Two penalties for Leipzig and the rescue of Lyon
On Tuesday evening, all the attention of Russian football fans was focused not only on Portugal, but also on France, where Lyon hosted Leipzig as part of the 6th round of the Champions League group stage, because it was here that the fate of Zenit was decided.
If the hosts won, even the success of the Petersburgers would not have allowed them to get into the first two of the group. However, it all started wonderful for the champion of Russia and horrific for the "Lyon".
Already in the eighth minute, Yussuf Poulsen earned a penalty, and the judge after a brief conversation with VAR assistants pointed to the “point”. The eleven-meter sold by Emil Forsberg. Shortly before the break, guests earned another penalty and increased their lead. This time Timo Werner scored. It seemed that for the “Zenith” everything is working out perfectly.
However, at the beginning of the second half, Petersburgers missed twice from Benfica and remained in the minority, while Lyon reduced the backlog to a minimum. Now everything was in the hands of the French team, she needed to reduce the match to a draw.
And the most important point for the hosts was saved from the injury by Memphis Depay. Eight minutes before the end of normal time, he equalized with an accurate blow. At this point, Zenit was already hopelessly losing. Thus, “Lyon” took second place in the group and together with “Leipzig” made it to the Champions League playoffs.
The historic achievement of the 17-year-old goalkeeper and two Liverpool goals in two minutes
The first teams to enter the field on the game day were E., Napoli, Salzburg, and the current Liverpool trophy winner who was to determine the third extra in the fight for trips to the playoffs.
Actually, the two teams came together in an actual butt match in Austria. And the pretty team of Jesse Marsh with 19-year-old scorer Erling Holland at the head gave the favorite a real fight. It is enough that Alison Becker had to make seven saves. Especially hard Merciseides had in the first half, when the owners could distinguish themselves more than once.
But after the break, the wards of Jürgen Klopp reassured the opponent with two accurate shots for two minutes. First, Nabi Keita's head covered the canopy of Sadio Mane, and then Mohamed Salah scored with an incredible goal. The Egyptian managed to score a blow from a zero corner.
As a result, Liverpool took the first place in the group, and the second was expectedly left for Napoli, who did not leave Genka at home. By the way, in this match a truly historic event took place. Deprived of tournament motivation, the Belgian champion decided to trust 17-year-old goalkeeper Martin Vandevordt. Having entered the field at the age of 17 years and 287 days, he became the youngest goalkeeper in the history of the Champions League.
“Greeted” him in the main European competition Arkadiusz Milik. The Pole opened the account in the third minute, and managed to arrange a hat-trick by the break. It took him only 36 minutes to score three times. And the “point” in the match shortly before the final whistle from the penalty spot was put by the Belgian Dries Mertens, who did not spare his compatriots.
However, even a major victory and access to the playoffs did not save Carlo Ancelotti from the resignation of Napoli head coach. After the match, the club’s official website announced his dismissal.
Record of young striker of Barcelona and canceled goals of Inter
In the central match of the game day, Inter and Barcelona met in the framework of group F. The Italian team before the meeting with the Catalans was in an extremely difficult situation. She had as many points as the Dortmund Borussia, and she was ahead of the opponent due to the advantage in personal meetings. Thus, the “nerazzurri” in the final round was required to play no worse than the German team, which hosted “Slavia” at home.
However, if Borussia opened an account already in the tenth minute, then Inter in the middle of the first half, on the contrary, missed. Replacing the young Carles Sayol, who didn’t get into the application for the Lionel Messi match, sent the ball into the net from close range.
The position of the owners became threatening, but very soon everything turned upside down. Shortly before the break, Romel Lukaku equalized, and in Dortmund, “Slavia” recouped. In this situation, the second place remained for the Milanese.
In the second half, they struggled to score and snatch victory so as not to depend on the result of a parallel meeting, especially since Borussia again led after an hour of the game. The Italian team even scored twice (Lautaro Martinez scored both times), but these goals were canceled due to an offside position.
The ending of the match turned out to be disappointing for Inter. In the 86th minute, Ernesto Valverde threw young Ansumane Fati into battle, and he brought Barca a victory with the first touch. In addition, he became the youngest goal writer in Champions League history. At the time of the meeting in Italy, he was only 17 years old and 40 days old. Thus, on the reporting game day in the main European Cup two “young” records fell at once.
“Inter” was defeated and in the spring will play only in the Europa League. Second place in the quartet was left for the Dortmund Borussia.
The success of the Cheryshev team and the sad end for the sensational team
In group H, Ajax unexpectedly appeared as the main loser, who in May 2019 only miraculously did not end up in the Champions League final. In the decisive match, the Amsterdam home lost to Valencia with a minimum score, although they were satisfied with a draw to enter the playoffs. By the way, neither Denis Cheryshev nor Quincy Promes took part in the fight due to injuries.
In the middle of the first half, the hosts conceded an extremely optional ball. Joel Veltman was stuck in his own penalty box when performing an artificial offside, so Rodrigo calmly shot the target after the transfer of the partner.
Scoring, the guests expectedly moved to the defense. Ajax struggled to storm the opponent’s defensive fortress and almost scored before the break. Opponent relieves the ball out of an empty net after hitting Edson Alvarez.
In the second half, the hosts continued their attempts to recoup, but created really dangerous moments infrequently. As a result, the atmosphere in the end was heated up to the limit, and the judge was forced to show a number of yellow cards, and the defender of the guests Gabriel Paulista was removed from the field for a foul and a brawl with Dushan Tadic. But even this did not help Ajax score. The sensational team of the Champions League last season this time did not even make it to the playoffs.
And the company of Valencia and Cheryshev in the 1/8 finals of the tournament will be Chelsea, who calmly outplayed the unmotivated outsider of the Lille group at home - 2: 1.