Owen hat-trick banishes Wolfsburg

Man Utd beat Germans 3-1 as CSKA go through from Group B and Chelsea held in group D.

Owen’s hat-trick consigned Wolfsburg to the Europa League [AFP]

Michael Owen scored his first hat-trick for Manchester United to beat Wolfsburg 3-1 and deny the Germans their first last 16 appearance in European competition, with CSKA Moscow going through in their stead.

Former Liverpool striker Owen, out of favour with England ahead of the World Cup next year, headed home Nani’s cross on the stroke of half time in Germany.

Wolfsburg rallied through Bosnian Edin Dzeko on 56 minutes but nimble forward Owen slotted home seven minutes from the whistle and sealed the win with a crafty finish in added time to send the English champions through as Group B winners.

Russians through

In Istanbul a late goal from Yevgeny Aldonin earned CSKA a 2-1 win over Besiktas to see the Russians through to the knockout stages.

Chelsea were surprisingly held 2-2 by Apoel Nicosia after conceding a late equaliser at Stamford Bridge but still went unbeaten from Group D.

Results & fixtures

Tuesday December 8

Juventus 1-4 Bayern Munich
Maccabi Haifa 0-1 Bordeaux
Wolfsburg 1-3 Man Utd
Besiktas 1-2 CSKA Moscow
FC Zurich 1-1 AC Milan
Marseille 1-3 Real Madrid
Chelsea 2-2 Apoel Nicosia
Atletico Madrid 0-3 Porto

Wednesday December 9

Liverpool v Fiorentina
Lyon v Debrecen
Inter Milan v Rubin Kazan
Dynamo Kiev v Barcelona
Stuttgart v Unirea Urziceni
Sevilla v Rangers
Olympiakos v Arsenal
Standard Liege v AZ Alkmaar

Atletico Madrid scraped into the secondary Europa League despite turning in a toothless and erratic performance during a 3-0 home loss to already qualified Porto in the same group.

The Portuguese side were already through.

In Wolfsburg injury-hit United, fielding just one recognised first-team defender in French international Patrice Evra, rode their luck at times on Tuesday, although the German champions only had themselves to blame for failing to take several excellent chances against United’s makeshift defence which featured regular midfielders Michael Carrick and Darren Fletcher.

Lacklustre in the first half, Wolfsburg were transformed in the second period and played with more purpose after the wake-up call from Owen, but it was the England man who had the final say.

United manager Alex Ferguson was delighted after Owen’s match-winning performance.

“Fantastic. Brilliant. You know what he is. His timing of runs is fantastic,” he told Sky Sports.

Owen moved to United in July from relegated Newcastle United.

Chelsea stunned

In London Cypriots Apoel stunned Stamford Bridge with a sixth minute goal from Marcin Zewlakow.

The Group D leaders, who had previously conceded only two goals in five games, replied in the 19th when Michael Essien lashed in a swerving shot from 25 metres.

Chelsea went 2-1 up through Didier Drogba in the 26th while temporarily down to 10 men through an Essien injury before Frank Lampard came on as a substitute in a dominant first half.

Chelsea, already assured of top spot in the group, eased off in the second half and a glaring defensive error allowed Apoel to come back into the game with an 87th minute goal from substitute Nenad Mirosavljevic.

“The second half was not good, we have to do better,” scowling coach Ancellotti told Sky Sports.

“More concentration, more pressure, more intensity.”

CSKA secured their berth from Group B, Milos Krasic putting them ahead in the 41st minute, firing in a shot from a narrow angle on the left to beat Besiktas
keeper Rustu Recber.

Bobo knocked in a cross in from close range to put the home side level in the 86th minute, but Aldonin snatched all three points for CSKA with a shot in the fifth minute of injury time.

Source: Reuters


Al Jazeera’s Matt Rumsey reports as VfL Wolfsburg prepare to take on CSKA Moscow.

25 Nov 2009
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