Wednesday night’s Matchday 3 fixtures produced another round of glistening ties in the 2022/23 UEFA Champions League campaign.
Salzburg 1-0 Dinamo
ZagrebLeipzig 3-1 Celtic
Chelsea 3-0 AC Milan
Real Madrid 2-1 Shakhtar Donetsk
Man City 5-0 Copenhagen
Sevilla 1-4 Dortmund
Juventus 3-1 M. Haifa
Benfica 1-1 PSG
PSG held at Benfica despite Messi stunner
Paris Saint-Germain were forced to settle for a 1-1 draw away to Benfica in the Champions League on Wednesday despite Lionel Messi’s brilliant curling strike.
The Argentina star scored midway through the first half in Lisbon but Danilo Pereira’s own goal before the break ensured PSG and Benfica remain level at the top of Group H on seven points.
Both clubs failed to win for just the second time this season in all competitions but are four points clear of Juventus, who bounced back from successive defeats to beat Maccabi Haifa 3-1 at home.
Real Madrid take control in Europe with smooth Shakhtar win
Real Madrid established a stranglehold at the top of their Champions League group with a 2-1 win over Shakhtar Donetsk on Wednesday, which should have been far more emphatic.
Carlo Ancelotti’s reigning champions have a 100 percent record in the competition and made light work of their Ukrainian opponents, who had to travel 10 hours to get to Madrid because of the war in their homeland.
Rodrygo and Vinicius Junior’s goals made the difference but the record 14-time winners were dominant and only profligate finishing – and fine goalkeeping from Anatoliy Trubin – stopped them from racking up a big lead.
After three games Madrid have a five-point lead on second-placed Shakhtar, with RB Leipzig, third, beating Celtic 3-1 in the other Group F match.
Chelsea swat aside AC Milan to revive Champions League bid
Graham Potter admitted Chelsea’s 3-0 victory against AC Milan was “really important” as they climbed back into contention for a place in the Champions League last 16 on Wednesday.
Potter’s side won for the first time in three Group E games as Wesley Fofana’s first Chelsea goal was followed by second-half strikes from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Reece James at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea had kicked off their Champions League campaign with an embarrassing defeat at Dinamo Zagreb the day before Thomas Tuchel was sacked, while Potter’s first match ended in a draw with Salzburg.
But second-placed Chelsea are now level with third-placed Milan on four points ahead of a crucial trip to the San Siro to face the Italian champions again on October 11.
With three games left for each team, group leaders Salzburg are one point above Chelsea after beating Dinamo Zagreb 1-0 on Wednesday.
‘Not human’ Haaland at the double as Man City thrash Copenhagen
Erling Haaland only needed 45 minutes to add two more goals to a remarkable start to his Manchester City career as the English giants thrashed FC Copenhagen 5-0 in the Champions League on Wednesday.
Haaland now has 19 goals in 11 competitive games for City and was denied the chance of a fourth hat-trick in five home games after being rested for the second half by Pep Guardiola.
City were already 3-0 up at the break as the Norwegian twice swept home from close range before David Khocholava deflected Sergio Gomez’s shot into his own net.
“I’ve never witnessed anything like it in my life,” said City midfielder Jack Grealish on Haaland’s scoring streak.
“For the first and second goal I was just laughing. I was like, ‘how?’ He’s just always there.
“Their keeper said to me: ‘this guy – he’s not human.'”
Riyad Mahrez took advantage of Haaland’s absence to score his first goal of the season from the penalty spot before Julian Alvarez rounded off the scoring.
With maximum points from their opening three games, City are cruising towards the last 16 and can seal qualification with two games to spare should they win in the Danish capital in six days’ time.
Copenhagen are languishing in mid-table in their domestic league and in manager Jacob Neestrup’s second game in charge came to the Etihad with damage limitation in mind.
But for Copenhagen goalkeeper Kamil Grabara, City could easily have surpassed the six goals they smashed past Manchester United on Sunday.
Di Maria-inspired Juve beat Maccabi to kick-start Euro campaign
Juventus got off the mark in the Champions League with Wednesday’s 3-1 win over Maccabi Haifa powered by an inspired performance from Angel Di Maria.
Argentina winger Di Maria set up Adrien Rabiot’s brace and a further strike from Dusan Vlahovic to give Juve their first points in Group H.
They sit four points behind leaders Paris Saint-Germain and Benfica in the group and next week have a trip to Israel where they will again be favourites.
However they flagged in the last 20 minutes and allowed substitute Din David to half the deficit with 15 minutes remaining, shortly before Rabiot secured the win.
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