12th September 2017 marked the start of the much awaited UEFA Champions League season. The Champions League is no ordinary place to be. It is where the lions of Europe lock horns to determine the winner of the prestigious territory, i.e the name on the immaculate UEFA Champions League trophy. It is where players become legends. This is the platform which differentiates the ordinary from the most elite. It is the venue which stages the most beautiful amalgamation of emotions, devotion, and endeavor. And most of all, it is where ‘football always wins’
This year, as always, marked a great start to the Champions League season. A staggering fifty-four (54) goals were scored at the end of the first gameweek. Teams like Liverpool, Manchester United, made their well-awaited comebacks and will be hoping to go the distance in this edition.
If you weren’t able to catch up with the games, look no further. We have you covered. Following is the preview of the first week of the UEFA Champions League.
CHELSEA 6-0 QARABAG FK
Chelsea under the leadership of Antonio Conte, had a flying start to their campaign in the Champions League, as they defeated Qarabag FK 6-0 at Stamford Bridge. Pedro Rodriguez scored the opening goal for the Blues, shortly after Davide Zappecosta doubled their advantage. Bakayoko also marked his European debut for Chelsea with a well-taken goal. Cesar Azpilicueta scored the fourth, whereas Michi Batshuayi added a brace to complete the merciless assault of Qarabag FK.
OLYMPIACOS 2-3 SPORTING
Portuguese outfit, Sporting CP had to fend off a late scare from Greek side Olympiacos to register a victory in their opening game. Doumbia scored early in the second minute for the away side. Gelson Martins and Bruno Fernandes scored in the thirteenth (13) and forty-second minute (42) respectively to take the game away from the home side. Olympiacos’ Pardo scored a brace in the dying minutes, but it wasn’t enough.
BARCELONA 3-0 JUVENTUS
FC Barcelona defeated Italian champions Juventus 3-0 at the Camp Nou Stadium. Lionel Messi scored a brace as his side reign supreme. The Argentine maestro was able to score not once, but twice against Juve’s Gianlugi Buffon as he finally ended that duel. His second goal has been nominated as one of the best goals of the first gameweek. Ivan Rakitic also made his way to the scoresheet with a fine left footed finish.
CELTIC 0-5 PSG
Paris Saint Germain ran riot in Glasgow as they scored five (5) goals past Celtic in their first game of the new Champions League season. Neymar, the most expensive player in history and Kylian Mbappe, the most expensive teenager were given European debuts for their new club and they didn’t disappoint. Neymar, Mbappe and Cavani all scored in the first half to take the game out of reach. Cavani and an own goal from Lustig in the second half, made PSG beat Celtic comprehensively.
BAYERN 3-0 ANDERLECHT
Robert Lewandowski, Thiago Alcantara and Joshua Kimmich all scored as Bayern Munich beat Anderlecht comfortably at the Allianz Arena. With this victory, the German champions have won 17 out of 18 home games in the Champions League.
MANCHESTER UNITED 3-0 FC BASEL
After a wait of two years, Manchester United finally contested their first game in the UEFA Champions League. After winning the Europa League last season, Jose Mourinho has set his sights firmly on the main prize. Manchester United dominated proceedings right from the start but were struck by an arrow as Paul Pogba was taken off early, due to a hamstring injury. Marouanne Fellaini replaced the French international and soon after, scored the first goal of the game. Romelu Lukaku, scored the second for the Red Devils with a thumping header into the goal. Marcus Rashford, added the third in the second half to give Manchester United a convincing victory over the Swiss champions.
BENFICA 1-2 CSKA MOSKOVA
Benfica crashed to a 1-2 defeat in their first game against CSKA Moskova. The Portuguese club will be looking to bounce back against FC Basel in their next game.
SPURS 3-1 BORRUSIA DORTMUND
English club, Tottenham Hotspurs defeated German-side Borrusia Dortmund 3-1 at Wembley Stadium. Son opened the scoring for the Londoners, but it was canceled out by a stunning equaliser from Ukranian international, Yarmelenko. Harry Kane, the England international stepped up and scored a brace to mark a great start to the new European campaign for the home side.
REAL MADRID 3-0 APOEL
Real Madrid came out as comfortable winners by defeating APOEL 3-0 at Estadio Santiago Bernabeau. Cristiano Ronaldo, started the game for the first time after his recent ban and scored a brace to mark his return to Europe’s grandest stage. Real Madrid skipper, Sergio Ramos also registered his name on the scoresheet with a well-taken overhead kick. With a winning start to their campaign, the defending champions will be looking to retain their European title yet again this season.
PORTO 1-3 BESIKTAS
Perhaps, the most shocking result of this week was to be FC Porto’s defeat at the hands of Besiktas. Talisca opened the scoring for the Turkish side, but Porto equalised courtesy of an own goal by Tosic. Cenk Tosun’s stunner at the 28th minute mark gave the lead to the away side. Ryan Babel, the former Liverpool FC man scored four minutes from time to make it 3-1 to Besiktas.
RB LEIPZIG 1-1 MONACO
RB Leipzig managed to secure a draw at home against French club, AS Monaco. Forsberg, opened the scoring for Leipzig. He cemented his place in club folklore as he became the first ever Champions League goalscorer for the German side. Leipzig’s lead lasted only 45 seconds, as Belgian international Tielemans scored for the away side. It ended as 1-1 which seemed like a fair result.
SHAKHTAR DONETSK 2-1 NAPOLI
Ukranian side, Shakhtar defeated Napoli 2-1 to initiate a winning start to their UEFA Champions League campaign this season. Taison and Ferreyra opened the scoring for the home side. Greg Milik scored for the visitors 18 minutes from time, but in the end the home side fought for a hard earned victory.
FEYENOORD 0-4 MANCHESTER CITY
Manchester City started off their European road with a win, as they defeated the reigning Dutch champions Feyenoord 4-0. John Stones scored two for the visitors, whereas the South American pairing of Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus also scored to register their name on the scoresheet. Feyenoord’s 4-0 loss at the hands of the Citizens is their heaviest ever in European competition.
LIVERPOOL 2-2 SEVILLA
Liverpool and Sevilla shared points at Anfield. Jurgen Klopp’s side conceded early in the game as Sevilla’s prodigy Ben Yedder opened the scoring for the visitors. The home side struck back with an equaliser, scored by Roberto Firmino. As the game grew, Liverpool’s front three of Mane, Salah and Firmino were to hot to handle. As a result of their constant attacking play, they were able to take the lead via Egyptian sensation Mohammad Salah. Roberto Firmino missed a glorious chance to make it 3-1 to the home side, as his penalty hit the post. Sevilla equalised in the second half courtesy of Joaquin Correa. Liverpool failed to capitalize on their chances which resulted in a draw. Joe Gomes of Liverpool and Mercado of Sevilla were given their marching orders as both players got two yellow cards in the game.
MARIBOR 1-1 SPARTAK MOSKOVA
Maribor and Spartak Moskova shared points at the Stadion Ljudski. Samedov opened the scoring for the away side with a neat finish. Spartak Moskova’s victory was cancelled out by a late equaliser by Bohar in the 85th minute. Maribor are now eight games without a defeat at home this season.