Champions League: Benfica fight back to leave Juventus at risk of early exit

Benfica fought back to secure a 2-1 win at Juventus on Tuesday, with goals from João Mário and David Neres maintaining their perfect start in Group H and leaving their hosts without a point from their first two Champions League games.

Juventus took a fourth-minute lead when Arkadiusz Milik climbed highest inside the six-yard box to head the ball into the bottom-left corner from Leandro Paredes’s free kick. They dominated much of the first half, but Mário levelled just before the break from the penalty spot after Fabio Miretti was penalised for fouling Gonçalo Ramos.

Benfica maintained their momentum in the second half, with Neres putting them ahead in the 55th minute. The Brazilian winger fired home on the volley after Rafa Silva’s shot had been parried into his path by Mattia Perin. Juve could not find an equaliser, with Bremer missing a late opportunity to salvage a point.

“I already told the team these moments happen in football [and] we need to emerge from them as a team, with a sense of responsibility,” the Juve coach, Massimiliano Allegri, told Sky Sport Italia. “It will certainly be difficult [to reach the knockout stages], but not all is lost.”

Juventus are six points behind Benfica and Paris Saint-Germain, who fought back from a goal down to beat Maccabi Haifa 3-1 in Israel. Tjarron Chery put the hosts in front after 24 minutes, stretching to convert Dolev Haziza’s perfect cross but PSG were level 13 minutes later as Kylian Mbappé’s cross deflected into the path of Lionel Messi, who fired home from close range.

Haifa continued to threaten, with chances falling to Frantzdy Pierrot and Omer Atzili before Vitinha created an opportunity for Messi, who went close on the hour mark. The Argentinian then turned provider with a fine through ball for Mbappé, before Neymar finished a clinical break two minutes from time to secure victory.

In Group F, the Real Madrid midfielder Federico Valverde scored a superb 80th-minute opener and Marco Asensio also struck late to earn the holders a 2-0 home win over RB Leipzig.

Valverde rescued the hosts after an underwhelming performance, with the visitors creating the better chances until Real’s late breakthrough. The Uruguayan beat his marker on the edge of the area before picking out the bottom corner. Substitute Asensio added a second in stoppage time from Toni Kroos’s pass.

“It was a tremendous goal. We have to make the most of [Valverde] because he is in brilliant form,” said the Real’s Nacho. “It was a really hard-fought game. We were a bit out of sync but we are always capable of scoring.”

Milan secured their first Champions League win this season, 3-1 at home over Dinamo Zagreb in Group E. Olivier Giroud broke the deadlock on the stroke of half-time, converting a penalty after Rafael Leão had been brought down by Josip Sutalo.

Alexis Saelemaekers gave the hosts a welcome two-goal cushion with a thumping header soon after the break, but Dinamo would not go quietly. They got back in the game through Mislav Orsic, who smashed home after being set up by deft footwork from Bruno Petkovic.

Milan made sure of the three points when midfielder Tommaso Pobega combined with Theo Hernández for the third goal with 13 minutes to play.

“It wasn’t an easy match. We wanted to win playing our football and with a bit more accuracy we could have scored more,” said Giroud. “The Champions League is the best of competitions. We want to do well and at least progress from the group.”

In Group G, Copenhagen and Sevilla played out a goalless draw at Parken Stadium. Mohammed Daramy came closest for the hosts in a result that does little for either side’s hopes of reaching the last 16.