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Champions League round-up: PSG hold Real Madrid, Martial rescues point for Manchester United

Anthony Martial powered home a spectacular header past Akinfeev’s far post

Real Madrid were held by Paris Saint-Germain to a goalless but entertaining 0-0 draw in Paris on Wednesday night in matchday three of the UEFA Champions League. Meanwhile, Anthony Martial turned both villain and hero for Manchester United as he gave away a needless penalty and later equalised with a brilliant diving header as they shared points with CSKA Moskva in a 1-1 stalemate.

Manchester City had summer signing Kevin de Bruyne to thank as he scored in stoppage time to gift his team a 2-1 win at the Etihad. Juventus were held at home 0-0 by Borussia Monchengladbach and Atletico Madrid dispatched Champions League newcomers Astana 4-0. Also, Galatasaray came from behind to down Benfica 2-1.

Swedish club Malmo pulled off an upset beating Shakhtar Donetsk 1-0 and Wolfsburg beat an off colour PSV Eindhoven 2-0

Group A

Real Madrid felt the absence of the injured duo of Benzema and Bale as they lacked the decisive final delivery

The matchup between Real Madrid and PSG, as expected, began with a high tempo and with both teams trying to hassle each other off the ball and attack on the counter. But Real Madrid had the better of the opening exchanges with a few half-chances for the home side. As the game wore on, PSG looked to have lost a little bit of impetus and needed the break more than the visitors

The second half in Paris was identical to the first with both teams trying to break on the counter. But the lack of quality in the final third showed as both teams failed to break each other down and the game ended with both the heavyweights sharing the spoils. Neither team are yet to concede a goal in the group stages this season.

Malmo who were at home to a slightly superior Shakhtar side took a shock lead in the 17th minute through Markus Rosenberg. The Swedish Champions held on to their lead to pull off an upset of sorts against the Ukrainians.

Group B

Manchester United secure a well-deserved point from their game against CSKA Moskva

Manchester United were held to a 1-1 draw away to CSKA Moskva. CSKA opened the scoring through striker Seydou Doumbia who lashed home a rebound after David de Gea had saved Roman Eremenko’s penalty effort. The spot kick was awarded to the hosts when Anthony Martial needlessly handled the ball in the box.

Van Gaal brought in Fellaini for Schweinsteiger at the interval which proved to be an inspired change as United grew into the game. And the hosts deservedly pulled a goal back as Anthony Martial scored with a brilliant header past Akinfeev from a Valencia cross on 65 minutes.

The Other Group B encounter saw Wolfsburg take on PSV Eindhoven at home. The match remained goalless in the first half and the breakthrough only came in the first minute after the break when Dutch striker Bast Dost struck for the hosts. Wolfsburg, buoyed by the opener struck again this time through Germany international Max Kruse in the 57th minute. PSV struggled throughout and eventually lost 2-0 to the home side.

Group C

Atletico Madrid hammered minnows Astana 4-0

Benfica succumbed to a 2-1 defeat away from home to Turkish side Galatasaray. Benfica had the best possible start has Nicolas Gaitan scored as early as the 2nd minute. But the visitors gradually got into the game and levelled the score from the penalty spot as Inan stroked the ball high into the net in the 19th minute. And on 33 minutes they doubled their tally through former Arsenal man Lukas Podolski.

The Portuguese side failed to draw level and had to head home without anything to show for their efforts as Galatasaray emerged victorious to the delight of the home fans.

Meanwhile, Atletico Madrid were in control of the match against Astana from the start as they opened their account on 23 minutes as NIguez scored past the keeper with an exquisite backheel. Jackson Martinez added a second goal for the hosts after six minutes as he turned and shot past the diving stopper.

The hosts continued their dominance over the minnows after the break and got their third of the night when Oliver Torres scored from his first shot on target. Atletico rounded off an impressive display as they were gifted a fourth through an 89th-minute own goal from Dedechko.

Group D

De Bruyne provided Manchester City with the crucial winner in injury time

Manchester City held the upper hand in the first quarter of the match against Spanish side Sevilla but failed to capitalise on their dominance. But it was Sevilla who opened the scoring through the impressive Yevgen Konoplyanka as he was left unmarked in the penalty area just on the half an hour mark. However, Manchester City pegged back the deficit five minutes later as Wilfried Bony’s effort on goal took a deflection of Adil Rami and into the net.

Both sides went in search for the winner in the second half, but it was Manchester City who eventually crossed over the line with a win courtesy a fine finish from Kevin de Bruyne in the 91st minute sparking huge celebrations from the home fans.

In the other match in the group, Juventus were predictably the more dangerous among the two but the relentless pressing by Borussia Monchengladbach players caused more than a few problems for them in what was an entertaining first half. The most notable incident of the match was when Gladbach’s Dominguez was shown only a yellow card for his foul on Morata when it looked like the latter was denied a clear goalscoring opportunity.

The home side failed to tailor any goal-scoring opportunities in the second half as the German visitors held out to gain a point for their troubles. Juventus have faltered again this season and the fans made their feelings heard as they booed their team off the pitch.

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Edited by Staff Editor
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