The first night of Champions League football didn’t bring shocking results except for the Juventus draw at Copenhagen, while all of the favorites came up with rather comfortable wins, none more impressive than Real Madrid winning 6-1 in Istanbul against Galatasaray, with Cristiano Ronaldo scoring a hat-trick.
A super strong start for Manchester United, even though they did show some vulnerability in the center of their defense, conceding twice. Wayne Rooney was all over the pitch, especially in the second half, finishing with two goals and and an assist in the 4-2 win over Bayer Leverkusen, with Robin van Persie and Antonio Valencia also scoring. Simon Rolfes gave them an equalizer that didn’t last long, while Omer Toprak scored a late goal that didn’t matter much.
In Sociedad, the home side continued their weak form from the La Liga, losing 2-0 to Shakhtar Donetsk, giving us an indication that they should be considered as the top threat to Manchester United’s dominance. Alex Teixeira scored twice in the second half off assists from Douglas Costa and Taison, giving an All-Brazilian flavor to the match.
FC Copenhagen almost provided the stunning result of the Champions League’s opening night with an early lead over Juventus from Nicolai Jorgensen, but Fabio Quagliarella struck early in the second half to keep Juve from completely embarrassing themselves, ending the match in a 1-1 draw.
In Istanbul, Real Madrid did lose Iker Casillas to an early injury, but Galatasaray lost Didier Drogba at the end of the first half, when they were already 1-0 down. The rest was all Madrid, as the Turkish champions seemed like they gave up on the match. Cristiano Ronaldo finished with a hat trick, joined by a brace from Karim Benzema and the opening goal from Isco,beginning the 6-1 demolition.
A very dominant performance from the French Champions, opening their UCL campaign with a 4-1 win over Olympiacos. Things were close in the first half, as the opening goal from Edinson Cavani was quickly countered by Vladimir Weiss, but the second half was all about PSG, with Thiago Motta scoring twice and Marquinhos capped off the win after Zlatan Ibrahimovic missed a penalty.
Benfica had no problem sealing the deal early at home, beating Anderlecht 2-0 with goals from Filip Djuricic and Luisao before over an hour of garbage time.
Two 3-0 wins for the strongest teams in the group. Bayern Munich opened their campaign defense with comfortable win over CSKA Moscow, beating the Russians with goals from David Alaba, Mario Mandzukic and Arjen Robben.
In the Czech Republic, Manchester City won with the same ease against Viktoria Plzen, enjoying goals from Edin Dzeko, Yayao Toure and Sergio Aguero in the span of 10 minutes after the opening of the second half.
1. Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid, 3 Goals.
2. Karim Benzema (Real Madrid), Wayne Rooney (Manchester United), Alex Teixeria (Shakhtar Donetsk), Thiago Motta (PSG) – 2 Goals.
Group E: Chelsea vs Basel, Schalke vs Steaua
Group F: Marseille vs Arsenal, Napoli vs Dortmund
Group G: Austria Wien vs Porto, Atletico Madrid vs Zenit
Group H: Milan vs Celtic, Barcelona vs Ajax