After a relatively quiet start to the week, the Champions League resumed its rights this Tuesday at 6:45 p.m. with two games scheduled. Juventus and Manchester City went to the pitch of Maccabi Haifa and FC Copenhagen respectively in the prelude to this 4th round of the cup with big ears. For their part, the Turinese absolutely needed a result in Israel to stay alive in Group F, while Paris Saint-Germain hosts Benfica Lisbon at 9pm. However, the Old Lady had one of her worst first stints in the competition. Shortly after kick-off, the Israeli club opened the scoring through Omer Atzili by receiving a cross from Pierre Cornud and despite the intervention of Wojciech Szczesny (7th, 1-0). In the process, Tjaronn Chery took charge of a free kick near the Turin box. His shot then crashed into the crossbar of the Old Lady’s Polish goalkeeper (12th).
Suffering old woman retires and can say goodbye to the knockout stage
Inspired by his offensive animation, Juventus even lost Ángel Di María, who was injured in a harmless run (22nd). Probably due to a muscle injury, the Argentine was replaced a few minutes later by Arkadiusz Milik (24th). At this point in the match, Maccabi Haifa had already finished five times against the nets before a single small attempt by the Turinese. At game time, the VAR came into action but finally did not award a penalty to the Israelis (31st). Shortly after, Atzili was in a good position but his shot went wide of the frame (35th) then Frantzdy Pierrot took the danger into the opponent’s area but was finally flagged for offside (40th). However, in continuity, the number 9 found the number 7 who sent a missile to the skylight of a defenseless Szczesny (42nd, 2-0). Just before the break, Juventus had their first really hot situation thanks to Dusan Vlahovic. At the far post, the Serbian striker headed hard as he backed away, but Josh Cohen relaxed to his full extent and made the save. Behind, Sean Goldberg prevented Arkadiusz Milik from hitting in good condition (45th).
Upon returning from the locker room, despite several changes by Massimiliano Allegri, Juventus could not reverse the trend. Juventini pushed but struggled to be really dangerous on the opposite side of the field. Shortly after the hour mark, Juan Cuadrado collapsed in the Maccabi Haifa penalty area, in contact with Pierre Cornud, but the referee did not flinch (67th). The VAR was then consulted but validated the decision made by the referee (68th). The end of the match saw the Turinese pushing but without being able to endanger the opposing defense, as during most of this match. With this victory, the Israelis reach Juventus thanks to their first three points in this edition of the Champions League. The battle will be hard for the Europa League, not being able to continue its course in the most prestigious of European competitions.
Manchester City, at 10 over an hour, hooked on Copenhagen
In the other match this afternoon, Manchester City faced strong resistance from the FC Copenhagen players. Pep Guardiola’s team even went through all the emotions in the first act. After a brief time of observation, the match was unblocked and Rodrigo lit the first fuse with a splendid shot from outside the area (11th). Minutes later, his goal was finally annulled by a handball from Riyad Mahrez early in the action (13th). The Algerian international also made his mark in this eventful first half, but not for the right reasons. Shortly before half an hour, the Cityzens earned a penalty (23rd) but the Skyblues winger was stopped by Kamil Grabara (25th). In continuity, Mohammed Daramy got rid of Manuel Akanji to then serve Hakon Arnar Haraldsson deep. The latter was then unbalanced by Sergio Gómez in the position of last defender near the surface of Manchester City (28th).
After the intervention of the VAR, the Spanish team was finally expelled for their gesture (30th). Riyad Mahrez therefore gave way to Ruben Diaz (32nd) and the match then fell into a false rhythm until the break. After the break, Kevin De Bruyne fired a nice long shot that Grabara deflected, thanks to an elegant save by the Polish goalkeeper (51st). Unlike the first half, this second act was much calmer and neither team managed to show itself in the zone of truth. Late in the match, João Cancelo and then İlkay Gündoğan put together two powerful shots towards the Danish goal, but Grabara was intractable and intervened each time (84 and 90 +2). Despite this draw, Manchester City consolidates its first place in Group G while Copenhagen returns to Seville before the clash between the Andalusians and Borussia Dortmund at 9:00 p.m.