2020/2021 UEFA Champions League runners-up Manchester City showed their quality on Tuesday as they produced a clinical performance to dismantle hosts Club Brugge 5-1 in Belgium.
Manchester City’s rout puts them provisionally top of Group A on six points but Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) could jump them onto seven if they beat RB Leipzig later.
Left-back Joao Cancelo opened the scoring on the half hour and Riyad Mahrez doubled the lead with a penalty kick he won himself before the break.
It was then the turn of right-back Kyle Walker to claim his first Champions League goal in 39 games in the 53rd minute.
Midway through the second half, youngster Cole Palmer also claimed his maiden goal in Europe’s elite competition.
Club Brugge had enjoyed an impressive campaign so far with a home draw to PSG and brilliant win against RB Leipzig and Hans Vanaken’s alert finish gave them late consolation.
But Mahrez’s second immediately quashed any outside hopes of a comeback against last season’s beaten finalists.
“One of the best performances we have done in Europe, definitely,” Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola said. “I know how good they did against PSG.
“We could have scored more goals, we had many chances. All of our us are delighted with the performance we have done.”
In the other early game, Sporting Lisbon took their first points 4-1 away to Besiktas, who have suffered three straight defeats in Group C.
Paris St Germain’s Kylian Mbappe and Lionel Messi found their groove as they inspired their side to a 3-2 comeback victory at home to RB Leipzig in a Champions League thriller on Tuesday.
Mbappe was the first to strike and Messi had the France forward to thank for his second-half double after the Ligue 1 side had fallen 2-1 behind following goals by Andre Silva and Nordi Mukiele either side of the interval.
Mbappe, who missed a stoppage-time penalty, set up Messi for the equaliser and won the spot kick that the Argentine converted with an ice-cool chip after what had been a lacklustre performance from the club’s new signing.
The result left PSG top of Group A with seven points from three games, one point ahead of Manchester City, who demolished Club Brugge 5-1 away earlier on Tuesday. Leipzig have no points.
“They pressed really hard and targeted Marco Verratti,” said PSG coach Mauricio Pochettino, who had to deal with the absence of the injured Neymar and suspended Angel Di Maria.
“It was a very tough game but the team showed their character again.”
Leipzig coach Jesse Marsch added: “There’s a massive difference between us and PSG but the fact that we almost made it says a lot. We need to trust this young squad.”
Before Mbappe and Messi linked up like two old team mates, PSG often looked out of sorts, incapable of dealing with Leipzig’s high pressure game.
Jesse Marsch’s side pressed hard from the outset and after eight minutes, PSG’s Keylor Navas had already made three saves.
It was a double-edged sword for the visitors, however, as PSG threatened on the break and they opened the scoring after nine minutes.
Julian Draxler flicked a Marquinhos long pass into the path of Mbappe, who dummied his marker before firing a low shot past Peter Gulacsi for his first Champions League goal this season.
Leipzig did not back down and in the 27th minute Silva’s volley crashed against Navas’s left-hand post. A minute later Silva turned Angelino’s cross in at the far post to give the German side a deserved equaliser.
Leipzig were the better team and Christopher Nkunku came close to giving them the advantage three minutes before the break when his low shot went just wide after a series of dribbles.
PSG started the second half well, with Messi finding space between the lines, but it was Leipzig who took the lead in the 57th as Mukiele latched onto another Angelino cross at the far post.
The hosts continued to struggle but a Tyler Adams back pass was intercepted by Mbappe who sped into the area and fed Messi, with the Argentine tapping the ball into the empty net after Gulacsi parried his shot onto the inside of the post after 67 minutes.
It was Mbappe who had set up Messi for PSG’s second goal in their 2-0 victory against Manchester City in the previous round of matches.
Seven minutes later, Mbappe was brought down by Mohamed Simakan and Messi converted the resulting penalty in clinical fashion before again pointing to his strike partner, who has set up his three PSG goals so far.
PSG were awarded another penalty four minutes into added time after a VAR review for a Josko Gvardiol foul on Achraf Hakimi.
But Mbappe skied it over the bar, although that did not tarnish a sublime overall performance from the 22-year-old.
Ajax Amsterdam produced a dominant showing to rout Borussia Dortmund 4-0 on Tuesday and keep up their 100 per cent record in the Champions League.
The result meant Ajax moved closer to a place in the next stage of the competition.
An early own goal by Marco Reus from Dusan Tadic’s free kick was followed by decisive strikes from Daley Blind, Brazilian winger Antony and Sebastien Haller.
Ajax lead Group C three points ahead of their previously unbeaten German visitors.
The Dutch club took 11 minutes to go ahead in a sell-out clash at the Johan Cruyff Arena that was expected to be evenly contested but proved anything but.
Tadic’s curling free kick looked goal-bound but was helped into the net by a touch off the top of the head of Dortmund skipper Reus, who was credited with the own goal.
Blind’s left-footed half-volley from the edge of the area doubled the score in the 25th minute but Ajax might have led by more at the break had it not been for Gregor Kobel in the Dortmund goal, who pulled off several difficult saves.
Antony, fresh from making his Brazil debut last week, curled a left-footed shot into the net after 57 minutes as Ajax pressed home their superiority.
They were also helped by some poor Dortmund defending, especially when Haller rose easily to head home Blind’s cross for the fourth goal in the 72nd minute.
The two sides clash again in Dortmund in their next group game on November 3.
Real Madrid’s Vinicius Jr scored twice to lead them to a 5-0 win at Shakhtar Donetsk on Tuesday as they put behind them their home defeat by Sheriff Tiraspol in their last Group D game.
Real are second on six points behind Sheriff, who lost 3-1 at Inter Milan, taking the italians to four points.
There were plenty of Brazilians on the pitch from both sides but it was Real Madrid’s Vinicius Jr and Rodrygo who stole the show, having started alongside Karim Benzema up front.
Shakhtar held out until Serhiy Kryvtsov sliced a Lucas Vazquez cross over his own goalkeeper under pressure from Benzema for a spectacular own goal after 37 minutes.
In the second half Vinicius took control with two stunning goals in five minutes.
The first with a soft touch to net after a great assist from Luca Modric and the second with an individual effort after dribbling past three defenders.
Vinicius then provided an assist for Rodrygo to score the fourth before Benzema sealed the victory for the visitors with a strike from inside the box in stoppage time.
Antoine Griezmann scored twice but was sent off for Atletico Madrid as they fell to a 3-2 Champions League Group B defeat to Liverpool.
Liverpool’s in-form attacker Mohamed Salah netted a double, including the winner from the penalty spot.
Salah opened the scoring with a deflected effort in the eighth minute and Naby Keita added a second with a thunderous volley five minutes later, but Liverpool’s defence imploded and Atletico came roaring back.
Griezmann steered home a Koke shot in the 20th minute to reduce the deficit and 14 minutes later he put his side level.
But he was sent off seven minutes into the second half for a careless and dangerous high boot that caught Roberto Firmino in the head.
Salah put Liverpool back in front with a 78th-minute penalty and Atletico had a similar award overturned.
This was after a VAR review, leaving the Reds to see out the game and stay top in Group B on nine points, five ahead of second-placed Atletico.