It was a case of tune-in-early-or-miss-the-action on Wednesday night, as Matchday One of the new UEFA Champions League season concluded with a frenetic opening.
It took just two minutes in the Feyenoord v Manchester City game for the hosts to go in front, John Stones putting Pep Guardiola’s team in the lead with his first goal of the season, before Sergio Aguero doubled their advantage eight minutes after. Gabriel Jesus added a third for City with his fourth goal in three games in the 25th minute, then Stones sealed the emphatic win 20 minutes after the interval.
By the time Jesus had tucked in Man City’s third though, Spurs’ game at home to Dortmund in Group H had already seen three goals. The first of them came after four minutes thanks to a superb goal from Son Heung-Min for the hosts, although their lead would last just six minutes, as new Dortmund signing Andriy Yarmolenko hauled Peter Bosz’s team level. Four minutes after, the scoreline would change, Harry Kane on hand to restore Spurs’ advantage after just a quarter of an hour gone. It was never going to go that way throughout the game, unfortunately, as only one more goal was scored. Crucially for Spurs, they would get it, Kane’s first ever Champions League double sealing the three points for the Lilywhites.
In Group E, it took five minutes for things to get going when Sevilla travelled to Anfield, the visitors taking the lead through Wissam Ben Yedder’s close range finish, thanks in no small part to some typical horrendous Liverpool defending. The Reds were known for their attacking impetus, however, especially their front three, and two of them would turn things around in their favour; Roberto Firmino dragging the hosts level, before Mohammed Salah’s deflected shot put them in front. Liverpool had a chance to extend their advantage before halftime when Sadio Mane was brought down by Nicolas Pareja, but Firmino struck the resulting penalty against the post. And they would rue that miss, as Joaquin Correa pulled Sevilla back level with 18 minutes left, to ensure the spoils would be shared, in a game which saw Liverpool defender Joe Gomez get sent off late on.
Elsewhere, Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice as champions Real Madrid recorded a 3-0 win over APOEL Nicosia in Group H, while Porto were stunned in their own backyard by Besiktas, and Shakhtar began with a 2-1 win over Napoli.
Results in Full:
Group E: Liverpool 2-2 Sevilla; Maribor 1-1 Spartak Moscow
Group F: Feyenoord 0-4 Manchester City; Shakhtar Donetsk 2-1 Napoli
Group G: Porto 1-3 Besiktas; RB Leipzig 1-1 Monaco
Group H: Real Madrid 3-0 APOEL; Tottenham 3-1 Dortmund