Cristiano Ronaldo’s late winning goal capped a classic Manchester United comeback win in the Champions League on Wednesday.
In a less chaotic manner, Bayern Munich and Juventus also recorded typical trademark wins to top their groups with three straight victories and no goals conceded.
Trailing 2-0 at halftime at home against Atalanta, United’s wild season under manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer appeared ready to derail with last place in the group beckoning.
Ronaldo put the club back on top, 3-2, in the 81st minute after goals from Marcus Rashford and Harry Maguire to deliver a second straight come-from-behind win at Old Trafford in the competition.
Barcelona earn crucial Champions League win at half-empty Camp Nou
Gerard Pique sparked Barcelona’s flailing Champions League campaign into life on Wednesday by scoring the only goal in a 1-0 win over Dynamo Kiev, a victory that was witnessed by a half-empty Camp Nou.
The attendance was recorded at 45,968, with several blocks of seating filled by only a handful of supporters for a game coach Ronald Koeman said the team had to win to have any chance of reaching the last 16.
After losing both of their opening games in Group E 3-0 to Bayern Munich and Benfica, Barcelona needed victory to resuscitate their chances of progress and avoid the embarrassment of going out in the group stage for the first time since 2000.
Other Champions League matches
Bayern routed Benfica 4-0 with late goals including one from Robert Lewandowski after standout saves by Manuel Neuer in the Lisbon stadium where they won the 2020 title 14 months ago.
It was an efficient 1-0 win for Juventus at Zenit St. Petersburg thanks to an 86th-minute goal by Dejan Kulusevski.
Defending champion Chelsea also cruised to a 4-0 win, against Malmö, but lost strikers Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner to injuries.
Salzburg was the other group leader in action, beating Wolfsburg 3-1 with goals from the kind of young forwards the Austrian champion excels in nurturing then trading on.
Teenage Germany forward Karim Adeyemi scored early before 21-year-old Switzerland winger Noah Okafor scored twice in the second half.
Barcelona finally got a win, 1-0 against Dynamo Kyiv, to end some unwanted historic streaks for the club and stay in contact in the group led by Bayern.
Villarreal, which was beaten by Ronaldo’s stoppage-time winning goal three weeks ago, won 4-1 against Young Boys to lift the Europa League champion from last to second in the group.
A 0-0 draw between Lille and Sevilla dragged down the average goals to three per game with 24 in total one day after a 35-goal rush in the eight games Tuesday.