Greek tragedy for Arsenal as Gunners crash again; Schalke top Group B despite Montpellier stalemate
Paris Saint Germain earned under-fire coach Carlo Ancelotti a stay of execution on Tuesday as they put their recent run of poor form behind them to beat Porto 2-1 in the Champions League.
The big-spending French side were more than helped by a goalkeeping blunder by Porto’s Helton as they moved into knockout phase as winners of Group A.
PSG have slipped to fourth in the league table after a dismal domestic run that has left Ancelotti in danger of losing his job, but finally got the stroke of luck the Italian was looking for with a 61st minute winner that Porto ‘keeper Helton will have nightmares about.
Argentine striker Ezequiel Lavezzi, signed from Napoli this season, found a yard of space inside the box but his shot was tame and soft but somehow slipped under the Brazilian’s body much to the delight of the fanatic Parc des Princes faithful.
While Porto weathered the storm for the opening half an hour, the relentless determination of Ancelotti’s side forced the breakthrough, thanks to an innocuous free-kick on the left wing with 16 minutes left until half-time. But the lead was short-lived as Porto showed their European pedigree and experience with a goal out of nothing just four minutes later.
At Montpellier, Schalke 04 claimed top spot in their final Champions League Group B match with a 1-1 draw at French champions Montpellier on Tuesday.
The Germans, already through to the knock-out round, ensured they go into the draw as group leaders with a two-point advantage on second-placed English side Arsenal, who fell 2-1 at Greek side Olympiakos.
Second-half goals from Schalke’s Benedikt Howedes and Montpellier’s Emanuel Herrera ensured the hosts ended their first foray into elite European football bottom of the group with just two points – their other point coming from a 2-2 draw at Schalke in October.
At Athens, the Gunners squandered the lead secured by Tomas Rosicky as second half goals from Giannis Maniatis and then Kostas Mitroglou meant Arsenal had to settle for second place in the group behind Schalke.AFP