Ronaldo, Yaya Toure, Others Go Goals Crazy

Rooney in UEFA

*The players were on target on Tuesday.

Everywhere was noisy yesterday, but millions of football fans; including Nigerians enjoyed the opening of the 2013/2014 UEFA Champions League, as a record opening average of 3.75 goals per game greeted the start of the new season. Thirty strikes on the night! That is the best first-night total in the current format of the tournament. Fans were treated to an unprecedented 30 goals on the opening night of the 2013/14 UEFA Champions League Tuesday, smashing the existing record for the competition in its current incarnation.

Since 1999/00, the first 32-team edition of the competition, the most goals scored on the first night of action had been 27 in 2000/01.

But Tuesday night’s action brought a deluge of goals – including memorable strikes for Manchester City FC’s Yaya Touré and Olympiacos FC’s Vladimír Weiss as well as Wayne Rooney’s 199th and 200th goals for Manchester United FC, and a Cristiano Ronaldo hat-trick.

Indeed, there might have been more had FC København goalkeeper Johan Wiland not put in the performance of a lifetime to keep the score in his side’s home game against Juventus to a respectable 1-1.

In only two seasons since the competition’s inception have more than 30 goals been scored on the opening night of group stage action – in 1997/98 and 1998/99, when there were 12 games played rather than the now-standard eight.

Last night’s total eclipses the highest average goals per game figure for any opening night of a UEFA Champions League regardless of the number of teams involved.
However, Wednesday’s teams will have to raise their game even further if they are to make it the highest scoring matchday in the history of the UEFA Champions League.

After the 27 goals on the opening night in 2000/01, there were 36 on the second, a total of 63 over the course of the two nights – and a whopping average of 3.94 per game.

However, Emmanuel Eboué had an evening to forget as Galatasaray lost 6-1 to Real Madrid CF, a sharp contrast to Karim Benzema who reflected on a night when it all “fell into place”.

“Everything seemed to fall into place,” was how Real Madrid CF forward Karim Benzema described his side’s UEFA Champions League opener at Galatasaray AŞ, scoring two in the 6-1 win. The Frenchman, along with three-goal Cristiano Ronaldo, admitted that the hosts caused the Spanish team problems in the opening 30 minutes, but believes the result lays down a major marker in the competition. Cimbom defender Emmanuel Eboué, meanwhile, admitted he did not enjoy his evening as part of a defence which conceded five goals after the interval. “I would rather forget about the second half,” he glumly concluded.

From The Mixed Zone..From The Mixed Zone..From The Mixed Zone

Karim Benzema, Real Madrid CF forward
I believe Galatasaray played a very good first half hour; very confident, aggressive, pushing us back a lot. Things changed after Isco scored [on 33 minutes], his goal gave us the necessary boost. I felt very confident tonight, which obviously reflects in me scoring twice. But all in all the whole team performed well. This evening was one of these moments where everything seemed to fall into place.

Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid forward
Scoring six goals away, especially here, is a major achievement. It is a serious boost for our confidence. But let us not forget Galatasaray made it really difficult for us in the first 20 minutes. After we opened the scoring we took over and it became more easy. The result speaks volumes.

Emmanuel Eboué, Galatasaray defender
Everybody who saw this game will tell you Galatasaray played a very strong opening 30 minutes, proving our team can achieve great things. However, the difference between Real Madrid and us is that they score goals more easily than we do. We created sufficient chances but could not capitalise; they did.

In the second half we started making a lot of mistakes in defence as well. I would rather forget about the second half, but then again we have to learn from what went wrong. Learning from this is important for the games to come. I prefer not to jump to conclusions. This was just one game of six to play.

Felipe Melo, Galatasaray midfielder
I feel upset and sad, because this was a result nobody expected. And half an hour into the game, who would have predicted 6-1? You can play as good as you possibly can, but in the end you are facing Real Madrid, a team consisting of some of the best players in the world.

Tuesday, 17/09/13 Results

Man Utd 4-2 B Leverkusen
Real Sociedad 0-2 Shakh’r Donetsk
FC Copenhagen 1-1 Juventus
Galatasaray 1-6 Real Madrid
Benfica 2-0 Anderlecht
Olympiakos 1-4 Paris SG
Bayern Munich 3-0 CSKA Moscow
Plzen 0-3 Man City

Wednesday, 18/09/13 Fixtures

AC Milan Vs Celtic 19:45
Chelsea Vs FC Basel 19:45
Marseille Vs Arsenal 19:45
Atl Madrid Vs Zenit St P’sbg 19:45
Aust Vienna Vs Porto 19:45
Barcelona Vs Ajax 19:45
Napoli Vs B/Dortmund 19:45
Schalke 04 Vs Steaua Buch’t 19:45

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