Champions League: Lionel Messi, Mohamed Salah score brace as PSG and Liverpool survive scare

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Lionel Messi and Mohamed Salah inspired their respective sides to eke out a narrow win on a chaotic night when 35 goals were scored across eight group matches in the Champions League.

Messi’s double

Paris St Germain’s Kylian Mbappe and Lionel Messi found their groove as they inspired their side to a 3-2 comeback victory at home to RB Leipzig in a Champions League thriller on Tuesday.

Mbappe was the first to strike and Messi had the France forward to thank for his second-half double after the Ligue 1 side had fallen 2-1 behind following goals by Andre Silva and Nordi Mukiele either side of the interval.

Mbappe, who missed a stoppage-time penalty, set up Messi for the equaliser and won the spot kick that the Argentine converted with an ice-cool chip after what had been a lacklustre performance from the club’s new signing.

The result left PSG top of Group A with seven points from three games, one point ahead of Manchester City, who demolished Club Brugge 5-1 away earlier on Tuesday. Leipzig have no points.

Record-breaking Salah

Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah continued to write his name in the record books as they edged out Atletico Madrid 3-2 on Tuesday, becoming the team’s top scorer in the Champions League with his winning penalty in the second half.

Salah took his tally in the competition for the club to 31 goals with a double in Madrid, surpassing the record of former captain Steven Gerrard, who had bagged 30.

Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah celebrates after scoring a penalty against Atletico Madrid (Image Courtesy: AP)

The Egyptian also set a club record by scoring for the ninth game in a row in all competitions, but it was not an easy match to watch for coach Juergen Klopp, who saw his side throw away a two-goal first-half lead before Salah saved them from the penalty spot.

Liverpool’s recovery was helped by a red card for Antoine Griezmann, whose two goals had brought the home side back into the game before he was sent off in the 52nd minute, and a foul on Diogo Jota for the penalty that ensured victory.

Ajax produced perhaps the best performance of the lot in overwhelming Borussia Dortmund 4-0, with Sebastien Haller — the competition’s surprise leading scorer — netting his sixth goal of the group stage in just three rounds of games.

Vinicius Junior’s show

Vinicius Junior, a 21-year-old Brazilian, scored two goals — including one from a wonderful, slaloming solo run — and an assist in Madrid’s 5-0 win at Shakhtar Donetsk.

Vinicius Junior celebrates after scoring a goal against Shakhtar Donetsk (Image Courtesy: AP)

Rodrygo and Karim Benzema, with his 73rd Champions League goal, completed the rout that started with an own-goal by Shakhtar captain Sergiy Kryvtsov in the 37th.

Phil Foden masterclass

Phil Foden, another 21-year-old forward, might not have scored in City’s 5-1 win at Club Brugge, but he was behind much of the team’s best work, including a sumptuous pass from deep to set up Joao Cancelo for the opener.

Manchester City’s Phil Foden in action (Image Courtesy: AP)

Riyad Mahrez had two goals, including a penalty, Kyle Walker ran onto Kevin De Bruyne’s pass to score the fourth and 19-year-old substitute Cole Palmer added the fifth two minutes after coming on for his debut in the competition.

Mixed fortunes for Milan clubs

Inter Millan beat Moldovan upstart Sheriff 3-1 for its first win and goals of the group stage, lifting the Italian champions to within two points of the lead in Group D. Edin Dzeko, Arturo Vidal and Stefan de Vrij scored for Inter at the San Siro.

Inter Milan’s Arturo Vidal celebrates after scoring his side’s second goal during the Champions League group D soccer match against Sheriff at the San Siro stadium in Milan (Image Courtesy: AP)

As for its city rival, AC Milan might be unbeaten in Serie A but the team can’t find a way to win in the Champions League. A 1-0 loss at Porto means the Rossoneri has lost the first three matches in the group stage of the Champions League for the first time — a sad way to make a first group-phase appearance in eight years.

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