Late Dybala goals earn Juventus victory over Lokomotiv
Raheem Sterling scored an 11-minute hat-trick and had a hand in all five goals as Manchester City came from behind to thump Italian side Atalanta 5-1 in their Champions League Group C encounter on Tuesday.
Forward Sergio Aguero also scored two in the first half at the City of Manchester Stadium, but England winger Sterling was the star of the show as the home side made it three wins from three to open up a five-point lead at the midway point of the pool.
Atalanta have now lost all three of their group matches in their debut season in the Champions League, but started brightly and had the lead via a Ruslan Malinovsky penalty.
City were ruthless in their response though and drove forward. They finished the game with 10 men after teenager Phil Foden received a second yellow card on 83 minutes.
Atalanta showed admirable ambition in the opening stages and were rewarded on 28 minutes. Malinovsky converted the penalty after Fernandinho had brought down Josip Ilicic just inside the box.
If City were rattled by going behind, they did not show it and instead lifted the tempo of their play.
They were level six minutes later when Sterling’s magnificent cross was turned into the net from close-range by Aguero.
Sterling won a penalty when his surging run was illegally stopped by defender Andrea Masiello for the second clear spot-kick of the night.
Aguero drilled the ball low into the left-hand corner for the lead, but the half ended on a sour note when City’s makeshift centre-back Rodri limped off with a hamstring problem to be replaced by John Stones, himself only just back from a thigh problem.
Sterling got the goal his performance richly deserved on 58 minutes as Kevin De Bruyne picked out Foden in the box and the latter’s lay-off was easy for the winger to finish.
Five minutes later and he had another. Played into space on the left, he turned inside the covering defender and provided an emphatic finish, before his hat-trick was complete when he poked home a Riyad Mahrez cross from close-range.
Sterling should have had a fourth too when Foden’s excellent pass sent him clear on goal, but he put the ball the wrong side of the post.
Paris St Germain whip Club Brugge
Kylian Mbappe came off the bench to grab a second half hat-trick and inspire Paris St Germain to a runaway 5-0 victory at Belgium’s Club Brugge in the Champions League on Wednesday.
The win kept up their 100 percent record in Group A with the French team on nine points at the halfway mark and on the cusp of qualification for the next phase, a comfortable five points ahead of second placed Real Madrid.
Mauro Icardi put PSG into a seventh minute lead but it was only after World Cup winner Mbappe, working his way back after a hamstring injury, came on early in the second half that they clicked into gear.
PSG’s opener was simply done with a long ball over the top from skipper Thiago Silva to find Angel di Maria, who in turn slipped a square pass for his fellow Argentine to convert.
Mbappe came on shortly after halftime and within nine minutes had PSG further ahead.
His quick footwork set up Di Maria for a square pass that Brugge goalkeeper Simon Mignolet got a hand to, serving only to pop it up in the air for a quick-thinking Mbappe to head back over him and into the net.
Mbappe then set up the third for Icardi two minutes later after a defensive slip.
Di Maria was again the provider as Mbappe made it 4-0 in the 79th minute and then completed his hat-trick four minutes later.
Dybala goals earn Juve victory over Lokomotiv
Juventus forward Paulo Dybala, surprisingly preferred to Gonzalo Higuain, scored twice in three minutes late in the game as the Turin side came from behind to beat a defiant Lokomotiv Moscow 2-1 in the Champions League on Tuesday.
Despite enjoying 69 percent of possession over the 90 minutes, Juventus trailed to Aleksei Miranchuk’s first-half goal and appeared to be heading for their first defeat under coach Maurizio Sarri until Paulo Dybala curled in an exquisite goal in the 77th minute.
The Argentine, who has started only five of Juve’s 11 matches this season, then pounced to drive home a rebound and give his side a 2-1 win which kept them level with Atletico Madrid on seven points at the top of the Group D.
“I’m very happy, I really needed two goals like this,” said Dybala. “It was a difficult game but tonight you could really see the level of experience of our team. We always remained calm until we finally scored.”
Sarri sprung a couple of surprises with his lineup as he chose Dybala to partner Cristiano Ronaldo in attack and fielded Rodrigo Betancur in a new position behind the attacking duo.
However, the Serie A leaders produced a lacklustre first half and rarely looked like piercing injury-ravaged Lokomotiv’s blanket defence.
Instead, Lokomotiv, whose 72-year-old coach Yuri Semin is in his fourth stint at the club and was also in charge when they met Juventus in the 1993/94 UEFA Cup, went ahead when Portugal midfielder Joao Mario’s shot was saved by Wojciech Szczesny and Miranchuk followed up to score.
Juventus livened up after Higuain replaced Sami Khedira early in the second half.
Dybala volleyed over from one chance and then his fellow Argentine Higuain produced a delightful piece of control before driving his shot just past the post.
Dybala finally levelled in the 77th minute when he exchanged passes with Juan Cuadrado — who minutes earlier had been lucky to escape with a yellow card for a wild, lunging tackle on Joao Mario — and curled his shot past Guilherme from 25 metres.
Shortly afterwards, Alex Sandro’s fierce long-range drive was parried by Guilherme and the ball landed at the feet of Dybala who drilled it into the net for the winner.
Morata goal gives Atletico win over Leverkusen
Atletico Madrid substitute Alvaro Morata scored a late second half header to give his team a 1-0 victory over Bayer Leverkusen on Tuesday and send them top of Champions League Group D.
In a game of few chances and many mistakes neither team came close to breaking the deadlock before Morata scored with a powerful downward header from a Renan Lodi cross in the 78th minute, giving his team a major boost for a top two finish and a spot in the knockout stages.
The Spaniards, unbeaten now in three group games, are on seven points, three ahead of Italy’s Juventus, who beat third-placed Lokomotiv Moscow later on Tuesday.
The Germans, without a point, are in last place and all but eliminated in the run for a spot in the last 16.
Atletico, who have now failed to score during the first half in their last six Champions League matches, lacked spark and intensity in the first half, with Leverkusen in control in midfield.
The visitors gradually started finding pockets of space with Kevin Volland and Kerem Demirbay but they also were missing the final pass.
Lodi completed a quickfire move with a fine first touch and shot to test Leverkusen keeper Lukas Hradecky in a rare Atletico attack in the first half.
The game picked up the pace after the break with the hosts becoming more aggressive and Diego Costa in front of goal narrowly missing to connect with a Kieran Trippier cross.
Morata did it better in the 78th when he headed in Lodi’s cross for the winner.
Kroos goal gets Real Madrid off the mark
A goal from German midfielder Toni Kroos gave Real Madrid a 1-0 victory at Galatasaray, their first of this season’s Champions League, on Tuesday.
In the 18th minute, Eden Hazard cut the ball back to Kroos, whose side-footed effort found its way into the roof of the net via a deflection.
The win means Madrid climb up to second in Group A, but behind leaders Paris St Germain by five points.
It was an end-to-end encounter with both teams able to create many chances. Real goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois had to deny the home side twice in the first half.
Zinedine Zidane’s side were without Gareth Bale and Luka Modric. However, Galatasaray were also missing a talisman of their own as Colombian striker Radamel Falcao did not feature due to an ongoing injury.
The Turkish champions are bottom of the group with one point from three games, while Madrid have four.
The two sides meet again in Spain on November 6.
Lewandowski takes Bayern past Olympiakos
German champions Bayern Munich needed two goals from their top scorer Robert Lewandowski to sneak past hosts Olympiakos 3-2 on Tuesday and remain top of their Champions League Group B.
The Greeks scored on the break when Kostas Tsimikas’s cross found Youssef El Arabi at the far post and the Moroccan beat keeper Manuel Neuer.
Bayern, struggling for form since their 7-2 win at Tottenham Hotspur earlier this month, recovered to level with Lewandowski in the 34th minute.
He then put them ahead, stabbing in from close range against the run of play in the 62nd for his 18th goal in 12 games in all competitions.
Corentin Tolisso added a third with a curled shot in the 75th before the Greeks cut the deficit with Guilherme’s deflected effort four minutes later.
The win lifted Bayern to nine point from three games. Tottenham crushed Red Star Belgrade 5-0 to move up to second place on four, one ahead of the Serbs. Olympiakos are bottom with one point.
“We made it difficult for ourselves again and didn’t have enough conviction,” said Neuer. “We need to continue working on that, analysing and seeing what we can do better.
“The problem at the moment is that we need to score three goals every game to win because we keep conceding two.”
While victory takes them a step closer to a spot in the knockout stages, it was far from a vintage performance from Bayern, who were again leaking goals.
They have now let in two goals in each of their last five games and there could be even more defensive trouble ahead after Niklas Suele tore his cruciate ligament in his left knee on Saturday and has been ruled out for months.
Fullback Lucas Hernandez, who was deployed into a central defender role in the absence of Suele, had to be taken off with what looked like a painful foot injury in the 58th minute.
But even before that Bayern had looked vulnerable at the back with El Arabi taking full advantage of Suele’s absence in the central defence to head in for the lead.
Coach Niko Kovac looked at times frustrated by the way his team was performing and it took Lewandowski’s scoring prowess to get them out of trouble once more.
Bayern, who have not won their last two league matches, thought they had wrapped it up when Tolisso netted their third but were again caught napping as the Greeks set up a dramatic finale.
However, they could not avoid their first home loss in Europe after a 10-game unbeaten run at their stadium.
Tottenham return to form with thrashing of Red Star
Harry Kane and Son Heung-min both struck twice as Tottenham Hotspur rekindled their Champions League hopes with a club record 5-0 thrashing of Red Star Belgrade on Tuesday.
After suffering their heaviest home defeat in Europe on matchday two, a 7-2 humiliation by Bayern Munich, they responded emphatically to claim their biggest win in the Champions League.
Red Star arrived in second place in Group B behind Bayern Munich while Tottenham were desperate to kickstart their European campaign after taking only one point from two games.
But once Kane headed in Erik Lamela’s corner after nine minutes and Son’s half-volley, also from a Lamela assist, made it 2-0 after 16 minutes the gloom that had descended over the north London club after a troubling start to the season on all fronts finally began to lift as Spurs rediscovered their mojo.
Red Star responded in spirited fashion to the early setbacks and threatened on occasions, but Son’s second just before halftime killed off any hopes they had of a comeback.
The excellent Lamela, making his 200th appearance, made it 4-0 in the 57th minute and Kane’s exquisite finish in the 72nd minute took his Champions League tally to 18 goals in 22 games.
Victory put Tottenham into second spot with four points, five behind runaway leaders Bayern and one clear of Red Star who they face in the Serbian capital in a fortnight.
Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino has looked world-weary this season after the high of taking Tottenham to last season’s Champions League final.
With the Londoners securing only three wins from nine Premier League games and suffering a League Cup exit to fourth-tier Colchester United, there has been obvious speculation about the Argentine’s future.
But Spurs responded with a display much more in keeping with what people have come to expect in five years under Pochettino whose name the fans sung loudly in the second half.
Tottenham were back to their high-pressing style against Red Star and the visitors were unable to handle the tempo as Kane and Son had early chances before Kane ghosted into space to plant a glancing header past Red Star keeper Milan Borjan from Lamela’s curling delivery.
Lamela was the provider again seven minutes later, skilfully picking out an unmarked Son to hammer a side-foot volley high into the net.
Red Star were surprisingly backed by a noisy contingent of fans high in the upper tier, despite a UEFA punishment for racism which meant they were unable to buy tickets.
Both Tottenham and UEFA will launch inquiries as to how they got tickets but they fell silent in the 44th minute when captain Marko Marin, formerly of Chelsea, was robbed of the ball by Tanguy Ndombele in midfield and he powered forward before releasing Son who took a touch before guiding home.
The onslaught continued after the break as the confidence flooded back into the Spurs ranks.
Lamela beat Borjan with a rising shot on the turn and Kane competed the rout with a clinical finish.
Shakhtar hold adventurous Dinamo
Shakhtar Donetsk scraped a 2-2 home draw against Dinamo Zagreb after the Ukrainian side took the lead and then came from behind in a pulsating Champions League Group C clash on Tuesday.
The result left both sides on four points from three games, two adrift of leaders Manchester City who were at home to Italian rivals Atalanta in the evening fixture.
Yevheniy Konoplyanka fired Shakhtar into a 16th-minute lead when he took a sublime pass from Brazilian-born midfielder Marlos into his stride and steered the ball past Dinamo keeper Dominik Livakovic from a tight angle.
Orsic hit the woodwork after a dazzling solo run from deep inside his own half in the 49th minute before he gave Dinamo the lead on the hour as Shakhtar conceded a bizarre penalty.
Pyatov needlessly wrestled striker Mario Gavranovic to the ground as a corner was swung in and after a quick VAR check, Orsic blasted the spot-kick into the top corner.
Shakhtar got their equaliser in the 75th minute when Alan Patrick released Dodo with a defence-splitting pass and the second-half substitute rounded Livakovic before driving the ball home past two defenders on the line.
Olmo missed a chance to grab a late winner for the visitors as he raced down the right flank and hit the outside of the post with a fizzing low shot.