Berlin, 4 November 2020 (dpa/MIA) – Real Madrid picked up a crucial 3-2 Champions League win in Group B over Inter Milan, while Liverpool put last season’s quarter-finalists Atalanta to the sword with a 5-0 victory on Tuesday.
Real, kicked off bottom with just one point after two games, but edged past their Italian opponents in a thriller. Karim Benzema and Sergio Ramos put Madrid in control and though Lautaro Martinez and Ivan Perisic restored parity, Rodrygo’s late goal rescued the 13-time winners.
The victory puts them second, a point behind Borussia Moenchengladbach, who hammered Shakhtar Donetsk 6-0, while winless Inter are bottom.
Liverpool continued their 100 per cent record at the top of Group D with their humbling of Atalanta. A Diogo Jota hat-trick, as well as goals from Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane, did the damage.
Holders Bayern came from behind to beat RB Salzburg 6-2 after a minute’s silence for the victims of Monday’s terrorist attack in Vienna, Manchester City remained perfect with their 3-0 win over Olympiacos, and Porto prevailed 3-0 over Marseille.
Ajax, who initially travelled with just 17 players to Denmark to face Midtjylland due to reported coronavirus issues, won 2-1.
Real almost squandered the three points, but managed to pull through thanks to substitute Rodrygo’s slick finish 10 minutes from time. Benzema had taken advantage of Achraf Hakimi’s misplaced pass to open the scoring, and Ramos headed in his 100th Real goal soon after.
“When you win the side regain confidence,” said Ramos. “We knew it was a do-or-die game and when you are pegged back to draw a match you were winning, you need to push on, give everything you have left.”
Martinez and Perisic made things all square either side of the break but Inter could not hold on.
“We felt that we could win the game after scoring the equalizer. We had a few chances but they took theirs instead,” said Inter goalkeeper Samir Handanovic.
Group leaders Gladbach were irresistible in Ukraine where Alassane Plea bagged a hat-trick. Strikes from Ramy Bensebaini, Lars Stindl, and an own goal from Valeriy Bondar completed the rout.
Marco Rose’s team remain unbeaten after draws with Real and Inter, with this Donetsk’s first loss of the competition.
For Liverpool, Jota opened the scoring with a chipped finish before blasting in a second before the break.
The Premier League champions continued to dominate after the interval, with Salah finishing off a counter-attack before Mane struck. Jota then poked past Marco Sportiello for his third.
“I’m playing in the best team in my career so far, that’s for sure,” said Jota.
“I don’t know if it was my best moment but obviously scoring goals is my way of playing football so I’m really happy with this and with the result of course – a great win away in the Champions League so a good moment, a good night.”
The Reds now have nine points, five ahead of Ajax in second. The Dutch side took the lead against Midjtylland through Antony before Dusan Tadic, one of several players who arrived late to join the Dutch side in Denmark, lashed home.
Anders Dreyer did pull one back but the Danes remain without a point.
Bayern made it 14 wins in a row in the Champions League in Austria. Mergim Berisha gave Salzburg a shock lead, but a penalty from Robert Lewandowski and a Rasmus Kristensen own-goal turned the game.
Masaya Okugawa slotted past Manuel Neuer to make it 2-2 but Jerome Boateng, Leroy Sane, Lewandowski and Lucas Hernandez all scored in a frantic final 15 minutes to give Bayern a flattering win on the one-year anniversary of Hansi Flick’s appointment.
“If you look at the result, it looks like an easy game,” said Sane. “But we made things difficult for ourselves. We knew Salzburg would be a difficult team, they are especially strong on the break.”
Bayern have one foot in the knockout round with Atletico Madrid second after Anton Miranchuk cancelled out Jose Gimenez’s header in their 1-1 draw with Lokomotiv Moscow.
Manchester City made it three wins from three in Group C with their victory over Olympiacos. Ferran Torres put them in front before Gabriel Jesus and Joao Cancelo made it comfortable late on.
Porto consolidated second place as they dispatched their French opponents thanks to goals from Moussa Marega, Sergio Oliveira and Luis Diaz. Marseille have now lost their last 12 Champions League games.
Matchday 3 conclude on Wednesday for Groups E-H.