Algerian Ishak Belfodil nearly caused a major problem for Manchester City in the UEFA Champions League in midweek, as his early goal threatened to condemn the English giants to a second straight defeat in Group F.
However, the Citizens struck back quickly through Sergio Aguero and ultimately claimed victory thanks to a late goal from David Silva for a 2-1 victory.
Following their opening defeat to Olympique Lyon, the result was very much a welcome one for City and manager Pep Guardiola, who believes their hopes of qualifying for the knockout rounds “will come down to our final game this time”.
“This competition isn’t always a red carpet. Manchester City is a fantastic club, but we don’t have a history of having to fight and we fought for absolutely everything here,” added the Spanish manager.
The other Group F match on Tuesday saw Bertrand Traore and Maxwel Cornet feature for Lyon in their 2-2 draw at home to Shakhtar Donetsk.
Manchester United continue to struggle as they were held 0-0 at home by Valencia – though at least they kept a clean sheet, with the return of Ivory Coast defender Eric Bailly surely a contributing factor – while Juventus took control of Group H with a 3-0 home win (featuring a hat-trick from Paulo Dybala) over a Young Boys team which had Guinean Mohamed Aly Camara sent off.
Morocco’s NoussairMazraoui was on the score sheet for Ajax as they claimed an impressive 1-1 draw away to Bayern Munich, 10-man Benfica won 3-2 away to AEK Athens, Roma continued their stunning return to form with a 5-0 destruction of Viktoria Plzen, and the big surprise of the round was CSKA’s 1-0 home win over title holders Real Madrid.
Wednesday’s headline results came in London and Naples, as Victor Wanyama’s Tottenham Hotspur were beaten 4-2 by a Lionel Messi-inspired Barcelona and Napoli defeated Liverpool 1-0 at Stadio San Paolo, with the game featuring African stars KalidouKoulibaly, Sadio Mane, Naby Keita and Mohamed Salah.
Paris Saint-Germain, Atletico Madrid and Borussia Dortmund all racked up comfortable home wins over Red Star, Club Brugge and Monaco respectively, Kwadwo Asamoah and Keita Balde featured for Internazionale in their 2-1 win away to PSV Eindhoven, and Moussa Marega scored the only goal as Porto edged Galatasaray.
UEFA Champions League results, 2-3 October
Tuesday 2 October
18:55: Hoffenheim 1-2 Manchester City
18:55: Juventus 3-0 Young Boys
21:00: Bayern Munich 1-1 Ajax
21:00 AEK Athens 2-3 Benfica
21:00: Olympique Lyon 2-2 Shakhtar Donetsk
21:00: CSKA Moscow 1-0 Real Madrid
21:00: Roma 5-0 Viktoria Plzen
21:00: Manchester United 0-0 Valencia
Wednesday 3 October
18:55: Paris Saint-Germain 6-1 Red Star Belgrade
18:55: Lokomotiv Moscow 0-1 Schalke 04
21:00: Atletico Madrid 3-1 Club Brugge
21:00: Borussia Dortmund 3-0 Monaco
21:00: Tottenham Hotspur 2-4 Barcelona
21:00: PSV 1-2 Internazionale
21:00: Napoli 1-0 Liverpool
21:00: Porto 1-0 Galatasaray