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PIX: Young Boys stun Man United; Bayern thrash Barca

Last updated on: September 15, 2021 09:48 IST
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Images from the UEFA Champions League matches played on Tuesday night.

IMAGE: BSC Young Boys' Jordan Siebatcheu celebrates with teammates after scoring the second goal against Manchester United at Stadion Wankdorf in Bern, on Wednesday. Photograph: Denis Balibouse/Reuters

Substitute Jordan Siebatcheu scored a stoppage-time winner to earn Young Boys a 2-1 victory over 10-man Manchester United in their Champions League opener on Tuesday.

 

Siebatcheu pounced on a woeful back pass from Jesse Lingard in the fifth minute of stoppage time to spark wild scenes of celebration and ensure United got their Champions League campaign off to the worst possible start.

United looked to be cruising to victory after Cristiano Ronaldo, who equalled the all-time Champions League appearance record in Bern, matching former Real Madrid team mate Iker Casillas' 177 games, fired his side in front in the 13th minute.

But United's task was made more difficult after fullback Aaron Wan-Bissaka was sent off for a lunging tackle on Christopher Martins with 35 minutes on the clock, and the home crowd sensed an upset was on the cards.

IMAGE: Jordan Siebatcheu scores the second goal for BSC Young Boys past Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea. Photograph: Arnd Wiegmann/Reuters

United brought on French defender Raphael Varane at halftime and went to five at the back to try to see out the victory, but the hosts got a deserved equaliser through Nicolas Moumi Ngamaleu at the near post in the 66th minute.

Ronaldo was then replaced in the second half as United again changed formation, with the visitors needing a fine late save from goalkeeper David de Gea to keep Young Boys at bay.

But the drama was not over and Siebatcheu's strike, timed at 94 minutes and 22 seconds, was the latest winning goal in a Champions League match since Lucas Moura’s effort for Tottenham Hotspur against Ajax Amsterdam in the 2019 semi-finals.

"That's football, people make mistakes," United captain Harry Maguire said. "We're not blaming Jesse. I'm sure everyone on that pitch today has made a mistake. I’m sure Jesse will pick himself up.

"It’s the first game in the group. We’ve got many games to bounce back and we must do. We’ll try and pick up three points in our next game and build momentum from there."

In a raucous atmosphere in the Wankdorf Stadium, it was the home side who had the first chance, with Meschak Elia dragging a strike just wide.

IMAGE: Cristiano Ronaldo gave Manchester United the lead in the 13th minute to take his tally to 135 in the competition. Photograph: Matthias Hangst/Getty Images

Yet it was the visitors who opened the scoring. Ronaldo, the Champions League’s all-time leading goalscorer, moved on to 135 in the competition with another predatory finish after being picked out by a sublime cross from Portugal team mate Bruno Fernandes.

Young Boys, who became the 36th different side Ronaldo has scored against in the Champions League - no player has found the net against more opponents in the competition – were then gifted a way back into the match by Wan-Bissaka.

The fullback's first touch was heavy, leaving him reaching into the tackle, studs up on Martins. The referee showed no hesitation in brandishing the red card.

Christian Fassnacht then almost immediately levelled, volleying just wide as the hosts looked to make their numerical advantage count.

Against the run of play, Ronaldo raced clear early in the second period and went down looking for a penalty, but nothing was given.

The hosts were piling on the pressure, and got a deserved equaliser through Ngamaleu, who battled to get to the ball ahead of Varane and send the home crowd into delirium.

Ronaldo was then replaced by Lingard, before Siebatcheu had the final say, with the United substitute getting his pass back to De Gea all wrong, and the scenes of celebration continued long after the final whistle.

Lewandowski, Mueller propel dominant Bayern to easy win at Barca

IMAGE: Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski scores their second goal against Barcelona during the UEFA Champions League Group E match at Camp Nou in Barcelona. Photograph: Denis Balibouse/Reuters

Two goals from Robert Lewandowski and one from Thomas Mueller propelled Bayern Munich to a 3-0 win at Barcelona in their opening Champions League game on Tuesday in another brutal demonstration of the gulf in class between the two sides.

Mueller gave Bayern the lead in the 34th minute of the Group E clash with a strike from outside the area which deflected off Barca defender Eric Garcia to confound goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

Lewandowski struck the German champions' second in the 54th, tapping into the net from close range on the rebound after Jamal Musiala had hit the post as Bayern made a rampant start following the interval, hemming their hosts into their own half.

The Polish striker twisted the knife further into Barcelona by scoring again in the 85th, collecting the ball in the area after another shot had come back off the post and tormenting the defence before calmly beating Ter Stegen.

The scoreline was not quite as damning for Barca as the 8-2 drubbing Bayern gave them in the quarter-finals two seasons ago but the performance was just as hopeless as they were routinely dispossessed and struggled to cope with the visitors' intensity.

"I can't complain about the team's attitude but there's a big difference in quality between the two teams," said Barca coach Ronald Koeman.

"They're a team that has been playing together for a long time and they were even stronger when they brought players off the bench. We have a lot of young players who will get better in the next two or three years.

"It's very difficult to accept but I hope things improve once we get players back from injury."

While Barca despaired at their inferiority, Bayern revelled in another dominant performance against the Catalans, who they also hammered 3-0 at the Camp Nou in the 2013 semi-finals.

"It's a lot of fun playing here, the boys enjoyed it," Mueller said.

"When you win 3-0 here, it's a really important signal. We're really pleased. We gave very little away at the back and going forward, we could have scored one or two more."

IMAGE: Thomas Muller celebrates scoring Bayern Munich's first goal. Photograph: David Ramos/Getty Images

Barca made a promising start in their first Champions League game in front of supporters at the Camp Nou since December 2019, although while the crowd was limited to 40,000 due to coronavirus restrictions there were fewer fans in attendance owing to a lack of appetite for the post-Lionel Messi era.

But Bayern soon showed their superiority and it took a strong hand from Ter Stegen to prevent Leroy Sane giving the Germans the lead, while Gerard Pique had to slide across the ground to block a goal-bound strike from Musiala.

Barcelona's only real attempt on goal in the first half came from a free kick, defender Ronald Araujo meeting Memphis Depay's cross and heading just over the bar.

Bayern finally took the lead their play merited through Mueller, who scored twice in the 8-2 hammering of Barca in Lisbon and has now netted seven times against the Catalans in Europe's top competition.

Loud boos could be heard at halftime but things got more desperate for the hosts after the break and by the end of the game Barca fans were sarcastically applauding the team whenever they managed to recover the ball, resigned to their fate.

Pique also had a tone of resignation as he reflected on the defeat.

"We are what we are, I'm sure we're going to compete again later in the season even though it's going to be a difficult year," he said.

"Overall I think the scoreline was a bit unfair but we cannot kid ourselves, they were far better than us."

Lukaku earns Chelsea narrow win over Zenit

IMAGE: Romelu Lukaku scored the winning goal for Chelsea in the 69th minute against Zenit St Petersburg at Stamford Bridge in London. Photograph: Hannah Mckay/Reuters

Romelu Lukaku opened his Champions League account for Chelsea as his powerful header earned the holders an unconvincing 1-0 victory over Zenit St Petersburg at Stamford Bridge in their Group H opener on Tuesday.

It had been an uncomfortable night for the defending champions against a well-organised Russian side but in the 69th minute the big-money striker Lukaku broke the deadlock with a header straight from the centre forward's handbook.

Chelsea were hardly convincing, however, and Thomas Tuchel's side did not even manage a shot on target in a pedestrian first half. They did improve in a far more entertaining second period in which Zenit looked capable of springing a surprise.

But all that mattered in the end for a raucous Stamford Bridge crowd was that another European campaign began with three points, maintaining the club's impressive start to the season.

When Chelsea won the trophy for the first time in 2012 they suffered an ignominious fall from grace a few months later as they became the first holders to bow out in the group stage.

Handed a comfortable looking group this time it would be astonishing if they suffered the same fate, especially in view of the powerhouse squad they have assembled and the way they have started the new season.

After the empty stadiums of last season, because of the COVID-19 restrictions, there was a celebratory feeling in the damp air before kickoff as Jorginho, N'Golo Kante, Edouard Mendy -- key men in Chelsea's triumph last season -- and manager Tuchel received awards from UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin.

Despite all the pomp, the champions struggled to impose their superiority over Zenit in the opening 45 minutes as the game struggled to live up to the pre-match firework display.

A cagey first half ended with Zenit's keeper Stanislav Kritsyuk not even required to make a save as Chelsea struggled to get the ball to an isolated Lukaku.

The Belgian's only sight of goal was a header that cleared the bar while the first shot on target came from the visitors as Yaroslav Rakits'kyy's tame effort was easily gathered by Mendy in the 38th minute.

Tuchel resisted the urge to shuffle his pack at halftime and Chelsea finally began to pick up the tempo with Hakim Ziyech forcing Kritsyuk into a low save before centre back Antonio Rudiger barrelled through the middle before lashing a shot wide.

It was not one-way traffic though and Rudiger showed his pace at the other end to get a vital toe in to deny Zenit's burly striker Sardar Azmoun.

Kai Havertz, Chelsea's hero from last season's final in Porto, came off the bench in the 63rd minute, replacing Ziyech.

It was Lukaku's presence that proved decisive in the end though as he showed the penalty area instincts that persuaded Chelsea to break their club record transfer fee to bring him back.

For the first time all night he received the kind of ball he thrives on and as Cesar Azpilicueta's cross picked him out there was only one place the ball was going as Lukaku made it 14 goals in his last 14 UEFA competition appearances.

There was a late scare for Chelsea with Zenit's substitute Artem Dzyuba somehow failing to make contact as the ball was played across the area, but all in all it was an efficient enough start for Tuchel's side.

Juventus off to winning Champions League start at Malmo

IMAGE: Alex Sandro celebrates with teammates after scoring the first goal for Juventus against Malmo. Photograph: Anders Bjuro/TT News Agency via Reuters

Forwards Paolo Dybala and Alvaro Morata scored just before halftime as Juventus made the most of Malmo's collapse to win 3-0 in their Champions League Group H clash on Tuesday to put their rocky start to the season behind them.

Twice European champions Juventus have failed to win any of their three Serie A games so far this season, but a blistering opening 45 minutes was enough to see off the Swedish champions, who were back in the group stages for the first time since the 2015/16 season.

Malmo started brightly and had a chance to open the scoring when Soren Rieks fired just over the bar in the 17th minute but instead Juventus fullback Alex Sandro broke the deadlock five minutes later, stooping to head home from close range.

A couple of minutes of chaos just before the break cost Malmo the game as Danish defender Lasse Nielsen pulled at Morata's arm and the Spanish striker went down in the box.

The Malmo defenders thought that Morata had been ruled offside and were incredulous when referee Artur Soares Dias pointed to the spot, but a VAR review upheld his decision and though Dybala slipped as he fired his spot kick, it still hit the back of the net.

The game was effectively over a minute later when a defensive mix-up allowed Morata to loft the ball over the on-rushing Ismael Diawara to make it 3-0.

The hosts battled bravely in the second half but it was Juventus that came closest to adding to their total as substitute Moise Kean rounded Diawara to score, only to see his effort ruled out for offside in the 70th minute.

The win for Juventus puts them top of the group ahead of holders Chelsea, who beat Zenit St Petersburg 1-0, on goal difference.

"We came here after some bad results, but we knew that this is another competition and we knew what to do. We did it, playing with serenity as a great team," goal-scorer Dybala told broadcaster Mediaset.

Malmo captain Andreas Christiansen was disappointed his side could not get a better result.

"We should have gone into the break at 0-1, talked and made a new game-plan, but when you go in 0-3, it's game over," he told Swedish broadcaster CMore.

"We'll learn from our mistakes. The mistakes for the goals were a little too easy, when we do it we're punished directly, we saw that today the hard way."

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