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The Roar

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Ronaldo heads United home in CL thriller, TWO Chelsea strikers limp off injured in romp

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20th October, 2021
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Cristiano Ronaldo headed the winning goal nine minutes from the end to help Manchester United come from two down to beat Atalanta 3-2 in the Champions League at Old Trafford.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s under fire team were booed off at halftime after falling behind to goals from Mario Pasalic and Merih Demiral.

But the crowd lifted the team in the second half, and United rallied for a famous European victory.

Marcus Rashford reduced the deficit eight minutes after the break before Harry Maguire added the second off a Edinson Cavani flick.

Ronaldo, who scored the winner against Villarreal three weeks ago, rose to head home the third from Luke Shaw’s cross.

Chelsea put their Champions League campaign back on course by thrashing Malmo at Stamford Bridge but Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner suffered injuries.

The holders lost their last game against Juventus in Turin but outclassed the Swedes.

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Andreas Christensen put Chelsea ahead with his first goal in 137 games for the club. Jorginho added a second from the spot after Lukaku was fouled by Lasse Nielsen, the forward limping off with an ankle injury.

Werner suffered a hamstring issue in the first half as well but Chelsea’s depth of squad saw them power on with Kai Havertz and second penalty from Jorginho sealing the deal.

Barcelona have gained their first points in the Champions League, defeating Dynamo Kiev through a Gerard Pique goal.

But a relatively sparse 45,000 crowd in Camp Nou was unimpressed and whistled their own players.

After consecutive 3-0 defeats to Bayern Munich and Benfica, Barcelona entered matchday three bottom of group E and in desperate need of a result.

Pique’s 36th minute volley, from fellow defensive veteran Jordi Alba’s cross, kept their last 16 hopes alive with a deserved if uninspiring win.

The goal was Pique’s 16th Champions League goal, drawing him level with former Real Madrid left back Roberto Carlos as the top-scoring defender in the competition’s history. The 34-year-old Pique also became the oldest Champions League scorer for the Catalan club.

But coach Ronald Koeman’s embattled side laboured throughout even against lethargic opposition and enter the weekend Clasico with Real Madrid in low spirits.

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Group leaders Bayern, on six points, are without coach Julian Nagelsmann due to illness when they visit Benfica later.

In group G Red Bull Salzburg opened the scoring against Wolfsburg through Germany forward Karim Adeyemi and a second-half double from Noah Okafor earned a 3-1 win after Lukas Nmecha’s equalizer.

Patson Daka scored four times as Leicester revived their Europa League hopes.

The striker’s stunning performance pulled the Foxes back from the brink to win 4-3 at Spartak Moscow.

Leicester were 2-0 down in the Russian capital to goals from Aleksandr Sobolev and Jordan Larsson in Russia before Daka stole the show.

The Zambia striker pulled a goal back in the last minute of the first half before netting three more times after the break – in the 48th, 54th and 78th minutes.

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Sobolev did get the final goal of the night but the Foxes won to go second in Group C on four points, behind Napoli who play Legia Warsaw on Thursday evening.

Daka became the first Leicester player to net a hat-trick in Europe and, in one game, is now their joint top European goalscorer.

“It’s not time to celebrate now, it’s now history and we have to focus on the game at the weekend,” Daka, who arrived in the off-season from RB Salzburg, said.

“There is a lot of hard work to be done and we have to keep the consistency.

“The goals may look easy but you need total concentration, I know my strengths and I know the quality of the team.

I just had to utilise my speed and concentrate a lot on my finishing.

“This was my first time (scoring four goals), I hope and believe this won’t be the last.”

Foxes manager Brendan Rodgers was happy with his team’s attitude and resilience and lauded the contribtion of Daka.

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“I’m satisfied with the result, it’s a great victory, and satisfied with the mentality and spirit from the team… and I’m super satisfied with Patson scoring four goals,” he said.

“To do it in an away game in Europe is so special. All his finishes were really calm and composed.

“That’s his biggest strength, when he is through one-on-one he has great composure.

“It was a great victory for us, it was a massive game for us in terms of the group stage.

“It was decisive.”

© AAP

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