Champions League wrap: Real Madrid lifts hope, Porto keeps Marseille reeling

Nicholas Mendola
·4 min read

The big boys got what they wanted in Tuesday’s UEFA Champions League action.

Whether comfortably and reassuringly, like Liverpool and Man City, or with a little bit of nerves (See: Madrid, Real and Munich, Bayern) there were few surprises on Matchday 3 of the 2020-21 group stage.

[ MORE: Breaking down USMNT squad ]

Here’s a wrap-up of a 35-goal day in the UCL.

Lokomotiv Moscow 1-1 Atletico Madrid

Atleti, in some ways, got Atleti’d.

Jose Gimenez’s 18th-minute goal provided a lead that lasted just five minutes, as Lokomotiv snagged a penalty through Anton Miranchuk and then held on for dear life.

Atleti had all of the ball and a 14-4 edge in shots but didn’t manufacture another big chance and failed to put the Russians far in their rearview.

Red Bull Salzburg 2-6 Bayern Munich

Don’t let the scoreline fool you; This match was about a Salzburg side crumbling a bit when a historic point came off the board.

Jesse Marsch’s men led after four minutes through Mergim Berisha and didn’t fall apart when Bayern made it 2-1 by halftime.

Masaya Okugawa scored a minute after entering the game to make it level in the 66th, but Jerome Boateng’s crushing header 13 minutes later opened the floodgates as Bayern scored three times from the 83rd into stoppage time.

The reigning champs are 3-0 and have one foot in the knockout rounds.

Real Madrid 3-2 Inter Milan

This was a good one.

Rodrygo’s 80th-minute lightning bolt helped Real Madrid rescue three necessary points after La Liga’s champions blew a 2-0 lead at home to Antonio Conte’s Inter.

Karim Benzema and Sergio Ramos put Real up 2-0 by the 33rd, but Lautaro Martinez scored before halftime and set up Ivan Perisic in the 68th to put the result back in the balance.

When Ramos labels a group stage affair a “life or death match” — even in the comfort of a post-match win — it’s a safe bet the opponent will be nursing some wounds

“You have to leave like this, it was a final, a life or death match. When you see that they equalise, you have to play it, go upstairs … We bet on a card and it went well.” (BBC)

Real’s four points are two ahead of Inter and level with Shakhtar Donetsk, which means we have a new group leader.

Vapor trails.

Shakhtar Donetsk 0-6 Borussia Monchengladbach

Alassane Plea had three goals and an assist as Gladbach battered their hosts in the rudest of fashions.

It was 4-0 at halftime and Gladbach put 10 of its 20 shots on frame, conceding just four attempts to the home team.

Lars Stindl had a goal and an assist and Ramy Bensebaini also scored as Gladbach will look to the home leg to, perhaps, put one leg in the knockout rounds.

Man City 3-0 Olympiacos — RECAP

Kevin De Bruyne cued up goals for Ferran Torres and Gabriel Jesus and Felix Nmecha set up Joao Cancelo late to keep City perfect in the group.

Pep Guardiola used John Stones and Nathan Ake at center back and only called up Rodri for the final 20 minutes, with the Spaniard joining Aymeric Laporte and Ruben Dias in being rested for Liverpool.

Porto 3-0 Marseille

Dimitri Payet badly missed a 10th-minute penalty that would’ve tied the match at 1, and Porto got two assists from Mexico’s Jesus Corona in a big win for the Portuguese side.

What a nightmare for the Ligue 1 visitors, who many expected to claim second and now see an 0-3 record after three match days.

Tecatito’s second assist was nice, seen and raised by Luis Diaz’s even nicer finish.

Atalanta 0-5 Liverpool — RECAP

Diogo Jota scored thrice and was joined on the score sheet by Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah as Liverpool bashed Atalanta, keeping the Italian side off the scoreboard for the first time since Aug. 1.

That came with some key saves from Alisson Becker, but Rhys Williams and Joe Gomez will grow in confidence ahead of Man City this weekend.

Midtjylland 1-2 Ajax

All of the goals came in the first 18 minutes, as Dusan Tadic scored and set up another to put Ajax on the board.

Anders Dreyer answered for the Danish hosts, who took nine of the match’s 14 shots, but the comeback was not to be and Midtjylland is now four points back of second and third.

Weird little rare play here.

Follow @NicholasMendola

Champions League wrap: Real Madrid lifts hope, Porto keeps Marseille reeling originally appeared on NBCSports.com