Champions League: Buffon, Aubameyang, Ozil and Falcao light up matchday four

  • Champions-league

Champions League: Buffon, Aubameyang, Ozil and Falcao light up matchday four

There was a happy century for one of the game’s legends, a star striker was surprisingly left out and another front man showed he can still do it.

The fourth round of Champions League fixtures served up its usual delights.

In all, 41 goals were scored and a handful of teams are into the knockout stages. But what might you have missed?

Who went through?

After four rounds of matches, five teams have already secured a passage into the last 16.

On Tuesday Arsenal joined Paris St-Germain, Atletico Madrid and Bayern Munich in progressing, and five teams had a chance of securing qualification on Wednesday.

However, Borussia Dortmund were the only team to take that chance, beating Sporting 1-0.

Juventus conceded a late leveller at home to Lyon, which also prevented Sevilla from qualifying, Leicester were held by Copenhagen and Real Madrid played out a 3-3 draw in Warsaw.

10 years, 41 matches, 0 clean sheets

“People embarrass themselves by commenting on it, not me.”

Those are the defiant words CSKA Moscow keeper Igor Akinfeev has used in the past when quizzed on his run of Champions League matches without a clean sheet.

It is now 10 years and two days – 41 matches in all – since he kept Arsenal out. It only just 13 minutes for Monaco’s Valere Germain to beat him on matchday four and another two more Radamel Falcao goals followed as the French side won 3-0.

Welcome to the 100 club

Gianluigi Buffon’s memories of the Champions League may prove more positive than Akinfeev’s.

The Juventus keeper, 38, reached 100 appearances in the competition in their home draw with Lyon.

That puts him level with Andriy Shevchenko in 28th position on the list of all-time appearances in the competition, with Porto keeper Iker Casillas leading the way on 160.

Since making his debut for Parma in the Champions League in 1997, Buffon has won 44 of the 100 games he’s played, keeping 42 clean sheets. The stuff of Akinfeev’s dreams perhaps.

What did Aubameyang do?

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s omission from the Borussia Dortmund squad for their win over Sporting Lisbon raised eyebrows and the club quickly said their star striker was left out for “internal reasons”.

A photograph of the Gabon international taken by his brother then appeared on Instagram and the pair then found their way to the stadium.

Some on social media said Aubameyang had dressed like Inspector Gadget, but no one could get to the bottom of his place on the sidelines, with Dortmund boss Thomas Tuchel simply calling the move an “internal measure that was necessary”.

Shocking shooting?

Are goalkeepers in the Champions League getting an easy ride?

Across the 16 fixtures there were 430 shots if blocked efforts are also included.

Only 136 – 68 on each match night – hit the target. So are the best players in Europe guilty of too much wayward shooting?

FC Copenhagen’s draw with Leicester was a fixture packed with dismal efforts, just three of 29 shots found the target – the lowest tally in the Champions League this season.

Ozil’s the talk of Twitter

Mesut Ozil’s 87th-minute goal as Arsenal overcame Ludogrets was the talk of social media, such was the coolness the German showed in lobbing the goalkeeper before rounding two defenders.

Stewards at Ludogrets Arena were seemingly in awe too as one image on social media showed.

In the 90 minutes following Ozil’s goal, his name was mentioned over 220,000 times on Twitter.

Arsenal – now 15 matches unbeaten in all competitions – came back to win from two goals down for the third time in Champions League history, a record in the competition.

Radamel who?

Since cracking in 32 goals in 37 games for Atletico Madrid in 2012-13, Radamel Falcao has managed just 16 in the three full seasons since.

But the 30-year-old was on target twice for Monaco as they overcame CSKA Moscow, his first Champions League goals since 17 February 2010, a total of 2,450 days.

After a sublime turn and finish for his second, former Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp tweeted: “Maybe he has still got it!”

Where have the smiles gone?

Borussia Monchengladbach were full of laughs ahead of Celtic’s visit, making light of being called ‘A German club’ by a Scottish pub who could not spell out their name ahead of the reverse fixture.

But after a 1-1 draw with the Scottish club, the mood has shifted. Borussia – 11th in the Bundesliga – are now angry they have to play a league fixture against Hertha Berlin on Friday night.

Pulling no punches, their sporting director Max Eberl said: “That would never happen to Bayern Munich”.

Denmark want ‘miracle’ man Ranieri

Ahead of Leicester’s draw in Copenhagen, a Danish journalist called the Italian a “miracle worker” and asked him to become Denmark manager.

With a grin, Ranieri, 65, replied: “I am so young, when I am an older coach I will come.”