Man City fight back, Newcastle denied

PAUL ELLIS/ AFP

Manchester City's Julian Alvarez scored in the 87th minute as the European champions clawed their way back from two goals down to beat RB Leipzig 3-2 and clinch top spot in Champions League Group G on Tuesday with one round of matches remaining.

Erling Haaland and Phil Foden also netted in the second period after one of City's most underwhelming recent first-half performances to give Pep Guardiola's team 15 points after five games. Leipzig, who had also reached the last 16, have nine.

Haaland added another record to his bulging resume, becoming the fastest player to 40 Champions League goals. The striker became the quickest to 50 Premier League goals on Saturday.

Lois Openda pounced on a pair of City defensive blunders for both Leipzig goals, sprinting onto a long ball from goalkeeper Janis Blaswich that bounced over a lackadaisical Manuel Akanji in the 13th minute. He struck again with seemingly similar ease in the 33rd, spinning around Ruben Dias en route to scoring.

Haaland, who poured in five goals against Leipzig in a 7-0 rout in the Champions League last 16 in March, finally gave City fans something to cheer in the 54th minute when he ran onto a pass from Foden and struck a low left-foot shot into the net.

City levelled with Foden's excellent first touch and finish in the 70th and Alvarez fired the hosts ahead when Foden's pass was deflected into his path for a close-range effort.

Meanwhile, Kylian Mbappe struck a controversial penalty deep in stoppage time to earn Paris St Germain a 1-1 draw against a valiant Newcastle United in the Parc des Princes and keep their Champions League destiny in their own hands.

The visitors had led the Group F clash since midway through the opening half thanks to Alexander Isak's tap-in, his first Champions League goal. They weathered a furious late assault from the hosts only to be denied by a cruel and highly-contentious decision.

PSG's players howled loudly for handball when the ball bounced off Newcastle's Tino Livramento's chest and against his elbow with referee Szymon Marciniak then invited to check the pitchside monitor by the VAR.

To Newcastle's horror, Marciniak, who had turned down a more likely penalty earlier, pointed to the spot and Mbappe was cool as a cucumber to fire high past keeper Nick Pope in the eighth minute of stoppage time.

It was a massive goal for Luis Enrique's side who had contrived to fritter away chances and were seconds away from dropping down to third place which would have left them in grave danger of failing to progress from the group stage to the knockout rounds for the first time since 2004-05.

More from Sports News

  • Humbert takes out Medvedev to reach Dubai final

    The Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships will crown a new champion in Saturday’s final after a dramatic semi-final on Friday at Dubai Tennis Stadium, with French No. 5 seed Ugo Humbert and No. 7 seed Alexander Bublik set to face off for the famous trophy.

  • Verstappen on pole for Bahrain season-opener

    Red Bull's reigning world champion Max Verstappen took the first pole position of the Formula One season in Bahrain on Friday, with Ferrari's Charles Leclerc alongside on the front row.

  • Rublev defaulted as Bublik reaches Dubai final

    Second seed Andrey Rublev was defaulted from the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships semi-finals on Friday for unsportsmanlike conduct after yelling at a line judge in the final set of his clash with Alexander Bublik.

  • Ireland claim first ever test victory

    Ireland claimed their first test victory when they beat Afghanistan by six wickets on Friday in a one-off match in Abu Dhabi.

Blogs