Liverpool put their Premier League problems to one side as goals from Trent Alexander-Arnold and Mohamed Salah secured a comfortable 2-0 win over Rangers at Anfield.
Meanwhile, Bayern Munich claimed a Champions League record with a statement win while Napoli demolished 10-man Ajax in Amsterdam.
Here’s all the action in our Champions League wrap!
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REDS FINALLY FIRE AS UNDER-FIRE STAR RESPONDS
Jurgen Klopp’s men had won just three of their first nine Premier League and Champions League games of the season, but could not have asked for more obliging guests as an outclassed Rangers were happy to limit the damage.
Alexander-Arnold’s stunning free-kick after only seven minutes could have opened the floodgates, but 40-year-old goalkeeper Allan McGregor kept Rangers in the game until half-time.
Salah’s penalty early in the second period ended any doubt over the result to leave Rangers still waiting for their first point in Group A after three games.
Liverpool move three points clear of Ajax, who were thrashed 6-1 at home by group leaders Napoli.
All that was missing for Klopp was a first Anfield goal for Darwin Nunez as the Uruguayan missed a series of glorious chances on his return to the starting line-up.
Alexander-Arnold has also been under intense scrutiny for his lack of defensive qualities during Liverpool’s slow start to the season.
But the right-back showcased his ball striking ability with a sumptuous free-kick into the top corner to settle any Liverpool nerves.
Alexander-Arnold told BT Sport: “The performance was great. On Saturday it was disappointing, our press wasn’t there. We were slow out of the blocks.
“It was the complete opposite today. They had their spells in the second half, but overall we played outstandingly.
“No matter what, I always try to think positively. People say things, but for me it’s about going out there and performing for the team. It’s the only thing that matters. It’s been a slow start to the season for me but I’m looking forward to the rest of the season.
“The change of tactics definitely helped us today so we’ll see what happens going forward. We’re used to playing three games a week, so when things come thick and fast, it’s exciting for us.”
The concession of an early goal appeared to undo Rangers’ boss Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s game plan to defend in numbers in an attempt to frustrate the Reds.
The Reds are well on course to reach the last 16 of the Champions League for a sixth consecutive season with four points from their next two games away at Rangers and Ajax enough to seal qualification with a game to spare.
“It was exactly what we needed. It was a super, solid performance,” said Klopp, who switched from his usual 4-3-3 formation to a 4-2-3-1. “Sometimes you have to change things.”
BAYERN MUNICH MAKE HISTORY AS MANE STRIKES
Leroy Sane scored twice as Bayern Munich continued their flawless run in the Champions League on Tuesday with a 5-0 win over outclassed Group C rivals Viktoria Plzen.
Convincing in Milan against Inter and at home against Barcelona, Bayern shrugged off the absence of Joshua Kimmich and Thomas Mueller, who tested positive for Covid-19 on Saturday.
With nine points, Julian Nagelsmann’s side have almost booked their ticket to the knockout phase, with rivals Inter Milan and Barcelona facing off on Tuesday and next week.
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German international Sane struck from a distance after seven minutes past a passive Czech defence, adding a second five minutes after the break.
Between Sane’s two goals, Serge Gnabry added a second on 13 minutes following a counter-attack led by Alphonso Davies, Jamal Musiala and Leon Goretzka, before Sadio Mane scored Bayern’s third goal after 21 minutes.
It was a first Champions League goal for ex-Liverpool forward Mane with the German giants.
Mane then set up Sane for his brace to move top of the Champions League scorers chart with four goals, just ahead of Erling Haaland, Kylian Mbappe and Robert Lewandowski, who have three each.
Substitute Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting came off the bench at half time and added the fifth just before the hour mark.
“We were calm, we dominated and we were in total control,” said Bayern captain and Manuel Neuer.
“When everything is going well, we’re almost unstoppable.”
Six-time European champions Bayern made Champions League history by going 31 consecutive group games unbeaten. Their streak, dating back to 2017, overtakes the Real Madrid run from 2012 to 2017.
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INTER STUN BARCELONA
Hakan Calhanoglu fired Inter Milan to a 1-0 win over Barcelona on Tuesday which ended the Italians’ recent troubles and boosted their hopes of making the knockout stages of the Champions League.
Inter headed into the Group C clash at the San Siro in dreadful form having lost five of the previous 10 matches in all competitions but Turkey midfielder Calhanoglu ended the crisis talk when he lashed in the only goal of the game on the stroke of half-time.
“It was very important today for us, to show something to our fans who are always with us. We showed that we deserved it,” said Calhanoglu.
Simone Inzaghi will also be smiling as his position as Inter coach was being discussed before his team won a match which moves them above Barca and into second place in the group.
Inter are now three points ahead of the Catalan giants and the same amount behind leaders Bayern, who smashed Viktoria Plzen 5-0 earlier on Tuesday.
They had to survive a series of scares in the second half, with Ousmane Dembele hitting the post and Pedri having a goal ruled out for handball in the 68th minute following a VAR check as a tired Inter sank back into their own area late on.
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AJAX COP NIGHTMARE DEFEAT
Napoli stay top of Group A after another impressive victory, coming from behind to hammer Ajax 6-1 to take their tally of goals to 13 from three matches.
Mohammed Kudus put the home side ahead in the ninth minute but Luciano Spalletti’s side bounced back with first-half goals from Giacomo Raspadori, Giovanni Di Lorenzo and Piotr Zielinski.
Raspadori added his second two minutes after the restart and Khvicha Kvaratskhelia added the fifth just after the hour.
Ajax’s night was made worse when captain Dusan Tadic was sent off after collecting a second yellow card and Giovanni Simeone closed out the win.
BRUGGE SHOCK ATLETI
Surprise package Club Brugge beat Atletico Madrid 2-0 to continue their perfect start to the Champions League on Tuesday.
The Belgian side have won their three opening games without conceding a goal and dominated Diego Simeone’s side for much of the game, triumphing thanks to Kamal Sowah and Ferran Jutgla’s strikes.
Antoine Griezmann, given a rare start, missed a second-half penalty for Atletico, who are level with Porto and Bayer Leverkusen on three points each, after the German side lost 2-0 in Portugal.
Griezmann crashed a penalty off the crossbar after Matheus Cunha was felled in the box, then had a goal ruled out for offside as Atletico’s frustration grew.
Mignolet beat away Joao Felix and Angel Correa efforts in the final stages to secure a noteworthy victory for his team, and leave the 2014 and 2016 runners-up with a lot of work to do.
“It’s a very tight group and we will have to fight because we won’t get anything for free,” said Atletico captain Koke.
ALL-TIME GOALKEEPER HOWLERS
In Marseille, Igor Tudor’s men got their first win in Europe this season and just the second of the last 18 meetings in the competition.
Playing behind closed doors in the Velodrome stadium after incidents against Eintracht Frankfurt, Marseille fell behind after just 51 seconds following a quick-fire Francisco Trincao goal.
Tudor was furious, having already shown his displeasure at the delayed kick-off of 20 minutes after the Sporting players’ bus got caught in traffic, and Jonathan Clauss going off injured.
But the Croat quickly forgot the nightmare start, with errors from Sporting’s veteran Spanish goalkeeper Antonio Adan, gifting the hosts two goals.
Adnan first completely missed two clearances, allowing Alexis Sanchez (13th) and Amine Harit (16th) to score. He then received a red card for an incomprehensible hand outside his area (23rd).
His replacement Franco Israel did no better, missing his exit on a corner, offering a goal to Leonardo Balerdi (28th), before conceding to Chancel Mbemba (85th).
The Uruguayan goalkeeper now has the pressure to replacing the automatically suspended Adan in the return match on October 12.
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SPURS FAIL TO FIRE
Tottenham’s strike duo of Harry Kane and Son Hueng-min failed to take advantage of several chances, with Spurs playing out a goalless Champions League draw away at Frankfurt on Tuesday.
Just before kick-off, word filtered around the arena that unbeaten group leader Sporting Lisbon had lost 4-1 against Marseille, meaning either side could go equal top with a victory.
As the first half went on, Tottenham looked more comfortable, appearing to shake themselves out of the funk remaining from their disappointing 3-1 derby defeat against Arsenal on the weekend – their first of the Premier League campaign.
Both sides finished with a point and are now equal in the group, with the return fixture in London on October 12 looming ever more crucial.