Barça unimpressive in win; PSG stumble; Sevilla show mettle
Sports Desk, Nov 4 (efe-epa).- Barcelona won Wednesday to stay perfect in the 2020-2021 Champions League, but were tested by Dynamo Kiev, while 2019-2019 finalists Paris Saint-Germain fell to third place in their group with a loss to RB Leipzig.
The day’s drama was provided by Sevilla, who overcame a 2-0 deficit and playing half the match with 10 men to edge Krasnodar 3-2 and position themselves to move on to the knockout stage.
The visitors took the lead on goals by Magomed Suleymanov, in the 7th minute, and Marcus Berg, who converted from the spot in the 21st.
Ivan Rakitic cut the deficit in half for Sevilla with an angled header in the 42nd minute before the hosts went down to 10 men with the expulsion of Jesus Navas first-half stoppage time on a straight red card for denying a clear scoring opportunity.
Despite the numerical disadvantage, Sevilla dominated with 74 percent possession and Youssef En-Nesyri scored twice in three minutes to put the game in the win column.
Sevilla climb to 7 points, the same as Chelsea, but the Blues are top of Group E on better goal difference after rolling 3-0 over Rennes on Wednesday.
Timo Werner converted two penalties in the first half and Tammy Abraham scored five minutes after the re-start. Rennes were reduced to 10 men in the 40th minute when Dalbert picked up a second yellow-card for an inadvertent hand ball.
Krasnodar and Rennes have a point each.
Barcelona, like Bayern Munich, Liverpool and Manchester City, have taken 9 points from 9 at the mid-point of the group stage, yet the same woes that have plagued them in LaLiga were in evidence Wednesday in the contest with Dynamo.
Lionel Messi scored from the spot in the 5th minute to give the Blaugrana the early edge over the Ukrainian squad, who were missing 13 players from the roster.
Antoine Griezmann squandered a golden opportunity to double the lead and even after Gerard Pique’s goal in the 65th minute, Dynamo remained in the contest.
Viktor Tsyhankov scored for the visitors with 15 minutes left and it took a solid performance by Barça goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen on his return to action after a long layoff due to injury to secure all 3 points for the home team.
Barcelona lead Group G by 3 points over Juventus, who pounded Ferencvaros 4-1 in Budapest.
Alvaro Morata had a brace for Juve and Paulo Dybala made it 3-0 for the Italian club with 20 minutes left. Lasha Dvali conceded an own goal in the 82nd minute before Franck Boli scored for the hosts in the dying seconds.
With a point apiece, Dynamo and Ferencvaros are all but eliminated.
In Group H, it turned out to be a day of upsets, as Manchester United fell to Istanbul Basaksehir and a PSG without Neymar or Kylian Mbappe were bested by Leipzig.
While United had nearly 70 percent of the ball against Basaksehir, Demba Ba and Edin Visca gave the home side a 2-0 lead before Anthony Martial pulled back a goal for the Premier League club with minutes left in the first half in what would turn out to be the end of the scoring.
PSG struck first in Leipzig with a goal by Angel Di Maria in the 6th minute.
Christopher Nkunku equalized for Red Bull in the 41st and Emil Forsberg converted a penalty just ahead of the hour mark 57 to give the hosts the edge. PSG’s hopes of a comeback were dented when Idrissa Gueye was sent off with 20 minutes left after picking up a second yellow card.
The French team ended the match with only nine men, as Presnel Kimpembe was ejected deep into stoppage time.