As UEFA Champions League 2015 competition kicked off, headlines were sure to be made with a host of top teams vying for an impressive performance in their opening games. But Match Day 1 results grabbed eyeballs more due to the shocking results for some top teams.
Apart from Chelsea, all the English clubs were handed defeats in their respective encounters.
Manchester City, Manchester United and Arsenal- left with a lot to learn
Manchester City squared up against last time finalists Juventus at the Etihad stadium. With the 1st half not seeing any goal, the second half promised to be a thriller. It was nothing short of that as the Manchester club got an early lead with Chiellini’s own goal. However, consecutive goals by Mario Mandzukic and Alvaro Morata, ensured the Old Lady went home with a vital three points.
Tough Night for the Red Devils in the UEFA Champions League 2015
It was the return for Eindhoven old boy Memphis Depay to his former club, which was marred with a defeat. United took the lead as Depay scored the winning goal. But the joy did not last for long. Hector Moreno equalized from the corner and then ended Luke Shaw’s night with a sliding tackle which saw the teenage wing back stretchered off. Hapless defending by the reshuffled defence from Louis van Gaal’s team enabled Luciano Narshingh to head home the winning goal.
Elsewhere, in Croatia, Dinamo Zagreb stunned Arsenal 2-1. Having made 6 changes from the previous outing, Arsene Wenger wanted to give some game time to the substitutes. The move backfired as Arsenal seemed completely out of place in front of the resolute Croats.
The match had started with the tempo swaying in favour of the north London side. However, Olivier Giroud was sent off for two bookable offences and Zagreb turned the game on, scoring two goals. In the end, Theo Walcott slotted past the advancing custodian to snatch a consolation goal for the Gunners.
Ronaldo nets hat-trick as Barcelona draw with AS Roma; Chelsea finally win
Cristiano Ronaldo surpassed Lionel Messi as the top goal scorer in the UEFA Champions League, bagging three goals against Shakhtar Donetsk. The Ukrainian champions made a mess of their outing, resulting in an easy victory for the Galacticos.
It was the 100th UEFA Champions League appearance for Lionel Messi which saw the spills being shared between AS Roma and Barcelona. Luis Suarez’s scored the opener which was eventually cancelled by an emphatic long ranger from Alessandro Florenzi.
Flustered with his Premier League results, Jose Mourinho fielded a second string side as Chelsea hosted Maccabi Tel-Aviv. Goals from Willian, Oscar, Diego Costa and Fabregas, saw them cruise to a 4-0 victory over the Israeli outfit.
Bayern Munich, Leverkusen win as new boys Gent and Astana see hard times
Bayern Munich made the most of their good fortune as they secured a 3-0 win over Olympiakos at Piraeus. Thomas Muller scored a brace and Mario Gotze converted from the spot kick to ensure a comfortable three points in their UEFA Champions League 2015 opener.
Elsewhere, Javier Hernandez got on the score sheet for his new club Bayer Leverkusen, defeating BATE Borisov 4-1. It was a convincing win for the German side, with their new recruit opening his account for his club.
Belgian champions Gent saw off Lyon in a 1-1 draw as the former finished the game with 9 men. The UEFA Champions League debutants had Brecht Dejaegere and Thomas Foket both sent off in their Group H opener. But they hit back through Danijel Milicevic’s super strike which cancelled out Christophe Jallet’s second-half header.
Kazakhstan club Astana were defeated by Portuguese champions Benfica as the former made their first ever Champions League appearance.
Overall it was a matchday to forget for the English clubs as upsets ruled the opening day of the Champions League. The next set of fixtures will certainly see a major revamp for the clubs who have failed to open their account. Hopefully, it will be better football from the big names of Europe and a tougher fight for the unfancied sides as the top teams will look to turn around their fortunes.