Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Champions League: Haaland stars for Man City

Erling Haaland continued his remarkable start to life at Manchester City with a brace of goals, helping the English side to a third win from three Group G matches in the UEFA Champions League.
Haaland scored with his first touch as City cruised to another thumping home win, beating FC Copenhagen 5-0 at the City of Manchester Stadium in Manchester on Wednesday night.
Haaland buried a Joao Cancelo pass in the 7th minute before tapping in a second in the 32nd min to move to 28 goals in just 22 Champions League appearances. He is now level with Ryan Giggs on 28 UEFA Champions League goals.
David Khocholava turned in an own goal, Riyad Mahrez scored a penalty after Haaland was withdrawn at the break and Julian Alvarez tapped in a fifth after a great run from Jack Grealish. Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola was elated with the way his team played and praised Alvarez for stepping in when Haaland was withdrawn.
Though Copenhagen goalkeeper Kamil Grabara excelled throughout, making 12 saves, his side was just outclassed.
Chelsea win 3-0
It was a good night for the English sides as Chelsea romped to a 3-0 win against Italian club AC Milan. Chelsea cruised to their first Champions League win of the season to move off the foot of Group E.
The visitors from Italy started brightly but lax marking at defensive set pieces proved their downfall as Wesley Fofana capitalised. Rade Krunic spurned a glorious chance on the stroke of half-time, but that was as good as it got for Milan as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang steered in Reece James’ cross for the second, before James smashed in the third after Milan were caught playing out from the back.
Chelsea thus moved to the second spot in the standings tied on four points with AC Milan but ahead on goal difference. FC Salzburg, who have five from three games, lead the Group after they defeated Dinamo Zagreb 1-0 at home.
Meanwhile, in Group H, Angel Di Maria was in sparkling form, providing all three assists, as Juventus earned their first Group H win, beating Maccabi Haifa 3-1 at home.
The Argentinian’s brilliantly disguised pass teed up Adrien Rabiot for the opener in the 35th minute, and he released Dusan Vlahovic to beat Joshua Cohen early in the second half. Din David pulled one back for the visitors in the closing stages but Rabiot headed in a Di Maria corner to quash any hopes of a comeback.
In the other match in the group, Portuguese champions Benfica held French stalwarts Paris Saint Germain (PSG) 1-1 at Estadio da Luz in Lisbon.
Benfica held on to keep pace with Paris at the top of Group H after Danilo’s own goal cancelled out some Lionel Messi magic.
The visitors were indebted to Gianluigi Donnarumma in the opening exchanges before Messi hit a sumptuous curling finish from the edge of the box.
However, the Eagles kept to their game plan and levelled when Enzo Fernandez’s centre was chested past his own keeper by former Porto man Danilo. Both sides went in search of a winner after the break but found Odisseas Vlachodimos and Donnarumma in sparkling form.


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