UCL Round-up: PSG Defeat Real Madrid, Atletico Deny Juventus


Paris Saint-Germain beat Real Madrid 3-0 but Atletico Madrid fought back as Bayern Munich, Manchester City and Dinamo Zagreb started in style.

Paris Saint-Germain 3-0 Real Madrid: Di Maria shines without Neymar, Mbappe and Cavani

Angel Di Maria stepped up in the absence of Paris Saint-Germain’s first-choice attacking trio by delivering a double in a 3-0 Champions League victory over a lacklustre Real Madrid.

Thomas Tuchel was unable to pick the suspended Neymar or injured duo Kylian Mbappe and Edinson Cavani for the Group A clash at the Parc des Princes on Wednesday, but Di Maria played a starring role against his former club.

Despite having Eden Hazard, Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale on the field together for the first time, Madrid lacked sharpness and were put to the sword by the Argentina international twice inside 33 minutes.

Bale had what would have been a spectacular goal ruled out for handball after a VAR review and Zinedine Zidane’s side were punished for failing to register a single shot on target when Thomas Meunier compounded their misery at the culmination of a stoppage-time counter-attack.

Pablo Sarabia appealed for a penalty when he kicked the ball against the arm of Eder Militao – making his first Madrid start with Sergio Ramos suspended – in the first minute, but on that occasion referee Anthony Taylor was unmoved.

PSG were rewarded for their vibrant start in the 14th minute when Mauro Icardi, handed a full debut after his deadline-day loan move from Inter, combined with Juan Bernat, who squared for Di Maria to stab past Thibaut Courtois at his near post.

After Hazard and Bale fired narrowly off target, PSG doubled their lead when Idrissa Gueye teed up Di Maria and the ex-Madrid winger fired a stunning drive home from the edge of the box.

Bale thought he had halved the deficit two minutes later when he lobbed former team-mate Keylor Navas, only for a VAR intervention to reveal the ball touched his arm while he juggled it before shooting.

Di Maria scooped a chance to complete his hat-trick over before Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting replaced Icardi in the 60th minute, while Courtois did well to keep out Sarabia.

After PSG lost Marquinhos to injury, Benzema had a goal ruled out for offside and headed narrowly wide with 12 minutes remaining.

Madrid crumbled in the 91st minute when full-backs Meunier and Bernat surged forward and the Belgian slotted home to round off an impressive win for the hosts against the shot-shy 13-time champions of Europe.

Key Opta Facts

– Real Madrid lost their opening Champions League game for the first time since September 2006 against Lyon (2-0).

– This 3-0 loss equalled the biggest margin of defeat Madrid have suffered in the Champions League under Zinedine Zidane.

– Paris Saint-Germain won for the first time against Madrid in the Champions League, after failing to do so in their previous three (D1 L2).

– Madrid failed to score in a Champions League game under Zidane for the first time since April 2016 against Manchester City.

Atletico Madrid 2-2 Juventus: Late Herrera header earns Group D draw

Hector Herrera came off the bench to score a 90th-minute equaliser as Atletico Madrid fought back from two goals down to draw 2-2 with Juventus in the Champions League.

Juan Cuadrado’s stunning strike and a Blaise Matuidi header looked to have earned Maurizio Sarri’s side victory in Group D on Wednesday.

However, Atletico produced a wonderful fightback as set pieces proved Juve’s undoing, Stefan Savic nodding home from close range to set up a grandstand finish at the Wanda Metropolitano.

With injury time beckoning, substitute Herrera rose highest in the box to superbly flick home a header from Kieran Trippier’s left-wing corner, leaving the spoils shared.

Making his Champions League debut for Atletico, Joao Felix took only nine minutes to make his mark on the contest, a dazzling solo run from 10 yards inside his own half ending with Wojciech Szczesny making a low save to his left.

Jose Gimenez headed the resulting corner over the crossbar and the defender failed to profit again from another set piece, a warning Juve would later fail to heed.

Cuadrado shattered the deadlock with a thunderbolt in the 48th minute, collecting a pass from Gonzalo Higuain, cutting inside Renan Lodi and unleashing a stunning 20-yard drive.

Atletico should have levelled when Koke raided down the right and cut back a low cross to Gimenez, who sliced a poor first-time finish over the crossbar.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Alex Sandro combined to superbly set up Matuidi for Juve’s second, but within five minutes Atleti halved the deficit as Savic nodded home.

And the comeback was completed when Herrera brilliantly converted a corner, although Ronaldo almost snatched all three points at the death, driving just wide after a superb solo run.

Key Opta Facts

– Atletico have lost only one of their last 19 Champions League home games (W14 D4 L1), against Chelsea in September 2017.

– Juventus started just one Italian player in a Champions League match for the first time in their history (Leonardo Bonucci).

– Aaron Ramsey became the first ever Welshman to play for an Italian team in Champions League history.

– Savic netted his first Champions League goal in his 28th appearance in the competition.

Bayern Munich 3-0 Red Star Belgrade: Coman, Lewandowski and Muller break resistance

Kingsley Coman, Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Muller earned Bayern Munich a 3-0 victory over Red Star Belgrade as they moved top of Champions League Group B.

In-form France winger Coman struck in the 34th minute for the German giants at the Allianz Arena, his sixth goal of the campaign for club and country.

They were given a scare in the latter stages when Marko Marin curled agonisingly wide, but Lewandowski and substitute Muller struck late on to add gloss to the result.

Tottenham’s draw with Olympiacos leaves Bayern as the only side with maximum points in the group after matchday one.

Philippe Coutinho was a lively presence throughout and he threatened with a driven shot just over the bar from the edge of the penalty after the visitors failed to clear their lines.

Jander wasted a chance for Red Star when he selfishly shot from a wide angle and could only find the side-netting and soon the Serbian champions were made to pay.

With a drop of the shoulder, Ivan Perisic beat his man before whipping in an inviting left-wing cross, which Coman converted emphatically with a diving header.

Coutinho almost made it two with a trademark effort, cutting inside before wrapping his foot around a bending shot that agonisingly missed the top-right corner.

Marin was inches away from levelling when he shot just wide with Manuel Neuer rooted, and Lewandowski made Red Star pay when, with 10 minutes left, he took advantage of some tired defending to poke in from close range.

Muller added another in added time when he superbly latched onto Thiago Alcantara’s free-kick cheekily flicked over the wall.

Key Opta Facts

– Bayern Munich are unbeaten in 16 Champions League group games on home soil, winning 15 and keeping 11 clean sheets.

– Red Star have conceded 16 goals in their first four away games in the Champions League – more than any other team in their first four such matches in the competition.

– Bayern have scored at least once in each of their past 29 home games in the group stage of the Champions League, last failing to score in such a match in November 2009 (against Bordeaux).

– Robert Lewandowski has been directly involved in 42 goals in just 53 Champions League appearances for Bayern, with his strike against Red Star his 37th goal (he also has five assists).

– Following his latest goal, Lewandowski has now scored against 23 opponents in the Champions League. Shakhtar Donetsk

Shakhtar Donetsk 0-3 Manchester City: New-look defence holds firm for Guardiola’s men

Manchester City made light of their defensive crisis as Fernandinho filled in adeptly at centre-back and captained the Premier League champions to a 3-0 victory over his former club Shakhtar Donetsk.

Hampered by the absences of John Stones and Aymeric Laporte due to injury, City boss Pep Guardiola named Fernandinho alongside Nicolas Otamendi at the heart of his defence and was able to celebrate a clean sheet despite the odd shaky moment.

Riyad Mahrez scored his first goal of the season to settle City’s nerves after 24 minutes and his interplay with Ilkay Gundogan produced the visitors’ best moments at Metalist Stadium.

Gundogan, ably assisted by Rodri and Kevin De Bruyne, ran the show from midfield and surged forward at every opportunity, getting himself on the scoresheet thanks to Mahrez’s assist seven minutes before half-time.

Guardiola warned of the danger Shakhtar posed on the counter-attack in his pre-match comments and Luis Castro’s men did manage to set Moraes free on a number of occasions, but the Brazil-born striker failed to carry his impressive domestic form onto Europe’s biggest stage.

City rounded off a highly satisfying Group C opener when Gabriel Jesus rolled a third goal home 14 minutes from time to secure a repeat result of last season’s clash between these teams on this ground.

City pressed Shakhtar from the outset and Rodri should have done better when De Bruyne’s cross hit the back of his head.

Marlos sent a thundering drive flashing past Ederson’s net as Shakhtar countered, but City’s pressure paid off when Gundogan curled a shot onto the post and it bounced into the path of Mahrez, who guided it into the empty net from close range.

Moraes had a gilt-edged chance to equalise from the corner of the six-yard box but his shot hit Ederson in the chest and City punished his wastefulness.

Rodri’s cross-field ball found Mahrez and the Algeria international played in Gundogan, who fired a first-time shot just inside the post with deadly accuracy.

Moraes made a poor attempt to chip Ederson when the City keeper got caught outside his box early in the second half but Raheem Sterling missed an even better chance at the other end, hitting the outside of the post after Sergey Krivtsov gifted him possession 12 yards out.

Jesus made no such mistake when De Bruyne capitalised on sloppy Shakhtar passing and released the Brazilian, who rolled a shot into the bottom-right corner of the net and made certain of his side’s winning start in the Champions League.

Key Opta Facts

– Shakhtar have conceded 15 goals in their five meetings with Manchester City in the UEFA Champions League; the most they’ve conceded against an opponent in the competition.

– City have kept clean sheets in four of their five Champions League matches against Shakhtar, double the amount than they have versus any other side.

– Since the start of the 2016-17 campaign, only Real Madrid (84) and Bayern Munich (72) have scored more Champions League goals than Guardiola’s City (71).

– Shakhtar have failed to keep a clean sheet in any of their last 17 UEFA Champions League matches (36 goals conceded).

– Since the start of the 2017-18 Champions League campaign, only James Milner (10) has recorded more assists in the competition than De Bruyne (9). – Mahrez has had a hand in seven goals in seven Champions League appearances for Man City (2 goals, 5 assists).

Dinamo Zagreb’s Mislav Orsic, right, scores a goal against Atalanta during the group C Champions League soccer match between Dinamo Zagreb and Atalanta at the Maksimir Stadium in Zagreb, Croatia, Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019. (AP Photo/Darko Bandic)

Dinamo Zagreb 4-0 Atalanta: Orsic treble makes for sorry Champions League debut for Serie A side

Atalanta endured a miserable first game in the Champions League as they lost 4-0 to a Mislav Orsic-inspired Dinamo Zagreb on Wednesday.

Orsic struck a fine hat-trick after Marin Leovac’s opener to bring a stylish end to a run of 11 consecutive defeats in the competition for the Croatian champions.

Duvan Zapata at last had a couple of openings but Dominik Livakovic produced a brilliant one-handed save to deny the striker before he prodded wide when played clean through.

Key Opta Facts

– Dinamo Zagreb ended a run of 11 successive Champions League losses with victory over Atalanta, recording their largest margin of victory in the competition.

– Atalanta are the 10th Italian side to play in the Champions League – this is the biggest defeat any team from Italy have faced on their debut.

– Atalanta conceded with the very first shot on target that they faced in their Champions League history.

– Mislav Orsic is the first Dinamo player to score a hat-trick in the Champions League and the first Dinamo player to score more than once on debut. – Dinamo left-back Marin Leovac scored his first Champions League goal in what was his first appearance in the competition since playing for FK Austria Wien in November 2013.

Olympiacos 2-2 Tottenham: Spurs collapse as Valbuena leads deserved comeback

Tottenham threw away a 2-0 lead to draw 2-2 at Olympiacos in their opening match of this season’s Champions League.

Last term’s beaten finalists were two goals to the good after half an hour in Athens thanks to Harry Kane’s penalty and Lucas Moura’s excellent finish.

Mathieu Valbuena was the catalyst for a deserved Olympiacos comeback, though, setting up Daniel Podence for a goal on his debut in the competition before burying a penalty 54 minutes in.

Dele Alli was denied by the legs of Sa, who also kept out an effort from Erik Lamela, as Spurs failed in a late push for a winner, meaning they still have not won back-to-back away matches in Europe’s elite competition.

Key Opta Facts

– Tottenham failed to win a Champions League game having been two goals ahead for the second time and first since drawing 2-2 with Werder Bremen in September 2010.

– Since the start of last season, Spurs have conceded more goals than any other side in the Champions League (21).

– Olympiacos are winless in nine Champions League matches (D2 L7), their longest winless run in the competition.

– Only Ruud van Nistelrooy (19) and Roberto Soldado (19) scored their first 15 Champions League goals in fewer games than Harry Kane (20).

– Lucas Moura scored just his second goal from outside the box for Tottenham in all competitions and his first since August 2018 versus Fulham. The Brazilian has also netted four goals in his last three Champions League games, as many as he had netted in his previous 23 in the competition.

Bayer Leverkusen 1-2 Lokomotiv Moscow: Krychowiak and Barinov secure rare away win

Grzegorz Krychowiak and Dimitri Barinov capitalised on Bayer Leverkusen’s blunders to give Lokomotiv Moscow a 2-1 win in their Champion League Group D opener on Wednesday.

Krychowiak profited from some carless play from Leverkusen’s players in their own half to give the Russian side the lead in the 16th minute at the BayArena.

An own goal from Benedikt Howedes got the hosts back on level terms but Barinov punished another Leverkusen mistake to seal the win for the visitors. Lokomotiv’s victory was their first away from home in the Champions League since a 2-1 win at Galatasaray in the 2002-03 group stage.

Key Opta Facts

– Lokomotiv won against Leverkusen with just 22 per cent of possession – the lowest such figure for a winning side in the Champions League since Celtic beat Barcelona in November 2012 (15.4 per cent possession).

– By defeating Leverkusen, Lokomotiv have ended a run of seven straight defeats against German clubs and scored as many goals as they managed in that run (two).

– Lokomotiv have conceded at least one goal in their last 13 away games in the Champions League, last keeping a clean sheet against Club Brugge in September 2002.

Club Brugge 0-0 Galatasaray: Honours even in game of missed chances

Club Brugge’s unbeaten run in the Champions League continued but they could not find a way through Galatasaray in a frustrating 0-0 draw.

Brugge exited last season’s competition in the group stage but went on a streak of four successive games without defeat to end their participation in the tournament.

They had much the better of Wednesday’s Group A encounter at the Jan Breydel Stadium but wasted too many opportunities in a game they deserved more from.

Key Opta Facts

– Brugge have lost only one of their last 11 matches in European competition (including qualifiers), winning five and drawing five.

– Galatasaray are winless in their last 15 Champions League away trips (D3 L12), with the Turkish side last tasting victory in March 2013 against FC Schalke 04.

– Brugge are the first team in Champions League history to draw three successive games by a 0-0 scoreline.

– Galatasaray have failed to score in five successive away games, the 12th occasion a team has done this in the Champions League and first since Shakhtar Donetsk in September 2017.

– Gala named a starting XI in the Champions League without a Turkish player for the first time in their history.