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Rediff.com  » Sports » Champions League PIX: City stun Barca to keep hopes alive; Atletico, Bayern through

Champions League PIX: City stun Barca to keep hopes alive; Atletico, Bayern through

Last updated on: November 02, 2016 10:00 IST

Photos from the Champions League matches played across Europe on Tuesday

Barcelona's Lionel Messi looks dejected after the Champions League game against Manchester City at Etihad Stadium on Tuesday

IMAGE: Barcelona's Lionel Messi looks dejected after the Champions League game against Manchester City at Etihad Stadium on Tuesday. Photograph: Phil Noble/Reuters

Coach Pep Guardiola was left thrilled after ManchesterCity revived their Champions League bid by beating his old club Barcelona 3-1 in a gloriously open Group C encounter at the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday.

Ilkay Guendogan scored twice and Kevin De Bruyne netted a superb free kick in a magnificent display from the home side that ended Barcelona's 100 percent record and made handsome amends for City's 4-0 drubbing at the Nou Camp two weeks ago.

Guardiola's men now have seven points from four matches, two behind leaders Barca. Borussia Moenchengladbach are on four points after drawing 1-1 with bottom club Celtic.

City's victory looked unlikely when Lionel Messi followed up his hat-trick in the game at the Nou Camp with a dazzling opener on the counter attack in the 21st minute and Barca were in control before Guendogan cashed in on a Sergi Roberto mistake.

Barcelona's Luis Suarez (centre) is tackled by Manchester City's Nicolas Otamendi (Left) and Pablo Zabaleta

IMAGE: Barcelona's Luis Suarez (centre) is tackled by Manchester City's Nicolas Otamendi (Left) and Pablo Zabaleta. Photograph: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

In a game peppered with fine attacking and dubious defending, City then ran Barca ragged as the exceptional De Bruyne netted in the 51st minute before helping set up Guendogan's second after 74.

City left Barca frustrated as they failed to gain the win that would have sealed their place in the knockout stages for a 13th successive season.

The home side's big night started brightly as Raheem Sterling appeared to be brought down in the box by Samuel Umtiti only to be booked, harshly perhaps, for diving.

Then, in a devastating counter attack initiated by Javier Mascherano when he broke up a City thrust in his own box, Messi found Neymar on the left before marauding down the field to latch on to the Brazilian's pass and claim his 90th Champions League goal.

Barca looked poised to take over, threatening a second goal until Sergi Roberto stroked a pass carelessly across his own defensive line, allowing Sergio Aguero to intercept and feed Sterling who crossed for Guendogan to tap the ball in.

Manchester City's Raheem Sterling and Barcelona's Sergio Busquets clash

IMAGE: Manchester City's Raheem Sterling and Barcelona's Sergio Busquets clash. Photograph: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

A poor touch from Sterling stopped him putting City ahead at the start of the second half but they did not have to wait long to go ahead as De Bruyne's free kick dipped over the wall and beat the despairing dive of Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

De Bruyne came close to adding to the lead as the hosts flooded forward.

Barca should have equalised when a stray back pass from John Stones led to Andre Gomes hitting the bar when it seemed easier to score.

City, though, earned reward for their domination and some wayward defending by the visitors when De Bruyne's pass cut them apart and set up Jesus Navas to whip in the cross that eventually fell to Germany midfielder Guendogan who hammered his fourth goal in two games.

Bayern book berth in last 16

PSV Eindhoven's Gaston Pereiro takes on Bayern Munich's Mats Hummels (left) and Joshua Kimmich during their UEFA Champions League Group D match at Philips Stadion in Eindhoven

IMAGE: PSV Eindhoven's Gaston Pereiro takes on Bayern Munich's Mats Hummels (left) and Joshua Kimmich during their UEFA Champions League Group D match at Philips Stadion in Eindhoven. Photograph: Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Eindhoven: Two goals from Robert Lewandowski allowed Bayern Munich to make sure of progress to the knockout phase of the Champions League as they came from a goal down to beat PSV Eindhoven 2-1 away on Tuesday in their Group D clash at the Philips Stadium.

Lewandowski twice struck the woodwork before equalising from the penalty spot and then steering home a superb 73rd-minute winner as Bayern advanced to nine points, second in the group standings with two rounds to play.

Atletico Madrid top the standings on 12 points with Russian club Rostov and PSV both on one point from four matches.

The Polish international turned home a square ball from David Alaba for the winner, showing a deft touch and superb skill to steer the ball into the net. Alaba had made a defence-splitting run to set up the chance.

Lewandowski had tucked away Bayern’s first goal after 34 minutes from the penalty spot after a handball by PSV midfielder Andres Guardado.

The home side, who needed to win to keep alive slim hopes of repeating last year’s feat of reaching the last 16, were controversially ahead after 14 minutes.

Bayern Munich's Arjen Robben takes a shot on goal

IMAGE: Bayern Munich's Arjen Robben takes a shot on goal. Photograph: Michael Kooren/Reuters

Television replays showed defender Santiago Arias to be offside as he reacted quickest to Manfred Neuer’s parry from a Davy Proper close-in header. But the linesman’s flag stayed down to the delight of the home fans, hoping their side would be able to turn the tables on a Bayern team who easily beat PSV 4-1 in Munich a fortnight ago.

There were frequent reminders of the class of the Germans, starting as early as the opening two minutes when Thomas Muller’s header went narrowly wide.

Lewandowski hit the crossbar with a header in the fourth minute and struck the woodwork again on the half hour and again in the final five minutes, turning the PSV defence with a swivel move reminiscent of the Dutch great Denis Bergkamp.

PSV will now set their sights on the Europa League but will need to beat Rostov to third place in the group.

Griezmann's late goal takes Atletico through to last 16

Atletico Madrid's Antoine Griezmann celebrates his goal with teammate Diego Godin during their UEFA Champions League match against Rostov at Vicente Calderon stadium, Madrid, on Tuesday

IMAGE: Atletico Madrid's Antoine Griezmann celebrates his goal with teammate Diego Godin during their UEFA Champions League match against Rostov at Vicente Calderon stadium, Madrid, on Tuesday. Photograph: Susana Ver/Reuters

Madrid: Antoine Griezmann struck two goals, one in the 93rd minute, to give Atletico Madrid a 2-1 Group D win over Rostov on Tuesday that took them into the Champions League last 16 and preserved their 100 percent record.

Griezmann joined Atletico's top 10 scorers in European competition by putting the home side ahead in the 28th minute with an improvised volley.

Sardar Azmoun levelled barely two minutes later, becoming the first player to score against Diego Simeone's side in the competition this season.

Atletico's passage to the last 16 was guaranteed nonetheless by Bayern Munich's 2-1 win at PSV Eindhoven but Griezmann beat the offside trap in the dying seconds to ensure last year's runners-up held on to their perfect record.

Atletico top Group D on 12 points, Bayern are second on nine, while Rostov and PSV, with a point each, will compete for third place and a spot in the Europa League.

Simeone gave a debut to Croatian defender Sime Vrsaljko but otherwise opted for a familiar starting 11 in the return game with Rostov after snatching a 1-0 win in Russia a fortnight ago.

Rostov's five-man defence managed to frustrate Atletico for the majority of the game and the Spanish side's opener came from a moment of brilliance from Griezmann, who was on a run of five games without a goal for club or country going into the fixture.

Yannick Carrasco collected the ball from Filipe Luis after a corner looked to have gone to waste and his chipped pass found its way to Griezmann via a weak header from Rostov's Azmoun. The Frenchman, with his back to goal, reacted quickly to hook the ball in on the volley.

Azmoun promptly made amends at the other end though, receiving a pass from Dmitry Poloz as Atletico were caught on the break and slipping the ball past Jan Oblak.

Atletico laid siege to the Rostov goal after the break but were repeatedly frustrated by goalkeeper Soslan Dzhanayev, who turned away efforts from Griezmann, Diego Godin, Carrasco and Kevin Gameiro.

Griezmann initially did not celebrate his last-gasp winner, believing he was offside, but peeled away in joy as the linesman kept his flag down, correctly ruling that the previous touch had come from a Rostov player.

Arsenal earn comeback win to reach knockout round

Arsenal's Mesut Ozil celebrates scoring their third and winning goal against PFC Ludogorets Razgrad during their UEFA Champions League Group Group A match at Vasil Levski National Stadium, Sofia, Bulgaria, on Tuesday

IMAGE: Arsenal's Mesut Ozil celebrates scoring their third and winning goal against PFC Ludogorets Razgrad during their UEFA Champions League Group Group A match at Vasil Levski National Stadium, Sofia, Bulgaria, on Tuesday. Photograph: Paul Childs/Action Images via Reuters

Sofia: Mesut Ozil scored a superb late winner as Arsenal hit back from two goals down to beat Ludogorets 3-2 on Tuesday and secure their place in the last 16 of the Champions League with two games to spare.

The North London club, who reached the competition’s knockout stages for a 17th time in a row, and Paris St Germain, who also qualified after a 2-1 away win over Basel, are joint top in Group A with 10 points from four matches. Ludogorets and Basel have one point each.

Unmarked Brazilian Jonathan Cafu opened the scoring for Ludogorets from close range with his second goal in the Champions League, giving Arsenal keeper David Ospina no chance from a precise Wanderson free kick.

Three minutes later, Cafu dribbled past Kieran Gibbs and delivered a tempting cross for Romanian striker Claudiu Keseru, who doubled Ludogorets’s lead to send the home fans at the Vasil Levski stadium into dreamland.

Granit Xhaka, who returned to Arsenal's starting line-up after serving a domestic ban, reduced the deficit midway through the first half with Ozil turning provider.

French striker Olivier Giroud made it 2-2 three minutes before the break after getting to the ball ahead of keeper Milan Borjan from Aaron Ramsey’s cross and flicked home a header.

Ludogorets almost restored their lead in the second half but Ospina did well to parry Wanderson’s shots on two occasions. However, Ozil, who scored a hat-trick in Arsenal's 6-0 win over Ludogorets two weeks ago, had the final word.

Ozil collected the ball in Ludogorets's half, lifted it over an advancing Borjan before slipping past two defenders and calmly slotting into an empty net.

"I have already stated that Ludogorets are a very good side," Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said.

Arsenal's Oliver Giroud attempts to head past Ludogorets keeper

IMAGE: Arsenal's Oliver Giroud attempts to head past Ludogorets keeper. Photograph: Arsenal FC/Twitter

"I was delighted that we managed to level before half time.

"Now we play Paris (St Germain) at home and we have a chance to finish top."

Ahead of Sunday's visit to local rivals Tottenham Hotspur in the English Premier League, Wenger decided to leave several key players including Theo Walcott, Santi Cazorla, Hector Bellerin and Nacho Monreal in London.

"It is great to be back after long absence," said Ramsey.

"It's important to keep the momentum going, we are looking forward to the derby."

Ludogorets have to play their European home matches in Bulgarian capital Sofia because their 8,800-capacity Ludogorets Arena, in the small northeastern town of Razgrad, is not suitable to host such games.

Ludogorets host Basel in their next game in a battle for the third spot in the group, which guarantees a place in the Europa League.

"We lost but with our heads up high," said Cafu. "We want to win our next game against Basel and finish third."

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