BERN (Switzerland), October 26: Reigning champions Manchester City demonstrated their dominance in the Champions League with a 3-1 victory over Swiss side Young Boys on Wednesday, all but securing their spot in the tournament’s knockout stage.
Despite initial concerns about playing on the slick artificial turf at Bern’s Wankdorf Stadium, Pep Guardiola’s side maintained their pristine record in Group G, claiming three consecutive victories.
Erling Haaland, who had endured a goal drought, emerged as the hero of the night for Manchester City. The Norwegian striker opened the scoring for the first time in six Champions League games with a confidently taken penalty in the 67th minute. This opportunity arose after Mohamed Camara’s tackle on Rodri in the box.
Haaland, the prolific goal-scorer, wasn’t satisfied with just one goal. In the 86th minute, he displayed his skills by moving the ball from his left foot to his right before expertly placing it into the top corner, securing his brace for the evening.
The first half of the match was riddled with near-miss opportunities for Manchester City. It wasn’t until three minutes into the second half that Manuel Akanji, making his return to his homeland, finally broke the deadlock. Ruben Dias’s powerful header was thwarted by Young Boys’ keeper Anthony Racioppi, and the Swiss defender, Akanji, pounced on the rebound to poke it into the net.
However, Young Boys proved their resilience by levelling the score just four minutes later. They caught City’s goalkeeper, Ederson, out of position, sending a superb pass to Meschack Elia, who artfully scooped the ball high over Ederson and into the net.
With three matches played in the group stage, Young Boys currently occupy the third spot with one point, while Manchester City’s unblemished run of three victories puts them in a strong position to advance to the Champions League knockout stage.
Newcastle United 0-1 Borussia Dortmund: Felix Nmecha scores and retains UCL knock-out hopes
Borussia Dortmund reignited their Champions League Group F campaign with a hard-fought 1-0 triumph over Newcastle United, all thanks to Felix Nmecha’s precise first-half strike.
Nmecha showcased clinical finishing skills, delivering a first-time strike near the end of an electrifying first half. This goal proved to be the decisive moment, propelling the Bundesliga side to their first victory in the group after a challenging start.
The match began in a high-octane fashion, with both teams displaying an attacking intent that had fans on the edge of their seats.
Dortmund’s ability to secure a lead became a pivotal factor, and they held steadfast in defence during the second half.
Newcastle United, determined to mount a comeback, had their chances. Callum Wilson came close to equalizing but saw his header rattle off the crossbar. The dramatic tension persisted deep into stoppage time when Newcastle’s hopes were once again denied as the ball struck the woodwork.
This defeat came as an anti-climax for Newcastle United, who had previously achieved a remarkable victory against Paris Saint-Germain. The result now leaves the Group F standings wide open. Paris Saint-Germain currently lead with six points, while both Newcastle and Borussia Dortmund stand at four points, and AC Milan hold two points.
The captivating contest underscored the unpredictable nature of the Champions League and sets the stage for an intriguing battle for advancement in Group F. For Borussia Dortmund, this win reignites their hopes in the competition, while Newcastle United face renewed challenges on their path to the knockout stages.
(ToI With Reuters inputs)