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Rediff.com  » Sports » Easy for Manchester Utd; PSG rout Bayern Munich

Easy for Manchester Utd; PSG rout Bayern Munich

Last updated on: September 28, 2017 10:58 IST

Romelu Lukaku

IMAGE: Romelu Lukaku scores Manchester United’s third goal in the Champions League match against CSKA Moscow on Wednesday. Photograph: John Sibley/Reuters

Romelu Lukaku struck twice to lead Manchester United to an emphatic 4-1 away win over CSKA Moscow in Champions League Group A on Wednesday.

The Belgian striker headed home after four minutes and tapped in just before the interval for his 10th goal of the season to put the English Premier League side 3-0 ahead at halftime.

Lukaku took advantage of CSKA’s porous defence, tapping in a cross by Anthony Martial that bounced past central defender Vasily Berezutsky.

Patient and energetic with the ball, United capitalised on a string of mistakes by CSKA’s backline, creating space and opportunities to attack.

Martial had slotted home a penalty in between Lukaku’s goals and Henrikh Mkhitaryan added a fourth in the second half to give United, three-times European champions, a maximum six points from their opening two matches.

Konstantin Kuchaev grabbed a late consolation for CSKA in the 90th minute, depriving United - unbeaten this season and level on points with Manchester City at the top of the Premier League - of a second successive Champions League shutout.

United, without first-choice central midfielders Paul Pogba, Marouane Fellaini and Michael Carrick, lead the group by three points from CSKA and Basel.

Paris St Germain rip apart Bayern Munich

Dani Alves

IMAGE: Dani Alves celebrates after scoring Paris Saint-Germain’s opening goal against Bayern Munich. Photograph: Charles Platiau/Reuters

Paris St Germain tore apart Bayern Munich to win 3-0 as the French club’s expensively-assembled attack made another devastating statement of their potency.

Dani Alves, Edinson Cavani and Neymar found the net, with Kylian Mbappe also making his mark with two assists, to put PSG top of Group B with a maximum six points.

Bayern, who started with defender Mats Hummels and wingers Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery on the bench, lacked pace up front and were overwhelmed at the back despite a good spell in the middle of the first half.

The German champions are level on three points with Celtic, who beat pointless Anderlecht 3-0 away.

PSG, unbeaten in their last nine Champions League games at home, played their preferred 4-3-3 formation with Neymar and Kylian Mbappe, who cost the Qatar-backed club around 400 million euros (349.82 million pounds) between them, in support of Edinson Cavani.

The home side quickly got on top as Neymar danced past defenders on the left edge of the box before crossing low for his compatriot Alves to fire past Christian Fruechtl in the second minute.

Bayern, however, exploited PSG’s struggles in midfield to create chances, the best of them coming in the 19th minute when Alphonse Areola tipped a fierce Javi Martinez half volley over the bar.

PSG were more dangerous on the break and Mbappe’s speed proved devastating.

After Neymar wasted a clear chance, Mbappe broke into the area, turned and found Cavani, whose strike went into the top corner in the 31st minute for the Uruguayan’s 10th goal in as many games with PSG this season.

Barcelona edge Sporting with Coates own goal

 Sporting CP's Sebastian Coates deflects the ball into his own goal against Barcelona

IMAGE: Sporting CP's Sebastian Coates deflects the ball into his own goal against Barcelona. Photograph: Pedro Nunes/Reuters

Barcelona laboured to a second successive Champions League victory after Sebastian Coates’s own goal gave them an unconvincing 1-0 Group D win over Sporting on Wednesday.

After a frustrating first half, Barcelona scored in fortunate circumstances when Coates bundled into his own net under pressure from Luis Suarez in the 49th minute.

Lionel Messi made his 593rd Barcelona appearance - tying him third with Carles Puyol on the club’s all-time list - but the Argentine was unable to add to his brace against Juventus in their opening win.

Despite the underwhelming performance, Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde said he was not concerned by the display after his side registered an eighth successive victory in all competitions.

Barcelona have been in free-scoring mood this season, with 20 goals in six La Liga games, but were left frustrated by a host of missed opportunities in the opening half in Lisbon.

The second half was only four minutes old when Coates converted beyond Patricio and, though Barcelona controlled possession thereafter, it was Sporting who created the best opportunities.

Barcelona are top of group D with six points, three clear of Sporting and last season’s finalists Juventus who beat Olympiakos 2-0. The Greek champions have yet to pick up a point after two games.

Batshuayi strikes late to give Chelsea win at Atletico

Antoine Griezmann puts Atletico Madrid ahead from the penalty spot against Chelsea

IMAGE: Antoine Griezmann puts Atletico Madrid ahead from the penalty spot against Chelsea. Photograph: Paul Hanna/Reuters

Chelsea striker Michy Batshuayi came off the bench to snatch a 2-1 win at Atletico Madrid on Wednesday with the last kick of the game, taking Antonio Conte’s side top of Champions League Group C.

France international Antoine Griezmann rammed a penalty beyond former Atletico goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois to give the home side a barely deserved lead in the 40th minute, scoring the first European goal at their new stadium after striking the first Liga goal there this month.

Former Real Madrid forward Alvaro Morata, who also spent time in Atletico’s youth system, pulled Chelsea level by glancing in Eden Hazard’s cross in the 60th minute after the visitors had failed to make their first-half dominance count.

Batshuayi replaced Morata with seven minutes remaining and inflicted a first home defeat on Atletico since September, 2015 by turning in a Marcos Alonso cutback from close range deep into stoppage-time.

Oberlin double helps Basel crush Benfica

Dimitry Oberlin

IMAGE: Dimitri Oberlin is congratulated by teammates after scoring Basel’s second goal against Benfica. Photograph: Arnd Wiegmann/Reuters

Dimitri Oberlin scored twice in Basel’s 5-0 rout of 10-man Benfica on Wednesday as the Swiss champions reignited their Champions League hopes to move second in Group A.

Both teams lost their opening group games but Basel took just two minutes to put their 3-0 defeat by Manchester United behind them when Michael Lang struck from inside the area after a break on the left.

Basel effectively killed off the game with a stunning second on 21 minutes when Renato Steffen mounted a counter-attack from deep inside his own half and found Oberlin who threaded a neat finish through keeper Julio Cesar’s legs.

A bad night for Benfica’s 5,000 travelling supporters turned rapidly worse with Dutchman Ricky van Wolfswinkel scoring Basel’s third from the penalty spot after Lubomir Fejsa felled the ever-dangerous Oberlin.

The 68th-minute dismissal of Andre Almeida for a wild two-footed lunge on Luca Zuffi made the home side’s task that much easier with Oberlin adding his second and Blas Riveros their fifth as Benfica suffered their first competitive loss to a Swiss side.

Higuain helps Juventus beat Olympiakos

Gonzalo Higuain scores Juventus's first goal against Olympiakos.

IMAGE: Gonzalo Higuain scores Juventus's first goal against Olympiakos. Photograph: Tony Gentile/Reuters

Gonzalo Higuain came off the bench to set Juventus on its way to a 2-0 victory over Olympiakos.

Dropped from the Argentina squad, he was left out of the team's starting line-up for the second successive match, but he was brought on for Juan Cuadrado on the hour mark and responded by scoring nine minutes later and then helping line up Juve's second goal.

Mario Mandzukic netted Juve's second as the Italian side moved onto three points in Group D, three below Barcelona, which won 1-0 at Sporting Lisbon.

It was new coach Takis Lemonis's first match in his fourth spell in charge of Olympiakos after replacing Besnik Hasi two days previously.

Juventus, last season's finalist, was looking for its first points in the competition after losing 3-0 at Barcelona in the opening round. But it was forced into a late change when Miralem Pjanic pulled up in the warm-up and was replaced by Rodrigo Bentancur.

Allegri's side struggled to carve out clear-cut opportunities although it should have taken the lead shortly after the half-hour mark when it had two chances in quick succession.

Cuadrado's cross was headed goalward by Mandzukic but Silvio Proto finger-tipped the ball over the bar and then punched away Stefano Sturaro's header from the resulting corner.

Proto also denied Mandzukic again and Paulo Dybala before Olympiakos almost scored an own-goal on the stroke of halftime when Alex Sandro's cross was turned onto the post by Bjorn Engels.

The visitors looked threatening on the counterattack, but the match changed when Higuain was brought on. The former Napoli and Real Madrid forward broke the deadlock in the 69th minute, firing in the rebound after his initial volley from Sandro's cross was blocked. It was only his third goal in all competitions this season.

Higuain was also involved in Juve's second goal, 11 minutes later, with a through ball to Paulo Dybala, whose attempt was hooked off the line by Engels but went in off Mandzukic.

Celtic overcome away anxiety to beat Anderlecht

Scottish Champions Celtic enjoyed a rare away victory in their 3-0 win over an uninspiring Anderlecht in their Champions League clash in Brussels, staking their claim on the third spot in Group B.

Ahead of the match, Celtic, Scottish champions for the past six seasons, had only won once in 30 away matches in the Champions League.

Having been thumped 5-0 at home by Paris Saint Germain in their opening match, Celtic are third behind Bayern Munich on goal difference after the German side’s 3-0 loss to Paris St Germain.

After 37 minutes in which neither team managed a single shot on goal, Celtic flawlessly executed a counter from their own half to gain the lead, with Leigh Griffiths converting calmly.

Five minutes into the second half, Celtic scored again when a cross by Patrick Roberts came off Anderlecht defender Kara Mbodji into the net, before Scott Sinclair made it 3-0 with a thumping shot in the final seconds.

Anderlecht, who sacked manager Rene Weiler this month after a disappointing run in the Belgian league, are last in the group, having also lost their opening match against Bayern.

Roma grind out 2-1 win at battling Qarabag

Goals from Greek defender Konstantinos Manolas and Bosnia striker Edin Dzeko helped AS Roma to a 2-1 win at Qarabag in an entertaining Champions League Group C clash on Wednesday.

The pair scored in the opening 15 minutes in the Azeri capital to give the Serie A side a two-goal lead but the visitors endured a nervy second half after Pedro Henrique pulled one back in the 28th minute.

The result left Roma top of the group on four points from two games, one ahead of Chelsea, who meet Atletico Madrid (one point) in Spain later on Wednesday.

Centre back Manolas fired Roma ahead with a diving close-range header in the seventh minute, scoring his first goal for the club in European competition after Lorenzo Pellegrini drove the ball into the six-yard box.

Dzeko made it 2-0 when he volleyed an angled shot off the underside of the bar past fellow Bosnian Ibrahim Sehic from eight metres, having chested down a looping pass by strike partner Stephan El Shaarawy.

Roma looked in complete control when Brazilian Henrique scored Qarabag’s first goal in Europe’s elite competition, beating goalkeeper Alisson Becker with the outside of his foot after a fine pass by Dino Ndlovu.

Sehic produced a string of superb saves as Roma missed several chances to put the game beyond Qarabag, who pressed forward with long balls in the closing stages but could not find a way through.

South African Ndlovu missed the home side’s best chance of an equaliser in the 90th minute, when he headed a deep cross from the left inches wide of the near post.

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