What we noticed from the first group games

16 Sep


What do you think of our choices? What stood out for you? Let us know using #UCL on @ChampionsLeague


Highlights: Watch Messi masterclass against Celtic

Watch: Barcelona score seven

Group A
Paris Saint-Germain 1-1 Arsenal
Basel 1-1 Ludogorets Razgrad

Group B
Dynamo Kyiv 1-2 Napoli
Benfica 1-1 Beşiktaş

Group C
Barcelona 7-0 Celtic
Manchester City 4-0 Borussia Mönchengladbach

Highlights: See Madrid's dramatic win against Sporting

Real Madrid’s late turnaround

Group D
Bayern München 5-0 Rostov
PSV Eindhoven 0-1 Atlético Madrid

Group E
Bayer Leverkusen 2-2 CSKA Moskva
Tottenham Hotspur 1-2 Monaco

Group F
Real Madrid 2-1 Sporting CP
Legia Warszawa 0-6 Borussia Dortmund

Group G
Club Brugge 0-3 Leicester City
Porto 1-1 København

Group H
Lyon 3-0 Dinamo Zagreb
Juventus 0-0 Sevilla

Fantasy Football team of the week

Highlights: Legia 0-6 Dortmund

Six-goal Dortmund

  • The Messi-Ronaldo duel continues

It was 93-83 to Cristiano Ronaldo when last season ended; now Lionel Messi has pulled it back to 94-86 as the competition’s all-time top goalscorers continue to add to their stellar tallies. While Messi moved 6-5 up in the hat-trick count with his treble against Celtic, Ronaldo responded with an 89th-minute free-kick in Real Madrid’s defeat of his old club Sporting CP. In total Ronaldo is just three away from being the first player to 100 UEFA club competition goals.

  • Neymar and Dortmund make history

Messi may have scored three but Neymar got a competition-best four assists in Barcelona’s 7-0 victory. Meanwhile an unprecedented six different players were on target for a youthful Dortmund side in Warsaw. In a week containing 50 goals these kinds of records tend to tumble.

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Highlights: See Agüero hat-trick in City win

City off to fine start

  • Guardiola’s City in shape

Josep Guardiola has won every game since taking over as Manchester City manager and not even a 24-hour rain delay could slow them down as Sergio Agüero got his second European hat-trick of the season. Guardiola is clearly setting high standards as the treble-scoring forward told UEFA.com: “The first half perhaps I wasn’t so happy – I lost a lot of balls – but the second half was a bit better.”

  • Debutants’ mixed fortunes

It was always going to be tough for Rostov to make their UEFA Champions League debut away to Bayern, and sure enough Carlo Ancelotti’s team turned on the style for a 5-0 success. But the other newcomers, Leicester, are clearly up for causing the sort of upset they created in last term’s Premier League, coming away from Club Brugge with a 3-0 triumph. Claudio Ranieri, coaching his sixth different club in as many group campaigns, revealed: “I said to the players when you hear the Champions League music it charges the battery and makes you fight.”

Goal of the week vote

Highlights: Leicester's dream start in Brugge

Leicester’s dream start

  • Portuguese trio pegged back

Portugal are, of course, European national champions and all three of their representatives struck first in their opening fixtures. However, Sporting were to have their hearts broken by Ronaldo and Madrid, Porto let their advantage slip against FCK and, most painful of all, Benfica conceded deep in injury time to Beşiktaş, the goal scored by Talisca, on loan from Lisbon’s Eagles.

  • Arsenal, Sevilla and Monaco show steel

Three results may prove particularly significant in deciding who wins groups and gets round of 16 seeding come December’s draw (yes, there is a lot of hard yakka to go before then). Arsenal – second in their group and then beaten in the last 16 for four years running – shipped a goal within 44 seconds against Paris but somehow held out and equalised with 12 minutes left.

Sevilla, hoping not to have a chance of a fourth straight UEFA Europa League title, kept out Juventus in Turin and Monaco took their Ligue 1 form into Europe and overcame Tottenham in front of 85,011 at Wembley, the record competitive home attendance for any English club (breaking a 72-year-old record).

What do you think of our choices? What stood out for you? Let us know using #UCL on @ChampionsLeague

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