Real Madrid break Shakhtar Donetsk hearts, Erling Haaland benched as Copenhagen hold Manchester City held by Copenhagen, Kylian Mbappe scores in PSG-Benfica draw
The England international, who has now scored in each of Dortmund’s four group matches, volleyed home from a well-executed move down the right wing.
The result means City, top on 10 points after their draw at FC Copenhagen, are certain of a top-two finish with two rounds of matches remaining.
Dortmund, second on seven points, will look to seal their spot in the knockout stage when they host City. Sevilla, in third spot on two points, still have a slim chance of reaching the last 16.
Copenhagen, a team languishing in the bottom half of the Danish league, became the first team to stop City from scoring this season as a match overshadowed by early video review decisions ended in a 0-0 draw.
One of those VAR calls resulted in a red card for City left back Sergio Gomez in the 30th minute for pulling back Hakon Arnar Haraldsson as the last man, harming the visitors attacking ambitions at the atmospheric Parken Stadium.
Earlier, City midfielder Rodri had a brilliant long-range strike disallowed after VAR spotted a handball by Riyad Mahrez in the build-up.
Then, following another review, City were awarded a penalty after a free kick swung into the area struck the outstretched arm of Copenhagen defender Nicolai Boilesen. Mahrez, who has been increasingly reliable from the spot, saw his effort palmed away by Kamil Grabara.
Prolific striker Erling Haaland started the game on the bench — perhaps with an eye on Sunday’s Premier League trip to Liverpool — and didn’t come on.
City manager Pep Guardiola said Haaland, who has scored 20 goals in 12 competitive games in his first season with the English champions, wasn’t in good enough shape to start after playing against Southampton in the Premier League on Saturday.
“Yesterday was not good, today a little better but not perfect, so we decide not to take the risk,” Guardiola said of Haaland.
In Wednesday’s other early kick-off, Juventus’ 2-0 loss at Maccabi Haifa marked a new low for the Serie A side but coach Massimiliano Allegri remained steadfast and ruled out stepping down despite the Italian club’s poor run of form.
The defeat, which came courtesy of an Omer Atzili double, not only leaves third-placed Juve’s hopes of qualifying for the knockout stages hanging by a thread but also threatens their chances of qualifying for the Europa League if they do not finish third in Group H.
Juve had never lost three of their first four Champions League group games and although club president Andrea Agnelli said he was ‘ashamed’ by their performance, he added that Allegri would remain in the job.
“He’s right (to feel ashamed), it was the worst first half,” Allegri told Sky Sport.
When asked if he would resign, he added: “No, I’m not going to step down, absolutely. Because it’s a challenge now. When it gets harder, it’s even more beautiful. We must come out of it with courage and desire.”
In Paris, Kylian Mbappe shrugged off speculation about his future to put PSG ahead with a first-half penalty before Joao Mario equalised for Benfica, also from the spot. Mbappe also found the net with a bicycle kick four minutes from full-time, but his effort was ruled out for an obvious offside.
Reports emerged on Wednesday that the French World Cup winner is unhappy at PSG and wants to leave the club in January.
London’s Daily Telegraph said club sources regard Mbappe as a “€300-350 million ($465-$540m) player”. A world record fee exceeding the €222 million PSG paid to release Neymar from his Barcelona contract in 2017 would be needed for Mbappe to be sold.
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