Rangnick rejects Bayern

November 06, 2019

Ralf Rangnick is unlikely to be Bayern Munich's new head coach after his agent suggested the Bundesliga champions were seeking a man with different qualities.

Rangnick was the early frontrunner for the vacancy following the departure of Niko Kovac on Sunday, a day after Bayern were thrashed 5-1 at Eintracht Frankfurt - their heaviest top-flight defeat since April 2009.

Hansi Flick will take the reins on an interim basis for Wednesday's Champions League home meeting with Olympiacos and the visit of Borussia Dortmund on Saturday, with president Uli Hoeness hoping to have a clear idea on how the club will proceed by the end of the international break.

But it seems Rangnick, the head of sport and development at Red Bull, will not be a candidate.

His agent Marc Kosicke told Bild: "Ralf Rangnick is not available.

"We do not believe that what Ralf Rangnick brings is currently what is being sought by Bayern. And that's why it makes no sense to hold concrete talks."

Rangnick's rejection could potentially pave the way for Arsene Wenger to move to the Allianz Arena on a deal until the end of the season.

The former Arsenal boss has indicated he would be interested in a move to Germany and could fit the bill on a short-term basis.

Massimiliano Allegri is also a reported target following his successful spell at Juventus.

Bayern sit fourth in the Bundesliga, four points adrift of leaders Borussia Monchengladbach, but can book a place in the last 16 of the Champions League by defeating Olympiacos.

 

Cristiano Ronaldo is chasing another slice of history when Juventus travel to Lokomotiv Moscow in the Champions League on Wednesday.

Tottenham, meanwhile, will hope Harry Kane can continue his wonderful form in the competition against Red Star Belgrade, while Manchester City take on Atalanta at San Siro.

Elsewhere, Kylian Mbappe will be licking his lips at the prospect of facing Club Brugge again after he plundered a hat-trick against them two weeks ago.

Here is the pick of the key Opta facts for Wednesday's eight matches.

 

Paris Saint-Germain v Club Brugge

4 - PSG forward Mbappe scored a hat-trick as a substitute against Brugge on matchday three, becoming only the fourth player to achieve the feat in the Champions League. In three games against Belgian opposition, Mbappe averages a goal or assist every 28 minutes.

2 - Emmanuel Dennis scored both of Brugge's goals in their previous Champions League away game against Real Madrid. No player has ever found the net in consecutive matches on the road for the Belgian side in the competition.

Real Madrid v Galatasaray

50 - Karim Benzema is just two Champions League goals short of his 50th for Madrid, with only Lionel Messi (113 for Barcelona), Cristiano Ronaldo (105 for Madrid) and Raul (66 for Madrid) reaching the milestone for a single side. However, Benzema is without a goal in his past four matches in the competition, despite attempting 16 shots across those games.

5 - Galatasaray have failed to score in their past five away Champions League matches, despite attempting 45 shots in that timeframe. The last team to fail to score in six away games in a row were Schalke in November 2010.

Bayern Munich v Olympiacos

13 - Bayern have scored 13 goals after just three Champions League games this season. The only team with more after three games are Arsenal in 2010-11 (14 goals).

10 - Olympiacos have managed just 10 shots on target across their opening three Champions League matches this term – one fewer than Bayern striker Robert Lewandowski has attempted.

Red Star Belgrade v Tottenham

6 - Red Star's Marko Marin made six chances in their 5-0 defeat against Spurs on matchday three. No player has created more in the Champions League this season (13, level with Toni Kroos).

18 - Spurs striker Kane has scored 18 goals in just 22 Champions League appearances, including four in three appearances this season. In the history of the competition, the fewest number of matches needed to reach 20 goals is 26, set by Alessandro Del Piero in April 1998.

Atalanta v Manchester City

11 - Atalanta have conceded more Champions League goals than any other team this season (11). Only two teams have conceded more in their first three Champions League games – Slavia Prague (12) and Helsingborgs (13).

5 - Sergio Aguero has found the net in each of his past five away Champions League group stage matches for City (five goals), a run stretching back to September 2017.

Dinamo Zagreb v Shakhtar Donetsk

45 - Dinamo's Mislav Orsic is averaging a goal or assist every 45 minutes in the Champions League this season, scoring four and assisting one in just 227 minutes of action. Should Orsic notch in this game, he would have reached five goals in just four appearances, with only Erling Haaland and Didier Drogba having done so in fewer games (three).

22 - Shakhtar goalkeeper Andriy Pyatov has not kept a clean sheet in any of his past 22 Champions League starts. The last goalkeeper to go on a longer such run in the competition was Igor Akinfeev (43) between November 2006 and October 2017.

Bayer Leverkusen v Atletico Madrid

3 - Leverkusen are one of two clubs to lose their three Champions League games this season, along with Atalanta. They are the first German side to lose their opening three group stage matches since Stuttgart in 2007-08.

3 - Atletico have won three Champions League games against Bayer Leverkusen; they have only won more against PSV (four).

Lokomotiv Moscow v Juventus

9 - Lokomotiv striker Eder has been on the losing side in his each of his past nine Champions League starts, dating back to October 2012 for Braga. The last player to lose on 10 consecutive starts in the competition was Junior Fernandes (11) for Dinamo Zagreb, a run that ended in December 2016.

33 - Ronaldo had eight shots without scoring in Juve's 2-1 win over Lokomotiv on matchday three. Should he score in this match, he would break the record for opponents scored against in the Champions League, with Ronaldo currently level on 33 with Raul and Messi.

Lorenzo Insigne mounted a strong defence of Napoli head coach Carlo Ancelotti following the frustrating 1-1 Champions League draw against Salzburg.

Hirving Lozano cancelled out Erling Haaland's early opener at Stadio San Paolo but the Serie A side failed to find the winner that would have confirmed their place in the knockout rounds.

Tuesday's draw extended Napoli's winless run to four games in all competitions and Ancelotti's failure to appear for the customary post-match news conference did nothing to dispel rumours of division at the club.

The former AC Milan and Real Madrid boss has reportedly been at odds with Aurelio de Laurentiis over the outspoken president's decision to order the first-team squad into a training retreat.

Ancelotti appears to be under an increasing amount of pressure but retains the backing of his captain. 

"We're a close-knit group and that's down to the coach as he maintains calm and has tried to take the pressure off us in this difficult spell," Insigne said.

"We're grateful to him and we all want to perform well for him. He helps us so much and he deserves success.

"We must look forward and think positive. Everything is in our hands and we're determined to wrap up qualification in our two remaining games."

Napoli are a point behind leaders Liverpool in Group E and four ahead of third-placed Salzburg, who were on the back foot for much of Tuesday's match.

"We deserved to win the game – we created loads of chances but needed to be more clinical with our finishing," Insigne added.

"We have to play with this same spirit and belief all the time because our luck will turn."

Despite his exceptional pedigree, Ancelotti has struggled to extract the best from Napoli since taking over in the wake of Maurizio Sarri's acrimonious exit.

The Partenopei finished well off the pace of Serie A champions Juventus last term and sit seventh – 11 points behind the titleholders – after 11 games of the new season.

Dusan Tadic said "one guy came and stole everything" as the Ajax captain appeared to accuse the referee of "destroying" his team's Champions League clash against Chelsea.

Ajax were reduced to nine men in the second half at Stamford Bridge, where the Eredivisie champions saw their 4-1 lead erased in a thrilling 4-4 draw with Chelsea.

Tammy Abraham and Kepa Arrizabalaga own goals and strikes from Quincy Promes and Donny van de Beek had Ajax in control until Daley Blind and Joel Veltman were sent off in the space of a minute.

Jorginho converted the resulting 71st-minute penalty – his second successful spot-kick of the match – before substitute Reece James equalised three minutes later at Stamford Bridge, where Chelsea's Cesar Azpilicueta had a late goal ruled out by VAR.

"We were much better," Ajax star Tadic said afterwards. "We should just talk about our game because we had 4-1 and everything was under control and then one man steals everything from us.

"Big disappointment, because we should just talk about Ajax and how we play nice football, but we cannot because one guy came and stole everything.

"We saw a situation where there's a foul on Daley Blind, then it's not second yellow for Daley Blind, then it's not second yellow for Joel Veltman, then it's not a penalty.

"I have never in my life seen triple punishment, never. But everything starts with a foul on Daley Blind, he was tackled by [Christian] Pulisic I think.

"It's a big disappointment. I don't like to make excuses, I don't like to talk about other people. We should just be talking about how Ajax played much better than Chelsea but we cannot because somebody destroyed our game."

The result left Ajax, Chelsea and Valencia level on seven points after four matchdays in Group H, with Erik ten Hag's side top on goal difference.

Ajax defender Noussair Mazraoui added: "I'm very disappointed. We deserved to win. You are leading 1-4, eventually it's 4-4.

"In the end you could say you should be happy with a point, but how it went was a disgrace to get two red cards in one moment. For me that is new and happened never before."

Antonio Conte said "maybe I was too trusting" as the Inter head coach hit out at the club's management over the planning of his squad following Tuesday's Champions League defeat.

Inter surrendered a 2-0 half-time lead as they lost 3-2 away to Borussia Dortmund, prompting a post-match outburst from Conte.

Goals from Lautaro Martinez and Matias Vecino were cancelled out in a stunning second half, which saw Achraf Hakimi's brace and Julian Brandt lead Dortmund to a Group F victory.

Conte turned his anger on the Inter board following the game, the Italian accusing the Serie A club of failing to plan sufficiently for the season ahead during his interview with Sky Sport Italia.

And former Chelsea boss Conte continued his outburst in his news conference after Inter were left third and three points behind Dortmund in the race for the Champions League knockout round.

"I had my part into the planning together with the team officials, so... I've always said this and I reiterate it here," said Conte, whose side signed club-record recruit Romelu Lukaku, Alexis Sanchez, Stefano Sensi, Nicolo Barella, Diego Godin and Valentino Lazaro for the 2019-20 campaign.

"Maybe I was too trusting in some situation, that's true. I was too trusting in some situations when I shouldn't have been so trusting. But it is what it is."

Conte, whose Inter are a point adrift of Juventus in Serie A, added: "It feels like I always have to repeat the same things. I said that I am worried, I said 'I am worried' when we were winning. I repeat, I can't pretend anything more from these guys, I can't say anything to them.

"That said, there's a lot to work in order to improve and to learn how to manage every moment, especially when you are tired mentally and physically, if we want to make a step forward.

"But at the same time I am well aware that there are things I can't pretend from my players because some of them could rightly tell me 'mister, I am playing every single match from the first to the last minute.' Therefore I have nothing but respect for my players for what they are giving me."

While Conte was frustrated afterwards, Lucien Favre and Dortmund were delighted as they moved second on matchday four – a point adrift of leaders Barcelona in Group F.

"They [Inter] were very dangerous and we played very offensively because we really wanted to win the game," Dortmund coach Favre said. "We took a very high risk. We were often in the defense in two against two situations. And we made some corrections in the half-time break. We stayed very positive. Everything was still possible because our first half was absolutely not bad.

"Of course it was a crazy game in the second half. We played a lot forward and pressed well. We had more ball possession. And we played with patience, intensity and speed. It was a nice game."

Erik ten Hag said Ajax were denied victory by VAR and the referee following their thrilling eight-goal draw with Chelsea in the Champions League.

Ajax led 4-1 10 minutes into the second half before last season's semi-finalists had two men sent off and Chelsea staged a stunning comeback for a 4-4 draw in London on Tuesday.

Tammy Abraham and Kepa Arrizabalaga own goals and strikes from Quincy Promes and Donny van de Beek had Ajax in control until Daley Blind and Joel Veltman were sent off in the space of a minute.

Jorginho converted the resulting 71st-minute penalty – his second successful spot-kick of the match – before substitute Reece James equalised three minutes later at Stamford Bridge, where Chelsea's Cesar Azpilicueta had a late goal ruled out by VAR.

Speaking afterwards, head coach Ten Hag told reporters: "Angry. Am I angry? I am more disappointed. Disappointed in the resulted. But also, proud the way we played, with 11 men but also with nine men."

Asked if Ajax lost points because of VAR, Ten Hag – who has been linked to the Bayern Munich vacancy following Niko Kovac's departure – replied: "Yes. I think so. Also in Amsterdam [a 1-0 loss to Chelsea] two crucial moments they got wrong, and also tonight the VAR is wrong."

"Tonight, that is football, you have to accept it," Ten Hag added. "How hard it might be. The positive thing you can take from this game is that we played great.

"But the decisions of the referee and VAR cannot be reversed. But we have been punished very harsh tonight."

The result left Ajax, Chelsea and Valencia level on seven points after four matchdays in Group H, with Ten Hag's side top on goal difference.

"They executed the plan perfectly," Ten Hag said. "We are still top of the group. How hard it is to accept this result, we must look forward. We have all to play for and we must continue. I'm happy with the development from the team."

Frank Lampard admitted he "cannot explain" Chelsea's 4-4 Champions League draw with Ajax after his side battled back from three goals down against their nine-man opponents.

Tammy Abraham and Kepa Arrizabalaga scored own goals, either side of Jorginho and Quincy Promes netting, as Chelsea conceded three first-half goals for the first time in the competition on Tuesday.

Ajax earned a 4-1 lead 10 minutes into the second half at Stamford Bridge and were 4-2 in front – Cesar Azpilicueta pulling one back – when Daley Blind and Joel Veltman were both dismissed in quick succession.

Hosts Chelsea capitalised on the two-man advantage as Jorginho converted from the penalty spot and Reece James netted 16 minutes from time, but Azpilicueta was denied a late winner by VAR as Abraham was adjudged to have handled the ball in the build-up.

Chelsea are level on seven points with Ajax and Valencia in Group H with two matches remaining and head coach Lampard was ultimately pleased with a draw in London.

"I can't explain the game," he told BT Sport. "For all the things we might analyse back, the madness of the game, we are here for entertainment I suppose and anyone who watched that has to say what a game of football. 

"Respect to Ajax, what a spectacle. I don't think I have been in a game like it. I said at half time it will be 3-3 or 4-4, we were so in the game.

"We looked dangerous and I felt we would build momentum. I am not happy overall - this is the Champions League and we made too many mistakes.

"At half-time I would have taken a draw for sure. Let's take it as what it was."

Chelsea's comeback was no doubt helped by the dismissals of Blind and Veltman in the space of a minute.

Blind was shown a second yellow card for fouling Abraham and defensive team-mate Veltman followed him down the tunnel for handling Callum Hudson-Odoi's shot in the same attacking move, while Azpilicueta's late strike was also controversially ruled out in another game dominated by VAR.

"The red cards and VAR... every manager is talking about VAR," Lampard said at his post-match news conference. 

"I need to watch that back and see them. When you are on the sidelines it is difficult to grasp straight away."

Second-half substitute James made a telling impact from the bench as he became Chelsea's youngest ever Champions League goalscorer at 19 years and 332 days.

"He is a fantastic young player," Lampard said. "I felt we wanted more on the right-hand side. He is going to be a top player. He has got great quality.

"The modern full-back to join in, some are doing in an outstanding way."

However, the teenage defender felt Chelsea should have gone on to claim a third successive European win in the remainder of the match.

"They were hard to break down and we took advantage of them going down to nine men, it was a shame we couldn't win," he told BT Sport.

"Scoring a goal is a bonus. The manager told me to come on and liven the boys up. We had chances to win it but from where we were at half time it's a good result."

Antonio Conte turned his anger on the Inter board after his side lost 3-2 to Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday, claiming he is being held back by poor planning of his first-team squad.

The Nerazzurri were 2-0 up at half-time at Signal Iduna Park through goals from Lautaro Martinez and Matias Vecino but collapsed in the second half in emphatic fashion.

Two goals from Achraf Hakimi and one from Julian Brandt secured Dortmund's win, which lifts them to second in Group F, three points ahead of Inter and one behind leaders Barcelona.

Inter similarly led at half-time against Barca on matchday two but went on to lose 2-1, meaning they are now in need of a win at Slavia Prague and a result against Ernesto Valverde's side at Camp Nou on matchday six to have a good chance of going through.

Rather than blame his players for a poor second-half performance, though, Conte instead accused the club of failing to plan sufficiently for a season of competing for the Serie A title while aiming for the Champions League knockout phase.

"The same thing happened that happened in Barcelona. It was even worse because we were ahead by two goals," a fuming Conte told Sky Sport Italia.

"Sorry – they tell me to talk about the same things, to smile when I go on TV. Honestly, I don't feel like commenting on the second half. There were too many extenuating circumstances and too many excuses.

"I hope games like these will make people understand these things. I just have to thank the boys for what they're giving me at the moment.

"We're always touching on the same topics. Of course, this defeat irritates me and I hope it irritates my players. The management could come out and say something. At the beginning, we made a plan, but it could have been planned much, much better.

"We must try to improve. We can put anyone in trouble if we work hard, but I'm annoyed to have to say the same things all the time. It's not a question of the club: things are always done together here, important mistakes have been made. Draw your own conclusions.

"We cannot manage Serie A and the Champions League in this condition. We have our faults because we've conceded too many comebacks, but what can I say to players who have played in six games in a row?

"We are Inter, so we must all look at ourselves and realise we are… actually, I was going to cause controversy again, but no, stop me talking now. I am really p***** off, because we cannot do more than this. We've reached the limit."

Jurgen Klopp jokingly suggested Liverpool will ask Aston Villa to play their upcoming EFL Cup quarter-final in Qatar after it was confirmed the tie will take place the day before a Club World Cup contest.

The EFL announced on Tuesday that Liverpool will face Villa on December 17 as initially planned, despite the club attempting to rearrange it because of their commitments in Qatar, with a semi-final scheduled for December 18.

Although a change was not possible, Liverpool did reach a compromise with organisers that will allow them to select a squad for the EFL Cup that will be entirely different to the group of players heading to Qatar.

Klopp is remaining positive about the situation, however, and joked that Villa might fancy heading abroad with them to play their match.

"We asked Aston Villa if they would come to Qatar and we can play the game there," Klopp quipped after Liverpool's 2-1 Champions League win over Genk on Tuesday.

"We don't know about logistics, we have a decision to make, but we have a bit of time to think about [how the club will approach the two games].

"In these next couple of weeks we will make a decision on how it will look exactly.

"We respect the competitions. We want to play the EFL Cup, the only thing I don't like is the two-legged semi-finals. I don't understand.

"The Club World Cup you can only play if you win the Champions League – this doesn't happen five million times.

"You hope the team goes out and everything is fine. We ignored that, our boys just want to play football and we qualified [for the EFL Cup quarter-finals].

"I don't want to cancel competitions. I've talked about the problems, they are obvious. They can't carry on like this and we need a solution."

Victory in the Champions League on Tuesday allowed Liverpool to go top of Group E, as they capitalised on Napoli only managing a 1-1 draw at home to Salzburg.

And while Klopp was grateful to avoid a scare – particularly given Genk went into the break at 1-1 – he focused on the importance of avoiding injuries, with a potentially vital Premier League clash with Manchester City looming large on the horizon.

"The most important thing; we won and nobody is injured," Klopp said. "The result is the result because we didn't finish our situations off like we should and could have done, which keeps the game pretty exciting and kept Genk alive.

"We top the group, but we want to top it at the end. We have two tough games.

"The longer the game goes the more the momentum goes to the other team. Ali [Alisson] had to make a good save. Job done is the headline for the game, but the group is not decided."

Barcelona have confirmed Jordi Alba suffered a reoccurrence of a hamstring injury during the Champions League clash with Slavia Prague.

Alba went off at half-time in the 0-0 draw at Camp Nou on Tuesday, with Sergi Roberto replacing the full-back for the second half.

Spain international Alba was sidelined for several weeks with a hamstring injury earlier on in the campaign, and Barca have revealed the 30-year-old has suffered a reoccurrence of the same problem.

Barca, who confirmed the news on their official Twitter channel, offered no timescale on Alba's return.

"Tests performed have shown that Alba has had a relapse of the injury to his left biceps femoris [hamstring]. He is out and his recovery will determine his availability," the club's tweet read.

Barca's draw left Ernesto Valverde's side without a win in their last two matches, and they look set to be without Alba for Saturday's LaLiga match against struggling Celta Vigo.

Lautaro Martinez blasted Inter for their "immaturity" in the second half of their 3-2 Champions League defeat to Borussia Dortmund.

The striker opened the scoring after five minutes at Signal Iduna Park and played a key role as Matias Vecino made it 2-0 shortly before half-time.

Inter, who beat Dortmund 2-0 in Milan two weeks ago, then collapsed in the second 45 minutes, with two goals from Achraf Hakimi either side of a Julian Brandt strike condemning them to defeat.

The result leaves Inter four points behind Group F leaders Barcelona, a team they host on matchday six, and three adrift of second-placed Dortmund.

Martinez is refusing to give up on their hopes of reaching the last 16 but was far from happy with the way the Nerazzurri allowed the match to get away from them.

"We did well in the first half, but we were a completely different team in the second. We're disappointed because we showed a bit of immaturity in the second half," he told Sky Sport Italia.

"There were mistakes in concentration - these are things that cannot happen, conceding three goals in one half.

"We were missing a bit of maturity in the second half. We have to continue doing well. Hope is not lost."

Vecino conceded Inter defended too deep and did not keep possession well enough in the second half when Dortmund began to increase the pressure.

"It hurts. It's a bad defeat after that good first half," the midfielder said. "We defended too deep in the second half and struggled to keep the ball well.

"Dortmund found courage and enthusiasm after their first goal and everything became very complicated for us. However, there are two more games and we will definitely give it a try."

A stunning 30-yard strike from Geoffrey Kondogbia highlighted Valencia's 4-1 come-from-behind Champions League Group H victory against Lille on Wednesday.

Victor Osimhen gave Lille a first-half lead but a 66th-minute penalty from Valencia captain Dani Parejo completely changed the complexion of the match.

Parejo's panenka finish was followed by an unfortunate Adama Soumaoro own goal and Kondogbia then whipped the Mestalla crowd into a frenzy with an incredible effort from long distance.

Ferran Torres soon made it three goals in the last 10 minutes for the hosts, the substitute's well-taken finish capping an outstanding second-half performance from Albert Celades' men.

Osimhen's opener was thanks to the sharp closing down of Benjamin Andre, who blocked Parejo's pass and watched the ricochet fall invitingly for the goalscorer.

The Lille striker still had plenty to do but he was too quick for both Gabriel Paulista and Ezequiel Garay before composing himself and shooting through the legs of Valencia goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen.

Valencia gradually worked their way back into the contest, and only a pair of terrific saves from Mike Maignan denied Rodrigo Moreno an equaliser just before the break.

Yusuf Yazici had a great chance to double Lille's lead in the 53rd minute, but shot straight at Cillessen after good work down the left from Osimhen, and it was a miss the visitors would come to regret.

Valencia were awarded a spot-kick after Jose Fonte handled Rodrigo's cross and Parejo showed nerves of steel to level in audacious fashion.

Pressing hard for a winner, Valencia took the lead in the 82nd minute when Jose Gaya's cross was turned in, via the inside of the post, by Soumaoro.

And that opened the floodgates, Kondogbia producing a sublime effort before Torres wrapped up the win with a smart finish on the angle.

 

What does it mean? A three-horse race for progression

Valencia's win - and Chelsea's 4-4 draw with Ajax - means all three sides have seven points after four Group H games.

An exciting race for the two last-16 spots is now on the cards, while Lille remain at the foot of the group with just one point.

A moment of pure joy

Kondogbia had not scored since February but this strike was worth the wait, the midfielder's outrageous effort sure to live long in the memory.

Lille's defenders backed off Kondogbia, almost encouraging him to shoot, and the end result was something of beauty.

A stop-start season continues

Denis Cheryshev scored Valencia's goal in a 1-1 draw at Lille last month but he has been not been able to nail down a regular starting berth for Valencia this season. He has been suspended, as well, and lasted just 30 minutes before succumbing to injury.

What's next?

Valencia will be after just their third home league win of the season on Saturday when they take on Granada. Lille are at home, too, hosting Metz.

Lyon's resurgence under Rudi Garcia continued as the Ligue 1 club recorded a 3-1 Champions League triumph over Benfica.

Having lost 2-1 in the reverse fixture in Lisbon, Lyon put themselves in control when they moved into a 2-0 lead after 33 minutes of Tuesday's Group G encounter.

Depay's strike saw him become the first Lyon player since 2002 to score in four successive Champions League fixtures, with Joachim Andersen having headed the hosts into an early lead.

Substitute Haris Seferovic dragged Benfica back into contention with a VAR-awarded goal, but Lyon restored their two-goal cushion through Bertrand Traore, his superb effort in the final minute making sure Garcia's side moved within two points of group leaders RB Leipzig, who had won at Zenit earlier in the day.

Lyon went ahead within four minutes - Andersen meeting Leo Dubois' wonderful first-time cross and powering in the opener.

Benfica were dealt a further blow soon after, Ferro taken off on a stretcher after receiving lengthy treatment for a head injury sustained in a collision with team-mate Odisseas Vlachodimos.

Garcia's side had their second just after the half-hour, Depay tucking home on the volley after fantastic work from Houssem Aouar.

Benfica managed to stem the tide prior to the interval, however, and Anthony Lopes had to react swiftly to prevent Chiquinho hauling one back and then denying Seferovic after the interval.

With Depay subbed off at half-time due to injury, Jeff Reine-Adelaide almost curled in a sensational third for Lyon before Seferovic struck in the 76th minute, with the goal awarded after a check for offside.

However, Lyon substitute Traore having the final say, leaving Benfica planted to the bottom of Group G.

 

 

Achraf Hakimi scored twice as Borussia Dortmund came from 2-0 down to beat Inter 3-2 and give themselves a major boost in the Champions League.

Lautaro Martinez and Matias Vecino had put the visitors in the driving seat at Signal Iduna Park, two weeks on from their 2-0 defeat of Lucien Favre's side in Milan.

Dortmund came roaring back in the second half, though, with Achraf netting his double either side of a Julian Brandt strike to secure what could prove to be a valuable victory.

Martinez became the first Inter player to score in three consecutive Champions League appearances since Samuel Eto'o in 2010 when he raced down the right, cut back into the box past the covering defence and side-footed high beyond Roman Burki.

It was a deserved lead for the visitors, who were keeping Dortmund restricted to half-chances, with Mario Gotze denied by Samir Handanovic from the best of their early openings.

After 40 minutes it was 2-0 thanks to a flowing counter-attack. Marcelo Brozovic showed great footwork, Martinez turned and spread the ball out to Antonio Candreva, and his cut-back was swept into the net by the arriving Vecino.

Dortmund started the second half brightly and got a goal back when Achraf scuffed the ball into the left-hand corner after being teed up by Gotze.

Pressure was building on Inter and they gifted Dortmund their equaliser 13 minutes later, making a mess of a throw-in near their own box to allow Brandt to steal in and slot past Handanovic.

The comeback was completed 13 minutes from time, when Achraf raced into the box from the right wing to dispatch Jadon Sancho's pass beneath Handanovic.

 

What does it mean? Barcelona and Dortmund in pole position to progress

Barcelona, who were held by Slavia Prague earlier at Camp Nou, remain top of Group F and four points clear of Dortmund.

Antonio Conte's side will hope for a favour from Barca against Dortmund on matchday five to increase their chances of going through.

Achraf provides surprise killer touch

Dortmund have lacked a cutting edge in recent weeks, but Achraf showed his attacking team-mates how it should be done with two crucial goals, his second a particularly precise finish.

Conte cannot react in time

The drop-off in Inter's second-half performance was peculiar and Conte seemed unable to arrest it with substitutions or tactical changes. Champions League success remains hard to come by for him.

What's next?

Dortmund head to Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga on Saturday, while Inter host Hellas Verona in Serie A.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain continued his fine form in front of goal by getting the winner as Liverpool saw off Genk 2-1 in the Champions League on Tuesday, meaning the Reds usurp Napoli at the top of Group E.

It was far from a vintage display from Jurgen Klopp's men, who for a period looked to be in danger of dropping points after Mbwana Samatta's fine header, but the impressive Oxlade-Chamberlain justified his selection with the winning goal that ensured Liverpool capitalised on Napoli's 1-1 draw with Salzburg.

Georginio Wijnaldum opened the scoring early on with a clever finish, but Liverpool lacked a clinical edge for the remainder of the first half and were pegged back by Samatta five minutes before the interval.

Still, Liverpool were dominant after the break and restored their lead with 53 minutes on the clock – Oxlade-Chamberlain getting his fourth goal in as many games to potentially put himself in contention for a start against Manchester City at the weekend.

A purposeful beginning had Liverpool leading after just 14 minutes, with Wijnaldum doing well to prod the ball into the top-left corner from close range despite it landing awkwardly in front of him.

The Reds wasted numerous chances to increase their advantage, Naby Keita drawing a fine save from Gaetan Coucke before Mohamed Salah and James Milner both missed the target.

And Samatta made them pay just before half-time, steering home a powerful header from Bryan Heynen's corner after Fabinho allowed him a free run at the ball.

But Liverpool showed renewed focus after the restart and Oxlade-Chamberlain made a decisive impact, taking a touch and then shooting left-footed on the turn after receiving Salah's pass, picking out the bottom-right corner.

Genk should have levelled late on when Heynen was released into the left side of the box, but Alisson palmed away his strike and the hosts held on despite the visitors' late pressure.

 

What does it mean? Liverpool take charge

Napoli slumping to a surprise draw at home to Salzburg means Liverpool will be confident of going on to finish top of the group.

Tuesday's performance was by no means a classic, yet it highlighted Klopp's strength in depth as he shuffled his pack and they were able to claim the win that puts them in control.

Ox in the box

Starting in attack in the place of Sadio Mane, Oxlade-Chamberlain was a real positive for the Reds. His build-up play was effective and he looked arguably the biggest danger to Genk, deservedly scoring in the second half.

Defensive concerns present again

While Genk were by no means a constant threat, it can be argued Liverpool allowed them to look dangerous. The Reds appeared particularly shaky when defending set-piece situations, with the visitors' goal coming from a corner. As such, it was the eighth successive game across all competitions in which they have conceded, their worst run under Klopp.

What's next?

Liverpool host Man City on Sunday in a match that could have significant consequences in the Premier League title race, while Genk host Gent the same day.

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