The UEFA Champions League is well underway, and with drama already emerging in Matchday 1, Matchday 2 was quickly on the horizon and brought along more key moments in this year’s competition.
Bayern Munich faced Barcelona, in a game where the 2 giants of Europe would meet. Barcelona hasn’t beat the German champions since 2015 and suffered a humiliating and memorable loss in 2020, where the Bavarians beat the Spanish side 8-2 in the Quarter-final of the Champions League.
Manchester City also faced a German giant in the form of Borussia Dortmund, as City look to win the competition for the first time in their history.
Tottenham Hotspur faced Portuguese side Sporting Lisbon, in what would be the game of the Matchday, as late drama unfolded.
Here is a roundup of each group, and the events of Matchday 2 on Tuesday and Wednesday night….
Group B: Club Brugge put 4 past Porto
Club Brugge cruised past FC Porto in Portugal, as the Belgians sit top of Group B with 6 points from 6, after two fantastic results in the first two match days.
Brugge came into this game off the back of 6 straight wins in all competitions, including a victory against Bayer Leverkusen on Matchday 1 of the Champions League
They faced a strong Porto side away, however still managed to continue their brilliant form, and were ahead after just 15 minutes, after former Barcelona striker Ferran Jutglà was taken down in the box. The away side was awarded a penalty, which the striker took himself, and ultimately scored to put the Belgians one up.
It was 0-1 to the away side at the break, as Porto looked to turn the game around in the second period.
However, it was Brugge who came out stronger, looking to add to their lead, which is what they did within 2 minutes of the second 45.
Kamal Sowah came out with the ball after a congested midfield clash on the outside of the box, to slot home past Porto keeper Diogo Costa, to put the Belgians two up.
Before Porto could even think about a comeback, Club Brugge added a third just 5 minutes later, as Danish international Andreas Skov Olsen added his name to the scoresheet.
That goal sealed the win for Brugge, who finished the game with a fourth with a few minutes remaining, as 17-year-old Antonio Nusa fired it low past Costa on his Champions League debut, to create a moment he will never forget.
In the other game, Bayer Leverkusen claimed the first points of their Champions League campaign against Atletico Madrid, as they look to turn around their poor start to the season.
Goals from Robert Andrich and Moussa Diaby in the last 10 minutes of the game secured all 3 points for the German side, who required a response after losing in Matchday 1 to Club Brugge
Leverkusen and Madrid are both on 3 points in the group, with Club Brugge cementing their place at the top on 6 points and a +5 goal difference. Porto is bottom of Group B and needs to pick up a result quickly to keep up with the rest of the group.
Group C: Bayern Munich claims victory against Barcelona on Lewandowski’s return
Bayern Munich showed their capabilities without prolific goalscorer Robert Lewandowski, who departed for Barcelona in the summer, as the Bavarians scored two quick-fire goals at the beginning of the second half to see off the Spanish side.
Lewandowski failed to make any significant impact, firing a close-range effort over the bar, as the Polish striker couldn’t find a way past his old teammate Manuel Neuer.
It was 0-0 at halftime, however, Munich defender Lucas Hernandez headed in from a corner to put the German Champions in front, and Leroy Sane added a second just 4 minutes later the seal the game for Bayern, giving Munich 2 wins from 2 in the Champions League.
Italian side Inter Milan secured the first win of their Champions League campaign, easing past Viktoria Plzen in the Czech Republic.
Edin Dzeko put Inter ahead after 20 minutes, placing a side-footed shot into the bottom corner past Plzen keeper Jindrich Stanek.
Viktoria Plzen’s challenge was made more difficult, after a poor challenge by Pavel Bucha was changed to a red card after intervention from the Video Assistant Referee (VAR).
Just 10 minutes after the red card, Dutch full-back Denzel Dumfries put the game to bed for Inter Milan after a counter-attack by the Italian side, assisted by Edin Dzeko.
Inter and Barcelona now both sit on 3 points, with Bayern Munich taking the top spot with 2 wins. Viktoria Plzen already have a mountain to climb in an extremely difficult group for the Czechs.
Group D: Pandemonium in Lisbon as Sporting stuns Spurs
Two goals in added time secured a shock result for Sporting Lisbon, after a close game between the Portuguese side and Tottenham Hotspur, where ultimately Sporting took their chances.
It was 0-0 at halftime, but just before the break former Spurs youngster Marcus Edwards, who started in attack for Lisbon, performed a brilliant solo run as he danced past multiple Tottenham players, but couldn’t find the back of the net after a one-two.
It was two substitutes for Sporting which changed the game. It took until the 90th minute for the deadlock to be broken, and it was the hosts who took the lead after a corner, which substitute Paulinho headed home to put the Portuguese side in front with only a few minutes remaining.
Just 3 minutes later, 90th-minute substitute Arthur produced a magnificent run down the left, nutmegging Emerson Royal to fire home past Hugo Lloris, as Sporting claimed all 3 points in style.
A first-half goal by Jesper Lindstrøm claimed all 3 points for Eintracht Frankfurt against French side Marseille.
The attacking midfielder fired low past Marseille goalkeeper Pau Lopez, to give the German side the perfect response to their opening Matchday defeat to Sporting Lisbon.
Frankfurt and Tottenham sit on 3 points, with Sporting Lisbon in the top spot after their dramatic win against Spurs. Marseille remains on 0 points and sits bottom of Group D.
Group E: Salzburg hold Chelsea to draw
Chelsea sit bottom of Group E in the Champions League, after failing to find a win in their opening two group games, despite leading against RB Salzburg at Stamford Bridge.
Raheem Sterling opened the scoring for the Blues. A low cross by Mason Mount from the right wasn’t dealt with by the Salzburg defence, who were punished for it as Sterling placed a shot into the bottom corner, giving Chelsea the lead near the start of the second half.
Despite having limited chances in the game, Salzburg levelled with just 15 minutes left in the game. Chukwubuike Adamu flew past an oncoming challenge by Thiago Silva and managed to find Swiss international Noah Okafor, who placed a low shot past Kepa Arrizabalaga from just a few yards out, to snatch a point for the Austrian side, and give Okafor his second goal in two Champions League games.
Chelsea piled the pressure on Salzburg late on, with Armando Broja firing a golden chance over the bar, as the Blues failed to find a winner.
Unlike Chelsea, AC Milan did find their first win in Group E of the Champions League, as they beat Croatian side Dinamo Zagreb 3-1.
Just before halftime, Rafael Leão won a penalty for Milan, which was dispatched by 35-year-old striker Oliver Giroud, to put the hosts 1-0 up going into the break.
Milan made it 2-0 just 2 minutes into the second half. Rafael Leão showed his pace down the left, which resulted in a cross into Alexis Saelemaekers, who powerfully headed home past Zagreb goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic.
Dinamo Zagreb did fight back, however, just 10 minutes after Milan’s second. A brilliant one-two between Bruno Petkovic and Mislav Orsic gave the latter space to fire home inside the box past Milan keeper Mike Maignan, to give the Croatian side some hope.
Zagreb failed to find a leveller, and with just 15 minutes left to play, AC Milan secured the victory. Theo Hernandez’s low cross back to Tommaso Pobega was fired home by the midfielder, giving Milan all 3 points.
Milan go top with the win, with 4 points from 2 games. Zagreb still retain a healthy position in 2nd, after claiming all 3 points against a struggling Chelsea in Matchday 1, with the Londoner’s remaining bottom with 1 point, giving new boss Graham Potter much to ponder. Salzburg sits 3rd, with two draws in their opening two matches.
Group F: Real Madrid leaves it late against Leipzig
Champions Real Madrid secured 6 points from 6 at the Bernabéu, however, were held for the majority of the game by RB Leipzig, who were unlucky not to take anything from the game.
It was always going to be a big ask for the German side travelling to the home of the Spanish giants. However, they nearly took the lead in the first half. A good run by Timo Werner down the left meant the former Chelsea number 9 could fire a cross low towards Christopher Nkunku, who couldn’t quite reach the ball to tap home, in what would be Leipzig’s best chance of the game.
Madrid did find the breakthrough, however, it took them 80 minutes to do so. Some brilliant skill by Vinicius Junior and the resulting pass found Federico Valverde on the edge of the penalty area, who placed a shot into the bottom corner past Péter Gulácsi, giving the Hungarian international no chance.
The Champions sealed the victory in added time. A free-kick by Toni Kroos found Marco Asensio, who placed a brilliant strike into the top corner, giving Madrid all 3 points in Group F.
Celtic couldn’t hold onto a lead in Poland, who only had a draw to show for their dominant display against Shakhtar Donetsk.
The Scottish Champions took the lead with just 10 minutes gone. New signing Sead Haksabanovic played in Reo Hatate, whose shot took a deflection off Donetsk defender Artem Bondarenko, whose own goal gave Celtic a 1-goal advantage.
Shakhtar levelled with nearly 30 minutes on the clock. A brilliant through ball by Georgiy Sudakov opened up the Celtic back line, as Mykhaylo Mudryk latched onto the through ball, to fire past Celtic goalkeeper Joe Hart, to grab his second Champions League goal of the campaign, and bring the Ukrainian side level.
Celtic piled on the pressure in the second half but couldn’t find a winner, as both sides take away a point, with Celtic still without a win after their opening two games of the group.
Celtic move up to third with the point, as they overtake German side Leipzig, who they face next in the group stage. Real Madrid goes top with 6 points, whilst Shakhtar Donetsk sits in 2nd with a very respectable 4 points from their 2 games.
Group G: Haaland fires home winner against former club
Manchester City was made to work for their victory against German side Borussia Dortmund, as Pep Guardiola’s side struggled to break down a Dortmund side who set up well against the English Champions.
BVB limited City’s chances, not even allowing them a shot on target in the first half, as Edin Terzic’s tactics frustrated the English side.
Dortmund was rewarded for their efforts, and it was an Englishman who scored in his home country. Jude Bellingham headed home a Marco Reus cross 10 minutes into the second half, to give the German side a deserved lead at the Etihad.
It was going to take something special to beat a well-coached Dortmund side, which came twice in the space of 5 minutes to break BVB hearts. John Stones scored an ambitious effort from outside the penalty area with just 10 minutes left of the game, a shot which changed direction mid-flight to beat Dortmund’s second-choice goalkeeper Alexander Meyer, who was between the sticks for the German side due to shot-stopper Gregor Kobel being out injured.
Manchester City won the game just 5 minutes later, and it was the former Dortmund man Erling Braut Haaland, who the German side have been so used to scoring in black and yellow, scoring against them with a world-class, unique finish from close range, to steal all 3 points for City.
On a positive note for Borussia Dortmund, Spanish side Sevilla, who many would regard as Dortmund’s rivals for second place in Group G, failed to find a winner against Copenhagen in Denmark, in a stalemate between the two sides.
The draw leaves both sides on 1 point after two games, with Sevilla sitting bottom of Group G on goal difference. Dortmund remains second on 3 points after beating Copenhagen on Matchday 1, with Manchester City topping the group with two wins from two.
Group H: Benfica complete turnaround to stun Juventus
Juventus have a mountain to climb if they wish to progress to the knockout stages of the Champions League, after falling at home to Portuguese side Benfica, already having lost their first group stage game.
Despite ultimately losing the match, Juventus did take the lead inside the first 5 minutes. An early free-kick was crossed in by Leandro Paredes, who found Arkadiusz Milik at the near post, who headed down into the far corner to give Juve an early lead at the Allianz Stadium.
However, things only went downhill from there for the Italian giants, with Benfica being the more dominant side after the opener. Just before halftime, Goncalo Ramos won a penalty for Benfica after a VAR check, which João Mário fired into the roof of the net to bring Benfica level, in a deserved equaliser.
It was 1-1 at the break, and Benfica took the momentum from the goal into the second half and took the lead through David Neres from a rebound, which the Brazilian struck home, to give Benfica a deserved 3 points in Turin.
PSG joined Benfica on 6 points from 6, who also had to come from behind to avoid a shock defeat at the hands of Israeli side Maccabi Haifa.
Haifa took the lead with nearly 25 minutes on the clock. Former QPR midfielder Tjaronn Chery fired home a cross from Dolev Haziza to stun the French Champions early on, after giving the ball away in midfield.
However, PSG didn’t panic, and with nearly 40 minutes gone, Lionel Messi added to his Champions League goal collection, after tapping in from a few yards out after Kylian Mbappé dashed past Haifa defender Daniel Sundgren, to put a low cross into the Argentine.
It was level at the break, but with just over 20 minutes left of the game, PSG did find a second goal through Kylian Mbappé. The 23 year-old latched onto a through ball from Lionel Messi in behind the Maccabi Haifa defence, to put the French side in control.
Neymar sealed the win late on, after a perfectly timed ball over the top by Marco Veratti, which allowed Neymar to slot home past the keeper without much pressure.
The defeat puts Maccabi Haifa bottom of the group, who with Juventus, need to pick up points fast to avoid being eliminated from the Champions League early on.
(Tuesday and Wednesday):
Group A: Liverpool snatch all 3 points late on
Liverpool left it late however found a winner against Ajax, as they secure the first points of their Champions League campaign.
The Reds needed a response after an inconsistent start to their season, including a 4-1 battering from Napoli in the Champions League Matchday 1.
Mohamed Salah gave the English side the perfect start, after finishing from inside the box, with nearly 20 minutes gone.
Ajax levelled just 10 minutes later, after Mohammed Kudus hit a powerful strike from inside the box into the top corner, giving Liverpool goalkeeper Allison no chance.
The Dutch side looked as though they would hold out for a point, and were nearly on course for all 3 when former Manchester United defender Dailey Blind had a golden opportunity at the back post, but headed just wide.
However, Liverpool grabbed all 3 points with just a minute left of the 90, after a corner from Konstantinos Tsimikas found Joel Matip in the centre of the box, who headed home to give Liverpool their first win in Europe this season.
In the other game of Group A, Rangers were given a second half hammering by Italian side Napoli, in another blow to their Champions League campaign.
Napoli dominated the Scottish side, although had to wait until the second half to find an opener.
However, there was drama before a goal was scored. James Sands, having already been booked moments before, received a second booking after giving away a penalty to Napoli.
Piotr Zielinksi missed from the spot twice, after the penalty had to be retaken. The first time it was taken, Napoli scored from the rebound, however, VAR showed that the player on the end of the rebound, Matteo Politano, entered the box before the penalty was taken, therefore a retake was ordered, which Zielinksi went on to miss again, as Rangers goalkeeper Allan McGregor kept out the Polish international on both occasions.
Nearly 10 minutes later, Napoli was awarded another penalty, after Borna Barisic handled inside the area, giving Napoli a third chance from the spot.
Matteo Politano took the penalty this time, and finally, Napoli took the lead, despite McGregor diving the right way.
Napoli showed their dominance in the last 5 minutes of the game, as Giacomo Raspadori put the Italian side 0-2 up, after firing home past McGregor.
Napoli were in complete control, and added a third through former Tottenham midfielder Tanguy Ndombele, to seal the game for the Italian side, and take all 3 points back to Naples.
Napoli goes top with maximum points from the opening two games, with Rangers finding themselves rock bottom, and needing to find a result swiftly in order to keep their Champions League campaign alive. Liverpool and Ajax both sit on 3 points after two games.
For more on all Football and continued Champions League coverage each week, check out the Football section of the World in Sport website here: https://worldinsport.com/category/news/football/