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Fati earns Barcelona crucial win, Bayern and Juventus cruise into last-16

Villarreal marked what looks like Unai Emery’s final game in charge by beating Young Boys.

Ansu Fati scores Barcelona's crucial winning goal.
Ansu Fati scores Barcelona's crucial winning goal.
Image: Efrem Lukatsky

ANSU FATI SENT Barcelona up to second in Group E of the Champions League with the winner in Tuesday’s 1-0 win at Dynamo Kiev.

The Catalans’ maiden away victory of the season in all competitions allowed them to move above Benfica, after their 5-2 loss at Bayern Munich, who qualified for the last 16.

The sides had scored just once between them in their opening three matches of this year’s competition and the run continued during a slow first half.

The best opportunity before the interval fell to Barca’s Nico Gonzalez but his header was blocked two metres from the Dynamo line by team-mate Memphis Depay.

The breakthrough came with 20 minutes left as teenager Fati scored his third goal of the season.

Oscar Mingueza fired a low cross into the Ukrainan box and Fati half-volleyed the ball into the top corner after a deflection.

Lucescu reacted quickly after the opener sending on Brazilian Vitinho for Garmash.

He then emptied his bench by the 81st minute which included bringing Verbic into the fray.

Barjuan, taking charge after the sacking of Ronald Koeman with ex-Barca captain Xavi Hernandez reportedly in line to replace the Dutchman, survived a late scare in the 89th minute.

Dynamo’s Bogdan Lednev whipped in a corner but centre-back Illia Zabarnyi failed to threaten Marc-Andre ter Stegen with a side-footed effort.

The Catalans held on as Fati celebrated by banging the floor near the substitutes bench in relief as referee Ovidiu Hategan blew the final whistle on just their sixth win of the season in all competitions.

Elsewhere, Bayern Munich and Juventus both won to qualify for the Champions League last 16 with two rounds of group games to spare.

fc-bayern-munich-benfica-lisbon Julian Nagelsmann congratulates his hat-trick hero, Robert Lewandowski. Source: DPA/PA Images

Bayern beat Benfica 5-2 in Germany, with Robert Lewandowski scoring a hat-trick despite having a penalty saved, to make it four wins out of four in Group E and secure a place in the knockout rounds.

Juventus thumped Zenit Saint Petersburg 4-2, captain Paulo Dybala grabbing a brace in Turin as Massimiliano Allegri’s side kept up their 100 percent record in Group H, which they top ahead of Chelsea.

In Group F, Villarreal cast aside speculation about Unai Emery’s future as coach by beating Young Boys 2-0 on Tuesday to edge closer to qualifying for the Champions League last 16.

Etienne Capoue’s close-range finish and a late strike from Arnaut Danjuma sealed a deserved victory at the Ceramica, with Villarreal now sitting level on points with Manchester United, who scored late to snatch a 2-2 draw away at Atalanta.

Villarreal face United next in a crucial game at home on November 23 before going away last to Atalanta, who are two points behind in third.

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Whether Emery will be in charge for those games is in doubt after reports in England on Tuesday claimed the Spaniard is close to agreeing a return to the Premier League and Newcastle, who have enormous financial backing after the club’s Saudi-backed takeover last month.

Villarreal president Fernando Roig was asked about Newcastle’s interest before the match. “I have absolutely no idea (about it),” he said. “What I do know is that he has a contract with us and contracts are there to be fulfilled. I have no doubts about Unai’s professionalism.”

Sevilla’s poor campaign continued by losing 2-1 at home to Lille, who moved into second and two points behind leaders Salzburg, who blew their chance to qualify for the last-16 by losing to Wolfsburg. 

Champions League results 

Group E

  • Bayern Munich 5-2 Benfica 
  • Dynamo Kiev 0-1 Barcelona 

Group F 

  • Atalanta 2-2 Manchester United 
  • Villarreal 2-0 Young Boys 

Group G

  • Wolfsburg 2-1 RB Salzburg 
  • Sevilla 1-2 Lille 

Group H 

  • Malmo 0-1 Chelsea
  • Juventus 4-2 Zenit St Petersburg 

© – AFP, 2021

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