Manchester United fought back in dramatic fashion at Old Trafford on Tuesday to reach the knockout stage of the Champions League. The Premier League champions drew 3–3 with CSKA Moscow after falling behind 3–1.
With the draw, United has 10 points and leads Group B. Two more games are left to play in round robin stage.
CSKA took the lead after 25 minutes of play when Alan Dzagoev’s tight-angled shot somehow found the top shelf past Edwin van der Sar.
Michael Owen, starting in place of Wayne Rooney, got United’s first goal four minutes later, converting a clever back flick pass from Nani. But then things went south for United.
Milos Krasic and Vasili Berezutsky scored on either side of half time after some sloppy defending by the Red Devils.
On came substitute Wayne Rooney, who had just become a father.
Paul Scholes’s glancing header in the 84th minute brought the home side within one. And in stoppage time, Antonio Valencia’s long drive, which was going wide, hit CSKA defender Georgy Shennikov and found the back of the net.
“The play in the last 25 minutes was terrific,” said Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson in an interview with Sky Sports.
United can now look forward to a trip to Stamford Bridge on Sunday to face Chelsea in the Premier League.
Didier Drogba made his triumphant return to Champions League after being suspended at the end of last year’s campaign. The Ivorian was in imperious form as he scored both Chelsea goals in a 2–2 draw away to Atletico Madrid.
Diego Maradona’s son-in-law Sergio Aguero scored both goals for Atletico.
Aguero gave the home side the lead just after the hour mark with a terrific volley. Drogba pulled that one back with a trademark header in the 82nd minute.
Then, Drogba, who is perhaps the hottest striker in Europe now, did it all himself with a dazzling run down the inside-left channel. His first shot was stopped but he popped in the rebound and Chelsea had a 2–1 lead with less than two minutes to play.
But Aguero’s free kick in stoppage time gave Atletico a share of the points.
Chelsea tops Group D with 10 points, one more than Porto.
Didier Drogba spoke with Sky Sports about being glad to be back and his return to top form. “It’s easier when you play injury free,” he said.
Return to Milan
Real Madrid and AC Milan played to an exciting 1–1 draw at the San Siro on Tuesday. The match marked Kaka’s return to Milan after being signed by Madrid in the summer.
The Brazilian playmaker received a warm welcome from the Milan crowd but it was another Brazilian playmaker who stole the show—Ronaldinho. The former Barcelona star who is surely finding his form scored from a penalty kick shortly after Karim Benzema had put the visitors ahead.
In a very tightly contested Group C, AC Milan and Real Madrid each have seven points. (Milan is technically in first place since they beat Real). Marseille sits one point back after a 6–1 thrashing of FC Zurich.