After suffering a 2-1 loss in Eindhoven last time out, the Premier League leaders were n a must win situation against Wolfsburg. A loss would set them back even further with difficult away trips to Germany and Russia yet to come.
Fortunes did not look so bright after Daniel Caligiuri finished off a nice passing move to give the Wolves the lead inside five minutes.
Despite the early set back, United were the ones in control of the tempo and created numerous chances to get back in the game that were squandered. It took a slice of fortune in the form of a hand ball to get Louis Van Gaal’s men level. Ironically it was Caliguiri that handled, and Juan Mata was the beneficiary, slotting home the resulting penalty.
The Spaniard would be heavily involved again in United’s second goal. A masterful backheel flick took it over the Wolfsburg defence and kindly fell to Chris Smalling who finished it well on 53 minutes.
The Wolves responded by switching from a counter attacking game to try and control proceedings more as United tried to protect their lead. Substitute Andre Schurrle came close, but in the end the Red Devils closed out the win.
Like their neighbours, City were in a must win situation after losing their opening fixture. Their opponents were also in desperate need of points after a 3-0 loss at Sevilla.
An open and entertaining first half saw no goals, but plenty of controversy. A dubious penalty was awarded to the Germans after Nicholas Ottamendi seemingly brought down Raffael. Replays showed minimal contact. The Brazilian couldn’t convert the spot kick he earned due to a great save from Joe Hart.
The German side were denied a second penalty shout minutes later, but would take the lead early in the second half. Lars Stindl precisely slotted home the opener from 15 yards as City’s Champions League woes began to re-surface.
Unlike past instances however, the Premier League champions showed resolve and the mental strength required at this level. They fought to get back level through Ottamendi’s deflected volley. This came seconds after City were denied a clear goal that had crossed the line.
Hart was magnificent in goal, producing some world class saves to keep the score level and earning man o the match honours, but it would be up the other end where the dramatic finish would occur.
Not shy of conceding penalties, Gladbach gave away their ninth in ten games when Fabian Johnson tripped Sergio Aguero who calmly slotted away the resulting penalty in the last minute of normal time.
Gladbach keeper, Yan Sommer, would receive some extra pain in the form of a broken nose but their misery was completed with the final whistle. City back on track.
FC Astana 2-2 Galatasaray
Malmo 0-2 Real Madrid
Manchester United 2-1 Wolfsburg
Gladbach 1-2 Manchester City
Shakhtar 0-3 PSG
CSKA Moscow 3-2 PSV
Juventus 2-0 Sevilla
Atletico Madrid 1-2 Benfica
The Champions League will resume on the 20th/21st October
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