UEFA Champions League Match Day 1
Updated: Oct 13, 2021
Barca Thrashed, United Shocked, Liverpool/Milan Classic
The biggest club competition in world football is back! After Chelsea's heroic victory over the all-conquering Manchester City in the final last season, Ol' Big Ears is back up for grabs.
There are some tasty fixtures in this first game week, including Bayern Munich taking on Barcelona at the Camp Nou, Italian champions Inter Milan taking on Real Madrid, and their cross-city rivals AC Milan taking on Liverpool in their first European clash that is not a Champions League final. How did things shake out? For a closer look, read on!
On day one, the headlines clearly centered around one Cristiano Ronaldo making his champions league return with Manchester United. Also important was the clash between Barcelona and German giants Bayern, traveling to meet Barcelona in Cataluyna.
Things started on-script for the Portuguese legend and his side in Switzerland as they took on Young Boys. CR7 found himself at the right place at the right time to poke home the ball and give United a deserved 1-0 lead. Things went off-script when United full-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka found himself red-carded for a dangerous foul.
It took them a while but eventually, Young Boys made the advantage count and equalized through left winger Ngamaleu. It seemed United would hang on for a point until a wayward back pass from Jesse Lingard in the 95th minute sent Theoson Siebatcheu through on goal. He couldn't miss and gave the Swiss champions a famous 2-1 victory over the English giants.
At Camp Nou, the problems at Barcelona were laid bare for all to see. One of the poorest Champions League performances from the Blaugrana in recent history saw them fail to register a shot on target. Bayern romped to an easy 3-0 victory that has ramped up the pressure on Dutch boss Ronald Koeman. Old stager Thomas Muller and Polish goal machine Robert Lewandowski with a brace scored the goals in that one
On the second day of the match week one, fixtures saw AC Milan travel to Anfield to face Liverpool in their first clash that wasn't a Champions League final.
The first 25-30 minutes was an onslaught from the team in red. They had managed 13 shots - to a point where I didn't remember the Rossoneri having the ball in their front half.
Their dominance resulted in an own goal from former Chelsea player Fiyako Tomori and a rare saved penalty from the boot of Mohamed Salah. It was heading toward a Liverpoool whitewash as the Milanese seemed unable to reach the same level as their opponents. Then everything changed.
A rare foray forward was beautifully put past Alisson on the Liverpool goal by Ante Rebic to unbelievably put AC level. Anfield was shocked. The shock would turn to disbelief just 3 minutes later when Brahim Dias capitalized on some shambolic Liverpool defending to give the Italians the lead at halftime 2-1. Scenes.
Normal service resumed in the second half and within minutes Mohamed Salah had drawn the Reds level. It wouldn't be so easy in the 2nd half, however. Some smart tactical maneuvering from Milan gaffer Stefan Pioli kept things tight.
It took an absolute scorcher from captain Jordan Henderson to give Liverpool the lead. The current captain channeled his inner Steven Gerrard with the finish. And that would be enough to secure the three points for the home side and take an early advantage in the group of death.
Elsewhere, a Nkunku hat trick wasn't enough for RB Leipzig at Manchester City as Guardiola's side put in 6 to secure a win first up. Madrid left it to the 89th minute at the Giuseppe Meazza to beat reigning Italian champions Inter Milan away from home.
ALL THE SCORES...
Group A: Man City 6-3 RB Leipzig, Club Brugge 1-1 PSG
Group B: Atletico Madrid 0-0 Porto, Liverpool 3-2 AC Milan
Group C: Besiktas 1-2 Borussia Dortmund, Sporting Lisbon 1-5 Ajax
Group D: Sheriff 2-0 Shakhtar, Inter 0-1 Real Madrid
Group E: Barcelona 0-3 Bayern Munich, Dynamo Kyiv 0-0 Benfica
Group F: Young Boys 2-1 Manchester United, Villareal2-2 Atalanta
Group G: Sevilla 1-1 RB Salzburg, Lille 0-0 Wolfsburg
Group H: Chelsea 1-0 Zenit, Malmo 0-3 Juventus
ALL IMAGES COURTESY OF UEFA.COM
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