Barcelona, Atlético on brink of early Champions League exits

October 13, 2022
Barcelona’s Robert Lewandowski celebrates after scoring their second goal during the Champions League Group C match against Inter Milan at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona , Spain, yesterday. The match ended 3-3.
Barcelona’s Robert Lewandowski celebrates after scoring their second goal during the Champions League Group C match against Inter Milan at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona , Spain, yesterday. The match ended 3-3.

GENEVA (AP):

Barcelona were twice dragged back from the precipice of a humiliating Champions League elimination by Robert Lewandowski's late goals yesterday.

An instant classic at Camp Nou saw Barcelona draw 3-3 with Inter Milan and barely cling to a slim hope of advancing to the round of 16.

Atletico Madrid are also on the brink after failing to score for a third straight game.

No such worries for Bayern Munich and unheralded Club Brugge who each advanced to the knockout stage with two rounds to spare as leaders of groups where Spanish powers are slumping in third place.

Free-scoring Napoli also progressed with a 4-2 win over Ajax to kick off a stunning evening in the Champions League that delivered 36 goals in eight games.

Mohamed Salah set a competition record with a hat-trick in six minutes, 12 seconds -- as a substitute midway through the second half -- in Liverpool's 7-1 blitz at Rangers.

Though it may just have been a stay of execution for Barcelona, the five-time European champion was grateful to be alive after a thrilling final few minutes against Inter.

Barcelona trailed 2-1 in the 82nd minute and was going out until Lewandowski's shot was deflected into the Inter net.

The Italians led again in the 89th when Robin Gosens finished a fast break, but Lewandowski rose again two minutes into stoppage time to head another leveller.

There was still time for Inter to waste chances to win, Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen to make two more saves, and Inter coach Simone Inzaghi to be shown a red card.

Still, Inter now hold the head-to-head tiebreaker over Barcelona and will join Bayern advancing from Group C by beating over-matched Viktoria Plzen in two weeks.

Bayern had a four-goal lead after just 35 minutes at Plzen but let their perfect defensive record slip in the second half of a 4-2 win.

Brugge goalkeeper Simon Mignolet ran his clean sheet streak to four games in a 0-0 draw at Atletico, to move four points clear of Porto and six clear of Atletico with the head-to-head tiebreaker.

Porto's 3-0 win at Bayer Leverkusen included two penalties scored by Iran striker Mehdi Taremi.

Tottenham lead Group D for the first time after beating Eintracht Frankfurt 3-2, with first goals from Son Heung-min either side of a Harry Kane's penalty.

Marseille rose to second place by winning 2-0 against Sporting Lisbon, who finished the game with nine men after two red cards.

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