Monaco saved the game after replacing Golovin
Here are the main events of Tuesday’s first matches of the 3rd qualifying round of the Champions League
Monaco only opened the season on Tuesday, but PSV debut head coach Ruud van Nistelrooy managed to win a record 12th Dutch Supercup. Former Spartak player Gus Teel, whom the Eindhoven manager insisted on buying, became Ajax’s nightmare and started his career with a hat-trick (5-3).
However, it was obvious that in the Champions League such a crazy performance was not expected. Especially in the first game, where the risk is often minimized. Although the scheme chosen by Philippe Clément – with a pair of strikers, as well as Golovin and Minamino on the flanks – indicated an emphasis on attack. In reality, however, the Monegasques had serious problems with creation.
Firstly, the Dutch did not allow the hosts to disperse. Secondly, the Red-Whites’ left wing attack was weakened by the absence of Kaya Enrique, who picked up coronavirus. His German replacement, Jacobs, was not a very creative player, so Golovin was the creative force in this area. Before the break, the Russian international had an original free-kick, but Ben Yedder’s pass into the goal area was intercepted. And when Golovin expertly curled the ball into the far post, Minamino, who dived behind defenders, failed to make an accurate shot on goal.
On top of that, Monaco had cause to complain because Italian referee Davide Massa, after the intervention of AAP and a visit to the monitor, stuck to his opinion and saw no reason to award a penalty after hitting the ball in Teze’s hand.
As for PSV, the visitors relied on the activity of Luc de Jong. The powerful forward, who brought some important points to Barcelona last season, put constant pressure on the central defenders and clung to the ball well. When he did so again, de Jong gave a pass to Wermann, who shot the ball so that Niebel could only glance at the ball, which flew right up against the bar.
Monaco’s response came after the break, but the hosts had problems with finishing. For example, Folland spoiled almost the first quick counterattack with an awkward pass to Ben Yedder. Minamino didn’t even hit the bar from an ideal position. Teal, who finally emerged from the shadows, was kind enough to the Japanese. He himself couldn’t figure out how he had launched the ball into the stands, closing in on Max’s cross from the goal line.
As a result, Thiel was taken off the field after an hour of play, reinforcing the center with Gutierrez. Minamino continued to waste chances, failing to quickly respond to an errant pass by a PSV defender to his own goal. The Japanese left the field next, and on 76 minutes Clement replaced Golovin. And without him Monaco saved the game thanks to a standard and the quickness of Disasi. And he could have won, but another attack of panic by the Dutch defense resulted in Fofana hitting the post.
The first two rounds Sheriff played according to one scheme – a zero draw away and one goal win at home. Now, the team had to start the game at home stadium which, after the ban of UEFA to hold the matches in Transnistria was the Chisinau arena. At first, everything went according to the script of the Moldovan champions.
They scored their goal from a penalty awarded for hitting the ball in the hand of the defender of Victoria. But in the end Abalora, the new number one of Transnistria, who made some brilliant saves, let the team down. Having failed to calculate the trajectory of the ball, the Ghanaian goalkeeper hit his opponent, and the Czechs got the right to score an 11-meter penalty.
And Abalor’s exit mistake at the beginning of the second half proved to be fatal for Sheriff. Surely we should not talk about bad luck here, as in the episode with a free kick to Pernambuco when Victoria’s goal was saved by the crossbar. The Czechs made a step to the Champions League, where over the past three years Sheriff lost only to Inter and Real Madrid at home.
Benfica have a new shooter
The match in Lisbon was the only one on Tuesday where there was not even a hint of a fight. Dreyer seemed capable of providing it, but the former Rubin player vanished onto the pitch and was replaced at halftime. Once again, Benfica showed that their scorers had a flair for scorers.
The Eagles have so many talented forwards that even after selling last season’s top scorer Darwin Nunez to Liverpool for 75 million euros, the Portuguese vice-champions also loaned Seferovic, their former first-team forward, to Galatasaray. Now Gonçalo Ramos, 21, has made a bid for a bright season. The hat-trick was assisted twice by David Neres, who joined from Shakhtar.
Another newcomer, Argentine midfielder Enzo Fernandez, also claims to be Da Luz’s new idol. His flying shot after a corner kick by former Lokomotiv midfielder Joao Mariu is guaranteed to be in the hit parade of the best goals of the week. And Sisto’s penalty kick leaves Midtjylan with only a slim chance of qualifying for the playoff round.