Today, we take a look at some of the out-of-the-box stories to emerge from Matchday 3 in Europe’s premier club competition, before sending a hip, hip, hooray to Borussia Dortmund’s missing midfield maestro...
Like a German vegetarian, Stefan Kießling must have “feared the wurst” when rising to meet Giulio Donati’s cross in the 22nd minute against FC Shakhtar Donetsk. Fortunately for the lanky German striker, though, this time his header didn’t need the help of the side-netting to settle in the back of the net. It was “the perfect answer” to the recent controversy surrounding the 29-year-old 'phantom goal' according to sporting director Rudi Völler. “I watched the ball very closely to make sure it had gone in legitimately,” said the legendary German striker with a grin and a wink.
Trying to predict Arjen Robben’s mood swings is as difficult as anticipating the reliability of an urban public transport system. Despite being in the form of his career, the Dutchman never seems to be too far away from courting controversy. After seeing head coach Pep Guardiola wag his finger at him like a naughty school child as he went to take a penalty against 1. FSV Mainz 05, the 29-year-old vehemently refused to take a spot-kick in the 5-0 UEFA Champions League win over FC Viktoria Plzen. They might be the best team in Europe, but it's not always smooth sailing in Munich.
He may not be able to jump on a bouncy castle due to a displaced vertebra and resulting inflamed nerve, but Ilkay Gündogan will still hopefully be able to enjoy turning 23. The order of the day for the birthday boy, whose ongoing back problem could keep him sidelined until after the winter break, will be further rest and recuperation, though an hour-long back massage wouldn’t go a miss. It’s hard to imagine Dortmund’s creative midfielder wishing for anything but a speedy recovery when he blows out his 23 candles. All the best Ilkay!
Happy Birthday, Ilkay Gündogan! pic.twitter.com/a4y9DDTion— Borussia Dortmund (@BVB) October 24, 2013