The UEFA Champions League group-stage is finally underway! Tuesday marked the start of the 32-team group stage which sees six rounds of matches before the field is cut to 16 teams.
16 additional teams will start their Champions League group-stage tomorrow throughout Europe.
Here is a recap of all the action in case you missed anything. Attached to each score-line are video highlights.
Manchester City — Borussia Monchengladbach.
This match scheduled at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester was postponed due to torrential rain throughout the day. The match will be replayed on Wednesday at 2:45 P.M. E.S.T.
Barcelona 7 — Celtic 0.
Luis Enrique‘s men opened their group-stage with an emphatic win over Brendan Rodgers‘ Celtic. Lionel Messi tallied a hat-trick, including two goals in the first half, while Neymar added a beautiful free-kick goal and four assists. Luis Suarez scored two goals in the second half as well, while second-half sub Andres Iniesta also scored from a rifle of a volley. Moussa Dembele almost gave Celtic a lifeline early in the first half earning a penalty kick, however his shot was saved by Marc-Andre ter Stegen. Messi tallied his sixth hat-trick in Champions League history, which is the most in the competition’s history. Barca sit in first spot, while Celtic currently sit in fourth in the group.
Paris Saint-Germain 1 — Arsenal 1.
Unai Emery‘s side had a perfect start after Edinson Cavani‘s headed goal 42 seconds into the match. Throughout the first half, the hosts seemed the more dominant side creating plenty of chances. Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny saved his side from being 2-0 down after a superb block on Adrien Rabiot. It took Arsenal till the 77th minute to equalize as Alexis Sanchez‘s follow up after Alex Iwobi‘s shot was saved found the back of the net. The game got feisty at the end as Arsenal’s Olivier Giroud and PSG’s Marco Verratti were each given red cards after a scuffle ensued behind the play. Both players will serve a one-match suspension on Match Day #2. PSG led 52%-48% in possession, while David Ospina made three saves for the visitors and Alphonse Areola made two saves for the hosts.
FC Basel 1 — Ludogorets Razgrad 1.
Swiss side Basel fought back for a point at St. Jakob Park in their Group A opener. The visitors had the 1-0 lead after Jonathan Cafu struck for the Bulgarians right before halftime. A better second-half performance by the hosts was rewarded as Renato Steffen hooked the ball in at the far post. Basel led in possession 59%-41% while forcing five shots on target and four saves out of Ludogorets keeper Vladislav Stojanov. Basel keeper Tomas Vaclik made one save for the hosts. In a group with heavyweights PSG and Arsenal, neither side could afford to drop points especially against one another.
Benfica 1 — Besiktas 1.
On their return to the Champions Leaguue for the first time in six years, Besiktas earned a late point in Portugal. Franco Cervi gave Benfica the 1-0 lead after 12 minutes. The Portuguese side fell in the quarterfinal stage last season to Bayern Munich. The Turkish side fought back and got a 92nd minute equalizer after loanee Anderson Talisca whipped home a 25-yard free kick into the top left corner. Talisca, was loaned from Benfica to Besiktas last month was able to burn his parent club to earn his new side a crucial point in Group B. Besiktas led in possession 52%-48%, while forcing four saves from Benfica keeper Ederson. Besiktas keeper Tolga Zengin made five saves to keep the Turkish side in the match.
Dynamo Kyiv 1 — Napoli 2.
Arkadiusz Milik played the hero for visitors Napoli in their 2-1 victory over 10-men Dynamo Kyiv in Ukraine. Denys Garmash gave the hosts a 1-0 advantage in the 26th-minute after he ran onto Viktor Tsygankov‘s header and fired past Napoli keeper Jose Reina. Ten minutes later, Milik headed home from Faouzi Ghoulam‘s cross. Milik would double his tally on the day after he scored the rebound after Dries Mertens‘ header was blocked in the 45th-minute. Serhiy Sydorchuk was later sent off for the hosts in the 68th minute which made a comeback even harder for Kyiv. Damagov Vida‘s header in the 77th-minute was the hosts best chance to equalize but it went wide. Possession was split 50%-50% while both teams managed two shots on goal each. Napoli sits in first in Group B after the victory.
PSV-Eindhoven 0 — Atletico Madrid 1.
Saul Niguez‘s acrobatic strike just before halftime was all Atletico needed for a 1-0 victory over hosts PSV. PSV had a huge chance to draw level in the 45th minute but Andres Guardado had his penalty kick saved by Madrid keeper Jan Oblak. The hosts definitely had their chances to equalize tallying four shots on goal throughout the match but could not beat Oblak. PSV keeper Jeroen Zoet made two saves in the loss. Atletico Madrid held the edge in possession 54%-46%, and sit in second place in Group D after their opening match.
Bayern Munich 5 — FC Rostov 0.
Carlo Ancelotti‘s Bayern Munich dominated Russian-side FC Rostov at the Allianz Arena on Tuesday running out 5-0 winners. It took a while to get going by Robert Lewandowski eventually gave Bayern a 1-0 lead after 28 minutes from the penalty spot. The striker won the penalty and slotted his shot into the bottom left corner. Right on the verge of halftime, Bayern doubled their lead as birthday-boy Thomas Muller scored inside the box from David Alaba‘s cross. Eight minutes into the second half, Joshua Kimmich slotted home from close range to make it 3-0 Bayern. Kimmich would double his tally on the day after heading home Juan Bernat‘s cross in the 60th minute. Just into second-half stoppage time Bernat stamped the emphatic victory with a goal of his own from Franck Ribery‘s assist. Bayern led 77%=23% in possession while forcing four saves out of Rostov keeper Soslan Dzhanaev. Bayern keeper Manuel Neuer was only called into action twice by Rostov, who seemed un-matched against the German giants. Ancelotti’s men sit in the top spot of Group D after one match.
Seven matches took place on Tuesday and brought back the drama and excitement of the UEFA Champions League back. Nine matches will take place on Wednesday with several giants such as Real Madrid, Borussia Dortmund, Manchester City, and Tottenham all in action.
Be sure to check back on SportsTalkFeed for all the recap and highlights from Europe’s top tournament.
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