Real Madrid, PSG, Man City stay perfect
Sports Desk, Sep 14 (EFE).- Holders Real Madrid won Wednesday to remain perfect a third of the way through the 2022-2023 Champions League group stage, while Paris St.-Germain and Manchester City both had to come from behind to do likewise.
Two clubs not among the pre-season favorites, Napoli and Benfica, also triumphed on Wednesday to improve to 6 points from 6. But Juventus’ slump deepened with a second straight loss and Chelsea – the 2021 Champions League winners – dropped points at home.
RB Leipzig kept Real Madrid at bay until the 80th minute of a contest that saw a total of six shots on target. The hosts’ Fede Valverde broke the deadlock and sub Marco Asensio sealed the victory with a fine goal in the first minute of stoppage time.
Carlo Ancelotti became only the second coach to post 100 wins in the Champions League, joining Alex Ferguson of Manchester United.
The Blancos, who are in pursuit of a record-extending 15th title in the competition, lead Group F by 2 points over Shakhtar Donetsk, who drew 1-1 with third-place Celtic.
In Haifa, PSG fell behind to Maccabi in the 24th minute after giving away the ball in midfield. Tjaronn Chery beat keeper Gigi Donnarumma to make it 1-0.
The home side looked to have doubled their lead in the 33th, but the goal was disallowed for an offside, and Lionel Messi brought the visitors level four minutes later.
PSG finally went ahead in the 69th minute with a goal from Kylian Mbappe, assisted by Messi, and Neymar increased the margin to 3-1 with two minutes left in regulation.
Wednesday marked the first time that all three elements of PSG’s vaunted attacking “trident” scored in the same Champions League game.
The Parisians sit atop Group H by virtue of having scored more goals than Benfica.
Man City were flat Wednesday against Borussia Dortmund, who grabbed the lead in the 56th minute on Jude Bellingham’s goal. John Stones equalized for the hosts with a blast from outside the box in the 80th.
Four minutes later, Erling Haaland scored his 13th goal of the season in all competitions to put City up 2-1 over his former club.
City lead Group G, 3 points better than Dortmund. Copenhagen and Sevilla are level on a point apiece after finishing 0-0 Wednesday in the Danish capital.
Chelsea, whose loss to Dinamo Zagreb in Match Day 1 cost coach Thomas Tuchel his job, conceded a goal in the last 15 minutes to RB Salzburg to give new manager Graham Potter a disappointing draw in his first Champions League contest.
The Blues went ahead three minutes into the second half courtesy of Raheem Sterling, but Noah Okafor answered for Salzburg in the 75th minute and visiting keeper Philipp Kohn made a trio of great stops to deny Hakim Ziyech.
Chelsea sit bottom of Group E with 1 point, behind AC Milan (4), Dinamo Zagreb (3) and Salzburg (2).
The picture is even bleaker for Juventus, who jumped out to a 1-0 advantage over Benfica with Arkadiusz Milik’s goal in the 4th minute before conceding a pair of goals and suffering a second consecutive defeat.
Napoli took sole possession of first place in Group A – 3 points better than Liverpool – with a triumph against Rangers in Glasgow.
The hosts, who went down to 10 men in the 55th minute with the expulsion of James Sands for a second yellow card, kept Napoli off the scoreboard until the 68th minute, thanks to the heroics of goalkeeper Allan McGregor.
The veteran stopped Piotr Zielinski from the penalty spot in the 58th minute, but couldn’t prevent Matteo Politano from chipping in the rebound.