the Basque nation celebrate their 3-1 triumph over Napoli. Ludogorets defender Moti becomes immortal.

Arsenal 1 – Besiktas 0

Sanchez first half goal was all that was needed for Arsenal to advance to the group stage of the Champions League. Tempers flared when new signing Debuchy received his 2nd yellow card in the 2nd half and the Gunners were forced to finish the game a man down. Besiktas pressed and Demba Ba almost found the winner late in the game from a set piece. Fortunately for Arsene Wenger and company they kept a clean sheet and advanced.

Athletic Bilbao 3 – Napoli 1

Bilbao will advance to the group stage for the first time since 1998. Thanks to two goals from Aduriz and horrible set piece and defending in general, Napoli were not able to capitalize on their opening goal of the game from a brilliant strike from Hamsik.

Errors though started pouring right after. Aduriz first scored from a corner in which he was completely alone and he hammered it in. Benitez will have nightmares after seeing all the defensive deficiencies that his squad showed in San Mames.

My personal favorite part of the day though came in one of the lesser watched matches when Bulgarian side Ludogorets hosted Steaua București. The game looked sealed for the Romanian side until the 89th minute when in glorious fashion Wanderson equalized with a great volley. 

As amazing as this was, it wasn’t even the most dramatic moment of the match. The time expired and the game went to extra time. In the 118th minute, the Ludogorets keeper was sent off for a tackle. With no subs left, defender and former captain of Steau’s bitter rival Dinamo Bucuresti, Cosmin Moti put on some keeper gloves in what surely will be the biggest moment of his entire career. When the penalty shoot out commenced, not only did he step up and score the first goal of the shootout, he went on and blocked Steau’s first attempt as well. The game finally ended in suddent death shootout when this happened:


-Disgruntled Sports Fan


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