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Champions League First Round Soccer Review

champions league soccer first round manchester city vs juventus 2015On the opening night of the 2015/16 Champions League season, Manchester City were afflicted by familiar failings when they came up short against last season’s finalists Juventus and succumbed to a 2-1 loss at home. The Citizens completely failed to replicate their Premier League form and were handed a lesson in tactical football by the Old Lady.

In the same group, reigning Europa League champions gave a strong performance against Borussia Monchengladbach with a comfortable 3-0 win over the Germans to show that they indeed belong to the highest echelons of European football.

Angel di Maria, who moved to Paris Saint-Germain from Manchester United in the summer, showed what he is capable of as he opened his Champions League goalscoring account for the Parisians in a stupendous display that helped his team to a 2-0 win over reigning Swedish champions Malmo.

Cristiano Ronaldo continued from where he left off in the Spanish league and scored a hat-trick against Shakhtar Donetsk in a 4-0 win for Los Blancos.

At the Phillips Stadion, Memphis Depay marked his return to his old stomping ground with a goal, but in a match marred by a horrific injury to left-back Luke Shaw, PSV Eindhoven clinched all three points with a 2-1 win.

VfL Wolfsburg marked their return to the Champions League after five seasons as they registered a 1-0 win over CSKA Moscow of the Russian league.

Benfica won 2-0 against Champions League debutantes Astana of Kazakhstan and Atletico Madrid inflicted a defeat by the same margin on Galatasaray courtesy of a brace from Frenchman Antoine Griezmann.

Bayer Leverkusen ran away 4-1 winner against BATE Borisov of Belarus in Group E. And in the other match of the group, Barcelona managed to get a 1-1 draw against an ultra defensive Roma that deployed six-man defence at times to throttle the Catalans’ attacking verve. Alessandro Florenzi scored the goal of the first round with a stupendous long range effort that flew over and beyond Barcelona goalkeeper Marc Andre ter Stegen.

Dinamo Zagreb defeated Arsenal 2-1 at the Stadion Maksimir to cause one of the upsets of the first round, while Bayern Munich were comfortable winners 3-0 against Olympiacos courtesy of a brace from Thomas Mulller and a 90th minute strike from Mario Gotze.

A goal each from Willian, Oscar, Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas helped Chelsea inflict a 4-0 defeat on Israeli outfit Maccabi Tel Aviv in their Champions League opener played at Stamford Bridge.

Meanwhile, Dynamo Kyiv and Portuguese giants Porto played out a 2-2 draw in the second match of Group G.

Reigning Belgian champions Gent were held to a 1-1 draw against French Ligue 1 rivals Lyon at the Ghelamco Arena.

In the second match of Group H, Zenit Saint Petersburg travelled to Valencia and went ahead 2-0 by half time courtesy of two glorious goals from Hulk. The Spaniards drew level, but the Russians scored a third to secure a 3-2 win – their first Champions League win over a Spanish league opponent.

Luka Alario
Luka Alario
Luka Alario, our sports writer, hails from Northern Italy. He's as passionate about Soccer as we are about football so he's a great addition to our sports team.