Bayern stymie Barcelona; Liverpool edge Ajax; Atleti fall to Leverkusen

Sports Desk, Sep 13 (EFE).- FC Barcelona failed to convert their early dominance over Bayern Munich into goals and the German side prevailed 2-0 in Tuesday’s marquee Champions League game as Robert Lewandowski failed to score against his former club.

Liverpool bounced back from a 4-1 rout to Napoli on Match Day 1 to beat Ajax 2-1, while Atletico Madrid were upended 2-0 by Bayer Leverkusen.

Sporting beat Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 to claim sole possession of first place in Group D, and Inter Milan improved to 3 points with a 2-0 win over Viktoria Plzen.

The first half at Munich’s Allianz Stadium was all Barcelona and Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer was tested by Pedri and erstwhile teammate Lewandowski, who also squandered several opportunities that a striker of his caliber would have been expected to convert.

The hosts had to wait to the 50th minute for their first corner of the night and they made it count. Lucas Hernandez got his head to Joshua Kimmich’s kick to put Bayern up 1-0.

Marc-Andre ter Stegen turned aside a shot from Leon Goretzka seconds after the goal, but Leroy Sane broke through for Bayern in the 54th minute with a tremendous assist from Jamal Musiala.

Bayern preserved the clean sheet to go to 6 points, 3 better than both Barcelona and Inter, who bested Viktoria in Plzen on goals by Edin Dzeko and Denzel Dumfries.

At Anfield, Liverpool were closer to their best than they have been in the Premier League, let alone last week’s dismal performance against Napoli.

But though they put 10 shots on target to just one for Ajax, the Reds would need a goal in the 89th minute to defeat the Dutch side.

Mohamed Salah put the hosts ahead in the 17th minute, only to see budding star Mohammed Kudus equalize for the visitors in the 27th and the teams went to the break deadlocked 1-1 thanks to some fine work by Ajax keeper Remko Pasveer against Virgil van Dijk and Trent Alexander-Arnold.

Daley Blind was poised to give Ajax the advantage in the 75th minute, but sent his strike just wide of the post. The outcome was still hanging in the balance in the 89th when Joel Matip won it for the Reds.

Liverpool, Ajax and Napoli are level on points at 3, but the Italian side have a game in hand, as their match with Rangers in Glasgow was postponed until Wednesday due to “severe limitations on police resources and organizational issues” in the wake of the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

A week after beating Porto 2-1 with two goals in stoppage time, Atletico Madrid conceded twice in the final 10 minutes of regulation to hand Bayer a 2-0 victory in Group B.

Robert Andrich and Moussa Diaby got the goals for Bayer, who are even with Atleti on 3 points.

Leading the group with 6 points are surprising Club Brugge, 4-0 winners Tuesday over Porto. The last time the Belgian side won two consecutive games in the Champions League was November 2005.

Sporting sit atop Group D with 6 points after topping Spurs, who looked to have secured at least a point until Paulinho scored in the 90th minute. Arthur added an insurance goal in stoppage time.

Spurs are level on 3 points with Europa League holders Eintracht Frankfurt, who nipped Olympique Marseille 1-0 for their first-ever win in the Champions League. EFE


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