If you like the sport for the heavy emotions and epic clashes that leave you glued to your seat, this Tuesday’s Champions League evening was an unforgettable one. There were 29 goals, 3 epic comebacks and lots of late drama.
Despite Barcelona’s stalemate, the other two teams in the group – Dortmund, and Inter – entertained who was watching, with a thrilling game. Still, the game everyone might be talking about now is the 4×4 tie between Chelsea and Ajax. Probably, you might have never seen such a captivating draw.
Get to know everything that happened in the Groups E, F, G and H who were in action for matchday 4 this Tuesday.
Liverpool 2 x 1 Genk
The Champions League holders Liverpool hosted Genk, after their match in Belgium two weeks ago. If the away fixture was quite an easy one for Liverpool, who won 1×4, they had to sweat at home to defeat the Belgians and consolidate the first place of group E.
The ‘Merseyside Reds’ open the scoresheet with 13 minutes on the clock, when Wijnaldum took the best from a chaotic defending situation, flipping the ball to the goal. Liverpool could have doubled their lead, but Naby Keita saw his effort denied by Coucke.
But, it was Genk to surprise Anfield before the break, when Tanzanian striker Samatta scored for the second time in Champions League this season. The forward, who has already 6 goals in the Belgian League, stroke a header after a corner kick to level the match.
Still, Liverpool scored the eventual winning goal in the second half, ending Genk’s hopes of collecting any points. Without Firmino and Mane, who were on the bench, it was Oxlade-Chamberlain, who scored again, after his brace in the last match.
Liverpool has 9 points now and, due to Napoli’s draw, they have now the lead of the group.
Napoli 1 x 1 Salzburg
In the San Paolo, Napoli hosted Salzburg, after their game in Austria two weeks ago, that ended 2-3 for the Italians. This time, once again, there was the usual man on the scoresheet for Salzburg.
Just 10 minutes had passed, when Hwang Hee-chan was tripped in the box by Koulibaly. The referee pointed at the spot and the man called to convert was, of course, Haaland.
The Norwegian did not hesitate and with the usual cold blood scored his 7th goal in the Champions League group stages (in 4 matches). He became the youngest player to achieve 7 goals in the competition, surpassing Mbappe and Raul Gonzalez.
Haaland has 23 goals in 17 matches, in all competitions. A remarkable number for an athlete who is just 19 years old.
Napoli kept pressing and was close to equalizing when Callejon hit the post after a header. They had to wait until the late minutes of the first half, when Hirving Lozano, Napoli’s record summer signing, beat goalkeeper Carlos.
The result was not changed until the end and Napoli lost their lead of the group, although they are still in the qualifying places. Meanwhile, Salzburg is unlikely to go through, but they will probably transit to Europa League.
Barcelona 0 x 0 Slavia Praha
Slavia conquered a precious point in the Camp Nou, proving they are a tough outsider to beat in the Group F. In the game in Prague, they had shown spirit, losing 1×2 with an unfortunate own goal.
Now, Slavia was a tough nut to crack that did not crack at all. The closest Barcelona was to do so was during a tremendous individual effort by Leo Messi that ripped Slavia’s defense, but was denied by the crossbar.
The Czech team did not have any effort on target, but Barcelona had 6 that were all stopped by their guardian. Ondřej Kolář made an impressive exhibition in Barcelona, with multiple saves and he even received compliments by the opposition’s goalie, Ter Stegen.
Despite the null, Barcelona still holds the first place in the Group F.
Borussia Dortmund 3 x 2 Inter Milan
It looked like another comfortable win for Inter, who had already defeated Dortmund in Milan 2×0. Now, they started the game with the same strength, but their gas run out and they were surprised by an incredible second half by Dortmund.
With just 8 minutes on the clock, Akanji lost the ball and slipped, leaving Lautaro Martinez an open space to run and finish his 3rd goal in the competition.
Lukaku doubled Inter’s lead, but he was rightly ruled out for offside. The second arrived before the interval, though. Although Dortmund looked more confident to level the match, it was Vecino who scored in the other end and Inter were running rampant.
The second half started almost immediately with Dortmund’s goal, through Achraf Hakimi. Handanovic kept denying the equalizer, but it arrived almost 10 minutes later, as Paco Alcacer made an immediate impact as a sub, assisting Julian Brandt for the 2×2.
Dortmund turned the tables with 15 minutes left to play, as Hakimi netted his second brace of the Champions League group stages. The Moroccan concluded after a one-two play with Jadon Sancho, making it 4 so far in the tournament.
Inter will have to do more in the 2 games remaining, as they sit out of the qualifying places. Will Antonio Conte’s men be able to go through?
Zenit St. Petersburg 0 x 2 Leipzig
Two weeks after having been defeated in Leipzig, Zenit hosted in St. Petersburg the German team, but the result was nearly identical.
Leipzig was close to open the score already in the 14 minutes when Halstenberg’s goal was denied by the VAR. A handball of Nkunku was spotted in the play before.
Just before halftime, Marcel Sabitzer’s free-kick deflected in the Zenit’s defense, leaving space for Diego Demme to score from outside the box. It was the first goal in two and a half years for Leipzig’s midfielder.
Werner entered as a sub in the second half and the striker, who had a hattrick in the last Bundesliga game, participated in the play for the second goal. The striker initiated it, passing to Forsberg, who quickly assisted Sabitzer to score again, two weeks later, against Leipzig.
It was the first time that Nagelsmann’s men won 2 consecutive games in the Champions League, but they are now quite close to getting into the round of 16 for the first time.
Lyon 3 x 1 Benfica
The second place in group G is still open and after Benfica surprised Lyon with a late winner in Lisbon, the current Portuguese Liga NOS table leaders, were expecting another victory away.
However, this time the French team, now coached by Rudi Garcia, were more focused and did not commit the same mistakes from two weeks ago.
They got a perfect start when Summer signing Joachin Anderson scored the opener and his first goal for the club, answering to a free kick with a header.
Depay doubled Lyon’s lead shortly after, netting his 4th goal in 4 games so far. Houssem Aouar blistering run broke Benfica’s left side and offered the goal to the Dutchman.
Memphis did not return to the second half, following a thigh injury and he saw Haris Seferovic score for Benfica in the middle of the second half. The assistant raised his flag, but after a VAR review, the goal from the Swiss international was validated.
Yet, as Benfica searched for the equalizer, Lyon ended their hopes, with Bertrand Traore completing the scoreline. 3×1 and Lyon is now also close to making it through, as Benfica will need a miracle to progress.
Chelsea 4 x 4 Ajax
Two weeks ago, a late Michi Batshuayi goal was enough for Chelsea to edge over Ajax and grab 3 precious points. That goal was the first one that Ajax suffered in the competition this season after the Eredivisie table champions had won the two previous games without suffering.
This time around, Chelsea had to sweat in an epic match, that saw the Blues coming back from a disadvantage of 3 goals. The match in Stamford Bridge will probably stay in the record books of Champions League.
Just 2 minutes had gone by when Quincy Promes free-kick was deflected by Tammy Abraham. The prolific English striker, who is on fire for the club in the Premier League, scored in the wrong one this time.
Just 3 minutes later, though, Veltman tripped Pulisic in the box and the referee pointed at the spot. Jorginho did not hesitate to score the equalizer.
Tammy Abraham scored instants later, now in the right goal, but the young forward was offside and the goal did not count.
Still, it would be Ajax who would get in front again, as Quincy Promes answered Ziyech’s cross perfectly, making a movement inside the box.
Before the break, it was time for another goal from Ajax. Ziyech with a supreme free-kick from a narrow-angle, surprised Kepa, with the ball hitting the goalkeeper and going in.
Donny van de Beek made it 4 for Ajax in the early minutes of second half and apparently the result was settled. However, a sudden twist of events changed the outcome of the match.
2 red cards and 3 goals rescue Chelsea
Being 3 goals down with 30 minutes to go, Chelsea showed fighting spirit and they got a goal immediately after. The captain Cesar Azpilicueta with the final touch, after Pulisic squared into the left post.
Ajax was unfortunate when in the 67 minute their center back duo got simultaneously sent off. First Daley Blind got the second yellow for a late tackle on Abraham and in the sequence, Veltman got a second yellow for a handball inside the area. A penalty resulted and Jorginho converted it again, making it 3×4.
With 9 men, Ajax struggled to defend and after a corner kick, the ball got loose to Reece James. The substitute, just 19 years old, scored his first goal in the club, making him the youngest Chelsea goalscorer in the competition.
And 4 minutes later, Chelsea though to have completed the comeback with a winner as Azpilicueta scored another one. The VAR spotted a handball by the Spanish fullback during the process and it was ruled out.
Ajax did not stop seeking for a goal and with 9 men they still had a shot on target, as Edson Alvarez obligated Kepa to an enormous save.
An unbelievable game and in the end both teams split their points and they split the two first places in the Group H, tied in points with Valencia too.
Valencia 4 x 1 Lille
There was no less drama in the other match of the group, as Valencia came back from 1×0 down, to demolish Lille in the second half. The French side thought they would run away with their first victory of the group, but in the end, their future in the competition seems unlikely.
Lille had grabbed a pointed in the previous meeting between the two teams in France. However, the hero who scored the goal in that match, Ikone was sidelined after a car accident.
Still, the Ligue 1 runners up of last season entered confident and Victor Osimhen got back to the scoresheet, after the striker’s early season form had been interrupted with an injury.
Valencia’s comeback only took off in the 66 minutes, when Dani Parejo converted a penalty kick, after Jose Fonte’s handball.
In the final 10 minutes, 3 goals destroyed Lille’s walls. Adama Soumaoro deflected the ball into his own net and 2 minutes later, Kondogbia from distance scored what might be the goal of the week so far.
Ferran Torres inside the minute 90 put the final nail in Lille’s coffin, who suffered perhaps a defeat too harsh for an exhibition that did not deserve such punishment.