Champions League round-up: Juventus and Barcelona off to winning starts
Elsewhere, Borussia Dortmund suffered a surprise loss to Lazio
Juventus’ players celebrate their second goal scored by Alvaro Morata during the Uefa Champions League match against Dynamo Kyiv. Photo: Sergei Supinsky/AFP via Getty Images
Group E: Rennes 1 Krasnodar 1
Stade Rennais failed to make their dominance count on their Champions League debut as they were held to a 1-1 home draw by Krasnodar in Group E.
The Ligue 1 side went ahead on 56 minutes with a Serhou Guirassy penalty, only for Cristian Ramirez to equalise three minutes later with a long-range effort.
The hosts were rewarded for their efforts 11 minutes after the restart when Guirassy converted a penalty after Martin Terrier was brought down by Egor Sorokin but the visitors levelled quickly, against the run of play.
Rennes travel to Sevilla and Krasnodar host Chelsea in the second round of matches next Wednesday.
Group F: Zenit St Petersburg 1 Club Brugge 2
Club Brugge made a perfect start to their Champions League Group F campaign after a stoppage time goal by Charles De Ketelaere gave them a 2-1 win at Zenit St Petersburg.
After a drab first half, Emmanuel Bonaventure fired the visitors ahead in the 63rd minute when he swept in a rebound from two metres after Yaroslav Rakitskyy twice cleared close-range efforts by De Ketelaere off the line.
Sebastian Driussi missed a gilt-edged opportunity to equalise when he blazed a shot over the bar from 10 metres before the home side levelled thanks to a freakish own goal by visiting goalkeeper Ethan Horvath in the 74th minute.
Former Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren hit the post with a screamer from 30 metres for Zenit and the ball cannoned off the keeper’s back into the net.
Horvath kept out an Artem Dzyuba sitter and palmed away Wendel’s long-range effort in the closing stages before 19-year old forward De Ketelaere silenced the home fans in the Gazprom Arena deep into stoppage time.
Midfielder Ruud Vormer beat the offside trap and squared the ball to De Ketelaere who capped a fine individual performance with a simple tap-in past the home team’s stranded goalkeeper Mikhail Kerzhakov.
Group F: Lazio 3 Borussia Dortmund 1
Lazio’s Ciro Immobile scored against his former club Borussia Dortmund in a 3-1 home victory marking their return to the Champions League group phase after a 13-year absence.
Their second was credited as an own goal by keeper Marwin Hitz while substitute Jean-Daniel Akpa-Akpro got the third as the Italians shrugged off their poor form in the new Serie A season to secure a winning start to their Group F campaign.
Dortmund’s Norway striker Erling Haaland kept up his prolific Champions League scoring form with a second-half goal to make it 2-1 but that was to be the German club’s consolation.
Earlier on Tuesday, Belgium’s Club Brugge snatched a stoppage-time winner to beat Zenit St Petersburg 2-1 in Russia in their opener in the group.
Group G: Dynamo Kyiv 0 Juventus 2
Juventus made a winning start in the Champions League as they defeated Dynamo Kyiv 2-0 thanks to a pair of classic poacher’s goals from Alvaro Morata in their Group G opener.
Juve coach Andrea Pirlo enjoyed his first win as a manager in Europe’s elit club competition, which he won twice with AC Milan during his playing days as a midfielder.
With Cristiano Ronaldo ruled out following a positive test for COVID-19, Dejan Kulusevski was twinned with Morata up front and Federico Chiesa created some early chances for the visitors.
However, Juve suffered an early setback when defender Giorgio Chiellini had to be substituted in the 19th minute with what appeared to be a hamstring injury, forcing Pirlo to reshuffle his defence before Morata came to the rescue.
A clever backheel by Aaron Ramsey set up Kulusevski and although the Swedish winger’s shot was saved, Morata was on hand to fire home the rebound and the Spaniard then stole in front of his marker to head home from close range in the 84th minute.
The limited crowd roared on the hosts but Kyiv struggled to create decent chances on their return to the Champions League after a four-year absence as Juve comfortably closed out the win.
Group G: Barcelona 5 Ferencvaros 1
Lionel Messi became the first player to score in 16 consecutive Champions League seasons as he guided 10-man Barcelona to a 5-1 victory over Hungarian side Ferencvaros in their Group G opener at the Camp Nou.
Messi netted from the penalty spot in the first half for his 116th career goal in the competition, before the lively Ansu Fati added a second.
Philippe Coutinho grabbed another goal early in the second half but Barca defender Gerard Pique was dismissed for impeding the lively Tokmac Nguen, leading to a penalty for the visitors that was converted by Igor Kharatin.
Any thoughts of a dramatic comeback were quashed though as 17-year-old Pedri netted his first Barca goal after arriving from second-tier Las Palmas at the start of the season, and Ousmane Dembele added the fifth late on.
The Catalan side move above Juventus on goal difference at the top of the table after the Italian champions won 2-0 away at Dynamo Kyiv earlier on Tuesday. The pair meet in Turin on October 28th.
Barca coach Ronald Koeman left stalwart midfielder Sergio Busquets and striker Antoine Griezmann on the bench, perhaps with one eye on Saturday’s ‘El Clasico’ against bitter rivals Real Madrid.
Group H: RB Leipzig 2 Istanbul Basaksehir 0
Midfielder Angelino struck twice in four minutes to give RB Leipzig a 2-0 victory over Istanbul Basaksehir and help them to make a winning start in the Champions League group stage.
Leipzig, last season’s surprise semi-finalists who are unbeaten in all competitions so far this season, went in search of a quick goal and after a few early chances Angelino put them in the driving seat in the 16th minute.
The 23-year-old, on loan from Manchester City since January, turned into an accomplished centre forward when he beautifully controlled a Kevin Kampl cross into the box with a fine first touch, pivoted on the spot and fired in for the lead.
He completed a quick counter attack four minutes later after the Turks lost possession in their own half.
Angelino, who has already scored twice in four Bundesliga games, came close to a hat-trick a little later but his powerful volley straight from a corner kick whizzed past the post.
Basaksehir, making their maiden group-stage appearance, managed to keep up for the opening 20 minutes but were then on the back foot.
They controlled possession in the second half but failed to carve out any real scoring chances against the disciplined German backline.
Leipzig have three points in Group H, along with Manchester United who beat Paris St Germain 2-1. The Germans next play United in Manchester on October 28th.