Champions League: Manchester City begins title defence with comeback 3-1 win over Red Star. Image Source: IANS News
Manchester : , Sep 20 (IANS) Manchester City began the defence of our UEFA Champions League trophy with a 3-1 victory over Serbian champions Red Star Belgrade (Crvena Zvezda) on the opening night, here at the Etihad Stadium.
Champions League holders had to come from behind but a classy second-half display with Julian Alvarez’s brace and Rodrigo’s strike and earned the win against the Serbian champions on Tuesday night.
Red Star initially took the lead on the brink of half-time when Osman Bukariâ€™s goal was awarded following a VAR check for offside. Erling Haaland headed against the crossbar and visiting goalkeeper Omri Glazer made a string of saves before Bukari ran through to beat Ederson for a shock lead.
However, Alvarez had City on level terms just 73 seconds into the second period before his free-kick on the hour â€” intended more as a cross than a shot â€” beat everyone and completed the turnaround. Then, Rodrigo, who scored the winner in June’s final, made the game safe with a cultured finish in the 73rd minute.
City have now gone 27 Champions League home games since their last Etihad defeat â€” a run stretching all the way back to September 2018.
Notably, Glazer made 13 saves, the first time a goalkeeper has made ten or more saves in a Champions League match since Kamil Grabara for Copenhagen in October 2022, also against Manchester City.