Friday, October 22, 2021

Champions League round-up: Real stunned by Sheriff, as Suarez makes Milan pay late penalty

It was a night of thrills and spills around Europe with some high profile shocks and late drama.

Moldovan side Sheriff Tiraspol pulled off a remarkable 2-1 win away to Real Madrid in the Champions League on Tuesday, snatching a shock Group D victory thanks to a sensational 89th-minute strike from Sebastien Thill.

Competition debutants Sheriff went ahead against the 13-times European champions in the 25th minute with a header from Uzbek midfielder Jasurbek Yakhshiboev, who narrowly missed a chance to double the visitors’ lead later in the first half.

Real dominated the play in both halves but needed a penalty to draw level. Karim Benzema buried his spot-kick in the top corner in the 65th minute after Vinicius Jr was felled and awarded a penalty following a VAR review, having been denied a spot kick after a previous review moments earlier.

Real substitute Luka Jovic spurned a great chance to win it for the hosts but Sheriff quickly got down the other end and following a throw-in the ball fell to Luxembourg midfielder Thill, who unleashed a lethal shot into the far top corner.

Sheriff, from the unrecognised breakaway state of Transnistria, top Champions League Group D with six points from two games while Real are second with three.

In the earlier Group D game, Inter Milan claimed a point away to Shakhtar Donetsk after a 0-0 draw.

At the San Siro in Milan, Luis Suarez’s last-gasp penalty and Antoine Griezmann’s first goal since returning to Atletico Madrid earned the Spanish side a 2-1 victory over 10-man AC Milan in their Group B tie.

Griezmann, who rejoined Atletico last month on a season-long loan from Barcelona, pounced in the 84th minute to level, before Suarez grabbed Atletico their first win in this season’s competition in the 97th minute.

After a lightning start in a frenetic atmosphere, Milan raced into a 20th-minute lead through Rafael Leao, but the home fans were silenced nine minutes later as Franck Kessie was sent off after picking up two yellow cards in quick succession.

As the game wore on, Milan retreated further and further back and Griezmann finally made the Atletico pressure count, firing into the bottom corner to level.

Pierre Kalulu was then adjudged to have handled the ball in stoppage time to give Atletico the chance to snatch a dramatic victory at the death, with Suarez converting from the spot to a chorus of boos.

The result leaves Milan without a point at the bottom of Group B, while Atletico are second with four, trailing leaders Liverpool by two points following the Premier League side’s 5-1 win over Porto in Portugal.

In Group A, Belgian side Club Brugge fought back from an early goal down to post an unexpected 2-1 win at RB Leipzig.

Hans Vanaken and Mats Rits scored to take Brugge level on four points with Paris St Germain, who top Group A after two games, while the Germans are bottom after successive defeats.

Leipzig got off to a quick start when Christopher Nkunku scored after being set free on goal by Emil Forsberg. The fifth minute goal was initially ruled offside, but the decision was overturned by VAR.

In Group C, Borussia Dortmund beat Sporting 1-0 thanks to Donyell Malen’s first goal for the club to make it two wins out of two.

The Germans were badly missing injured top striker Erling Haaland and, while dominating possession, they could have used the Norwegian’s power and finishing abilities up front.

Dortmund struck with their first real chance when 22-year-old Dutch international Malen completed a quick three-pass move across the entire pitch with a well-placed low shot in the 37th minute for what was also his first ever Champions League goal.

Dortmund had the ball in the net twice more in the second half but both efforts were ruled offside.

The Germans and group leaders Ajax Amsterdam, 2-0 winners over Besiktas, have six points. Sporting and Turkish club Besiktas have no points.
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