UCL Rewind: Chelsea rout Steaua Bucuresti, Barcelona edge Celtic, and more

Ramires Chelsea (Getty Images)

By FRANCO PANIZO

Talk about bouncing back in emphatic fashion.

Chelsea grabbed their first win in the UEFA Champions League group stages and got their campaign back on track on Tuesday by going into Romania and routing Steaua Bucuresti, 4-0. Ramires led the way with a brace while a Frank Lampard strike and an own goal from Daniel Georgievski made up the other two goals for the Blues, who lost now have three points in Group E after losing to FC Basel in their tournament opener.

Barcelona also picked up a victory on the road, but it did not come as easily as Chelsea’s did. It took the Spanish powerhouse 75 minutes to see off a Celtic side that went down to 10 men just before the hour mark, with Cesc Fabregas providing the decisive goal. The Bhoys hung tough for much of the Group H match at Celtic Park, but the red card to Scott Brown in the 59th minute proved too much to overcome against a Barcelona team that now has six points from its first two group stage games.

The other Group H game ended in some drama and controversy, as Mario Balotelli converted a questionable 94th-minute penalty kick to help AC Milan pick up a 1-1 tie against Ajax at Amsterdam ArenA just minutes after the hosts had scored what looked to be the game-winner. Ajax scored in the 90th minute through a Stefano Denswil header, but Milan were able to respond through a Balotelli-drawn penalty kick that some felt was dubious at best.

Here’s a full rundown of Tuesday’s results:

Group E

FC Basel 0-1 Schalke 04

Steaua Bucuresti 0-4 Chelsea

Group F

Arsenal 2-0 Napoli

Borussia Dortmund 3-0 Olympique Marseille

Group G

Zenit St. Petersburg 0-0 Austria Vienna

FC Porto 1-2 Atletico Madrid

Group H

Ajax 1-1 AC Milan

Celtic 0-1 Barcelona

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What do you think of these results? Surprised that Chelsea won by such a large margin on the road? Think Celtic would have pulled out a result had it not been for the red card to Brown?

Share your thoughts below.

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12 Responses to UCL Rewind: Chelsea rout Steaua Bucuresti, Barcelona edge Celtic, and more

  1. Tony in Quakeland says:

    Probably the most interesting result, and one unexpected by many (especially when the draw was announced), was Arsenal over Napoli…but that doesn’t get mentioned in your write up.

    Arsenal is the surprise team of the European season so far, and they beat the second team in Italy. Yet the headline is Chelsea beating up filler…

    • Andrew In Tally says:

      Great point Tony. That game was a joy to watch. Napoli was unbeaten in domestic competition and had beaten Dortmund so folks were expecting a tough match. Arsenal came out strong early, which is unusual. but this team is different. The players are playing with a confidence I haven’t seen since the day when Henri was around. Flamini makes such a huge difference in shoring up the defense. You heard it here first. Aaron Ramsey is the next Gareth Bale of the BPL.

      • DR7_Liverpool_ says:

        AFC look great this year minus that opener against Villa. Taking out Napoli at Emirates is a great result but not hard to imagine given their current form.

      • King George Arsenal FC says:

        I’m a die hard Gooner, but what you said is wrong: “Aaron Ramsey is the next Gareth Bale of the BPL.”

        That is wrong. Aaron Ramsey is not the next Gareth Bale of the BPL. I love Aaron and Arsenal, but that is wrong.

  2. Lucas P says:

    Kreis is a goner…

  3. fischy says:

    What Balotelli pulled to steal a point for Milan — a travesty. Final minute of game, so he pulled the defender down on top of him to “earn” an PK. I guess he picked that up from Real Madrid and Pepe, but it’s still blatant cheating. Even worse than going down easy when there’s contact or near contact, which are reactive — this was premeditated and proactive. I keep wanting to feel sorry for a guy who’s hated in his own country because of the color of his skin, but he’s such a total tool.

    • Johnathan says:

      right, so don’t feel bad for him for being hated for the color of the skin, totally rationally because like games and sports are so much more important that you know equality and tolerance in your life and in the lives of humans all over the world

  4. At the end of the Chelsea players play at their usual level. Barcelona played poorly, but they managed to win over Celtic.

  5. Brain Guy says:

    Terrible call on the Ballotelli penalty. And even worse gamesmanship. Worse than a dive, Ballotelli pulled the defender down to get the call. Just ain’t right.

    • biff says:

      I didn’t see the game, but saw the video today and is a sickening scene, clearly a pre-meditated dive like Pepe’s last week and this is bad, bad for the game and makes you wonder about the referee. Whatever the case, I can never cheer for Balotelli again. Disgusting.

      link to youtube.com

  6. soccerhorn says:

    The very best of the sport of soccer was on display last night, when reprehensible cheating by two of the biggest figures in the game, Balotelli and Neymar, led to undeserved results for both sides. It’s enough to make you think “maybe that American football is worth another look…”