Champions League playoffs: Porto draws Roma; Griffiths leads Celtic
The first legs of the Champions League qualifying playoff round are complete, and after Manchester City stole the show with a 5-0 win at Steaua Bucharest on Tuesday, five more first legs unfolded on Wednesday, with some intriguing results.
Porto conceded an early own goal, went up a man, had a goal disallowed and eventually found an equalizer from the penalty spot in a 1-1 draw with Roma. Felipe's 21st-minute own goal put the hosts in a hole, but Thomas Vermaelen's 41st-minute red card opened the door, and Andre Silva took advantage on a PK 20 minutes later. Roma maintains a slight edge on away goals heading into the second leg.
Leigh Griffiths' stunning free kick at the end of the first half proved to be the difference for Celtic, which led 3-0, had it cut to 3-2 and then pulled away for a 5-2 home victory over Israel's Hapoel Be'er Sheva.
It was Griffiths' second goal of the game for Brendan Rodgers' side, which had opened the scoring through Tom Rogic. Israeli Nir Bitton scored against his homeland's side, and Scott Brown scored late, too, providing a valuable insurance goal and breathing room for Celtic.
Monaco scored early and late at El Madrigal, taking an impressive 2-1 result over Villarreal at El Madrigal. Fabinho's third-minute penalty kick was matched by an Alexandre Pato goal, but Bernardo Silva restored the one-goal edge in the 72nd minute, as Monaco carries the advantage both on aggregate and with two away goals.
Elsewhere, Legia Warsaw took a 1-0 road win from Ireland's Dundalk on a Nemanja Nikolic penalty, while Bulgaria's Ludogorets held serve at home over Viktoria Plzen with a 2-0 win on second-half goals from Cosmin Moti and Virgil Misidjan.
Here's how the 10 series shape up entering the second legs, where the final places in the Champions League group stage will be decided:
Steaua Bucharest 0-5 Manchester City
Copenhagen 0-1 APOEL Nicosia
Dinamo Zagreb 1-1 Salzburg
Ajax 1-1 Rostov
Young Boys 1-3 Borussia Monchengladbach
Porto 1-1 Roma
Villarreal 1-2 Monaco
Celtic 5-2 Hapoel Be'er Sheva
Dundalk 0-1 Legia Warsaw
Ludogorets 2-0 Viktoria Plzen