Champions League: Iwobi, Iheanacho on Target; Messi Falls Short of Ronaldo Record
It was a brilliant night of Champions League football for Nigerian stars Alex Iwobi and Kelechi Iheanacho who opened their accounts in the competition in the final round of group stage games Tuesday.
Iwobi banished ugly memories of his poor clearance against Paris St Germain on matchday 5 with a goal on 53 minutes as Arsenal ran out 4-1 winners over FC Basle.
Arsenal’s Spanish striker Lucas Perez had scored a hat-trick earlier in the game as the Gunners enter the last 16 as group winners for the first time since 2011 following PSG’s slip-up in their home tie with Bulgarian side Lodogorets.
Manchester City forward Kelechi Iheanacho made a successful start to his spell as Sergio Aguero’s stand-in by earning his team a 1-1 draw with Celtic on Tuesday.
The 20-year-old Nigeria striker took his chance at the Etihad Stadium with a well taken goal on eight minutes to cancel out Celtic’s opener, scored by 19-year-old City loanee Patrick Roberts.
Elsewhere in Group C, Barcelona returned to winning ways with a comprehensive 4-0 rout of Borussia Moenchengladbach while Lionel Messi fell short of equalling Cristiano Ronaldo’s Champions League group stage goal record.
Messi needed two goals to equal Ronaldo’s record of 11 group stage goals, and despite scoring the opener on 16 minutes, it was Arda Turan who stole the show with a second-half hat-trick as Barca coasted to a comfortable win.
Dynamo Kiev hammered nine-man Besikstas 6-0 in Group B, a result that allows Benfica through to the next round despite their 2-1 reverse at home to Napoli.
Robert Lewandowski got the winner as Bayern Munich returned to form with a 1-0 win over Atletico Madrid, although both Group D sides had already secured passage to the round of 16.