Champions League resumes with a flurry of goals
FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — The Champions League returned on Tuesday with a 40-goal bonanza as Bayern Munich thrashed Roma 7-1 for its biggest victory on the road and Luiz Adriano scored five as Shakhtar put seven goals past BATE Borisov.
On a record-busting night, Chelsea wasn’t far behind in a 6-0 win over Maribor, but Manchester City remained without a victory in three matches after wasting a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 at CSKA Moscow.
Schalke also squandered a two-goal lead before scoring a controversial penalty in stoppage time to edge 10-man Sporting 4-3.
Neymar and Lionel Messi scored in Barcelona’s 3-1 win over Ajax. Messi’s 69th career goal in Europe’s top-tier competition moved him to within two goals of the all-time record set by Raul Gonzalez. He is tied with Cristiano Ronaldo before Real Madrid visits Liverpool on Wednesday.
Away from the big-scoring games, Paris Saint-Germain edged APOEL 1-0 in Cyprus.
Adriano’s five-goal performance in Belarus —with two goals from the penalty spot — equaled Messi’s five against Bayer Leverkusen in 2012.
Adriano is the first to manage four goals in the first half, doing so in a record span of 17 minutes. With a late penalty, he also matched Messi’s record.
Shakhtar, which has been forced to move from its home in Donetsk because of fighting between Ukrainian government troops and pro-Russian rebels, matched the biggest away victory in the history of the Champions League. Olympique Marseille also won 7-0 at MSK Zilina in 2010.
The biggest Champions League victory came in 2007, when Liverpool thrashed Besiktas 8-0.
With eight more matches to be played Wednesday, the record of 63 goals for a matchday, set on the opening day of the 2000-01 season, could be broken.
Five-time champion Bayern, which won the title in 2013, made itself one of the favorites this season with an overwhelming performance in Rome, with Arjen Robben scoring twice.
It matched Roma’s heaviest defeat in the competition, a 7-1 loss at Manchester United in the 2007 quarterfinals.
“This is a fluke,” Bayern coach Josep Guardiola said. “It’s not normal to win 7-1.”
But Bayern is starting to look like the Barcelona squad that Guardiola coached to two Champions League titles. The Spaniard took over Bayern last season and saw his club lose 5-0 on aggregate to Real Madrid in the semifinals.
“Last season we had the legs but not the mindset,” Guardiola said. “We needed to decide things a split-second quicker and now we’re doing that.”
Messi started an outstanding performance at Camp Nou by setting up Neymar in the seventh minute before the Argentine scored in the 24th.
“I am pleased with our game, in the first half we were by far the better side. We created a lot of chances and could have scored two more goals,” Barcelona coach Luis Enrique said. “We could have pressed more in the second half. You have to finish out the match.”
Eden Hazard netted twice and Didier Drogba scored his first goal since returning to Chelsea in the victory over Maribor.
Drogba’s two-month search for a goal ended in the first half shortly after replacing Loic Remy, who sustained a groin injury while netting Chelsea’s opener in the 13th minute.
But Chelsea coach Jose Mourinho must now cope with Drogba as his only fit striker for Sunday’s Premier League match at Manchester United, with Remy joining Diego Costa on the sidelines.
“We don’t cry on injuries, it is our philosophy,” Mourinho said. “One injury means an opportunity for somebody else.”
Chelsea remains two points ahead of Schalke, which clinched a 4-3 victory over 10-man Sporting Lisbon in stoppage time when Eric Choupo-Moting converted a penalty.
Adrien Silva, who had brought Sporting back from a two-goal deficit, was penalized for a handball — although television replays clearly showed the ball had bounced off his chest.
Without the injured star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Paris Saint-Germain needed a goal from Edinson Cavani three minutes from time to beat APOEL.
“I believe that we didn’t play a great game. Honestly, it’s not one that we’ll remember. But what we’ll keep is the three points,” PSG coach Laurent Blanc said.
In freezing Moscow, goals from Sergio Aguero and James Milner gave Manchester City a comfortable two-goal lead by halftime at Arena Khimki, where CSKA was made to play behind closed doors as punishment for racist behavior by its fans.
But CSKA substitute Seydou Doumbia pulled one back in the 65th minute off a cross from Ahmed Musa and Bibras Natcho leveled in the 86th from the penalty spot after Doumbia was fouled by Aleksandar Kolarov.
Substitute Ricardo Quaresma scored in the 75th minute to give FC Porto a 2-1 win over Athletic Bilbao.