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Business as usual in the UEFA Champions League

PSG's Zlatan Ibrahimovic scores against Malmo in the UEFA Champions League. (Photo courtesy: EPA)
PSG's Zlatan Ibrahimovic scores against Malmo in the UEFA Champions League. (Photo courtesy: EPA)
PSG’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic scores against Malmo in the UEFA Champions League. (Photo courtesy: EPA)

Phase 2 of Match Day 5 yielded expected results in the UEFA Champions League, with Paris St Germain, Real Madrid and Juventus all registering victories. The one game that went slightly off script was Manchester United’s meeting with PSV Eindhoven, but given United’s lack of attacking prowess, even that result was possibly expected.

Manchester United 0-0 PSV Eindhoven
Louis Van Gaal and Manchester United fans endured yet another lacklustre display at Old Trafford. Playing host to Dutch outfit PSV Eindhoven, United had every motivation to give it their all: A win would give them a guaranteed place in the round of 16, Memphis Depay would play against his old club where he performed so well, and the Red Devils would get a chance to avenge Luke Shaw’s horror injury in the reverse fixture two months ago.

However, the performance from both teams failed to live up to the occasion. For United, Anthony Martial went close in the first half, while Jesse Lingard missed a sitter in the second. There was a brief spell of Eindhoven adventure towards in the final third of the game. But in the end it was essentially a boring 0-0 draw.

Juventus 1-0 Manchester City
Manchester City traveled to Italy on the back of a humiliating loss to Liverpool, hoping to salvage their damaged pride and get their Champions League campaign back on track. But their hopes of winning the game and topping the group were dashed by an excellent Juventus, who were more dangerous than the final scoreline suggests.

Mario Mandzukic was the tormetor-in-chief for Juve, volleying beyond Joe Hart from a Alex Sandro cross to score the only goal of the game. Paul Pogba wreaked havoc throughout the game, manipulating the midfield and even going close to scoring. For City, Fernandinho and Raheem Sterling spurned gilt-edged chances. City now have a must-win game against Borussia Mönchengladbach in the final round, and will hope Sevilla beat Juventus to ensure the English side go to the top of the table.

Shakhtar Donetsk 3-4 Real Madrid
Real Madrid arrived in Donetsk knowing they had already qualified for the round of 16. However, coming to the Champions League on the back of a 0-4 drubbing in El Clasico, they were desperate to show their fans they still meant business.

And they did just that. Cristiano Ronaldo returned to the scoring sheet with a brace, taking his record Champions League goals tally to 84. Between the two Ronaldo goals, Luka Modric and Dani Carvajal added a goal apiece to give Madrid a 4-0 advantage by the 70th minute. However, Los Blancos had to endure a remarkable comeback in the dying stages of the game, in which Donetsk scored 3 goals in 11 minutes. However, Madrid held on in the end to secure a 4-3 victory.

Malmo 0-5 PSG
Zlatan Ibrahimovic returned to his boyhood club Malmo in triumphant fashion, scoring a goal in the second half a 5-0 drubbing of the Swedish outfit. Adrien Raboit, Angel Di Maria and Lucas Moura added to the scoreline in a comfortable victory for Paris St Germain.

Malmo had a chance to score pull one back when they were awarded a penalty, but Markus Rosenberg smashed his kick against the post.

For Ibrahimovic, who left Malmo in 2001 to join Ajax, it was a night to remember. “It was a great moment for me and my family. This is where everything started,” he said.

“I got goose bumps. It felt like I was home.”

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