Tith defender Real Madrid and English champions Manchester City are going into the second half of the group stage in the Champions League after winning their third preliminary round with a clean slate. Real won against Shakhtar Donetsk 2-1 (2-1) and Manchester with another brilliant one Erling Haaland against FC Copenhagen even 5:0 (3:0).
As the next title contender, Paris St. Germain dropped points for the first time. At the traditional Portuguese club Benfica Lisbon with the German coach Roger Schmidt, the star ensemble did not get beyond a 1-1 (1-1). Meanwhile, the former Champions League winners celebrated their first successes of the season in the European premier class Juventus (3:1 against Maccabi Haifa) and FC Chelsea (3:0 against AC Milan) as well as RB Salzburg with his German coach Matthias Jaissle (1:0 against Dinamo Zagreb).
Real presented itself three days after losing its first point in the championship without the resting international Antonio Ruediger well recovered. The Brazilians Rodrygo (13th minute) and Vinicius Junior (28th) set the course for the team of former world champion Toni Kroos to win in the duel of the group opponents of the cup winners RB Leipzig. Donetsk only reduced the lead by Olexander Subkov (39′) before the break.
Messi’s goal isn’t enough for PSG
In Manchester Norwegian striker Erling Haaland delivered another gala performance. The former Dortmunder increased his track record for national player Ilkay Gündogan’s team against Copenhagen with two goals (7th and 32nd) to 19 goals in twelve competitive games so far. The other goals for the Citizens came from an own goal by Davit Chocholawa (39th) and after Haaland was substituted before the second round by Riyad Mahrez (55th, penalty kick) and Julian Alvarez (76th).
In Lisbon, Superstar ran after PSG’s lead Lionel Messi (22nd) initially everything according to plan for the French guests. Four minutes before the break, however, Benfica equalized through a Danilo own goal.
In the same Group H, Juventus kept their chances of the round of 16 with an unglamorous must-win against bottom-placed Haifa, who were still pointless. Adrien Rabiot (35th) and Dusan Vlahovic (50th) carry for the “Old Lady”, another goal by Vlahovic was disallowed for offside. In the end, the home side even floundered for a short time after Maccabi’s goal from Din David (75′) and Rabiot’s second goal (83′).
At Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge, Wesley Fofana (24′), former Dortmund player Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (56′) and Reece James (62′) brought the former team of German coach Thomas Tuchel, in which national player Kai Havertz only 16 minutes before the final whistle game came back into the running for victory in Group E. Milan suffered their first defeat of the current Champions League season. In the same group, Salzburg got their first sense of achievement with a penalty from Noah Okafor 19 minutes before the end of the game.