Club Bruges hold Paris Saint-Germain as French club’s stars fail to shine

Real punish wasteful Inter; Haller hits four as Ajax hammer Sporting

Club Bruges 1 Paris Saint-Germain 1

Lionel Messi failed to provide Paris Saint-Germain with any sparkle as the Ligue 1 team’s potent attacking trio lacked inspiration in a disappointing 1-1 draw at Club Bruges in their Champions League opener on Wednesday.

Making his first start for the French team, the Argentine forward hit the woodwork but was otherwise far from his brilliant best alongside the hugely disappointing Neymar and Kylian Mbappé, who set up Ander Herrera for PSG’s first-half opener before being replaced injured after the break.

Bruges, who levelled before half-time through Hans Vanaken, were more aggressive and had the best chances against a PSG side lacking quality and defensive focus.

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The result left PSG and Bruges trailing Group A leaders Manchester City by two points after the Premier League champions crushed RB Leipzig 6-3.

“We didn’t play a fantastic game but to be fair we did enough to win, we deserved to win,” said Herrera.

“Maybe they had opportunities at the beginning of the second half but I think we controlled the match, we had a lot of chances.”

Inter Milan 0 Real Madrid 1

Real Madrid substitute Rodrygo struck an 89th-minute winner to snatch a 1-0 Champions League victory away to Inter Milan on Wednesday, punishing the wasteful Italians for missing a string of chances.

The Brazilian met a pass from fellow replacement Eduardo Camavinga and volleyed home in the dying minutes as Carlo Ancelotti’s side triumphed against their major rivals for top spot in Group D.

It was a painful conclusion to a game the Italian side had dominated for large stretches but the hosts could not find a way past on-form goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, who produced several crucial saves.

Real are second in the group behind Moldovans Sheriff Tiraspol, who stunned Shakhtar Donetsk with a 2-0 win on their tournament debut and travel to Madrid next, while Shakhtar and Inter will look to get their first points on the board when they meet in Ukraine.

Sporting Lisbon 1 Ajax 5

Former West Ham striker Sebastien Haller scored four goals as Ajax picked apart Portuguese hosts Sporting Lisbon for a one-sided 5-1 victory.

The tall striker netted twice in the opening 10 minutes to set Ajax on their way, and completed his hat-trick early in the second half before adding another goal just after the hour mark at the Jose Alvalade Stadium.

Steven Berghuis claimed his first goal for his new club to add to the tally while Paulinho got the home team’s consolation.

Besiktas 1 Borussia Dortmund 2

Jude Bellingham produced an inspired individual performance as he scored one goal and set up the other to help Borussia Dortmund to a 2-1 win at Besiktas in their Champions League Group C opener on Wednesday.

The 18-year-old England midfielder fired the visitors ahead with a fine finish in the 20th minute and left his marker flat-footed to set up striker Erling Haaland for the second on the stroke of half-time.

Centre back Francisco Montero pulled one back for the home side deep into stoppage time.

Atletico Madrid 0 FC Porto 0

Atletico Madrid drew 0-0 at home to Porto in a cagey opening Champions League Group B game, the Spaniards spared defeat when a VAR review overturned a late goal from visiting striker Mehdi Taremi.

Taremi bundled the ball into the net in the 80th minute from the floor after a mix up between Atletico defender Renan Lodi and goalkeeper Jan Oblak but the goal was ruled out as the Iranian forward had handled the ball as he slid to the ground.

Porto defender Chancel Mbemba was shown a straight red card deep in injury time for hauling down Atletico forward Antoine Griezmann and Luis Suarez fizzed the resulting free kick inches over the bar.

The Uruguayan had also gone close to breaking the deadlock late in the first half with a free kick which cleared the wall but went narrowly above the bar.