Arsenal conceded two farcical goals to go down 2-1 at Porto while Bayern Munich carved out a 2-1 win in controversial circumstances.
In Portugal, Arsenal had one their most ragged outings in Europe in recent memory to lose to Porto. The Gunners number two Lukasz Fabianski had a horror night, with his calamitous errors leading to both goals.
Porto started the better of the two and could have gone up as early as in the second minute through a Ruben Micael strike if not for a last ditch block by Thomas Vermaelen.
The Gunners gradually got into the game though and with both sides leading large holes in the midfield, it was end to end stuff.
The breakthrough came via Silvestre Varela, who skipped passed a static Clichy and put in a low cross into the box. It was slightly behind keeper Fabianski and as the Pole turned to gather, the ball bounced off his chest and into the goal.
To their credit the Gunners refused to lie down and the equaliser came five minutes laters as a Cesc Fabregas corner found Vermaelen at the near post. The defender flicked it on for Tomas Rosicky at the far end who headed it to a perfectly positioned Sol Campbell.
The centreback made no mistake from three yards out.
It was a dream return for the veteran, playing his 200th game for the Gunners. His previous goal for Arsenal had been in the 2006 Champions League final against Barcelona. The first half ended with the teams on level terms.
Campbell’s fairytale turned into a nightmare in the second half. Under pressure from Porto, he passed the ball back to Fabianski and the youngster promptly picked it up.
The referee blew for a foul in the penalty box and even as Campbell and the keeper argued, Porto took a quick free kick with Radamel Falcao slotting the ball past a stupefied Fabianski. The Gunners simply went to pieces after that incident and never looked like equalising matters.
In fact, Porto would be disappointed not to have scored more as the end result left the tie hanging in the balance or perhaps even slightly in Arsenal’s favour.
At the Allianz Arena, Bayern Munich huffed and puffed before a refereeing blunder allowed them to scrape 2-1 past a doughty Fiorentina.
The Viola were compact in the midfield and did not allow either Arjen Robben or Franck Ribery to weave their magic for most of the first half.
Right at the end of the 45 minutes though, Ribery was brought down by the keeper. Mario Gomez rifled the ball in but the referee had already blown for a penalty. Robben stepped up and converted to put the Bavarians ahead by a goal.
Defender Per Koldrup levelled matters after five minutes of the second half, sneaking in at the far post for a simple tap-in from a corner. The match erupted into controversy in the 73rd minute when Fiorentina defender Massimo Gobbi was dismissed for a foul on Robben.
Replays showed that the foul was barely deserving of a yellow. There was more heartbreak to come for the Viola right at the very end when a Robben strike from outside the box pinged around in the box before Miroslav Klose headed in from close range. He was at least 4 yards offside.
Fiorentina protested, but to no avail and that was how things ended in Germany.
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