Champions League: Five things you might have missed Tuesday, including Zack Steffen’s UCL debut


On a Champions League night that saw Atletico Madrid progress to the knockout stage, and Ajax and Liverpool make history, we take a look at some of the stories you might have missed.

Steffen makes UCL debut 

Pep Guardiola handed American goalkeeper Zack Steffen his Champions League debut in Manchester City’s 2-1 loss to RB Leipzig.

The 26-year-old, who has 26 caps for the USMNT, made a couple of superb stops, including diving low to his left to deny Konrad Laimer’s goal-bound shot.

Steffen is the ninth American to play in the UCL group stage this season. And that number could have been 10 had Club Brugge’s Owen Otasowie come off the bench in their resounding 4-1 loss to Paris Saint-Germain.

With Manchester City already through, Steffen was preferred to Ederson in goal.
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Mbappe earns another record 

Kylian Mbappe became the youngest player to reach 30 Champions League goals, beating the record set by teammate Lionel Messi.

Mbappe scored twice in just seven minutes in PSG’s comfortable victory over Brugge at the Parc des Princes.

The French forward has hit 30 UCL goals at 22 years and 352 days, while Messi was 23 years and 131 days old when he reached the same milestone in 2010.

Messi also scored twice in the game either side of a Brugge consolation. His first goal was a sublime left-foot finish, while his second was a penalty that he chose to take instead of offering Mbappe the chance to complete his hat trick.

Messi and Mbappe both scored braces, whilst Neymar watched from the stand.
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Haller scores a Champions League first 

It’s been an incredible debut season in the UCL for Sebastien Haller. The Ivorian scored the opener in Ajax’s 4-2 win over Sporting to become the fastest player ever to reach 10 UCL goals.

Haller, who also scored four goals away at Sporting on matchday one, is now the outright top scorer in the Champions League and has netted in every game week. He’s only the second player to do so after Cristiano Ronaldo in 2017/18. 

Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski plays against Barcelona on Wednesday — a match you can watch on Paramount+ at 3 ET. The German has nine goals to date. Should he score twice he’ll equal Ronaldo’s record for the most group-stage goals set back in 2015-16 with Real Madrid.

As for Ajax, they became the first Dutch side to win all six group-stage games in the UCL. And on a night of history, Liverpool also finished with a perfect record following their 2-1 win at Milan and are the first English side to achieve this feat.

Haller is currently the UCL’s top scorer.
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Red cards galore

There were six red cards brandished on Tuesday — the joint most ever on a day of action in the UCL.

You have to go back to Oct. 21, 2009, to find a day of equally poor discipline, when nine-man Bayern lost to Bordeaux.

Three of the sendings off came in Atletico Madrid’s 3-0 victory at Porto. Yannick Carrasco saw red for Diego Simeone’s side before Wendell and Agustin Marchesin were dismissed for the hosts. Pepe was also involved in a 42-man brawl that is sure to be mentioned in UEFA’s report.

Pepe was not sent off, but heavily involved in the fracas. 
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Elsewhere, Kyle Walker (Manchester City), Welinton (Besiktas) and Nicolo Barella (Inter) also saw red on an evening of high tensions and flared tempers. 

Real reach 1,000 UCL goals  

Real Madrid are the first club to score 1,000 goals in the European Cup and Champions League, excluding qualifiers. 

Toni Kroos brought up the milestone as the 13-time champions beat Inter 2-0 at the Bernabeu. It has taken Real just 455 games to reach the tally at an impressive average of 2.2 goals per game.

Meanwhile, Luka Modric was named MVP in the game on his 100th UCL appearance. 



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