Manchester City 3-2 Bayern Munich: Aguero’s hat trick hands Citizens lifeline


Sergio Aguero rescued Manchester City on Tuesday, as the Citizens live to fight another day in the UEFA Champions League after a dramatic 3-2 win over Bayern Munich at the Etihad Stadium.

Aguero bagged a phenomenal hat trick as City now go into their final game in Group E knowing a win against AS Roma will likely seal their qualification into the last 16. Aguero put City 1-0 up from the penalty spot early on after Mehdi Benatia brought him down.

[ RELATED: City set up crucial clash vs. Roma ]

Despite having Benatia sent off for taking down Aguero and giving away that PK, Pep Guardiola’s side recovered superbly and scored twice just before half time through Xabi Alonso and Robert Lewandowski to take a shock 2-1 lead.

For most of the second half City were frustrated by the Bavarians and looked to be heading to a damaging loss. However that man Aguero popped up to score the vital equalizer five minutes from time and then grabbed the winner to seal his hat trick in stoppage time.

[ RELATED: Champions League standings ]

After their dramatic late win, the first in the UCL this season, City now know a win in Rome in two weeks time (plus any score draw) will seal their passage into the last 16 of the Champions League. Well, as long as CSKA Moscow don’t beat Bayern in Munich. Permutations galore…

The first major incident at the Etihad arrived after 21 minutes as Frank Lampard clipped a ball over the top which Aguero chased down and got beyond Benatia. As the Argentine ran in on goal, Benatia slid in recklessly to give away a penalty kick and got himself a straight red card. Aguero clinically slotted home the PK to put City 1-0 up and give them a huge advantage against the German giants.

[ RELATED: Champions League schedule ]

Going down to 10-men forced Guardiola into a defensive reshuffle which saw Dante come on, as City aimed to build on their early lead. Yet they failed to do that and paid the price five minutes before half time as Alonso equalized with a low free kick which Eliaquim Mangala conceded cheaply. It got worse right on the half time whistle as Bayern stunned City. Jerome Boateng whipped in a great ball which Lewandowski headed onto his own shoulder and the ball looped past Joe Hart to put the German side 2-1 up, despite being down a man.

In the second half City pushed hard to overturn the deficit but Bayern kept the ball well, as they always seem to do, and frustrated the Citizens and the home fans. Lampard had a shot tipped over by Manuel Neuer 20 minutes from time and Vincent Kompany went close but it looked like City were doomed to defeat.

Completely out of character, Alonso gave the ball straight to Aguero in the 85th minute and he raced towards goal and slotted home the all-important equalizer. But City weren’t content with drawing and Aguero took advantage of a slight error by Boateng in the 91st minute to roll home his and City’s third to set up a winner takes all clash in Rome on Dec. 10.


Manchester City: Hart, Sagna (Zabaleta, 68′), Kompany, Mangala, Clichy, Fernando, Navas, Lampard, Milner (Jovetic, 66′), Nasri, Aguero (Demichelis, 94′)

Goals: Aguero (21′, 85′, 90′)

Bayern Munich: Neuer, Alonso, Benatia, Ribery (Schweinsteiger, 81′), Lewandowski (Shaqiri , 84′), Robben, Rafinha, Boateng, Bernat, Rode (Dante, 25′), Hojbjerg

Goals: Alonso, (40′), Lewandowski (45′)

Serie A: Juventus edge past Parma; Napoli-Fiorentina thriller (video)

Photo by Alessandro Sabattini/Getty Images
Leave a comment

A roundup of all of Saturday’s action in Italy’s top flight…

[ MORE: Liverpool bests wobbly Arsenal at Anfield | Player ratings ]

Parma 0-1 Juventus

Juventus’ quest to win a ninth straight Serie A title began with a win away to Parma on Saturday, but only just barely. Giorgio Chiellini scored the game’s only goal in the 21st minute, redirecting Alex Sandro’s half-volley past the goalkeeper after a corner kick wasn’t fully cleared. The victory sets Maurizio Sarri‘s side (Sarri wasn’t in charge of the team on Saturday as he continues to recover from pneumonia) on its way in a season that figures to feature multiple challengers to the throne, with Napoli and Inter Milan each strengthening their squads considerably in the summer. Sarri will also miss out on next weekend’s heavyweight clash between Juve and last season’s runners-up Napoli at Allianz Stadium.

Cristiano Ronaldo had a goal taken off the board after the video-assistant referee picked up on the narrowest of offside calls.

$85-million center back Matthijs de Ligt was named to the bench, where he remained for the entirety of 90 minutes, with veterans Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci preferred to the 20-year-old. Goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon joined De Ligt on the bench in his return to Juve after spending last season at Paris Saint-Germain.

Fiorentina ___ Napoli

Napoli’s 4-3 victory over Fiorentina was a truly wild ride. There is no other way to describe it.

Napoli went from a goal down inside the first 10 minutes, to 2-1 up just before halftime, level at 2-2 in the 52nd minute, 3-2 ahead just four minutes later, level at 3-3 in the 65th, and finally 4-3 ahead just two minutes later.

Dries Mertens (38th), Lorenzo Insigne (43rd and 67th) and Jose Callejon (56th) got the goals for Carlo Ancelotti’s side.

Hirving Lozano, who joined Napoli for $44 million on Friday, wasn’t yet available to make his debut but will only add another level of quality to what has proven to be an already impressive attacking unit.

Sunday’s Serie A schedule

Udinese v. AC Milan — 12 p.m. ET
Roma v. Genoa — 2:45 p.m. ET
Sampdoria v. Lazio — 2:45 p.m. ET
Cagliari v. Brescia — 2:45 p.m. ET
Verona v. Bologna — 2:45 p.m. ET
SPAL v. Atalanta — 2:45 p.m. ET
Torino v. Sassuolo — 2:45 p.m. ET

Messi to miss Barcelona’s next game; Suarez, Dembele also out

Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images
Leave a comment

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) Lionel Messi has been left out of Barcelona’s squad to face Real Betis in the Spanish league on Sunday.

[ MORE: Liverpool bests wobbly Arsenal at Anfield | Player ratings ]

Messi returned to training this week after recovering from a right calf injury picked up in preseason, but the Argentina star was not included in the list of players available for the team’s home opener at Camp Nou Stadium.

He missed the team’s 1-0 loss to Athletic Bilbao in the league opener last weekend.

Coach Ernesto Valverde is also without forwards Luiz Suarez and Ousmane Dembele because of injuries.

Klopp preens after Liverpool win: ‘Our identity is intensity’

Photo by John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images
Leave a comment

Liverpool and Arsenal entertained on Saturday, with the Reds earning a deserved 3-1 win and keeping the Gunners off-kilter for most of the day.

Jurgen Klopp‘s Reds pushed the tempo for much of the match and overcame some wobbly moments at the back to cruise to the win.

[ MORE: Liverpool-Arsenal recap | 3 things ]

They were tough, fiery, and deserved every bit of the win. And Klopp knows it, and knows that you know it. From the BBC:

“Our identity is intensity, and we showed that today. … We were a bit surprised by their system. We couldn’t know that they would play a diamond, but we switched things around and coped very well.

“The last 10 minutes I saw the possession – 53 to 47 or something like that – but over 80 minutes it must have been completely different. For 80 minutes we were completely in charge of the game. We are not Disneyland, we do not need to excite everyone in every second.”

This guy is an absolute beauty. Even those who despise him have to admit that we are lucky to have him.

Klopp’s men lapsed late and allowed a Lucas Torreira goal. The defense has been wobbly over the first three weeks of the season, and preseason was just as rough. Klopp would’ve loved a clean sheet for the first time since the first week of preseason, but he’s happy with the performance.

“I would have loved to have it, but things can happen. They’re a quality side, Arsenal. I didn’t see that many chances, but we were really in charge today and completely deserved the win.”

Liverpool is off to Burnley next, and then will enjoy the international break.

Bundesliga wrap: Lewandowski scores hat trick for Bayern; USMNT’s Morales scores

Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images
Leave a comment

What a good day (well, 2 days) for the visitors.

[ MORE: Liverpool-Arsenal recap | 3 things ]

Bayern, Gladbach, Bayer, and Freiburg joined Friday winners Borussia Dortmund in being in the away locker room and the win column on Saturday in the Bundesliga.

Newly-promoted Union Berlin got a point away from home, too, and Werder Bremen scored twice and nearly took a point off Werder Bremen.

Boo home teams. Boo.

Schalke 0-3 Bayern Munich

A Robert Lewandowski hat trick betrayed a halfway decent effort by Schalke as Bayern rebounded from a season-opening draw to claim all three points at the Veltins Arena.

On the American side, only Bayern’s Joshua Kimmich covered more ground than Schalke’s Weston McKennie’s 12.36 km. McKennie registered a shot and completed 32 of his 34 passes.

Mainz 1-3 Borussia Monchengladbach

Stefan Lainer, Alassane Plea, and Breel Embolo all scored in Gladbach’s comeback from an early concession.

USMNT midfielder Fabian Johnson subbed off after 79 minutes after Embolo scored Gladbach’s final goal, registering 10 won tackles.

Fortuna Dusseldorf 1-3 Bayer Leverkusen

USMNT goalkeeper and Man City loanee Zack Steffen had a Man of the Match performance last week for the hosts, and was under siege again this time to less success.

An American player did produce a goal in the contest, with Alfredo Morales scoring for his fourth-consecutive Bundesliga campaign. Throw in the second tier, and the midfielder has scored in eight-straight German seasons between his current team, Ingolstadt, and Hertha Berlin.

Morales covered the second-most ground for Dusseldorf. At 29, could he be one of the new faces that Gregg Berhalter wants to see this September with the USMNT? Probably not, but it’d be neat.


Koln 1-3 Borussia Dortmund — Friday
Augsburg 1-1 Union Berlin
Paderborn 1-3 Freiburg
Hoffenheim 3-2 Werder Bremen
RB Leipzig v. Eintracht Frankfurt — 9:30 am. ET Sunday
Hertha Berlin v. Wolfsburg — Noon ET Sunday