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PIX: Man City lose to Leipzig; Real, Liverpool win

December 08, 2021 09:03 IST
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Images from the UEFA Champions League matches played on Tuesday night.

Clinical Real sink 10-man Inter to win group

IMAGE: Real Madrid's Toni Kroos scores their first goal against Inter Milan in the UEFA Champions League Group D match, in Madrid, on Tuesday. Photograph: Susana Vera/Reuters

Real Madrid finished top of Champions League Group D on Tuesday as goals from Toni Kroos and Marco Asensio secured a 2-0 home win over Inter Milan who had Nicolo Barella sent off.

Both teams had already booked last-16 places and Real ended on 15 points from six games, five more than second-placed Inter. Sheriff Tiraspol finished third on seven and drop into the Europa League while Shakhtar Donetsk came last on two.

Real captain Luka Modric, man of the match in his 100th appearance for the club in Europe's premier competition, was delighted they ended the group stage in pole position.

"Very happy about the game and the result. We wanted to finish top in order to avoid stronger teams (in the round of 16)," the 36-year old Croatia playmaker told reporters.

"I feel good, as if I was under 30. My age is not a factor, what matters is how you perform on the pitch. We played well on the counter and Toni scored a great opening goal."

Inter manager Simone Inzaghi rued his team's lack of cutting edge up front and criticised Barella for a rush of blood.

"There are a lot of regrets with the first half because, in my opinion, we played very well and with personality," he said.

"Barella made a serious mistake but the boy is intelligent, he understood the error and has apologised to everybody. When it became ten against eleven it was more difficult."

The fast-paced match produced plenty of thrills with Vinicius Jr firing just wide in the second minute for the home side before Marcelo Brozovic volleyed narrowly over for Inter.

Kroos struck the opener in the 17th minute with a crisp low shot from 20 metres which flashed past goalkeeper Samir Handanovic, the 1,000th goal scored in the European Cup and Champions League by the record 13-times champions.

With the home side moving up a gear, Luka Jovic found the side-netting after a darting run and Rodrygo went close just before the interval when he hit the post.

Barella fired over the bar from 12 metres shortly after the break and Jovic saw his shot from a tight angle parried by Handanovic at the other end before referee Felix Brych showed Barella a straight red card in the 64th minute.

The Italy midfielder retaliated after he rubbed shoulders with Eder Militao by the touchline and crashed into the panel boards, swinging his arm and leg at the Brazilian while he was still on the ground.

Inter were on the back foot and substitute Asensio made it 2-0 with a goal of the highest quality in the 79th minute just after coming on for Rodrygo.

Crisp one-touch passing left the Spanish forward with time and space on the edge of the penalty area to curl a delightful shot into the back of the net off the post.

Leipzig secure Europa League spot with win over Man City

IMAGE: Andre Silva celebrates after scoring RB Leipzig's second goal against Manchester City at Red Bull Arena in Leipzig. Photograph: Maja Hitij/Getty Images


RB Leipzig struck in each half to beat already-qualified Manchester City 2-1 in the Champions League on Tuesday, booking a spot in the Europa League and snapping the English club's 14-game unbeaten run against German teams in the competition.

With interim coach Achim Beierlorzer on the bench after the sacking of Jesse Marsch on Sunday, Leipzig secured third spot in Group A on the final matchday ahead of Club Brugge, who lost 4-1 at second-placed Paris St Germain.

Leipzig finished with seven points, three ahead of bottom side Brugge. City came top with 12 points, a point ahead of PSG.

City, with seven changes to the team that beat Watford in the Premier League at the weekend, defended high but Dominik Szoboszlai managed to break clear and latch onto a Konrad Laimer ball to round goalkeeper Zack Steffen in the 24th minute.

IMAGE: Kyle Walker, 3rd right, of Manchester City is shown a red card by referee Sandro Schaerer. Photograph: Susana Vera/Reuters

The hosts, playing without any fans because of COVID-19 restrictions, came close to a second but first Emil Forsberg's shot was blocked by Steffen and a little later the City keeper made a reflex save to deny Andre Silva from point blank range.

His Leipzig counterpart Peter Gulacsi responded with a superb save of his own in the 40th, getting his fingers to a Phil Foden shot to direct it onto the post.

City looked livelier after the break but Leipzig scored against the run of play with Silva's well-placed shot in the 71st after City clumsily lost possession in their own half.

The visitors did respond six minutes later with Riyad Mahrez's diving header for his fifth goal in six Champions League games but their comeback was short-lived with Kyle Walker being shown a red card for kicking Silva from behind.

The sending off means City's England defender faces a ban when they resume their Champions League campaign in February.

Liverpool eliminate AC Milan

IMAGE: Divock Origi, centre, celebrates after Liverpool's second goal against AC Milan at Giuseppe Meazza Stadium in Milan. Photograph: Marco Luzzani/Getty Images

Liverpool's second-string side fought back to knock AC Milan out of Europe with a 2-1 victory at San Siro as goals from Mohamed Salah and Divock Origi helped the Reds become the first English team to win all six games in a Champions League group stage.

Milan needed to win to stand any chance of progressing to the last 16 and went in front through their England defender Fikayo Tomori in the first half to cheer the home support.

But Salah soon equalised with his 20th goal of the season in all competitions and Origi, who came on to score a stoppage-time winner against Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Premier League on Saturday, headed home Liverpool’s second after the break.

Juergen Klopp’s side became the first English team to enjoy a perfect Champions League group stage campaign, finishing top of Group B with 18 points.

It was also the first time in their history that they had chalked up a sixth consecutive victory in the competition.

"What the boys did tonight, I could not be more proud," Klopp told BT Sport. "The performance was outstanding. Having 21 shots, so many situations where we played outstandingly well and defended passionately and well organised."

Milan came last with four points in their first Champions League campaign since 2013-14, as Atletico Madrid beat Porto 3-1 to reach the knockout stage by taking second spot with seven points, two ahead of the Portuguese side.

With top spot wrapped up before kick-off, Liverpool made eight changes, handing Origi a rare start after his heroics against Wolves.

"We chose that lineup because we wanted to win the game. We needed fresh legs," Klopp explained.

"We needed desire to play this game which is difficult in this hectic schedule to always be on fire for the next game."

San Siro erupted after Takumi Minamino missed a clearance from a corner in the 29th minute, forcing Alisson Becker to parry the ball into Tomori’s path for a simple finish.

But just as the home crowd started to believe in an improbable final-day climb into the top two, Salah struck.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's shot was beaten away by goalkeeper Mike Maignan, but the Egyptian reacted quickly to fire home.

Salah became the first Liverpool player to score 20 or more goals in five consecutive seasons since Ian Rush, who did so for six campaigns in a row between 1981 and 1987.

Tomori was then punished when he gave the ball away to Sadio Mane after the break and although the winger’s shot was well blocked by Maignan, Origi headed in the rebound.

It was the Belgium international’s first goal in the Champions League since he scored the second in a 2-0 win in the 2019 final against Tottenham Hotspur.

The Rossoneri played with more purpose in the second half but could not find an equaliser, Franck Kessie squandering their best chance when he was denied one-on-one by Alisson.

"We wanted to give a joy to our fans but we didn’t manage it," disappointed Milan coach Stefano Pioli said.

"We have learnt a lot in these six matches."

Mbappe and Messi on target as PSG beat Brugge

IMAGE: Paris St Germain's Lionel Messi scores their fourth goal from the penalty spot against Club Brugge. Photograph: Benoit Tessier/Reuters

Already-qualified Paris St Germain finished the Champions League group stage in style as Kylian Mbappe and Lionel Messi bagged doubles in a 4-1 home win over Club Brugge on Tuesday.

France forward Mbappe put the Ligue 1 side 2-0 up in the first seven minutes and Messi added a third before the break plus a fourth with a penalty after the interval.

PSG were guaranteed second place in Group A before kickoff while Manchester City, who lost 2-1 at RB Leipzig on Tuesday, had already secured top spot and finished with 12 points, one ahead of Mauricio Pochettino's Paris side.

Brugge were eliminated from European competition after finishing bottom with four points, three behind Leipzig.

IMAGE: Paris St Germain's players celebrate after winning their match against Club Brugge. Photograph: Benoit Tessier/Reuters

Visiting goalkeeper Simon Mignolet clumsily punched Nuno Mendes's cross into the path of Mbappe who fired home after two minutes and the striker was at it again five minutes later when he volleyed past the Belgian from Angel Di Maria's pass.

Mbappe is the youngest player to reach 30 goals in the Champions League, less than two weeks before his 23rd birthday.

Messi added the third seven minutes before halftime with a trademark curled attempt from outside the area and although Mats Rits pulled one back in the 68th, PSG were always in control.

Messi wrapped up a comfortable victory with a 76th-minute spot kick after being brought down by substitute Ignace Van der Brempt.

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