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APOEL surprises, Dortmund disappoints
by Paul Kennedy, October 19th, 2011 11:25PM

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TAGS:  england, germany, uefa champions league

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[UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE Day 3: What we learned ...] After Day 3 of the UEFA Champions League, only Real Madrid is perfect with three wins and nine points. The big surprise is APOEL of Cyprus, which leads Group G. The major disappointment: Borussia Dortmund with just one point in Group F. Meanwhile, things are starting to look up for London clubs Arsenal and Chelsea. Here's what we learned ...

APOEL ON TOP. Who would have predicted that Cypriot club APOEL Nicosia would be first in Group G after three games ahead of Porto, Zenit St. Petersburg and Shakhtar Donetsk, all three winners of European trophies in the last four years? APOEL's 1-1 tie at Porto kept it unbeaten with one win and two ties. APOEL's Brazilians matched Porto's Brazilians. Ailton scored on a 25-yard blast past Porto keeper Helton after Hulk had scored on a free kick for Porto. Belgian-born Spaniard Urko Pardo had to replace Dionitis Chiotis after the APOEL keeper injured his ribs diving to stop a shot by Kleber early in the game. Porto outshot APOEL, 23-6, but Helton was the busier of the two keepers in the second half, preserving the tie thanks to saves on Nuno Morais and Aldo Adorno.

DORTMUND IN DOLDRUMS. With the European financial crisis as a backdrop -- insolvent Greece vs. rich Germany -- the Olympiakos-Borussia Dortmund game in Athens sold out in 45 minutes, and the home fans went home happy. Olympiakos handing Dortmund a 3-1 defeat that left the reigning German champion in last place in Group f with one point. German Mats Hummels and Serbian international Neven Subotic, the former U.S. U-17, are supposed to be two of the best young center backs in Europe, but Olympiakos exposed the Dortmund pair. "In total, the opponent simply had too many easy chances to score goals," Michael Zorc, Dortmund's sports director, said. "We did not win the important one-on-one situations. We clearly have to be more stable at the back."

GUNNERS TAKE BABY STEPS. It has not been an easy season for Arsenal, but the Gunners picked up perhaps their biggest win of the fall with a 1-0 victory at Marseille thanks to late sub Aaron Ramsey's goal in stoppage time. The win moved Arsenal into first place in Group F ahead of Marseille, which had won its first two games. ''We've made a little step forward but we have to be humble,'' Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said. ''We are a team who must continue to grow and we have to show that. The game at home to Marseille will be very important. Yes, this will help us with our confidence but if you look back at the last six games you will see we only have one defeat. We are slowly getting there and tonight will help.''

TORRES REGAINS CONFIDENCE. Suspended for three EPL games for the red card he received against Swansea City, Spaniard Fernando Torres saw his journey on the path of resurrection road at Chelsea temporarily blocked, but he scored his first two Champions League goals for the Blues and hit the post in their 5-0 win over Genk. "It is important for players to feel confident," said Chelsea coach Andre Villas-Boas. "And he has been feeling confident."

------------------------------------------
Group E
Chelsea 5 Genk 0      
Scorers: Raul Meireles 8, Fernando Torres 11, 27, Branislav Ivanovic 42, Salomon Kalou 72    
Bayer Leverkusen 2 Valencia 1    
Scorer: Andre Schuerrle  52, Sidney Sam 56; Jonas 25    

Group F
Olympiakos 3 Borussia Dortmund 1    
Scorers: Jose Holebas 8, Rafik Djebbour 40, Francois Modesto 78; Robert Lewandowski 26.
Marseille 0 Arsenal 1      
Scorer: Aaron Ramsey 90

Group G
Shakhtar Donetsk 2 Zenit St. Petersburg 2  
Scorers: Willian 15, Luiz Adriano 45; Roman Shirokov 33, Viktor Faizulin 60    
Porto 1 APOEL 1     
Scorers: Hulk 13; Ailton 19    

Group H    
AC Milan 2 BATE Borisov 0     
Scorers: Zlatan Ibrahimovic 33, Kevin-Prince Boateng 70    
Barcelona 2 Viktoria Plzen 0
Scorers: Andres Iniesta 10, David Villa 82   
-----------------------------
Group A
Napoli 1 Bayern Munich 1
Scorers: own goal 39; Toni Kroos 2.
Man. City 2 Villarreal 1
Scorers: own goal 43, Sergio Aguero 90; Cani 4.

Group B
CSKA Moscow 3 Trabzonspor 0
Scorers: Seydou Doumbia 29, 86, Aleksandrs Cauna 76.
Lille 0 Inter Milan 1
Scorer: Giampaolo Pazzini 21.

Group C
Otelul Galati 0 Man. United 2
Scorer: Wayne Rooney 64 pen., 90 pen.
Basel 0 Benfica 2
Scorers: Bruno Cesar 20, Oscar Cardozo 75.

Group D
Real Madrid 4 Lyon 0
Scorers: Karim Benzema 19, Sami Khedira 47, Mesut Ozil 55, Sergio Ramos 81.
Dinamo Zagreb 0 Ajax 2
Scorers: Derk Boerrigter 49, Christian Eriksen 90.



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