Game Week 1 of the new season of the UEFA Champions League was everything- absorbing, pulsating and dramatic!
Yet, the week produced some particularly surprising results. Manchester United was brought down to earth by Swiss side, Young Boys. PSG, even with the signing of Lionel Messi were utterly average on the night and had to settle for a draw against an exciting Club Brugge.
Meanwhile, the fairy-tale story continues for debutants, Sheriff who earned a commanding win. Manchester City, Ajax and Bayern Munich all eased past their respective opponents.
Review of Gameweek 1
There were goals everywhere you looked in the first instalment of the UEFA Champions League. The height of indiscipline amongst some of the teams drew quite some attention. The opening week recorded six red cards.
Groups A – D
Christopher Nkunku’s hat-trick counted for little on the night as Manchester City picked apart Leipzig 6-3 at home in Group A. Club Brugge paid little respect to the attacking quality of PSG as they forced them to a 1-1 scoreline.
In Group B, Liverpool managed to edge out Italian giants AC Milan 3-2 in an end-to-end affair at Anfield. Atletico Madrid had VAR to thank after Porto saw what would have been a late winner chopped off. The tie ended goalless at the Wanda Metropolitano.
First-half goals from Erling Haaland and Jude Bellingham were enough to see off Besiktas 2-1 in Group C. Ajax made light work of Portuguese side, Sporting 5-1 in the other game of the group.
Sheriff earned a comfortable 2-0 win against Shakhtar Donetsk in Group D. Real Madrid scored a late 1-0 win against Inter Milan thanks to a fine finish from Rodrigo in the other group game.
Groups E – H
Bayern Munich outclassed an out-of-sorts Barcelona 3-0 at the Camp Nou in Group E as Dynamo Kyiv and Benfica played out a bland goalless draw.
Young Boys stunned Manchester United with a last-gasp goal to win 2-1. Jesse Lingard could only watch hopelessly after his terrible back pass gifted the opponent the winning opportunity. Villarreal and Atalanta played out an exciting 2-2 draw in the other game of Group F.
It was a battle of penalty misses in Sevilla’s 1-1 draw with Salzburg in Group G as neither Lille nor Wolfsburg scored a goal in the other group game.
Paulo Dybala and Alvaro Morata were both on the scoresheet in Juventus’ 3-0 win against a lowly Malmo side in Group H. Romelu Lukaku spared the blushes of a largely tamed Chelsea side with the only goal against Zenit St Petersburg.
Preview Of Gameweek 2
Gameweek 2 will expectedly take the excitement a notch higher with the quality of fixtures lined up.
Groups A–D will begin the action on Tuesday and Groups E-H will round off proceedings on Wednesday.
In what has been dubbed the Oil Clasico by many, PSG will host Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City at the Parc des Princes. This is a repeat of last season’s semi-finals and has all the makings of a goal-fest considering the wealth of attacking quality in both teams. RB Leipzig takes on a confident Club Brugge side in the other match of Group A.
After an unexpected draw in their last Premier League game, Liverpool travels to Portugal to face Porto in Group B. The bigger tie will see AC Milan host a not so convincing Atletico Madrid at the San Siro.
Borussia Dortmund will look to make it two wins out of two when it faces Sporting in Group C while Ajax will harbour the same ambitions when it welcomes Besiktas to the Amsterdam Arena.
La Liga leaders, Real Madrid faces a tricky encounter at home to Sheriff in Group D. Inter Milan will be desperate for its first win of the campaign away to Shakhtar Donetsk.
In Group E, Bayern Munich hosts Dynamo Kyiv at the Allianz Arena. Barcelona who are now able to call in teenage sensation Ansu Fati. The Catalans will hope to return to winning ways against Benfica at the Estadio da Luz.
Young Boys will be hoping for more of the same when it travels to face Atalanta in Group F. Manchester United will welcome Villarreal to Old Trafford in what is a repeat of last season’s Europa League final but without Cristiano Ronaldo.
In Group G, Salzburg hosts Ligue 1 champions, Lille as Wolfsburg take on Sevilla.
Group H will see a cracker between Juventus and Chelsea at the Allianz Stadium as Zenit St Petersburg and Malmo face off in the other group game.
Predictions For Gameweek 2
Shakhtar Donetsk vs Inter Milan (2)
Ajax vs Besiktas (over 2.5 goals)
Real Madrid vs Sheriff (1)
AC Milan vs Atletico Madrid (goal/goal)
Borussia Dortmund vs Sporting (1)
PSG vs Manchester City (over 2.5 goals)
Porto vs Liverpool (2X)
RB Leipzig vs Club Brugge (over 1.5 goals)
Atalanta vs Young Boys (over 2.5 goals)
Zenit St Petersburg vs Malmo (1)
Wolfsburg vs Sevilla (2X)
Bayern Munich vs Dynamo Kyiv (1)
RB Salzburg vs Lille (1)
Juventus vs Chelsea (over 1.5 goals)
Benfica vs Barcelona (2)
Manchester United vs Villarreal (over 1.5 goals)