Sports Desk, Nov 3 (efe-epa).- Real Madrid had to work hard Tuesday in a 3-2 victory against Inter Milan that kept the Blancos from falling out of contention in the 2020-2021 Champions League, while fellow heavyweights Bayern Munich, Liverpool and Manchester City won easily to stay perfect half-way through the group stage.
The two clubs that faced each other in the Spanish capital looking for their first triumphs had been expected to dominate Group B.
And while the result takes some pressure off Real Madrid, who have won the Champions League a record 13 times, questions remain about how far Zinedine Zidane’s squad will go in this edition of Europe’s elite club competition.
Karim Benzema put the Blancos on the board in the 25th minute and Sergio Ramos doubled the advantage eight minutes later only to see Lautaro Martinez pull back a goal for Inter in the 35th.
The Italian side, playing without injured top striker Romelu Lukaku, went level with 22 minutes left courtesy of Ivan Perisic and it took a great individual effort from Rodrygo in the 80th minute to give Real Madrid the victory.
The Blancos go to four points, the same as Shakhtar Donetsk but trailing the Ukrainian club based on the head-to-head record. Inter are last in the group with 2 points.
Leading Group B are Borussia Mönchengladbach, who have 5 points after thrashing Shakhtar 6-0 on Tuesday.
Alassane Plea led Gladbach with a triple and assisted on Lars Stindl’s goal. Ramy Bensebaini also scored and Shakhtar’s Valeriy Bondar was charged for an own goal.
Holders Bayern and the team that hoisted the trophy in 2019, Liverpool, are each just a step away from securing their berths in the knockout stage.
Playing in Salzburg, Bayern went behind in the 4th minute on a goal by Red Bull’s Mergim Berisha. Robert Lewandowski converted from the spot in the 21st before an own goal by Rasmus Kristensen on the cusp of half-time put the visitors up 2-1.
Masaya Okugawa equalized for the hosts in the 66th minute and Red Bull began to think they might take a point until Jerome Boateng and Leroy Sane scored inside five minutes. Lewandowski added a second goal with two minutes left in regulation and Leroy Sane connected in stoppage time to make the final score 6-2.
With 9 points from 9, Bayern lead Group 1 by 5 points over Atletico Madrid, who had to settle for a disappointing 1-1 draw with Lokomotiv in Moscow.
Jose Maria Gimenez put the Colchoneros ahead in the 18th minute, but went from hero to villain in the space of seven minutes. He was cited for hand ball and Anton Miranchuk scored on the penalty.
While Atleti had 66 percent possession and outshot the hosts 6-1, they failed to get another goal and are just 2 points ahead of third-place Lokomotiv.
Group C is unfolding as expected, with Man City and Porto dominant over Olympiacos and Olympique Marseille.
Ferran Torres, who has emerged as a key contributor for City, scored in the 12th minute of Tuesday’s contest at the Etihad against Olympiacos, who managed just one shot on target while conceding to Gabriel Jesus and Joao Cancelo in the final 10 minutes.
Manchester City are on 9 points, 3 more than Porto, who beat Marseille 3-0 on goals by Moussa Marega, Sergio Oliveira – from the spot – and Luis Diaz.
Marseille were only trailing 1-0 when Dimitri Payet failed on a penalty chance in the 10th minute.
With no points, Marseille are all but eliminated. Olympiacos have 3 and have no margin for error if they hope to vie with Porto for second place.
Liverpool are in a commanding position atop Group D after pounding Atalanta 5-0 on Tuesday in Bergamo.