Champions League Matchday 4: The international reaction

Cologne - FC Bayern München and Borussia Dortmund both qualified for the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League after just four group games with victories over AS Roma and Galatasaray SK respectively.


Bayer 04 Leverkusen remained in pole position to reach the knockout stages by beating FC Zenit in Russia, but FC Schalke 04's hopes of qualifying from Group F hang in the balance after losing to Sporting Clube de Portugal. bundesliga.com rounds up what the international media made of the German top-flight sides' Champions League exploits...FC Bayern München 2-0 AS RomaSüddeutsche Zeitung: Bayern qualified for the last 16 earlier than ever before in the club's history with four wins from four games. Roma were tougher opposition this time around than in the memorable 7-1 win in Italy a fortnight ago, but coach Pep Guardiola cut a concerned figure when asked after the game about David Alaba’s injury.

TZ: Their early qualification is an achievement that will go down in history, but Alaba’s injury is a real blow to Bayern.

kicker: After prematurely clinching top spot in their Champions League group, Bayern can now switch their focus to the Bundesliga.


The Guardian: Roma, desperate to avoid a repeat of their 7-1 home demolition by Bayern this month, kept pace for almost the entire first half but were eventually outclassed and remain in second place on four points. The Italians […] were disciplined at the back, working extremely hard to keep the Germans away from their box.


Gazetta dello Sport: Bayern played like a team from another planet.Sporting Clube de Portugal 4-2 FC Schalke 04


Reviersport: Schalke started brightly, pressing Sporting high up the pitch and giving their opponents little space to work with [...] but they were only able to stick to their gameplan for the first 20 minutes of the match.

Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung: Schalke were given hope two minutes from time when Dennis Aogo reduced the deficit to 3-2, but it was all over minutes later. Schalke were all over the place as Sporting caught them on the break and Slimani finished neatly. This Champions League group is set to go right to the wire.
Borussia Dortmund 4-1 Galatasaray SK


Westfälische Rundschau: Dortmund may not have been quite at their best on Tuesday, but it was easy enough for them to get a result that guaranteed them premature qualification for the last 16. BVB showed once again they are one of the big sides, a side that can compete at the very highest level.

kicker: Four wins from four games, 13 goals scored and one conceded - BVB continue to impress in international competition. Never before has a club enjoyed as good a start in the Champions League, never before have Dortmund qualified for the last 16 at such an early stage. But will the Galatasaray victory also boost their chances of ending their Bundesliga struggle? In ten league games, they have collected five points fewer than their current Champions League tally.

Sport1.de: While coach Jürgen Klopp told his team to enjoy the rare and sweet taste of success, the players were already setting their sights firmly on their upcoming Bundesliga clash at home to Borussia Mönchengladbach.


The Guardian: Borussia Dortmund shrugged off their dismal domestic form to sweep past Galatasaray 4-1 and cruise into the last 16 of the Champions League with two matches to spare. The last time Dortmund won their first four group games they went on to lift the European Cup - in 1997.

Reuters: The sight of smiling Borussia Dortmund players after a game has been a rare sight these days but their Champions League knockout qualification with a 4-1 win over Galatsaray on Tuesday provided much-needed confidence.


Associated Press (AP): Sporting Lisbon beat Schalke 4-2 in the Champions League on Wednesday to keep alive its hopes of advancing to the competition's knockout round.
FC Zenit 1-2 Bayer 04 Leverkusen


Rheinische Post: Bayer head coach Roger Schmidt had promised an improved performance [after Leverkusen’s 1-0 defeat away to Hamburger SV] by his side, but the visiting fans had to wait until the second half for their team to deliver when Heung-Min Son struck his double. The win sees Bayer remain top of Group C, leaving them with a great chance of qualifying for the last 16.

Kölner Stadtanzeiger: Heung-Min Son proved to be Bayer Leverkusen’s key to success, but centre-back duo Emir Spahic and Ömer Toprak were equally impressive in St. Petersburg.


Sky Sports: A second-half double from Heung-Min Son earned Bayer Leverkusen an impressive 2-1 win at Zenit St Petersburg which put them on the brink of the Champions League knockout stage.


Agence France-Presse (AFP): Bayer Leverkusen cemented its place at the top of its Champions League group with a 2-1 win at Zenit Saint Petersburg courtesy of Korean international Heung-Min Son's two superb goals. [...] The victory in Russia was the perfect response to the weekend's shock 1-0 defeat at Hamburg - their first loss in nine matches.