The biggest club football competition returns with fans back in stadiums.
By Emmanuel Mendez
The Champions League is back with new expectations, new teams, and also welcomes the return of fans back in attendance. The atmosphere of these Champions League nights will impact the teams and games that were missing the past year.
Matchday One left a couple of surprises and some crazy games.
Sevilla FC took on RB Salzburg in a game that ended 1-1. The first half had 4 penalties in total, and three of them were given to RB Salzburg.
Salzburg only converted one of their three penalties, scored by Luka Sucic. Ivan Rakitic scored on the spot in the 42nd minute for Sevilla to tie the game.
One of the upsets in the game was between Manchester United visiting Young Boys from Switzerland. Cristiano Ronaldo scores in his second consecutive game with the Reds in the 13th minute.
Things started going downhill after the goal. Aaron Wan-Bissaka gets a red card and left United with 10 men.
It got worse as Young Boys leveled things up in the 66th minute. Moumi Ngamaleu scored for the Swiss team.
In the final minute of the game, Jesse Lingard gave a bad pass to the back which left American Theoson Siebatcheu one on one with David de Gea. Siebatcheu scored and gave the 2-1 win to the Young Boys.
Dynamo Kyiv vs Benfica ended 0-0 in a game that could’ve been for either side. Benfica got saved by the VAR for disallowing a goal by Kyiv in the final minutes.
Lillie vs Wolfsburg also ended 0-0. Lillie had a goal disallowed in the game.
Villareal and Atalanta drew 2-2 in a game that was back and forth. Atalanta was up first thanks to Remo Freuler in the 6th minute.
Villareal tied in the 39th due to a goal by Manu Trigueros. Villareal scored once again, Arnaut Danjuma with a goal, but Robin Gosens equalized.
Juventus thrashed Malmo 3-0 in Sweden. Goals scored were from Alex Sandro, Alvaro Morata, and Paulo Dybala. In the same group, Chelsea gets a 1-0 win at home against Zenit.
Romelu Lukaku scores once again for the Blues.
Bayern Munich thrashed FC Barcelona 3-0 at Camp Nou. Barca looked vulnerable in the defense and Bayern was pressuring the Spanish side.
The scoreline could’ve been worse if it wasn’t for top performances from Ronald Araujo. Robert Lewandowksi scored two and Thomas Muller scored one to beat the Catalans.
Borussia Dortmund defeated Besiktas 2-1 in Turkey thanks to goals from Erling Haaland and Jude Bellingham. Haaland now has 21 goals in 17 Champions League games, which is an insane statistic.
FC Sheriff won in their Champions League debut against Shakhtar Donetsk 2-0.
Sheriff’s Adama Traore scored a beauty to lead and then Momo Yansane doubled it. In the same group, Inter Milan hosted Real Madrid at the San Siro.
Inter threatened the Madrid goal more but in the end, Rodrygo Goes scored the only goal in the game to give Los Blancos the 1-0 win. Atletico Madrid and FC Porto drew 0-0 in a stale game, but it almost resulted in a Porto win, but the goal was overturned by VAR.
Liverpool hosted AC Milan, who returned to the competition after 7 years. Liverpool was dominant throughout the whole game and started quickly.
Trent Alexander Arnold had a shot on goal which was deflected by Milan’s Fikayo Tomori. Towards the end of the first half, Milan got two quick goals by Ante Rebic and Brahim Diaz. Milan, undeservedly, was up in the first half.
Liverpool would respond quickly in the second half when Mohammed Salah equalized. Jordan Henderson would hit a perfect volley into the bottom left corner to put the Reds ahead. The game ended 3-2 in favor of Liverpool.
It wasn’t the only high goal-scoring as Ajax played Sporting CP. Ajax smashed Sporting 5-1 thanks to four goals from Sebastian Haller. Steven Berghuis scored as well for Ajax.
Another goal fest was the Manchester City vs RB Leipzig game. City defeated Leipzig 6-3. City players on the scoresheet were Nathan Ake, Riyad Mahrez, Jack Grealish, Joao Cancelo, and Gabriel Jesus.
There was an own goal from RB Leipzig caused by Nordi Mukiele. Chrstopher Nkunku scored a hattrick for Leipzig.
PSG with Neymar, Kylian Mbappe, and Lionel Messi couldn’t get past Club Brugge and drew 1-1. This was Messi’s first start with PSG.
The one who scored wasn’t any of the front three, it was Ander Herrera. Hans Vanaken equalized for Club Brugge and had chances to win the game. Not a great start for the favorites of the competition.
Some teams had a tough start, and some are looking strong. This year’s campaign could be a very difficult one to predict.