It was a night that promised so much, and didn’t disappoint as the CL returned on Tuesday night with such interesting results.
Maribor vs Liverpool
It was a night to forget for Slovenian champions, Maribor as Liverpool thrashed them 7-0 having started with the much needed urgency to kick start their UCL campaign..
Goals from Salah (2), Firmino (2), Coutinho, Alexander-Arnold and a debut goal for Alex Oxlade Chamberlain gave Liverpool the required win which sends them top of the group with five points.
As expected, it was a straight forward game for the reds who fired blank against Manchester United in the league at the weekend. Their 7-0 win becomes the biggest victory margin for an English club away from home in an European game.
On the performance the Liverpool manager, Jurgen Klopp said: “Tonight we did much better and against a football-playing side like Maribor, it made a lot of sense. We scored the first goal from a pressing situation and a few other goals were after a counter-pressing situation, so it helped a lot.”
Elsewhere in the group, Spartak Moscow give themselves a fighting chance in the group with a 5-1 win over Sevilla to go second on the table, level on point with Liverpool.
Manchester City vs Napoli
The star match of this group didn’t fail to disappoint as we were treated to a display of great attacking football but it was Pep Guardiola’s men through Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus who edged the contest at the Ethiad after racing to a two goal lead.
The visitors however had the opportunity to redeem themselves before the break via a penalty but Ederson Moraes denied Dries Mertens from the spot to maintain City’s two goal lead. He was however beaten in the second half when Napoli got their second penalty of the game and 20 year-old Diawara stepped up to convert from the spot as the game ended 2-1 in favour of the team from Manchester.
It would have been a whitewash by City as Kevin De Bruyne almost added a third but his effort came off the woodwork and Jesus also had an effort cleared off the line. All these chances came before Napoli had a sniff at City’s goal. Napoli however, were the better side in the second half but City held on for the win to make it three wins in three and sit comfortably at the top of the group.
“Napoli are an exceptional side so I was expecting them to be strong after the break. We did OK, but they played very well and made it very difficult for us – it was so complicated. Today we beat an incredible team and we had to give an incredible performance to do that,” Guardiola said at the end of the game.
In the other group game, a Bernard brace helped 10 man Shakhtar Donetsk complete a stunning comeback against Dutch opponents, Feyenoord. This result leaves the Dutch side with zero point while Shakhtar maintain second position in group F with six points; three ahead of third placed Napoli.
Monaco 1-2 Besiktas
Another home game, another loss for last season’s semi finalists, Monaco as they lost for the second consecutive game to group leaders, Besiktas. Monaco needed to win, and Ramadel Falcao gave them the perfect start, putting them 1-0 up in the 30th minute.
However, two goals from Cenk Tosun, first came four minutes after Falcao had given the host the lead, and then, the second after to break to hand the Turkish side a solid away win, as their perfect start to the campaign continued.
Monaco are facing early elimination here except something dramatic happens.
In the other group game, RB Leipzig registered a morale boosting 3-2 win over Porto, in what was their first ever win in Europe. The CL newcomers led two times after goals from Willi Orban and Emil Forsberg, but Vincent Aboubakar and Ivan Marcano equalised for Porto before Jean-Kelvin Augustin scored the decisive third just before the break in a very exciting first half.
Leipzig defended their lead in the second half, holding on for their first win in the CL, which takes to second in the group on five points, four behind leaders, Besiktas.
Real Madrid 1-1 Tottenham
One of the ties of match day three failed to live up to its pre-match hype, as both sides, who were looking to take command of the group, played out a 1-1 draw at the Bernabeu. With two of the highest scorers in 2017, Cristiano Ronaldo and Harry Kane on the pitch, it was defender, Raphael Varane who opened the scoring in this one when his own goal gave the visitors an unlikely 1-0 lead.
However, Ronaldo equalised just before the break, after he converted from the spot. The draw means nothing real changed at the top, with the defending champions still joint leaders with Spurs on seven points.
In the other group game, Borussia Dortmund failed to take advantage of the match at the Bernabeu as they were held to a disappointing 1-1 draw in Cyprus by Apoel Nicosia. While both clubs recorded their first points of the season, it was a result neither needed as it leaves their CL fate hanging in the balance, as they remain six points adrift of Real and Spurs.
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