Paris, Oct 13 (Ajit Weekly News) Mehdi Taremi’s second-half brace paved the way for Porto’s 3-0 away victory over Bayer Leverkusen in UEFA Champions League Group B.
Bayern Munich, Club Brugge and Napoli secured last-16 spots on a night of high drama in Europe on Wednesday night that brought the fastest-ever Champions League hat-trick courtesy of Mohamed Salah. They joined Manchester City and Real Madrid who have also made it to the last 16.
Salah was at his devastating best as former champions Liverpool continued to prosper as they thrashed Rangers 7-1 in a Group A encounter. In other matches on Wednesday night, Napoli overcame Ajaz 4-2 in another Group A match; French club Marseille defeated Sporting Lisbon 2-0, Tottenham Hotspur overcame Eintracht Frankfurt 3-2 and Bayern Munich defeated Viktoria 4-2.
Porto made a fairy-tale start on the road and stunned Leverkusen with the opener in the sixth minute as Galeno finished off a solo run from 10 metres into the bottom corner.
Leverkusen responded well and had a golden chance to restore parity in the 16th minute, but Porto goalkeeper Diogo Costa saved Kerem Demirbay’s penalty.
Costa was also on guard at the half-hour mark when he neutralised a close-range attempt from Mitchel Bakker.
The Werkself remained on the front foot but were unlucky moments later when Patrik Schick’s goal was disallowed due to a handball.
After the restart, Xabi Alonso’s men started where they left off as Amine Adli unleashed a dangerous shot on target in the 49th minute.
Adli remained in the thick of things as he felled Galeno inside the box to concede a penalty. Taremi stepped up and kept his nerves after beating Lukas Hradecky with a chip into the center of the goal in the 53rd minute.
Things went from bad to worse at the hour mark as the referee pointed to the penalty spot again after Odilon Kossounou fouled Galeno inside the area. Taremi showed no mercy and wrapped up his brace off the left-hand post.
Leverkusen pressed for a consolation, but Schick missed the target from 11 meters before Costa was equal to Moussa Diaby’s hammer in the closing stages.
“The defeat hurts. We made mistakes but the result doesn’t reflect our performance. We are really disappointed of course. Porto played very smartly. They took an early lead and defended well. We had our chance that is also why the defeat is a real pity,” said Leverkusen defender Jonathan Tah.
“We controlled the game and made the most of our opportunities,” said Porto striker Taremi.
Salah tricks into record books
Salah came off the bench to score the fastest-ever Champions League hat trick as Liverpool ran riot in Glasgow. The home side actually took the lead when Scott Arfield finished off a fine team move, but Roberto Firmino levelled and after the break, it was all Liverpool.
Firmino tucked in Joe Gomez’s cross before teeing up Darwin Núñez for the third. That was Darwin’s final touch as he was replaced by Salah, who duly scored three in a shade over six minutes. Harvey Elliott added a late seventh.
Salah’s three-goal salvo came in the space of six minutes and 12 seconds, beating Bafétimbi Gomis’s eight-minute hat-trick in another 7-1 win back in 2011, for Lyon at Dinamo.
Bayern on top
Four goals in 35 first-half minutes effectively sealed Bayern’s passage to the knockout stages. Sadio Mané gave the visitors an early lead and Thomas Müller soon tapped in the second.
Leon Goretzka added a double, the first a sweeping finish and the second a calm chip over the goalkeeper, as Bayern took full control. Adam Vlkanova and Jan Kliment scored in the second half to lift the Plzen fans but the night belonged to Bayern.
Napoli through to knockouts
The Italian side once again proved too strong for Ajax as two goals in the opening 16 minutes from Hirving Lozano and Giacomo Raspadori set them on course for a fourth Group A win.
The visitors battled gamely, Davy Klaassen’s header halving the deficit and then, after the effervescent Khvicha Kvaratskhelia restored the cushion from the spot, Steven Bergwijn’s late penalty briefly made it 3-2. Substitute Victor Osimhen finally finished off Ajax as Napoli sealed progress.
–Ajit Weekly News
News Credits – I A N S