Barça impress, Chelsea march on
In the latest UEFA Champions League matchday, Barcelona put five past Basel to become the only side in the competition to win their first three group matches. Elsewhere, the two revelations of the tournament to date both went down to defeat. Cypriot standard bearers Anorthosis Famagusta put up a fight in losing 1-0 at Inter Milan, while Cluj of Romania lost by the same scoreline at Bordeaux.
Match of the day
Chelsea 1-0 Roma
Goal: John Terry 78
Chelsea warmed up for their Premier League summit meeting with Liverpool by dominating possession against the Italians. Expertly marshalled by Philippe Mexes, however, Roma's defensive line stood firm, with Francesco Totti remaining ever alert to the possibility of a quick break. The home side's pressure eventually told when John Terry got in at the near post to glance home Frank Lampard's corner 12 minutes from time.
Surprise of the day
After Tuesday's avalanche of 36 goals Wednesday proved to be a much quieter evening, with only 15 going in, one fewer than the previous evening's half-time tally. In-form Barcelona accounted for exactly one third of them.
While Chelsea were consolidating their position at the top of Group A, Cluj were entertaining serious hopes of securing another surprise result away at Bordeaux. That was before Ricardo Manuel Cadu turned Yoann Gourcuff's harmless-looking cross past goalkeeper Eduard Stancioiu to gift the French side the points.
Inter Milan opened up a lead in Group B when they saw off battling Famagusta, who defended stoutly before yielding two minutes before half-time. Zlatan Ibrahimovic was the man who opened up the Cypriot rearguard when his floated cross picked out Maicon on the right. The Brazilian cut inside his marker before chipping the ball to the far post for Adriano to nod home.
After doing the hard part by opening the scoring, Werder Bremen lost their way against Panathinaikos, finding themselves trailing to a brace of Evagelos Mantzios headers with just seven minutes remaining. Hugo Almeida restored parity for the Germans, however, when he conjured up another header.
Group C leaders Barcelona enjoyed a comfortable evening in Switzerland, taking full advantage of Basel's hospitality at the back to score five in the opening 48 minutes, two of them coming from Spanish tyro Bojan Krkic.
In the other match in the section, Sporting Lisbon moved into second place after Derlei's cheeky back-heel set up Liedson for the only goal of their visit to Shakhtar Donetsk.
And in Group D the two leaders cancelled each other out in a 1-1 draw. A confident Liverpool took the lead when Steven Gerrard teed up Robbie Keane, but Atletico Madrid were rewarded for their second-half domination when Simao seized on a late lapse by Jamie Carragher to restore parity. Danny Koevermans condemned Marseille to a third straight defeat when he scored both goals in a 2-0 win for PSV Eindhoven.
14 - The number of games Chelsea have gone unbeaten at Stamford Bridge. Along with Manchester United, the Londoners are the only side who have yet to concede a goal in the group phase.
Goal of the night
Basel 0-5 Barcelona
Lionel Messi 4 (0-1)
Stationed on the right side of the penalty box, Dani Alves nonchalantly looked away from the ball and flicked a cross with the outside of his right boot over the top of the Basel defence. Ghosting in at the far post to meet it, Lionel Messi stroked a first-time volley ball past Franco Costanzo to complete a move of stunning simplicity and no little skill.
What they said
"I feel like I've learned more in the time since Jose Mourinho's arrival at Inter than I have in the last five seasons." Inter Milan's Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
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