UEFA Champions League Group matches this Tuesday with Spanish Football Clubs Atletico de Madrid & FC Barcelona in action. Both Spanish Teams are secure for the next stage & have the role of deciding how the rest of the Clubs in their Groups fair especially for the important second place. Here are the final scores-results & all the goalscorers.

Atletico de Madrid Champions League

Russian Club Zenit St Petersburg hosted Atletico de Madrid in their Group G match. The Russians needed a win to open up their chances for the important second place of the Group. The final score was 1 - 1 & this leaves the Russians at the mercy of other results - the other Clubs in the Group - to which they have no control.

Atletico de Madrid went into this match with the top spot secured & left out 6 regular players to give the bench some playing time. This did not lower quality & intensity of the team as Zenit found out as the Spaniards played well & were very dangerous creating goal opportunities most of the match.

Zenit created their own chances but failed to convert while the Atletico defence lead by Miranda & goalie Courtois kept things relatively under control. Atletico was rewarded for their intense game in the 52nd min when in a deadly counter-attack Adrian scored to put Atletico ahead. The equalizer came for Zenit under unlucky circumstances when a ball hit Atletico defender Alderweireld (own goal) & lobbed the ball high towards the goal doing "strange things in the air" that put off goalie Courtois as the ball sneaked in the top corner of the goal.  

From here Zenit attacked more to find another goal but Atletico managed to starve off their fire & enthusiasm & secure the result which keeps the Spanish Football Club undefeated in Champions League. 

Champions League 2013

Ajax of Amsterdam managed a gutsy & well earned victory - with 10 men - over FC Barcelona in their Group H match. Barça needed a point to guarantee the top spot of the Group while Ajax needed a victory to keep alive their aspirations for the second Group place in competition with AC Milan who won their match against Celtic Glasgow.  The final result was 2 - 1 with a brilliant first half from Ajax & later withstanding the Barça onslaught in the 2º half with only 10 men. 

The match highlighted the importance of Sergi Busquets for Barça. The nearly "always" invisible midfielder was missing tonight & the Barça team was cut in half & without a bridge to balance the defensive & attacking forces. Song did his best but perhaps his lack of playing time showed, as did with Barça goalie Pinto who gave a few unnecessary scares during the game.

Ajax is a young team, with plenty enthusiasm & nerve which out possessed FC Barcelona in ball domination in the first half, something unheard off in the pass seasons when playing against the Spaniards. The Dutch side pressured & forced Barcelona to make mistakes, errors that brought about their first goal in the 19th min by Severo & their second in the 41st min by Hoesen. It was possibly the worst 45 min from Barcelona under Coach "Tata" Martino.

The second half started badly for Ajax & with relief for Barça. A terrible back pass by Ajax defender Van Rhijn gave not option to his team-mate Veltman to foul Neymar in the penalty area. The penalty was called & he received a red card leaving his side down to 10 men. The replay showed the foul was outside the area but Xavi Hernandez converted the penalty to give Barça wings in the 50th min.

From here onwards it was all one way traffic with Barça attacking in waves. The young Ajax team defended in mass & managed to keep out & halt the Barcelona efforts to take a memorable victory & important three points.

Barça was without important players Messi, Alves, Adriano, Alba, Valdes..., but this should not take away the enormous effort from the young Dutch team which played their game , their strategy & their goals. They after all were playing for their Champions League future.

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