Updated: Apr 29
Alvin Jones, Staff Writer
Bayern Goalkeeper and Captain Manuel Neuer during the win against Barcelona. Photo//David S. Bustamante/Socrates/Getty Images
Tuesday was a familiar yet still painful experience for FC Barcelona - another loss in the UEFA Champions League to Bayern Munich.
Barcelona have lost their last four matches in the Champions League to Bayern. Last year, a pair of 3-0 drubbings at the hands of Bayern saw Barcelona crash out of the Champions League group stage for the first time since 2002. Two years ago, Bayern beat Barcelona 8-2 in the Champions League quarterfinal, perhaps the most embarrassing loss in club history.
Tuesday’s game at the Allianz Arena was an exciting affair with the two teams trading chances throughout the first half. Former Bayern star Robert Lewandowski had some of the best chances, placing a shot over the bar from close range after a pass from Gavi. In the 20th minute, a Lewandoski header was saved by Manuel Neuer, denying Lewandoski an opener against his former club.
Barcelona Striker Robert Lewandowski. Photo/Adam Pretty/Getty Images
In the second half, Bayern put the game to bed. Lucas Hernandez scored a header from a corner to put Bayern ahead in the 49th minute. Four minutes later, Leroy Sane ran through the Barcelona defense and calmly placed the ball past Marc-Andre ter Stegen.
Bayern held on and won 2-0 thanks in large part to yet another impressive performance from keeper Manuel Neuer. For Bayern, a much needed win to go top of the group. For Barca, a perhaps minor setback but still a disappointing loss.
Arthur Gomes (right) driving and scoring against Spurs. Photo/Reuters
Manager Antonio Conte led Tottenham Hotspur to their first Champions League appearance since 2019, beating out rivals Arsenal to the tournament. Tuesday saw Spurs play Portuguese side Sporting CP for control of the top of Group D. Going into Tuesday, Sporting had never beaten an English Team in the Champions League.
The fixture was a tense game in which neither team could find a goal despite excellent chances, including a 45th minute run by Sporting player Marcus Edwards, which saw him beat several defenders before missing the final shot.
In the 90th minute, after applying intense pressure, Sporting found the winner - a Paulinho near-post header from a corner. Sporting’s stadium erupted as they snatched a win at the death.
Two minutes later, Sporting subbed on midfielder Arthur Gomes for his club debut. Seconds later, Arthur received the ball on the wing, drove past and nutmegged Spurs defender Emerson, and placed a shot past Lloris. A wonderful goal to cap off a historic win for the Portuguese giants and a tough defeat for Spurs.
It has been a busy couple of days during the Champions League. On Tuesday, Liverpool rallied back from a 1-1 draw with Ajax thanks to a late winner from Center Back Joel Matip. It was a much needed win for the Reds who were coming off an embarrassing 4-1 defeat at the hands of Inter Milan and a 0-0 draw against local rivals Everton.
On Wednesday, Chelsea drew with RB Salzburg thanks to a 75th minute equalizer from Noah Okafor. Man City came back from a 1-0 deficit thanks to a 25 yard wonder goal from defender John Stones and a late winner from Erling Haaland. Juventus lost a second consecutive Champions League game for the first time, following a 2-1 loss to Benfica