UEFA Champions League: Gameweek 1 recap

Courtesy Bleacher Report

Almost three months after Liverpool beat Tottenham 2-0 in an all-English final, the Champions League returned this week with all its swagger.

There was a weight of expectations attached to the first gameweek, and it sure didn’t disappoint.

Let’s find out how clubs fared in Gameweek one.

Group A: Real Madrid travelled to Paris to play an injury-ravaged PSG side in the opening game of the group.

Despite missing the services of their preferred Neymar-Mbappe-Cavani attacking trident, the French side defeated Real Madrid 3-0 as Angel di Maria starred with two goals against his former club and right-back Thomas Meunier chipped in with a goal. 

In the second game of the group, Galatasaray was held to a 0-0 draw by Club Brugge. 

Group B: Last year’s finalist Tottenham Hotspur was held to a 2-2 draw in Greece by Olympiakos despite being up 2-0 at half time.

In the second game of the group, Bayern Munich demolished Red Star Belgrade 3-0 at the Allianz Arena with Kingsley Coman, Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Muller each scoring. 

Group C: Three days after Manchester City suffered a shock defeat at the hands of Norwich, Pep Guardiola’s men marched to a comfortable 3-0 win vs Shakhtar Donetsk in Ukraine.

The second game of this group produced the shock of the week as Dinamo Zagreb beat Atalanta 4-0 at their home ground in Croatia, with Mislav Orsic bagging a hattrick. 

Group D: In the opening game of this group, Juventus played Atletico Madrid in what was the most anticipated clash of the first gameweek. The game did not fail to meet fans’ expectations.

After scoring two goals early in the second half, Juventus conceded two goals towards the end of it, with substitute Hector Herrera scoring a bullet header off a Kieran Trippier corner in the 90th minute of the game to level the scores.

In the second game of the group, Lokomotiv Moscow shocked Peter Bosz’s Bayer Leverkusen by beating them 2-1 at their home ground in Germany. 

Group E: Liverpool began their defence of the Champions League crown by travelling to Naples.

Jurgen Klopp’s men were outplayed on the night and were handed their first loss of the season by Napoli 2-0.

In the second game of the group, Austrian outfit Red Bull Salzburg beat Genk 6-2 with 19-year old Erling Braut Haland scoring a historic Champions League debut hat trick. 

Group F: In the opening game of this year’s ‘group of death,’ Inter Milan was held to a shocking 1-1 draw by Slavia Praha at San Siro.

In the second game of the group, Barcelona and Dortmund drew 0-0 at the Westfalenstadion in Germany.

Marco Reus had his penalty expertly saved by Marc Andre ter Stegen in the second half in what proved to be a critical moment in the game.

Group G: Zenit held Lyon to a 1-1 draw at the Parc Olympique Lyonnais despite being dominated by the French outfit.

In the second game of the group, German club Red Bull Leipzig beat Benfica 2-1 away from home to secure what could be the defining result of their Champions League campaign.

Striker Timo Werner starred for them by bagging a valuable brace. 

Group H: Chelsea hosted struggling Valencia at Stamford Bridge to kick-start the campaign for both the clubs.

Despite being the better side on the night, Chelsea lost 1-0 after Rodrigo Moreno scored a delightful goal from a well worked Dani Parejo free-kick.

In the second game of the group, Ajax beat hapless Lille 3-0 at the Johan Cruyff Arena.

Ajax left-back Nicolas Tagliafico put on the performance of the week, with a goal, an assist, and 15 combined tackles and interceptions on the night. 

If the first gameweek is anything to go by, the 2019-20 UEFA Champions League is going to be just as thrilling as last year’s.

It is going to be a delight for football fans to watch the European heavyweights battle it out to lift the coveted trophy in May. 


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