Tuesday. 27.02.2024

Champions League runners-up Manchester City showed their quality on Tuesday as they produced a clinical performance to dismantle Club Brugge 5-1 in Belgium but a Lionel Messi double kept Paris Saint-Germain top of Group A.

There were also convincing wins for Real Madrid and Ajax while Liverpool won a five-goal thriller away to Atletico Madrid.

Left back Joao Cancelo opened the scoring for City on the half hour and Riyad Mahrez doubled the lead with a penalty 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 and midway through the second half youngster Cole Palmer also claimed his maiden goal in Europe's elite competition.

Brugge had enjoyed an impressive campaign so far with a home draw to PSG and brilliant win in 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."

City are a point behind PSG who top the group on seven after Messi chipped in a 74th minute penalty to defeat pointless RB Leipzig 3-2.

"Leipzig have a very good team and they definitely gave us problems throughout," PSG midfielder Julian Draxler told DAZN. "So we're happy that we've taken three points today."

Messi had equalized shortly before after Andre Silva and Nordi Mukiele cancelled the opener from Kylian Mbappe, who was brilliant throughout but blazed an injury-time penalty over the bar.

"We had the game in hand at 2-1, they weren’t dangerous at the time," said Jesse Marsch, Leipzig coach "We have to take things step by step. We mustn’t make mistakes in this competition if we want to survive."

19 October 2021, Ukraine, Kyiv: Real Madrid's Karim Benzema (C) in action during the UEFA Champions League Group D soccer match between FC Shakhtar Donetsk and Real Madrid CF at National Sports Complex. Photo: -/ukrin/dpaKarim Benzema (C) in action during the UEFA Champions League Group D soccer match between FC Shakhtar Donetsk and Real Madrid. Photo: ukrin/dpa.


Liverpool also won 3-2 at 10-man Atletico with Mohamed Salah opening the scoring then maintaining the Reds' perfect record penalty. He is the first Liverpool player to score in nine consecutive games.

Naby Keita made it 2-0 but an Antoine Griezmann double levelled matters by half-time only for the French star to spoil his night by earning a straight red card for a high foot on Roberto Firmino before the winner.

"We did surprisingly well at the beginning," Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp told BT Sport of the start which brought two goals in 13 minutes.

"We scored two wonderful goals and played really good football, We played a solid second half in a tough game, intense for both teams."

Porto won 1-0 at home to AC Milan to join Atletico on four points while the seven-time champion Italians have zero.

Moldovan minnows Sheriff lost for the first time, 3-1 at Inter Milan who are now third in Group D on four points.

Sheriff were joined on six by Real Madrid who cruised 5-0 at Shakhtar Donetsk, who are bottom with one.

And in Group C, Ajax won the battle of teams with perfect records by crushing German high-flyers Borussia Dortmund 4-0. Sporting Lisbon took their first points 4-1 away to Besiktas, who have suffered three straight defeats.

Man City crush Brugge, Liverpool win five-goal thriller at Atletico