Barcelona battle back to beat Mönchengladbach in Germany

Round-up: Edinson Cavani double secures PSG win; Atletico end Bayern’s perfect start; Napoli bat Benfica

 Arda Turan of Barcelona scores against Borussia Mönchengladbach in the Champions League game  at Borussia-Park. Photograph: Alex Grimm/Bongarts/Getty Images

Arda Turan of Barcelona scores against Borussia Mönchengladbach in the Champions League game at Borussia-Park. Photograph: Alex Grimm/Bongarts/Getty Images

 

Champions League round-up: Barcelona battled back from a goal down and scored twice in the second half to beat hosts Borussia Mönchengladbach 2-1 in their Champions League Group C match despite the absence of the injured Lionel Messi.

Second-half goals from substitute Arda Turan and Gerard Pique gave the Spaniards their second win in two group matches to top the standings, after their opening 7-0 demolition of Celtic.

The hard-working Germans had taken a surprising lead, scoring against the run of play, with Thorgan Hazard slotting in to complete a quick break in the 34th minute.

Barcelona, who had Argentine Messi missing with a groin injury, dominated the game but were made to work hard for their second group win that put them on six points.

Edinson Cavani scored twice in the second half to give Paris St Germain a 3-1 Champions League Group A win over resilient Ludogorets at the ground where they made their European football debut 34 years ago.

It was no more than PSG, who were beaten 1-0 at the Vasil Levski stadium by another Bulgarian side – Lokomotiv Sofia – in the now defunct Cup Winners Cup in 1982, deserved after dominating throughout with Cavani running the show.

The result put PSG top of the group with four points from two games, ahead of Arsenal on goal difference.

Ludogorets’s Brazilian left back Natanael opened the scoring with a stunning free kick in the 16th minute but the visitors soon seized the initiative, enjoying more of the possession and levelled the score four minutes before the interval.

Blaise Matuidi latched on to Marco Verratti’s through ball to race clear and gave goalkeeper Vladislav Stoyanov no chance with a precise left-foot shot.

The visitors dominated after the break and Cavani, who also scored in PSG’s 1-1 draw against Arsenal in their opening match, netted two times in the space of four minutes.

The Uruguayan striker made it 2-1 with a firm header from Angel Di Maria’s clever assist from free kick and added another one from close range only a minute after PSG goal keeper Alphonse Areola saved Cosmin Moti’s penalty.

Bayern Munich’s perfect start to the season under coach Carlo Ancelotti came to an end as Jannick Carrasco’s first-half goal gave Atletico Madrid a 1-0 home victory in their Group D game in the Spanish capital.

Bayern were aiming to make it nine wins in a row in all competitions, but were derailed by an Atletico side that took a deserved 35th-minute lead and remain unbeaten this season.

Atletico seized the initiative when Bayern’s Xabi Alonso gave the ball away in midfield, allowing the Spaniards to counter.

Antoine Griezmann sent Carrasco through on goal and the Belgian winger struck a low left-footed shot past a helpless Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer and in off the post.

Atletico could have made it 2-0 with six minutes remaining, but Griezmann drove his penalty against the crossbar, after Arturo Vidal fouled Filipe Luis in the area.

Gonzalo Higuain was a distant memory as Napoli produced a rousing display at home to beat last season’s quarter-finalists Benfica 4-2 .

Midfielder Marek Hamsik headed Napoli in front after 21 minutes before a devastating spell of three goals in eight minutes early in the second half left the Portuguese champions reeling.

Dries Mertens curled in a free kick in the 51st minute, Arkadiusz Milik swept home a penalty and Mertens struck again just before the hour.

Benfica enjoyed a later flurry with Goncalo Guedes and Eduardo Salvio making the scoreline more respectable.

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