Messi's return, Torres' brace highlight UCL Tuesday

Posted by Paul Carr, ESPN Stats & Information

Four groups reached the halfway point of the Champions League group stage on Tuesday, with Lionel Messi's return and the disparate fates of two London clubs among the top stories. Here are five notes on the day's action …

• Messi returned to Barcelona’s starting lineup after a three-game absence, and he scored in the 23rd minute of Barca’s 1-1 draw at AC Milan. Messi has six goals in seven games against AC Milan, all in Champions League. That ties his most Champions League goals against any club; he also has six against both Arsenal and Bayer Leverkusen.

• Fernando Torres scored twice in Chelsea’s 3-0 road win over Schalke. Torres now has eight goals in 22 Champions League games for the Blues, matching his goal total in 21 Champions League games with Liverpool.

Chelsea scored three times despite creating only five offensive chances, less than half the team's average of 13 chances created this league and European season. Those five chances created match Chelsea's season low from its scoreless draw at Manchester United.

• Borussia Dortmund topped Arsenal 2-1 on a Robert Lewandowski goal in the 82nd minute. The loss ended Arsenal’s 12-game unbeaten streak in all competitions, and it was the Gunners’ third straight home loss against German clubs.

Arsenal has taken exactly nine shots in each Champions League game this season, compared to its average of 15 shots per game in Premier League play.

• Mexican midfielder Héctor Herrera was sent off after receiving two yellow cards in the first six minutes of Porto’s 1-0 home defeat against Zenit. Herrera matched the third-fastest sending off in the Champions League era, and he earned two yellow cards faster than any player in Champions League history.

• Celtic has won eight of its past 11 European home games after a 2-1 victory over Ajax. The Scottish side won despite completing only 227 passes, the fewest of any club on Tuesday. Celtic has completed a total of 676 passes in three group games. That’s 97 fewer passes than Barcelona completed on Tuesday alone.

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