PSG, Madrid battle to draw; Man City win late
Cristiano Ronaldo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic struggled as Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid played to a lacklustre 0-0 draw in the Champions League on Wednesday, while Manchester City found a way to earn a late 2-1 victory in a thrilling finish against Sevilla.
Atletico Madrid, Wolfsburg and Galatasaray all won, while Manchester United could not manage more than a 1-1 draw at CSKA Moscow and Juventus was held to a scoreless home draw with Borussia Moenchengladbach.
There was a lot of talk about Ronaldo and Ibrahimovic ahead of the high-profile match at the Parc des Princes, but neither player made an impact and the teams left with a point each to remain comfortably ahead in Group A.
“Perhaps we lacked a bit of sharpness up front but we leave here happy to have picked up a point from a difficult ground,” Madrid captain Sergio Ramos said.
Here is a look at Wednesday’s Champions League matches:
Two wins each in their two previous group games, Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid produced a largely sterile match at the Parc des Princes, but the result left both teams in good position to advance to the next round.
Madrid and PSG each have seven points halfway through the group stage. Third-place Malmo reached three points by defeating pointless Shakhtar Donetsk 1-0 at home.
“I think we created more chances than PSG, we controlled the match against a difficult team,” Madrid coach Rafa Benitez said.
PSG had the ball possession but just nine attempts at goal compared to Madrid’s 16. In the absence of the injured Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema and James Rodriguez, Benitez had to field a largely reshuffled team.
In the group’s other match, a first-half goal from captain Markus Rosenberg gave Malmo the win over Shakhtar.
Rosenberg collected a pass from Pa Konate and fired home in the 17th minute for Malmo’s first goal of the group stage, following two consecutive 2-0 defeats to PSG and Madrid.
Anthony Martial gave away an early penalty and then scored the equalizer as Manchester United came back to draw 1-1 with CSKA Moscow in the Champions League on Wednesday.
United’s struggles in Europe continued on a cold night in Russia, with Louis van Gaal’s men lacking creativity for much of the game despite enjoying twice as much possession as the hosts.
Wolfsburg’s 2-0 win over PSV Eindhoven in the night’s other group game leaves the German team top with six points at the halfway point of the group stage, two points ahead of United and CSKA, with PSV last on three points.
Bas Dost scored in the first minute of the second half and Max Kruse sealed Wolfsburg’s victory in the 57th.
Saul Niguez, Jackson Martinez and substitute Oliver Torres scored a goal each as Atletico Madrid easily defeated Astana 4-0 to take the group lead with six points from three matches.
Atletico’s other goal came when Astana defender Denys Dedechko turned the ball into his own net just before the final whistle at the Vicente Calderon Stadium.
Benfica, which lost 2-1 at Galatasaray, also has six points but trails the Spanish club on goal difference. Galatasaray reached four points with its first victory, while winless Astana remains in last place with only one point.
Lukas Podolski scored a first-half winner for Galatasaray after Benfica had opened the scoring through midfielder Nicolas Gaitan in the second minute and Selcuk Inan levelled the game from the penalty spot in the 19th.
Atletico travels to Kazakhstan to play Astana in the next round, while Benfica hosts Galatasaray in Portugal.
Last season’s finalist Juventus remained atop the group despite a dull 0-0 home draw with Borussia Moenchengladbach.
Apart from a dangerous free kick from Paul Pogba early in the second half that ‘Gladbach goalkeeper Yan Sommer pushed away, there were few chances for either side in Turin.
Juventus has seven points, one more than Manchester City, which rallied to beat Sevilla 2-1. Sevilla is next with three points, while ‘Gladbach earned its first point.
In Manchester, Kevin De Bruyne scored an injury-time winner as City continued its recovery in the group.
Playing as a lone striker in the final minutes, the Belgium playmaker collected a pass from Yaya Toure, cut inside and drove a low left-footed shot inside the far post in the first of four minutes of stoppage time.
“We had the character to try to win the game until the end,” City coach Manuel Pellegrini said.
Yevhen Konoplyanka had put Sevilla ahead in the 30th and defender Adil Rami unwittingly bundled the ball into his own net in the 36th to put City level.
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