Haaland Fires Blank As Manchester City Begin UCL Title Defence With Win

By Victor Kanayo

Holders Manchester City Tuesday night kicked off their defence of the UEFA Champions League with a comeback 3-1 victory over resilient Red Star Belgrade at the Etihad Stadium.

It actually took goals from Julian Alvarez and Rodri to silence the Serbian champions after Erling Haaland failed to score in the encounter.

European Cup winners themselves in 1991, Red Star threatened a famous win when Osman Bukari put them in front at the end of the first-half.

The visitors for the past six years, have fine European pedigree having won the elite competition in 1991.

They took a shock lead on the stroke of half-time when Osman Bukari’s strike was allowed to stand after a VAR review for offside towards the end of first half.

But Pep Guardiola’s side – who recorded 22 shots during a one-sided first half – rallied to ensure that there would be no upset as Alvarez combined with Erling Haaland to round Omri Glazer and score within two minutes of the restart.

The Argentine would celebrate a second when Glazer, whose heroics had kept Red Star level, inexplicably punched the Argentine’s curling free-kick into his own net.

Rodri, the matchwinner against Inter Milan in June’s final, produced a trademark finish to seal the victory as City extended their unbeaten run at home in the Champions League to 27 matches.

AC Milan, Newcastle Goalless Start

Earlier, AC Milan were held to a goalless draw on their home soil when they faced Premier League side Newcastle in their opening game of their Champions League account.

The Serie A side started the game well and dictated plays from all departments of the pitch.

However, they squandered a plethora of chances they created.

Newcastle face Paris-Saint German while Milan play away at Borussia Dortmund on Match Day 2.

Credit GistNew

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