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5 takeaways from Champions League Matchday 1

The biggest club competition, UEFA Champions League, resumed this week with Matchday 1. The excitement was high as ever with the top clubs in Europe fighting to win. Let us have a look at the 5 takeaways from Champions League Matchday 1.

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Last updated: 16.09.2021
five takeaways from Champions League 2021-22 Matchday 1

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The biggest club competition, UEFA Champions League, resumed this week with Matchday 1. The excitement was high as ever with the top clubs in Europe fighting to win the continental competition. The drama and thrill that the competition brings was expected since the draws were out. PSG and Manchester City in the group of death, Milan making their comeback to the Champions League and the two “goats” making Champions League for their new teams.

As usual, the matches did not disappoint as we saw some late winners, big upsets, and history makers. Ronaldo’s Champions League return for Manchester United was not the best as the side lost to Young Boys. Erling Haaland continued his goalscoring exploits and Messi was seen for the first time on the pitch together with Neymar.

Let us have a look at the 5 takeaways from Champions League Matchday 1:

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1. Ronaldo and Messi’s Champions League return ends on a bad note


With the Champions League restarting, all the eyes were on Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi playing for the first time with their new teams. The homecoming for Ronaldo was an away fixture against Young Boys while Lionel Messi and PSG’s super-team started against Club Brugge.

However, it was a disappointing start for both as they couldn’t start on a winning note. Cristiano Ronaldo kicked-off his campaign with a goal in the first half, but a red card and late goal conceded meant that the Portuguese could not win his first Champions League match in the red shirt again.

PSG on the other hand were held to a 1-1 draw by the impressive Club Brugge who were unlucky to not get all the 3 points. All the eyes were on the trio Messi, Neymar and Mbappe playing for the first time together but the trio disappointed. A first half-goal by Herrera was the only one that PSG could manage with Lionel Messi hitting the crossbar.


2. Sheriff make history in their first ever Champions League campaign


‘There is a new Sheriff in town’, this quote was making a lot of noise since the time FC Sheriff Tiraspol qualified for the Champions League. The Moldovan side became the first team from their country to qualify for the Champions’ League group stages. They were drawn in the group with Real Madrid, Inter Milan and Shakhtar Donetsk.

As if creating history by only qualifying was not enough, Sheriff made their mark with their first ever win by beating Shakhtar 2-0 on Matchday 1. A goal in either half was enough for jubilation to erupt on their home soil after a victory to remember. The Champions League is known for its drama and underdogs story, and Sheriff might just be the team to create history this year.


3. Manchester City show their dominance with an emphatic win


The squad depth that Manchester City have is second to none. Pep Guardiola’s team again start as favourites to win the Champions League after just missing out in the final last year. The addition of Jack Grealish has made the squad stronger, and it was visible in the Matchday 1 fixture against RB Leipzig.

 Playing without a recognised striker, the Cityzens hammered their opponents to a 6-3 win in an exciting encounter for the neutrals as well. Grealish scored his first Champions League goal and was crucial all around as the Blue side from Manchester started their campaign by making a mark.


4. Real Madrid leaves it late against Inter to take 3 points


The 13-time Champions Real Madrid kicked off their new campaign with a match against Inter Milan at San Siro. The ground, familiar for their current head coach Carlo Ancelotti having managed AC Milan is not an easy hunting ground. Inter made it difficult for the Madrid side and perhaps did enough for a win but they were kept at bay by the brilliant Thibaut Courtois.

Madrid left it late after the two-super subs, Eduardo Camavinga assisted Rodrygo, another sub to score the winning goal. Camavinga, the highly rated youngster has been impressive in his recent games for Real Madrid. Rodrygo on the other hand, again came back to haunt Inter Milan after scoring a late winner against the same side last year.


5. Bayern bullies a Barcelona team in crisis


When the draws were made with Bayern and Barcelona in the same group, ideally it should have been a European Clasico to watch out for. However, things have changed in recent years and the 8-2 drabbing of Barcelona by Bayern Munich in 2020 was reminded of. With Lionel Messi leaving Barcelona, the weakened Catalan side was not expected to put up much of a fight and that’s what happened.

Bayern dominated the proceedings from the word go and cruised to a 3-0 win with Lewandowski scoring twice. It was the first time ever that Barcelona could not manage a single shot on target as they ended up with a disappointing performance all around. A lot of work must be done in the Catalan setup to take them back at the highest level where they belong and fight again for the Champions League.

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