Champions League First Round Soccer Review

champions league soccer first round manchester city vs juventus 2015

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.