Despite taking a two-goal lead Chelsea had to settle for a point against Roma, whilst Manchester United benefited from a goalkeeper error to maintain their 100% record.
Goals from David Luiz and Eden Hazard put Chelsea into a 2-0 lead against Roma, but Aleksandr Kolarov hit back before half-time to offer the visitors hope. And when Edin Dzeko struck twice in the second half it appeared as though the Italians were on the road to a famous victory, until Hazard saved the blushes of the Stamford Bridge side with an equalising goal on the 75-minute mark.
“It was fair,” said Blues boss Antonio Conte. “It was a difficult game against a good team. Above all in the first half we suffered, our performance was good but for sure our football is different than today. We suffered in possession and it wasn’t easy in the first half, despite scoring two goals.”
Despite this minor setback Chelsea remain top of the group after three games, two points ahead of Roma. Atletico Madrid trail in third place, three points off the Serie A side, and they will be kicking themselves after being held to a goalless draw at Azerbaijan side Qarabag.
At 18 years and 52 days, Mile Svilar became the youngest ever goalkeeper in the UEFA Champions League when Benfica named him in their starting eleven to take on Manchester United. But it was the teenager’s error which resulted in the only goal of the game, when he allowed a long-range Marcus Rashford free-kick to cross the line despite getting both hands to the ball.
“I knew how good the goalkeeper was, I told the players that,” said Reds boss Jose Mourinho. “We had a little bit of a strategy, especially on set-pieces to make him uncomfortable. He risks a lot, but only top keepers do that. He was unlucky for the goal.”
United are in cruise-control for a place in the last-16, as their perfect record of three wins gives them nine points and six more than third-placed Spartak Moscow, who lost 2-0 at home to Basle.
Celtic’s hopes of making it into the knockout stage suffered a not-altogether surprise setback when they fell to a 3-0 defeat at Bayern Munich, leaving them in third place and three points behind the German giants. Thomas Muller, Joshua Kimmich, and Mats Hummels were on target for the hosts, who are three points behind Paris Saint Germain after their routine 4-0 win over Anderlecht.
Barcelona maintained their 100% start in Group D with a 3-1 defeat of Olympiakos at the Nou Camp, a match which saw Lionel Messi grab his 100th European goal. A late Mario Mandzukic goal gave Juventus a 2-1 win over Sporting Lisbon, ensuring they end the gameweek in third spot.