Canada’s David scores 12th of season as Lille ascends to top of Champions League group

November 23, 2021
Canada's David scores 12th of season as Lille ascends to top of Champions League group


In-form Canada striker Jonathan David scored his 12th goal of the season as Lille beat Salzburg 1-0 in the Champions League on Tuesday to claim the top spot in their group.

With one round of matches remaining, Lille has a one-point lead over the Austrian side in the tight Group G, where all four teams can still progress. Third-place Sevilla lags two points behind the French champion after beating Wolfsburg 2-0.

David, the French league’s top scorer and native of Ottawa, netted a double at the weekend and carried his good form onto the European stage.

The French champions took the lead in the 31st minute after Burak Yilmaz cut inside the box through the defence and sparked havoc in the area. The ball ricocheted into David’s path and the forward put it onto his left foot, then slotted it home.

Lille got off a strong start with Yilmaz, Timothy Weah and Jonathan Bamba combining well to create a number of opportunities in the opening stages.

Salzburg’s defenders were able to close down attacks while its offensive trio of Karim Adeyemi, Benjamin Sesko and Brenden Aaronson played with intensity and pace. But both sides looked toothless in the final third in the first half-hour.

Lille had a first real chance when Bamba picked out the unmarked Yilmaz in the box, only for the striker to lose his footing on the greasy pitch and fluff his volley. David broke the deadlock minutes later.

Knowing that they would advance with a win, Salzburg pushed hard after the interval but could not break the Lille defence as Jose Fonte marshalled the backline with authority.

Following a long spell of Salzburg dominance, substitute Amadou Onana brought a new spark in midfield and Lille was dangerous again as Bamba missed from close range and Renato Sanches sent his attempt over in the 74th.

Ronaldo fires Man United into last 16

A piece of improvisation by Cristiano Ronaldo helped send Manchester United into the last 16 of the Champions League as Michael Carrick’s spell as the English club’s interim manager began with a 2-0 win at Villarreal on Tuesday.

Scoring his fifth goal of the group stage, Ronaldo lobbed the goalkeeper with a first-time effort in the 78th minute to put United ahead.

Jadon Sancho then scored his first goal since his $100 million US move to United, firing in off the underside of the crossbar in the 90th minute at the end of a sweeping counterattack that used to be a feature of the team under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Chelsea throttles Juve, sits atop Group H

Three of Chelsea’s academy graduates scored to send the club through the Champions League knockout stage with a 4-0 win over Juventus on Tuesday.

Trevoh Chalobah, Reece James and Callum Hudson-Odoi — who all came through the club’s Cobham academy — found the net before the hour mark. Timo Werner completed the victory for the defending champions against a Juventus side that had already secured advancement.

Chelsea is also top of the Premier League about a third of the way through the season and goalkeeper Edouard Mendy was never put under threat by a Juventus attack featuring Weston McKennie of the United States.

This was a 13th clean sheet in 17 Champions League matches for Chelsea. It was preserved by Thiago Silva scrambling back for a hooked goal-line clearance after former Chelsea striker Alvaro Morata dinked a shot over Mendy.

Bayern beats Dynamo Kyiv to clinch Group E

Robert Lewandowski scored with an overhead kick to lift an depleted Bayern Munich team to a 2-1 win over Dynamo Kyiv on Tuesday that clinched first place in its Champions League group.

Needing just a point in the snow in Ukraine to secure the top spot in Group E and coming off a surprise loss to Augsburg in the Bundesliga, Bayern would usually consider resting top players against a team like Dynamo. That wasn’t an option.

Bayern was missing seven players — including midfielder Joshua Kimmich and forward Serge Gnabry — who are all in isolation either because they’ve tested positive for the virus, or because they were unvaccinated and had contact with a positive case. Adding on a suspension for defender Dayot Upamecano and a muscle injury for midfielder Marcel Sabitzer left Bayern with a threadbare squad.

Barcelona held to goal-less draw by Benfica

Barcelona was held by Benfica to a 0-0 draw at home Tuesday and will likely need a victory at Bayern Munich in its final group game to advance in the Champions League.

A win at the Camp Nou Stadium would have guaranteed Barcelona a spot in the knockout stages for the 18th straight season, but it couldn’t capitalize on its chances in what was Xavi Hernandez’s coaching debut in the top European club competition.

Defender Ronald Araujo thought he had scored the crucial winner in the 83rd but the goal was disallowed for offside.

Benfica had its own chance in stoppage time when Haris Seferovic got past Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen but failed to find the net.

The draw kept the Catalan club in second place in Group E, two points ahead of Benfica, but the Portuguese side has the tiebreaker advantage if it beats already eliminated Dynamo Kyiv at home and Barcelona fails to defeat group winner Bayern in Germany in the final round.

Atalanta, Young Boys play to frantic draw

A frantic finish saw Atalanta draw 3-3 at Young Boys in the Champions League on Tuesday to set up a tense final round of games in Group F next month.

Atalanta held a 2-1 lead entering the 80th minute, before the Swiss champion stunned the visitors with two goals in four minutes including a rifled shot by Silvan Hefti to go ahead for the first time.

The Italian side was heading for last place in the group until Luis Muriel struck with a free kick in the 88th to salvage a point.

Atalanta will start the last round of games in third place, trailing Villarreal by one point. Atalanta hosts Spanish side Villarreal on Dec. 8 and needs a win to advance to the knockout stages.


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