UCL GROUP STAGES: NEYMAR SCORES HAT-TRIC AGAINST ZVEZDA; LIVERPOOL SHOCKED BY NAPOLI
Thursday 4th October 2018
By Aiden Graw
Lionel Messi inspired Barcelona to a 4-2 victory over Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley Stadium on Wednesday, as the Spanish champions made it two wins out of two in the UEFA Champions League this season.
Barcelona top Group B with six points, and Inter Milan also have maximum points after coming from behind to beat PSV Eindhoven 2-1 thanks to goals from Radja Nainggolan and Mauro Icardi.
Group C is hotting up as Napoli handed Liverpool a first defeat of the season. Meanwhile, Paris Saint-Germain picked up their first points by hammering Red Star Belgrade 6-1.
Borussia Dortmund and Atletico Madrid are in charge in Group A. The Bundesliga side beat Monaco 3-0, while Diego Simeone’s men saw off Club Brugge at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium.
Porto beat Galatasaray to top Group D ahead of Schalke, who won 1-0 away at Lokomotiv Moscow.
Atletico Madrid 3-1 Club Brugge
Borussia Dortmund 3-0 Monaco
PSV Eindhoven 1-2 Inter Milan
Tottenham Hotspur 2-4 Barcelona
Paris Saint-Germain 6-1 Red Star Belgrade
Napoli 1-0 Liverpool
Lokomotiv Moscow 0-1 FC Schalke
FC Porto 1-0 Galatasaray
Group A (games played, points, goal difference)
1. Borussia Dortmund: 2, 6, +4
2. Atletico Madrid: 2, 6, +3
3. Club Brugge: 2, 0, -3
4. Monaco: 2, 0, -4
1. Barcelona: 2, 6, +6
2. Inter Milan: 2, 6, +2
3. Tottenham: 2, 0, -3
4. PSV Eindhoven: 2, 0, -5
1. Napoli: 2, 4, +1
2. Liverpool: 2, 3, 0
3. PSG: 2, 3, +4
4. Red Star Belgrade: 2, 1, -5
1. Porto: 2, 4, +1
2. Schalke: 2, 4, +1
3. Galatasaray: 2, 3, +2
4. Lokomotiv Moscow: 2, 0, -4
Tottenham face a battle to qualify for the knockout stages after suffering their second defeat of Group B.
Philippe Coutinho had Barcelona ahead after just 92 seconds. Ivan Rakitic hammered home a stunning volley to give Spurs a mountain to climb.
However, the hosts refused to give up and hit back through Harry Kane. Although Messi restored Barcelona’s two-goal lead, a deflected strike by Erik Lamela made it 3-2 and set up a nervy finish.
Spurs showed real character to make a fight of it, particularly with key players such as Dele Alli, Christian Eriksen, Mousa Dembele and Jan Vertonghen missing through injury.
However, they simply could not handle Messi, who fittingly secured all three points with Barcelona’s fourth goal in the 90th minute.
Barcelona are joined at the top of Group B by Inter Milan, with the two teams set to meet on October 24 at the Camp Nou.
PSV took the lead through a fine goal by Pablo Rosario. The 21-year-old fired a shot into the top corner that gave goalkeeper Samir Handanovic no chance.
Nainggolan equalised before the break, as he found the back of the net after goalkeeper Jeroen Zoet has parried Kwadwo Asamoah’s effort.
Icardi grabbed the winner after Zoet collided with his defender Daniel Schwaab, allowing the Argentinian to slot into an empty net.
Liverpool slipped to a deserved defeat at the Stadio San Paolo. The Reds also lost midfielder Naby Keita to injury. He was stretchered off after 19 minutes.
Napoli had the better of the game and forced goalkeeper Alisson into saves from Fabian Ruiz and Arkadiusz Milik.
Dries Mertens hit the crossbar for Napoli before Lorenzo Insigne slid in to convert Jose Callejon’s cross in the 90th minute.
PSG picked up their first points of the group stages in some style at the Parc des Princes. Neymar scored a hat-trick, and Angel Di Maria, Kylian Mbappe and Edinson Cavani were also on target in an emphatic win.
The opening goal came from a Neymar free-kick, and he added his second of the night three minutes later from close range after swapping passes with Mbappe.
Cavani’s deflected strike and Di Maria’s flick ensured PSG were 4-0 up at half-time and in complete control.
PSG continued to attack after the break, and Red Star Belgrade were indebted to goalkeeper Milan Borjan for keeping the score down with a succession of good saves.
Mbappe did manage to beat him, as he finished off a flowing team move involving Neymar and Juan Bernat.
Marko Marin gave the visitors something to cheer when he drove home a consolation goal on 74 minutes.
However, it was Neymar who had the final say. The Brazilian sealed his hat-trick with another free-kick that flew past Borjan.
Source: www.mknewslink.com a greater western Uganda news website