2015-16 UEFA Champions League Roundup: Matchday 6, Pt. 2

So it is finished. Now that the group stage for the 2015-16 UEFA Champions League wrapped up we know who will participate in the last 16 after the new year. There was plenty of joy and misery across Europe on Wednesday. Most notable were the big wins for the two London sides, and disaster in Valencia.

Biggest win: London

Chelsea and Arsenal were both in desperate need of points in their respective groups. Chelsea only needed a draw in their home match against Porto. Meanwhile, in Athens, Arsenal needed to win by two goals, or win while scoring at least three goals if they had any hopes of moving on. After 90 minutes, it was job done for both sides. Chelsea put two past Iker Casillas, and that was enough for them. The Blues got off to a strong start after Porto put the ball into their own net. Willian put the result beyond doubt in the second half. Chelsea gets the prize of being group winners, and Porto head to the Europa League

Arsenal, who had a lot more to do than their London neighbors, got off to a shaky start, allowing Olympiakos a few chances early on. But the Gunners eventually broke down their oppositions defense. Olivier Giroud scored his first after 29 minutes, and again shortly after the second half kicked off. The two goals were enough to send Arsenal through to the last sixteen. Giroud had one more goal in him though, as he converted a penalty to notch his first hat-trick in an Arsenal shirt. Arsenal finish their group second behind Bayern Munich.

Biggest Loss: Valencia

This wasn’t the result Gery Neville wanted with his new club. Valencia, who needed a win against French side Lyon, came up woefully short. The Spanish side lost 2:0 to a Lyon team that only managed one point in their previous five Champions League matches. In the end, the result was largely irrelevant as Gent beat Zenit St. Petersburg, and any victory by Valencia would not have been enough. However, this is a match Valencia should have won, They’ll have to head to the Europa League now.

Most Shocking Result: Bayer Leverkusen 1:1 Barcelona

This is actually shocking for a reason you may not be thinking of. It’s shocking that Leverkusen didn’t win. Barcelona had already wrapped up their group, and Luis Enrique fielded a team full of youngsters, including the likes of Sergi Samper. The only member of Barcelona’s fearsome front three that started was Lionel Messi. The Argentine scored Barcelona’s only goal. In this match it was the German side that did most of the attacking. Barcelona only had 51% of  possession, according to ESPN. Javier Hernandez scored for Leverkusen and had plenty of chances to take the lead. In the end, Leverkusen were unable to beat Marc-Andre ter Stegen. Leverkusen needed to win and have Roma drop points to BATE Borisov. They got the help they needed from BATE, but back at the BayArena, the home side couldn’t get it done.


Best Tweet:

Best goal:

Messi’s goal against Leverkusen was started with a great pass from Rakitic and Messi calmly rounds the keeper.

The Last 16:

About Harrison Prolic

Northern Illinois graduate with a degree in Journalism. Full-time page designer in Madison, Wisconsin. Part time follower of all things German soccer. I tweet about the Bundesliga and plenty of other sports @hprolic.