Matchday 4 kicked off with Massimiliano Allegri's Juventus suffering a shock 2-0 defeat at Maccabi Haifa in a 2-0 thanks to a brace from Omer Atzili. It's a landmark victory for the Israeli side and an embarrassing result for a Juve side that only fired one shot on target in the first half and didn't show much to push for a victory after Allegri's halftime changes. The Italian side has three points with two games to go, needing results against PSG and Benfica and help elsewhere to make the knockout stages Juventus will need plenty of help moving forward.
A heroic performance from Shakhtar Donetsk saw them draw 1-1 against Real Madrid in Poland a day after widespread Russian missile strikes on Ukraine returned the ongoing war between the two nations to the headlines. Oleksander Zubkov opened the scoring in the 46th minute before Antonio Rudiger equalized deep into stoppage time, but it was a costly equalizer. Rudiger clashed with Shakhtar Donetsk's keeper Anatoliy Trubin, though both players would continue after receiving treatment. The draw puts Shakhtar in a good position to, at minimum, continue in Europa League. They're one point behind RB Leipzig (who won 2-0 over Celtic), Shakhtar can advance to the knockouts if they can keep their form up. The draw was enough for Real Madrid to advance to the knockout stages due to Shakhtar and RB Leipzig needing to face each other later in the group stage.
A red card to former Chelsea player Fikayo Tomori saw AC Milan go down to ten men as Chelsea won 2-0 away to go to the top of Group E behind goals from Jorginho and Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang. It was another disappointing performance from American international Sergino Dest after entering the match in the 37th minute as he missed a good scoring chance but Chelsea will also worry as Reece James picked up a knee injury after colliding with Theo Hernandez and was replaced by Cesar Azpilicueta. His health will be worrisome to Chelsea, and England boss Gareth Southgate will also be monitoring the situation as James could now join Kyle Walker and Trent Alexander-Arnold in the physio room as England's deepest position is now down to Keiran Trippier.
Manchester City have qualified for the knockout stage of the Champions League despite a scoreless draw away from home to Copenhagen. Pep Guardiola, who had points to play with in the group, left Phil Foden, Bernardo Silva, and Erling Haaland on the bench in a match where they still should've had enough firepower to win. A Rodri rocket was ruled out by a VAR review due to a handball from Riyad Mahrez who later had a chance for redemption from the penalty spot. He took a tepid run up and drove his penalty low, right and into the hands of Copenhagen keeper Kamil Grabara. City's woes worsened as Sergio Gomez was dismissed with a red card. City were able to qualify due to a 1-1 draw between Borussia Dortmund and Sevilla.
PSG and Benfica drew 1-1 again as penalties from Kylian Mbappe and Joao Mario canceled each other out but Marco Veratti will miss PSG's next Champions League game due to yellow card accumulation. Despite reports of Mbappe wanting out of the club he almost played hero but his goal late in the match was judged to be offside.
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Champions League results
Tuesday, Oct. 11
- Maccabi Haifa 2, Juventus 0
- FC Copenhagen 0, Manchester City 0
- Paris Saint-Germain 1, Benfica 1
- Dinamo Zagreb 1, Red Bull Salzburg 1
- Borussia Dortmund 1, Sevilla 1
- AC Milan 0, Chelsea 2
- Shakhtar Donetsk 1, Real Madrid 1
- Celtic 0, RB Leipzig 2
Here are a few takeaways from the matches
Life in Leipzig
A goal and an assist from Timo Werner were enough for RB Leipzig to continue Celtic's woes in Champions League play. Stuck at the bottom of Group F, Celtic have only one point in the competition after consecutive losses to RB Leipzig. But for the German club, these wins have seen them rise to second in the group rising above Shakhtar Donetsk before the two sides meet to close out the group stage of Champions League.
A season that has seen Marco Rose take over as their coach has been a roller coaster in the Bundesliga where the club is 11th but making the lockout stages of Champions League could offer a platform for success in what has been a disappointing season. At a minimum, RB Leipzig will still have a chance to chase a trophy as their worst case scenario could see the team fall to Europa League.
Juventus are on notice
After a disappointing loss to Maccabi Haifa, Max Allegri will be given at least until the end of the season while managing Juventus but it's the comments made by the club president Andrea Agnelli that should make members of the team worry. He said, "It's not the coach's fault that we can't even make a tackle. Allegri will stay at least until the end of the season."
Juventus were better in the second half of the match after tweaking their formation, so it's possible that yet another disappointing start could see spells on the bench coming for Leandro Paredes and American Weston McKennie. Both are critical to their national teams so any drops in playing time ahead of the world cup could be a cause for concern. McKennie lost possession eight times in the first half which helped Maccabi Haifa attack Juventus. He will need to be more careful with the ball as Juvetus' attack and defense are both struggling at the same time. Attacking will only get tougher for the team with Angel Di Maria also picking up a hamstring injury.
One eye on the weekend for City?
Pep Guardiola habitually finds himself in the spotlight for at least one game that he overmanages in Champions League play but with this draw against Copenhagen he may have had the right idea. With a critical Premier League clash with Liverpool coming over the weekend, Guardiola opted against bringing in Erling Haaland despite needing a goal. But on the balance of the game, City could have won, having a goal ruled out and with Mahrez missing a penalty.
It was a risky tactic to leave qualification to the knockout stages in the hands of Borussia Dortmund but it worked due to City's strong performance so far in Champions League. But now they need to defeat Liverpool to make resting players during the draw worthwiile.