Barcelona, PSG, Man Utd, Bayern, Chelsea claim big wins in 28-goal opening day of UCL Group Stage

It was United's first Champions League game since December 2015, with Jose Mourinho's side having engineered a return to the competition by winning the Europa League last season.

By Zee Media Bureau | Last Updated: Sep 13, 2017, 10:28 AM IST
Barcelona, PSG, Man Utd, Bayern, Chelsea claim big wins in 28-goal opening day of UCL Group Stage
Reuters

New Delhi: It was an absolute goal fest on the opening day of UEFA Champions League Group Stage, with Barcelona, PSG, Manchester United, Bayern Munich and Chelsea claiming big-margin wins in their respective encounters.

Barcelona settle score against Juventus

Lionel Messi netted twice in Barcelona's convincing 3-0 victory over Juventus that kicked off their Champions League campaign in style, while Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester United and Chelsea also won big on Tuesday.

After a troubled summer, a home meeting with last season's runners-up may not have been what Barcelona wanted, but Messi was at his brilliant best to give the Catalans the three points.

New signing Ousmane Dembele was handed a first Barcelona start at the Camp Nou but it was Messi who got the opening goal on the stroke of half-time after a brilliant exchange of passes with Luis Suarez.

It was fine play from the Argentine that led to Ivan Rakitic doubling Barca's lead on 56 minutes and Messi saved the best for last with a sublime goal to complete the victory midway through the second half.

"I have suffered many times playing against Messi and now I have the luck to have him on my side," said Barca coach Ernesto Valverde.

The result gave Barcelona revenge for their defeat to Juventus in last season's quarter-finals and leaves them on top of Group D alongside Sporting Lisbon, who won 3-2 away to Olympiakos in Greece.

Sporting, who had been three goals up at half-time, host Barcelona next.

While Barcelona adapt to life without Neymar, the Brazilian is enjoying life with PSG and scored the opener in their superb 5-0 victory over Celtic in Glasgow.

PSG's deadly front-three hit hard

Neymar silenced the Parkhead crowd in the 19th minute for his fifth goal in five appearances for PSG, and he then set up Kylian Mbappe to make it 2-0.
Edinson Cavani -- the third member of PSG's 'MCN' front three -- won and converted a penalty to put the visitors out of sight before the interval.

A Mikael Lustig own goal on 83 minutes and another for Cavani put the seal on PSG's victory and left Celtic to contemplate their heaviest ever home defeat in Europe.

"It was a great match and very important to win. It is always a pleasure to play alongside great players," Neymar told beIN Sports.

PSG's next opponents in Group B will be five-time European champions Bayern Munich, who began their campaign by brushing aside Anderlecht 3-0 at the Allianz Arena.
The game was conditioned by the early sending-off of Anderlecht's Sven Kums for giving away a penalty that Robert Lewandowski converted.

Bayern return to winning ways

Thiago Alcantara's second-half strike helped an underwhelming Bayern Munich see off 10-man Anderlecht 3-0 in their opening match.

After Robert Lewandowski converted an early penalty, Thiago turned the tie decisively Bayern's way before Joshua Kimmich grabbed a late third at a sold-out Allianz Arena.

However, despite playing nearly 80 minutes with the numerical advantage following Sven Kums's early dismissal, this was not a convincing display by Bayern against a limited Anderlecht side.

"We should have capitalised," rued Kimmich.

"In the end, Anderlecht had a few chances to equalise, and they shouldn`t even have been close.

"With the extra man, we should have done more."

Arjen Robben agreed that Bayern should have been more clinical.

"There was no tempo to our game - we needed to show a bit more desire," said the Dutch winger.

"The crowd deserved more, we have to give more. We should have finished them when they had a man sent off."

The Bavarians need an improved performance at big-spending Paris Saint-Germain in a fortnight.

United make Champions League return in style

Substitute Marouane Fellaini was an unlikely source of inspiration as Manchester United comfortably defeated Basel 3-0 in Group A on their return to the Champions League.

Fellaini came on for the injured Paul Pogba and gave United a 35th-minute lead at a drizzly Old Trafford. He later teed up Marcus Rashford for the hosts' third goal after Romelu Lukaku had struck early in the second period.

It was United's first Champions League game since December 2015, with Jose Mourinho's side having engineered a return to the competition by winning the Europa League last season.
In the same group, CSKA Moscow came from behind to beat Portuguese champions Benfica 2-1 in Lisbon with Timur Zhamaletdinov getting their winner. CSKA entertain United later this month.

Chelsea hammer 6 past Qarabag

Mourinho's old club Chelsea were the biggest winners on the night, thrashing group stage newcomers Qarabag 6-0 at Stamford Bridge in Group C.
A superb Pedro Rodriguez strike set Chelsea on their way before recent signing Davide Zappacosta's intended cross flew in to make it 2-0 before the interval.
Cesar Azpilicueta and Tiemoue Bakayoko scored after the break and Michy Batshuayi added the fifth before forcing Maksim Medvedev into the own goal that completed the rout.

In other results, Atletico Madrid drew 0-0 at Roma, CSKA Moscow claimed a 2-1 away win at Benfica and Olympiakos faced 2-3 defeat at the hands of Sporting CP at home.

(With AFP inputs)