CHAMPIONS LEAGUE:City 2-1 Hoffeinhem, Juventus 3-0 Young Boys: Dybala hat-trick seals comfortable win for Bianconeri

 

Paulo Dybala struck a hat-trick in Cristiano Ronaldo’s absence to give Juventus a 3-0 win over Young Boys in the Champions League.

Ronaldo watched on from the stands, suspended after being sent off against Valencia last month, as the Old Lady cantered to a comfortable win.

The Bianconeri sit with six points at the top of Group H while Young Boys are yet to pick up a point.

Juve went ahead after five minutes with the simplest of goals. Defender Leonardo Bonucci sent a long ball looping over a flat Young Boys defence and Dybala timed his run perfectly to volley gently past David von Ballmoos.

Young Boys bravely went forward but looked vulnerable every time Juventus attacked and Dybala missed a chance to extend their lead by shooting weakly at von Ballmoos.

But the Argentine, who has struggled in Serie A, struck again in the 33rd minute by tucking in the rebound after von Ballmoos could only parry Blaise Matuidi’s shot from the edge of the penalty area.

Dybala struck a hat-trick (Image: Juventus FC)
Juve celebrate as Dybala makes it 3-0 (Image: AFP)

Dybala hit the inside of the post after the restart and although Young Boys then enjoyed another good spell, they were caught out again in the 69th minute.

Juan Cuadrado was released on the right and his ball into the area was touched in by Dybala who became the fourth Juventus player to score a Champions League hat-trick.

Young Boys finished with 10 men after defender Mohamed Ali Camara was sent off in the 78th minute after picking up two yellow cards in three minutes.

See how the action unfolded here…

Juventus: Szczesny; Barzagli, Bonucci, Benatia; Cuadrado, Bernardeschi, Pjanic, Matuidi, Alex Sandro; Dybala, Mandzukic

Young Boys: Von Ballmoos; Bertone, Camara, Von Bergen, Benito; Sulejmani, Sanogo, Sow, Fassnacht; Schick, Hoarau

Pep Guardiola said his players may need to “suffer” in the group stage in order to fulfil their potential in the knockout stage, and that was never more evident than here.

With four minutes left, City were being held by tournament debutants Hoffenheim and staring at the prospect of a solitary point after two games in arguably the easiest group in the competition.

But David Silva, City’s outstanding performer as he has been on so many occasions, sealed the win by plundering a late winner to give the Premier League champions the victory they deserved.

Namesake Bernardo Silva curled the ball in and Silva got to it ahead of dithering defender Stefan Posch, before steering a clinical left-foot finish into the far corner.

It was no more than City deserved for their dominance, as well as the injustice of failing to awarded a clear penalty with 18 minutes left when Leroy Sane was blatantly brought down by Hoffenheim skipper and keeper Oliver Baumann.

After City’s shock defeat at home to Lyon in their opening group game, Guardiola recognised the importance of winning here, despite the significance of Sunday’s trip to title rivals Liverpool.

Guardiola picked a strong side accordingly, with star striker Sergio Aguero leading the attack, despite concerns over a foot injury that has been troubling him ahead of the huge clash at Anfield.

Hoffenheim, making their Champions League debut this season, went into the game with a solitary win in their previous five games in all competitions, while languishing in 11 place in the Bundesliga.

And with one victory from nine European games – a Europa League group game against Istanbul Basaksehir last season – Julian Nagelsmann’s side went into the clash with City as huge underdogs.

But the Champions League novices were not to be overawed and made the perfect start, scoring after just 44 seconds.

City’s defence was carved open as Ishak Belfodil ran through a yawning chasm in the away defence and slotted the ball coolly past Ederson.

Guardiola was immediately out of his seat in the dug-out to berate his side for such a sloppy start, with City producing a swift response by getting back on level terms seven minutes later.

David Silva split the home defence with a sublime ball through to Sane, who in turn found Sergio Aguero, City’s star striker converting from close range for his sixth goal of the season.

Raheem Sterling should have made it 2-1 when he embarked on a surging goal-bound run in the 15 minute, but the City winger’s effort was blocked by Baumann.

Guardiola cut a frustrated figure throughout the first-half, with his side unable to turn their dominance once back on level terms into the hard currency of a second goal to establish a lead their play deserved.

The City boss received a talking-to from referee Damir Skomina just before the half-hour mark, for straying from his technical area too frequently and complaining at perceived injustices from the officials.

Aguero nearly made it 2-1 in the 34 minute with a delightful chipped effort that looked to be curling under the bar, but Baumann was equal to the strike, diving at full stretch to turn the ball away.

At the other end, Aymeric Laporte, deployed at left-back with a view to Guardiola playing him there at Liverpool, almost gifted a second goal to Belfodil with an under-hit back-pass, but was rescued by Ederson.

Ederson almost undid that good work after the break when he raced from his line to head clear a long goal-kick from his opposite number but missed the ball completely, although Sane was on hand to cover for his keeper.

In a bid to make the decisive breakthrough, Guardiola changed formation, switching to a back-three and bringing on central defender John Stones to play in midfield, as well as Bernardo Silva and Riyad Mahrez.

City should have been awarded a penalty in the 72 minute when Sane took the ball past Baumann and was felled by the outstretched arms of the Hoffenheim keeper, but ref Skomina saw no foul.

Guardiola was incensed at the decision, racing down touchline to vent his anger and having to be hauled back by assistant boss Mikel Arteta, before throwing his jacket off to complete his furious outburst.

But City secured the win their play and endeavour merited with the double Silva contribution in the closing stages, although Guardiola, pumped-up and full of rage, could not resist berating the fourth official at the final whistle.

Both teams return to domestic commitments before the international break this weekend then; Hoffenheim face off against Eintracht Frankfurt while City make the short trip west to face fellow title contenders Liverpool. Until then however, thank you for joining us – and have a good week!

Manchester City player ratings

Ederson 6

Little chance of saving the opener after being left exposed by defence. Saved well from Belfodil thereafter.

Walker 6

Lucky not to be shown a straight red card for reckless lunge on Kadefabek in the second-half.

Kompany 6

Allowed Belfodil to get away from him to score the opener inside first minute.

Otamendi 6

Booked early on for foul on Szalai. Subbed for Stones just after the hour mark.

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Laporte 5

Switched to left-back but never looked assured. Almost gifted a second to Belfodil with poor back-pass.

Fernandinho 7

Booked for cynical first-half block on Demirbay, nonetheless kept things ticking over in the middle.

Gundogan 5

Off the pace throughout. Lost the ball too cheaply and frequently in midfield. Subbed.

Silva 9 MOTM

Ran the game. Superb defence-splitting pass to Sane in move that led to leveller. Plundered a deserved late winner.

Sane 8

Provided the assist for Aguero’s equaliser. A constant threat on the left, should have had a penalty late on.

Sterling 7

Spurned a chance to make it 2-1 in the 15th minute when his shot was blocked but kept going until subbed.

Aguero 7

Got City back on level terms early on with sixth of season and went close twice thereafter. Booked.

Subs:

Stones 6 (Otamendi, 64)

B Silva 6 (Gundogan, 68)

Mahrez 6 (Sterling, 75)

Hoffenheim:

Baumann 6, Kaderabek 6, Akpoguma 7, Posch 6, Hoogma 6, Brenet 6, Joelinton 7, Demirbay 7 (Hack, 89), Belfodil 8, Szalai 6 (Kramaric 54, 6), Grillitsch 6 (Bittencourt 82, 5)

It’s the visitors who take the full three points in this Champions League Group F encounter; David Silva’s late, impish goal breaks the hearts of Hoffenheim and gives Pep Guardiola a much-needed European win. Julian Nagelsmann’s team will feel hard done by given their efforts – but many will feel karma was served after Leroy Sane’s fall in the box went without a penalty. Full-time at Rhein-Neckar-Arena; it finishes Hoffenheim 1-2 Manchester City.

FULL-TIME: HOFFENHEIM 1-2 MANCHESTER CITY

FT Hoffenheim 1-2 City

(Image: AFP)

Aguero gets a booking now after he kicks away the ball before Hoffenheim can take a free-kick.

City break on the counter and Sane skies an effort over the crossbar. That could be it for chances for either side .

Bittencourt spikes an effort in a loop wide to the right from under pressure, 20 yards out. City only have to hold on for a matter of seconds.

There will be four added minutes for Hoffenheim to rescue a point from this encounter.

Overall Possession Ratio

TSG 1899 HoffenheimManchester City

Possession

The hosts make their final change now with Demirbay replaced by Hack.

DAVID SILVA GIVES CITY THE LEAD! 2-1! That could be karma – and that could be victory! The visitors score as the Spaniard nips in to steal a cross sent straight to Posch from under the defender’s feet before he turns on a dime and fires home behind Baumann. What a crushing moment for Hoffenheim; what pure elation for City.

GOOAAALLL! David Silva!

Mahrez darts in on the right of the box and fires a cross in; Baumann catches it on the fly and clears for Hoffenheim.

Mahrez whips a free-kick from 35 yards in and Hoffenheim force the corner. Sane turns it in tamely and the hosts clear downfield.

Aguero comes in on Akpoguma near the Hoffenheim box and concedes the free-kick, much to his frustration.

Grillitsch replaces Bittencourt now for Hoffenheim’s second swap.

There’s just over 10 minutes left in this game and City have turned up the pressure. Can they sneak a late winner though or will Hoffenheim hold out?

City earn a set-piece chance of their own a moment later on the left side of the hosts’ box – only for Sane to drill it straight to the first defender.

Stones clips Joelinton and Hoffenheim have the free-kick in their own half.

(Image: REX/Shutterstock)

In the wake of that baffling call, City make their final change; Mahrez is on for Sterling.

Hoffenheim have escaped there! Sane races onto a throughball in the opposition box, and Baumann dives towards it, sending the City man sprawling. The visitors think it’s a clear penalty – and replays show no contact with the ball from the keeper – yet the referee instead awards a goal-kick. What a moment that could be.

Overall Possession Ratio

TSG 1899 HoffenheimManchester City

Possession

A golden oppertunity for Aguero! The Argentine meets a lovely cross with Baumann out of place; yet his header is terrible and the keeper manages to recover in time to keep it out.

(Image: AFP)

If Hoffenheim pinch a victory here, it will be their second in their previous 10 matches in European competition. Their only other scalp? Istanbul Basaksehir in last season’s Europa League.

With play still waiting to be resumed, Gundogan is replaced by Bernardo Silva for City.

Kaderabek goes down from a slide tackle by Walker that catches him straight in the ankle. It’s a yellow card for the City man; he’s lucky that he didn’t see red.

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