Manchester United's poor run of form continued with a very ordinary showing against Valencia in a mid-week UEFA Champions' League fixture at the Old Trafford. In a 0-0 draw, the likes of Romelu Lukaku, Alexis Sanchez and Paul Pogba failed to capitalize on the opponent's defensive weakness and add to the score-line.
Marcus Rashford, who Mourinho surprisingly chose to start the game with, was the only one who came close to scoring, his shot beating the goal-keeper and glancing off the top bar.
Valencia's superior organization in the mid-field was let down by some serious lack of imagination in and around the box and very poor finishing. Even the introduction of star Atletico Madrid import, striker Kevin Gameiro, towards the end could do little to change the flow of the proceedings.
As a result of the drawn game, United now find themselves in the 2nd spot of Group H with 4 points and behind leader, Juventus's 6.
Tottenham Hotspur's second Champions League outing of the season at the Wembley ended in another disaster with a 2-4 defeat to Barcelona. This follows their 1-2 loss to Inter-Milan a fortnight ago, thus putting their European campaign in jeopardy.
The absence of some of their key players, Del Alli, Mousa Dembele, Jan Vertonghen and Christian Eriksen, did set the hosts back a bit but even otherwise it would have hardly mattered.
The Catalan giants were in absolute control for most of the game, peppering the opposition with goals from Coutinho, Rakitic and superb double strikes from Lionel Messi.
The Spurs were spared from further agony when a couple of Messi's attempts hit the post and rolled out.
The two goals from Tottenham through Harry Kane and Erik Lamela seemed like an aberration and marked the only 15-minute spell in which the hosts dominated.
All in all, it was another emphatic display by Messi & co. following their thumping 4-0 win over PSV Eindhoven in their first Group outing.
In an encounter that looked to be heading for a draw, Liverpool failed to hold on to an advantageous 0-0 away draw when Napoli striker, Lorenzo Insigne, scored late in the 90th minute of play.
The usually lethal Liverpool trio of Salah, Firminio and Sane were way below their best and the defense was caught napping on fierce counter-attacks.
The impregnable Alisson Becker conceded his third Champions League goal from just two games, this coming from a man who maintained six clean-sheets from his initial seven games for his new club this season.
The Champions League runners-up have slipped to the second place below Napoli in the Group C standings, sharing 3 points with Paris Saint-Germain who are in the 3rd but have the home advantage in facing the English club in one of their forthcoming fixtures.
Manchester City provided the lone European win for a Premier League club this week. Putting behind their shocking home loss to Lyon at the Etihad last fortnight, Pep Guardiola's boys came back strongly at Hoffenheim after being down in the 1st minute of play to win 1-2 through goals from Sergio Aguero and David Silva.
Silva was exceptional, assisting in the Aguero goal apart from helping himself to one in the 87th minute.
The Citizens looked dominant even without a couple of their key players like Kevin De Bruyne and Gabriel Jesus around.
The Premier League champions are currently placed in the second spot with 3 points, 1 behind Group F leaders Lyon's 4. City will face a fight to stay in the Top 2 in the cluster especially with difficult away games against Shakhtar Donetsk and Lyon coming later in the Championship.
Tagged With : Alexis Sanchez • Alli • barcelona • champions league • Harry Kane • Hoffenheim • Lorenzo Insigne • Marcus Rashford • Messi & co. • Paul Pogba • premier league • Sergio Aguero • UEFA Champions League