As two of the richest and most proud clubs in Europe, Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain hope to become contenders to win the Champions League.
The pair lost their Group H matches on Wednesday after bad moments that put last season’s finalists PSG at risk of failing to progress to the knockout stages.
Man United’s 2-1 defeat at Istanbul Başakşehir included a defensive error which saw the Champions League newcomer score his first goal in the competition.
“It’s like U-10 football,” said United great Paul Scholes, who works for British broadcaster BT Sport, saying of leaving 35-year-old forward Demba Ba to run unchallenged from his own half and score when Başakşehir cleared the ball from a corner.
PSG completed a 2-1 loss at Leipzig with nine men after Idrissa Gueye and Presnel Kimpembe were sent off in the second half.
PSG skipped Leipzig in last season’s semifinals in August, and a repeat looks likely on Wednesday even without the injured superstars Neymar and Kylian Mbappe.
Angel Di Maria had given the French champions the lead in the sixth minute but had his penalty saved 10 minutes later.
Leipzig’s win, sealed by Emil Forsberg’s second-half penalty, added to a stunning week for the four German clubs. Bayern Munich and Borussia Mönchengladbach each scored six away wins on Tuesday.
Borussia Dortmund were satisfied with just three first-half goals – two from Erling Haaland – in a 3-0 win at Club Brugge.
Chelsea forward Timo Werner scored two first-half penalties in the 3-0 win over Rennes.
German Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-André ter Stegen made some incredible saves as his first game of the season was a 2-1 win over Dynamo Kyiv.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s first Champions League match of the season, after being infected with COVID-19, was an easy win for Juventus at Ferencvaros.
After opening the Champions League with an impressive win at PSG and a defeat to Leipzig at home, Man United are highly favored to follow up at Istanbul Başakşehir.
United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer described his team’s defense against Ba as “unforgivable.”
Başakşehir’s second goal before halftime by Edin Višća leftist Dean Henderson – replacing David de Gea – was just as exposed.
Anthony Martial’s header took it 2-1 before halftime and the three-time European champions were denied their equalizer in added time by defender Alexandru Epureanu;
United still lead the group with six points, tied with Leipzig and three points above PSG. Başakşehir’s win was the first for one of the four Champions League debutants in this season’s competition.
BOAT, JUVE CRUISE
Unlike PSG’s struggles, Barcelona and Juventus seem ready to advance from Group G.
Lionel Messi scored a penalty he got in the fifth minute as Barcelona threatened to overwhelm Dynamo Kyiv at the start of the match at the empty Camp Nou.
Coming back after a knee injury, Ter Stegen made several good saves to protect the lead before Gerard Piqué made it 2-0 in the 65th minute. Viktor Tsygankov scored a Dynamo goal in the 75th.
Barcelona have a perfect nine points, three ahead of a Juventus side beaten 2-0 in Turin last week when Alvaro Morata scored three goals ruled out for offside.
Morata scored twice in Juve’s 4-1 win in Budapest, before substitute Paolo Dybala got Juve’s third.
Three Russian teams are still looking for their first win after three rounds.
Krasnodar, in his first group stage campaign, led 2-0 at half-time in Sevilla. Ivan Rakitic pulled one back before Sevilla captain Jesus Navas was sent off before halftime.
Sevilla still secured a 3-2 comeback win when substitute Youssef En-Nesyri scored two goals in three minutes midway through the second half.
Sevilla and Chelsea, the last two Europa League winners, are unbeaten and share seven points in Group E. Krasnodar and Rennes have one point each.
Zenit St. Petersburg lead at home to Lazio, whose Ecuadorian forward Felipe Caicedo equalized in the 82nd minute.
Lazio’s lineup was weakened by three players, including forward Ciro Immobile, who was otherwise unavailable under coronavirus protocol before the match.
Dortmund lead the group on six points, one point ahead of Lazio, with Brugge one more point behind in third. Zenit, the top seeded team in Group F, is last.
Ferencvaros had the biggest crowd on Wednesday, with 18,531 at the Puskas Arena – Hungary’s national stadium – for the visits of Juventus and Ronaldo.
Zenit has 17,427 at the 67,000-capacity Krestovsky Stadium, which will host next season’s final. Istanbul Başakşehir announced the official tally of 350 spectators.
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