Ronaldo dominates Messi with two goals in Juventus win over Barcelona


BARCELONA, Spain – Cristiano Ronaldo got the better of Lionel Messi by scoring two penalties to lead Juventus to a 3-0 victory at Barcelona on Tuesday, giving the Spanish side their first Champions League home loss in seven years.
With both sides already finished, Ronaldo converted shots on goal for Juventus’ opener in the 13th minute and a third goal early in the second half after US midfielder Weston McKennie doubled the lead to the 20th.

Messi and Ronaldo briefly kissed with one arm behind their back and exchanged a few words ahead of kick-off at a Camp Nou that remains empty due to coronavirus restrictions.

But only Ronaldo enjoyed the rebirth of their long-standing rivalry that fascinated fans for nearly a decade when he played for Real Madrid before leaving for Italy in 2018. Twice Ronaldo celebrated with his jump, twist and push both arms down as he roared. her goals.

As Ronaldo capitalized on Barcelona defense mistakes, Messi had to take on the workload of the frustrated hosts. The Argentine star could not beat Gianluigi Buffon on his five shots on target.

Juventus clinched first place in Group G on a better head-to-head record in the group with both teams finishing tied with 15 points. Both teams had already qualified well for the next stage before the match.

Ronaldo was unable to play in Barcelona’s 2-0 victory in Turin in October after the Portuguese striker tested positive for COVID-19.

Barcelona’s record of 38 unbeaten home games in Europe’s premier tournament began in September 2013.

Including matches with Ronaldo at Manchester United and two friendlies between Argentina and Portugal, Messi and Ronaldo have now faced each other 36 times. Messi has won 16 times and Ronaldo 11 with nine games ending in a draw. Messi has scored 22 goals and Ronaldo 21 in their clashes.

Ronaldo struck first from the penalty spot following a shoulder-to-shoulder collision with defender Ronald Araujo in the area. He quietly pierced his center kick as Marc-André ter Stegen dove to his left.

Pressure from Juventus gave him control of the early phase, and a second goal came when Barcelona’s two center-backs completely lost their focus in the middle of the box.

McKennie played the ball wide to Juan Cuadrado, floated without worrying about the penalty spot and the American was not scored by Araujo or Clement Lenglet to recover a cross from Cuadrado.

Messi tried to rally Barcelona, ​​but another defensive blunder sent Ronaldo back to 52nd after a video review alerted the referee that Lenglet had used his hand to smash a ball into the box.

“We made mistakes that just can’t happen,” Ter Stegen said of his team’s defense, which injured leader Gerard Pique lacked.

“There are two things, the individual mistakes and the way we defend ourselves. When we let our focus slip away, we concede goals. We need to be stronger, do our homework and keep working hard. ”

Messi exchanged his shirt with Buffon after the final whistle. Ronaldo had already been replaced in the final minutes and congratulated by Juventus coach Andrea Pirlo.

Lazio advance to Champions League for first time in 20 years

ROME – Lazio qualified for the knockout stages of the Champions League for the first time in 20 years after drawing 2-2 at home against 10-man Club Brugge on Tuesday.

Brugge midfielder Ruud Vormer called off Joaquin Correa’s opening opener, but Ciro Immobile won and converted a penalty to restore Lazio’s lead before visiting defender Eduard Sobol was sent off at the end of the first half.

However, Hans Vanaken headed for the equalizer at 14 minutes from time to set up a tense final.

Charles De Ketelaere hit the crossbar for Brugge in the stoppage time, but the Belgian side had to settle for third and a place in the Europa League.

“We all knew the importance of this game, it was not easy,” said Lazio coach Simone Inzaghi. “We saw a great performance from Lazio for 70 minutes, then we suffered because Brugge had nothing more to lose.

“I’m happy to be back among the top 16 in Europe with Lazio, it’s like winning another trophy. We always played well in the finals. ”

Lazio finished second in Group F, two points above Brugge and three below already qualified Borussia Dortmund who won 2-1 at Zenit Saint Petersburg.

“I’m happy to have spent this round with Lazio after so long, I’m proud,” said Immobile. “This achievement should give us more confidence for the future.

“I have to share the merit of my goals with the team, they always put me in the right conditions to do well. Reaching the knockout stages of the Champions League for us is like winning a trophy. ”

Lazio knew they just had to avoid defeat to Brugge to qualify for the next round for the first time since 2000-01.

But the Italian team attacked from the start and took the lead in the 12th minute when Simon Mignolet could only parry Luis Alberto’s shot and Correa got in the rebound.

Brugge equalized three minutes later with a nearly identical goal as Pepe Reina knocked over Noa Lang’s snapshot and Vormer rushed in to follow up.

Lazio restored their lead in the 27th after Clinton Mata awkwardly tackled Immobile. The European Golden Shoe winner has dusted himself off to hit the resulting penalty in the lower right corner for his 10th goal in his last nine matches.

Brugge’s chances diminished with six minutes to go as Sobol was sent off following a second yellow card. Sobol had been fortunate enough to avoid a second booking five minutes earlier and it looked like Brugge coach Philippe Clement was about to pull him off before seeing red.

Lazio jumped up after the break, trying to kill the game as the rain fell in Rome.

Motionless should have done it, but he fired over the bar.

Instead, it was the under-endowed Brugge who scored as Vormer became supplier with a precise cross from the right that Vanaken was heading powerfully.

Witsel returns to shoot Dortmund winner against Zenit

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia – Axel Witsel scored on his return to Russia to ensure Borussia Dortmund lead their Champions League group with a 2-1 win over Zenit St. Petersburg on Tuesday.

The Belgian midfielder, who played five seasons with Zenit, scored the Dortmund winner in the 78th minute to keep the German side atop Group F, three points ahead of Lazio, who held good 2-2 at home against Club Brugge at 10.

Dortmund’s Youssoufa Moukoko – just 16 years and 18 days old – became the youngest player to play in the Champions League when he came on in the 58th minute.

Dortmund were already assured of their place in the last 16 but needed a win to be sure of finishing ahead of Lazio, who advanced avoiding defeat. Brugge had to settle for a place in the Europa League, as Zenit already knew they would finish fourth and only had the pride of playing against Dortmund.

However, Sebastian Driussi opened the scoring for Zenit in the 16th minute. Aleksei Sutormin played a brace with Malcom and struck out the ball for his Argentina teammate to score with a deflected shot inside the right post.

The home side made it difficult for Dortmund to break through. Lucien Favre’s team looked short of ideas and prone to mistakes in the construction game. But Jude Bellingham left before the break before Marco Reus hit the right post.

Zenit moved closer after the interval when goalkeeper Marwin Hitz saved Daler Kuzyaev’s effort and reacted quickly to regain the rebound in front of three forwards.

Favre brought young Moukoko and Gio Reyna to the 58th.

The former record holder for the youngest player was Celestine Babayaro in 1994 for Anderlecht. Then 16 years and 87 days old, Babayaro was sent off on his debut with a red card in a 1-1 draw with Steaua Bucharest.

Lukasz Piszczek equalized on a rebound in the 68th after Mikhail Kerzhakov saved Mats Hummels’ effort on a corner kick, and Witsel was left alone by Zenit’s static defense to shoot into the right post 10 minutes later.

There were more than 15,000 fans in attendance despite coronavirus infections in Russia which reached a new record on Sunday. The total of nearly 2.5 million reported infections in Russia remains the fourth highest number of cases in the world.

Group-winning Chelsea draw Krasnodar in low-stakes affair

LONDON – A second-string Chelsea side were held 1-1 at home by Krasnodar in the Champions League on Tuesday, in a game where the stakes were low.

Jorginho converted a penalty four minutes after Remy Cabella put Krasnodar in the lead. Chelsea had already qualified for the knockout stage as Group E champions, while Krasnodar knew he would finish third and play in the Europa League.

It was still a surprise at Stamford Bridge when Cabella put Krasnodar ahead with a neat finish in the 24th minute. Chelsea were punished for moving away from visiting attackers in the region, with center-backs Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen far too shy.

Chelsea fired back almost immediately, however, with Jorginho burying a penalty in his own way to reach level 1-1. The Italian midfielder returned home after Tammy Abraham suffered a foul by Krasnodar defender Kaio. It was Jorginho’s first penalty since his demise in the 4-0 victory at Krasnodar, a failure that cost him Chelsea’s main tasks.

The game was also remarkable as 19-year-old striker Tino Anjorin made his first start for Chelsea.

He was one of 10 changes made by Chelsea manager Frank Lampard following Saturday’s 3-1 Premier League win over Leeds.

Lampard threw on a series of second-half substitutes in an unsuccessful attempt to force a winner.

Popov’s head secures Europa League spot for Dynamo Kyiv

Kyiv, Ukraine – Denys Popov managed the only goal of the game as Dynamo Kyiv secured a place in the Europa League knockout stage by beating Ferencvaros 1-0 in their last League group game champions Tuesday.

On a frigid night in the Ukrainian capital, center-back Popov beat his scorer in the head on a free kick from Carlos de Pena in the 60th minute and secured his Group G side third place.

Both sides’ hopes of reaching the round of 16 were long gone in a group that also included Barcelona and Juventus.

The referee opted not to give Ferencvaros a penalty early on after the ball struck captain Serhiy Sydorchuk’s hand in the area, apparently judging his arm to be in a natural position by his side. Neither team recorded a shot on goal until the 55th, when Ferencvaros striker Tokmac Nguen broke into the penalty area and shot straight at the goalkeeper.

There were no supporters in the stadium. Dynamo had nearly 15,000 supporters in their first home group stage game against Juventus. None were cleared for subsequent matches against Barcelona and Ferencvaros as the number of coronavirus cases in Ukraine skyrocketed.

Juventus beat Barcelona 3-0 in the other Group G game to secure the top spot.


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