There’s no doubt that the result of the first week in the Champions League belongs to FC Basel shocking Chelsea and Europe with a 2-1 win at Stamford Bridge, making it quite complicated in Group E, while Barcelona had no problem dispatching of Ajax with a 4-0 win, getting three goals from Lionel Messi.
In the group of death, Arsenal won for the seventh time in a row at the Velodrome against Marseille, while Dortmund, our favorites to win the Champions League, tumbled in Napoli while finishing with 10 men, having their goalkeeper sent off.
One of the most shocking results in recent years, Basel managed to make this group look a lot more complicated with a stunning 2-1 win over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. Oscar scored the opening goal for Chelsea, but Mohamed Salah and Marco Streller made the most of Chelsea’s usual faults to grab a famous win.
In Germany, we saw a much more predictable result as Steaua had an awful time upon their return to the Champions League, losing 3-0 to Schalke 04. They managed to hold on during the first half, but fell apart in the final 25 minutes, with Schalke getting their goals from Atsuto Uchida, Kevin-Prince Boateng and Julian Draxler.
The group of death certainly lived up to its usual reputation, beginning with Marseille giving Arsenal a very hard time in the South of France, but still not enough to beat one of the hottest teams in Europe right now. Theo Walcott and Aaron Ramsey (again him) scored in the second half before Jordan Ayew scored a consolation goal, with the gunners coming back home holding a 2-1 opening win.
In Napoli, the roaring Sao Paolo and a red card to Roman Weidenfeller led to a 2-1 win for the home side, with Gonzalo Higuain and a super talented Lorenzo Insigne scoring for the winners, while Dortmund enjoyed a late own goal by Juan Camilo Zuniga.
Nothing surprising about the proceedings in group G, right from the start. Porto weren’t good enough or simply aren’t strong enough in general to dominate away from home, but they still came away from their Austrian visit with a 1-0 win over Austria Wien thanks to a goal by Lucho Gonzalez.
In Madrid, Atletico enjoyed a smooth return to the competition over a weakened Zenit team compared to last season. Miranda opened the scoring for the hosts before Hulk scored an equalizer. However, it wasn’t a very fair fight towards the end, as Arda Turan and Leo Baptisto scored the finishing goals in a 3-1 victory.
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The ‘classical’ group turned into the demolition group, as both Barcelona and AC Milan won comfortably at home without conceding. For Barcelona, Lionel Messi scored a hat trick, aided by a fourth goal from Gerard Pique as they sent Ajax home pondering about the differences in a 4-0 win.
In the San Siro, AC Milan put their troubles behind them and beat Celtic 2-0, enjoying goals from Sulley Muntari and an own goal from Emilio Izaguirre.
1. Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Lionel Messi (Barcelona – 3 Goals
2. Karim Benzema (Real Madrid), Wayne Rooney (Manchester United), Alex Teixeria (Shakhtar Donetsk), Thiago Motta (PSG) – 2 Goals.