Thomas Tuchel says he "understands" criticism of Paris Saint-Germain but dismissed its credibility when coming from fans and journalists watching from a "sofa".

PSG were out of sorts in the Champions League on Tuesday, as last season's beaten finalists scraped a narrow 1-0 win at RB Leipzig.

The decisive goal, an 11th-minute Neymar penalty, was one of just three shots on target mustered by PSG over the course of the match.

Tuchel said after the game that he would not apologise for winning in a somewhat ugly fashion, with Leipzig enjoying 63 per cent of possession and managing 15 shots in total.

He put the underwhelming performance down to fatigue caused by the team's packed schedule, though it was not their only unimpressive display in recent months.

Before Tuesday, PSG had lost three of their previous seven matches across all competitions and Tuchel has had to contend with questions about his future, but the German was keen to remind fans and reporters that they do not see everything he sees.

"If it [criticism] hits the locker room, it'll tighten us up," he told reporters ahead of Saturday's visit of Bordeaux.

"For me it is very clear. I can understand the criticisms, but we have different positions. The critics are supporters, journalists... But I'm not [watching] on TV, or on my sofa.

"I'm with my team, I live every pass, every sprint with my team and you have a completely different feeling after a match like that than in front of a TV.

"I can accept the criticism, but you can also accept that we have another feeling. I had the feeling that the journalists wanted to convince me of their opinions, but I did not have the same opinion because I am a small part of this group."

Saturday's game is quickly followed by a vital Champions League trip to Manchester United on Wednesday, with PSG still fighting to qualify for the last 16.

PSG confirmed on Friday that defender Marquinhos will miss the Bordeaux game as a precaution following an adductor "twinge" – he has not been ruled out of the trip to Old Trafford, however.

Mauro Icardi and Marco Verratti are likely to get the chance to increase their involvement ahead of that journey as well, with the Argentinian striker missing since early October due to a knee ligament injury, while the Italy international (thigh) returned from a month-long layoff to make a cameo against Leipzig.

"[Verratti] can change everything on the pitch. In 12 or 14 minutes he showed an extraordinary impact [against Leipzig]," Tuchel said.

"We decided in the morning that he would be on the bench because he only did half a workout. Now he can play maybe a half against Bordeaux and that gives us a lot of possibilities and confidence on the pitch."

Regarding Icardi, he added: "We decided yesterday on the field if he could make strikes. We took the risk, he trained and there was no reaction.

"We'll see what he can do in training. If he can [train], we can put him on the bench and give him a few minutes, because he has been training hard for many weeks and it's hard for a player like Mauro, who lives to win."

Borussia Dortmund are planning a long-term future with star Erling Haaland as sporting director Michael Zorc dismissed the ongoing transfer speculation.

Haaland has enjoyed a rapid rise to stardom, cementing his status as one of football's most lethal forwards since swapping Salzburg for Dortmund in January amid links to Real Madrid, Manchester United and Juventus.

The 20-year-old – crowned the 2020 Golden Boy winner – became the quickest player to 15 Champions League goals in the competition's history after opening the scoring in Tuesday's 3-0 win over Club Brugge.

Haaland finished with a brace as he took his tally to 16 through 12 games in the Champions League, surpassing Ruud van Nistelrooy and Roberto Soldado with seven matches to spare.

Norway international Haaland has 10 goals through seven Bundesliga matches this season, and 17 across all competitions in 2020-21 – including a Champions League-high six strikes.

As Haaland continues to attract interest from Europe's elite, Zorc addressed the player's future, with reports he has a €75million (£67m) release clause that is set to become active in 2022.

"I am happy when [Erling Haaland's] enthusiasm is high, because it means that he plays well for us and we have all done a good job," Zorc told reporters ahead of Saturday's Bundesliga fixture against Cologne.

"I don't have to say anything to the other managers, because of course we are planning for the long term with Erling.

"He plays well for us and he hasn't been with us that long, not even one year. In this respect, I would like to see him with us for a while yet."

Since joining Dortmund at the start of 2020, Haaland has scored 33 goals in just 31 appearances for the German giants.

Haaland has netted 23 times in just 22 Bundesliga matches for Dortmund, who are second and a point adrift of defending champions Bayern Munich through eight matchdays.

Marseille head coach Andre Villas-Boas urged FIFA to "withdraw the number 10 for all competitions" to honour Diego Maradona.

Maradona, widely regarded as one of the best players of all-time, died at the age of 60 on Wednesday after a suspected heart attack.

He starred in the number 10 for Napoli and Argentina during his playing career, and the shirt was retired by the Serie A club in his honour in 2000.

Villas-Boas wants to see FIFA go one step further and withdraw the number 10 completely.

"For Maradona, it's a hard blow. I would like FIFA to withdraw the number 10 for all competitions, all teams," he told a news conference after Marseille's 2-0 Champions League loss to Porto on Wednesday.

"I think it's the best tribute that can be given to the greatest player in the history of football. It is an incredible loss for the world of football."

Villas-Boas said he would always remember his one meeting with Maradona.

"Yes, I met him once. He was a guest at the Pinetina, the Inter Milan sports centre, when I was there," he said.

"And I remember this photo, next to my trophies in Porto. Because of that, I bought a watch when Hublot had them signed by Maradona. And this watch came with a jersey signed by him that I still keep. These are good memories.

"But Maradona wasn't just that. It's his genius from the world of football, the images he leaves us, the image of his warm-up in Naples, those kinds of things that are extraordinary.

"It's a loss for everyone. I only met him once, next to each other, it's a moment I won't forget."

Maradona, the captain and inspiration behind Argentina's World Cup success in 1986 before going on to coach his country at the 2010 showpiece, had been hospitalised just days after turning 60.

He appeared in a fragile state when he briefly made an appearance as his Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata side played a match on the evening of his birthday last month.

Maradona won 91 caps for Argentina between 1977 and 1994, scoring 34 goals at international level.

He started his career with Argentinos Juniors before joining Boca Juniors and went on to play for Barcelona, Napoli, Sevilla and Newell's Old Boys before returning to Boca in 1995.

Maradona had the best years of his club career in Italy, playing a massive part in Napoli winning the Serie A title in the 1986-87 and 1989-90 seasons.

Playmaker Maradona also lifted the UEFA Cup with Napoli in 1989 and he won three trophies during his time at Barca – including the Copa del Rey in 1983.

Maradona also had stints in charge of Textil Mandiyu, Racing Club, Al-Wasl, Fujairah and Dorados de Sinaloa in Mexico before being appointed by Gimnasia last year.

Inter head coach Antonio Conte described Diego Maradona as "the poetry of football" following the Argentina and Napoli great's death on Wednesday.

Maradona – arguably football's greatest ever player – died at the age of 60 after a suspected heart attack, the Argentine Football Association (AFA) confirmed midweek.

World Cup winner Maradona was discharged from hospital a fortnight ago following brain surgery, having undergone a routine operation for a subdural haematoma after being admitted to hospital due to concerns over anaemia and dehydration.

Conte came up against Maradona during his time with boyhood club Lecce in Serie A, and he lauded the former Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata head coach following Wednesday's 2-0 Champions League loss to Real Madrid.

"We are all shedding tears for the loss of a man who wrote football history and will always be an indelible figure in this sport," Conte told Sky Sport Italia.

"He was the poetry of football. I had the pleasure of playing against him, of marking him, and it still doesn't seem real that he's gone, especially as he was still young. It's very sad."

Madrid boss Zidane also spoke glowingly of Maradona after the LaLiga champions won at San Siro for the first time in their history.

Former France international Zidane – also a World Cup winner – added: "It's an enormous loss for the world of football.

"I have him engrained in my head because of what he did at the 1986 World Cup. I was 14 years old... I have no words. We're all very sad."

Maradona, the captain and inspiration behind Argentina's World Cup success in 1986 before going on to coach his country at the 2010 showpiece, had been hospitalised just days after turning 60.

He appeared in a fragile state when he briefly made an appearance as his Gimnasia side played a match on the evening of his birthday last month.

Maradona won 91 caps for Argentina between 1977 and 1994, scoring 34 goals at international level.

He started his career with Argentinos Juniors before joining Boca Juniors and went on to play for Barcelona, Napoli, Sevilla and Newell's Old Boys before returning to Boca in 1995.

Maradona had the best years of his club career in Italy, playing a massive part in Napoli winning the Serie A title in the 1986-87 and 1989-90 seasons.

Playmaker Maradona also lifted the UEFA Cup with Napoli in 1989 and he won three trophies during his time at Barca – including the Copa del Rey in 1983.

Maradona also had stints in charge of Textil Mandiyu, Racing Club, Al-Wasl, Fujairah and Dorados de Sinaloa in Mexico before being appointed by Gimnasia last year.

Zinedine Zidane says Lucas Vazquez "has Real Madrid in his heart" and deserves to be offered a new contract by the club.

The Spain international has started seven games for Madrid this season but is due to be out of contract at the end of the campaign.

He played the full 90 minutes of Wednesday's 2-0 win over Inter in the Champions League and impressed with his direct attacking display.

As well as setting up substitute Rodrygo for his side's second goal, which deflected off Achraf Hakimi, adding to Eden Hazard's early penalty, Vazquez also had more shots (four) than any player on the field.

Vazquez has showed his versatility by also featuring at right-back at times and Zidane wants the 29-year-old academy product to be rewarded with fresh terms.

"He always gives everything for us. I have always valued him and what he gives to us on the pitch," Zidane told Movistar+.

"Now he is having the opportunity to show us what he is all about. He was a youth player for us and has Madrid in his heart. I'm happy for him and the team.

"He is an important player and the club knows it. I think it will happen that he will renew."

Hazard's seventh-minute penalty was his first Champions League goal since November 2017 on his fourth start of another disrupted campaign.

He got 78 minutes under his belt, having also started the 1-1 draw with Villarreal last weekend, and Zidane hopes the Belgium forward can soon find his rhythm.

"I'm happy because he's playing. He needs to play and get his football back. For the good of the team, let him keep growing, because we need him."

Madrid's two goals came either side of Arturo Vidal being issued quick-fire yellow cards for dissent 33 minutes into the game after being denied a penalty.

The victory for Zidane's men was their first ever away at Inter in European competition and put them a point behind Group B leaders Borussia Monchengladbach, with Shakhtar Donetsk and Inter three and five points worse off than Madrid respectively.

"We played a great game from the beginning to the end," Zidane said. "We played serious and with character. They were three very important points and we got the best of us.

"I'm happy with the players. When they have to turn it on, they turn it on."

Diego Simeone found it difficult to accept the news of Diego Maradona's passing as he reflected on a difficult night for his Atletico Madrid side.

Maradona passed away at the age of 60 on Wednesday, his lawyer confirming he died of natural causes.

Shortly after news of Maradona's death, Atleti kicked-off against Lokomotiv Moscow in the Champions League, with the Group A clash ending 0-0.

Simeone was in the Argentina squad with the Napoli legend at the 1994 World Cup, having also been a team-mate of the mercurial midfielder at Sevilla in 1992-93.

"It's hard. When they call you on the phone and tell you that Diego passed away, you think, 'Diego cannot die'," Simeone told a news conference.

"A myth is leaving us, an Argentine who transmitted all his rebellion to fight with his positive and negative things, but always going forward. The way to get excited about playing soccer was by looking at him.

"He welcomed me in a spectacular way in Seville, I was young. The moment they tell you about this situation [Maradona dying] you say, 'It can't be, he can always come out.'

"This time he could not, but he will always be with us, especially with the Argentines, he is a myth and it gives us a lot of sadness and emptiness – it cannot be. A very strong hug for his closest family and a lot of pain."

While Simeone mourned the death of his former team-mate and one of Argentina's most famous players, he also had to contend with a frustrating display from his Atleti team.

Atleti registered 20 attempts against Lokomotiv yet could not find the net – it is the most shots a team has amassed in a Champions League match this season without scoring.

The draw leaves Atleti, whose captain Koke had a goal disallowed by VAR on his club-record 100th European appearance, second on five points from four games, and they still have work to do if they are to qualify for the last 16.

"We are concerned with the Champions League, of course, we know that it has started with difficulties," Simeone added.

"These last two games we generated many chances to win them. The goal came, unfortunately it was offside."

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp called his side's fixture schedule "a crime" as he prepared to face Brighton and Hove Albion in the Premier League less than three days after suffering a 2-0 Champions League loss to Atalanta.

Second-half goals from Josip Illicic and Robin Gosens helped secure an unexpected win for Serie A visitors Atalanta, who Liverpool thrashed 5-0 just three weeks earlier, as the Reds missed the chance to qualify for the Champions League knockout stage.

Wednesday's result left Premier League champions Liverpool with one win from their last three games as they approach a run of four matches in 12 days.

Klopp predicted his players would not be alone in suffering dips in form as a result of the congestion, telling BT Sport: "I'm afraid to say I think it could happen not only to us but to other teams as well.

"You ask us to go on Saturday at 12:30, which is nearly a crime to be honest. That's nothing to do with our game tonight.

"Now my only interest is I got thumbs up, nobody is injured. Now let's recover immediately. The boys are disappointed and frustrated but we don't have time for it, to be honest.

"It's just get fresh legs as quick as possible and go again."

Klopp selected a number of fringe players in his side to face Atalanta and saw them struggle to find any rhythm, with Mohamed Salah's shot in the 44th minute Liverpool's first of the game.

For the first time since Opta had shot data available in the Champions League since 2003-04, Liverpool failed to record a single shot on target in a home game in the competition.

Up against 19-year-old full-back Nico Williams, Atalanta's Papu Gomez enjoyed a successful night on the wing, providing the cross for Ilicic to score the opener and then making a second assist in the build-up to Gosens' goal.

Klopp – whose side lost a competitive home fixture by a margin of more than one goal for the first time in 137 matches at Anfield – admitted his players struggled with the intensity of the game, saying: "Both teams didn't create a lot until they scored the goals. We saw it coming a little in the first half but couldn't avoid it or defend it anyway.

"The ref brought a lot of tempo in the game, he didn't whistle a lot. That makes it even more difficult on both sides. It was unbelievably intense for the boys; you need one or two breaks.

"We changed five times, that always costs rhythm, that's normal. Usually when the first half is gone it settles a bit but you could see for some players who hadn't played for a while it was very intense for them.

"So we didn't really find a way in the game. We didn't find ways to create."

Hansi Flick has described Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer as an "insane professional" after his superb display in Wednesday's 3-1 Champions League win over Salzburg. 

Robert Lewandowski, Kingsley Coman and Leroy Sane netted for Bayern, who had Marc Roca sent off midway through the second half, while Mergim Berisha pulled one back for the visitors with 17 minutes of normal time remaining.

The result helped Bayern to a fourth win out of four in Group A and sealed their progression to the last 16 as group winners with two games remaining. 

It could have been a different outcome had it not been for the heroics of Neuer, though – the Germany international making 10 saves to deny the Austrians, with his finest moment coming in the form of a superb double stop to deny Berisha and Enock Mwepu.

It was the latest in a string of impressive displays from Neuer, with head coach Flick quick to hail the 34-year-old's dedication to his craft. 

"Manu has been playing sensationally for over a year," he told Sky Sport. "With him, the goal for the striker is getting smaller and smaller. 

"He is in the form of his life. He is an insane professional and very focused on his job."

Bayern never hit the heights of their 6-2 drubbing of Salzburg in the reverse fixture three weeks ago, allowing their opponents 19 attempts on goal in a display characterised by sloppy defending. 

Flick was not impressed by his side's inability to keep hold of the ball but he refused to be too hard on his players, who he says improved after the interval. 

"We made our way a little difficult because we lost a lot of balls," he added. "The ball losses must not happen like this. That is insecurity and recklessness. Of course, we have personnel problems at the moment.

"It got better in the second half. I'm satisfied with the efficiency and, of course, we have a world-class goalkeeper at the back."

Neuer agreed with Flick's assessment that Bayern lost possession too easily, but he believes it is important to remember they achieved their objective of qualifying for the last 16.

"We have conceded too many goals recently," he said. "It was, of course, also down to the opponents. We played against a strong team. We lost the ball too easily and that hurt us. 

"For me, it is important that we won today and are group winners. You do what you can."

Inter head coach Antonio Conte said his players should not be downbeat following their 2-0 Champions League loss to Real Madrid as it showed exactly what they must do to reach the level of their opponents.

Eden Hazard's early penalty and substitute Rodrygo's second-half strike in Wednesday's Champions League clash condemned Inter to their first ever home loss against LaLiga champions Madrid.

It is the first time Inter have failed to win any of their opening four group games in the illustrious European competition and leaves their hopes of progressing to the last 16 in tatters.

The Nerazzurri are bottom of Group B, five points adrift of Madrid in second and a further point behind leaders Borussia Monchengladbach with two rounds of fixtures remaining.

Madrid's goals came either side of Arturo Vidal's sending off, the midfielder issued with two quick-fire yellow cards for dissent, which under-fire coach Conte feels was a turning point at San Siro.

"It was always going to be difficult playing against big clubs like Real Madrid, so when going a goal down and a man down, it becomes an impossible mountain to climb," Conte told Sky Sport Italia.

"I think we saw the difference between them and us. It shouldn't knock us down. It should show us there's a path we must take.

"We need to be hungry, hard-working and humble, to realise where we are and not let ourselves get swayed by voices from the outside.

"The only path forward is to work hard and grow in every possible way."

Vidal was unhappy not to have been awarded a penalty when put under pressure by Raphael Varane inside the box and was dismissed by English referee Anthony Taylor after just 33 minutes in Milan.

Chile international Vidal became the third player in Champions League history to be sent off for three different clubs, along with Patrick Vieira and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, but Conte questioned the decision.

"I prefer not to talk about the referee, even if they should be smart not to ruin certain games in this way," he said. "Unless, of course, Vidal has said something very strong to him. He has killed the game."

Inter had just 38 per cent of possession and had only one attempt on target – Ivan Perisic testing Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois in the final 10 minutes with a weak shot.

Lautaro Martinez and Romelu Lukaku managed four touches in the opposition box between them but Conte does not believe his side have an issue with their attack.

"We're not weak upfront as we score plenty of goals," he said. "We are perhaps conceding a few too many at the moment. 

"As I said, the game was immediately an uphill struggle and it became difficult to get back into it due to a red card that was caused by an excessive protest.

"This is the situation, we accept it. We had done much better and were more aggressive in Madrid, but it was tough here to be almost immediately 1-0 down and then see a player sent off. 

"That knocked the wind out of us. But nonetheless, I think the team worked very hard today and put the effort in. Don't forget, we were against Real Madrid and not the bottom of the table club."

Serie A hopefuls Inter travel to Monchengladbach in their next group game and host Shakhtar Donetsk on the final matchday.

Pep Guardiola and Liverpool's Jurgen Klopp have paid tribute to Diego Maradona, with the Manchester City manager calling the Argentina great "a man of joy".

Maradona died aged 60 on Wednesday, with the former Boca Juniors, Barcelona and Napoli star reportedly suffering a heart attack, though that has not been confirmed.

After a stellar playing career, Maradona struggled with drug and alcohol problems, though will no doubt go down as one of the greatest players to grace the game.

Shortly after news of Maradona's death was confirmed, City faced Olympiacos in the Champions League, with Phil Foden's goal earning a 1-0 win for Guardiola's side.

Sergio Aguero was married to Maradona's daughter Gianinna, with whom he has a son, though the pair have since split.

Aguero came on as a substitute in Athens, and Guardiola offered his support to the Argentine striker before reminiscing about one of football's greats.

"Firstly, support for Sergio, Diego was his son's grandfather," Guardiola told reporters.

"It was a banner in Argentina I think, one year ago I read it. It said, no matter what you have done in your life Diego, it matters what you have done for our lives.

"I think it fits perfectly with what this guy gave us. The man of joy, the pleasure, and his commitment to world football, he made world football better.

"His performance, what he had done in Napoli, and especially the national team in Argentina, Mexico 1986, it was something unbelievable. Rest in peace and on behalf of Manchester City of course, a big hug for all of his family."

Guardiola joined Barcelona's academy just as Maradona left for Napoli in 1984, with the Argentinian going on to win two Serie A titles in Naples.

"When I was a little boy with my dad, sometimes I came to Barcelona to see Maradona play football, it was incredible," Guardiola continued.

"When I arrived to the academy he left to Napoli, I could not share time, being there in the academy, being close more for the Barcelona games.

"I was not in the locker room with him, but all the people in the locker room who was with him, express his generosity, his thinking for all of them, making a better position for world football, and on the pitch was something unique, for one or two generations, he was a player like 'wow'.

"It's sad news, we knew that it was not perfect."

Liverpool lost 2-0 to Atalanta in their Champions League match at Anfield, and Reds manager Klopp told BT Sport beforehand: "I'm 53 and it feels like my entire life, he was part of it. When I was very, very young – maybe eight or nine, 10 years old – I saw him for the first time and he was 16 or 17.

"In any video, juggling the ball, from that moment on he was the player for me. From an international point of view there's Pele, Maradona, [Lionel] Messi, if you want – one Brazilian and two Argentinians.

"I saw his documentary not too long ago; Diego was a sensational guy, Maradona had some struggles, let me say it like this. I will miss both."

Carlo Ancelotti regularly played against Maradona during his stint in Italy, and the three-time Champions League-winning manager also offered his tribute.

"You were always a genius. Today is a very sad day and a great loss, but you my friend are eternal," Ancelotti, now in charge of Everton, posted on his official Instagram account.

"Ciao Diego. Rest In Peace."

Antonio Conte is under pressure and, as Wednesday's Champions League loss to Real Madrid illustrated, Inter's tendency to put unnecessary strain on themselves is a big reason why.

After an excellent first season that saw Inter finish second in Serie A behind Juventus and reach the Europa League final, Inter have failed to take the anticipated next step.

They are fifth in Serie A and trail arch rivals and early leaders Milan by five points, while their Champions League campaign is teetering on the brink after a performance at San Siro that laid bare one of their primary failings so far this season.

Too often in 2020, Inter have left themselves an uphill battle by having to come from behind.

Seven of their 15 points in the Italian top flight have come from losing positions, with Inter coming back from two goals down to draw with Parma and beat Torino - those fightbacks sandwiched by a 1-1 draw with Atalanta - in the last three games.

Such recoveries are rarely possible against a team of Madrid's quality, and Inter were behind inside seven minutes, Eden Hazard converting from the penalty spot after Nico Barella had fouled Nacho in the area.

Inter erased a 2-0 deficit in the reverse fixture only to lose 3-2, but no such resolve was on show this time around.

Madrid were in control throughout, Inter left chasing the game and creating little. Lucas Vazquez hit the post in the 13th minute with a vicious drive and four minutes later the Madrid winger saw another chance go begging as a Ferland Mendy pull-back proved too strong for him to make a telling connection.

When Arturo Vidal, who laid on the latter opportunity with a sloppy pass, was sent off for successive yellow cards for dissent after being denied a penalty by referee Anthony Taylor, Inter had a mountain to climb.

The game was effectively over after Rodrygo volleyed in at the far post from a sublime cross from Vazquez, whose excellent performance saw him complete nearly 94 per cent of his passes in the Inter half.

His precision in that regard was reflective of the pattern of the game, Madrid played 792 passes to Inter's 481 and completed 92.3 per cent to the Nerazzurri's 86.7 per cent.

The result was a stark disparity in possession, which Madrid dominated with 62 per cent of the ball, and a one-sided contest indicative of the divergent paths these two teams are on in European football.

While second-placed Madrid are on course to qualify for the last 16 with seven points from four games behind Borussia Monchengladbach in Group B, Inter face a struggle to even get back into the Europa League, having claimed only two points from their four outings.

Inter's superior quality to many of their Serie A rivals allows them to come from behind on a regular basis and stay in the title fight.

As Madrid reminded Conte's side, the Champions League is not so accommodating and their participation in the competition will soon be coming to an end unless they can produce a quite remarkable turnaround.

Atletico Madrid's chances of finishing top of Champions League Group A are over after they were held to a 0-0 draw by Lokomotiv Moscow, with Koke having a goal ruled out by VAR.

Diego Simeone's side – without star forward Luis Suarez after the Uruguay international tested positive for coronavirus – needed to win on Wednesday in order to keep slim hopes of pipping holders Bayern Munich to top spot alive.

Yet, despite a bright start in which Joao Felix and Yannick Carrasco went close, Atleti failed to overcome their Russian opponents for a second successive match.

Koke had a goal disallowed for a marginal offside decision, with Jose Gimenez heading wide late on as Atleti were frustrated.

 

 

Inter are on the verge of exiting the Champions League after losing 2-0 to Real Madrid in Wednesday's clash at San Siro.

Madrid won the reverse fixture 3-2 earlier this month to revive their Group B campaign and they made a strong start to what was the first meeting between these sides at Inter's iconic ground since 1998.

Eden Hazard converted an early penalty - his first goal in the competition in three years - and Inter's task was made all the more difficult when Arturo Vidal was sent off for dissent with 33 minutes played.

Madrid added a second goal through substitute Rodrygo's volley to move a point behind Borussia Monchengladbach in second, with Inter five points worse off in fourth heading into the final two rounds of fixtures.

Robert Lewandowski moved level with Raul as the Champions League's third-highest scorer as Bayern Munich booked their spot in the last 16 with a 3-1 win over Salzburg on Wednesday. 

Poland international Lewandowski plundered his 71st goal in the competition shortly before half-time to set Hansi Flick's men on their way to a fourth win out of four and qualification as Group A winners.

A Maximilian Wober own goal doubled their advantage shortly after the restart before Marc Roca was dismissed for a second yellow card in the 66th minute. 

Leroy Sane added a third soon after before Mergim Berisha pulled one back for the visitors late on as Bayern moved onto 12 points, seven ahead of second-placed Atletico Madrid with two games remaining.

Serge Gnabry came close to a stunning opener after 10 minutes, but his volley from the edge of the penalty flashed narrowly wide of Cican Stankovic's left-hand post.

Dominik Szoboszlai spurned a glorious opportunity to put the visitors ahead 10 minutes before the interval, the Hungarian blazing wildly over with only Manuel Neuer to beat after being put through by Berisha.

Bayern duly punished him shortly before the interval, Lewandowski slotting home after Stankovic had parried Thomas Muller's effort into his path.

The holders went 2-0 up seven minutes after the restart when Kingsley Coman's low effort from the edge of the penalty area was diverted past Stankovic via the outstretched foot of Wober.

Roca, making just his second start of the season, saw red in the 66th minute after receiving a second caution but Sane added a third two minutes later when he headed home Coman's cross from six yards. 

Neuer made a wonderful double save from Berisha and Enock Mwepu before the former scored a 73rd-minute consolation, sliding home Rasmus Kristensen's low cross from close range.

Liverpool missed the chance to secure their place in the Champions League knockout stage as they slipped to a shock 2-0 defeat to Atalanta.

Having seen Liverpool beat Atalanta 5-0 in Bergamo on November 3, Jurgen Klopp selected a blend of fringe players and first-team regulars in his starting line-up and paid the price as the Premier League champions failed to muster a shot on goal until the 44th minute.

It got worse for Liverpool after half-time as Gian Piero Gasperini's well-organised Atalanta side scored in quick succession through Josip Ilicic and Robin Gosens on Wednesday.

On a night when victory would have qualified Liverpool from Group D with a 100 per cent record, the standings are instead tightly balanced with Klopp's team just two points clear of Ajax and Atalanta, who both have seven.

But it will be the subdued nature of Liverpool's performance that most concerns Reds manager Klopp.

Mohamed Salah, back in the team after a negative coronavirus test, gave the ball away sloppily in the middle of Liverpool's half after three minutes, allowing Ilicic to curl a shot wide from 20 yards.

Robin Gosens burst into the box moments later and forced a strong one-handed save from Alisson with a thunderous shot.

A Salah strike that drifted tamely over the crossbar one minute before half-time was Liverpool's only attempt of the first period – their lowest tally of shots in a first half since January 2017 against Chelsea.

Atalanta continued to press early in the second half, with Papu Gomez testing Alisson with a low drive, and the breakthrough arrived just before the hour mark.

The Italian visitors were given space and time around the Liverpool penalty area before Gomez curled an in-swinging cross to the edge of the six-yard box, where Ilicic slid in to poke a low shot past Alisson into the corner of the net.

The second came four minutes later and was an even better move, Hans Hateboer heading a looping Gomez delivery back across the face of goal where Gosens opened up his body and volleyed past Alisson.

Klopp sent on Andy Robertson, Roberto Firmino and Diogo Jota to try and turn the game, but Atalanta held firm to give their hopes of reaching the knockout stage a huge boost.

 

What does it mean? Klopp's plan B lacks cohesion

Despite the likes of Alisson, James Milner, Georginio Wijnaldum and Salah all starting for Liverpool, the customary fortress of Anfield felt anything but as Atalanta enjoyed a trouble-free night at the back and an equal share of possession, giving them a platform for victory.

Gomez rips Reds open

Gomez was Atalanta's catalyst here, providing an assist for the opening goal and a second assist four minutes later, Liverpool seemingly unable to contain him.

Origi fails to shine

Divock Origi has struggled for minutes since Jota arrived but, given the chance from the start, he barely made an impact on the game, failing to take a shot on goal before being substituted after Liverpool went behind.

What's next?

Liverpool are away at Brighton and Hove Albion in the Premier League on Saturday, while Atalanta entertain Hellas Verona in Serie A later that day.

Page 1 of 105
© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.