Champions League Round Up

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Cristiano Ronaldo headed in an 81st-minute winner as Manchester United came from two goals down to beat Atalanta 3-2 in a pulsating Champions League Group F at Old Trafford on Wednesday.

Mario Pasalic put Atalanta ahead in the 15th minute, turning in Davide Zappacosta’s low ball from close range and United, with just one win in their last five games in all competitions, looked drained of belief.

It was no great surprise when the Italian side doubled their lead in the 29th minute with Merih Demiral rising at the near post to glance in an angled header from a Teun Koopmeiners corner.

Fred and Marcus Rashford missed good chances for United before the break but the home side got themselves back into the game in the 53rd minute.

A clever ball from Bruno Fernandes allowed Rashford to cut in from the left and he picked his spot with a shot into the far corner.

United drew level when Harry Maguire drilled the ball home at the back post after the stationary Atalanta defence failed to intercept a Fernandes ball across the box.

Then came the winner as Luke Shaw whipped in a superb cross from the left and Ronaldo rose superbly to perfectly place a header past Musso.

United top the group after three games on six points with Atalanta and Villarreal two points behind.

Chelsea hammer Malmo 4-0 but lose strikers to injury

Chelsea cruised to a 4-0 win over Sweden’s Malmo in Group H of the Champions League on Wednesday in a one-sided contest settled by goals from Andreas Christensen and Kai Havertz and two penalties converted by Jorginho.

But the win came at a price for the European champions – who were seeking to bounce back from a 1-0 defeat by Juventus in their previous group game – as strikers Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner both hobbled off in the first half.

Christensen, playing his 137th game for Chelsea, scored his first goal for the club in the ninth minute when he volleyed home a cross for Thiago Silva.

Nine minutes later, Lukaku was felled in the box by Malmo’s Lasse Nielsen – a challenge which led to the Belgian’s substitution – and Jorginho made no mistake from the spot.

There was no respite for the visitors as the second half got under way. Callum Hudson-Odoi raced half the length of the pitch to set up Havertz to score with an angled shot that went in off the far post in the 48th minute.

Eight minutes later, Chelsea won another penalty when Eric Larsson barged into Antonio Rudiger as he was about to shoot and Jorginho scored again from 12 yards.

Relentless Bayern crush Benfica 4-0 with four goals in 15 minutes

Bayern Munich struck four times in a frantic 15-minute spell late in the second half to cruise past Benfica Lisbon 4-0 on Wednesday and make it three wins out of three Champions League Group E matches.

Leroy Sane whipped in a fierce free kick in the 70th minute and drilled in his second in the 85th after Benfica substitute Everton headed in an own goal in the 80th and Robert Lewandowski bagged their third goal two minutes later.

The Bavarians, with coach Julian Nagelsmann missing with a flu, had earlier hit the woodwork and also had two efforts disallowed but Benfica had their share of golden opportunities in an entertaining game before eventually running out of gas after the 70th minute.

Bayern, who have now scored 12 goals in their three games and have conceded none, are top of Group E on nine points, with Benfica in second place on four.

They are also unbeaten in a record-extending 20 consecutive Champions League away games.

Kulusevski strikes late to earn Juventus win over Zenit

Dejan Kulusevski scored a late goal to earn Juventus a 1-0 victory away to Zenit St Petersburg on Wednesday and maintain their perfect record in Champions League Group H.

The Swede was left unmarked in the box to guide a header in off the post on the 86th minute and decide a game of few opportunities at the Gazprom Arena.

Juve midfielder Weston McKennie’s shot was well saved and Claudinho curled an effort narrowly wide for the hosts early in the second half, but the goalkeepers were largely untroubled as the two teams mustered a combined three shots on target before Kulusevski struck.

Massimiliano Allegri’s side top the group with nine points, six clear of Zenit in third and three ahead of second-placed Chelsea, who beat pointless Malmo 4-0 in London.

Reuters

Photo Manchester United’s Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after scoring the 3-2 lead during the UEFA Champions League group F soccer match between Manchester United and Atalanta BC in Manchester, Britain, 20 October 2021. EPA-EFE/Peter Powel

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