Munich register 2-1 away win in hard-fought contest
Bayern Munich captain Manuel Neuer said that the side has always believed in itself to win fixtures following their nervy 2-1 win over Lokomotiv Moscow in the UEFA Champions League 2020-21 group stage fixture on Tuesday.
Leon Goretzka gave the early lead for the champions but the hosts leveled the scoreline as Anton Miranchuk finished off a counter-attack on 70 minutes.
However, Germany midfielder Joshua Kimmich made sure Bayern stayed top of their group when he turned just outside the area and fired a superb strike into the bottom corner on 79 minutes.
“We always believe in ourselves,” Neuer told DAZN and was quoted saying by AFP. “I think we’ve shown the spirit in our team over the last few weeks and months, but we can’t rely on that, we always have to start from scratch. You could see it wasn’t easy tonight.”
Kimmich, while speaking with DAZN admitted that the side were made to play hard for the win. “They didn’t do badly, but we still should have decided the game earlier. They had some dangerous counters, but in the end we are happy to win despite not being at our best.”
In the same group Atletico Madrid came from behind to beat Salzburg 3-2, with Joao Felix grabbing their late winner.
The Portuguese starlet had hit the bar with a stunning overhead kick before Marcos Llorente put Atletico ahead in the Spanish capital.
Dominik Szoboszlai levelled before the break and then a Felipe own goal put Salzburg ahead just after half-time.
However, Joao Felix equalised on 52 minutes and then won it five minutes from the end.
Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City eased to a second straight win in Group C with Kevin De Bruyne setting up Ferran Torres for the early opener against Marseille after the hosts had carelessly ceded possession.
Ilkay Gundogan and Raheem Sterling added late goals to make it 3-0, leaving Marseille without a point.
Guardiola was confident City could build on their victory after an indifferent start to the Premier League season which has seen them come in for criticism.
“Part of the criticism was right, but you’ve got to accept it. It’s part of our job,” Guardiola told BT Sport. “It’s about where we’ve come from in the last month, with lack of preparation, injuries and Covid-19, but the Champions League is in a good place now.”
In the same group Porto beat Olympiakos 2-0 in Portugal with Fabio Vieira and Sergio Oliveira on target.
Meanwhile, Liverpool built on their 1-0 victory at Ajax last week by defeating Danish champions Midtjylland 2-0 in a low-key game behind closed doors at Anfield in Group D.
Diogo Jota finished off a fine move to give Jurgen Klopp’s team the lead early in the second half, before Mohamed Salah made sure of the points with a late penalty.
Klopp rested Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino from his starting line-up but his defensive worries deepened as Fabinho went off with an apparent hamstring injury.
“It was a tough night,” Klopp told BT Sport. “It’s a bit like in a marriage, there are good and bad times. It’s not a bad time but it’s a tricky time.”
He added: “It was a hard game to play. But winning 2-0 is completely fine so that’s it — let’s carry on.”
Liverpool now have a double-header against Atalanta, who came from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 at home to Ajax.
A Dusan Tadic penalty put the visitors ahead on the half-hour and Lassina Traore made it two, only for Duvan Zapata to save Atalanta with two goals in the space of seven second-half minutes.
Romelu Lukaku and Inter Milan endured a frustrating night in Kiev on Tuesday as they were held to a 0-0 draw by Shakhtar Donetsk.
Inter came closest to scoring, twice hitting the woodwork in the first half at the Olympic Stadium.
Nicolo Barella hit the crossbar early on and Lukaku then had a free-kick turned onto the frame of the goal by Shakhtar ‘keeper Anatoliy Trubin as the interval approached.
Lautaro Martinez then contrived to miss the target from an excellent position after the break, as Inter drew again, following a 2-2 stalemate with Borussia Moenchengladbach last week.