Mario Mandžukić defied his critics in style while Lionel Messi is back, back, back, Gent left it late and Zlatan Ibrahimović did what Zlatan Ibrahimović does.
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Player: Mario Mandžukić (Juventus)
Some were surprised when Mandžukić started against Manchester City on Wednesday, having been criticised following the weekend game against AC Milan which left him on two goals in ten Serie A outings. But having got his only previous European strike for Juve in the 2-1 win at City that initiated Group D, the summer signing from Atlético Madrid did it again after 18 minutes in Turin for a 1-0 success that took his team through.
"This is the Mario we want," Juventus captain Gianluigi Buffon told UEFA.com. "Whoever scored the goal was not so important for me," the modest Mandžukić added. "What mattered was that Juventus won."
It was a big occasion for Lyon: the last European fixture at Stade de Gerland. And when Jordan Ferri struck on seven minutes, it seemed the home side were heading for a victory that would keep their European hopes alive.
But Danijel Milcevic levelled with a superb free-kick and then deep in added time, with the very last touch of a UEFA match ball at the Gerland, Gent substitute Kalifa Coulibaly headed in a winner that lifted the tournament debutants into second in Group H with just one – home – game to go. "We got more than we deserved, which does not happen for us too often," said visiting coach Hein Vanhaezebrouck.
Result: Porto 0-2 Dynamo Kyiv
That Dynamo went ahead in Portugal in a Group G fixture they had to win was impressive enough. That Derlis González made it two was invaluable. The margin of victory means that as long as Dynamo beat point-less Maccabi Tel-Aviv in Kyiv on matchday six they will end their run of ten straight group exits regardless of the result between Chelsea and Porto.
Comeback: Lionel Messi (Barcelona)
Someone's been missing from the UEFA Champions League since Barcelona's opening 1-1 draw at Roma. But after a cameo in the weekend dismissal of Real Madrid, Messi made his full injury comeback from the start of Tuesday's Roma rematch and scored twice, also adding an assist, in a 6-1 triumph that booked a round of 16 place as Group E winners.
Messi, who briefly closed the gap at the top of the all-time UEFA Champions League scoring chart to three goals only for Cristiano Ronaldo to strike twice at Shakhtar Donetsk, preferred to deflect the credit to fellow forwards Neymar and Luis Suárez, who have helped themselves to plenty of goals in Messi's absence. "We know we carry a lot of responsibility but playing is fun – we love winning, especially if you can do that while having a good time on the pitch," Messi said.
Barcelona's thrashing of Roma and Bayern München's similarly comprehensive 4-0 Group F defeat of Olympiacos was for each a club-best ninth consecutive UEFA Champions League home victory. Both are now three off Manchester United's record, and at this rate they could reach the dozen in setting up a final showdown in Milan.
Quote: "The fact I'm the one sitting here proves I was right. You should have listened."
Zlatan Ibrahimović in typically understated mode in a UEFA.com interview ahead of his homecoming to Malmö with Paris Saint-Germain (he scored of course in a 5-0 Group A stroll that took his side through).
Photo: Wojciech Szczęsny (Roma)
The goalkeeper superbly saves Neymar's penalty. We'll skate over what happened when Adriano got to the rebound ...