KENYA BROWN - Thursday, December 10, 2020
Weston McKennie was the star of the game for Juventus as he scored an amazing goal while Zack Steffen made his first appearance for Manchester City in the Champions League.
Barcelona 0-3 Juventus
Weston McKennie's goal sandwiched between a pair of penalties from Cristiano Ronaldo helped Juventus to a comfortable win over Barcelona at Camp Nou.
After his heroics in their derby win over Torino at the weekend, McKennie was inserted in Andrea Pirlo's starting eleven in a stacked midfield. Meanwhile, Sergino Dest would get the nod as he started at right back for a struggling Barcelona side that entered the final group game coming off a loss to Cadiz.
Things would go bad for the host after 10 minutes when the referee pointed to the spot for a penalty when it was judged that Ronald Araujo had brought down the Portuguese international in the area. There could have been some argument about the decision, but Ronald would go on to convert the spot-kick in the 13th minute.
Seven minutes later, it would be McKennie's time to shine as he combined with Colombian Juan Cuadrado to double Juventus' lead. Aaron Ramsey found the young midfielder at the top of the box, sending the ball his way. McKennie then passed it on to Cuadrado whose cross then found him as he made a run towards the six-yard box. Then on instinct, McKennie hops up to unleash a volley that caught Barcelona goalkeeper Marc ter Stegen by surprise.
It was goal that Schalke loanee may never hit again, but it was certainly one to keep in memory forever.
Try as they did, Barcelona were left with no answers as they struggled to find any opportunities to get themselves back in the game.
Ronaldo put the game to bed in the 52nd minute with another strike from the penalty spot as they clearly were the better team on the night.
The win means hat Juventus just pip Barcelona to top of Group G with 15 points.
Manchester City 3-0 Marseille
With qualification for the knockout stage already confirmed, Zack Steffen got his first start between the posts for Manchester City as they came away with a shutout win over Marseille at the Ethiad Stadium.
It took some time for the goals to come, but USA number one held steady in the first half as he made one save, preventing a cross near the goal from Marseille midfielder Papa Gueye. The host were not on top of their game in the first half as they couldn't find what was needed to put away the final ball.
And Citeh would make things bit easy for Steffen when they finally opened the scoring just minutes into the start of the second half when Ferran Torres finshed off a threaded pass from Riyad Mahrez.
Despite the goal, they still had a hard time getting more as Marseille goalkeeper Steve Mandanda was on the spot to make some key saves.
However, Manchester eventually doubled their lead in the 77th minute thanks to a goal from Argentine talisman Sergio Aguero. Phil Foden's corner kick found Nathan Ake as the Dutchman sent a powerful head on goal. Mandanda blocked the attempt, but Aguero was there to stab home the rebound.
Alvaro Gonzalez would gift City their third goal in the 90th minute as he kicked the ball into his own team's goal.
A good run out for Steffen as Manchester finished atop of Group C with 16 points.
In other action, Jens Cajuste went the distance for Midtjylland as the Danish champions bowed out of the Champions League following a 1-1 tie with Liverpool. Midtjylland finish at the bottom of Group D with two points.
Gio Reyna came off the bench to play 32 minutes for Borussia Dortmund in their 2-1 win over Zenit St. Petersburg. BVB booked their place into the next round after finishing atop Group F with 13 points.
Tyler Adams played the final 15 minutes for RB Leipzig as they came away with a narrow 3-2 win over Manchester United. Leipzig go through having finished second in Group H with 12 points.
Chris Richards came on to play 20 minutes as reigning European champions Bayern Munich blanked Lokomotiv Moscow in a 2-0 victory. Bayern finish atop of Group A with 16 points.
Christian Pulisic's services were not needed as he remained a spectator on the bench for Chelsea in their 1-1 tie with Krasnodar. Chelsea go through after finishing atop Group E with 14 points.
Ethan Horvath watched on from the bench as Club Brugge shared the spoils with Lazio following a 2-2 tie.