Rediff.com  » Sports » PIX: Messi-Mbappe lift PSG to win; Liverpool edge Atletico

PIX: Messi-Mbappe lift PSG to win; Liverpool edge Atletico

October 20, 2021 09:40 IST
Get Rediff News in your Inbox:

Images from the UEFA Champions League matches played on Tuesday.

Mbappe-Messi double act earns PSG comeback win

IMAGE: Lionel Messi celebrates scoring the second goal for Paris Saint-Germain during their UEFA Champions League Group A match against RB Leipzig at Parc des Princes in Paris, on Tuesday. Photograph: Matthias Hangst/Getty Images

Paris St Germain's Kylian Mbappe and Lionel Messi found their groove as they inspired their side to a 3-2 comeback victory at home to RB Leipzig in a Champions League thriller on Tuesday.

Mbappe was the first to strike and Messi had the France forward to thank for his second-half double after the Ligue 1 side had fallen 2-1 behind following goals by Andre Silva and Nordi Mukiele either side of the interval.

Mbappe, who missed a stoppage-time penalty, set up Messi for the equaliser and won the spot kick that the Argentine converted with an ice-cool chip after what had been a lacklustre performance from the club's new signing.

The result left PSG top of Group A with seven points from three games, one point ahead of Manchester City, who demolished Club Brugge 5-1 away earlier on Tuesday. Leipzig have no points.

"They pressed really hard and targeted Marco Verratti," said PSG coach Mauricio Pochettino, who had to deal with the absence of the injured Neymar and suspended Angel Di Maria.

"It was a very tough game but the team showed their character again."

Leipzig coach Jesse Marsch added: "There's a massive difference between us and PSG but the fact that we almost made it says a lot. We need to trust this young squad."

IMAGE: Kylian Mbappe scores the first goal for Paris Saint-Germain. Photograph: Matthias Hangst/Getty Images

Before Mbappe and Messi linked up like two old team mates, PSG often looked out of sorts, incapable of dealing with Leipzig's high pressure game.

Jesse Marsch's side pressed hard from the outset and after eight minutes, PSG's Keylor Navas had already made three saves.

It was a double-edged sword for the visitors, however, as PSG threatened on the break and they opened the scoring after nine minutes.

Julian Draxler flicked a Marquinhos long pass into the path of Mbappe, who dummied his marker before firing a low shot past Peter Gulacsi for his first Champions League goal this season.

Leipzig did not back down and in the 27th minute Silva's volley crashed against Navas's left-hand post. A minute later Silva turned Angelino's cross in at the far post to give the German side a deserved equaliser.

Leipzig were the better team and Christopher Nkunku came close to giving them the advantage three minutes before the break when his low shot went just wide after a series of dribbles.

PSG started the second half well, with Messi finding space between the lines, but it was Leipzig who took the lead in the 57th as Mukiele latched onto another Angelino cross at the far post.

The hosts continued to struggle but a Tyler Adams back pass was intercepted by Mbappe who sped into the area and fed Messi, with the Argentine tapping the ball into the empty net after Gulacsi parried his shot onto the inside of the post after 67 minutes.

It was Mbappe who had set up Messi for PSG's second goal in their 2-0 victory against Manchester City in the previous round of matches.

Seven minutes later, Mbappe was brought down by Mohamed Simakan and Messi converted the resulting penalty in clinical fashion before again pointing to his strike partner, who has set up his three PSG goals so far.

PSG were awarded another penalty four minutes into added time after a VAR review for a Josko Gvardiol foul on Achraf Hakimi but Mbappe skied it over the bar, although that did not tarnish a sublime overall performance from the 22-year-old.

Salah double helps Liverpool beat Atletico

IMAGE: Mohamed Salah celebrates scoring the third goal for Liverpool from the penalty spot. Photograph: Angel Martinez/Getty Images

Liverpool's Mohamed Salah netted a double, including the winner, as they secured a 3-2 victory over Atletico Madrid, whose forward Antoine Griezmann also scored twice but was sent off in a gripping Champions League clash on Tuesday.

Salah fired home the winner from the spot after Griezmann had seen red for a dangerous high boot, but the action was not over in a compelling encounter, with Atletico awarded a penalty of their own, before it was overturned following a VAR review.

The win kept Liverpool top in Group B on nine points, five ahead of second-placed Atletico and Porto in third, with AC Milan pointless at the foot of the table.

"Honestly, how you win it, I couldn't care less. The dirty ones are the really important ones. When we are flying we win the games anyway, but on a night like this getting three points is really massive," Liverpool boss Juergen Klopp told BT Sport.

Salah opened the scoring with a deflected effort in the eighth minute and Naby Keita added a second with a thunderous volley five minutes later as Liverpool looked set to crush Diego Simeone's side.

However, Liverpool's defence imploded shortly afterwards and Atletico came roaring back, with Griezmann at the centre of the action.

First he steered home a Koke shot in the 20th minute to reduce the deficit and 14 minutes later he drew his side level, a superb first touch opening up the space in front of him for a clinical finish low past Alisson's left hand.

IMAGE: Atletico Madrid's Antoine Griezmann is shown a straight red card seven minutes after the break for carelessly planting his foot in the face of Roberto Firmino of Liverpool. Photograph: Angel Martinez/Getty Images

After a frenetic opening 45 minutes, Liverpool finished the first half on the ropes, but a reprieve was not long coming as the second period got underway.

Yannick Carrasco forced an early save from Alisson but then Griezmann was shown a straight red card seven minutes after the break for carelessly planting his foot in the face of Roberto Firmino as he challenged for a high ball.

Simeone's reaction was to keep urging the home crowd on and his team looked capable of hanging on with 10 men until another costly lapse.

Defender Mario Hermoso conceded a penalty by barging into Diogo Jota, and Salah made no mistake from the spot to put Liverpool back in the lead.

However, Liverpool seemingly tripped themselves up again when Atletico Madrid were awarded a penalty after Jota appeared to bundle over Jose Maria Gimenez, but the decision was overturned after a lengthy VAR review.

Former Liverpool striker Luis Suarez came off the bench and flashed a stoppage-time shot over the bar before being booked for an angry exchange with the referee as he sought to find an equaliser for his side.

With seven minutes of stoppage time added on, Liverpool were left hanging on, but they managed to see the game out.

Vinicius double helps Real Madrid to 5-0 win at Shakhtar

IMAGE: Real Madrid's players celebrate after Karim Benzema scored the fifth goal against Shakhtar Donetsk. Photograph: Gleb Garanich/Reuters

Real Madrid's Vinicius Jr scored twice to lead his side to a 5-0 win against Shakhtar Donetsk on Tuesday as they put behind them a shock home defeat by Champions League debutants Sheriff Tiraspol in their last Group D game.

Real are second on six points behind Sheriff, who lost 3-1 at Inter Milan, taking the Italians to four points. The Moldovans beat Real 2-1 at the Bernabeu last month.

There were plenty of Brazilians on the pitch from both sides in Kyiv but it was Real Madrid's Vinicius Jr and Rodrygo who stole the show, having started alongside Karim Benzema up front.

Shakhtar held out until Serhiy Kryvtsov sliced a Lucas Vazquez cross over home keeper Anatolii Trubin under pressure from Benzema for an own goal after 37 minutes.

In the second half Vinicius took control with two stunning goals in five minutes. The first with a deft touch to net after a great assist from Luka Modric and the second from a stunning individual effort after dribbling past three defenders.

“It's a move that I do many times in training but was never able to do it in a game, so it’s really exciting. I’m only 21 years old and I feel better and better after every game”, said Vinicius.

He then provided an assist for Rodrygo to score the fourth goal before their France international Benzema completed the rout with a strike from inside the box in stoppage time.

"I'm glad to see Vinicius grow as a player and we're all seeing what he's capable of", Benzema said.

It was a welcome fillip for Carlo Ancelotti’s Real team before they go to Barcelona for Sunday’s Clasico in La Liga.

Dominant Man City win 5-1 in Bruges

IMAGE: Riyad Mahrez scores the second goal for Manchester City from the penalty spot against Club Brugge in Brugge. Photograph: Matthias Hangst/Getty Images

Riyad Mahrez scored twice as Manchester City produced a dominant away performance to put their Champions League campaign back on track with a 5-1 thrashing of hosts Club Brugge on Tuesday.

A goal from Joao Cancelo and a Mahrez penalty put the English champions 2-0 ahead at halftime at the Jan Breydel Stadium with Kyle Walker, teenage substitute Cole Palmer and Mahrez again adding three more after the break.

Hans Vanaken scored Brugge’s consolation goal with nine minutes remaining.

City’s comfortable victory came after they lost at Paris St Germain in their last Group A game and sees them advance to six points, two more than their Belgian hosts.

"It was one of the best performances we have done in Europe, definitely," said Man City manager Pep Guardiola.

"We could have scored more goals, we had many chances. All of us are delighted with the performance we have done."

Their breakthrough seemed almost inevitable, but it took a sublime pass over the top of the home defence from Phil Foden on the half-hour mark to set up Cancelo, who expertly trapped the ball with his chest before finishing from close range.

Mahrez was brought down by Stanley Nsoki’s clumsy challenge two minutes before halftime, with the winger getting up off the turf to take the kick himself and double the lead.

Kevin De Bruyne, on his return to his home country, combined with Mahrez to set up Walker for the third in the 53rd minute in what was a well-worked team goal, highlighting their quick passing and strong running onto the ball.

Raheem Sterling and Palmer came on at the same time as substitutes in the 64th minute and three minutes later the 19-year-old had his first European goal. Sterling hit a cross-field ball for Palmer, who steadied himself before finishing with his left foot.

Brugge’s first chance came some 12 minutes from fulltime when Charles De Ketelaere’s header forced a sharp save out of Man City goalkeeper Ederson and soon after Vanaken finished off a square ball that caught out the City defence.

But Mahrez capped off a champagne night for City as he beat the offside trap to finish off Fernandinho’s long pass for the fifth goal in the 84th minute.

"We lost to a much better opponent," said Brugge goalkeeper Simon Mignolet.

The two clubs meet in Manchester on November 3 in their next group game.

Ajax keep up 100% record with emphatic Dortmund win

IMAGE: Dusan Tadic celebrates after Marco Reus's own goal gave Ajax Amsterdam the lead against Borussia Dortmund. Photograph: Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Ajax Amsterdam produced a dominant showing to rout Borussia Dortmund 4-0 on Tuesday and keep up their 100% record in the Champions League as they moved closer to a place in the next stage of the competition.

An early own goal by Marco Reus from Dusan Tadic’s free kick was followed by decisive strikes from Daley Blind, Brazilian winger Antony and Sebastien Haller. Ajax lead Group C three points ahead of their previously unbeaten German visitors.

The Dutch club took 11 minutes to go ahead in a sell-out clash at the Johan Cruyff Arena that was expected to be evenly contested but proved anything but.

Tadic’s curling free kick looked goal-bound but was helped into the net by a touch off the top of the head of Dortmund skipper Reus, who was credited with the own goal.

Blind’s left-footed half-volley from the edge of the area doubled the score in the 25th minute but Ajax might have led by more at the break had it not been for Gregor Kobel in the Dortmund goal, who pulled off several difficult saves.

Antony, fresh from making his Brazil debut last week, curled a left-footed shot into the net after 57 minutes as Ajax pressed home their superiority.

They were also helped by some poor Dortmund defending, especially when Haller rose easily to head home Blind’s cross for the fourth goal in the 72nd minute.

The two sides clash again in Dortmund in their next group game on November 3.

Dazzling Diaz hands Porto victory over frustrated Milan

IMAGE: Porto's Luis Diaz scored the winner in the 65th minute against AC Milan. Photograph: Pedro Nunes/Reuters

Porto's Luis Diaz scored the winner as they kept their Champions League knockout hopes alive but dealt AC Milan a huge blow with a deserved 1-0 Group B win at the Estadio do Dragao on Tuesday.

Diaz, who had earlier hit the post, netted midway through the second half as Porto were rewarded for their dominance in a game in which they missed a number of chances and barely gave Milan a sniff at the other end.

Milan, who will host the Portuguese side on November 3, were possibly justified in believing there was a foul in the build-up to the goal, but neither German referee Felix Brych nor the video assistant agreed.

Porto stay in third place at the midway point of the pool with four points from three games, behind Atletico Madrid on goal difference, and leaders Liverpool (nine). Milan have yet to break their duck having lost all three matches.

There were few chances in the first half, but the best fell to the home side and in particular Iran international Mehdi Taremi, who was wasteful on the night.

Diaz came the closest to scoring as his fine run and low drive from the edge of the area cannoned back off the post.

Taremi should have hit the target when he steered a shot wide from 12 yards, and then had a header flash the wrong side of the post.

At the other end Milan forward Olivier Giroud opted to head across goal in search of a team mate when he should have been more selfish at the back post in what was the visitors' best chance of the game.

Taremi had an effort go inches wide early in the second period as Porto continued to look the most likely to make the breakthrough, finally getting their reward on 65 minutes, though in controversial circumstances.

Taremi appeared to barge into Milan midfielder Ismael Bennacer as both went for a high ball, which eventually fell to Diaz on the edge of the box and this time he shot low into the net.

Inter inflict first Champions League defeat on debutants Sheriff

IMAGE: Inter Milan's players celebrate winning their match against Sheriff Tiraspol at San Siro stadium in Milan. Photograph: Daniele Mascolo/Reuters

Inter Milan ended Sheriff Tiraspol’s perfect start to their debut Champions League campaign with a comfortable 3-1 win at San Siro on Tuesday, the Italians’ first victory in Group D.

The Moldovans earned shock wins against Shakhtar Donetsk and Real Madrid to become unlikely group leaders and they remain top with six points, two ahead of Inter in third but level with Real, who won 5-0 in Ukraine.

An Edin Dzeko volley put Inter ahead at halftime but Sebastien Thill, scorer of Sheriff’s spectacular late winner in Madrid, produced a curling free kick from long range to draw the visitors level in the 52nd minute.

However, Arturo Vidal’s strike edged Inter back in front six minutes later, before Stefan de Vrij ended any hopes of another upset with a neat finish in the 67th minute.

“We played the game we had to play. They were coming off two wins and came here flying high on enthusiasm," Inter coach Simone Inzaghi told Sky Italia.

"It was a complicated match, but we created a lot, we hit the post and the bar. We can still improve a lot but we played a great game."

The Moldovans' surprise success has been one of the stories of the Champions League so far but Inter, who failed to score in their opening two group games, managed to avoid another upset with a controlled performance.

Dzeko had a shot charged down by Dumitru Celeadnic early on, but there was nothing the goalkeeper could do to stop the striker’s wonderfully controlled volley into the top corner in the 34th minute after a corner was flicked into his path.

It gave the hosts a deserved lead, and they went in at the break as the only team to have produced 14 shots in a first half twice this season, having done so in their 1-0 defeat to Real Madrid last month.

“It was almost a make or break match. We had to win, they have six points, which nobody was expecting. When they hit you on the counter-attack they are dangerous, but we did well and three points is the most important thing," Dzeko said to Sky Italia.

Sheriff came out strongly in the second half, with Bruno testing Samir Handanovic from range before Thill’s exceptional effort from 25 yards out sparked wild celebrations.

Ivan Perisic’s shot rattled the outside of the post two minutes before Vidal fired home the goal that settled Inter nerves and quickly restored their lead.

Inzaghi’s side earned a cushion when a corner was headed into the path of De Vrij, who turned in a volley from close range.

The margin of victory could have been even greater by fulltime, as Perisic blasted a shot off the bar and Lautaro Martinez had a late effort tipped over.

“We tried our best by playing our football, but in the first half we went behind," Sheriff manager Yuriy Vernydub told a news conference.

"After the break we reorganised and scored, but it wasn’t enough. But I am happy with my players, we fought until the last minute."

Get Rediff News in your Inbox:
Source: REUTERS
© Copyright 2021 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

New Zealand Tour of India, 2021