| Mesut Ozil celebrates his goal with Oliver Giroud, on Tuesday. |
London: Mesut Ozil showed his playmaking pedigree to orchestrate Arsenal’s 2-0 victory over Napoli while a late Cesc Fabregas header gave Barcelona a hard-fought 1-0 win at 10-man Celtic in the Champions League on Tuesday.
Both sides have six points from their opening two games, as do Atletico Madrid with their Turkey midfielder Arda Turan netting an 86th minute winner in a 2-1 victory at Porto.
Borussia Dortmund’s Poland striker Robert Lewandowski scored twice in a 3-0 demolition of Olympique Marseille as did Chelsea’s Brazilian Ramires to get their campaign up and running in a 4-0 win at Steaua Bucharest after a shock opening home defeat by Basel.
There was also late drama in Amsterdam with Stefano Denswil heading Ajax ahead in the last minute, only for Mario Balotelli to level with a penalty in the fourth minute of stoppage time in a 1-1 draw.
Ozil has quickly impressed since his big-money move from Real Madrid last month and he again oozed class at the Emirates as Arsenal took control of Group F by easing past a Napoli side tasting defeat for the first time under coach Rafael Benitez.
The German international opened his account for the London club with a sweet strike from the edge of the box after eight minutes.He then set up Oliver Giroud for a second soon after in a display that left manager Arsene Wenger searching for superlatives.
“Ozil was absolutely amazing in the first half, fantastic. Individual skill, finishing, it was all fantastic and was what you dream to see in the stand when you come and watch football,” Wenger said.
The result meant Arsenal made it 10 wins in a row in all competitions, including a League Cup penalty shootout success.
Barca, who surprisingly lost to Celtic at Parkhead in the group stage last season and on Tuesday were without the injured Lionel Messi, had to work hard for their Group H victory in Glasgow.
The task was made easier when Celtic captain Scott Brown was sent off just before the hour for kicking out at Neymar after the Brazilian had tumbled under his challenge.
Barca, without Messi’s magic, had probed but mostly huffed and puffed all night until they made their numerical advantage pay 14 minutes from time with Neymar involved in the build-up.
His lay off found substitute Alexis Sanchez on the right flank and the Chilean’s cross was met by Fabregas who headed past Fraser Forster.
Chelsea lost striker Fernando Torres with an early knee injury but Jose Mourinho’s men were far too strong for Steaua with winger Andre Schurrle instrumental in getting the 2012 European champions up and running in Group E.
The German had a hand in the first and third goals scored by Ramires, with a Daniel Georgievski own goal and a late Frank Lampard strike rounding off a comfortable win.
Atletico Madrid came into their Group G match in Porto on a high after stunning Real Madrid 1-0 at the Bernabeu on Saturday to keep up a perfect record in La Liga after seven games. But they fell behind after 16 minutes when Colombian Jackson Martinez scored with a diving header. (Reuters)