The midpoint of this season’s Champions League group stage concluded this week, with record-breaking goals and intense drama in crucial matches. Teams are now under pressure as the group stage is nearing its end. Here’s the round-up of action from this week’s UCL soccer fixtures.
Bayern break record in victory over Plzen
Bayern Munich beat Viktoria Plzen 5-0, extending their unbeaten streak in the group stage to 31 games and breaking Real Madrid’s 30 games unbeaten record in the league. Leroy Sane, Serge Gnabry and Sadio Mane all scored within the first 21 minutes. Bayern also maintained its perfect start to this season’s campaign and yet to face defeat since a 3-2 loss to Manchester City in December 2013.
Also in Group C, Inter bounced back from back-to-back league losses as they beat Barcelona 1-0 to keep their Champions League hopes alive. Hakan Calhanoglu scored the only goal of the match, a clinical strike from just outside the area, going into the net in added time before the break. Barca will need a win to stay in the competition as another loss will put them in danger of being knocked out.
Napoli kept perfect record
Napoli came from behind and thrashed 10-man Ajax 6-1 at home, keeping a perfect record on top of Group A. Mohammed Kudu opened the scoring for Ajax in the sixth minute before Giacomo Raspadori, Giovanni Di Lorenzo and Piotr Zielinski all score before the half-time, with Raspadori adding a second and Khvicha Kvaratskhelia and Giovanni Simeone in the second-half sealed the heavy win.
Napoli became the first visiting side to score five times against Ajax in Europe. They are now unbeaten in 11 games across all competitions this season. Meanwhile, Liverpool trail Napoli in the group standing after beating Rangers 2-0 at Anfield. Trent Alexander-Arnold scored the lead for the Reds before Mohamed Salah netted from the penalty spot after Leon King fouled Luis Diaz.
Messi scored in a draw at Benfica
Paris Saint-Germain had to settle for a 1-1 draw at Benfica despite another impressive goal from Lionel Messi. With this goal, Messi has become the first player to score against 40 teams in the Champions League. The Argentine is the second-top scorer in Champions League history with 126 goals. Benfica leveled before halftime thanks to an own goal from Danilo Pereira.
Elsewhere in Group H, Angel Di Maria assisted all three goals for Juventus to win against Maccabi Haifa 3-1. Di Maria is now one assist away to pass Lionel Messi’s tally in the Champions League. After back-to-back losses in the competition, Adrien Rabiot double and Dusan Vlahovic finisher gave Juve their first points, sinking Maccabi Haifa to the rock bottom of the group.
Chelsea thrashed Milan
Chelsea kept their Champions League hopes alive with a heavy 3-0 win over AC Milan in Group E. This win marks coach Graham Potter’s first Champions League win at the helm. Wesley Fofana scored his first goal for the club 24 minutes into the pitch before Reece James assisted Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s goal in the 56th minute and scored his own five minutes later.
On top of Group E, RB Salzburg win a crucial game against Dinamo Zagreb, with Noah Okafor ‘s goal in the 71st minute from a penalty kick after after Moharrami foul Ulmer. Dinamo had a chance to equalize late in the game as Drmić scored a goal for it to be disallowed due to the backfield. Salzburg is only 1 point clear of Group E table with 5 points.
Exciting games and big wins as you visit 12BET where exclusive promotions await for you.
Visit 12BET login and join us to claim exclusive benefits and more.
Haaland broke Champions League record
European matchday weekend – as it happened
Neymar to miss rest of the season due to injury