UEFA Champions League wrap: Barcelona humiliated (again), Bayern rolls
The UEFA Champions League delivered headlines again on Wednesday as Cristiano Ronaldo bailed out Manchester United, Chelsea lost to Juventus, and Bayern Munich looks invincible.
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The Julian Nagelsmann era’s slow start is a thing of the past as Bayern is winning in blowouts all over the place, and there’s plenty more to discuss from Wednesday’s pursuit of the European Cup.
Atalanta 1-0 Young Boys
Matteo Pessina’s 68th-minute goal stood after the Serie A side had a first-half marker taken off the board by VAR, boosting the hosts above the visitors by one point in the group through two matches.
Manchester United 2-1 Villarreal -- 3 THINGS WE LEARNED
Unai Emery’s Villarreal was the better team and deserved no worse than a draw after Alex Telles scored a beautiful goal to level the match at 1 for Manchester United, but the Spaniards totally checked out on some guy named Cristiano Ronaldo for a classic “Fergie Time” winner.
Wolfsburg 1-1 Sevilla
A dead first half sprung to life at the break when Renato Steffen put the Bundesliga side ahead, but two quick yellow cards for Wolfsburg standout Joshua Guilavogui with six minutes left culminated in Ivan Rakitic’s penalty splitting the spoils.
Red Bull Salzburg 2-1 Lille
The Austrians are atop the group after a pair of Karim Adeyemi penalty kicks held up against the French champions, who only mustered a Burak Yilmaz goal after the hour mark.
Benfica 3-0 Barcelona
Whatever you think about Ronald Koeman -- and if he keeps his job much longer it’ll be because Barca can’t afford to buy him out and he’s not willing to bail out the club -- you can forgive the man for not being able to make Memphis Depay and Luuk de Jong perform like Neymar and Lionel Messi.
Darwin Nunez scored twice for Benfica and an outclassed Eric Garcia was eventually sent off as Barca went bottom of the group with two blowout losses to start group play.
Bayern Munich 5-0 Dynamo Kiev
Robert Lewandowski again led the way with two goals and both Thomas Muller and Leroy Sane had as goal an an assist as Bayern Munich is going to waltz into the knockout rounds. Serge Gnabry and Eric Maxim “I score the fifth goal in all of Bayern’s games” Choupo-Moting rounded out the scoring.
Juventus 1-0 Chelsea -- 3 THINGS WE LEARNED
Zenit 4-0 Malmo
It was already 2-0 for the Russian hosts when VAR gave a straight red card to Malmo’s Anel Ahmedhodzic for a handball and further set the stage for a blowout.
Yaroslav Rakitskiy set up two goals for Zenit in the win during his 100-touch performance.