Football

Champions League | City thrash woeful Marseille, Liverpool labour to 2-0 win over Midtjylland

Manchester City's German midfielder Ilkay Gundogan celebrates after scoring a goal during the UEFA Champions League match.   | Photo Credit: AFP

Manchester City were barely troubled as they claimed their second victory in Champions League Group C by beating Olympique de Marseille 3-0 at the Stade Velodrome on Tuesday.

Ferran Torres, Ilkay Gundogan and Raheem Sterling found the back of the net as Pep Guardiola's side stayed top of the standings on six points, three ahead of Porto and Olympiakos.

Marseille are bottom of the table on zero points after their 10th consecutive loss in the competition since two defeats in the quarter-finals against Bayern Munich in 2012 and after six defeats in the group stage in 2013-14, in their last appearance.

OM, who lost 1-0 at Olympiakos on their return to the Champions League after a seven-year hiatus, travel to Porto and City host Olympiakos in the next round of matches on Nov. 3.

After their 3-1 home win against Porto last week, City got off to a dominant start, pushing Marseille back and winning three corners in the opening 10 minutes.

Marseille were shambolic at the back and paid for it in the 18th minute when Valentin Rongier inexplicably passed the ball to Kevin De Bruyne on the edge of the box, with Torres burying it in the net after being set up by the Belgian.

Oleksandr Zinchenko came close to making it 2-0 when his crossed shot shaved Steve Mandanda's left-hand post after another piece of horrible defending from the hosts.

Marseille were a bit more lively after the break, defending higher up, and Florian Thauvin came close in the 55th, only for his 25-metre missile to be tipped on to the post by Ederson.

City finally made their superiority count after 76 minutes as Gundogan struck home after Sterling's fluffed header from Phil Foden's cross came his way at the far post.

Sterling wrapped it up five minutes later, tapping the ball home from De Bruyne's cross at the end of a long spell of possession.

Slow start for Liverpool

Liverpool laboured to a 2-0 win over Denmark's Midtjylland on Tuesday with goals from Diogo Jota and a Mohamed Salah penalty in a Champions League Group D match at Anfield.

Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp, however, suffered another defensive blow with Brazilian Fabinho limping off in the first half with what appeared to be a hamstring injury.

Liverpool made a slow start and suffered an early scare when Anders Dreyer broke through the middle but shot straight at keeper Alisson.

With Klopp having rested his usual front three and given starts to Jota, Divock Origi and Xherdan Shaqiri, Liverpool struggled to break down the determined Danes.

The breakthrough came in the 55th minute when Trent Alexander-Arnold's low cross was turned in from close range by Jota.

Salah made sure of the win, in stoppage time, from the penalty spot, converting after he had been brought down inside the box.

Liverpool have the maximum six points from their opening two games while Midtjylland remain without a point.

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Printable version | Nov 23, 2020 10:09:42 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/football/champions-league-city-thrash-woeful-marseille-liverpool-labour-to-2-0-win-over-midtjylland/article32959253.ece

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