The Champions League proper got underway this evening as the first wave of group stage matches took place across Europe.
In Group A, Arsenal profited from a wasteful Paris Saint-Germain side – Edinson Cavani was particularly guilty – and were able to claim a 1-1 draw at the Parc des Princes.
In the other game in that group, FC Basel got off to a poor start as they could only claim a 1-1 draw at home to Bulgarian outfit Ludogorets.
The results leave the group exactly the same as it was earlier tonight, Arsenal on top alphabetically and PSG at the bottom by the same principle.
In Group B, Napoli had to come from behind to claim a 2-1 victory away at Dynamo Kiev. Denis Garmash put the home side in front just before the half-hour mark, but two goals from new €35m signing Arkadiusz Milik gave Maurizio Sarri’s side a vital three points.
In the other game in that group, Benfica played out a 1-1 draw in an even contest against Besiktas at the Estadio da Luz. Benfica thought they had won the match with a Franco Cerv effort after twelve minutes, but there was to be late drama when Anderson Talisca, who joined Besiktas from Benfica this summer, equalised for his new side in the dying minutes of the game.
The results leave Napoli on top of the group at this early stage.
In Group C, Manchester City’s clash with Borussia Monchengladbach was called off due to torrential rain – that game will now take place on Wednesday at 7.45.
That said, Barcelona’s throttling of Celtic provided enough goals for both games. A reunited MSN tore the away side to shreds as Barca won 7-0 – Messi scored three, Suárez scored two and Neymar assisted four. A missed penalty from Celtic’s Moussa Dembélé compounded the away side’s misery.
The result, unsurprisingly, leaves Barcelona on the top of the table and Brendan Rodgers with plenty to think about.
Finally, to Group D, where Bayern Munich went on a bit of a rampage of their own with a 5-0 victory. FC Rostov were the victims as Carlo Ancelotti’s first Champions League game with the Bundesliga champions went exactly to plan. Robert Lewandowski opened the scoring before Thomas Muller added a second just before half time.
Two rare efforts from Joshua Kimmich ended any hope of a Rostov fightback before Juan Bernat put the icing on the Bavarian cake.
Atlético Madrid travelled to PSV Eindhoven in the other game in the group, but it proved to be far trickier. They got the win thanks to a brilliant Saúl Ñíguez strike in the 43rd minute, and had Jan Oblak to thank for saving a penalty from Andres Guardado just before the half time break with the game later finishing 1-0.
It was a win Diego Simeone’s side badly needed, as they welcome Bayern to the Calderón in the next round of Champions League fixtures.