Champions League: Group Phase ready to begin

Alexis Sánchez puts Arsenal FC through to the group phase of the UEFA Champions League for the seventeenth consecutive season, an amazing feat for manager Arsene Wenger, approaching the totallists Real Madrid, FC Porto and until this season, Manchester United. Steaua Bucureşti went out on penalties and this year misses out on the Champions League.

Tonight's games

Malmö 3 Salzburg 0 (aggregate 4-2); Arsenal 1 Besiktas 0 (1-0); Athletic 3 Napoli 1 (4-2); Ludogorets 1 Steaua 0 (1-1, 6-5 on penalties); Leverkusen 4 Kobenhaven 0 (7-2)

First leg

Salzburg 2 Malmö 1; Besiktas 0 Arsenal 0; Napoli 1 Athletic 1; Steaua 1 Ludogorets 0; Kobenhavn 2 Leverkusen 3;

Yesterday's games

Champions League Qualifying rounds Second Leg

FC Porto 2 Lille 0 (aggregate 3-0); Zenit 3 Standard Liège 0 (4-0); Celtic 0 Maribor 1 (1-2); BATE 3 Slovan Bratislava 0 ( 4-1); APOEL 4 AaB 0 (5-1)

First leg

Lille 0 FC Porto 1; Standard de Liège 0 Zenit 1; Maribor 1 Celtic 1; Slovan Bratislava 1 BATE 1; Aab 1 APOEL 1

Zenit passes to the group phase of the Champions League after beating Standard de Liège (Belgium) over two legs, 1-0 away in Belgium and 3-0 at home tonight in Saint Petersburg. The goalscorers for André Villas-Boas' team were Rondón (30') and a brace from Hulk, a penalty on 54' and another on 58'. Zenit, Porto, BATE, Maribor and APOEL pass.

Chempionat Rossii - Russian Premier League (After 5 matches)

André Villas-Boas' Zenit Saint Petersburg, FC Zenit, are atop the Chempionat Rossii, with a maximum 5 wins from 5 games - fifteen points, after beating Amkar Perm 2-0 in St. Petersburg, goals from Shatov and Hulk; Ionov scored a brace for Dinamo (12 points) at Khimki in the 2-0 defeat of Ural; Dzyuba scored a couple for Spartak Moskva (12 points) at Ufa in Perm in the 2-0 away win for the Moscow side; Krasnodar teams FC Krasnodar and FC Kuban Krasnodar have 11 points each.


FC Krasnodar won against Torpedo 3-0 in Moscow while Kuban beat Lokomotiv Moskva 2-1 in Krasnodar.


Premier League (England) (After 2 matches)


There are four totallists in the Premier League, with a maximum of six points from two games, namely Tottenham Hotspur FC, Chelsea FC (both from London), Manchester City FC and Swansea City AFC (Wales).


FA Community Shield Arsenal 3 Manchester City 0

Goals from Santi Cazorla and Aaron Ramsey in the first half, followed by the third, a rocket from 25 metres, after the break from Olivier Giroud started a promising season for Arsene Wenger's Gunners and raises questions as to the preparation of Manuel Pelligrini's Manchester City.


La Liga (Spain) (After 1 match)

Wins for FC Barcelona, RC Celta de Vigo, Real Madrid CF, Villarreal CF, Granada CF, SD Elbar and Malaga CF in the kick-off matches in La Liga.

Bundesliga (Germany) (After 1 match)

Wins for Bayer 04 Leverkusen, TSG 1899 Hoffenheim, FC Payern München, Hannover 96 and Eintracht Frankfurt in the opening game in the Bundesliga.


Ligue 1 (France) (After 3 matches)

The top three in France are FC Girondins de Bordeaux (9 points from three matches), AS Saint-Étienne (seven points) and LOSC Lille (seven points)


Serie A (Italy)

Matches start August 30


Primeira Liga (Portugal) (After 2 matches)

The top five with two wins out of two in the Portuguese Primeira Liga are Rio Ave FC, Vitória SC (Guimarães), CF Os Belenenses (Lisbon), SL Benfica (Lisbon) and FC Porto.


Premer Liga (Ukraine) After 4 matches


FC Shakhtar Donetsk and FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk lead the Ukrainian Premer Liga with a maximum 12 points out of the first four games, with FC Dynamo Kyiv just behind on 10.


Shakhtar beat local rival FC Olimpic Donetsk 5-0 away in the local Derby, while Dnipro went to Zaporizhya to beat Metalurh 1-0. Dinamo went to Mariupol to beat Illychivets 4-1, with a hat-trick from Kravets.


In Romania, after 4 games, FC Steaua Bucureşti leads with the maximum 12 points, followed by FC Petrolul Ploieşti on 10 and FC Astra Giurgiu on 9. Steaua beat Pandurii 6-0; Petrolul drew 0-0 at home with Rapid Bucureşti and Astra beat Iaşi 2-1.


In Armenia, FC Pyunik and FC Shirak top the table with 6 points from the first two games.

Pyunik won 2-0 away at Alashkert, while Shirak beat Mika 1-0


In the Azerbaijan Premier League (Topaz Premyer Liqası), Sumqayit FK leads with 6 points out of 6 after 2 games (1-0 away at Xäzär Länkära) while Inter Baki PIK is second on 4 points (1-0 defeat at Neftçi).


Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey


([email protected])


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Author`s name Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey