Asians in Europe: Champions League & Europa League round-up

The elite of Asia's footballing world descended on Europe this week for Matchday 2 of their Europa and Champions League campaigns, writing another piece of history in the process

Yuto Nagatomo shined in a full 90-minute appearance for Inter in their 3-2 win over Group B counterparts CSKA Moscow on Tuesday. The Japanese full-back was key in setting up the Italian side’s second goal, making an excellent run down the wing before crossing for Giampaolo Pazzini to tap in from close range. CSKA’s Keisuke Honda missed the match due to injury.

FC Basel’s Park Joo-Ho and Manchester United’s Park Ji-Sung came face to face for their Group C clash at Old Trafford on Tuesday, marking the first time two Korean players have faced one another in Champions League football.

United scored two goals in quick succession to go into the break with a comfortable lead, however the visitor’s came out firing after the break to take bring the match to 3-2 in their favour but couldn’t hold on as a late Ashley Young equaliser left the two sides sharing the spoils.

Park Joo-Ho played a full game for the Swiss side, and despite a shaky start grew in stature as the match wore on. Park Ji-Sung was a 61st minute substitute for Ryan Giggs, and despite bringing some much-needed energy into the United midfield, he failed to make a real impact.

North Korean striker Pak Kwang-Ryong was brought on by Basel for the last 10 minutes of the match but rarely saw the ball.

Borussia Dortmund’s Shinji Kagawa featured in their 3-0 Group F defeat at the hands of French side Marseille on Tuesday. The Japanese playmaker failed to provide that creative spark he is so well-known for and was replaced by Jakub Blaszczykowski in the 63rd minute.

In other matches, Japanese midfielder Takashi Usami was an unused substitute in Bayern Munich’s 2-0 victory over Manchester City in their Group A clash, as was Arsenal’s Park Chu-Young in his side’s 2-1 Group F victory over Olympiakos Piraeus on Tuesday.

Korean midfielder Ki Sung-Yueng was involved in Europa League action on Thursday, playing a full 90 minutes and scoring a second-minute penalty for Celtic in their 1-1 draw with Italian side Udinese.

After a foul on Hoops striker Gary Cooper, Ki stepped up and comfortably slotted past Udinese goalkeeper Samir Handanovic to give his side an early lead. However a late controversial spot-kick to the Italians left the two Group I opponents with one point apiece.