Matchday three of the 2022/23 Champions League group stage concluded on Wednesday night, with the likes of Real Madrid, Chelsea, Manchester City, Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain all in action.
But while Real, Chelsea, City and Juve were ultimately satisfied with their respective results, it was a night of disappointment for PSG.
Read on to see how all the action unfolded across eight games.
Red Bull Salzburg had 18 attempts on goal against Dinamo Zagreb but were made to wait until the final 20 minutes to break the deadlock – and it came from a Noah Okafor penalty.
It was an important win for Salzburg as it keeps them above Chelsea and puts them top of the group at the halfway stage of this round after leapfrogging AC Milan.
But this group is tight and Dinamo are still only two points off top spot themselves.
Chelsea made light work of a surprisingly poor AC Milan at Stamford Bridge, with Wesley Fofana scoring his first goal for the club in the first half shortly before going off injured.
Thiago Silva shone at the back for Graham Potter’s Blues, wreaking havoc at set-pieces and commanding things defensively. The second goal later came from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, assisted by Reece James, who then rounded things off with a goal of his own.
Milan had started the game with some promise and missed a gilt-edged chance in first half stoppage time to make it 1-1, but then looked unforgivably disinterested after the break.
Having lost 3-0 to Real Madrid on matchday one, Celtic still only have a single point in Group F as a result of another defeat in which they conceded three goals.
Christopher Nkunku gave the German side a first half lead when he found the bottom corner with his left foot. But even though Celtic did equalise almost straight after the interval through Jota, Leipzig’s superior quality and European experience eventually prevailed.
Dominik Szoboszlai saw a goal chalked off for offside by VAR at the hour mark, moments before Andre Silva actually restored the Leipzig lead. The Portuguese front-man was also responsible for taking the game away from Celtic with just over 10 minutes to go, scoring from close range.
Real Madrid bounced back from the disappointment of their first dropped points of the season in La Liga at the weekend to maintain a 100% record in the defence of their Champions League title.
Although after 3-0 and 2-0 wins over Celtic and RB Leipzig respectively so far, Shakhtar Donetsk ran Los Blancos closest in terms of the score-line.
Shakhtar goalkeeper Anatolii Trubin made 11 saves at the Bernabeu as Real peppered shots at his goal. Rodrygo and Vinicius Junior did each score inside half an hour, yet Real couldn’t extend their advantage, allowing Oleksandr Zubkov to pull one back and make it closer than it ought to have been.
Manchester City made such light work of Copenhagen at the Etihad Stadium that Pep Guardiola saw fit to withdraw Erling Haaland at half-time – denying the prolific Norwegian what could have been a fourth hat-trick since joining the club in summer.
Haaland was not the only City player who impressed, with Jack Grealish and Ilkay Gundogan also producing top quality performances.
City were never not in control here, with Haaland’s first coming just seven minutes in. He doubled his team’s lead after half an hour and the hosts went further ahead through an own goal, before Riyad Mahrez and Julian Alvarez struck in a procession of a second half.
Not to be outdone by their former marksman, Borussia Dortmund got four goals in a noteworthy away win over a Sevilla side that has struggled so far in this group stage.
Raphael Guerreiro broke the deadlock early and Dortmund were three goals to the good before time thanks to further strikes from young stars Jude Bellingham and Karim Adeyemi. Youssef En-Nesyri gave Sevilla the faintest of glimmers, before Julian Brandt got Dortmund’s fourth.
At this stage, Dortmund are simply hanging onto Manchester City’s coat tails, with both clubs pulling away from the others in the group.
Juventus finally put a nightmarish start to this season’s Champions League campaign behind, banishing the pain of back-to-back defeats with a welcome win over Maccabi Haifa.
Adrien Rabiot has waited for a goal since the 2020/21 season, but suddenly two came along as the Frenchman both started and finished things on the night. His first was a left-footed strike high into the net, while his second came in the form of a close-range header.
In between, Angel Di Maria assisted Dusan Vlahovic, while Dean David at one stage put Maccabi back into the game by making it 2-1 and potentially setting up a nervous finish for Juve.
Despite Lionel Messi’s stunning curling first-time finish for Paris Saint-Germain against Benfica in Lisbon, it was ultimately a disappointing night for the reigning French champions.
PSG simply didn’t make their greater share of the possession count and, even with Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe on the pitch, were unable to create enough quality chances to extend their early lead to allow them to kill the game off.
It was 1-1 by half-time as a result of Danilo Pereira inadvertently finding his own net. If anything, Benfica had the better opportunities to actually win the game.