The German teams enjoyed a good start to their 2015/16 Champions League campaign as three of their four sides started with an opening round win, while the fourth carried their poor domestic form into Europe and were demolished by their Spanish rivals.
The Lower Saxony outfit marked their return to the Champions League after a five year absence with a 1-0 win over Russian Premier League giants CSKA Moscow courtesy of a strike from summer signing Julian Draxler. The German side, who enjoyed a spectacular Bundesliga campaign last season as they went on to finish second behind Bayern Munich and won their first ever DFB Pokal, saw the departure of their talismanic midfielder Kevin De Bruyne, but his replacement, Draxler, looked completely at ease as he dictated proceedings from his no 10 role to help the Wolves get their European journey off to a winning start.
Roger Schmidt’s side started their Champions League campaign with a comfortable 4-1 win over BATE Borisov courtesy of goal each from Admir Mehmedi and Javier Hernandez, and a brace from Turkey international Hakan Calhanoglu. The German side started their campaign in an emphatic fashion and they will look to continue their form in their remaining games as they have reigning Spanish and European champions Barcelona as well as Serie A high flyers Roma in their group. Schmidt has earned plaudits for his side’s displays in the Bundesliga and they can be expected to cause problems for their group rivals.
Pep Guardiola’s men faced a tight defensive unit against Olympiacos and went into the break with the scores tied at 0-0. Thomas Muller broke the deadlock in the 52nd minute of the match courtesy of a glorious long range effort that evaded the Olympiacos goalkeeper and nestled into the net. Mario Gotze doubled the lead in the 89th minute of the game and a late penalty converted by Muller ensured all three points for the reigning German champions. The Bavarian giants have Arsenal and Dinamo Zagreb in their group and it is hard not to see them topping the group. The Allianz Arena residents have added the likes of Douglas Costa and Arturo Vidal to their side in the summer and the duo have added more dimensions to the side as they look to do better than last two season’s semi-finals exit from the elite European competition this season.
Lucien Favre’s side have endured a torrid start to their Bundesliga campaign, as last season’s fourth placed finishers have lost all four of their games so far to lie rock-bottom in the league standings. Their poor sequence of results continued in Europe as they were taken apart 3-0 by Unai Emery’s reigning Europa League champions Sevilla. The Germans conceded three penalties against the Spanish opposition, two of which were converted by Kevin Gameiro and Ever Banega while the Frenchman missed the other. In a group comprising of Manchester City and Juventus, the Foals need to find their form, and soon.