The greatest club competition in the world is back and as expected, there are lots of drama in the first round of matches for this season’s campaign Tuesday night.
Group E, F, G and H had eight games with 45 yellow cards, 4 red cards, 16 goals, 4 draws and with Group G having both matches as draws. It was an intense atmosphere in all the centres, as we begin the race to the dethronement of Chelsea as European Champions.
Barcelona VS Bayern Munich (0-3)
Venue: Camp Nou
Referee: Michael Oliver
Bayern Munich in the reverse fixture of the 2020 Champions League Quarter Finals humiliated Barcelona with an 8-2 thumping.
It was a humiliating defeat once again to Ronald Koeman’s men who are relieving life after the departure of Lionel Messi. Several fans were hopeful that the tide will turn this time around but it just couldn’t get any worse for Barcelona at the hands of Bayern Munich.
Thomas Muller puts the Bavarians ahead in the 34th minute after some beautiful exchange of passes. He was assisted by Leroy Sane and struck from way out hitting Eric Garcia to send Ter Stegen the other way.
In the 56th minute, Alphonso Davies hits a thunder of a shot which was blocked and Jamal Musiala hits another one that comes off the post before Robert Lewandowski powers it in to increase the tally.
Lewandowski got his second in the 85th minute to crown a deserved win at the Camp Nou. His second goal makes it a staggering ten goals in six games and scoring in the past eighteen games to continue his beautiful goal poaching boisterous career.
Dynamo Kyiv vs Benfica (0-0)
Venue: Stadion NSK Olimpiyskiy, Kyiv
Referee: Anthony Taylor
Both teams were unable to break the deadlock for 90 minutes as both teams reduce their possibility of progressing to the next stage of the competition having two heavyweights – Bayern Munich and Barcelona in the group.
Mykola Shaparenko hit the ball past Benfica’s Odysseas Vlachodimos in the last minute of stoppage time for what was thought to be the decider. However, VAR review disallowed the goal for an offside in the build-up play.
Young Boys vs Manchester United (2-1)
Venue: Stade de Suisse Wankdorf
Referee: Francois Letexier
Manchester United in a similar fixture three years ago had the victory with a 3-0 victory but this time around, Young Boys have the coign of vantage.
Christiano Ronaldo made an instant impact over the weekend and was first to put a dagger to the heart of the Young Boys’ fans in the 13th minute as he slides a slicky Bruno Fernandes’ cross through the legs of David Don Ballmoos to put the Red Devil’s ahead.
Aaron Wan Bissaka was, however, sent off in the 35th minute for launching a ruthless challenge on Christopher Martins which left Francois Letexier with no option but to issue a straight red card to the right-back.
In the 66th minute, Meschack Elia whips a cross across the face of goal and Silvan Hefti flicks it back for N. Ngamaleu who left David De Gea was helpless to level the scoreline and at stoppage time, Jesse Lingard who replaced Christiano Ronaldo in the 72nd minute horrendously made a backpass which J. Siebatcheu pounced on to beat De Gea to seal a victorious win at Stade de Suisse Wankdorf.
Villarreal vs Atalanta (2-2)
Venue: Estadio de la Ceramica
Referee: Clement Turpin
Reno Freuler gave Atalanta the lead with his first goal in the 6th minute. Ruslan Malinovsky whips in a low cross which was comfortably controlled and shielded by Duvan Zapata before releasing it for Freuler who fired a low shot which ricocheted before going in. M. Trigueros retaliated with a goal in the 39th minute to level scores.
Arnaut Danjuma, the most expensive signing in the history of Villarreal with a whopping £23 million puts them ahead in the 73rd minutes from a Gerard Moreno beautiful assist. Robin Gosens almost ended proceedings with his goal in the 83rd minute which was assisted by A. Miranchuk before Francis Coquelin gets his second yellow card from a tactical foul pulling down Teun Koopmeiners which eventually led to him being sent off.
Sevilla vs Salzburg (1-1)
VENUE: ESTADIO R. SANCHEZ PIZJUAN
REFEREE: ALEKSEI KULBAKOV
Diego Carlos in the 13th minute pushes Karim Adeyemi on the edge of the box and after VAR check, the referee decided to award a penalty for Salzburg. Karim Adeyemi takes the penalty, but the shot goes wide.
Jesus Navas conceded yet another penalty for pushing Karim Adeyemi in the box in the 20th mins and Luka Sucic sends the Yassine Bounou the wrong way to score from the penalty spot with the left foot.
Nicolas Seiwald puts an excellent through-ball to split the opponent’s defence open and in the process, Yassine Bounou concedes yet another penalty for tripping Karim Adeyemi. Luka Sucic steps up only to hit the post.
Finally, in the 40th minute, Maximilian Woeber charges Youssef En-Nesyri from behind in the box. Aleksei Kulbakov had to go to the VAR booth himself to have a look and after review, he points to the spot.
Former Barcelona superstar, Ivan Rakitic calmly sends Philipp Koehn the wrong side to make it 1-1.
Later on, Youssef En-Nesyri is adjudged to have dived and receives his second yellow card see which led to his ultimate dismissal front the game. After so much sizing of each other, the game ended in a stalemate.
Lille OSC Vs Wolfsburg (0-0)
Venue: Stade Pierre-Mauroy
Referee: Danny Makkelie
French Ligue 1 Champions, Lille OSC were the dominant side in the fixture as they kept firing but with no one been able to go past Koen Casteels.
In the 63rd minute, John Anthony Brooks received a second yellow and was sent off. Lille kept firing but Casteels had to be on guard as he helps his side secure a draw.
Malmoe vs Juventus (0-3)
Venue: Eleda Stadion
Referee: Artur Soares Dias
Malmoe returns to the Champions League for the first time since the 2015/2016 campaign.
Juventus had their first goal from an unlikely source Alex Sandro in the 23rd minute. A Cuadrado cross was flicked back by Rodrigo Bentancur to an onrushing Sandro who bends below the knee level to score his first Champions League goal.
In the 43rd minute, Lasse Nielsen pulled down Alvaro Morato in the box which left Artur Soares Dias no option but to point to the spot for a spot-kick and gifted him a yellow card. A VAR check was however done as Morata was thought to have been offside before it was overruled and Paulo Dybala – the captain, calmly slots in the penalty in the 45th minute.
After some topsy-turvy display by Malmoe’s defence, the ball fell into Morata who calmly controls the ball to score a third of the night at stoppage time in the first half.
Moise Keane however scored in the 70th minute but it was ruled out for an offside. The game ended in an away 0-3 victory for the Italian Giants.
Chelsea vs Zenith St. Petersburg (1-0)
Venue: Stamford Bridge
Referee: Bartosz Frankowski
The reigning Champions for a larger part of the game were misfiring but they were able to dig in till the 69th minute when Cesar Azpilicueta lofted a cross into the path of Romelu Lukaku who heads low to give Chelsea the lead which eventually turned out to be the winning goal.