CL round-up: Napoli thrash Ajax | Barca, Atleti defeats
Giacomo Raspadori netted twice as Napoli came from behind to deliver a masterclass and score a runaway 6-1 win at 10-man Ajax in the Champions League.
Captain Giovanni di Lorenzo, Piotr Zielinski, Khvicha Kvaratskhelia and substitute Giovanni Simeone added the other goals for the Italian league leaders, after Mohammed Kudus had given the hosts the lead inside the opening 10 minutes.
The damage was already irreparable when Ajax captain Dusan Tadic was sent off in the 73rd minute for a second yellow card.
Napoli have a 100 per cent record at the halfway point in Group A, leaving Ajax with three points from their opening three games and in danger of missing out on next years knockout stages after their biggest defeat in European football.
Inter Milan bounced back after two consecutive losses in Serie A with a crucial Champions League 1-0 win against Barcelona thanks to a Hakan Calhanoglu goal.
The Turkish midfielder slotted home a clinical strike from just outside the area, with the ball going into the corner to the goalkeeper’s right in added time before the break.
Barcelona players clamoured for a penalty in added time, complaining about a possible handball inside the box by substitute Denzel Dumfries. But after a VAR check the referee ruled there had been no infringement by the Dutch defender.
“I’m really angry, I just can’t understand how that is not a penalty; it’s clear. It’s an injustice,” a frustrated Xavi Hernandez said.
Inter and Barca will face each other again next week at the Nou Camp when a third loss in four games would leave Barca in danger of being knocked out of the Champions League at the group stage for the second consecutive season.
Bayern Munich set a new Champions League record of 31 group games without defeat after thrashing Viktoria Plzen 5-0 at the Allianz Arena.
The German champions, unbeaten in the group stages since September 2017, remain top of Group C, extended their 100 per cent start this season to three matches and have yet to concede a goal.
Leroy Sane struck twice for Julian Nagelsmann’s side, who led 3-0 at half-time, while Serge Gnabry, former Liverpool forward Sadio Mane and Eric Choupo-Moting were also on target.
Goals from Club Brugge forwards Kamal Sowah and Ferran Jutgla saw the Belgians beat Atletico Madrid 2-0 to extend their unbeaten run in Champions League Group B this season.
The hosts took the lead in the 36th minute when Jutgla’s low pass across the goal found Sowah, who tapped the ball into an empty net for his second European goal in three games.
Jutgla doubled the lead in the 62nd minute after winger Tajon Buchanan calmly waited for the right moment to set up the Spaniard inside the box.
Atletico had a chance to get back into the match with a penalty 15 minutes later but Antoine Griezmann lashed the ball against the bar and moments later the Frenchman thought he had scored but his effort was ruled out for offside.
Trent Alexander-Arnold’s free-kick and Mohamed Salah’s penalty secured Liverpool a comfortable 2-0 win in their Champions League ‘Battle of Britain’ against Rangers.
Tottenham’s goalless draw in Germany against Eintracht Frankfurt – both sides spurned several chances – leaves them second in Group D, two points behind leaders Sporting Lisbon, who slipped up earlier in the evening.
Marseille turned the table on its head by sending Sporting crashing to their first defeat in a 4-1 win at the Orange Velodrome.
Marseille fell behind inside the first minute to Trincao’s effort, but hit back with two goals in three minutes from Alexis Sanchez and Amine Harit.
Sporting goalkeeper Antonio Adan was sent off for handling outside the area midway through the first half before Leonardo Balerdi gave Marseille a 3-1 interval lead. Chancel Mbemba added a late fourth for the French side.
Porto substitutes Zaidu and Galeno were both on target as they beat Bayer Leverkusen 2-0 to seal their first victory in this season’s Champions League group stage.
Nigerian defender Zaidu smashed home a perfect header in the 69th minute from a cross by forward Mehdi Taremi six minutes after coming on to replace Wendell.
Brazilian forward Galeno extended their lead in the 87th minute after his shot from inside the box found the net after taking a huge deflection off Leverkusen ‘keeper Lukas Hradecky.
Leverkusen striker Callum Hudson-Odoi put the ball in the net in the 15th minute from the edge of the six-yard box but his effort was chalked off after a VAR review found midfielder Robert Andrich had fouled Porto forward Pepe Aquino in the build-up.
Taremi tapped in a cross in the 41st minute but his effort was also ruled out by VAR for handball, while Leverkusen were awarded a penalty just before half-time, but Patrik Schick’s spot-kick was superbly saved by Porto ‘keeper Diogo Costa.