MICHAEL ADUBATO - Thursday, October 29, 2020
Giovanni Reyna went the distance in Dortmund's victory, while Christian Pulisic came off the bench to score in Match Daay 2 of the Champions League.
Borussia Dortmund 2-0 Zenit St. Petersburg
Gio Reyna got the nod and started in this make or break game against the Russians after his German team failed to collect points last week against Lazio, falling 3-1. Although a stalemate for most of the game, in the end, Jadon Sancho and Erling Haalan both bagged a goal to secure the win to keep their Champions League dreams alive.
Overall, Zenit looked the better team with former Liverpool defender Dejan Lovern having a solid game on the backline frustrating the German attacks. Things were going well until his teammate, Vyacheslav Karavaev grabbed Belgian international, Thorgan Hazard around the neck inside the box in the 77th minute. The Dutch referee spotted the foul and
Jadon Sancho took the penalty to give Dortmund a very late lead.
A minute into stoppage time Jude Bellingham, who just came on to replace Reyna, picked out his Norwegian teammate Erling Haaland and the 20-year-old scored his 12th CL goal in just 10 appearances.
Borussia, who are currently in third place in the Bundesliga standings will travel to Bielefeld over the weekend to take on Arminia Bielefeld.
FK Krasnodar 0-4 Chelsea
Christian Pulisic and Chelsea traveled to Russia and made the most of their trip, shutting out their opponents while putting four goals past them. The American started on the bench and only played 19 minutes but he too made the most of it, scoring a very late goal.
The English team could have gotten off the mark a bit sooner when Timo Werner won after being tripped up. Jorginho took the penalty but the Brazilian-born Italian, although sending the keeper the wrong way, hit the post. In the 37th minute though, Calum Hudson-Odoi got the scoring underway. His scuffed shot was not dealt with very well by the young Russian keeper, Matvey Safonov.
The Londoners were awarded another penalty in the second half, a rather soft one but Werner did what his colleague couldn't do and beat both the keeper and the post. Three minutes later, in the 79th minute, it was three-0when new Moroccan international Hakim Ziyech scored his first goal for his new club. The game was done and dusted by this time but Pulisic couldn't resist putting one past Safonov.
The team will return to league action over the weekend when they head to Burnley on Halloween.
Juventus 0-2 Barcelona
In this much-anticipated Yank vs Yank battle, both Sergino Dest for Barcelona and Weston McKennie for Juventus started the game on the bench, but the former Schalke man did see some playing time when he came on in the 75th minute.
Although this appeared to be a very poor Juventus team, the Spaniards did need a little help, in the form of a deflection, which happened to Ousmane Dembele's shot. Because of that, the ball looped over former Arsenal goalkeeper, Wojciech Szczesny's head to give Barca a 14th-minute lead.
The second, very late goal was also fortuitous when they won a penalty that Lionel Messi converted to take all the points, giving them two wins out of their first two Champions League games.
The Italians will have to re-focus as they go up against La Spezia on Sunday, while Barca travels again to take on Deportivo Alaves.
After being cleared of Covid-19, Simon Mignolet returned to action, which meant that Ethan Horvath returned to the bench. He did have a ringside seat for Club Brugge's game against the Roman club, Lazio where they shared the points. The final score was 1-1.
Up next is a game against KV Mechelen at home.
Tyler Adams got to watch from the bench as his RB Leipzig team were thrashed in England by Manchester United. The loss leaves them with three out of six CL points so far.
They'll be back in league action over the weekend however when they take on Kasey Keller's former team, Borussia Monchengladbach.