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It’s time to fix the Champions League or start a European mega-league
DEFENDING champions Real Madrid have been stunned by CSKA Moscow in a massive Champions League upset on another big morning of action.
Real have now failed to score in three consecutive matches after the 1-0 loss in Moscow as the exit of Cristiano Ronaldo appears to take its toll.
Elsewhere there were frustrating draws for heavyweights Manchester United and Bayern Munich.
Jose Mourinho is now winless in four consecutive home matches for the first time ever after his side drew 0-0 with Valencia in a frustrating clash at Old Trafford. While Bayern were held to a 1-1 stalemate by Dutch giants Ajax.
Manchester City got their campaign up and running care of a late David Silva winner, while there were hat-tricks for stars Paulo Dybala and Edin Dzeko as their sides registered emphatic victories.
HERE’S A FULL WRAP OF THE OVERNIGHT CHAMPIONS LEAGUE ACTION…
CSKA MOSCOW 1-0 REAL MADRID
Champions League holders Real Madrid slumped to a shock 1-0 group-stage defeat at the hands of CSKA Moscow in Russia on Tuesday.
Croatian winger Nikola Vlasic scored the only goal of the game in the second minute at the Luzhniki Stadium.
CSKA Moscow stun Real
The Russians held on after having goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev sent off in injury time, and they leapfrog the reigning European champions to go top of Group G.
MANCHESTER UNITED 0-0 VALENCIA
Manchester United turned up late for the match and produced another lackluster performance in a 0-0 home draw with Valenciain the Champions League on Tuesday, increasing the scrutiny on under-fire manager Jose Mourinho.
Kickoff was delayed by five minutes at Old Trafford because United’s team bus got stuck in traffic on the way to the ground, arriving just 45 minutes before the scheduled start time of the Group H game.
United’s players never really got going on the field, either, with a late rally failing to yield a goal that would have secured a second straight win in group play.
HOFFENHEIM 1-2 MANCHESTER CITY
Manchester City have overcome a first-minute setback to relaunch their Champions League campaign with what manager Pep Guardiola hailed as an “important” 2-1 victory at Hoffenheim, clinched by a late David Silva winner. The English Premier League champions and current leaders, urgently needing a win after their opening week Group F defeat at home by Olympique Lyonnais, had been rocked by an Ishak Belfodil goal after just 44 seconds on Tuesday.
Silva saves City
Sergio Aguero’s equaliser seven minutes later seemed to have set them back on course as they dominated most of the match but the Bundesliga side, set up in an attacking 4-3-3 mode and dangerous on the break, held firm until Silva cashed in on a late defensive error.
JUVENTUS 3-0 YOUNG BOYS
Paulo Dybala scored a hat-trick as Juventus carried their winning streak into the Champions League with a 3-0 victory over ten-man Young Boys on Tuesday to leave them top of Group H with six points from two games.
Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo was suspended after his contested red card during the Italian side’s 2-0 win over Valencia in the first round of games.
But Dybala ran riot in his first European game this season, volleying in his first following a Leonardo Bonucci long ball after five minutes.
Juve star’s awesome CL treble
The Argentine doubled his account on 33 minutes when he picked up a rebound from a Blaise Matuidi shot, with Juan Cuadrado setting Dybala up for his third on 69 minutes.
The Swiss played the final quarter of an hour a man down after Guinean centre-back Mohamed Ali Camara was sent off for a second yellow card.
It was the Young Boys’s second defeat of the competition after they lost their opener 3-0 at home to Manchester United.
BAYERN MUNICH 1-1 AJAX
Bayern Munich held on to a 1-1 draw against Ajax in the Champions League on Tuesday as the German team’s recent wobbles continued. Noussair Mazraoui scored for the visitors after Mats Hummels headed Bayern into an early lead, and the home side was fortunate to secure a point after Lasse Schone rattled the crossbar in injury time. Goalkeeper Manuel Neuer got his fingertips to the shot.
Bayern won its first seven games of the season across all competitions but has now failed to win in three games.
Hummels got the home side off to a perfect start with a header from Arjen Robben’s cross in the fourth minute.
Ajax seemed shaken by the setback as Bayern dominated the first 15 minutes. But the visitors grew in confidence after Dusan Tadic fired their first chance over the bar.
Mazraoui equalized in the 22nd after playing a one-two with Tadic. Hakim Ziyech almost put the visitors in front before the break but Neuer saved his powerful shot.
Tadic set up Nicolas Tagliafico after the break but the Argentine shot straight at Neuer, who was kept surprisingly busy.
Bayern substitute Serge Gnabry went close at the other end before Schone nearly netted the winner in injury time.
ROMA 5-0 VICTORIA PLZEN
Edin Dzeko can’t stop scoring against Viktoria Plzen. The Bosnia and Herzegovina striker netted a hat trick to raise his tally to nine goals in eight matches against the Czech side as Roma revived its Champions League campaign with a 5-0 rout on Tuesday.
Turkey winger Cengiz Under added another for Roma – having previously hit the crossbar – and 19-year-old forward Justin Kluivert also knocked in a rebound. In the Europa League two years ago, Dzeko scored a hat trick for Roma against Plzen. He also got two against Plzen in the Champions League while with Manchester City in the 2013-14 group phase. His other goals against Plzen came when Dzeko played in the Czech Republic for Teplice from 2005-07. A surprise semifinalist last season, Roma is building confidence after its emotional 3-1 win over Lazio in the Rome derby on Saturday.
Having been thoroughly outclassed by three-time defending champion Real Madrid in the Group G opener, Roma is back in the battle for the knockout rounds. CSKA Moscow, which beat Madrid 1-0 in Tuesday’s other group match, leads with four points. Roma and Madrid have three points each and Plzen is last with one. Dzeko can speak Czech fluently and he was quick to seize upon holes in Plzen’s defense.
The first goal came when Dzeko was set up by Aleksandar Kolarov to beat the offside trap three minutes in, enabling the Roma No. 9 to place a shot in the far bottom corner.
Under, Roma’s 21-year-old winger, rocked the goalframe with a long shot near the half-hour mark and Kluivert then protested to no avail for a penalty when the ball appeared to go off a defender’s arm.
Before the break, Dzeko scored his second with an expert chest control and half volley from close range following a cross from Under. He nearly had another later on but goalkeeper Matus Kozacik denied him with his boot. Under scored with an angled shot after being set up by Lorenzo Pellegrini, who maintained his exceptional form from the derby.
Pellegrini also helped set up Roma’s fourth goal with a cross-field pass to Under, whose shot was palmed away by Kozacik into the path of the waiting Kluivert.
Kluivert – the son of former Netherlands standout Patrick Kluivert – became the youngest Roma player to score in the Champions League.
Dzeko completed his hat trick in stoppage time by rising above the defense for a header from a corner.
Dzeko has now scored eight goals in his last seven Champions League appearances; ending a six-match scoreless streak in all competitions.
LYON 2-2 SHAKHTAR DONETSK
Lyon rallied from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 at home to Shakhtar Donetsk and stay top of its Champions League group on Tuesday. Brazilian striker Junior Moraes scored twice for the Ukrainian side, but Lyon salvaged a point with second-half goals in quick succession from striker Moussa Dembele and defender Leo Dubois.
Lyon could have won as Dembele and substitute Memphis Depay missed good chances. But so could Shakhtar, with Nigerian forward Olarenwaju Kayode hitting the crossbar in the last minute.
Lyon is one point ahead of English champion Manchester City, which lost its opening game to the French team and bounced back to win 2-1 at German side Hoffenheim in Group F’s other match on Tuesday. Shakhtar has two points and Hoffenheim is last with one.
Lyon goalkeeper Anthony Lopes made two good saves in the first half but was beaten just before the interval. Brazilian left back Ismaily got to the byline and pulled the ball back for countryman Moraes to finish confidently at the near post.
Lyon started the second half well, but after midfielder Houssem Aouar had a goal disallowed for offside the visitors made it 2-0 shortly with an all-Brazilian move after Aouar had lost the ball. Midfielder Taison fed countryman Alan Patrick and he quickly found Moraes – who expertly side-footed inside the near post after 55 minutes.
Lyon coach Bruno Genesio brought on Depay and the lively Netherlands forward sparked the attack.
Shakhtar goalkeeper Andriy Pyatov saving Dembele’s shot in the 68th and then kept out defender Ferland Mendy’s effort.
Lyon’s pressure paid off when Dembele headed in France forward Nabil Fekir’s cross.
Two minutes later, the right back Dubois found space near the penalty spot and converted Aouar’s cross from the left.
AEK ATHENS 2-3 BENFICA
Substitute Alfa Semedo rescued 10-man Benfica with a late goal to beat AEK Athens 3-2 Tuesday as the Greek champion was punished for chaotic defending with a second Champions League defeat.
Left unchallenged, the 21-year-old Semedo fired past goalkeeper Vasilis Barkas in the 74th minute at Athens’ Olympic Stadium.
Benfica looked set to secure the Group E match early, scoring twice in the opening 15 minutes through Haris Seferovic and Alex Grimaldo. But Benfica lost control after dropping to 10 men when Ruben Dias received a second booking before the break for a foul on Roma-loaned Ezequiel Ponce. Viktor Klonaridis scored twice in the second half but missed a clear chance for the winner moments before Semedo’s goal.
Bayern and Ajax drew 1-1 in the group’s other game on Tuesday.
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