The best competition in clubs football
UEFA Champions League 2021-22 campaign kicked-off this week with some stunning results and disappointments including Messi’s first start with PSG and the new look Manchester United featuring the return of Cristiano Ronaldo.
Manchester City 6-3 Leipzig. Last year’s runners-up to Chelsea started with a furious victory over a good team that eliminated Manchester United last season. Man City will be one of the teams to count to reach the final in Saint Petersburg next year.
coach Pep Guardiola on the win:
“Of course, I am delighted and happy and thank you to these incredible players we have. It was a really tough game.
The first game at home it was important to win and we scored six goals. Seventeen goals in the last four games is nice to give to them. I think the game was tight. We were fortunate that when they scored we were able to score immediately.
I saw the game against Bayern Munich, they made it 1-2 and Bayern Munich suffered because of the counter-attack. It is an interesting team. They have played like this since Ralph Rangnick arrived. They really play. It is one of the best teams in Germany.”
Club Brugge 1-1 Paris Saint-Germain. Placed in the same group as Manchester City, the Parisians hoped to start their campaign with a better result. FOr the first time Messi, Mbappe and Neymar started the game together but the MMN was not in verve in Belgium. Mbappe left the pitch due to injury early in second half while Neymar was poor and Messi did not impact the game at all. Instead Paris could have lost this match…
FC Barcelona 0-3 Bayern Munich
Once more FC Bayern terrorized Barcelona and its fans. At the Camp Nou the Bavarians left no chance to the locals. FC Barcelona is now a museum where you look at the trophies of what a brilliant team it used to be. We predict FC Barcelona to exit early from Champions League.
Young Boys 2-1 Manchester United. The biggest surprise of matchday 1 came from Switzerland, where the locals defeated the behemoth Man United. Cristiano did put the visitors on top for his third goal in two games. But Young Boys came back in the game in the second half and found the game winner at the last second of the match from a Lingard mistake
Coach Solskjaer on the defeat: “We were a bit lazy going out and blocking the cross for the first goal, a bit unlucky because it then gets deflected off Luke, and then the last goal, that’s just unfortunate. We need 12 points to go through. You need to win your home games, win one away from home and go through. A missed opportunity tonight, of course, but then again last year we won our first two games against PSG and Red Bull [Leipzig] and everyone thought we were through. So we have five games to get the 10 or 12 points.”
Chelsea 1-0 Zenit Saint-Petersburg
The 2021 winners started their title defense with a home win and three points.
Inter Milan 0-1 Real Madrid
The club with the most titles in the competition will always be a contender and they showed grit to win in Milan.
Coach Ancelotti on the win:
“A hugely important, tough win. It was a very difficult first half and then better in the second. It was a complete performance, with some good things and some mistakes. The team showed a great attitude. We kept a clean sheet thanks to Courtois in in the first half, but we weren’t bad defensively overall”.
“If we’re playing a low block, we’ve got more chances on the counter attack and we didn’t do that well in the first half. We moved the ball out differently, with three at the back and Vini Jr. being more open. Later, Inter slowed up a bit because they showed real intensity in the first half and when they were slower, we had more control and created more chances”.
Liverpool 3-2 AC Milan
The Reds dominated the first 40 minutes and were up 1-0. But before half-time they went to sleep and conceded two goals in less than 5 minutes. Down 1-2 at the break they came back and scored two goals in the second half to win 3-2. The 2019 winners have the experience on their side.