UEFA Champions League Highlights-Matchday 1

UEFA Champions League is back with drama we’ve all come to know and love. Here’s what happened Matchday 1:

Tuesday, September 17

Chelsea 0-1 Valencia
Chelsea did not re-enter the Champions League with the bang they would have wanted. After missing out on the competition in the 2018/2019 season, the Blues would have expected three points. They were denied coming away with a point when Rodrigo Moreno found the back of the net in the 74th minute, giving the visitors the advantage. The Europa League holders forfeited the opportunity to equalize when Ross Barkley sent the penalty over the bar. The missed penalty, the inability to find the back of the net and Mason Mount’s injury are all reasons why Frank Lampard became the first Chelsea manager to lose the team’s first Champions League match.

Napoli 2-0 Liverpool
The defending champions were humbled as Napoli walked away from all three points. Carlo Ancelotti’s men left till late to give Liverpool a disappointing result. Dries Merten beat Adrian to score his penalty in the 82nd minute. An uncharacteristic pass from Virgil van Dijk resulted in Napoli’s second goal as Fernando Llorente capitalized on the mistake in (90+2’). Liverpool’s famous attacking prowess was lacking in the match because even though they came close sometimes, they couldn’t find the back of Napoli’s net.

Ajax 3-0 Lille
Ajax restarted their Champions League campaign on a high as they walked away with the three points against French team Lille. Ajax was a joy to watch last season but missed out on a place in the finals in a heartbreaking defeat. They’ve started their journey once again with goals from Quincy Anton Promes (18th minute), Edson Álvarez (50th minute) and Nicolás Tagliafico (62nd minute). Lille had their fair share of shots but they didn’t materialize into goals and will have to get points in the other group stage matches if they want to advance.

Borussia Dortmund 0-0 Barcelona
Neither Barcelona nor Dortmund were able to walk away with more than a point for their opening match. Barcelona failed to score even after Lionel Messi came on in the 59th minute. Marco Reus also failed to put Dortmund ahead after his penalty was saved by Marc-André ter Stegen earlier in the 57th minute.

Other scores:
Inter Milan 1-1 Slavia Prague
Lyon 1-1 Zenit St. Petersburg
Red Bull Salzburg 6-2 Genk
Benfica 1-2 RB Leipzig

Wednesday, September 18

Paris Saint-Germain 3-0 Real Madrid
PSG embarrassed injury and suspension-stricken Real Madrid in their opening Champions League match. Real Madrid was rather uninspiring to watch and for the first time in 578 official matches they went without a shot on goal. PSG was missing their front three as Kylian Mbappé, Neymar Jr and Edinson Cavani were not eligible to play for various reasons. Real Madrid was missing around seven players including Sergio Ramos, their captain, Marcelo and Luka Modric. The first two goals came from ex-Real Madrid player Angel Di Maria in the 14th and 33rd minutes. The final goal came from Thomas Meunier (90+ 0:15). Real Madrid has the uphill task of retrieving themselves from the bottom of their group.

Shakhtar Donetsk 0-3 Manchester City
Pep Guardiola’s men started their Champions League campaign with a bang easily walking away with 3 points. They’re now second in their group with goals from Riyad Mahrez (24th minute), Ilkay Gundogan (38th minute) and Gabriel Jesus (76th minute). Following their embarrassing league defeat a couple of days before this match, Manchester City got the confidence boost they were looking for.

Olympiacos 2-2 Tottenham Hotspur
Spurs bottled a 2-0 lead and only managed to come away with a point on Matchday 1. The 2018/2019 finalists kicked off scoring with a penalty from Harry Kane in the 26th minute while Lucas Moura found the back of the net in the 30th minute. Olympiacos’ Castelo Podence responded right before half time in the 44th minute. At the start on the second half, Spurs still had the advantage but involuntarily surrendered it as Mathieu Valbuena put away his penalty kick to bring his side level.

Atletico Madrid 2-2 Juventus
This was one of the most anticipated matches but it wasn’t anticipated to end in a draw. Juventus gave up their 2-0 lead to share a point with the Spanish team. Juventus’ goals came from Juan Cuadrado (48th minute) and Blaise Matuidi in the 65th minute. Atletico Madrid responded with a header from Stefan Savic in the 70th minute and Hector Herrera scored a 90th minute equalizer. Cristiano Ronaldo, who is known for his spectacular Champions League performances was unable to break the tie as his shot went wide. If that shot had gone in, he would have stolen the headlines.

Bayern Munich 3-0 Red Star Belgrade
Bayern Munich started their Champions League campaign on a high as they usually do, walking away with three points and a nice goal difference. Red Star can chop down big teams but didn’t manage to get their way with the Germain giants. Kingsley Coman opened the scoring in the 34th minute giving Bayern the lead. The other two goals came from Robert Lewandowski in the 80th minute and Thomas Müller in 90+1 minute.

Other scores:
Club Brugge 0-0 Galatasaray
Dinamo Zagreb 4-0 Atalanta
Bayer Leverkusen 1-2 Lokomotiv Moscow